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M8.5 Release Notes

These release notes, last updated August 5, 1999, describe installation instructions and known issues pertinent to the M8.5 release. These notes are updated as we receive feedback, so please check back for new information.

Related links

  • For more information about know problems, you can also view an up-to-date list of fixed bugs.
  • For status and notes on features in each milestone, see the milestone page.

Contents of This Document

This release expires on September 1, 1999 at 00:01 am.

READ THIS Before You Install

Install into a clean directory, or delete previous builds before installing. Installing on top of previous milestone builds or released product builds may cause problems. Incompatibilities may be introduced from milestone to milestone while the software is under development.

Do not use Java Plugin 1.3. It doesn't work with the most recent mozilla builds, and crashes will result. Make sure there are no files named *npjava*.* in either the bin/;lugins directory or the NS4.x plugins directory. This problem is being addressed. For more information about this bug, see bug 5369.

Proxies are not working in this release. If you attempt to use this build from behind a proxy, you will experience bugs. See bugs 8559 and 6540. This problem is scheduled to be fix in the M10 release. (See also bug 10276.)

Installing the M8.5 Release Build

Installation Instructions -- Unix

  1. Create a directory named "mozilla" and move the tar.gz file into the mozilla directory.

  2. mkdir mozilla ;
    mv mozilla*.tar.gz mozilla

  3. Change to the mozilla directory and untar the archive. This will create a directory called "package".

  4. cd mozilla ;
    gzip -dc mozilla-i686-pc-linux-gnu-M8.tar.gz | tar -xvf -

  5. Change to the "package" directory.

  6. mv mozilla*.tar.gz ../ ;
    cd package

  7. Run mozilla with the run script:

  8. ./

Note: Bookmarks are temporarily reading the file "mozilla/package/res/rdf/bookmarks.html." instead of "~/.netscape/bookmarks.html". You can copy your bookmarks file as a workaround for now:

cp ~/.netscape/bookmarks.html mozilla/package/res/rdf/bookmarks.html

Mail Instructions for Unix

IMPORTANT: Please see the information in the mail/news pref document to correctly set up your mail preferences file.

Installation Instructions -- Win32

You will need a copy of WinZip. This is shareware available at (also at

  1. Click once on the link. The file will be downloaded to your default folder.

  2. Click on the file to launch WinZip.

  3. After clicking "I Agree" to terms of WinZip shareware, click the Extract button in the WinZip tool bar. An x86 folder with application and associated files will be unzipped.

  4. Select Apprunner from x86 folder to launch the program.

    • Run "apprunner.exe" to use browser and mail.

    • Run "viewer.exe" to run only the gecko layout engine
Note: To use your current bookmarks with M8.5, you should overwrite the default M8.5 bookmark file with your own, for example, copy "C:\Program "files\Netscape\Users\<profile_name>\bookmark.htm" to "x86rel\res\rdf\bookmarks.html" Note that the file name changes slightly and that 'profile_name>' needs to be replaced by your user profile name.

Mail Instructions for Win32

IMPORTANT: Please see the information in the mail/news pref document to correctly set up your mail preferences file.

Installation Instructions -- Mac OS

If you have StuffIt Expander™ installed and your browser is configured to use it:
  1. Click once on the mozilla-mac.sea.bin link. The file will be downloaded to your default folder (usually the desktop) and StuffIt™ will start up and convert it to mozilla-mac.sea for you. Then StuffIt will open up mozilla-mac.sea and convert it to a folder called mozilla-mac for you.
  2. Open the mozilla-mac folder and double-click the file "apprunner." (Note: you no longer need the .bin or .sea files.)
Note: If you try step one and your browser asks you what you want to do it's because you don't have StuffIt™ configured. In that case, just click Save and continue from Step #3 below.

If you do not have StuffIt Expander™ installed or your browser is not properly configured:

  1. Make sure you have StuffIt™ somewhere on your hard drive.
  2. Click and hold the mozilla-mac.sea.bin link.
  3. Choose "Save this link as...".

  4. You will see a file dialog box where you can select where you want to save the file (for example, your Desktop).

  5. Click the Save button.
  6. Double-click on the newly created icon "mozilla-mac.sea.bin".
  7. StuffIt™ will start up and simultaneously create a file "mozilla-mac.sea", and a folder called "mozilla-mac."
  8. Open the mozilla-mac folder and double-click the file "apprunner." (Note: you no longer need the .bin or .sea files.)
Note: To use your current bookmarks with M8.5, you should overwrite the default M8.5 bookmark file with your own. Copy your bookmark file, located in your profile directory (example: "{Hard Disk}:System Folder:Preferences:Netscape Users:{Profile Name}") into your "{Mozilla Binary Location}/res/rdf/" folder.

Mail Instructions for Macintosh

IMPORTANT: Please see the information in the mail/news pref document to correctly set up your mail preferences file.

