By on February 9, 2004

The Mozilla Foundation has released the 0.8 release of my favorite browser. However, perhaps in order to escape withering criticism from owen ;-), they have yet again changed the name of the browser to Firefox.

The new release marks a significant milestone on the development roadmap towards the highly anticipated 1.0 release of the Mozilla project’s next generation web browser. New features in this release include:

  • A powerful new download manager that makes tracking multiple downloads easier;
  • Numerous improvements to bookmarks handling, making it easier than ever to keep track of your favorite sites;
  • Improved handling of extensions – small, easy to download applications that can be installed with a few simple mouse clicks and extend the browser’s functionality. Community members have created more than 200 such extensions, including add-ons that remove ad banners, add spell-checker functionality, and add the ability to search, eBay or other popular sites from the Firefox toolbar;
  • An easy to use installer for Microsoft Windows users;
  • A new default theme for Mac OS X users that integrates seamlessly with the OS X desktop environment.

Apparently the name change is “To avoid overlap with another open source project”, which I can only assume means the little-known Firebird database engine. I think the browser should have kept its moniker since the projects aren’t even remotely similar, but I suppose the new name will catch on quickly enough.

So, I’ll no longer say that everyone should switch to Firebird. Firebird’s a database, apparently.

Everyone should switch to Firefox. =)



  1. I am an open-source, rabidly anti-Microsoft, lockstepping lemming, so I shall download it and use it exclusviely, while laughing and pointing at IE users who obviously don’t know any better.

    But I won’t mention any names. Owen.

  2. Rapidly anti-Microsoft? So you hate them really fast?

    I’ve been using the new version for a couple hours now, and I don’t notice a lot of differences. If you liked it before, you’ll still like it. If you didn’t, there are probably not enough new features to win you over. The big change is probably the download manager. I’ve not used it yet, but if it’s anything like the one on the trunk, it’s great for several concurrent downloads.

    The new icon needs some work. Just what’s that fox supposed to be doing to that globe anyway? Bad doggie.

  3. I see that you have edited your comment (rapidly->rabidly), thereby making me look like a schmuck. Well played, Barker. Well played.

  4. Yes it is the Firebird SQL database engine – it is not as little known as you’d like to think. If Firefox had remained at Firebird though, I’m sure it would have faded into obscurity. I think it’s great that fellow Open Source developers endeavor not to harm each other.

  5. ” I think it’s great that fellow Open Source developers endeavor not to harm each other.”

    Actually, if I remember correctly, the whole thing got pretty acrimonious. The Firebird database folks were NOT happy about it, and The Mozilla Foundation at first refused to change the name. Threats flew.

  6. Seemingly, I’m the solitary pro-Microsoft voice in the sea of Open Source fanatacism…

    Drat… Foiled by a name change. All of my previous rants have now become irrelevant. Now I’ll have to review 0.8 before I repost it all verbatim.

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