Classilla: Building a secure web browser for Classic Mac OS
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Classilla 9.0: Installation and Release Notes

This version of Classilla is now obsolete and is no longer supported. A more current version of Classilla is now available.


  • Download Classilla 9.0 from Google Code (20.5MB, encoded self-mounting image).

IMPORTANT: This version of Classilla is incomplete. There are known bugs in this version and it is possible you could experience crashes or data loss. You use this software at your own risk. Read this page thoroughly before installing Classilla on your computer.

Classilla is provided to you under the Mozilla Public License.


System Requirements

Classilla requires any Power Macintosh with at least 64MB of RAM (virtual or physical), 50MB of free hard disk space and OS 8.6 or higher. A G3 with 128MB of physical RAM and OS 9.1 is the recommended minimum. (It will run on OS 8.5, but due to various bugs in that release we strongly advise updating to 8.6.)

Classilla is compatible with Apple Virtual Memory and Connectix RAM Doubler 9, but this may cause unpredictable performance problems and is recommended only for those systems with low physical RAM ceilings (such as the PowerBook 1400). You will observe better performance with adequate physical memory and Virtual Memory off, and better still if you use a RAM disk for your cache. You should also make sure you have adequate disk cache in the Memory control panel, as poor disk caching can also slow Classilla down. If you wish to reduce Classilla's memory usage, see below.

Installation

It is recommended that you start with a fresh system and delete previous profiles and versions of WaMCom, Mozilla and Netscape 7 from your Macintosh, as they may conflict with Classilla's proper operation. In addition, there are new recommended default settings that previous profiles will not incorporate and incorrect versions of these settings may cause adverse performance. To clean your system, delete and remove the WaMCom, Mozilla or Netscape folder from your hard disk, then the Mozilla (or Netscape) folder in your hard disk's Documents folder, then the Mozilla Registry (or Netscape Registry) file in your System Folder's Preferences folder, and then empty the Trash. You may also wish to restart your Macintosh and/or rebuild your desktop to complete the process.

If you wish to keep your old bookmarks, you can save the HTML bookmarks file from your profile and replace it after Classilla starts for the first time. You may also decide to keep your mailbox files, although you will need to re-enter your login and server information. Do not keep or alter any other files.

Classilla is provided as an SMI (Self-Mounting Image) file. To open it, use StuffIt Expander or a similar tool to remove the MacBin wrapper, then double click the .smi file. The image will mount to your Desktop as a virtual disk drive. Drag the Classilla folder inside the virtual disk to your Macintosh's Applications directory to copy it, then drag the virtual disk icon on your desktop to the Trash to unmount it. To start Classilla, open the Classilla folder in your Applications folder and double click the Classilla application. Do not delete or move files in the Classilla folder, as they are essential for its operation.

If you have no profiles (which will be the case if you followed the instructions above), a new default one will be created for you with default settings and bookmarks, and Classilla will try to connect to the default Classilla Start Page. If this occurs successfully, your installation is complete.

Otherwise, if you have an existing WaMCom or Mozilla profile and have decided to preserve it anyway, Classilla will attempt to use it. You should make sure that it acts correctly and that your settings were preserved, and read Known Problems below to determine what settings, if any, need to be changed.

If you are attempting to remove a profile (or your old profile), or add a new one for another user, you can access profiles when Classilla has started up by going to Tools > Manage Profiles.

If you require more memory for other applications, you can reduce Classilla's preferred memory allocation using the Get Info window in the Finder but you should not set it lower than the stated minimum or you may make the application more likely to crash. However, this forces Classilla to rely more heavily on your hard disk and this may adversely affect performance.

If you experience problems, report it with the Classilla Report-A-Bug system. Please do not file issues on Google Code; a triage reviewer will do that for you if needed.

Known Problems (Major)

There are multiple known issues in this release of Classilla. Although it's never anyone's intent to release incomplete software, Classilla 9.0 was placed on fast-track due to the loss of WaMCom's availability and some of these issues could not be repaired by the self-imposed July 1st deadline. The most important problems are listed below, all of which are known to affect WaMCom as well. If you experience problems, report it with the Classilla Report-A-Bug system. Please do not file issues on Google Code; a triage reviewer will do that for you if needed.