Uninstalling the M8.5 Release Build


  • Remove the /package directory where you installed Seamonkey

  • Remove the ~/.mozilla directory, which contains profile information


  • Delete the \x86rel directory where you installed Seamonkey

  • Delete c:\windows\mozregistry.dat

  • Delete the user profile directory, \users50

Mac OS

  • Remove the the folder Mozilla in the Documents folder

  • Remove the file "Mozilla Registry" in the System Folder | Preferences folder

  • Remove the folder where you installed Seamonkey (probably mozilla-mac-M9)

Files Created or Used

user/ $windir/ bin/
prefs.js (Preferences file (used))
cache/ (cache directory)
cookies.txt (cookies file)
*cookperm.txt (used to selectively accept/reject cookies)
FieldSchema.tbl (files for auto form filling)
SchemaConcat.tbl (files for auto form filling)
SchemaValue.tbl (files for auto form filling)
URLFieldSchema.tbl (files for auto form filling)
signons.tbl and signonsx.tbl (logins and passwords file store)
mozregistry.dat (the Mozilla registry) localstore.rdf (the Mozilla registry)
user/ ~/.mozilla/ /tmp/localstore
prefs50.js in ~/.mozilla/[profile] (preferences file (use))
Cache in ~/.mozilla/[profile](cache directory)
cookies (cookies file)
*cookperm (used to selectively accept/reject cookies)
FieldSchema.tbl (files for auto form filling)
SchemaConcat.tbl (files for auto form filling)
SchemaValue.tbl (files for auto form filling)
URLFieldSchema.tbl (files for auto form filling)
signons and signonsx (logins and passwords file store)
registry (the Mozilla registry) localstore.rdf

*Note:"cookperm.txt" ("cookperm" on Unix) is a file used to selectively accept cookies from certain sites and not from others. It is used only if you set your preferences so you see a warning before accepting cookies. To do that, hand edit the prefs.js file to include:

    user.pref ("network.cookie.rememberAboutCookies", true);

Limited Support Features

Available Navigator Functionality

Functionality Description Comments
Back, Forward, Reload
Location Field You can browse by entering URLs
Various Menu Commands Menus do work, but many commands are not hooked up. These menus and options are working: File menu: New Browser Window, New > Blank Page / Page using Template ... / Page using Draft ..., Quit; Go menu; Bookmarks menu
Toolbars Toolbars display above and below content window, most buttons working though a couple are not hooked up to execute a command.
Downloadable chrome You can dynamically change the chrome (apply new skins and new content) in M8.5 with the following caveats:
(1) Only Navigator is using the new chrome URLs. Messenger hasn't made the switchover yet.
(2) Changes aren't persistent yet, so if you change the skin, the change won't be remembered.
(3) The window doesn't dynamically refresh (once the window manager is further along, it will). In order to see your changes, you need to open up a new window after running the script to set the new skin.
See the sample code in section 9 of the downloadable chrome spec
Link Buttons Buttons that simply link to a web address, including the N brand button, Home, My Netscape.
Access Personal Toolbar Links in Personal Toolbar are displayed and can be used Can't add or edit
Access Bookmarks Access Bookmarks through Bookmarks menu Can load your current bookmarks
file. See instructions under platform installations.
Access via Manage
Bookmarks Window
Can open, close, and sort folders.
Status Display Toolbar beneath content area, status during loading of URLs.

Available Mail/News Functionality

Functionality Description
Start Mail Run Apprunner and bring up the three-pane mail window
Get New Mail Download and display contents of local mail folders; POP
Handle SMTP SMTP protocol works; send a message (note: on send, the compose message window doesn't close)
Display Message -- Mail Go to the "demos" menu and select several messages from your Inbox. The message content is displayed in the message (lower right) pane.
Display Folder List Local mail folders are displayed in the folder (left-hand) pane.
Delete Message Delete a message using the Delete toolbar button.
Edit/Send Text Message Bring up the compose window by clicking the New Msg button, type some text, and send.
Sorting -- Thread Pane Sorting works for Subject, Sender, Status, and Date.
Move/Copy Messages You can move one message at a time.
Read Attachments in Messages Attachments can be displayed in the message pane.
Post message to newsgroup Using the compose window, post a message to a newsgroup. To post to hosts other than, set the "network.hosts.nntp_server" preference (the default NNTP server preference). Currently, the default value of this preference is "".
Post to multiple newsgroups simultaneously In the "Newsgroup:" field of the compose window, you can post to multiple newsgroups at once. Use commas to separate the newsgroups.
Display news hosts and subscribed newsgroups Using the prefs and the newsrc files (and if needed, the fat or NewsFAT files), populate the folder pane with news hosts and subscribed newsgroups.
Display News articles in thread pane When you click on a newsgroup, show the message subject, date, etc. in the thread pane.
Display Message -- News Click on a message in the thread pane and the message content is displayed in the message pane.
Get News Select a newsgroup in the folder pane and click on "Get Msg" to download any new news articles.
Marking news message as read Use the menu "Message | Mark | As Read" to mark a news message as read.
Currently, the read status is being saved, but not in the newsrc file. This is a bug. (#8075)
Viewing news message automatically marks it read Viewing a news message marks it read
Currently, the read status is being saved, but not in the newsrc file. This is a bug. (#8075)
Cancel news message If you are the author of an article, then the delete button (or the Edit | Delete Message menu item) cancels the article. As with 4.x, you can only cancel one article at a time.

Due to several dialog / alert bugs, you won't see the confirmation dialog ("are you sure you want to do this?") or the alert open cancellation. ("message cancelled."). For now, On Windows and UNIX, look for these messages in the console window.

