Transcript

Mozilla's Firefox and Thunderbird

Marcia Knous
Co-Author, "Firefox and Thunderbird Garage"
Tuesday, May 3, 2005; 11:00 AM

Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Outlook programs dominate the world market for Web browsers and e-mail clients, respectively. But two programs developed by the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation are winning more and more users -- the Firefox Web browser and the Thunderbird e-mail client.

Marcia Knous , a Mozilla project manager and co-author of " Firefox and Thunderbird Garage" (Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference, $24.99), was online to answer users questions about the applications and to talk about her book.

A transcript is below:

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washingtonpost.com: Thanks for joining us today to talk about Thunderbird and Firefox. These two programs are being widely adopted by Internet users around the world. Just this past week, Mozilla announced that Firefox has been downloaded 50 million times. Before we get started with readers' questions, could you tell us why you think Mozilla's e-mail and Web browser applications are so popular?

Marcia Knous: I think Firefox and Thunderbird are so popular for several reasons. First, many users have come to Firefox because they have had problems using IE. Surveys of AOL and Earthlink users indicated a large number of users were infected by spyware, and because FF does not use Active X, it is not vulnerable to these kinds of attacks. And once users have tried Firefox and Thunderbird, they can clearly see the 3 years of innovation behind these products, which has led to great usability improvements and features in Firefox like tabbed browsing, RSS, and the ability to customize both products with extensions and themes.

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Vancouver, BC: Doesn't IE really control the background? Or does Firefox truly run independent?

Marcia Knous: Firefox is an independent program that you install on your computer. One great advantage of Firefox is the fact it will warn you with dialog boxes before you install any software on your computer.

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Wheaton, Ill.: Where does one go to find features of the browser not readily apparent to first time users?

Marcia Knous: Great question! One reference is the Firefox and Thunderbird Garage book which I co-authored, which contains lots of information that can help new users learns the ins and out of some of the great features in Firefox and Thunderbird. There is also a lot of help available on the web - there are some great tutorials that will walk you through all of the features. If you are interested in security and privacy, my book does do a thorough job of discussing ways that you can better protect yourself by configuring settings in both Firefox and Thunderbird.

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St. Paul, Minnesota: Is there remote web access to Thunderbird similar to yahoo or hotmail? Or does it just replace outlook or outlook express on my computer.

Marcia Knous: Thunderbird is not a webmail client, it is a standalone email application like Outlook. If you use POP, there are ways to manage your yahoo and hotmail accounts using Thunderbird. In the book, we go into more detail about this.

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Bethesda, MD: Does Thunderbird support multiple ISP accounts?

Marcia Knous: Yes, Thunderbird has the ability to support multiple ISP accounts

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Queens, NY: I use and love Firefox, however, I seem to enocunter one problem: I have a lot of bookmarked pages and lots of them sometimes open spontaneously. I can suddenly have dozen of unwanted tabs opening. Is this a bug?

Marcia Knous: Check to see if you have your home page opening in tabs, that sounds as if it might be the problem. If that is not the case, would need more details to determine what the problem is.

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Columbia, MD: I have been using both Firefox and Thunderbird for some time now and really love them both. I have the popup blocker installed and it appears to work most of the time, but I seem to get at least one popup when I initialize it each day. Is this normal or do I need to tweak it more?

Marcia Knous: There may be some sites that are trying to subvert our popup blocking, but at this point there is nothing that you really need to tweak.

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Baltmore MD: Hello, I have a Mac and I use Camino, can I use Thunderbird for my mail? How do I set that up using Gmail? Thanks

Marcia Knous: yes, you can use Thunderbird. Go to the MozillaZine forums (www.mozillazine.org) to see how to use GMail with Thunderbird.

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Washington, D.C.: I made the switch from IE to Firefox over a year ago. I love the features and security. However, I was somewhat distressed by a recent article that claims that, over the last 6 months, Firefox has had more security vulnerabilities than IE.

Can FireFox stay on top of security as it gains more and more popularity?

Marcia Knous: We haven't seen any evidence that shows Firefox being targeted because of its popularity. We're staying ahead of the game by fixing vulnerabilities, not waiting until they become a problem for our users.

