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Mozilla Milestone 0.9.1 Browser-Suite Sneak Preview

Mike Angelo -- 7 June 2001 (c)

Webmaster´s Note: Mozilla Milestone 0.9.1 was released June 7, 2001. Please see our story, Mozilla Milestone 0.9.1 Browser-Suite Released, for download links and the details.

The Mozilla Organization has not yet released the Milestone Mozilla 0.9.1 edition of its Mozilla browser-suite, which now is overdue. However, Mozilla 0.9.1 test (branch) builds are available for the Linux, Macintosh, and Microsoft Windows Operating systems (OSs) on the Mozilla Organization's FTP server now. (Links below.)

Additionally there will be final Mozilla 0.9.1 release builds for BSD,OS/2, Sun, and several UNIX platforms. Source code will be available if you want to custom compile your own Mozilla Milestone 0.9 build.

Mozilla 1.0 (expected in October) will be the first general release of the Mozilla cross-platform and open source browser-suite and applications programming framework. For more information about that please see Mozilla Roadmap Plan Changed Again -- Mozilla 1.0 Set Back to Q4 2001.

Mostly, the changes in this pre-1.0 edition of the Mozilla browser-suite are behind-the-scenes improvements in performance and stability.

The most noticeable change is an overhaul of the Mozilla Modern skin. It has new widgets and icons. The remodeled Modern Mozilla theme has a warmer and friendlier tone. It´s the best remake of the Modern Mozilla skin yet. The status bar for both the Classic and Modern skins has been re-modeled too. (Please see Figure 1 below.)

There are also lots of bug fixes in Mozilla 0.9.1. However, there still are many unfixed bugs in Mozilla too. Please see the bugs list in the right-hand sidebar on the MozillaQuest front page (mozillaquest.com) for the regularly updated Mozilla bugs count.

Some new, visible, features previously added for March's Mozilla 0.8.1 edition are a hierarchical history, a routine to un-install themes, and some Gopher support. There also are lots of changes to ChatZilla, the Mozilla-based chat client in that release. For more information about the features added or improved in the Mozilla .0.8.1 browser-suite Milestone, please see Lizard On The Move: Mozilla Milestone 0.8.1 Browser-Suite Released.

There has been lots of rewriting too. For example the image library was rewritten for Mozilla 0.9. The disk cache subsystem was rewritten also. The level-1 cache rewrite was included in Mozilla 0.9, and the level-2 cache rewrite is in Mozilla 0.9.1. For more information about what's new and improved in 0.9, please see our article, The Snail Moves: Mozilla Milestone 0.9 Browser-Suite Released.

Figure 1. Mozilla Milestone 0.9.1's Modern theme remake.

In May, the Mozilla Organization changed its development-tree diagram to push a projected Mozilla 1.0 release back to October 2001 or later. That tree diagram anticipates at least four, 0.9.x Milestone releases before there is a Mozilla 1.0 release.

For more information about the Roadmap revisions, please see Mozilla Roadmap Plan Changed Again -- Mozilla 1.0 Set Back to Q4 2001.

The new Netscape 6 browser-suite is based upon the cross-platform Mozilla browser-suite. AOL/Time-Warner's Netscape division released its Netscape 6.01 browser-suite minor upgrade 8 February 2001. There also appears to be a NS 6.5 beta afoot.

Note: If the AOL-Time-Warner Netscape Division follows its Netscape 6 beta nomenclature you might see Netscape 6.5 beta-1 named Netscape 6.5 Preview Release 1 (NS 6.5 PR1) or something such as that rather than Netscape 6.5 beta-1. However, the Netscape 6 Preview Releases were heavily criticized. Netscape 6.0/6.01 has been heavily criticized also. So, do not be surprised if the Netscape Division tries to keep the NS 6.5 betas under wraps. It seems the Netscape Division's damage control strategy is to play ostrich and to go underground rather than to address the damage publicly and head-on.

It appeared that the Mozilla Milestone 0.9.1 branch was also to have served as the branch point for the upcoming Netscape 6.5 beta-1, Mozilla-based, browser-suite product. That perhaps had put even more focus and pressure on quality of the Mozilla Milestone 0.9.1 release version. However, it now appears that the AOL-Time-Warner Netscape Division might try to branch its upcoming Netscape 6.5 beta directly off the Mozilla development-tree trunk at a time later than the Milestone 0.9.1 branching. Does this mean that the AOL-Time-Warner Netscape Division does not feel that Mozilla 0.9.1 is good enough to serve as its Netscape 6.5 beta?

"The milestones are intended to be periodic check points for progress on the project, stability of builds, porting status, and are entry points for additional mozilla (sic) contributors to provide testing and engineering help on the project." (Project Sea Monkey, mozilla.org, March 26, 2001)

Nevertheless, pre-Mozilla-1.0 development builds now are pretty much features-complete, stable, and usable. Mozilla development work now is focused on bug squashing, improved stability, and better performance. Browser-wise, we find current Mozilla Milestone releases good enough for regular use. We also find the latest Mozilla Milestones to be better, browser-wise, than Netscape 6.0.

Check the MozillaQuest Magazine front page (mozillaquest.com) to find out when Milestone 0.9.1 is released. Meanwhile, if you cannot resist the temptation to take your own 0.9.1 sneak preview, you can try a 0.9.1 release candidate (links below). We recommend that you install Mozilla 0.9.1 in its own directory, that you do not get rid of your current browser(s), and that you do not set Mozilla 0.9.1 as your default browser -- yet.

Stay Tuned.



The Snail Moves: Mozilla Milestone 0.9 Browser-Suite Released

More Mozilla Roadmap & Development Plan Changes: Mozilla 1.0 Pushed Back to Q3 2001

Mozilla 1.0 Release Pushed Back -- Milestone 0.8.1 Inserted into Development Roadmap Schedule


Lizard On The Move: Mozilla Milestone 0.8.1 Browser-Suite Released

The Lizard Marches On: Mozilla Milestone 0.8 Browser-Suite Released

Mozilla Milestone 0.8 Browser-Suite RPM Builds Released


Composer: The Netscape & Mozilla Graphical HTML Editor & Word Processor

Meet Bugzilla -- Mozilla's Secretary of Bug-Busting & Feature Requests Lizard

Netscape 6.01 Browser-Suite Released

How To Download, Install, & Configure Netscape 6.0 -- Safely!


Mozilla Organization Revises Development Roadmap and Product Release Schedule

MozillaQuest the Series: Building Your Own Mozilla-Based Web Browser

For more information about the Mozilla Organization, the Mozilla applications programming framework, and the Mozilla browser, please see:

Please do not forget to report bugs, problems, or suggestions for enhancements to Bugzilla.

For more information about the Mozilla Roadmap and Milestone Plan, please see:

Mozilla Development Roadmap

Mozilla Milestone Plan

Project Sea Monkey


Copyright 2000, 2001 -- MozillaQuest -- Brodheadsville, Pa..USA -- All Rights Reserved


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