Address Book The Personal Address Book is displayed in the left pane. LDAP and additional address books are not working yet.

Additional Mail Functionality

  • The multiple POP accounts feature is available for you to try out. In your preferences file, add another account name to this line:

  • user_pref("mail.accountmanager.accounts", "account1,account2");

  • You will need to have identity and server information for the second account. For example:

  • user_pref("mail.account.account2.identities", id2"); user_pref("mail.account.account2.server", "server2");

    where id2 and server2 preference lines exist and point to actual servers, etc.

  • You can use the Address Book window and the Select Address dialog. The Personal Address Book is working for adding cards, editing cards, and deleting cards. LDAP and additional address books are not working yet. The data is stored in a file called "abook.mab". It is not yet possible to use the address book data from the mail compose window.

Available Gecko Functionality

Functionality Description Comments
HTML 4.0 Done except bugs.
Cascading Style Sheets, level 1 (CSS1) Features 98% done; bug-fixing remains.
Cascading Style Sheets, level 2 (CSS2) Positioning, tables, selectors done. No support is committed for final release, but some features are already working and will likely be enabled.
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 0 Done.
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 HTML 90% done.
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 JavaScript event model 80% done.
Extensible Markup Language (XML) James Clark expat parser in; documents parse.
Simple XLink and HTML Namespaces done.
XML + CSS1 Working.

Known Issues

General Browser Issues

  • Loading problems (possible crash or freeze) sometimes occur on pages that contain applets.

  • Pages that contain pop-up user authentication will cause problems (possible browser hang or crash). (bug 8511)

  • Several problems are under investigation for the URL My Netscape is diverted to the Netscape home page on all platforms.

  • The following toolbar and menu items are either not fully functional or disabled:

    • The Back, Forward, and Stop buttons often appear to be inactive (grayed) when they are actually active. Although mousing over them or clicking them may produce no visual feedback, the appropriate action is taken. (bug 7909)

    • The Back button doesn't work with manually entered URLs or URLs accessed through bookmarks

    • The Stop button fails intermittently

    • The Close menu item doesn't work (use the close box to close windows)

    • Print (toolbar button & menu item) and Print Preview fail intermittently

  • Keyboard shortcuts/command keys are not available for most menu items with the exception of the following for the mail compose and editor window: Ctrl-C (copy), Ctrl-V (paste), Ctrl-Z (undo). and Ctrl-Y(redo) and their Mac OS equivalents. The old Unix equivalents (using Alt- instead of Ctrl-) don't work; use Ctrl- .

  • Within Viewer, many options within the Debug & Tools menu items are not currently working or produce unpredictable results.

  • Windows only:

    • You may not be able to subsequently enter text into any compose window after the first try, due to editor timing problems.

    • Links on pages that use CSS do not work.

    • If you have a second video display monitor connected to your computer, links displayed on that monitor will not work.

    • Selecting the Print option causes crashes.

    • The Wallet feature does not work correctly.

  • Mac OS only:

    • Apprunner will not launch if you change the Seamonkey folder name to include a forward slash ("/"). (bug 8503)

    • If an included .css file is missing, the application will crash.

    • Cookies are not yet ready.

    • The throbber, mozilla animation in the upper right corner of a page, may not work while the page is loading, though the page still loads.

  • Linux only:

    • The Back and Forward buttons do not work for manually entered URLs.

    • The throbber, mozilla animation in the upper right corner of a page, may not work while the page is loading, though the page still loads.

  • Solaris only:

    • The Copy command in the browser's Edit menu is not working. (bug 6253)

Bookmarks Issues

  • The Manage Bookmarks option is not working correctly. (bug 10807.)

  • Double-clicking a bookmarks folder spawns a new window. (bug 10811.)

  • (Mac OS only) Adding a bookmark does not dynamically update the UI. (bug 7142.)

Sidebar Issues

  • You cannot yet add or remove sidebar panels using the UI.

  • Changes you make in the Customization dialog will not be reflected in the Sidebar.

  • General Sidebar UI is not finished.

Issues With Profiles

  • IMPORTANT: All the information regarding profiles is stored in the registry file. The registry file gets created even if you have used earlier versions of Apprunner. When you check out a new build, make sure you delete or rename the following items before you install, build, and run the new executable:

    • Windows mozregistry.dat ( c:\winnt or c:\windows or equivalent),
    • Mac OS Mozilla Registry (System Folder:Preferences),
    • Linux registry (~/.mozilla/)

  • The ProfileManager feature has been added. You open Profile Manager with the command line argument : -ProfileManager. The Profile Manager user interface appears, supporting creating a new profile, and deleting and renaming existing profiles. When you finish any of the tasks you can click Exit to quit the Profile Manager. You can click a Start Communicator button to start Apprunner with a selected profile. Also, users can migrate 4.5 Communicator profiles (Windows only, for now).

