Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1 Browser-Suite Released
Mozilla 1.0 updated!
Mike Angelo -- 15 August 2002 (c)
[Webmasters's Note: This article is currently being updated and revised]
However, a 1.0.1 release is depicted in the Mozilla Roadmap Tree Management diagram. Incidentally, that Tree Management diagram also shows a Mozilla 1.0.2 and a 1.0.3 release but the Roadmap Schedule does not show a 1.0.2 or a 1.0.3 release (Figure 1) at this time.
Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1 is pretty much the same as Mozilla 1.0. That final Mozilla 1.0 release was placed on the Mozilla Organization public FTP server just nine weeks ago on 5 June 02.
Interestingly, the Mozilla 1.0.x editions of the Mozilla browser suite, including Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1, pretty much have been killed by the recent Mozilla 1.1-beta release and the upcoming and now past due Mozilla 1.1 release.
The horrible oingo.com History Tab bug seems to be fixed in Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1. One of the most obvious and onerous Mozilla 1.0 Sidebar bugs was the oingo history-tab bug. When you selected the History sidebar tab, Mozilla, without you so requesting Mozilla to do so, downloaded and displayed an oingo.com Web page. This bug made opening the Mozilla Sidebar History tab a very annoying pain in the butt. (Please see Figure 2, below.)
The Mozilla 1.0.1 release candidate for Windows (Mozilla-win32.zip) we looked at seems faster and perkier than Mozilla 1.0. Additionally, there has been a tables layout bug that resulted in some Web pages with tables to not display correctly. So far, it seems at least to have been partly fixed in Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1. (Incidentally, many MozillaQuest Magazine pages are being displayed incorrectly in Mozilla 1.0 and earlier Mozilla releases due to this tables Bug. You can force Mozilla to correctly render those pages by hitting the reload button until Mozilla gets it right.)
There are few, if any, new features in Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1. The Mozilla 1.0.1 milestone release will be pretty much a maintenance upgrade aimed at fixing highly visible bugs in Mozilla 1.0, particulalry bugs involving stability and polish issues.
Although new features, per se, are not on the Mozilla 1.0.x agenda, there are low-risk, minor, polish enhancements such as the New Tab button added to Mozilla 1.0.1. The general plan is to make only very low-risk bug-patches to the Mozilla 1.0, Mozilla 1.0.1, et sequiter branch of the Mozilla development tree.
However, some new features have been added to the Mozilla browser suite in Mozilla 1.1-alpha, which was released on 12 June 2002, and Mozilla 1.1-beta, which was released on 22 July 2002. New features, bug-fixes, architecture development, and so forth will be added to the main trunk of the Mozilla code-base. The milestones based on the main trunk will be designated as Mozilla 1.1 et sequiter. Please see our articles New Mozilla Roadmap Sets 1.1 for 9 August 2002 and Effectively Kills Mozilla 1.0.x, Mozilla Roadmap: Mozilla 1.0-RC2 Set for 10 May Release Mozilla 1.1a for 22 May 02 and Turmoil in MozillaLand: Current Status of Mozilla 1.0, 1.0.1, and 1.1-Alpha for more information about the post-Mozilla 1.0 roadmap and development plan.
At the time Mozilla 1.0-RC1 was released there were 533 crash bugs listed in Mozilla's Bugzilla bug-tracking database, 561 crash bugs listed when Mozilla 1.0-RC2 was released, and 585 crash bugs listed when Mozilla 1.0-RC3 was released. When Mozilla 1.0 was released, the crash bugs count was up to 585 open crash bugs. Additionally there were some 150 dataloss bugs listed in the Mozilla bug-tracking database, Bugzilla, on Mozilla 1.0 release day.
The crash bugs count is up to 651 open crash bugs today. Additionally there were nearly 150 dataloss bugs listed in the Mozilla bug-tracking database, Bugzilla, today.
All-in-all, other than perhaps for its Tabbed Browsing feature, the Mozilla browser-suite still does not offer any compelling, performance reason for people to switch from Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser to AOL-Netscape's Mozilla browser. On the basis of overall browser performance, look, and feel, Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser still is a better choice than AOL-Netscape's Mozilla browser -- for the MS Windows desktop.
