The Mozilla open-source project Tuesday released a new lightweight browser
that promises to strip away the bloat and double the speed in which Web
pages are displayed.
The AOL-backed Mozilla project, created to prod developer interest in
browser technology, described the new Phoenix browser was a redesign the Mozilla browser component, similar to Galeon,
K-Meleon and Chimera.
“Phoenix is not your father’s Mozilla browser. It’s a lean and fast browser
that doesn’t skimp on features,” Mozilla said of the new browser, which was
built using the XUL user interface language and designed to be
XUL is an XML-based UI definition language/schema used to describe the
layout/composition of the browser window.
New features in the Phoenix release include a customizable toolbar where
users can re-order the buttons and address bar. Phoenix users can also
choose to show large or small icons or to display buttons and text, instead
of having the application make those choices.
The browser’s bookmarks and history managers also contain a quick search bar
for filtering the list of bookmarks or history items. “Quick search makes
managing these lists faster and much more convenient,” Mozilla said.
“Phoenix was designed with performance as a primary goal. The XUL experts
built a browser that starts in nearly half the time of Mozilla and its
commercial derivatives. New windows also snap into existence almost twice as
fast as Mozilla and commercial derivatives,” the group said.
Phoenix developers have also configured behaviors for pop-up blocking,
tabbed browsing, and other features to allow users to manipulate the way
content is displayed in the browser.
Developers promise Phoenix add-ons in coming months that include ‘Satchel,’
a replacement for Mozilla’s Wallet functionality and plug-in extensions.