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Mozilla 1.3 Overview
All about Mozilla
By Tak


         Mozilla 1.3 is not a major improvement over its previous versions. Although, it has proven to be stable and worth the upgrade for the changes it does have. This article will go over those improvements and those things that I think should have been added.

Navigator
        You will find Navigator to be like the one of 1.2.1, Mozilla's previous stable release, and you should have no trouble at all finding your way around or getting “acquainted” with the newer version. If you look in the TOOLS menu, you will see some new features, however. One allows you to stop or allow pop-ups of a certain site on the fly. That comes in handy when you actually want the unrequested pop-ups (such as for notifications and such). The other is a “Dynamic Profile Switcher.” It allows you to change profiles within the browser instead of having to exit and do it from the Profile Manager (which requires that Mozilla not be running). Multiple profiles are a way for people to share the Mozilla web browser, but with separate bookmarks (“Favourites”), cookies, settings, skins, web history, etc. The Preferences window now has a section devoted to pop-up windows, so it is no longer buried where it is harder to find. This was a smart move, since many people didn't (and don't) even know that Mozilla has a pop-up blocker (and a great one at that!). One of the things I really wanted to see in Navigator was more control over how the tool bars look. At present, I would have to edit files within my Chrome directory. I would love to see a menu for customizing it. You can't even move the tool bars around! Don't fear though. It is not like the Mozilla.org Project to ignore the wants of the users. They plan to give the tool bars more freedom in later releases. I would also like to see more control over images. In 1.3 and past releases, if I want to block one image from a website, I have to block every other one! I would like to have the options to only block ones from certain directories and the use of “wildcards” would be nice.


Mozilla Mail

       The biggest improvement here is “Junk Mail Filtering”. It is intelligent, and after “training” it does a great job of filtering out bad mail. Previous versions of Mozilla Mail only had “rules” to filter mail, but this goes a little beyond that. There is not much to write here, since most of the improvements were on Navigator. Besides have a great filtering system, it is much safer than Outlook or Outlook Express, since it is not so virus-prone. I would give this I shot if I were looking for something different. A word of advice though: Don't install Mozilla Mail if you don't plan to use it. It will hi-jack all “MAILTO:” links within the Mozilla browser. The only way to change that is to edit some files-- Something many people wouldn't want to do. I don't know about you, but I want my default mail software to come up, not Mozilla's. (Although, my default mail software is about to be Mozilla Mail.)


Composer

       Composer now supports image resizing. That is about all the major improvements is has. It is great for making webpages and it is one of the best free WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors out there. Creating a webpage is fun and simple with Composer. Make sure to install it since it may come in handy sometime.


Chatzilla
      
Stay far away from this. I would suggest that you don't install it and use different IRC software. If there are any improvements in Chatzilla, they are small. The big contenders are Navigator, Composer, and Mail. Chatzilla is sort of on the back burner. Chatzilla will hi-jack all of your IRC links, too. Of course, it does not offer the option to use different IRC software once Chatzilla is installed.


Stability and Performance

       Mozilla 1.3 is a stable release. All of the reported bugs in the alpha and beta versions were fixed and the remaining ones, if any, are obscure, and chances are you will never run into them. Crashes hardly happen and there are add-ons that can restore your last point if one were to occur. As for memory usage, Mozilla hasn't improved. The memory usage can be compared with IE. Also, the start-up times have not improved. One of the major drawbacks of using Mozilla is the slower-than-average start up time. This can be fixed by enabling “Quick Start”, but that requires that part of Mozilla stay in memory even when it is not running, and it sometimes has lead to Mozilla crashes in my experiences with it.


Additional Links
MozillaZine Forums
Useful Add-ons
More Useful Add-ons
Mozilla Skins



Takahita Tsukino
IceTeks member

      









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