Netscape 8.0 Released

I'm not sure why anyone would want to use the Netscape browser but Netscape 8 has been released. It hasn't yet hit the ftp server but it should be underway. The Netscape browser which once ruled the world wide web, is now full of weird activation stuff and AOL/Netcenter crap. But at least they cleaned up their act since Netscape Browser Prototype. But my advice still is: Just stick with Mozilla Firefox!

Netscape has released the final version of its Netscape 8 Web browser. The browser toggles between the Internet Explorer and Firefox rendering engines as needed to satisfy compatibility and safety requirements. The revived browser is based upon Firefox 1.0.3, bundling Firefox's advanced features with a Netscape interface and many other custom enhancements such as integrated RSS feeds and Netscape portal content, as well as enhanced privacy features and a selection of optional toolbars to install.
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To help people avoid phishing frauds, the updated browser automatically adjusts security settings while they surf, based on lists of sites that are known to be malicious and of trusted sites. The lists will be updated three times a day and automatically downloaded when a PC connects to the Internet, Liew said.
Netscape update takes aim at phishing

May 19, 2005 08:06 AM | Posted in Mozilla


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Seriously, I love Firefox. But,

Who asked for your advice. Doh!

Comment by Anon at May 19, 2005 09:14 AM | Permalink

Anon: Well it's my blog. And it's my advice. If you dont like it, dont follow it. It's as simple as that

Site icon Comment by Henrik Gemal [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 19, 2005 09:56 AM | Permalink

Err... Are you sure that's a screenshot of Netscape 8?

Looks more like Firefox + Pinball theme to me, showing the Netscape download page not existing... Complete with the --enable-official-branding Firefox logo as icon. The post the screenshot was from was also titled "Tried to try."...

Site icon Comment by Mook at May 19, 2005 10:08 AM | Permalink

Mook: I removed the screenshot since it isn't a screenshot of Netscape 8. It's a screenshot of Mozilla Firefox. Sorry about that!

Site icon Comment by Henrik Gemal [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 19, 2005 10:12 AM | Permalink

Based on Firefox 1.0.3! Does that mean they just released a browser with known security holes? Talk about 0-day exploits

Comment by alanjstr at May 19, 2005 12:28 PM | Permalink

I agree woth you, that NN8 is in fact just a Firefox 1.0.3 with some proprietary marketing crap added, but it's a Gecko-based browser more to hit the streets. The brand "Netscape" is still widely known

Comment by Mac at May 19, 2005 12:41 PM | Permalink

...except that it's only Gecko-based for random "untrusted" websites. Netscape 8 will draw "trusted" websites wrongly, in order to ensure that they are displayed correctly. Why did no-one think of that sooner?

Site icon Comment by Greg K Nicholson at May 19, 2005 01:26 PM | Permalink

Some brief notes:

The net-installer handles proxy configuration awfully - it doesn't allow for an automatic configuration URl and then fails to pass on the proxy setup information to the browser's options, resulting in five or six time-out errors when the main browser window finally opens.

It seems to keep trying to talk to a subdomain of and keeps timing out each time.

The Options dialogue includes quadruply-nested tabs (including the pane selector on the left of the dialogue, which is a tab "by any other name"). Quadruply!

The entire UI is an awkward, ugly mix of Netscape blue/green/mank and OS grey.

A positive note is that Gecko is now referred to as the "Firefox" rendering engine, rather than "Netscape".

But finding text within a page is still woefully inconsistent across both rendering engines.

In the Options UI, the checkbox for ActiveX is disabled for Firefox, but appears checked, which will confuse and/or disinform and/or worry the user (possibly at Firefox's detriment - "Netscape says Fire Fox always loads ActiveX so Fire Fox sucks[multiple exclamation marks][several numeral ones][literal eleven]")

Search and Go buttons within their text fields are good.

Inbuilt documentation seems to be nonexistent, although web-based is acceptable for a web browser - there seems to be some of that (I haven't checked fully).

If it is based on Firefox 1.0.3, Netscape have chosen to pretend it's based on Firefox 1.0.0 - the About dialogue says it's Gecko 1.7.5. If it actually is Firefox 1.0.0 (why would they use 1.0.0?), it's full of security holes; if it's Firefox 1.0.3 (why would they not update to 1.0.4 before releasing?), it also has security holes. But then one shouldn't expect Netscape to do responsible security updates.

The personal toolbar is the whorebar.