  • There are several low-level system bugs in Classilla's/WaMCom's JavaScript, the most serious of which may leak data, allow pages to escalate privilege, or cause the browser to crash or quit unexpectedly. Although Classilla repairs many of these bugs, many others remain. Classilla now adds a simplified version of NoScript to help prevent these bugs from triggering with casual browsing, but just the same, you should only place sites in your white list that you trust and appear to function correctly. If Classilla crashes, please note the URL for our bug report site, then save all documents, close all applications and restart your Macintosh. Report the bug when you resume your browsing session. Please note that many sites will not function fully with JavaScript disabled.

    NoScript, by default, disables JavaScript completely for all sites except those you white-list. You can access the white-list by clicking the S icon at the bottom right of the window, and enter hostnames for sites you trust. If you choose to disable NoScript and use JavaScript on all sites, you may check the global JavaScript option but because of the known security issues is at your own risk.

  • There are several low-level layout bugs in Classilla and WaMCom. Although Classilla repairs many of these bugs, many others remain. Some of these bugs may make it difficult to navigate certain sites with complex styles or layouts. If you are unable to view content on a page regardless of whether JavaScript is enabled or not, Classilla now includes a de-styling option which may allow the site to be sufficiently navigable even though its design will be significantly altered. To de-style a troublesome page, go to View > Use Style and select None, and the page will reload with CSS styles disabled. Report the bug at your earliest convenience. Use Style > None will persist until you re-enable style sheets, even if you navigate to a different site.

  • Installing extensions is not supported in this version of Classilla. This is by design due to multiple compatibility issues.

  • Type-ahead-find does not respond on all pages. The Find dialogue (Command-F) works more reliably.

  • HTTP/1.1 Keep-Alive offers higher network performance but does not work on all sites and some will respond with Bad Request errors. This is a point of ongoing investigation. For this reason, Keep-Alive is set to off by default in this version of Classilla. If you wish to use the higher performance setting, which works on the majority of servers, you may enable it under Preferences, Advanced. If you experience inexplicable server errors, make sure that Keep-Alive is turned off. Some proxies may also require it to be disabled.

  • Scroll arrows do not become enabled on combo boxes that are longer than the box is tall. To work around this problem, click once in the box and use the arrow keys to scroll, using Shift-click to highlight multiple options. You can also scroll the box using the scroll wheel with a compatible mouse driver or USB Overdrive.

  • Support for mice with scroll wheels is incomplete.

  • Java-based applications may not behave correctly or start properly on classic Mac OS systems due to the obsolete Java Runtime Environments available for these operating systems. There is no known alternative. It is strongly advised that you not run Java applets or applications on the classic Mac OS due to multiple known security and stability problems. Classilla now defaults Java to off, and provides a warning in the preferences dialogue.

New Features

The following new features are introduced in this release of Classilla.

  • New branding and URLs.
  • Classilla-specific preference dialogues.
  • Simplified NoScript added and integrated into Classilla. It will be additionally expanded in future versions. (Support for XPCNativeWrapper, which is required for NoScript to function, was also added to this version of Classilla.)
  • Revised default profile settings.
  • Optimizations enabled, improving render speed (in some cases significantly).

Issues Repaired (Major)

The following major issues were repaired in this release of Classilla. Relevant Bugzilla numbers are cited where applicable.

  • It is now possible to scroll all the way to the left with certain complex layouts that are too wide for the screen (185411).
  • Page styling can now be completely disabled (32372 plus custom code).
  • Double vertical scroll bars should not appear now (234851).
  • Windows now open clear of the menu bar instead of under it in virgin profiles.
  • Repaired gopher protocol to properly show info lines, plus full folder titles even with invalid UTF-8 sequences (mostly MacRoman encoding that fails conversion).
  • Root SSL certificates are now up to date with the current Mozilla set (from Mozilla 1.9, with patches).
  • zlib has been updated to 1.2.3 (with modifications for the classic Mac OS) and libpng to 1.2.37, incorporating multiple security fixes for both.
  • Default memory allocations tuned up, improving stability.

Complete Patch List

The following Mozilla patches were applied, or modified for application, to this release of Classilla. Relevant Bugzilla numbers are cited where applicable. Due to technical differences between Clecko and Gecko, the scope of these changes may be different from that originally intended, and some patches required extensive modification for Classilla/Clecko.

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