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Mobile Firefox Alpha 1 Released 148

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the smaller-better-deal dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Today Mozilla released development builds of its next mobile browser, Fennec 1.0 Alpha 1. 'The last eight milestones were building up to getting a stable browser with an easy to use interface. We really want to get Fennec in front of as many people as possible and get feedback.' To that end, Fennec has been made available for the desktop on Windows, Mac and Linux."
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Mobile Firefox Alpha 1 Released

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  • OS X Intel Only (Score:4, Informative)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Friday October 17, 2008 @12:58PM (#25415329)
    The OS X version is Intel only. This probably won't affect most of you, but it does kinda suck for those of us still on PPC machines.
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by Yvan256 (722131)

      It especially sucks if you're waiting for the Mac mini update. It's been over a year now, and the last update was a simple CPU speed bump.

      • It especially sucks if you're waiting for the Mac mini update. It's been over a year now, and the last update was a simple CPU speed bump.

        The white Macbook is $50 more than the faster Mini. Not bad for a screen and UPS.

        • by Yvan256 (722131)

          White MacBook: 1149$ CAD
          2GHz Mac mini: 849$ CAD

          Looks more like a 300$ difference to me.

          • Why would you think I was talking about Canadian pricing?

            2GHZ Mini with a keyboard and mouse is $897.00. I had selected the larger hard drive before, but I see now that's not applicable to the white Macbook. So it's really $100 more (USD).

            Easily worth it for the built-in UPS unless you're heavily space constrained.

    • by Ilgaz (86384)

      If I was a Intel only Mac users, I would still watch companies and gigantic open source organisations release system requirements.

      Do they claim to race with Adobe Flash like MS does but ship Intel only Mac products like Silverlight 2? Pass. They aren't serious. Is the game Intel only while it doesn't need that CPU speed in fact? It is a Windows game, pass.

      The reason I bought Graphic Converter and Vuescan to my G5 Apple back in 2003 was basically seeing those single coders were still supporting OS 9 and not

  • I'm really interested in trying Fennec on my actual mobile device. Oh well, I'm glad to see they're making progress.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Fennec A1 is available for the Nokia N800/N810 internet tablet. The desktop versions are merely for those people who don't have a targeted mobile device, but want to see the browser

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by felipekk (1007591)

        Or developers. From the blog entry:

        "That's right, you can install Fennec on your Windows, OS X or Linux desktop too! We want you to be able to experiment, provide feedback, write add-ons and generally get involved with the Mozilla Mobile project, even if you don't have a device."

    • And of course a RHEL4 desktop won't run it, wrong glibc version. When will people learn, either package it properly for a small set of distros or static link everything like netscape used to do.

      • When will people learn, either package it properly for a small set of distros or static link everything like netscape used to do.

        There probably aren't many people running an outdated desktop linux disto who want to try out new alpha web browsers.

        One would assume you could recompile it, no?

        • by jmorris42 (1458) *

          > There probably aren't many people running an outdated desktop linux disto
          > who want to try out new alpha web browsers.

          Not a good assumption. There are good arguments for a STABLE load on a machine you depend on. For example, I have tried updating that machine to Fedora 9 but I get subtle file corruption when reading files on the RAID array.

          But the bigger point is I'm sure I;m not alone in tiring of this attitude that if you aren't running sid or rawhide you can't be a developer. You should only b

          • by Hatta (162192)

            Has anyone actually done a distro upgrade on a heavily used and customized (lots of out of distro source packages carefully ported in, built and installed, stuff just installed via make install, etc), machine that didn't lose a few days productivity?

            Updating debian has always been smooth as silk for me.

          • Not a good assumption. There are good arguments for a STABLE load on a machine you depend on. For example, I have tried updating that machine to Fedora 9 but I get subtle file corruption when reading files on the RAID array.

            Hrm, that's definitely a bug to file. But that aside, you're on RHEL4 but RHEL5 as been out for a year and a half - that's a stable load as well.

            But the bigger point is I'm sure I;m not alone in tiring of this attitude that if you aren't running sid or rawhide you can't be a developer.

  • I'd like to see a version for the iPhone, although I'm sure Apple would never let it see the light of day.
    • Re:iphone (Score:5, Funny)

      by Yvan256 (722131) on Friday October 17, 2008 @01:20PM (#25415619) Homepage Journal

      How about a version that only works at night then?

    • That's an understatement, Apple could do with the competition. Whilst Safari is the best mobile browser at the moment it is extremely crash happy. More so on the 2.1 update.

      I average 2 Safari crashes a day on my iphone.
      • my PSP has got you beat. i get out of memory errors every 10-15 minutes. and you have to restart the entire PSP to continue browsing normally. if you go to a resource intensive site it runs out of memory even faster.

        i don't know if they fixed this problem on the PSP slim with the memory upgrade, but even a PSP fat ought to be able to surf the web adequately by paging memory to the memory stick. but Sony seems to care more about shutting down PSP homebrew than fixing the PSP's software or actually putting ou

    • I'd like to see a version for the iPhone, although I'm sure Apple would never let it see the light of day.

