Netscape 9.0b2 Released

The next milestone in the Netscape 9.0 series, Beta 2 was release late last week. Netscape 9.0 is based off of Firefox 2.0.0.4 (Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.5pre) Gecko/20070710 Firefox/2.0.0.4 Navigator/9.0b2).

I have used Netscape 8 in the past and had found it to be very unstable, so I was not sure what to expect with Netscape 9. I played with it for a couple hours this morning and much to my surprise it was very stable (never even crashed 🙁 ), even on Delphi Forums where some ads would cause Netscape 8 to crash.

Being Netscape 9 is built off Firefox 2.0, it has many of the features you have to come expect with Firefox 2:

  • Undo Close Tab
  • Session Restore
  • Inline Spell Checking
  • Search Engine Manager
  • Add-Ons Manager (most Fx 2 extensions work in Netscape 9

However, there is one big thing about Netscape 9 that really sets it apart from Firefox 2: Close Tab Buttons. Kudos to the Netscape developers for acknowledging the frustrations experienced by many Firefox 2 users when it comes to the close tab buttons. Unlike Firefox 2, Netscape 9 will only place the close tab button the active tab by default. I checked the settings in about:config for the browser.tabs.closeButtons preference and it is set to ‘0’ (active tab only) by default. However, like Firefox 2 there is still not a preference setting so the only way to change this is via about:config.

I mentioned earlier Netscape 9 allows you to use most Firefox 2 extensions. From the Netscape Extensions Page:

The largest repository for browser addons is addons.mozilla.org. Most of the addons hosted there were built for official MozillaÂź products, but because Netscape Navigator 9 is based on the latest Mozilla technologies, the extensions should work with Netscape Navigator as well. (If an extension is compatible with FirefoxÂź 2, you will be able to install it in Navigator 9.) Themes must be explicitly designed for Netscape Navigator 9.

Further, any extension that works in Netscape 9 will work in Firefox 2. That makes sense given a Fx 2 extension will work in Netscape. I didn’t really understand this since I was not aware of any extensions that were specifically developed for Netscape 9. However there was link to Netscape’s profile on AMO which includes four Netscape based extensions.

News Source: Netscape Blog

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