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Mozilla Milestone 0.9.7 Browser-Suite Released


Mike Angelo -- 21 December 2001 (c)


The Mozilla Organization released the Milestone 0.9.7 edition of its Mozilla browser suite earlier today -- on schedule this time. According to the release notes, Mozilla 0.9.7 sports a new ChatZilla release (8.5) and further implements some new features that were added in Mozilla 0.9.6 -- such as favicons (shortcut icons) and mail message labels.

What's New in Mozilla 0.9.7

Here is what is new in Mozilla 0.9.7 according to the Mozilla 0.9.7 Release Notes:

  • The Labels feature in Mail&News (sic)is now fully implemented. Organize your mail messages with the following new features:
    • Add labels to messages via context menus or the Message menu.
    • Clear labels from messages.
    • Change description and color of the labels via preferences (Edit | Preferences | Mail & Newsgroups | Labels). Five different labels are supported.
    • Add filter rules to set labels to spec.
  • Mozilla Mail&News (sic) now supports S/MIME.
  • The Document Inspector is now enabled. The DOM Inspector is a tool that can be used to inspect and edit the live DOM of any web document or XUL application. The DOM hierarchy can be navigated using a two-paned window that allows for a variety of different views on the document and all nodes within.
  • The Mac OSX toolbar collapse button is now implemented. Press this button in the title bar to toggle display of toolbars.
  • The latest and greatest ChatZilla 0.8.5 is now shipping in Mozilla. (Bug 103386)
  • Springloaded folders -- Dragging and hovering over a bookmark or message folder will expand the folder.
  • Mozilla works again on Mac OS 8.5.
  • Mozilla now supports shortcut icons (a.k.a favicons) and custom page icons in bookmarks and in the personal toolbar.
  • Mozilla now alerts you to install PSM when you visit an https:// site and PSM isn't already installed.
  • If you type into the URL bar while a page is loading, your text is no longer overwritten when the page load completes. (Bug 15050)
  • The sidebar now has a Close button.
  • Print preview is now available on Macintosh.
  • Mozilla now has support for digest access authentication. (RFC 2617)
  • The Save Page operation now also saves images, stylesheets (sic), objects and applets included in the page.
  • Mozilla now supports the longdesc attribute of the img tag. The longdesc attribute contains a link to a file describing the image in detail, for those times where the image cannot be downloaded. To view the longdesc, right click on an image, click 'properties' in the context menu, then click on the description url (sic) in the properties dialog.

The download information and links are in the Resources section at the end of this article.

Another Clumsy Branching

Much as with Mozilla 0.9.6, Mozilla Milestone 0.9.7 endured a clumsy branching. The clumsy Mozilla 0.9.6 branching and bugs problems resulted in a delay of four days in the 0.9.6 release. However, with Mozilla Milestone 0.9.7, the Mozilla folks were able to get Mozilla 0.9.7 out the door on schedule.

The Mozilla developers cut their 0.9.7 branch in the Mozilla Tinderbox seven days ago on Friday December 14. However, until Tuesday, 18 December 2001, the only files in the Mozilla 0.9.7 branch directory were Red Hat Linux RPM files.

That seems somewhat flaky. It just adds to the confusion, chaos, and turmoil of the Mozilla Project. This sort of clumsy branching puts Mozilla development out on a limb.

This in part is the reason we have sort of in the Tree Branch entry, in the Mozilla 0.9.7 Progress area, of the right sidebar, on the MozillaQuest Magazine Front Page.

Inter alia, the Mozilla quality control program depends upon members of the Mozilla development-community to help test branch builds. Members of the development-community cannot do their testing of the branch builds until the builds are made available on the FTP server -- or if they have the desirability and resources to compile Mozilla.

Bugs Are Causing Problems

The culprit, behind what now is becoming a regular clumsy Mozilla milestone branching process, appears to be the Mozilla bugs problem. The Mozilla developers are continually failing to get the bugs targeted to milestones fixed before the scheduled milestone branching dates.

(Note: the distinction, targeted bugs, is important. Almost anyone can submit a bug to the Bugzilla database. Many bugs so submitted are duplicates of other bugs, unconfirmed, or otherwise not bugs that should be fixed or need to be fixed. However, in order for a bug to be targeted, it must be either submitted or reviewed by a Mozilla developer or triager that has the appropriate skills and permissions level in Bugzilla to set the target parameters for bugs. This also applies to bugs listed as new, assigned, and reopened -- those parameters can be set only by a Mozilla developer or triager that has the appropriate skills and permissions level in Bugzilla. When we query bugzilla for bugs targeted to a specific Mozilla release, we also restrict that query to new, assigned, and reopened bugs.)