      It's expressly forbidden by the terms of the iPhone SDK license.

      Here's a nickel, kid, get a real platform.

    • by Ilgaz (86384)

      By buying iPhone you agreed that you will only use Apple browser and Apple approved software on device.

      Even on poor orphan Symbian UIQ3, I have 4 browsers to select from.

      What we don't need is Mozilla or Opera people spending that time to that locked device (I reject to call it smartphone) while Symbian and Windows mobile, Linux certainly needs a better browser.

  • Dead (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mehetabelo (1388177)
    And, in classic slashdot style, the site is dead before I make it there.
  • by Skifreemonster (1388187) on Friday October 17, 2008 @01:20PM (#25415615)
    Fennec scores higher on the Acid3 test than Firefox 3.0.3. Well at least running on a windows PC
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Are the firefox plugins going to work for fennec ?

    It would be great if adblock plus would work !

    • No, what would be really great would be a browser with Flash. Yes, ad-block is great, but most modern OSes (and mobile ones if you hack them enough) have a hosts file that can be configured to block ads. But without Flash you take a way a good portion of the web.
  • Or is Fennec solar powered? That would explain the ears.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tubal-Cain (1289912)
      No, Fennec is a (small) species of fox [wikipedia.org] that has large ears
      • by argent (18001)

        Yes, I know. Obviously being too indirect today. My Andres Serrano reference in the Little Big Planet missed too.

  • Switching between the name and title when you edit the name/title widget is nice, but it means if you want to copy the name of the page you won't be able to select it.

    • At least I couldn't find them in the preferences page.

      • This is rather important. Sure, phones don't often use proxies, but netbooks and wifi-enabled PDAs might.
        • by argent (18001)

          Oh yes... when I had an iPaq with wifi, I definitely needed proxy support. And some phones use wifi for cheaper access or higher speeds.

  • Minimo2 (Score:3, Informative)

    by SlashdotOgre (739181) on Friday October 17, 2008 @01:32PM (#25415773) Journal
    I'm curious to see how this performs on a real mobile device compared to Minimo [wikipedia.org]. Wikipedia seems to indicate it's being pushed by the same developer, Doug Turner. I was never able to get even runnable performance out of Minimo, but there's definitely a market for a better mobile browser. I just updated my Q9m to WM 6.1 and Pocket IE is still garbage. The other alternatives like Skyfire & Iris show potential, but they are not there yet.
    • Re:Minimo2 (Score:4, Informative)

      by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Friday October 17, 2008 @01:51PM (#25415967)

      I'm curious to see how this performs on a real mobile device compared to Minimo [wikipedia.org]. Wikipedia seems to indicate it's being pushed by the same developer, Doug Turner. I was never able to get even runnable performance out of Minimo, but there's definitely a market for a better mobile browser. I just updated my Q9m to WM 6.1 and Pocket IE is still garbage. The other alternatives like Skyfire & Iris show potential, but they are not there yet.

      Opera Mobile's not a bad browser at all.

    • by repvik (96666)

      Opera Mobile is pretty nice (albeit not entirely free).
      Safari on the iPhone is also pretty good, except it crashes at random points all over.

      • by smoker2 (750216)
        entirely free ?
        It's not free at all, in any way.
      • I'll have to say that I think Opera rocks on Windows Mobile devices. Unfortunately, the only problem I hit frequently is a lack of memory when loading desktop web pages.

        That's a flaw of my device, not of Opera... but still, it's annoying :)

        I plan to tackle this just as soon as AT&T gets their finger out and releases the Fuze... :D

    • by afidel (530433)
      Have you tried opera mini? On the Blackberry it's definitely better than the OS4 browser.
    • Don't forget microb (mozilla build for maemo).
  • The linked article is already Slashdotted due to "exceeding bandwidth" or some such thing. No surprise there as it's a blog.

    Going to the official Firefox site and searching for "fennec" matched nothing. Yea! With it being so easy to get, I'll be trying it "real soon now".
  • by SlashdotOgre (739181) on Friday October 17, 2008 @01:46PM (#25415897) Journal

    So far it seems pretty interesting, although there's definitely bugs (eg. my text disappears when I'm not typing a character), but hey it's an alpha. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes, although the interface is not geared towards Windows Mobile Smartphone, it seems to be best suited for a touchscreen at the moment.

    On a side note, I didn't see any interface to specify a proxy, but I was able to set one through about:config. I have to go through an auto proxy so I just set the autoconfig_url to the URL of my proxy and the network.proxy.type to 2.

  • by Millennium (2451) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:34PM (#25416557) Homepage

    The minimal UI would be perfect not just for mobile phones, but for other small-screen devices (I'd use it on my eee, for instance). This is obviously not the core market for Fennec, but I'd love to see an extension which added back just a few "desktop/laptop" conveniences:

    • Keyboard shortcuts, at least for Back, Forward, Reload, Open Location, Find (and Find Again), Print, Cut, Copy, and Paste.
    • Scrolling around in pages, not just vertically but also horizontally.
    • Some means to highlight, cut/copy, and paste.