Our goal is to continually improve the Internet experience for our users, including resolving security vulnerabilities, in addition to regularly improving Firefox's usability and features, such as the recent beta Pop-up ad blocker extension.

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Staunton, Va.: Hey, I just got Firefox and Thunderbird and I thought the whole point was that it should spread slowly and quietly to avoid the IE problems. Aren't discussions like this going to shine the light on FF and TB and possibly ruin the whole thing?

But seriously, I have a question. I've marked a bunch of e-mails as "Junk" but nothing happens except that they come through saying junk. I thought it was going to send them to the trash. Do I need to hit another setting, too?

And one more...please. What are the "tabs" and how do I get them to work for me? I thought I was just going to be able to click from one page to another by a series of top-of-the-page tabs, but instead I get separate page icons down in my tray just like IE--am I missing something?

FF is the best otherwise!

Marcia Knous: If you go into Tools | Junk Mail Controls, you can configure Thunderbird so it moves mail determined to be junk directly to a junk folder.

For the tabs, you should be able to just hit File | New Tab or right click on the tab bar to create a new tab. Once you do that you will see them align at the top of the page.

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Wakefield, R.I.: I have been using Opera, and one feature I like about it makes me reluctant to switch to Firefox. That feature is the ability to remember log-ins and passwords for each page that requires them. Opera just requires you to press the Control and Enter key for the page. Does Firefox have a feature like that? Also, are there other keyboard shorcuts in Firefox, like keyboarding a return to the home page?

Last question: Can you important Bookmarks from IE Explorer and Netscape into Firefox?

Thanks

Marcia Knous: My book has a entire section devoted to Keyboard and mouse shortcuts for both Firefox and Thunderbird.

Yes, you can import bookmarks from IE or Netscape into Firefox quite easily. Go to Manage Bookmarks and then go to File | Import bookmarks to accomplish this.

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Reston, VA: Hello and thank you for taking our questions.

I've been using the Firefox browser for over a year at the urging of all my online friends and I adore it. I can't even look at IE anymore! My concern is, in the past couple months I've started getting plagued by the pop-ups I hated IE for. As Mozilla's browser share grows, I guess the spammers&ad servers are catching on.

What is Mozilla doing to face this problem? I really don't want to give up Firefox.

Marcia Knous: If there are issues with popups, they are being addressed. It would be helpful to know which sites you are encountering that have popups.

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Vienna, VA: Is Firefox compatible with Mac OSX/Tiger? If so, what advantages does it have over Safari? I'm a Windows, IE, and Outlook user now (and have been all along) but I intend to make the switch to an iMac in the near future.

Marcia Knous: Yes, Firefox is compatible with the new Mac OS. I would suggest downloading and installing Firefox so you can see all of the great features for yourself, especially RSS and tabbed browsing.

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washingtonpost.com: Knous's book: " Firefox and Thunderbird Garage ," is published by Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference ($24.99). Firefox and Thunderbird are both available for free download at Mozilla.org .

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Ashland, OR: I'm using Mozilla on a Mac (10.3) and would love to know how to EDIT the list of search engines in the search box. The link to "Add Engines" is clear enough, and another link to a tutorial describing how to manage the list would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

-Nick Viani

Marcia Knous: How to remove search engines from the Firefox search box (this tip is for Windows users. Others should be able to find similar files in their program directory):

* Go to C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\searchplugins

* Each search engine has two files; a .src and either a .png or a .gif file. All you have to do is delete the two files for the search engine you wish to remove (for example google.src and google.gif) and restart Firefox.

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Madrid ,Spain: Whenever I attach a file using Hotmail or Yahoo Firefox crashes. Any comment or help you can give?

Marcia Knous: Haven't heard of this specific issue. Again, I would suggest a search in bugzilla (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org) or in the Forums (www.mozillazine.org) to see if other users have encountered this problem.

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Milwaukie, Oregon: Firefox seems to have a problem with its extension installation system. Many installs of many different extensions have failed with an error messsage wheich states the extension won't work with the current version, even though the description says it is. How will FIrefox grow out of this recurring problem?