  • Various command line options to create and manage profiles are:
    # apprunner -P <Profilename>
    Runs Apprunner with the <Profilename>.
    # apprunner -CreateProfile "<Profilename> <ProfileDir>"
    Creates a profile (i.e., <Profilename>) and creates a directory at the specified location i.e., <Profiledir> and launches Apprunner.
    # apprunner -CreateProfile <Profilename>
    Creates a profile and creates a profile directory under default profile location.
    # apprunner -ProfileWizard
    Launches the Create Profile Wizard to create a new profile. The Create Profile Wizard lets users create a new profile at the default location or the location of their choice. At the end of the process a profile is created and marked as the current profile, and Apprunner is launched with that profile. The wizard is currently just two screens. Mail and News related preferences/information will be collected by a different application.
    # apprunner -ProfileManager
    Brings up Profile Manager for managing profiles. Users can select a profile and click on the Start Communicator button to launch Apprunner with the chosen profile. The current profile (usually the last used profile) appears preselected.
    # apprunner
    Several scenarios:
    number of profiles = 0  -->  Brings up Create Profile Wizard
    number of profiles = 1  -->  Launches Apprunner directly with that profile
    number of profiles > 1  -->  Brings up Profile Manager

    Default profile locations for profile directories are <3 levels up from the exe location>\Users50,  on Windows :Documents:Mozilla:Users50:  on Mac OS, and ~/.mozilla on Linux.

  • Profile Migration (on Windows only): 4.5 profiles now can be migrated to 5.0. In the process of migration, 4.5 profile information is undisturbed. In 5.0 the new location for the migrated profiles is the default location as mentioned in the above paragraph. Migration is functional on Windows only, but will soon be extended to the Mac OS. (A date for Linux availability is currently unknown.)

    To migrate 4.5 profiles, run Apprunner with the command line option -installer. The profile to be migrated is listed as <profilename> - migrate in the Profile Manager's list box. Users can select a profile to be migrated and click on the Migrate button. If the migration is done successfully, the suffix ' - migrate' disappears in the display, marking that profile as a 5.0 profile. Currently, only the prefs.js file and mail and news folders are copied in the migration process. Users cannot rename or start Communicator with a profile that must be migrated. With the changes that went in at the end of M7, it is required to create a 5.0 profile before using the migration service. This will be fixed in M8 (so that there is no dependency on having a 5.0 profile).

  • Mac OS only: In creating your default profile, don't use spaces in the profile name. The actual folder will be named with "%20" for each space you include. As a result, if you use Messenger, your mail folders will not load or display. (bug 6744)

  • To use mail, you must manually set up your prefs50.js file, following the directions in the "mozilla mail/news prefs" document. Then copy your prefs50.js file to the location where your new profile is created after using the Profile Manager/Wizard. If you have previously used Messenger and have all your mail preferences set, just copy the prefs50.js to the profile location/directory.

  • If the Bookmarks menu has only the Add Current Page and Manage Bookmarks menu items, and they are not followed by a list of bookmarks, then bookmarking will not work correctly until you do one of the following:

    • Migrate an old 4.x profile over to Seamonkey, or

    • Create a new profile by following these steps:

      1. Remove your current profiles and mozregistry.

      2. For Windows, remove the "mozregistry.dat" file in your Windows (or winnt) directory; also remove the entire "Users50" directory.

      3. For Mac OS, remove the "Mozilla Registry" file from your Preferences folder (System Folder|Preferences|Mozilla Registry). Then remove the "Users50" folder from the Documents folder that was placed on your hard drive when you installed Seamonkey (documents|mozilla|Users50).

      4. For Linux, remove the .mozilla/ directory.

      5. Launch Seamonkey and create your new profile. The menus should now appear and behave normally.

    (See also bug 9505)

Issues With Preferences

  • The preferences UI is not functional in the 8.5 release.

  • Information about preferences related to saving username/password or form data:

    • To see a warning prompt before saving username/password or form data, set the following preference (by hand) in your prefs.js file:
    • user_pref("wallet.useDialogs", true);

      This pref is false by default, so saving will be done silently. This is done because there currently are no dialog boxes and the warning prompt would occur in the console window.

    • To suppress saving of form data altogether, set the following preference (by hand) in your prefs.js file:
    • user_pref("wallet.captureForms", false);

      This preference is true by default.

    • To supress saving of username/password, set the following preference (by hand) in your prefs.js file:
    • user_pref("network.singon.rememberSignons", false);

      This preference is true by default.

  • (Windows only) Preferences now load, but are not completely functional.

Java Issues

  • If you have installed the latest JRE 1.2 from Sun Microsystems, you may crash at startup if the Java plugin is present. To fix this, remove the following dlls from the Plugins folder located in your 4.5 (or later) Communicator directory: npjava32.dll, npjava12.dll and npjava11.dll.

  • On Linux, Java is not yet implemented.

Javascript Issues

  • document.write fails to write HTML tags and any text written before the last tag. (bug 11141)

  • JavaScript alert dialogs are not being displayed. (bug 4279)

  • None of the JavaScript functions work with AppRunner windows. Windows can be opened using the ToolkitCore, but those windows don't play well with most of the JavaScript properties and methods.

  • "javascript:" is not working.

Issues With Small Fonts on Linux

  • If the fonts are too small in your environment, it may be possible to alleviate this by setting a preference in Mozilla. Add a line like the following to the preferences file (~/.mozilla/prefs50.js):
    user_pref("browser.screen_resolution", 120);

    This sets the dpi to 120. If you set the pref to zero (0), Mozilla will use the X server's dpi value. If the pref is not set, it uses the default value of 96.

