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Mozilla Roadmap Update: Mozilla 1.0 Set Back to April 2002

Mike Angelo -- 14 November 2001 (c)

Page 2

Article Index

Turmoil in LizardLand

Mozilla 1.0 Roadmap Erosion

Improved Mozilla Roadmap & Development Plan

Will Mozilla 1.0 Be Buggy?

Are Bugs Delaying Mozilla 1.0?

Conclusion

Resources & Related Articles

An Improved & More Realistic Mozilla Roadmap & Development Plan

Figure 2 (below) is a screen shot of the Mozilla Organization's October published roadmap schedule revisions. Please note that Milestones 0.9.6 through 0.9.9 have been added to the previous (August) roadmap schedule shown in Figure 1 (on page 1).

  • Unlike the previous Mozilla Organization published roadmap schedules, this new, published October roadmap does not have those flaky, unrealistic, parenthetical or 1.0 annotations. That's a good step towards reality.

  • Unlike previous Mozilla Organization published roadmap schedules, this new, published roadmap sets a clear and specific target date for release of Mozilla 1.0. That's a good step towards getting Mozilla 1.0 out the door.

  • Unlike previous Mozilla tree management diagrams (Figure 3, below), the published October Mozilla tree management diagram (Figure 4, below) does not have those wishy-washy parenthetical when it is ready annotations. Another good step towards getting Mozilla 1.0 out.

  • Unlike previous Mozilla Organization roadmap schedules, the published October Mozilla Organization roadmap schedule clearly puts at least four milestones between the current Milestone release and an anticipated Mozilla 1.0 release. Yet another good step towards reality and towards getting Mozilla 1.0 out the door.

That's not all that is different in the published October Mozilla Development Roadmap updates from previous published, roadmap updates. As mentioned earlier in this article, Mozilla technical director, Brendan Eich added some clear and certain direction this time by way of his draft Mozilla 1.0 manifesto, to which the October Mozilla Development Roadmap points.

Figure 2. October 2001 Mozilla Development Roadmap schedule.

(Excerpted screen shot from Mozilla Development Roadmap, 16 October 2001 revision, The Mozilla Organization, on 12 November 2001,)

In our August Mozilla roadmap article, we noted: "Although the Mozilla Organization's August Mozilla Development Roadmap document suggests that Mozilla 1.0 could be released in September or October 2001, those suggestions are very un-realistic -- unless the Mozilla developers intend to release a very buggy Mozilla 1.0." This October revision of the Mozilla Organization's published Mozilla Development Roadmap is more realistic than was the published edition of its August Mozilla Development Roadmap.

Figure 3. August 2001 Mozilla tree management diagram. Please note the wishy-washy parenthetical when it is ready annotation at Mozilla 0.9.5 and the unrealistic suggestion that Mozilla 1.0 might follow Mozilla 0.9.4.)

(Excerpted screen shot from Mozilla Development Roadmap, 15 August 2001 revision, The Mozilla Organization, on 15 Augut 2001.

Figure 4. October 2001 Mozilla tree management diagram.

(Excerpted screen shot from Mozilla Development Roadmap, 15 October 2001 revision, The Mozilla Organization, on 16 October 2001.)

Will Mozilla 1.0 Be Buggy?

Unfortunately, the Mozilla bug counts are growing rather than going down. So, at this time it looks as though even an April 2002 Mozilla 1.0 will be a very buggy product.

An important factor influencing Mozilla 1.0 bugginess will be how well the Mozilla developers adhere to Brendan Eich's Mozilla 1.0 Manifesto. If they forget about adding new features and focus on fixing bugs, substantially reducing Mozilla 1.0 bugginnes is doable. But do not hold your breath.

The number of bugs in Mozilla is not necessarily directly proportional to its usability. Facts are facts and the number of Mozilla bugs is on the increase. However, many of the more disastrous and noticeable bugs have been fixed. Mozilla is more stable now and it crashes less than it used to. Overall, Mozilla is more usable than it was a year ago.

Nevertheless, Mozilla still has crash bugs and lots of annoying bugs. These bugs should be fixed before Mozilla 1.0 is released.

Are Bugs Delaying Mozilla 1.0?

If you add the more than 400 Mozilla 1.01-targeted bugs (415 earlier today to be exact) to the 3,636 bugs targeted to Mozilla 0.9.1 through and including Mozilla 1.0 you get 4,051 bugs. Are some or all of the Mozilla 1.01 bugs ones that should be targeted to Mozilla 1.0 or earlier milestones?
Earlier today there were some 3,600 bugs (3,636 to be exact) targeted to Mozilla Milestones 0.9.1 through and including Mozilla Milestone 0.9.9 plus Mozilla 1.0. Those all are bugs that the Mozilla developers say should be fixed before Mozilla 1.0 is released. However, that's only part of the more than 19,000 new, assigned, and reopened bugs currently listed in the Mozilla bug-tracking database, Bugzilla.

Incidentally, the bug count comparable to that 3,600+ current bugs number was about 3,000 bugs at the time of our August Mozilla roadmap report, 25 August 2001. The 19,000-bug count was 14,000 bugs on 25 August. Mozilla bug counts are increasing -- significantly increasing.

The 0.9.1 through 1.0 bugs count peaked at 3,941 bugs on 27 October. Then it reached a relative low of 3,537 on 7 November. Now it is again on the rise at 3,636 bugs earlier today. If you believe the 1.01 bugs really ought to be 1.0 bugs, then that 3,537 relative-low bug count really is 3,898 bugs and today's 3,636 really is 4,051 bugs.

The some additional 15,000 bugs over the some 3,600 0.9.1 through 1.0 bugs are bugs that are not scheduled to be fixed before the Mozilla 1.0 release. So, even if the Mozilla developers fix all 3,600+ bugs they plan to fix before releasing it, Mozilla 1.0 still is going to be very buggy.

The more than 19,000 new, assigned, and reopened bugs currently listed in the Bugzilla database does not include unconfirmed, later, remind, works-for-me, or wontfix bugs. Figure 5, below, shows the increase in (unfixed) new, assigned, and reopened bugs since 4 May 1999 through today.

Figure 5. Mozilla'a Runaway Bugs.

Incidentally, earlier today there were some 5,394 bugs targeted to Future Mozilla releases. All these 5,394 future-targeted bugs are in the current Mozilla trunk and will be in Mozilla 1.0 if not fixed before Mozilla 1.0 is released.

To learn more about how many bugs there are in the Netscape 6.1, 6.2, and Mozilla Web browser-suites, and to learn how the Mozilla and Netscape developers are sweeping bugs under the carpet, please see Mozilla 0.9.3 Branched Behind Schedule & Buggy and Netscape 6.2 Browser-Suite Released

Please check the MozillaQuest Magazine front-page (mozillaquest.com) sidebar every now and then for updated bug counts and Mozilla Milestone progress updates.



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


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