Marcia Knous: We are currently working on updates to the extension system for our next release. With over 600 extensions for Firefox, we gets lots of feedback, and we know most of the extensions are working.

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Fairlawn, Ohio: I downloaded Firefox, now my computer seems sluggish in web searches. Is this because Firefox is slower or is it that now my hard drive is supporting two browsers?

Sharyn

Marcia Knous: Firefox doesn't slow your system down, it speeds it up! Without seeing your system configuration, it is tough to figure out why this might be happening. I would suggest bringing up the Windows task manager to see which programs might be taking up CPU cycles and memory.

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Chicago, IL: Mozilla's products have now been hit by a virus and Mozilla has updated their products. Nevertheless, I still have a hidden file that's buried itself into Thunderbird's folder which renders Thunderbird inoperable, in spite of repeated attempts with anti-virus and anti-spyware/adware utilities to ferret the hidden file out and treat it.

How does Mozilla Foundation's response compare in timeliness, etc., to Microsoft's, in your estimation?

Marcia Knous: I think our response is very timely. Considering the fact we are an open source project, many people are looking at the code all the time, we are very responsive. Just look at how quickly many of the bugs are fixed!

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Oakland CA: My ISP is Sbc-Yahoo in the case this is an important data point.

My question relates to Thunderbird. I've downloaded several versions and each asks for a password, which I never set up at any time.

Strangely enough, I can and do use as my default email server, Mozilla 1.7.3 and have been getting and sending emails for months.

I just don't get why Thunderbird is so different and keeps presenting this password required dialog box.

thanx!

Marcia Knous: I would suggest contacting your ISP and having them reset your password, and then going into Thunderbird and using the password manager functionality. My other suggestion would be to try the Thunderbird MozillaZine forums (www.mozillazine.org) to see if other users have suggestions as to how to remedy this.

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Tallahassee, FL: Living way out in the country with no sign of cable or DSL for years, we opted for a satelitte interenet connection - Direcway - but their email is soooo lame. Can we use Thunderbird with Direcway? If so, how do we do it?

Thanks!! Lee

Marcia Knous: If Direcway provides POP and IMAP support, you should have no problem using Thunderbird. You just need to get the information for your incoming and outgoing servers, as well as your user name and you can set up your account in Thunderbird.

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Murrieta, CA.: I have lost the ability to add NEW email addresses to my Thunderbird email program?

Billy Parker

Marcia Knous: I haven't heard of any issues with losing the ability to add new email addresses. I would need more information about the version of Thunderbird you are running and how you are adding the contacts in order to answer your question.

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Anonymous: How is the security of individual extensions ensured by Firefox. Does Firefox prevent extentions from executing malicious code?

Marcia Knous: Firefox does throw up a warning dialog that allows you to *not* install the extension if you wish. Also, we recommend that you download individual extensions from update.mozilla.org rather than from other sites.

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Rockville, MD: Time and again, I find myself wanting to find an e-mail that so-and-so sent "sometime in the last three weeks." Though I often remember the sender and the general time of the correspondence, I usually cannot remember any exact words, so a traditional search by keyword is useless. What message search capabilities in Thunderbird might help me since Outlook Express is miserable in this regard.

Marcia Knous: If you are looking for great mail search capabilities, Thunderbird has what you need! We actually devote an entire chapter to discussing all the various ways you can search your mail. For example, you can customize a search in Thunderbird using "age in days" and find mail within a specific time period. I encourage you to download Thunderbird and give it a try - you won't be sorry, as the search capabilities are very robust.

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Arlington, VA: What is your favorite extension for Firefox? I don't know what my life would be like without Adblock or All-in-One Gestures.

Marcia Knous: I like BugMeNot. I think it is cool. There are so many new extensions that have come out since we released the book. Also the Firefox download counter is also neat - it keeps flying along as people keep downloading FF!

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washingtonpost.com: Marcia, could you provide readers with some specific tips on the best way to inform you and other Mozilla developers about problems they're having with Firefox and Thunderbird?

Marcia Knous: Sure. There are a few ways you can report problems. For those intrepid folks that want to actually report a bug, you can go to our bug database http://bugzilla.mozilla.org and there is a tutorial that can walk you through filing a bug. Another good way to report problems is in the forums at www.mozillazine.org. Many of the Foundation people here visit those forums regularly so we are keeping tabs on what is going on.