    There is some info about setting the X server's DPI value at

    If your fonts are still too small (or too large) after setting the DPI correctly, you can adjust the font size as follows:


    Note that the latter only affects fonts. The screen_resolution preference affects anything that specifies absolute size (e.g. CSS "pt" points).

Known Issues in Mail and News

  • Sorting problems: Sort by Date sorts alphabetically. Sorting on the Sender column sorts by the From field. New mail messages are not placed correctly in the sort-ordered messages. (bugs 7332, 7028, and 8529)

  • The Send Later feature is working inconsistently. Please see bug 9776 for details of various scenarios where this feature fails to work.

    After choosing Send Later from the compose window and exiting Apprunner, you may need to manually close the Apprunner application console. (bug 9791)

  • Multiple selections in a Messenger window my cause a crash. For example, if you select a message and the scroll down the thread pane list to select a range of messages, the application may crash. (bug 9119)

  • The File|Close menu item used from Messenger causes Apprunner to hang. Use the close box in the Messenger window or the File|Exit menu item. (bug 9944)

  • When you address a message to both an email address and a newsgroup, the message is not sent properly to the email address. Address newsgroup and email messages separately. (bug 9508)

  • Currently, the Delete key does not delete messages. Choose Delete from the Edit menu, or use the Delete toolbar button to delete messages.(bug 8985)

  • If you mark a message Read or Unread using the menu items (or by reading a message), the "read status" in the thread pane may not reflect the change. You may need to resize the window to see the updated status. (bug 8973)

  • Message count numbers may appear in the thread pane of the Messenger window after you delete a message. (bug 9535)

  • When the contents of an address card do not fit on a single pane in the address book window, the scroll bar may not appear. (bug 8252)

  • Replying to the news message does not automatically fill in the name of the newsgroup in the compose window addressing area. Currently, you must manually input the name of the newsgroup. (bug 6931)

  • When you select and display a message, it is not automatically marked as read for IMAP. (bug 7513)

  • When addressing a message to multiple recipients, use a comma to separate the recipients. If you use a semicolon, a program crash may occur.(bug 8276)

  • When selecting a newsgroup for the first time, you must click Get Msgs in the toolbar to display a list of the newsgroup messages in the thread pane. (bug 7090)

  • If you compose and post 10-15 news messages, messages may not be displayed in the message pane afterwards, and you may be prevented from opening other Navigator windows, or from doing any task that requires URLs. Exit and restart Apprunner. (bug 8515)

  • Although you can bring up the Search and Filters dialogs, backend code for these features has not been implemented so you will not be able to perform any functions in these dialogs.

  • The Move and copy message feature is not working for the IMAP protocol. (bug 8457)

  • See also the information on the prefs50.js file, earlier in this document.

  • When you select an unread message with the message pane collapsed, the message is marked as read. (bug 6485)

  • Due to optimizing performance in displaying headers (bug 7002), Messenger temporarily does not show the message counts in the folder pane when parsing a mailbox folder, and doesn't increase them when copying or getting new mail. This also applies to News messages. IMAP mail may not be affected. (bug 7010)

  • If you have local folders with more than 1,000 messages, don't point the Mail application at your actual local folder hierarchy. Larger folders may take too long to load and may consume vast amounts of memory.

  • Vcards in mail are not fully functional and may cause failures when clicked.

  • Mac OS only:

    • After startup, you must click inside the browser window to bring it to the front before using any of the menus. (bug 9701)

    • The last newsgroup that you are subscribed to does not appear in the folder pane of the Messenger window below the news server. This will be fixed in a future milestone. (bug 9896)

    • Selecting the panels in succession in the Account Manager dialog may result in a crash. (bug 7568)

    • Alerts and beeps may sound when you select mail folders and messages. This problem is currently being addressed. (bug 8244)

    • In creating your default profile, don't use spaces in the profile name. The actual folder will be named with "%20" for each space you include. As a result, if you use Messenger, your mail folders will not load or display. (bug 6744)

  • Linux only:

    • Alerts and beeps may sound when you select mail folders and messages. This problem is currently being addressed. (bug 8244)

    • Pasting text into the mail compose window may result in a crash. (bug 9390)

    • Text under the toolbar buttons is not readable. For a workaround, see

    • Selecting the panels in succession in the Account Manager dialog may result in a crash. (bug 7568)

  • Issues in the Mail Compose window:

    • (Windows only) To access the drop down list boxes in the addressing fields, use the down arrow key to scroll the list of choices (such as "from:," "cc:" or "newsgroup:" etc.). Alternatively, you can collapse then expand the addressing panel before choosing from the list. (Data you enter prior to collapsing the panel will be lost. Enter your recipients after collapsing the panel.) (bug 9537)

    • The Return character in plain text mail compose doesn't appear in a message after it has been sent. This will be corrected in the next release. (bug 9470)

    • To use the plain text compose window, add this line to your preferences file:
    • user_pref("mail.identity.id1.compose_html", false);

    • The cursor does not appear in the message field until you begin typing.

    • The received message does not wrap lines, so you may want to embed hard returns in your messages.

    • Messages may contain either too much vertical white space or not enough.

    • If you are using plain text (instead of HTML) for messages, you may need to press Enter twice at the end of a line to move the cursor to the next line.