    Again, I'm not necessarily saying these should be folded into the core Fennec distro; "full" computers aren't its main market. But an extension would be nice.

  • N810 users beware. (Score:3, Informative)

    by supernova_hq (1014429) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:14PM (#25417297)
    I've tried installing this a couple times on an N810 (last week) and both times it completely messed up xulrunner. Couldn't remove it, update it, reinstall it, nothin'. If you are planning on testing it on an N810, make sure you are prepared to backup and flash if necessary (I was still able to use the device after xulrunner died, but my other browser, microb stopped working).
  • Big deal? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by grimmy (75458)

    Windows mobile devices have the largest share of the market, why release it for a few specific nokia models if they want the largest number of users giving them feedback?

    The desktop release don't count, desktop users will install it run it twice, think "ohh that's cute" and never run it again.

    How about those of us stuck with pocketIE and opera's offerings both of which fail miserable on something as simple as a redirect.

    • by hkmwbz (531650)
      "Stuck" with Opera? Opera Mobile 9.5 is the best mobile browser, period. Yes, it beats Safari.

      What redirect does Opera Mobile fail on?

    • by Ilgaz (86384)

      Believe or not, Symbian has gigantic market share. Even Nokia's dropped (500k) S60 sales are 16 million last year.

      I am not saying they shouldn't ship to WinMO, they should also release Symbian version same time. They shouldn't make mistake of Opera ASA which costed them entire Symbian userbase (they aren't aware yet!).

      • by hkmwbz (531650)
        Opera has the entire UIQ user base. They don't need the S60 user base since they are making money like crazy from their Windows Mobile version. S60 already has a decent browser anyway, so if anything "costed[sic] them[sic] entire Symbian userbase", that's it.
  • by dbc001 (541033) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:54PM (#25418055)
    The one-click install didn't work, but the step-by-step instructions worked fine.

    It seems to run pretty slow. Can't seem to enter any text into the address bar.

    Disabled Javascript and now I can enter a URL - not sure if that's related.

    It needs a lot of work (it is an alpha) but it's exciting that they've gotten this far.
    • You can enter text if you press the square button in the dpad. This will open the whole screen keyboard. I've been using this workaround to load Slashdot and test how the scrolling works. Try it, and file some bugs for the worse offenders in the interface (I've already done that for some text input and title bar problems).

  • by guest (3772) on Friday October 17, 2008 @04:15PM (#25418359)

    It seems like a big mistake to hide the back and forward buttons, the buttons that users are frequently going to want to use. I'd much prefer that they hide the Bookmarks button and put the forward and back buttons on the main screen so I can get to them without having to move the screen to the left first.

  • All I want for xmas is a WebKit browser.

    The standard web browser for the N800/N10 devices is MicroB, which is based on Gecko and it's a royal piece of crap. It's VERY slow, buggy, non-intuitive, and lacking most of the standard features of any modern desktop browser. The only redeeming quality is that it does Javascript and Flash just as well as Firefox but of course orders of magnitude slower. With Nokia acquiring Trolltech, I figured we'd see a good WebKit-based browser around the corner, but the Nokia de

    • by Ilgaz (86384)

      What I don't get is Nokia and Webkit love/hate relationship. They were all fine with Opera browser and dropped it for Webkit and even their Europe pages doesn't render fine on ANY webkit based browser including the S60 browser which is a huge deal.

      You may have heard the Symbian S60 browser based on Webkit. It only worked for buying 2 years old Opera 8.65 mobile for me at least.

      I am just saying be careful what you wish for regarding Webkit and Nokia. Webkit can be implemented in awfully wrong ways.

      What about

      • by Eil (82413)

        What about Konqueror on that device? Impossible?

        People have gotten the entire KDE 3.5 suite to run on the N800 but the UI is obviously not well-optimized for it and loading applications takes a good long while. (Once they're loaded, though, they don't perform too poorly.) As well, I'm sure there are a bunch of libraries being loaded that aren't strictly needed on a tablet. Some googling lead me to the following page which implies that KDE 4.x is being actively developed for the tablets as it shows a good nu

  • ... could use Fennec right now. :-)
  • "Converged mobile device shipments (S60 phones) were 15.5 million (down from 16 million in Q3 2007) including 9 million Nseries and 3 million Eseries devices."

    This comes from Nokia only. There are many other vendors producing Symbian handsets. When Symbian becomes open source and free, you may even see it on current J2ME "dumb" cheap phones.

    As Opera did the unimaginable by not releasing Opera 9 beta for Symbian and now enjoying Windows Mobile bug reports rather than their own issues and as I remember Mozill

    • by hkmwbz (531650)
      S60 already has a decent browser presintalled. There's probably not business for Opera there. On the other hand, HTC's Windows Mobile phones are selling like crazy. Opera didn't do "the unimaginable". They did a very clever thing since they got onto high-volume handsets because mobile IE sucks. They are now making "unimaginable" amounts of money because they put their resources on WM rather than S60.

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