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Missoula MT: I use Thunderbird as my email system, and want to know if there is a way to make a back up of my messages, with the email format, on a CD. I have tried this with outlook and netscape, and find them very bad. Thanks, Jim Clapp

Marcia Knous: There are a number of ways to backup mail to CD. We actually discuss some of these methods in the book, and www.mozillazine.org also has information about how to do this in Thunderbird.

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washingtonpost.com: Marcia, some users new to Firefox and Thunderbird may not be familiar with the concept of extension programs. Could you tell our readers a bit about what extensions are and where they can get them?

Marcia Knous: Extensions are essentially mini-programs that add extra functionality to Firefox and Thunderbird. An example would be the mozilla calendar, which you could plug in to both FF and TB. It is easy to get extension. In FF you click on Tools | Extensions and it leads you to the extension manager. Clicking on Get More Extensions will lead you to an area where you can pick from hundreds of extensions.

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Washington, DC: What can we expect from FF and TBird in the future? What kind of continued innovative features can we look for in the months and years to come?

Marcia Knous: There are some exciting things on the horizon. For TB, the next version will have inline spell checking and built-in anti-phishing capabilities.

FF has many exciting things planned, including performance improvements and improved graphics support.

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Beltsville, MD: You write that "Firefox doesn't slow your system down, it speeds it up!" This seems to be a rather outright misdirection. I have used IE and FF on the same machine and on certain pages, FF is far slower and eats up more resources, thus slowing other things down. Also, how can it "speed up" my system?

Marcia Knous: Without knowing which web pages you are loading, it is hard to answer this question. Again, depending on the content you are accessing (maybe Active X?) this could make a difference. What i meant to say is that Firefox is fast, it won't speed your system up but it will certainly speed up your browsing experience.

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Potomac Falls, VA: Can Thunderbird synch seamlessly with Palm or blackberry? Also, can Thunderbird accept themes/backgrounds like outlook?

Thanks!

Marcia Knous: Thunderbird currently doesn't have Palm support. But you can download and install a number of different cool themes to give it a different look. I recommend the Mostly Crystal theme since it has very good iconography.

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Falls Church, VA: RE:Wheaton, Ill. - I know you've got a book to promote, but "There is also a lot of help available on the web - there are some great tutorials that will walk you through all of the features." isn't really helpful. Could you provide actual sites/blogs/URLs? Thanks.

Marcia Knous: Here is a good link that should help:

http://users.tns.net/~skingery/firefox/Home_Page.html

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Phoenix, Az.: Please. In Netscape I read the Jerusalem Post. While reading an article, I can go to File and then select Send Page which sends the article. Can I do the same with Firefox? How? Thank you.

Marcia Knous: You can do this using File | Send Link in Firefox.

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Arlington, VA: I have Firefox at home, where my ISP is NetZero (free program). I can't get NetZero to pull up Firefox instead of IE.

Thanks!

Marcia Knous: You should go into Preferences and check to see that Firefox is set as yor default browser.

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Arlington, VA: Will the Mozilla Foundation ever come out with its own OS for the Intel platform?

Marcia Knous: I am not sure about this. You might want to go into the Mozillazine Forums to see if there is a discussion thread on this.

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Reston, VA: Is one of the consequences of offering a cross-platform product that you have to compromise on every platform? For instance, in OS X there is no support many of the Services available under the Application menu. I love that I can use Thunderbird and Firefox on all major platforms but I feel I'm giving up the benefits of native application status. Is this real or preceived on my part?

Marcia Knous: I think you have a valid concern there. One of the issues we are addressing for the next release of FF and TB is making it easy to make FF your default browser. Right now on the Mac you have to go through Safari to do this, and for Thunderbird you actually have to set up a mail.app account. The Mac is a little trickier as a platform and it is my hope we can make some ground in this area.

