I’ll be back in a bit. With preliminary impressions of Netscape 6. My notes on it are at work, but I’ll give you the overall. I’m thinking C+. It worked OK for me and it was fast. There were things about it that annoyed me though. I very badly want to use a non-Microsoft product, because I detest Microsoft, but IE has a couple of features that save me a lot of keystrokes and I have to think of that.
Assuming it manages to install, chances are there’ll be things about it you like. The things that bother me most are features that Netscape used to have but now don’t. But for basic browsing it’s much better than its predecessors.
I’ll get the rest of the details up here within a few hours.
My notes on Netscape 6. This is pretty rough, but I don’t have time to pretty it up.
Speed: Good. Very comparable to IE in most regards and sometimes faster, though still not as fast when rendering nested tables. On a P2/350 it’s hard to tell a difference. Program loads very slowly however (20+ seconds on that P2/350).
Stability: So-so if you can manage to get it installed. Installation problems galore; seemed stable under NT4 once I got it running. Under heavy use it didn’t crash on me once. However, numerous attempts to get Java plug-in working failed. I never did get it to install on a Mac G3 running OS 8.6.
Features: Stop animations feature is gone and sorely missed. Makes me mouse more than IE does. IE-like backspace is there; ctrl-enter is not and autocomplete is Netscape 4-like rather than IE like, forcing more keystrokes. I wish they’d focus more on usability, speed and stability and less on eye candy. Text enlargement doesn’t trigger window scrollbar or margin resizing when needed, so if you enlarge the text, you’ll lose the edge of the screen.
The ctrl-l-accessible Open Location box doesn’t use any autocomplete at all.
What’s Related moves from the navigation bar to the sidebar, where it’s tempting to turn off to save screen space.
Built-in search tool turns the sidebar back on if you turned it off. Annoying–don’t throw out your bookmarks to Google and Altavista yet.
No longer any fast, easy way to toggle images on/off
No longer forces you to install everything under the sun, which is very nice. Good to be able to get just a browser if you want.
Memory usage: disappointing. Used anywhere from 18-28 megs during initial testing. It’d be so nice to nuke the #$%& eye candy and get that memory usage down.
The verdict: I’m pretty happy with how the Gecko rendering engine turned out. But as soon as K-Meleon comes of age, chances are I’ll switch to that because it’s so much leaner and meaner. (Mozilla’s plagued by the same eye candy garbage, and until we all have 2-GHz processors and a gig of RAM and 15K RPM hard drives on our desktops, I’m mostly interested in having something that works fast. That means giving up some inessential whiz-bang stuff.)
And if you missed it… I posted an update late yesterday. It was too important to wait until this morning.
From: “bill cavanaugh” <firstname.lastname@example.org>