Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Firebird 0.7.1

Yesterday, Firebird 0.7.1 was released. It’s only for Mac OS X – not Windows or Linux – but fixes some key bugs with that platform. Those who subscribe to The Burning Edge will know that Mac nightly builds have only just become available again very recently, and past Mac builds of Firebird have apparently sucked somewhat.
Hopefully this should change. Version 0.8 will use the Pinstripe theme as standard, which will make Firebird look and feel a lot more like an OS X application. This is key – Apple computers are, to some extent, a fashion statement, and you can make the fastest and most easy to use browser in the world but if it looks ugly then Mac users are less likely to want it. It’s probably why many still use Camino despite the lack of updates recently. The Qute theme is fine in Windows, particularly in XP, but it just doesn’t work with Aqua.
MozillaZine has a whole variety of other Mozilla-related news from yesterday, including updates to three other Gecko browsers, so you may like to have a gander at that.


  1. Hey, thanks for pointing this out.
    They fixed the bug which prevented Mac OS X Firebird 0.7 from loading URLs sent to it from other programs! Now I can actually use it as my default browser… except it opens all such URLs in a new window. In Camino I can set it to open all new URLs sent to it in a new tab, so I can go through NetNewsWire and open all the interesting news in one fell swoop without cluttering the screen.
    But the thing Camino lacks which I really like is the ability to switch to alternate style sheets (even if most sites don’t use them). I’m downloading the Pinstribe BETA theme now… it does look more Mac-friendly.
    I’ll keep using both for a while, maybe by 0.8 I’ll be able to use Firebad as my sole browser.

  2. Thanks for the TabBrowser Extension tip, Neil. I’m still undecided on which browser to call Default, I think I’ll have them both running for some time to come. I’m now downloading the latest nightly Camino build (I’ve been using 0.7 since it was released), I’ve heard it is faster than Firebird on Mac. We’ll see.
    I also found a thread at the MozillaZine forum titled Camino vs Firebird which has some interesting comments.