Version History of Mozilla Phoenix 0.2
- Web form auto-complete
You loved autocomplete in the addressbar and you're gonna love it in Web forms. The new feature, dubbed satchel, makes filling out Web forms a snap. Yes, we know that there's a painting problem when you select autocomplete results sometimes (they may seem to disappear or look odd.) Note that in the future, Satchel will also render Mozilla's password manager unnecessary by associating passwords with usernames, as IE does, and prefilling the password for you. Since this work is not yet complete, we left password manager on in the interim.
- Sidebar is back
Phoenix 0.2 sees the return of the sidebar with a new, lightweight and performant implementation. The "one at a time" approach provides more space for sidebars and includes toolbar buttons (View|Toolbars|Customize...) for the three default panels.
- Downloads Sidebar
The new downloads sidebar offers quick access to the status of your downloads and lets you launch them (including executables) or open the directory they're in when they finish. You can also drag files into the panel to start downloading them, a feature that will become more useful with the addition of a default downloads directory in the next milestone. Like this panel and want to turn off progress dialogs? You can do that from the Advanced preferences; otherwise, just never open the panel -- it won't get in your way :-)
- Bookmarks Sidebar
If you didn't use bookmarks in the sidebar because you just couldn't see enough of them, you'll love the new panel. The panel also contains fast and easy quick search.
- History Sidebar
The history window has been replaced with history in the sidebar.
- Extension management
Phoenix doesn't include the kitchen sink and it never will. But that doesn't mean that you can't bolt the kitchen sink onto Phoenix and have it work wonderfully. Phoenix developers have implemented a new Extensions panel in preferences which will allow you selectively enable and disable specific extensions. Some popular extensions -- like mozgestures and prefsbar -- already work with Phoenix, and can be downloaded here. It's easy to make other add-ons work with phoenix, and we're working with developers to expedite this.
- Toolbar customization
Toolbar customization capabilities have been greatly expanded. Want the location bar on its own toolbar? Just add a toolbar and drag it over there. Now you can also decide where your personal toolbar bookmarks will go. You can also now add space and flexible space, and toolbar customization is live -- the toolbar is updated as you work. And we have added a variety of off-by-default toolbar buttons, like New Tab and New Window, and those to open sidebar panels. Please be forgiving of any bugs in toolbar customization; we had a week to do all of this :-)
- Search bar
Phoenix now contains a handy search bar which lets you find in page or search Google (click the icon to toggle) quickly and easily (use Ctrl+; to focus/select it). But maybe you find it a waste of space, so customize it away.
We are continuously working to bring back your favorite prefs without making the Preferences dialog too complicated. The proxy preferences are back, as are those for tabbed browsing, scripts, image looping and some other advanced options.
Phoenix 0.2 is actually marginally faster than 0.1. Probably nothing you'll notice, but rest assured that it certainly hasn't gotten slower.
- Ctrl+Mousewheel to resize fonts
Toggle your font size more easily with this handy shortcut (we didn't just make it up; it's a standard on Windows).
- Bug fixes
Some people seem concerned that we're just adding feature after feature without fixing bugs. While it's true that we're doing a lot of heavy lifting, redesign and feature work, the time is right -- we're at the beginning of our development cycle. As we progress, you'll see the larger work taper off and bug fixing become a higher priority. Still, we continue to fix bugs as we go.
In that vein, bookmarks import has been fixed in 0.2, as well as an assortment of other bookmarks bugs and a find bug.
Don't forget, too, that as we work on Phoenix, bug fixes are continuing to go into the trunk -- and we're picking them up. For example, 0.2 contains fixes for such bugs as 165039 (improve user interactivity during large page loads), 145212 (fix overflow:auto on auto-height elements), 168988 (HTTP should reject URLs that lack a hostname) and 169214 (Viewing an HTML page with a missing CSS file via FTP crashes).
And there's more to come. The Phoenix team are working on 0.3, targetted for Tuesday, October 8th, in which they plan to deliver more great features including:
- Go menu
The Go menu will be similar to the one in Mozilla, but redesigned to be (we think) more useful. Instead of containing session history for the current tab, it will contain recent global history.
- Popup whitelist
In 0.3, you'll be able to allow certain sites to open popups (this is critical for those sites that break with popups disabled).
- Image blocking
Image blocking (the simple variety found in Mozilla) will make its debut in Phoenix.
- Extensions uninstall
Phoenix developers know that there are people out there that simply must try out everything. If you've tried out a Phoenix extension and it's not what you want or need then you will have a convenient way to uninstall that extension.
- Bookmark groups redesign
We believe the way that bookmark "groups" (the ability to open multiple tabs at once) are created and used is too advanced a concept for most people to grasp. It's also a strange one -- groups are closely related to folders, yet still different. We've decided (and we'd love to hear your feedback) that we're going to eliminate the bookmark group as a separate entity, and make all folders automatic bookmark groups by letting you right click and select "Open all in tabs", or simply middle click. This has the advantages of eliminating the confusing concept and giving you bookmark group capability automatically.
- Smaller and faster
You'll notice that 0.2 (without talkback) is about a megabyte smaller than 0.1 on Windows. We intend to continue this downward trend with 0.3, and speed up Phoenix a bit, too.
- Bug fixes
You may notice that the above list doesn't sound quite as exciting as the 0.2 feature list. For 0.3, we plan to cut down on big changes a bit and focus on cleaning up after the mess we've created :-)