Although the user has the option to disable the automatic use of IE from within the installer (because that's a sensible place to put options), the Advanced Options button will scare average users. The default configuration should be used as a measure of security and Netscape fails on both fronts (Trident and outdated Gecko).

Cross-engine scripting, anybody?

Consider the following:
"Here is a list of the software you have installed on your computer:
Netscape Browser"
Do you think the Netscape developers are paid per word? Or perhaps per dialogue screen.

I didn't even try the Winscape (secondary default) theme - the preview looked even uglier than the default theme, which I shall cleverly refer to as "Con"-Fusion.

Three-word summary: "Ow! My eyes!"

Site icon Comment by Greg K Nicholson at May 19, 2005 02:35 PM | Permalink

Holy shit! I've just started installing it, and by default comes with an option ticked on to "gather anonymous browser usage statistics" and well as default tick to install the weather tray spyware!

This is worse than I thought.

Site icon Comment by Kroc Camen at May 19, 2005 02:36 PM | Permalink

I installed Netscape 8 and I didn't get tricked into anything because I read as I was installing. I choose to not always use IE on sites. I have to say even though I love firefox, it has some cool features.

1. Switching between IE and Firefox is pretty nice from a developer standpoint. Too bad Opera isn't there.

2. The way they do RSS feeds is awesome, I love how they scroll across the button and then you click the + sign to see all the items from the feed. Someone needs to create an extension for that.

3. I like how I can create a list of personal trusted sites. I don't really care for their trusted sites, but I would like this feature for Firefox or some way to rate sites that appears on my tabs.

4. I like how I can have different bars that I can switch between for different multibars that I can configure.

5. I like how I can list on the right side all my open tabs and switch to the one I want.

Personally I think alot of users might really like this especially in corporations where they can switch between Firefox and IE when needed. Many corporations have IE specific web products that they can't just switch out of instantly. This is a great transistion product to Firefox. It is going to help the whole Firefox movement.

Site icon Comment by Chris Brainard at May 19, 2005 03:50 PM | Permalink

The useragent for Netscape 8 is:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.5) Gecko/20050512 Netscape/8.0

But I think they have fixed the security holes that the 1.0.3 had. At least I couldn't get the exploit to work.

Site icon Comment by Henrik Gemal at May 19, 2005 04:09 PM | Permalink

I personally think the mix of IE and FireFox is bad for web development. Make the web-developers update their site/app instead of fixing the problems for them by using 2 different render engines. By including different engines, you take away the need to update an IE-only site to a standards-compliant one.

Comment by Yoeri at May 19, 2005 04:16 PM | Permalink

As long as itís causing more Gecko engines visiting my site, Iím happy ^_^. Iím tired of having to make a special version for IE all the time.

Iíll be sure to ditch IE6 support instantly as soon as IE7 comes out as well.


p.s. Henrik, the tab order of your comment fields is a bit weird... Name first, then email, then comments, *then* URL, and then the preview and post buttons. And the remember me choice isnít even close, needs at least a couple of dozens of tabs before I get there.

Site icon Comment by Laurens Holst at May 19, 2005 07:52 PM | Permalink

Recently had to un-install Netscape 8.0 due to serious unstability when using it. It has locked up my Computer repeatedly & has caused my Family Tree Maker Program to Crash. The Cntrl-Alt-Delete Key did not even help to CLOSE down the Program when using Netscape. The system had to literally be shut-down and rebooted. The Previous Version never gave me any problems until this new version was installed. *Due to Serious Processes taking place when leaving open Family Tree Maker using doing a Search which MIGRATES the USE of information going between FTM & (which has to be accessed through Netscape when using) it has locked up the PROCESSES therefore RESULTING in FATAL ERRORS that DESTROYED my WHOLE DATA-BASE causing me to have to refer to a "BACKUP COPY" and REINSTALL the Previous Version. Hopefully the bugs in 8.0 will be FIXED soon. (:

Comment by Conley at June 3, 2005 08:52 AM | Permalink

I have Firefox, Netscape 8, and IE and have been using all three as a test. Frankly, I find Netscape to be superior in a couple of ways: it is MUCH better at remembering my logins and passwords. Firefox is spotty about this, sometimes not remembering them at all, sometimes only partially.

However, of the three, Firefox downloads the same web page/content faster than the other two.

I think all 3 have advantages and disadvantages. None stands out as clearly the winner.

Comment by max at July 13, 2005 07:24 PM | Permalink

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