Phoenix browser rises from Mozilla efforts

The Mozilla development project, Mozilla.org, this week released Phoenix 0.1, a speedier version of its open-source Web browser.

The Phoenix browser is designed to improve upon Mozilla 1.1, released in August, with additional features such as a new design, customizable tool bar and improved bookmark manager, the open-source group Mozilla Organization said on its Web site.

Mozilla is an open-source project launched by Netscape Communications Corp., now part of AOL Time Warner Inc., as a way to whip up interest and volunteer involvement in its browser technology. The source code for the Mozilla project was initially released by Netscape in early 1998, and Version 1.0 of the browser was released in June (see story).

The Phoenix browser, which uses a large amount of the Mozilla code, is "a lean and fast browser" that loads in about half the time of Mozilla 1.1, Mozilla.org said. The browser is written using Extensible User Interface Language, works on Linux and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating systems and is designed to be cross-platform.

Mozilla.org warned that the Phoenix browser does come with some bugs. For example, the browser doesn't allow users running Linux to tab through forms, the group said.

The Phoenix team is already working on Phoenix 0.2, which will include such features as a replacement for Mozilla's wallet functionality called Satchel, a mechanism to selectively enable and disable plug-ins, and a download manager that improves on the current Mozilla download manager, Mozilla.org said.

Functions to manage user preferences are also "in the middle of a massive overhaul," the group said.

The core team working on the Phoenix project includes Dave Hyatt, Blake Ross, Pierre Chanial and Asa Dotzler, with additional support coming for the Mozilla.org staff.

The Phoenix browser is now available free for download.

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