Evaluating Mozilla 1.0 Candidate 1 - page 4
Evaluating A Mozilla Beta Release
For some unknown reason, I had heard that Mozilla 1.0 might do Flash rendering without an external application. Upon loading Mozilla 1.0 C1, I found that a Flash demo (from the www.matrox.com/mga/news/demos_downloads/ page) would bring up a new window and promptly display, nothing. Sometimes the window would have a little broken graphic icon in the upper left corner.
Many sites are now using animation graphics (Shockwave) and installing the Flash plug-in made everything all better. Loading the Flash plug-in for Mozilla was, you guessed it, a flash. Simply go to the www.macromedia.com site and down load Flash Player 5. It's in tar/gz format, so you need to unpack it. You'll also need to copy some files to the Netscape plugins directory. The installation is all spelled out on the download page.
So how did the Flash plug-in work? Great! I clicked on a few of the Matrox pages and was happy to see some nice animation and accompanying music. About a dozen .swf files were loaded and not a single one crashed. The only glitch happened when I moved my gamix mixer around on the screen. Sometimes the sound would stop, but it always seemed to start back up when I left the mixer in one spot for a second.
Once in a while I like to listen to daytime political talk shows via the web. Usually, this requires something like Real Player. Real Player was downloaded and painlessly installed as a helper application. Mozilla 1.0 seamlessly started up Real Player when I clicked on these sites and out came the broadcast. The bit rates aren't very high and they usually sound a little tinny. Mozilla didn't crash and it sure beats the static on AM radio.
I wanted to check out how XMMS worked with Mozilla 1.0. Every Tuesday night the Melbourne LUG audio streams their meetings via Icecast (saving the 120 mile round trip). I like to listen using XMMS (since they stream mp3) and run Xchat for the IRC part. Last meeting I was able to view the pages that they were talking about using Mozilla 1.0 C1, while still running XMMS and Xchat. It almost felt like I was physically at the meeting. I listened, chatted and browsed for over an hour without incident. Mozilla started XMMS just like Real Player and it behaved itself throughout the whole session.
Lastly, a common business need is the ability to read .pdf files. The Acrobat reader is available from Adobe and is easy to install. It is a helper application that comes up when you click on a link to a .pdf file. Acroread is downloaded as a tar/gz format and is installed via a script file. Mozilla just kept on browsing (at the same time) while I read several Acrobat documents from the Department of Justice and CIA.