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June 31, 2001
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Bugs Delay Mozilla 0.9.3 Branching and Release Schedule

Mike Angelo -- 31 July 2001 (c)

Webmaster´s Note: Mozilla Milestone 0.9.3 was released August 3, 2001. Please see our story, Mozilla Milestone 0.9.3 Browser-Suite Released, for download links and the details.

Mozilla 0.9.3 was scheduled to have been branched last Friday (25 July 2001) and to have been released yesterday. However, at publication time Mozilla 0.9.3 has neither been branched nor released. That's not surprising considering how buggy Mozilla is at this time

The June, Mozilla Organization's Mozilla Development Roadmap document shows that Mozilla 0.9.3 was scheduled for release on 30 July 2001 (please see Table 1). If the Mozilla developers work to fix all, or even close to all, the bugs targeted to Mozilla 0.9.3 before releasing it, it could take some time. However, if the Mozilla developers follow past practices, they will fix only some of these bugs. Then they will merely sweep the rest under the carpet, so to speak, by re-assigning the remaining bugs to other targets in order to try to maintain schedule.

Some such sweeping bugs under the carpet already might have occurred. On 24 July at 09:49 EDT there were 710 bugs targeted to Mozilla 0.9.3 and 261 bugs targeted to 0.9.4. Then miraculously on 25 July at 05:25 EDT, the number of bugs targeted to Mozilla 0.9.3 suddenly shrunk by 449 to 261 bugs. Meanwhile just as suddenly, the number of bugs targeted to 0.9.4 leaped by 531 bugs up to 792 bugs.

Table 1. Mozilla Development Roadmap: June Revision

Milestone

Start

Freeze

Branch

Ideal Release

Actual Release

Mozilla 0.9.2

31-May-2001

20-Jun-2001

22-Jun-2001

25-Jun-2001

?

(Excerpted from Mozilla Development Roadmap, 11 June 2001 revision, The Mozilla Organization. Link in Resources section at end of this article.

  • Blocker - Blocks development and/or testing work.
  • Critical - Crashes, loss of data, severe memory leak.
  • Major - Major loss of function.
  • Normal - This is the run of the mill bug.
  • Minor - Minor loss of function, or other problem where an easy workaround is present.
  • Trivial - Cosmetic problem like misspelled words or misaligned text.
  • Enhancement - Request for enhancement.

From Help Using The Bugzilla Query Form. Link in Resouces section,

As we "go to press" with this story, there are some 152 assigned, new, or reopened bugs targeted to Mozilla 0.9.3. Four of these bugs are listed as blockers, sixteen as critical, thirty-five as major, eighty-nine normal, five minor, and three as enhancement

In addition to the 152 bugs targeted to Mozilla Milestone 0.9.3, there were some 1,072 bugs targeted to 0.9.4, 47 bugs targeted to 0.9.5 and 1,696 bugs targeted to Mozilla 1.0 earlier today. That's a total of 2,967 bugs targeted to these four, work-in-progress, Mozilla releases

Incidentally, at publication time there are some 4,750 bugs targeted to Future Mozilla releases. All those bugs are in what will be Mozilla 9.3.

Of course some of these bugs are requests for enhancements or are trivial bugs. Moreover some of the more serious bugs, although serious, might occur only in rare circumstances.

The point here is that even though there might be lots of bugs in a program, they might not be very noticeable. Of course the fewer the bugs, the better.

The ultimate success or failure of a program is measured by user acceptance. If the overall user experience is a good one and the bugs do not interfere with the user experience, then even somewhat buggy software can be useful and usable.

Despite all the many bugs in Mozilla, the overall user experience generally is a good one. Mozilla is usable.

Nevertheless, that is no excuse to produce buggy software. And right now, Mozilla is very buggy software.

Webmaster´s Note: It appears some sweeping bugs under the carpet already has occurred today. Since this story was written and in the time span of a few meager hours or less, the bugs targeted to Mozilla 0.9.3 decreased by 93 bugs from 152 bugs to 59 bugs. Meanwhile, the number of bugs targeted to 0.9.4 increased from 1072 bugs by 78 bugs up to 1150 bugs. Taking the three 0.9.X Milestones together with Mozilla 1.0, after the Mozilla developers played their latest round of musical bug shuffling, there is a net gain of five bugs -- up from 2,967 bugs to 2,972 bugs.
Even the rather conservative bug counting practices we use to track the Mozilla bugs yield high bug counts in Mozilla (nearly 3,000 bugs). That bug count tallies only new, re-opened, and assigned bugs targeted to the 0.9.x Milestone builds and Mozilla 1.0. It does not include the 4,750 bugs targeted to future Mozilla releases. Nor does it include the bugs not targeted to any specific Mozilla Milestone or release, or unconfirmed bugs.

All the targeted and not-targeted bugs less requests for enhancements, is around 14,000 bugs. However, the broad-based Bugzilla query that yields that count can be misleading and likely is too high. That is why we use the more conservative, specific Bugzilla queries for our daily bug counts, which appear on the right-hand sidebar of the MozillaQuest Magazine front page, and when discussing Mozilla and Netscape 6.x bug counts in articles.

Incidentally, please check the MozillaQuest Magazine front-page (mozillaquest.com) sidebar every now and then for bug count updates and for Mozilla Milestone 0.9.3 progress updates.

Please see our article, Mozilla 0.9.2 Set for 25 June Release -- More Mozilla Roadmap Plan Changes and Chaos, for more information about the June 2001 Mozilla Development Roadmap and development schedule revisions.

The Mozilla browser-suite is built on top of the cross-platform (XP) and open source Mozilla applications programming framework. It is the basic, prototype, Mozilla-based, browser-suite application upon which other browsers, such as Netscape 6 and Netscape 6.1 are built.

Currently, Mozilla pre-1.0 Milestone and daily development builds are available for the BSD, Linux, Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, OS/2, Sun, and several UNIX platforms. Source code is available if you want to custom compile your own Mozilla builds.

If you never have tried the Mozilla browser suite, you can download and try Mozilla 0.9.2. Please see our article, Mozilla Milestone 0.9.2 Browser-Suite Released, for more informatio about 0.9.2 and for download links.

Stay Tuned.


Resources

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


Is Netscape Losing the Browser Wars?

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 6.1 PR 1 Browser-Suite Released

How To Download, Install, & Configure Netscape 6 -- 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 & Milestone Plan, please see:

Mozilla Development Roadmap

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


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