    • To use the plain text compose window, add this line to your preference file:

    • user_pref("mail.identity.id1.send_html", false);

      Please note that there are known problems when using certain keys in the plain text compose window, such as the Return or Enter key, or the spacebar. (bug 8315)

M8 International Issues

For updated information on features, fonts, and testing for Internationalization, visit this page.


  • If you have used an earlier version of Mozilla 5.0, we recommend that you delete the file called mozregistry.dat (Win) or registry (Unix/Mac) before you run M8 apprunner. (Don't delete Netscape Registry file for Mac, which is for Communicator 4.x.)  This will avoid unnecessary problems/crashes in some cases. Read the section in the Release Notes called Files Used or Created to find out where you can find these files.

  • Also read the Installation instructions for your platform carefully in this Release Notes.

  • When you start M8 after having deleted mozregistry.dat or registry, you will be asked to create a new profile. If you name an existing profile, that profile will be used. Otherwise "Default" profile will be created. If this latter happens, you can replace the prefs50.js file in the Default folder with the one from an existing profile directory.
  • If you want to report international bugs, use the Bugzilla. If you have a question, post a news article to:


  • New M8 converter(s): M8 additions are marked in red in the list appended below. (Note: Not all are shown in the Character Set menu but they can be enabled by simple modification of appropriate .xul files. See below the item named View | Character Set menu for details on how to modify these files.)

    • Unix charset testing:  As mentioned in the M7 Release Notes, the display for the supported charsets except Armenian, Thai, and Vietnamese should be working now.  We would like users to look at various Unix charsets and file a bug if a problem is found. The list of the supported charsets at M8 can be found below. Please download the Unix binary and check out our support for these character sets. (Note: You need appropriate fonts to display these languages -- pcf.gz format on Linux. Visit this site for ISO and Cyrillic BDF fonts, and this site for multi-byte language fonts. For converting from BDF to PCF format fonts, use bdftopcf utility.)

  • Charset Auto-detection modules are in: Though not hooked up to UI yet, several charset detection modules have been checked into the code. Unit testing can be done via a utility called "Detectch.exe" found in the same directory as the "apprunner.exe" file. Read the usage instruction here.

  • Mac: ISO-8859-13: There seem to be some mapping errors when appropriate glyphs are not available. Using Central European fonts work except for glyphs for 0xCA, 0xCB, 0xD1, 0xDA, and 0xDD. This problem is under investigation. See Bug 9165.

  • On Mac: At M6, multi-font rendering code was re-written to improve on display performance. We are still evaluating this code for M8 and we would like people to continue to evaluate performance for this feature, particularly performance/speed issues in loading. If you find performance problems, please file a bug.

  • View | Character Set menu:  You can switch to different Character coding upon encountering a page which does not have a  meta charset tag. You will not see a checkmark next to the menu item yet, however.

    • The list is currently too long and unwieldy -- overall charset menu specs are under consideration.

      • On Unix, there is no scrollable menu yet in GTK. Thus the Character set menu items may not be all visible if your monitor screen size is 17 or 15 inches. For those people, we would like to offer temporary workaround with reorganized menus.  These modifications on navigator.xul,mailshell.xul, and msgcompose.xul can be found here.  They have been tested to work on a 15-inch monitor screen. Please use the ".txt" files which contain just the International menu modifications for each of the .xul files. The .xul files there were from the 5/21/99 Linux build and posted simply as an example of how the whole thing looks. (Cf. this image.) Do not use these files with the build you downloaded - just consult them for your own modification.

      • You can edit these files yourself to suit your needs using what you find at the above site as an example. Look for a section which begins: <menu name="Default Character Set"> or  <menu name="Character Set"> and place the Character set items you want to the top of the list. You will find the 3 files to modify in the locations below:

        • Starting at where the apprunner binary is located: ../res/samples/navigator.xul
        • Starting at where the apprunner binary is located: ../res/mailnews/messenger/mailshell.xul

        • Starting at where the apprunner binary is located: ../res/mailnews/compose/msgcompose.xul

    • On some NT4 machines, reloading may not work. This problem will be addressed when the new NetLib code becomes available.  As workarounds:

      • If you have one of these machines, switch the View | Character Set menu before you go to the next site. Hopefully you know ahead of time what charset the page is using. Another workaround is to delete all the files except the fat.db file in the cache directory which is in the same directory as the apprunner program. If you experience the same problem of not being able to reload, add your comments to Bug 5665.

    • On Mac: Pages with multiple-frame and other special conditions may not finish loading easily. Under such a condition, changing a charset menu selection may not reload the pages under a new encoding. If you encounter this problem, click on the Reload button or click into the location bar and hit the "Enter" key. This should complete the loading process and then you can switch to another encoding using the View | Character Set menu. See Bug 9715 for details.


  • Input Method clause support has been checked in: This fixes several IME-related bugs. See this news article for announcement.

  • It would be very helpful to us if users can look at commercial CJK IMEs and how they work with the current 5.0 IME support. File a bug if you find any problems.

  • What has been enabled up to M8: (Still awaiting the new Ender/Editor enablement.)

    • CJK IMEs on Windows and Mac.

    • Keyboard support for many one-byte languages on Windows: Please file a bug if you find a problem in your language or keyboard.

