Mozilla, the open-source Web browser project upon which Netscape Communications (now a subsidiary of America Online) is building Communicator 5.0, has so far gotten a pretty bad rap in the press. Being a long-time follower and advocate of the project, I am still unclear how this could be the case. After all, Mozilla is now in alpha, with beta status for Mozilla to follow hopefully by March. And consider a few of Mozilla's coolest features:
* Mozilla is the first Web browser fully compliant with years-old Web standards like HTML 4.0, CSS1 (cascading style sheets level 1), XML1 (extensive markup language level 1), and DOM1 (document object level 1). With current browsers, including the current version of Communicator, Web site developers must develop time-consuming "work-arounds" to get their Web pages to display properly, and even then browsers on different operating systems still interpret Web pages differently.
* Mozilla relies on extensible user interface language (XUL, pronounce "zool," as in the multi-planar deity from Ghostbusters) to define its interface. XUL is a derivative of extensible markup language, or XML, and allows Web designers to completely redefine the interface for Mozilla merely by choosing colors, patterns, and plugging in hyperlinks. (XUL works by downloading images from the Internet to create a user interface, storing the data in a secondary cache.)
* Mozilla's integrated e-mail client allows users to check Web-based IMAP e-mail clients (such as Yahoo mail, Netscape's Webmail, and Microsoft's Hotmail) and POP3-based e-mail (Internet service providers such as AOL, Earthlink, and AT&T Worldnet use the POP3 standard), and multiple accounts of each type, all from the same user profile. The current version of Communicator allows users to keep only 1 POP3-based e-mail client or 4 IMAP-based e-mail clients under one profile.
* Mozilla's powerful new search client takes a cue from the venerable Dogpile.com, allowing users to search all major search engines simultaneously, sorting the results first by search engine and then by relevance.
En zo zijn er nog veel meer toffe features...