The Mac Orchard - HomeHelpFAQALEMIAForumsDrew's Picks

Usenet Newsreaders


Home Page Release Notes License:
Open source; $0

Final Version: 1.7.13 (April 27, 2006) / 1.2.1 (December 3, 2002)

Mozilla was the original name for Netscape Navigator, back when it was first being developed in 1994 by Marc Andreesen and his friends from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA - the people who developed Mosaic, the world's first graphical web browser). The name was supposed to imply a supercharged, "Godzilla" version of Mosaic; Mozilla was forced to change its name to Netscape when the people at NCSA threatened to sue over trademark infringement. Behind the scenes, though, Netscape Navigator and Communicator have always been known as Mozilla; type "about:mozilla" into the "Location" field of any version of those browsers and you'll see evidence of that.

In the early 21st century, with the "Mosaic"-inspired name no longer an issue, Mozilla became the name of the open source project upon which the Netscape series of browsers was based. Continuously developed by programmers around the world rather than by just a handful at a large corporation, it changed constantly, and improved all the time.

Today, however, Mozilla is no longer under development, at least under the "Mozilla" moniker. The primary components of Mozilla - its web browser and email/Usenet client - were broken off into separate, optimized development efforts, known respectively as Firefox and Thunderbird. The combined application suite has, as of early 2006, been reincarnated as SeaMonkey, which I will be adding to the Orchard soon.

Nonetheless, I include Mozilla here for historic purposes, since people will still find it useful and functional for some time, and it represents one of the only opportunities for users of "Classic" Mac OS to access a more modern browser that is largely compatible with today's more advanced web standards.

While Mozilla 1.7.13 was a minor update to Mozilla 1.7 that added some security and stability fixes, version 1.7 made a huge number of feature and performance enhancements. The online release notes have the whole picture.

Mozilla is fast (once it's loaded, which can still take a while) at rendering web pages. Mozilla is a breath of fresh air, and while the interface elements seem a little slow compared to other browsers, pages render remarkably quickly. This latest release is more than worthy of your daily use. Two of my many criteria for determining a browser's usefulness are: 1) how long I keep it open for browsing before quitting out in frustration; and 2) how long it keeps itself open before crashing. Mozilla wins on both fronts. Download it and try it for yourself; I suspect you'll be pleasantly surprised.

FYI: If you use OS X and like Mozilla - but don't like the way it looks - you should proceed, posthaste, to download the Pinstripe Theme for Mozilla, which lets the browser breathe through a beautiful Aqua interface, just like all of your favorite OS X apps. Mozilla's just not complete without it.

Mozilla 1.7 requires a Mac OS X later to run (version 1.2.1 was the last "official" release for OS 9, although the Web and Mail Communicator Project has a modified, unofficial release of version 1.3.1 available for OS 9), and it comes with optionally-installable news, email, and IRC (yes, IRC; Mozilla includes an incomplete IRC client called "Chatzilla" rather than AOL Instant Messenger) components. The mail and news clients are surprisingly well thought-out and pleasant to use, although I will probably always maintain that it is better to use separate, dedicated email and newsreading software rather than taking a "swiss army knife" approach; the separate tools are still superior at what they do. (Personal note: this is why I actually use Firefox for my regular browsing rather than the combined Mozilla suite...for email, I use Eudora.)

User Reviews

"I used to be a big Netscape fan until version 6. Mac Orchard reviewed NS6 correctly - big and clunky! While IE5 will probably remain my default browser, I am highly impressed with Mozilla. I am a web designer and need to see my pages in all the various browsers. Many times when I would attempt to view a page in NS6, it would quit even before it opened! Finally Mozilla will end that frustration for me."
—Erin Bird

Submit another review!

Download the Mac OS 9 (Classic) version (1.2.1).
Download the Mac OS X (Carbon) version (1.7.13).
Go to the "nightly build" FTP site for the latest unofficial release.

Version 1.8 beta 1 is also available for Mac OS X (Carbon), making many enhancements; however, it was announced in March 2005 that this version will not see a final release, as the Mozilla organization instead focuses its efforts on the development of the independent Firefox and Thinderbird programs. The SeaMonkey project is Mozilla's heir apparent. See the online release notes for more details.

Also See . . .

Can't find what you're looking for? Try a search:

Also, if you have an older Mac, be sure to check out the "Classic" applications page for more options.

Finally, take a look at ALEMIA if you think you know that name of an application, but aren't quite sure.

Related Links

Andrew Starr has another marvelous page about Usenet newsreaders that you simply must check out.

Key Mac Newsgroups

There are several Usenet newsgroups dedicated to Macintosh-specific topics. Here are the most essential ones:

comp.sys.mac.announce is a moderated newsgroup that contains important general announcements to the Macintosh community.

comp.sys.mac.apps is the place to go when you have questions about specific Macintosh programs.

comp.sys.mac.comm is the place to discuss all things involving Macintosh telecommunications and Macs on the Internet.

comp.sys.mac.printing is for all printer- and printing-related discussion.

comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc is for discussion of all other Macintosh hardware-related questions.

comp.sys.mac.system is the place to go for MacOS-related discussions.

comp.sys.mac.misc is the place to post when other Macintosh-related newsgroups don't fit the bill.

Note: If you'd like to search the Usenet for Macintosh-related information, you really only have one option (but it's a good one): Google purchased the old DejaNews ( Usenet archive, and now offers sophisticated searching of all mainstream Usenet newsgroups, both past and present.

Also Consider . . .

These are applications that are newer and of potential interest, but which I haven't yet selected for permanent inclusion. Have a look, and let me know if you think they deserve to be part of the permanent collection!