Advertise on MozillaQuest Magazine Year 2001 in Review -- Mozilla and Netscape Browsers MozillaQuest MQ Logo
MozillaQuest the on-line computer magazine
May 8, 2002
About Computers On-Line

RisingNet

EPIX Internet Services
MozillaQuest Magazine Front Page button

Internet & Web browsers button

custom Netscape & Mozilla themes & skins button

Digital Photography

Graphics

IRC - Internet Relay Chat - Chat button

Linux buttonLinux for Windows Users

Mozilla button

Multimedia

Netscape button
network articles

tutorial - help - how to button

Web Page Design

Web Tools

Windows button
..
..

The Mozilla 1.0 Web browser suite is out! MozillaQuest Magazine has the best, most balanced, accurate, robust and in-depth coverage of AOL-Netscape's Mozilla 1.0 browser on the Internet. I'ts all on MozillaQuest Magazine.

Mozilla Roadmap:

Mozilla 1.0-RC2 Set for 10 May Release

Mozilla 1.1a for 22 May 02


Mike Angelo -- 8 May 2002 (c)


Article Index
Mozilla 1.0 Might Be Netscape 7.0 Code Base

Major Changes in Milestone Release Scheduling

The Mozilla 1.0 Roadmap Erosion Saga

Mozilla Getting Better But - - - -

Conclusion

The Mozilla Development Roadmap was updated 6 May 2002. The update adds the Mozilla 1.0-RC2 (release candidate 2) milestone to the development plan and roadmap schedule.

According to the May Roadmap update, AOL-Netscape's Mozilla Organization plans to release its Mozilla 1.0-RC2 Web browser-suite on 10 May 2002. Mozilla 1.0-RC1 was released on 18 April 2002.

However, the May update does not include Mozilla 1.0 in its roadmap schedule (Figure 1, below). On the other hand, the May update Tree Management Diagram shows a 1.0 release towards the end of May (Figure 2, below).

Interestingly, the updated Tree Management Diagram now shows Mozilla 1.1a being released before Mozilla 1.0 gets out the door. As many times as the Mozilla 1.0 anticipated release date has slipped and skidded over the past few years, it would not be surprising if Mozilla 1.1 ships before Mozilla 1.0 is released.

With some four calendar years and more than 1000 person-years in the making, the Mozilla Organization has yet to release the elusive and now almost mythical Mozilla 1.0 browser suite Yet they now are working on Mozilla 1.1 before finishing Mozilla 1.0. Isn't that sort of putting the cart before the horse?

The more than 23,000 new, assigned, and reopened bugs currently listed in the Bugzilla database does not include unconfirmed, later, remind, works-for-me, or wontfix bugs.

UNCONFIRMED - Nobody has validated that this bug needs to be fixed. . . . Usually, an UNCOMFIRMED bug will be left uncomfirmed (sic) until someone has verified that the bug the reporter submitted actually occurs (sic).

WONTFIX - The problem described is a bug which (sic) will never be fixed.

LATER - The problem described is a bug which (sic) will not be fixed in this version of the product.

REMIND - The problem described is a bug which (sic) will probably not be fixed in this version of the product, but might still be.

WORKSFORME - All attempts at reproducing this bug were futile, reading the code produces no clues as to why this behavior would occur. If more information appears later, please re-assign the bug, for now, file it.

From Help Using The Bugzilla Query Form. Link in Resources section.

Currently Bugzilla, the Mozilla bug database, lists more than 12,000 open targeted-bugs, more than 23,000 open new, assigned, and reopened bugs, and about 565 open crash bugs. Only some 550 bugs are targeted to be fixed before Mozilla 1.0 is released. Under current plans, that will leave thousands of un-fixed bugs in the Mozilla 1.0 code-base when it is shipped. What a shame!

With so many bugs still in the Mozilla code base, it is doubtful the Mozilla browser-suite will be ready for final release this month. So do not be surprised if Mozilla 1.0 misses a May release date.

Mozilla 1.0 Might Be Netscape 7.0 Code Base

On the other hand, it appears that AOL-Netscape plans to build its Netscape 7.0 browser-suite on the Mozilla 1.0 code-base -- skipping directly from Netscape 6.2.2 to Netscape 7.0. Overall, the Netscape 6.x series earned a poor reputation and AOL-Netscape sorely needs to get past the Netscape 6 bad image so, enter Netscape 7.0.

For all intents and purposes, the Mozilla Organization is a de facto division of AOL-Netscape. So, do not be surprised if the AOL-Netscape people push the Mozilla Organization to release a buggy and insufficiently polished Mozilla 1.0 before it really is 1.0-worthy -- because AOL-Netscape's marketing plans need a Netscape 7.0 now!