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Bryans Road, MD: Hello! I have been using Firefox for a while now and love it! I would like to switch to Thunderbird as well, but I am attached to the calendar and scheduling software bundled with MS Outlook. I understand that there is an open-source replacement - Sunbird, maybe? Are you associated with development on this project and if so, do you know the status - whether it is production quality, beta or whatever?

Marcia Knous: yes, there is an open source calendar program that runs as a standalone product or plugs into Thunderbird. Right now it is still in development - go to the product page at http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/ to learn more. There are plans to integrate the calendar into TB in the near future.

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Washington, DC: Love Firefox. My quota of incoming spyware programs has decreased dramatically since I installed the beta last year. One question though, there are certain programs (online radio stations for example) where the Java applet simply won't load "Applet Player notinited" is the message that I'm given. Any suggestions and keep up the good work.

Marcia Knous: Haven't heard of this problem. I will take a look in Bugzilla and see if I can track down what might be going on.

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Laurel, Md: I'm about to upgrade to Tiger, and I would like to install Firefox, cause I have read good things about it. My Credit Union says it only uses Netscape or IE. An Apple store sales rep said that is no problem, that since Firefox is related (my term, he used a techy type phrase) to Netscape, I should be able to access my Credit Union account. Is this true?

Marcia Knous: I would suggest trying Firefox. There is a very good chance it will work with your credit union.

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Los Alamos, NM: I would like to upgrade from IE to either Safari or Firefox, but IE has one overwhelming advantage (for me) that the newer browsers don't -- the Print Preview feature with built-in ability to increase or decrease font size prior to printing. Since Web sites often print unpredictably, especially for someone with poor eyesight who needs larger font size, this feature alone keeps me from switching browsers. Any idea when Firefox will add this feature? I have written Apple about adding it to Safari to no avail.

In the same vein, IE allows you to configure your toolbar with enlarged icons, thus making it a lot easier for a visually impaired person to hit "+" or "-" to adjust screen font. I haven't been able to find that feature in the newer browwsers. Does Firefox have any such "accessibility" features?

Bob H

Marcia Knous: There is accessibility work going on with Firefox. I am not sure about the enlarged icons - there may be an extension that allows this functionality.

I am not sure about the print preview feature, but I can also investigate that.

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Washington, DC: Marica,

I've been using Firefox for the last 3 weeks and I'm hooked 100%... I currently still use Outlook Express like I have for the last 6 years. I have a ton of emails in there I'm saving for archiving reasons, but with Outlook I seem to can't get it to let me archive them and store them say on a CD Rom. Is that possible with Thunderbird and it is easy to migrate my entire Outlook Express into it? Does your book offer tips on how to do this? I really want to remove these emails off my PC and open up some space.

Marcia Knous: Yes, the book does address your questions. You can migrate your settings from Outlook to Thunderbird.

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Austin, TX: Marcia, I saw the book in the store yesterday. It looks really good. Thanks for including my Atlas theme in the book!!!

Marcia Knous: You are welcome. Sorry the picture wasn't in color!

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Kailua Kona, Hawaii: Aloha: After upgrading from Windows 98SE, (where Firefox worked perfectly), to Windows XP, my new installation of Firefox is grossly distorted. The headings look as though they have been typed. Not only that, the drop-downs bring only black squares. Uninstalling and reinstalling Firefox bring same results. What could be the problem, and what is the solution?

Marcia Knous: Sounds like some major corruption going on. I would suggest going to the MozillaZine forums and posting your question there - there may be issues relating to going from Win 98->XP that I am not aware of.

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Oklahoma City, OK: Is there a way to stop the autofill on forms?

Marcia Knous: yes, going into Tools | Options and you can configure your saved form information so it doesn't retain this information.

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Pell City, AL: How can we make the junk mail filter smarter in Thunderbird - it catches very little of the junk although I keep hoping it'll learn as I click the Junk icon. Any hope?

Marcia Knous: You have to train the filter to recognize both good and bad mail. My book goes into some detail about the Baynesian filtering process. Once trained, TB's spam filter does a great job of catching all the bad mail.

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Los Angeles, CA: As Firefox nears the releases of 1.1, 1.5 and eventually 2.0, how important is it to keep the setup file as small as possible (around 4 or 5 MB)?