On 14 December 2001, the day Mozilla 0.9.7 was branched, there were some 200 open bugs targeted to Mozilla 0.9.7. Three days later on 17 December there still were 173 open bugs targeted to Mozilla 0.9.7. Earlier today, there were 131 bugs targeted to Mozilla 0.9.7.

That's just the bugs targeted to Mozilla 0.9.7. Earlier today there were 2,553 bugs targeted to Mozilla 0.9.1 through Mozilla 1.0. Those all are bugs that the Mozilla developers say should be fixed before Mozilla 1.0 is released.

Add those 2,553 bugs to the 1,350 bugs targeted to Mozilla 1.0.1 for a total of 3,903 bugs for Mozilla 0.9.1 through and including Mozilla 1.0.1. In addition to that, there are more than 6,000 bugs targeted to Future Mozilla releases -- more than 9,900, targeted, Mozilla bugs.

But those 9,900, targeted, Mozilla bugs are not all the bugs in Mozilla. They only are part of the more than 20,000 un-fixed new, assigned, and reopened bugs currently listed in the Mozilla bug-tracking database, Bugzilla.

All this bug stuff can be confusing. The most important point is that Mozilla 0.9.7 includes not merely the bugs targeted to 0.9.7. Rather, Mozilla 0.9.7 includes all 20,000 un-fixed new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs. The Mozilla 0.9.7-targeted bugs is merely a subset of the more than 20,000 un-fixed new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs -- a subset that the Mozilla developers say should be fixed before Mozilla 0.9.7 is released.

Following past practices, the Mozilla developers fixed only some of the bugs targeted to Mozilla 0.9.7. Then they merely swept the rest under the carpet, so to speak, by re-assigning the remaining bugs to other targets in order to try to maintain schedule. Please see our 0.9.4 branching article, Mozilla 0.9.4 Branched -- Behind Schedule & Buggier Than Ever, for more detail and information about the Mozilla bugs.

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

Incidentally, please check the MozillaQuest Magazine front-page (mozillaquest.com) sidebar every now and then for bug count updates and for Mozilla Milestone 0.9.7 progress updates.

Please see our article, Mozilla Roadmap Update: Mozilla 1.0 Set Back to April 2002, for more information about the October 2001 Mozilla Development Roadmap and development schedule revisions. There is lots of bug information in that article too.

Stay Tuned

Downloading & Installation Info


Note: usually the Mozilla Organization includes a simple, non-talkback, Milestone download build for the Microsoft Windows platform such as mozilla-win32-0.9.7.zip plus a talkback build. The Mozilla 0.9.7 release notes also call for such a mozilla-win32-0.9.7.zip build file and a talkback build file, mozilla-win32-talkback.zip.

1. Click the mozilla-win32-talkback.zip link or the mozilla-win32.zip link to download the .zip file to your machine. (Mozilla 0.9.7 Release Notes, the Mozilla Organization, 20 December 2001.)

Unfortunately, the Mozilla Organization has decided not to give you that choice for Mozilla Milestone 0.9.7. It has not included the non-talkback mozilla-win32-0.9.6.zip build -- even though the release notes say it is included.

The Mozilla Organization's rationale is that it needs the talkback info to get rid of bugs in Mozilla, particularly crash bugs. Getting rid of Mozilla bugs certainly is a noble purpose. And Mozilla has lots of bugs that need to be fixed.

However, freedom of choice is an even more noble pursuit. Moreover, choice is much of what Open Source Software is all about. Therefore we think the Mozilla Organization should have included the non-talkback mozilla-win32-0.9.7.zip too. Whether you participate in Mozilla talkback should be your choice, not the Mozilla Organization's choice.

Of course you can turn talkback off when you install Mozilla if you use the installer version 0.9.7 Mozilla Milestone build (mozilla-win32-0.9.7-installer.exe). However, the installer version of Mozilla presents some potential privacy breaches, which we shall address eventually in another article.

In the meantime, we recommend that you disconnect your computer from the Internet when installing mozilla-win32-0.9.7-installer.exe so that you can adjust your security and privacy preferences before taking Mozilla 0.9.7 online for the first time.(Please see our article How To Download, Install, & Configure Netscape 6 -- Safely! for more about that.)

0.9.7 Download Links

Here are the FTP download links for Mozilla 0.9.7 for you readers that cannot wait to try Mozilla 0.9.7

Linux Builds



Windows Builds

Please see the important note in the sidebar to the right here before installing.

------>>



Resources


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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

Help Using The Bugzilla Query Form


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


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