Major Changes in Milestone Release Scheduling

Starting with the February 2002 Mozilla Development Roadmap update, there was a major change in the Mozilla milestone releases scheduling (Figure 3). Up through Mozilla 1.0-RC1, milestones have been released on a five-week development cycle. Starting with Milestone 1.1, the Mozilla trunk-development cycle period is thirteen weeks instead of the previous five weeks.

However, there still will be what in-effect is an approximately five-week milestone release schedule. That's because there will be an alpha and a beta release before each major milestone release. For example after Mozilla 1.0 the trunk-development plan calls for Mozilla 1.1 alpha, then 1.1 beta, and then Milestone 1.1.

There also now is a Mozilla 1.0 development branch too. The Mozilla 1.0 branch is for fixing Mozilla 1.0 bugs. The numbering schema on the Mozilla 1.0 development branch takes the form 1.0.1, 1.0.2, etc. Please see Figure 2.

Figure 1. New Mozilla milestone release schedule. (Screen shot from the Mozilla Organization's 6 May 02 Mozilla Development Roadmap.)

Incidentally, this bifurcated branching (Figure 2) makes Mozilla bug tracking somewhat tricky. Bugs are being marked fixed when they are fixed on the trunk. However, that does not mean they also have been fixed on the Mozilla 1.0 branch. You have to check the keywords section of the bug report for fixed1.0.0 to see if the bug also has been fixed on the 1.0 branch.

Figure 2. New Mozilla Tree Management Diagram. (Screen shot from the Mozilla Organization's 6 May 02 Mozilla Development Roadmap.)

Previously, work on the Mozilla 1.1 alpha release was scheduled to start on 29 March 2002 (Figure 3). Now, the updated schedule shows Mozilla 1.1a (1.1 alpha) starting on 9 April 2002 and being released on 22 May. Please see Figure 1, above.

Figure 3. February 2002 Mozilla milestone release schedule. (Screen shot from the Mozilla Organization's 16 February 02 Mozilla Development Roadmap.)

The good news of course is that finally after such an overly-long, four-year, development incubation period, there will be a Mozilla 1.0 soon . The bad news is that it appears Mozilla 1.0 will be fraught with bugs unless there is lots more bug-fixing before Mozilla 1.0 is released. Moreover, it is likely Mozilla 1.0 will be lacking some important features, such as a spell checker packaged with Mozilla. (Bug 56301 connect a spellchecker engine for Mozilla -- link below)

For a breakdown of the more than 12,000 targeted, Mozilla bugs, please see our article Mozilla 0.9.9 Browser-Suite Milestone Released Behind Schedule.

The Mozilla 1.0 Roadmap Erosion Saga

There are potholes in the road to the never-ready Mozilla 1.0 browser-suite and its underlying Mozilla application-programming framework. The elusive and mystical Mozilla 1.0 launch date continues to erode. And the Mozilla bug counts are getting worse, not better. (Please see the link in the Resources section below for more about the Mozilla application-programming framework.).

Two additional Mozilla pre-1.0 milestones, Mozilla 1.0-RC1 and Mozilla 1.0-RC2, have been tacked on to the Mozilla landscape since the February 2002 Roadmap update. The timetable for Mozilla 1.0 in the February Roadmap release schedule was replaced by the Mozilla 1.0-RC1 milestone in the current Roadmap schedule.

The December 2000 Mozilla Development Roadmap revision suggested the Mozilla 1.0 release could have been as soon as 23 April 2001 (yes, April a year ago). Then, the April, May, and June 2001 revisions to the Mozilla Development Roadmap and milestone plan gradually pushed the expected Mozilla 1.0 release from April to mid-October, 2001. The August 2001 plan revisions effectively pushed the then anticipated Mozilla 1.0 release off until January 2002 at the earliest.

The October 2001 and February 2002 Mozilla Development Roadmap revisions pushed Mozilla 1.0 off to April 2002, at the earliest. It's now May 2002 and still no Mozilla 1.0.

Mozilla Getting Better But - - - -

The good news is that the Mozilla browser-suite keeps getting better. However, at the current rate of progress, Mozilla could end up being the best, never finished browser-suite ever.

Obviously, and as a general rule, software usually is never finished in the sense of a product with no further updates or improvements (unless it is discontinued). However, there usually is a 1.0 release of a product that is then built upon in later editions.

In a sense, such a 1.0 release often is referred to as an RTM (release to manufactures) or end-user product -- as opposed to an interim, initial, developmental release such as 0.9.6, for example. In part, such a 1.0 release is a finished, useable product in that it is well-polished, features-complete, ready-to-use, and at least relatively bug free if not completely free of known bugs. Then additional features, enhancements, improvements, bug-fixes, and so forth are added to later updated (upgraded) versions of the initial 1.0 product.

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

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 crash. 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.

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 have been 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 1.0 and Milestone progress updates.