Marcia Knous: I think it is somewhat important, although as more people are going the broadband route the download time is of less importance. For the people still on dial up, it can be an issue, but we do offer CDs for sale so people can install the software that way if they wish.

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Philadelphia, PA: You said Thunderbird is not compatible with Palm email right now-- are there any plans in the works to make it so?

Marcia Knous: I am not sure of the status of the Palm work right now. Again, there may be information in the forums (www.mozillazine.org) regarding this.

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Hollywood, CA: Your description of the security advantages of Firefox compelled me to download the browser. Though I began reading the question answer session with IE, I'm submitting my question in Firefox. What, if any, are the security advantages of Thunderbird?

Marcia Knous: TB has several security advantages. JavaScript is off by default, so that is one level of protection that you have to keep malicious things away. Second, TB offers a remote image blocking feature which keeps you in control of who can send you content. Both of these features help protect you, but you still need to have a good anti-virus program on hand to really be as safe as possible.

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Ashburn, VA: I've been using Mozilla for almost a year now and I've run into one very annoying problem. Every few months, all my bookmarks will disappear. Any idea what could be causing me to lose all my bookmarks?

Marcia Knous: Not sure about this. One thing I would suggest is periodically making a backup of your bookmarks. One thing I have learned from testing FF is that I have often blown away my profile by accident and then lost everything. It is easy to make a copy of your bookmarks, and it will save you loads of time in the end.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi,

I am user of Firefox, and I have enjoyed your product. However, I am a little disturbed by a recent report from Symantec Corp. entitled "The Internet Security Threat Report". The report suggests that Firefox and other web browsers may have security vulnerabilities that may be exploited by attackers. Does the Mozilla Foundation have any plans to fix these vulnerabilities? If so, how long will it take?

Thank you

Marcia Knous: Our goal is to continually improve the Internet experience for our users, including resolving security vulnerabilities, in addition to regularly improving Firefox's usability and features, such as the recent beta Pop-up ad blocker extension.

Also, our ability to turn around security updates for Firefox is directly attributable to the open source platform. It's a bit counter-intuitive, but fixing the problem in Mozilla browsers is often easier than finding it in the first place. The Mozilla Foundation has hundreds of contributors that are involved in creating and distributing these security updates. Like the Mozilla Foundation, these contributors are passionate about producing the safest and most secure software available.

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Arlington Courthouse, VA: I would like to sync my laptop and desktop bookmark lists. What is the name of the file that holds the books in FF or how can I export those?

Marcia Knous: bookmarks.html is the name of the file.

If you go into Manage bookmarks you should be able to export any bookmarks that you have - under the File | Export option

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Redmond, WA: Thunderbird is great, but I can't sync the address book with my PocketPC (Dell Axim). Any plans to address that?

Marcia Knous: Not sure about this, check the Mozillazine forums (www.mozillazine.org) for an update on the development plans. there is a also a Thunderbird roadmap which will tell you what is being planned for the upcoming releases.

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Arlington, VA: We've been very happy Firefox (and Thunderbird) users for several months.

I just upgraded our home computer from Windows ME to XP. I can't seem to get Firefox to work again. It kinda locks up and doesn't load completely (hanging). I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling several times. Do you have any other ideas? Thanks.

Marcia Knous: Interesting that we are getting a few mentions of problems after upgrading the Windows OS. If you have tried uninstalling several times with no luck, again I would head to the forums at MozillaZine and see what others have to say. I actually spend more time testing on the Mac so I am more familiar with that than Windows.

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washingtonpost.com: Mozilla follows an open-source model. Could you tell readers a bit about how that works -- how many developers are working at Mozilla HQ, and how many are contributing from around the world in their spare time?

Marcia Knous: Mozilla Foundation has a core group of developers that work on our products - this includes people from the Mozilla Foundation as well as individuals employed by other companies. As far as outside developers and contributors, we have thousands of people all over the world that contribute code, testing, and documentation. It is amazing how much time and effort people give to something that they believe in. I always wish I could get all of our contributors in a room to thank them personally for all of their efforts - on the testing side we have have a very active QA community that is very responsive, and helps us chase down and test bugs.

