Netscape 6.1 PR 1 Browser-Suite Coming Soon to a Desktop Near You?
Mike Angelo -- 12 June 2001 (c)
Look for Netscape 6.1 Preview Release 1 (NS 6.1, PR1) soon. The directory for Netscape 6 PR1 already is in place on the Netscape FTP server. However, at publication time the Netscape FTP server NS 6.1-PR1 directory is not open for public downloading.
Netscape 6.1 could be the last gasp for AOL-Time-Warner's floundering Netscape browser offering. Starting with the first Netscape 6 preview release (Netscape 6 PR1) in April 2000, and then through the NS 6 PR 2, NS 6 PR3, Netscape 6.0 and Netscape 6.01 editions, Netscape 6 has come under heavy criticism from the computer trade press, consumers, loyal Netscape fans, and developers.
The four dominant Linux distribution packagers, Caldera, Mandrake, Red Hat, and SuSE rejected Netscape 6.x for inclusion as a default browser in their most recent Linux distributions. That pretty much kicks Netscape off the Linux desktop.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer kicked Netscape off the Windows desktop some time ago. Please see our two part series, Is Netscape Losing the Browser Wars? Part I: Linux Could Be Netscape's Last Browser Battlefield and Part II: Why Are Major Linux Distributions Rejecting Netscape 6?
The pressure is on AOL-Time-Warner's (AOL) Netscape division (NSCP) to win back all the consumers, discouraged loyal Netscape fans, and developers that it has lost since the release of Netscape 6 PR1. The Netscape Division also needs to convince the Linux distribution packagers that Netscape 6.1 is worthy of the Linux desktop.
Will Netscape 6.1 be able to meet that awesome challenge? You be the judge. Download a copy of Netscape 6.1 PR1 when it is released to the public and see for yourself. Check the MozillaQuest Magazine front page (mozillaquest.com) regularly for news about the Netscape 6.1 PR1 release and for download links when it is available.
The initial Netscape 6.0 browser suite was made available for public downloading on 9 November 2000, some seven months ago. Then on 8 February 2001, the Netscape Division placed its Netscape 6.01 browser-suite upgrade on its FTP servers. And now soon, Netscape 6.1 Preview Release 1 will be available for your scrutiny, and hopefully your Web browsing pleasure.
The Netscape 6 browser suite is based upon the cross-platform (XP), open source, Mozilla browser-suite. The current Milestone Mozilla browser-suite release is Mozilla 0.9.1. It was released 7 June 2001.
Simply put, the Netscape Division grabs the Mozilla source code, adds its own and third party products such as AIM and Net2Phone, and then puts its own Netscape branding on the added-too and customized Mozilla-base. The Netscape Division also adds its portal and bookmark items to the Mozilla-base while customizing the underlying Mozilla browser suite. Stir all that together and voila, that's the Netscape 6 browser suite.
All told, the Mozilla browser suite upon which Netscape 6.1 will be based is a nice browser. And it has come a long way since early February, which is when Netscape 6.01 was released. However, on 9 June 2001, which is when it appears that Netscape 6.1 PR1 was branched from the Mozilla development tree, there were some 2800 bugs in Mozilla. That's too many bugs for a commercial, end-user, product.
That of course is a tough choice. Should AOL-Time-Warner's Netscape division release a buggy Netscape 6.1 PR1 browser sooner, or a less buggy Netscape 6.1 PR1 browser later? Either way, AOL-Time-Warner's Netscape division will be criticized. There will be criticism if Netscape 6.1 PR1 is buggy. And there will be criticism if there is any further delay in releasing Netscape 6.1 PR1.
For more information about the Mozilla browser-suite and downloading it, please see our recent article Mozilla Milestone 0.9.1 Browser-Suite Released. For updated Mozilla bug counts, please see the right sidebar on the MozillaQuest Magazine front page (mozillaquest.com).
To download and install the Netscape 6.01 browser suite, please see: Netscape 6.01 Browser-Suite Released.
To create your own Netscape 6 themes or to build you own customized Mozilla-based browser suite, please see:
Additional Resources & Related Articles
Is Netscape Losing the Browser Wars?
For more information about the Mozilla Organization, the Mozilla applications programming framework, and the Mozilla browser, please see:
Please do not forget to report bugs, problems, or suggestions for enhancements to Bugzilla.
For more information about the Mozilla Roadmap and Milestone Plan, please see:
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