    • Keyboard support for many one-byte languages on Mac: Roman Australian,  Brazilian, British, Canadian-CSA, Canadian-ISO, Canadian-French, Dutch, dv-Dvorak, dq-Dvorak-Qwerty, Finnish, Flemish, French, French-numerical, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, Spanish-ISO, Swedish, Swiss French, Swiss German, Cyrillic Bulgarian, Cyrillic-Qwerty, Russian, Ukrainian.


  • Entities localization framework has been explicitly defined: To extract .XUL entities into DTD files for localization, read this document first.

    • XUL/XML/RDF files assume the default charset to be in UTF-8. If you change UI strings to your favorite language, they should show OK as long as the localized files use UTF-8 charset. (You can change menus to Japanese, for example, in res/samples/navigator.xul file using the method suggested above and then convert the DTD file to UTF-8.) The menu items generally cannot be in languages your system does not support, e.g.  no Japanese menu for US Windows is possible at the moment.

    • DTD/XML encoding definition is not supported yet. We assume UTF-8 as default. Bug 4431.

    • UTF-8 conversion utility: Use convenient converter utilities such as "uniconv" (for Windows and Unix) or "native2ascii" utility included in the latest JDK.

  • String Resource/Bundle Fallback mechanism: Basic fallback for choosing locale-specific string resource files have been checked in. A self-test unit is available in "Stringbu.exe" program found in the same directory where the "apprunner.exe" is located. See Bug 8188 for details on how to use the test program.

Mail/News (Testing done on Windows only):

  • Preferences file: prefs50.js

    • Important: Though this may not be documented elsewhere, if you want to display mail messages on Windows platforms, you must have an existing directory called "C:\Temp". It must be this exact name - "C:\Tmp", for example, will not do -  and it must exist on the C drive. If the directory with this name does not exist on your C drive, create one yourself because Mozilla at present cannot display a message unless it can create a temporary file in this directory. This requirement will go away once the new Netlib (Necko) gets incorporated into the source later.

    • Mail (POP & IMAP) and News viewing does not work unless you have a correct prefs50.js file in the correct location for your platform. Read this page and set up the correct preferences before you do any mail testing. For the location of the prefs50.js file, read the installation instructions for your platform on this page - see above.

    • In addition to the general preferences items, international users should also add the following 3 lines to the prefs50.js. The first controls HTML/Plain Text mail option (note the new method in M8), the second and the third are musts for sending out properly MIME-encoded mail body and headers, respectively. If you want to send HTML mail, set the first option's value to "true". For M7, our default is Plain Text since HTML mail has problems for some languages, e.g. Japanese.  HTML mail is working well for Latin 1 and probably other languages supported in the Character Set menu for Mail Composer.  Here are the relevant prefs50.js settings.

      • user_pref("mail.identity.idX.compose_html", false);

        • ... where "X" in 'idX' should be replaced by a number which corresponds to your account identities number, e.g. id0, id1, etc.

        • The above is for Plain Text mail send. For HTML, change the value to "true".

        • Prior to M8, this was controlled by:  user_pref("mail.identity.idX.send_html", false);

      • user_pref("mail.strictly_mime", true);

      • user_pref("mail.strictly_mime_headers", true);      //No need to set this line unless you want a false value.

    • If the POP Mail directory designated in your prefs50.js file contains no existing folder (i.e. new), the first time you select the folder, a new Inbox folder will be created. You may not see this Inbox folder until you quit Messenger and re-start it.

    • The POP option is for leaving mail behind on the server after the messages have been downloaded. We recommend that you use a test mail account for this purpose rather than using your regular mail account.

  • Japanese attachments auto-detection improved for M8: A new Japanese auto-detection module has been checked in, which should improve detection rate. There is no need to set Character Set menu for Japanese file attachments. Auto-detection will display them correctly. Display of non-ASCII attachment names is working. It now also works for  the name used in the link.

  • View | Character Set menu and thread pane reloading:

    • The menu change now causes the thread pane to reload properly. This makes it possible to display non-MIME-encoded headers which don't match the current Character Set menu setting.  Headers in the message viewing window still have a problem of displaying non-MIME-encoded headers.

  • IMAP Latin 1 folder name: now displays OK. Multi-byte folder names (e.g. CJK) don't work yet.

  • International Sorting in Thread pane headers:  doesn't work perfectly yet. There are some known problems. For example, 8-bit characters are all bunched at the end -- see Bug 8455. Sorting should be done according to the sort default for the language of your operating system. Date/Time sorting is currently done alphabetically and will not be all that accurate.

  • International Date/Time format:  This has been turned off until M9. See Bug 9229.

  • Multi-lingual mail viewing: This is working on all platforms.

    • Multilingual viewing is working on IMAP, POP3 and NNTP servers as long as the messages contain properly MIME-encoded headers and body with correct charset parameters.

    • View | Character Set menu is currently not working to override wrong MIME charset label, or view msgs which have no MIME charset (except for Latin 1) specified.

    • If you have a multilingual font or several fonts which together cover the Unicode ranges (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, Korean fonts + Pan-European fonts), we use them in displaying mail messages and headers for all the languages we support. We pay attention to the charset parameter in the Content-Type header and switch to an appropriate font. The Character Set menu is not needed to switch to different language views unless the message you're viewing is incorrectly labeled. If you would like a basic mono-weight multi-lingual font, you can get Bitstream Cyberbit font 2.0 here.