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Washington, D.C.: Perhaps you have addressed this since I just joined this chat, but I cannot launch a saved URL from my bookmarks without having a window already up and running. Is this normal? I have tried to use various key stroke combinations to no avail. I am on a Mac G5.

BTW, I love the site and the Thunderbird e-mail browser. Terrific!

Ed-

Marcia Knous: Hmmm. This doesn't sound right. I will save this chat session and investigate this issue. Luckily, I have a Mac right in front of me!

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DC: I used T-Bird 0.9 for a while but was frustrated that it only allowed one outgoing SMTP server. I'd rather have each of my e-mail accounts use its own outgoing server. Does 1.0.2 allow this?

Marcia Knous: There is a way to configure different SMTP servers. We talk about it in the book. There is a particularly helpful extension that can help in this regard as well - check out by searching the extensions in update.mozilla.org

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Re: Missing bookmarks: Same thing happened to me. One day I booted up and opened up Firefox and they were all gone. I haven't had the time to post to MozillaZine, but I downloaded a nice extension for backing up bookmarks when you exit the Firefox browser.

washingtonpost.com: Marcia, what's the name of the extension this reader is referring to in case others are interested in downloading it?

Marcia Knous: The Bookmark Backup extension. http://www.pikey.me.uk/mozilla/ is the home page, it is also on update.mozilla.org

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Washington, D.C: What languages does Firefox supports. I am from India and when I like to read Indian News papers in different languages other than English.

SN

Marcia Knous: Firefox is localized in many languages. Here is the homepage for localization - http://www.mozilla.org/projects/l10n/ - you can check to see what languages are available.

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Munich, Germany: How long do you think that it will take before professional hackers start focusing their efforts on Mozilla instead of Microsoft, and how can users of Mozilla prepare themselves for it?

Thanks

Marcia Knous: We haven't seen any evidence that shows Firefox being targeted because of its popularity. We're staying ahead of the game by fixing vulnerabilities, not waiting until they become a problem for our users.

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VA, Arlington: Tab Follow up: Hit control + T to get to a new tab i.e. new page, forget the mouse.

Marcia Knous: Guess it depends on whether you like to use the keyboard or like to use the mouse...:)

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Pittsburgh, PA: What kind of advanced customization information for Thunderbird can we look forward to in the book? Any tips for modifying user.js and userChrome.css?

Marcia Knous: Yes, we do muck about in a bit in this area in the appendix, although I think you might find nigel's Firefox Hacks book a better fit if you really want to dive deeply into this area.

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New York: Do you believe any browser will be ever be fully secured in the future? If yes, why? Or if not, why not?

Marcia Knous: As long as there are hackers living and breathing, I don't think so. It seems that it a challenge for them to try to find exploits. But we will always try to stay on top of security and rely on all of the people who look closely at our code.

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washingtonpost.com: More info. on Nigel's Firefox Hacks: http://www.nigelmcfarlane.com/ .

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Arlington, VA: I like the Google toolbar's form fill feature, but last I looked it wasn't available for Firefox. Anyone working with Google to have their toolbar ported to Firefox?

Marcia Knous: Not sure about this. You should go to the Googlebar product page, there is a mechanism there to submit input. They can likely answer your question.

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Washington, DC: Hi Marcia -

I am a total Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird convert! Best move I ever made. While most sites I visit while using Firefox work fine, there are still the occasional sites that are not "up to speed" for the Firefox users. How do you suggest we go about asking them to get with the program? I am specifically thinking about Shockwave.com, which i love to play online games on, but which never seems to work in Firefox, no matter how many plug-ins i install.

Marcia Knous: I would suggest looking into Bugzilla and seeing if there are open bugs on these issues. There are evangelism bugs that are open where we will try to work with the sites to get them to support Firefox. I am not aware of problems with Shockwave but I will certainly look into it.

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Marcia Knous: Okay all, time to sign off! It's been great sharing this chat with all of you. I hope you will continue to use Firefox and Thunderbird and explore all of the great features! If you are interesting in getting my book, it is available online through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Yours in fine browsing and mail.

Marcia

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washingtonpost.com: Thanks Marcia, and thanks everyone for reading and submitting questions.

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