Netscape 7.0 Browser-Suite Coming, But Not Here Yet
Mike Angelo -- 27 August 2002 (c)
Here is the deal. The Netscape 7.0 browser-suite directory has been on the AOL-Netscape FTP server(s) for several days. However, there had been no public access to the actual Netscape 7.0 files as far as we know -- until earlier today.
Earlier today, it was possible to get to the Netscape 7.0 binaries on the AOL-Netscape FTP server if you knew the route to the file(s). However, a short time later, access to the Netscape 7.0 binaries was blocked.
This is very similar to the situation when Netscape 6.1 was released. Then AOL-Time-Warner?s Netscape division placed its Netscape 6.1 directory tree on its FTP server and opened that tree to the public. However, a few hours later in the afternoon the Netscape division started closing access to the NS 6.1 directories on its FTP servers. It was not until two days later that NS 6.1 was officially released for public downloading
Apparently the initial appearance of the Netscape 6.1 directory tree and files on the Netscape FTP servers was not a 6.1 release. In an e-mail interview at that time, Netscape spokes-person Catherine Corre told MozillaQuest Magazine "We have not released Netscape 6.1, this was a routine system test."
Today's Netscape 7.0 events appear to be a repeat performance of the similar events surrounding the Netscape 6.1 release to the public.
It appears that Netscape 7.0 will be based on either Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1 or Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2 code. However, as we point out in our Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2 release article, the Mozilla 1.0.x editions of the Mozilla browser suite, including Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2, pretty much have been killed by the recent Mozilla 1.1 release. That means also that if Netscape 7.0 is based on Mozilla 1.0.x code, it already will be substantially outdated when it is released -- worthless.
Many of the pros and cons discussed in our comprehensive Mozilla 1.0 coverage also apply to Netscape 7.0.
We cannot make a recommendation regarding Netscape 7.0 until it is officially released and we have checked it out -- and finished our Mozilla 1.1 evaluation too. However, our best guess at this time is there is not much use to running Netscape 7.0 because it likely is so far behind Mozilla 1.1. You likely are much better off to download and use Mozilla 1.1 than you are to download and use Netscape 7.0 -- although Mozilla 1.1-beta might be more stable than Mozilla 1.1 -- still looking into that.
Meanwhile, if you are an end-user that would like to discuss Mozilla or Netscape, or would like some Mozilla or Netscape help, try the #ChatZilla, #Mozilla, and #Netscape channels on the EFNet IRC network.
These IRC channels are not affiliated with AOL or its Netscape and Mozilla divisions. It's mostly Mozilla and Netscape users helping other Mozilla and Netscape users. You also will find #Caldera, #KDE, #Linux, #Mandrake, #RedHat, #SuSE, and #Windows channels on EFNet too.
Incidentally, ChatZilla is an IRC client that comes with Mozilla. Give it a try. To launch ChatZilla just go to the Mozilla Menu Bar and click Window > IRC Chat. Unfortunately, AOL-Netscape refuses to include ChatZilla with its Netscape version of the Mozilla browser suite. Guess AOL-Netscape is afraid you might use IRC instead of its Instant Messaging.
For more information about Mozilla 1.0.x upon which Netscape 7.0 is based, please see our Mozilla 1.0 comprehensive coverage articles: