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Phoenix 0.4 (Oceano)

Release Notes and FAQ

Phoenix is a redesign of the Mozilla browser component, similar to Galeon, K-Meleon and Chimera, but written using the XUL user interface language and designed to be cross-platform. More information about Phoenix is available at the Phoenix Project Page.

This document covers what's new, download and installation instructions, known issues and frequently asked questions for the Phoenix 0.4 (Oceano) release. Please read these notes before reporting any bugs to Bugzilla.

We want to hear your feedback about Phoenix. Please join us in the Phoenix forums, kindly hosted by MozillaZine, or on in channel #phoenix.

PLEASE NOTE: You MUST create a new profile for Phoenix 0.4. We made changes to several items including pop-up whitelisting which are not compatible with the 0.3 and even recent nightly profiles. To create a new profile start Phoenix by running phoenix.exe -ProfileManager and click on the "Create Profile" button. You must also delete your old Phoenix directory rather than just overwriting the files there. Not doing so WILL result in problems and you should not file any bugs on Phoenix unless you've first done a clean install and tested on a new profile. As Phoenix stabilizes more this will not be necessary but until then these steps are absolutely necessary.

What's New

A few of the features new to this release include:

  • Improvements to pop-up blocking

    It is now easier to add sites to the pop-up whitelist and some bugs in the 0.3 whitelisting display have been fixed. You can add sites to the whitelist by clicking on the "i" icon in the lower left of the browser window for sites with blocked pop-ups or you can add sites in the pop-up preferences panel.

  • Improvements to toolbar customization

    It is now possible to customize the menubar in addition to the navigation and bookmark toolbars. This makes it possible to add all of your items to a single toolbar freeing up valuable web page real estate.

  • Improvements to tabbed browsing and shortcut keys

    Phoenix developers have been working to improve basic user tasks like opening links and loading addresses. A few things that you will find new and improved in 0.4 are: ctrl+[1-0] will switch between your first 10 tabs. ctrl+click opens a link in a new background tab (you can set that in preferences to default to a foreground tab) and ctrl+shift+click will toggle the forground/background preference. shift+click opens a link in a new window and alt+click saves link.

  • Type ahead find returns

    Type ahead find allows a user to start typing to navigate directly to a link containing that text. To find text that is not linked just preface your typing with a / character.

  • Addressbar gets smarter

    alt+d now focuses the address field. Typing a search term (or terms) in the addressbar and hitting enter will now take you directly to the top hit on Google rather than the Google search results page and ctrl+enter in the address field adds a www. and .com to your address.

  • Bug fixes

    Some people seem concerned that Phoenix developers are just adding feature after feature without fixing bugs. While it's true that through 0.4 they've been doing a lot of heavy lifting, redesign and feature work, the developers are also wrapping up that big feature push and moving into more of a cleanup and bugfix mode.

  • Themes!

    Thanks to several theme authors and chris neale at you can now get themes for Phoenix. As with any 3rd party add-ons, please don't report bugs with themes to Phoenix. Report your problems (and your praise) to the theme developers or the Phoenix Skins forum. Themes available at the time of the 0.4 release include Bluestreak, Luna, Orbit 3+1, Pinball, and Qute.

And don't forget, too, that as Phoenix progresses, bug fixing continues on SeaMonkey (the Mozilla browser application suite) -- and we're picking up most of those fixes. For example, 0.4 contains fixes for bug 12274 (prefetch LINK tag documents), bug 173354 (margins are not computed correctly when they are set to % values), and many others.

And there's more to come. The Phoenix team is already working on 0.5, targeted for November, in which they plan to continue with lots of bug fixing and polish.

Download, Install and Uninstall

Phoenix binaries are available for Windows and Linux.



Contributed builds (these are unofficial builds and issues should be reported to the build contributor and not Bugzilla).

Localized builds. Contributed by the volunteers of the MLP:

Once you have downloaded the binary, use winzip or gzip to unzip Phoenix to an empty directory. Do not unzip Phoenix to a directory that already contains a binary. Either delete the existing directory, move it out of the way or create a new directory. If you install Phoenix on top of an existing Phoenix or Mozilla directory you will have problems.

To uninstall Phoenix, simply delete the Phoenix directory. This will leave your profile in place for use by future Phoenix installs. If you wish to remove your Phoenix profile you can delete the Phoenix dir from your Windows Application Data directory or remove the .phoenix dir from your linux home directory.

