The Mozilla development project, mozilla.org, has released Phoenix 0.1, a speedier version of its open source web browser.
The Phoenix browser is designed to improve upon Mozilla 1.1, released in August, with additional features such as a new design, customisable toolbar and improved bookmark manager.
Mozilla is an open source project launched by Netscape, now part of AOL Time Warner, as a way to whip up interest and volunteer involvement in its browser technology. The source code for the Mozilla project was initially released by Netscape in early 1998.
The Phoenix browser, which uses a large amount of the Mozilla code, is "a lean and fast browser" that loads in nearly half the time of Mozilla 1.1, mozilla.org said. The browser is written using XUL (extensible user interface language), works on Linux and Windows and is designed to work with Macs as well as PCs.
Mozilla.org warned that the Phoenix browser does come with some bugs. For example, the browser doesn't allow users running Linux to tab through forms.
The Phoenix team is already working on Phoenix 0.2 which will include such features as a replacement for Mozilla's Wallet functionality called Satchel; a mechanism to selectively enable and disable plug-ins, and a download manager that improves on the current Mozilla download manager, mozilla.org said.
Functions to manage user preferences are also "in the middle of a massive overhaul", mozilla.org said.
The Phoenix browser is now available free for download at www.mozilla.org.