On the other hand, the Mozilla Tabbed Browsing might just be enough to set it apart and above other Linux-based Web browsers. However, there are several popular Web browsers for the Linux desktop such as Konqueror, Nautilus, Netscape, and Opera with which Mozilla has to compete.
Of course, the Netsape 6 browser was based on now outdated Mozilla code (Mozilla 0.9.4.1 for Netscape 6.2). It did not have tabbed browsing. However, the recently released Netscape 7.0-PR1 is based on the Mozilla 1.0-RC2 code, which includes Tabbed Browsing. Linux-wise that will put Mozilla 1.x and Netscape 7.x on even footing in so far as tabbed browsing is concerned. Opera has something similar to tabbed browsing too and tabbed-browsing is in the works for Konqueror.
The Mozilla browser-suite is much lighter than the Netscape browser-suite. So, that should give Mozilla an edge over Netscape in the battle for the Linux desktop. Additionally, the Mozilla browser-suite is Open Source whereas the Netscape browser-suite is proprietary. On an emotional basis that also should give Mozilla an edge over Netscape in the battle for the Linux desktop.
Apparently, however, the Mozilla Organization does not desire to attract end-users to the Mozilla browser suite. Interestingly, the official position of AOL-Netscape's Mozilla Organization is that it does not want end-users to run the Mozilla browser suite.
Interestingly, since we raised the "end users" issue in previous articles, there appears to be a movement afoot by some people in the Moziila Community to get-real and make Mozilla 1.0.x an end-user product. That's a good move!
If you are an end-user that would like to discuss Mozilla or would like some Mozilla help, try the #ChatZilla, #Mozilla, and #Netscape channels on the EFNet IRC network.
These IRC channels are not affiliated with AOL or its Netscape and Mozilla divisions. It's mostly Mozilla and Netscape users helping other Mozilla and Netscape users. You also will find #Caldera, #KDE, #Linux, #Mandrake, #RedHat, #SuSE, and #Windows channels on EFNet too.
Incidentally, ChatZilla is an IRC client that comes with Mozilla. Give it a try. To launch ChatZilla just go to the Mozilla Menu Bar and click Window > IRC Chat.
For more information about Mozilla 1.0, please see our comprehensive Mozilla 1.0 coverage.
What's New in Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1
[Note: This section is awaiting Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1 release notes for updating. However, so far the Mozilla Organization has failed to provide publically available release notes for Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1. Stay tuned.]
Here is what is new in Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1 according to the Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1 Release Notes:
The download information and links are in the Resources section at the end of this article.
Lots of Bugs for Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1
Release of Mozilla 1.0-RC1 signaled that finally after four-years in development, Mozilla 1.0 was on its way soon. However, some in the Mozilla community questioned whether Mozilla 1.0 was ready for show time. One major concern was that there were too many open bugs in Mozilla 1.0. Another was that Mozilla 1.0 still did not have enough polish. Nevertherless, AOL-Netscape's Mozilla Organization prematurely released Mozilla 1.0 -- bugs, annoyances, issues, and all.
Also, Mozilla 1.0 has some significant performance problems. However, the performance problems are much more noticeable on slower computers than on more high-powered computers.
The Mozilla 1.0 release was far from a clear success. The Mozilla people ought to have done more bug-squashing and product-polishing before releasing Mozilla 1.0.
Prior to the Mozilla 1.0 release, we addressed some of these concerns in our article, Mozilla Milestone 0.9.9 Branched Behind Schedule. In that article, we noted that on 1 March 2002, there were some 12,137 targeted new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs and 21,199 new, assigned, and reopened bugs (open/unfixed bugs) altogether. However, it appeared that only 1,575 bugs were set to be fixed before Mozilla 1.0 was released. Many of those 1,575 bugs were not fixed prior to the Mozilla 1.0 release.