Conclusion

Mozilla 1.0 now is in the release candidates stage. Although the anticipated release date for Mozilla 1.0 keeps sliding, it appears there will be a Mozilla 1.0 in the not too distant future. However, there is lots of bug-squashing and polishing that should be done before there is a Mozilla 1.0.

To the Mozilla Organization's and Mozilla Project's credit they almost have a darn nice browser suite. But they will not have a nice browser suite until they get it right (to-wit, get rid of the bugs and release a well-polished Mozilla 1.0).

Mozilla still has lots of bugs and performance problems. However, they are significantly less noticeable in Mozilla 1.0-RC1 than they were in Mozilla 0.9.9. Bug tracking is important in the software development, quality assurance, and evaluation processes. However, end users are more likely to form their opinions of a product on how well it works, or does not work, for them.

Bug-wise, the good news is most Mozilla users will not encounter all of the more than 12,000 open, targeted, bugs or the some 560 open crash bugs in the Mozilla code-base at this time. Please keep in mind that Mozilla is multi-platform. Thus, although many of the bugs appear to occur on all platforms, some only occur on a particular platform such as Linux, Mac, or MS Windows.

For example, of the 565 currently open crash bugs only 78 occur on all platforms. Linux users likely will not experience the 72 crash bugs that are Mac only or the 192 crash bugs that are MS Windows only crash bugs. Windows users will not have to be annoyed by the 122 Linux only crash bugs. Nor will Mac users experience the 384 crash bugs that are PC only crash bugs.

In a similar and more specific example, Linux and Mac users never had the misfortune to experience the very annoying MS Windows bug in which it was very tricky to minimize the Mozilla desktop in Mozilla 1.0-RC1 and some other earlier milestone releases. That bug should be out of Mozilla 1.0-RC2. (Bug 120155 )

Nevertheless, more than 12,000 bugs are just too darn many bugs for a 1.0 caliber release. The more bugs there are, the more likely users will encounter bugs. Many Mozilla and Netscape 6 users do encounter bugs and are annoyed by them. The Mozilla bug problem should have been cleared up long before now.

Given that there are so many bugs in the Mozilla code-base, the Mozilla developers would be well advised to let the Mozilla 1.0 release date slip until the bug counts are substantially reduced -- whether or not AOL-Netscape likes it. Moreover, they should focus on getting out a darn good Mozilla 1.0 rather than putting the cart before the horse as they have done by distracting and diluting their efforts through initiating Mozilla 1.1 development before finishing Mozilla 1.0.

Mozilla is cross-platform (XP) and 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 have not already tried Mozilla, download a copy and give it a try.

Stay Tuned.




Resources


Bug 120155 Browser window does not minimize (minimised window restores, won't stay minimised)

Bug 56301 connect a spellchecker engine for Mozilla


Related Articles


Mozilla Milestone 1.0-RC1 Browser-Suite

Is Mozilla Actually AOL-Netscape's Mozilla?

Year 2001 in Review -- Mozilla and Netscape Browsers


Mozilla Roadmap Update: Mozilla 1.0 Set Back to April 2002



AOL 7.0: Good News for AOL Users & Microsoft - Bad News for Netscape & Mozilla


Netscape 6.2.1 Browser-Suite Released

Netscape Communicator 4.79 Browser-Suite Released

Netscape 6.2 Browser Source Code (Mozilla 0.9.4.1) Released

Netscape 6.2 Browser-Suite Released

Netscape 6.2 Browser-Suite Coming Soon?

Netscape 6.1 Browser-Suite Released, Again?


Mozilla 0.9.x Releases & Download Links


Mozilla Milestone 1.0-RC1 Browser-Suite Released

Mozilla Milestone 0.9.9 Browser-Suite Released

Mozilla Milestone 0.9.8 Browser-Suite Released

Mozilla Milestone 0.9.7 Browser-Suite Released

Mozilla Milestone 0.9.6 Browser-Suite Released

Mozilla Milestone 0.9.5 Browser-Suite Released


Mozilla Milestone 0.9.4 Browser-Suite Released

Mozilla Milestone 0.9.3 Browser-Suite Released

Mozilla 0.9.2.1 AKA Netscape 6.1 Browser Source Code Released


Mozilla 0.9.3 Branched Behind Schedule & Buggy

Mozilla Milestone 0.9.1 Browser-Suite Released

The Snail Moves: Mozilla Milestone 0.9 Browser-Suite Released


Mozilla Roadmap

More Mozilla Roadmap Plan Changes and Chaos - Mozilla 0.9.2 Set for 25 June Release (June Roadmap revisions)

Mozilla Roadmap Plan Changed Again -- Mozilla 1.0 Set Back to Q4 2001 (May Roadmap revisions)

More Mozilla Roadmap & Development Plan Changes: Mozilla 1.0 Pushed Back to Q3 2001 (April Roadmap revisions)

Mozilla 1.0 Release Pushed Back -- Milestone 0.8.1 Inserted into Development Roadmap Schedule (March Roadmap revisions)

Mozilla Organization Revises Development Roadmap and Product Release Schedule (December Roadmap revisions)


Mozilla 0.8.x Releases & Download Links

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


Other Related Mozilla & Netsape Articles

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

Netscape 6.1 Browser-Suite Released Again?