Known Issues

This is a 0.4 release. If you expect everything to work perfectly, you will surely be let down. This list covers some of the known problems with Phoenix 0.4. Please read this before reporting any new bugs to Bugzilla.

  • Phoenix utilizes large hunks of Mozilla code. Many of the problems you may experience in Phoenix are actually problems in this Mozilla core code. If you find a problem with page content or connectivity then it is probably a Mozilla problem and should be reported to the Browser product in Bugzilla and not to the Phoenix product.
  • Phoenix 0.4 does not work on Windows95. This is a problem with core Mozilla code and probably impacts all Mozilla-based products created after about Oct. 23rd.
  • Opening new location by pasting (middle-click) into rendering area is not working. This will be fixed in 0.5.
  • Site icons (favicons) are lost after crashes and are sometimes associated with the wrong bookmark. Clearing your cache (Tools|Preferences|Privacy) will clear your bookmark favicons so they can be redownloaded when next visiting that site.
  • The menubar might be disabled after customizing your toolbar. This will be fixed in 0.5.
  • If pop-up whitelisting doesn't seem to work then you probably didn't read the install notes and create a new profile for use with Phoenix 0.4.
  • Talkback builds are not available for 0.4.
  • The sidebar will persist across new windows, but not across sessions (if you shut down with it open, it will be closed upon restart) This will be fixed in 0.5.
  • Quicksearch in bookmarks and history still have a couple of issues. We don't yet support deleting filtered results for bookmarks and history filtering is case sensitive. We expect to have these issues fixed in future releases.

For additional issues, FAQs, Tips and Tricks plus general Phoenix help be sure to check out David Tenser's very cool Phoenix Help site and the mozillaZine Phoenix forums.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What can I do to help?

    We need all the distribution we can get. Tell your family. Tell your friends. Tell your coworkers. If you're a student, get it distributed at your college. Submit a story to Slashdot and other news sites about the release. Make some noise on your blog. Spread the word!

  2. I use another browser because...

    If you're not using Phoenix, tell the Phoenix team why. We read all of the feedback at the mozillaZine Phoenix forums.

  3. I hate the theme you're using, Orbit.

    So get another one.

  4. I'm a fantastic artist who would like nothing more than to design artwork for you guys, for free, and with very little recognition. Will you please let me help you and gain nothing in return?

    Yes! Please e-mail us.

  5. I sent you mail {telling you I'm an artist; congratulating you; asking you a question; reporting a problem} and you haven't responded!

    We appreciate your e-mail. We've received a lot of mail and are still going through it all. If you e-mailed us about artwork, we thank you and will get back to you shortly. Please ask questions in the mozillaZine Phoenix forums and report bugs in Bugzilla. Also, please direct all e-mails to, the Phoenix developer mailing list.

  6. Will I be able to get web content sidebar panels like I can with Mozilla?

    Yes. Later.

  7. Are the rest of the preferences coming back?

    Tell us what other Mozilla preferences you're waiting for in the Phoenix forums.

  8. You said this is a lean, lightweight browser, but it's {7MB; 9MB}! I laugh at your silly lies!

    Take it easy, sport. Phoenix is already 35% smaller than Mozilla. It's also worth noting that we're still carrying the weight of many Mozilla files that we've replaced. For example, we still build and ship with Mozilla's form manager, even though we now have Satchel, its lighter replacement. Phoenix also still contains a lot of Mozilla's chrome (front end) files, even though it has its own. Heck, it still has files used solely for Mozilla mail. We're still trimming the fat and we expect to be able to hit something near 6 MB (Windows) and 7-8MB (Linux) before we're done.

  9. Who is working on Phoenix?

    The developers are Blake Ross, Dave Hyatt, Pierre Chanial and Joe Hewitt, with Asa Dotzler providing help doing releases, bug triage, the website, and other odds and ends, and Brian Ryner providing build expertise. Notes of congratulation, offers to help and most other e-mails should be directed to the team.

  10. Phoenix is a branch from Mozilla so it's going to get old and outdated. It sucks.

    No. Phoenix is not a branch; it builds right atop the Mozilla trunk. Each milestone contains trunk code that was literally checked in the day before -- we're risky like that ;) It's the latest and greatest.

  11. Okay, so where's the phoenix source? Mozilla trunk + mozilla/browser + mozilla/toolkit.

  12. Phoenix is just Mozilla with a couple UI tweaks.

    We wonder when people will stop saying this. 30,000 lines of code have already been added or changed from Mozilla. We've forked the global history and download manager backends. And XHTML2 is coming to Phoenix.

