Fennec Pre-Alpha for Windows Mobile, a Milestone Release by Mozilla
Article by George Norman
On 11 Feb 2009
Fennec, the smartphone version of Firefox, has just recently reached what its developers call a “Milestone Release” in its struggle to make it to Windows Mobile powered devices. This is great news for smartphone users, especially if you consider that Google has recently put out Google Sync, which lets you synchronize Google Calendars and Gmail contacts between your mobile device and your desktop computer.

Brad Lassey explains: “This release is pre-Alpha, and intended to get the product into the hands of early adopters in order to get feed back and bug reports. In order to focus our efforts on getting this release out, we have targeted only one device, the HTC Touch Pro. This has a number of user interface implications, including graphics designed for a 300 dpi screen, control layout intended for a VGA screen and reliance on a hardware keyboard for text input.”

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The thing that you should keep in mind is the fact that this is a pre-Alpha release, with the emphasis in “pre” and “Alpha”. Prepare to encounter errors and bugs, do not expect it to run 100% smoothly. As a matter of fact, Brad Lassey himself acknowledged the fact that the development team had to work hastily to get this release out:

“Our focus to this point has been to have a working, usable browser. To get there in a hurry we have punted in a few places, and I’d like to point a couple of them out. First is the update mechanism (both for the browser itself and for extensions). After installing this release, you will not be offered updates automatically, so please stay tuned for follow up releases. Also, we have disabled plug-in support. This is one of our high priority items going forward. Finally, as I mentioned before, there is no soft keyboard support. On an HTC Touch Pro, you’ll have to slide out the keyboard to enter a URL.”



Tags: Mozilla, Fennec
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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