On May 10, when Mozilla 1.0-RC2 was released, there were 12,417 targeted, new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs and 23,569 new, assigned, and reopened bugs (open/unfixed bugs) altogether. Mozilla 1.0-RC2 had more bugs than did Mozilla 0.9.9.
When Mozilla 1.0-RC3 was released, there were 12,515 targeted, new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs and 24,031 new, assigned, and reopened bugs (open/unfixed bugs) altogether. Mozilla 1.0-RC3 had more bugs than did Mozilla 0.9.9.
On 5 June, the day Mozilla 1.0 was released, there were 12,596 targeted, new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs and 24,511 new, assigned, and reopened bugs (open/unfixed bugs) altogether. Mozilla 1.0 had more bugs than did Mozilla 0.9.9. Mozilla 1.0 had more bugs than did Mozilla 1.0-RC3.
At the beginning of this year, there were around 1,000 unconfirmed bugs. Over just the past six months, the number of unconfirmed bugs has zoomed some 400% to today's 4,008 unconfirmed bugs. This tremendous increase in not-yet-triaged bugs is particularly bothersome.
First, the dramatic increase in unconfirmed bugs suggests the AOL-Netscape-Mozilla Quality Assurance people are not keeping up with triaging bug reports as they come into the Bugzilla database. Second, until these unconfirmed bugs are appropriately triaged, it is not likely that AOL-Netscape-Mozilla developers are going to fix any of these as yet not-triaged bugs. Third, while some of these unconfirmed bugs might be discarded as Duplicate, WFM, or Won't Fix bugs, there could be some very critical or major bugs in that cesspit of unconfirmed bugs that need, and should get, immediate attention -- which they likely will not get until they are triaged.
Please see our Mozilla 0.9.9 release article for more information about, and a breakdown of, the targeted new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs complex.
Mozilla has bugs problems. The Mozilla developers have continually failed to get the bugs targeted to milestones fixed before the scheduled milestone branching dates. Moreover, the Mozilla developers do not seem to be very effective in keeping buggy code from getting into the development tree.
However, since the Mozilla 0.9.9 release, code-checkin practices have been tightened down somewhat. That seems to be providing some reduction in the Mozilla runaway bugs problem.
The preceding bugs discussion has focused on the impact of Mozilla's bugs on the development process. Just as important as that, if not even more important, is how the Mozilla bugs hit users. If the Mozilla bugs for the most part are trivial or only rarely occurring, then end-users likely are not going to be very upset by the bugs, However, if the bugs are more noticeable, annoying, disruptive, or result in data loss, system crashes, or application lock-ups, then users likely are going to be rather upset.
That said, the more bugs in a program the more likely users will notice them and the more likely they will be annoyed by them. Bugs in milestone development releases are understandable although not a good thing.
However, prematurely releasing a Mozilla 1.0 that was so buggy could have hurt the Mozilla effort. More than 12,000 targeted-bugs and 24,000 open bugs in Mozilla was just too darn many bugs for a Mozilla 1.0 offering.
Incidentally, a Bugzilla query today for open bugs with the keyword crash turned up more than 600 hits. A similar query made today using the keyword dataloss turned up 150 bugs. That's not a very pretty picture either.
All this bug stuff can be confusing. The most important point is that Mozilla 1.0 includes not merely the bugs that were targeted to Mozilla 1.0. Rather, Mozilla 1.0 includes some 24,000 un-fixed new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs. The Mozilla 1.0-targeted bugs is merely a subset of the more than 24,000 un-fixed new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs.
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 1.0.1-RC1 is 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.
Incidentally, please check the MozillaQuest Magazine front-page (mozillaquest.com) sidebar every now and then for bug-count updates and for upcoming, post Mozilla Milestone 1.0 progress updates. There also will be more Mozilla 1.x news and information there too.
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. For the revised post-Mozilla 1.0 development roadmap and plan please see our article, Moz 1.0 April Release Confirmed & Post-1.0 Development Plan Announced.
Downloading & Installation Info
Here are the FTP download links for Mozilla 1.0.1 for you readers that cannot wait to try Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1
Please see the important note in the sidebar to the right here before installing.