How To Download, Install, & Configure Netscape 6 -- Safely!


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

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


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 2000-2002 -- MozillaQuest -- Brodheadsville, Pa..USA -- All Rights Reserved


Recent Articles

A New Mug for Bugzilla - Version 2.16 on Its Way

Netscape 6.2.1 Browser-Suite Released

Belkin SCSI to USB Adapter for Mac & Windows - Add SCSI to Laptop, Notebook, & Desktop Computers

Getting Started with Wireless Network Technology Part I: A Simple Wireless Computer Connection for Home, Office, or School

Getting Started with Wireless Network Technology Part I: A Simple Wireless Computer Connection for Home, Office, or School

Mozilla Milestone 0.9.6 Browser-Suite Released

Netscape Communicator 4.79 Browser-Suite Released

Mozilla Roadmap Update - Mozilla 1.0 Set Back to April 2002

Netscape 6.2 Browser Source Code (Mozilla 0.9.4.1) Released

Mandrake Linux 8.1 Boxed CDs Available Now

SuSE Linux 7.3 Ships In North America

Red Hat Linux 7.2 Distribution Released

AOL 7.0: Good News for AOL Users & Microsoft - Bad News for Netscape & Mozilla

Mozilla Milestone 0.9.5 Browser-Suite Released

Mozilla Organization Opposes W3C (RAND) Patent Policy Proposal

Mozilla 0.9.5 Branched -- Buggier Than Ever

Patch Maker -- Mozilla Hacking & Patching Made Easy

SuSE Linux 7.3 Set for October 22 Release

Mandrake Linux 8.1 Released for Downloading

Belkin 4-Port USB Switch for Linux, Mac, & Windows

World Trade Center & Pentagon Aircraft-Bombings - Terrorism ? The Third World War - 11 September Massacre

Laptop & Notebook Docking -- Peripheral Device Sharing

Milestone 0.9.4 Delayed - Turbo Mode & Bugs Slow Mozilla Development to Snail´s Pace - Turbo/Quick-Launch Examined -- Is Mozilla Really Open Source?

Milestone 0.9.4 Delayed - Turbo Mode & Bugs Slow Mozilla Development to Snail´s Pace - Turbo/Quick-Launch Examined -- Is Mozilla Really Open Source?

Netscape Lays-Off Mozilla's Chief Lizard Wrangler, Mitchell Baker, & Others?

SuSE Linux Free for US High Schools

Mozilla Roadmap Update - Mozilla 1.0 Release Set Back to 2002 - Mozilla 0.9.4 Set for 7 September Release

Red Hat E-Commerce Suite - Open Source Software Plus Commercial Tools, Services, & Support

KDE 2.2 Released - Binaries and Source Code Available for Downloading

Caldera OpenLinux Workstation 3.1 - review

Caldera OpenLinux 3.1 - Open UNIX 8

Mozilla 0.9.2 Branches on Schedule, but with Many Bugs

Is Netscape Losing the Browser Wars? Part II: Why Are Major Linux Distributions Rejecting Netscape 6?

Is Netscape losing browser war

Red Hat Linux drops Netscape browser

Linux for Microsoft Windows Users #5: Simple Number Crunching, Word Processing, & Photo Viewing with the Windows-Like Desktop for Linux

AbiWord - A Free, Decent, MS Word Clone for the Linux, MS Windows, & Other Platforms

Linux for Microsoft Windows Users: #4-- Getting Started Using the Windows-Like Desktop for Linux

Linux for Microsoft Windows Users: #3 -- Making an MS Windows-Like Desktop for Red Hat Linux

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

Mozilla Milestone 0.8 Browser-Suite RPM Builds Released

Linux for Microsoft Windows Users: #2 -Getting Started with The Linux MS Windows-Like Desktop

Triple-Boot Caldera OpenLinux, Red Hat Linux, & MS Windows for Best of Three Worlds

Linux for Microsoft Windows Users: Introduction & Overview

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

Computer Connections at Home, Office, & School

Some Basics for Computing & Networking Novices

dual-boot Linux & windows for best of both operating system worlds

New Browser War Heats Up -- But It's Netscape vs. Netscape

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

How to Download,, Install, & Configure Netscape 6.0 Safely

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

MozillaQuest Magic: Enabling Changes Made to Mozilla-Based Browsers & Applications Chrome -- A Tutorial

Mozilla's ChatZilla, The Lizard Speaks:- IRC