    • Attachments should be viewable if they are of the same charset as the main body of the mail. Other charsets are not supported yet except for Japanese messages with Japanese attachments.

  • View | Character Set menu for New Mail Compose window is working for sending mail for many additional languages. Switch to the charset you want to compose a message in and then compose the message.  You will not see a checkmark next to the menu item yet, however.

  • Message Send Status summary for Latin 1 and Japanese: No indicates that the functionality is not working well.

  • Message send feature
    Latin 1 (ISO-8859-1)
    Japanese (iso-2022-jp)
    Header (subject, address)
    No (Awaiting new Ender widget)
    Body - HTML
    Yes (HTML entities are used for 8-bit characters)
    No (Awaiting new Ender widget)
    Body - plain
    Reply/forward header
    No (Awaiting new Ender widget)
    Reply/forward body html
    No (quotes accented characters wrong)
    Reply/forward body plain
    No (quotes accented characters wrong)
    Send Attachment(s)
    No (no UI)
    No (no UI)
    Copy/paste into headers and body
    Yes (accented characters copy OK)
    No (for both headers and body)
    • Composing Latin 1 Mail:

      • Copying/pasting accented characters into the headers and  body works

      • Keyboard input into headers (e.g. subject) also works for accented characters. Using the English keyboard for Latin 1 high-bit input, ALTGr + 0+Number Keypad method works, e.g. Right ALT key + 0232.

      • Make sure to switch the View | Character Set  to your chosen Character set name before you send out a message.

      • Basic MIME compliance is there: Header Q encoding, and Body QP encoding for accented characters.

    • Compsoing Japanese mail: works only in Plain text. HTML mail body disappears upon "send".

      • Basic Japanese input works for body. Japanese input/copying into Subject header does not work yet, however. We are awaiting the arrival of new Ender/Editor widgets for this feature.

      • Mail goes out in ISO-2022-JP.  Header is B-encoded. (The Kanji-in escape sequence is now correct -- that of JISX0208-1990/83. )

      • Make sure to switch the View | Character Set  to Japanese (ISO-2022-JP) before you send out a message.

    • Sending other charset mail -- is enabled. Please try out these new charsets! For example, Central European, Cyrillic, Greek, UTF-8, etc.

      • Though the mail text body can sense what keyboard you have selected and will switch font accordingly, there may be mapping bugs with some international keyboards.  Copy/paste may work better. If you find a bug with your charset/language, please file it here.

    • Reply/Forward: is working for ASCII but there are some non-ASCII display bugs in the new mail composer. You may not always see the characters displayed properly in  your language in Mail Composer though mail generally gets sent out correctly. See Bug 5492 and Bug 3979.

  • Viewing News: is working. We have done some  international testing on this. In principle, multilingual news articles viewing should work if they have correct MIME charsets indicated in the articles. Be warned, however, that newsgroups postings are not always MIME-compliant and this could defeat our charset honoring mechanism.

Mail/News (for Mac and Linux)

  • We don't currently test these platforms for international features. Though we cannot vouch for accuracy, many of our Windows features should be available on these platforms also.  Linux mail is somewhat behind Windows and Mac, however.

Features that are not supported in M8:

  • No CJK IME support on Linux.

  • No Japanese Auto-Detect in browsing -- module is checked in but not hooked up to the Browser yet.

  • No posting non-ASCII forms data.

  • No CJK printing on Linux.

  • HTTP charset won't be handled -- until new NetLib (Necko) is integrated.

List of Charset Converters available at M8: New additions in red.


  • Western (ISO-8859-1, Windows-1252, MacRoman), Central European  (ISO-8859-2, Windows-1250, MacCE), South European/Esperanto/Maltese (ISO-8859-3), Baltic/North European (ISO-8859-4, Windows-1257), Baltic/North European (ISO-8859-13), Cyrillic (ISO-8859-5, Windows-1251, KOI8-R,  ISO-IR-111 aka ECMA-Cyrillic, MacCyrillic, CP-866), Arabic (ISO-8859-6, Windows-1256) - (not in spec, might be removed from commercial build later) , Greek (ISO-8859-7, Windows-1253, MacGreek), Hebrew (ISO-8859-8 aka Windows-1255) - (not in spec, might be removed from commercial build later), Turkish (ISO-8859-9 aka Latin5, Windows-1254, MacTurkish), Nordic/North European (ISO-8859-10 aka Latin6), Celtic (ISO-8859-14), Western (ISO-8859-15), Armenian (ARMISCII-8), Thai (TIS-620 aka Windows-874), Ukrainian (KOI8-U, MacUkrainian), Vietnamese (VISCII, Windows-1258, VIET-VPS, VIET-TCVN5712), other Mac encodings (MacCroatian, MacIcelandic, MacRomanian).


  • Japanese (Shift_JIS, EUC-JP), Traditional Chinese (Big5, EUC-TW), Simplified Chinese (GB2312), Unicode (UTF-8, UCS-2, UCS-4), Korean (EUC-KR), Western (T.61-8bit) - support this for LDAP v2 and X.500.


  • Japanese (ISO-2022-JP), Unicode (UTF-7, IMAP4-modified-UTF7- Needed for IMAP folder names)