  13. You said this was designed to be cross-platform. Where's the mac version?

    Designed to be cross-platform doesn't mean we offer a build on every platform. We don't officially offer Phoenix for Mac, but some people have already begun experimenting with mac versions (see this page. We may consider officially releasing Phoenix for Mac in the future, but we want to focus on Windows and Linux for now.

  14. I hate the search bar. I hate your toolbar layout in general.

    View | Toolbars | Customize...

  15. What a bunch of idiots. Why didn't you call it, say, Mozilla Lite? Don't you know the importance of brand recognition?

    Oh, where to begin. First of all, it's not "lite." Not only does Phoenix aim to match the featureset of Mozilla -- subtracting features deemed geeky and better offered as add-ons -- but it extends it. For example, it adds customizable toolbars and quicksearch in bookmarks and history. It offers an add-on manager, a better wallet, and a new downloads sidebar pane.

    Second, it's not Mozilla. It's backed by, sure, but with each milestone you'll see it further diverge from Mozilla.

    Third, "Mozilla" is not the name of an application; it is the name of a monolithic suite containing a browser, a mail client, an irc client, and an indoor skating rink (we hear that's coming, anyways.) Even if we did decide to call this browser Mozilla, we'd still have to call the standalone mail client (see below) something else. We also believe Mozilla, in general, is going in the wrong direction in terms of bloat and UI, and see no reason for our releases to carry those connotations.

  16. Will all of the Mozdev (and other) themes and add-ons work with Phoenix?

    Most do not. Some do. Many soon will. XUL Add-ons and themes need to be tweaked by their authors to work with Phoenix; we are working with authors of popular add-ons to get them compatible. Plugins like Flash and Real should work, and mozgestures, prefsbar, and a few others now work with Phoenix.

  17. Phoenix is getting bloated. I knew it would happen.

    Phoenix is not getting bloated. Its download size is going down, for one thing. As stated earlier, the time to do the heavy lifting, feature work and redesign is early in the development cycle. That's where we are now -- this is 0.4, folks!

    We're working hard to improve our support for extensions to reduce bloat. Without extensions support, we'd be pressured to include the add-ons in the default build.

Feedback and Bug Reports

(shamelessly ripped from the Chimera project page.)

Phoenix bugs are tracked in the Bugzilla bug system. With Bugzilla, you can query for existing bugs, add comments to bugs, and file new bugs.

If you find a problem that you think might be a bug in Phoenix, please don't jump in and file it right away. Having low-quality and duplicate bugs in the bug system simply wastes the time of developers and QA. Instead, follow these steps.

  1. First, try the most recent nightly build, to see if the problem still exists.

  2. Next, try to reproduce the bug with a recent Mozilla build, to see if the bug happens there. If so, the bug should be filed as a Mozilla bug (only, of course, after searching to see if the bug has already been filed). Bugs related to how pages are laid out arealmost always Mozilla bugs, and are highly likely to have been filed already.

  3. Now you can go ahead and search the Phoenix bugs to see if someone has already reported your problem.

  4. Search the open Phoenix bugs, but be aware that your terminology might not match that of others (e.g. "URLbar" vs. "Location bar"), so you might not find what you are looking for the first time. Be diligent!

  5. Look at Phoenix bugs reported in the last day.

  6. Look at the list all Phoenix bugs to see if your issue has already been filed (and possibly already fixed).

  7. If you didn't find an existing bug for your problem, and you're sure that it's a problem with Phoenix, then you can go ahead and file the bug.

    If you are new to Bugzilla, please read the bugwriting guidelines first. To be able to file and comment on bugs, you'll need to make yourself an account. Note that accounts can, and will, be revoked ifabused.

  8. Report a new Phoenix bug using the Bugzilla helper, or using the advanced bug entry form

  9. Put as much relevant detail into the bug report as you can. If Phoenix crashes be sure to specify if you were on a certain page when it crashed, give the URL. Mention whether the page contains plugins. Try to find the simplest way of causing the crash that youcan. If it crashes when you are supplying data to Phoenix (e.g.importing bookmarks), attach the relevant data (in this case, the bookmarks file being imported). The better your bug report, the more chance there is of a developer taking note, and fixing it.

Previous versions of the Release notes:
Phoenix 0.1 (Pescadero)
Phoenix 0.2 (Santa Cruz)
Phoenix 0.3 (Lucia)