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November 29, 2002
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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.

Buggy Mozilla 1.2 Re-Called


Mike Angelo -- 29 November 2002 (c)

Mozilla 1.0 Coverage

The Mozilla Organization has pulled the links to its Mozilla 1.2 release from its Main and Release Web pages today -- because it is too darn buggy! Mozilla quality assurance sinks to a new low as the cumbersome Lizard slinks off with its tail drooped down between its legs. The safe bet here is to not download and install/use Mozilla 1.2 unless you want to test it.

Plans are to replace Mozilla 1.2 with a yet to be produced Mozilla 1.2.1. Please see Figure 1.

Mozilla 1.2 was released for public downloading late in the night of 26 November 2002 and nearly three-weeks late in the release schedule. The Mozilla Roadmap called for Mozilla 1.2 to have been released on 6 November 2002. However, un-fixed bugs prevented Mozilla 1.2's release. Moreover, even after a nearly three-week release delay in order to fix bugs, Mozilla 1.2 still was not of release quality. Nevertheless, Mozilla management released it anyway.

Apparently a bad job of backing out some buggy code in preparation for the Mozilla 1.2 release caused a bunch of problems for Mozilla 1.2. According to David Baron of Harvard University in Comment #21 for Bugzilla Bug 167493, It looks like the 1.2-branch backout was done incorrectly. The 9 was not changed to an 8. (Bug links in the Resources section at the end of the article.)

Figure 1. Screen shot of Mozilla 1.2 recall announcement and announcement of the Mozilla 1.2 release on the Mozilla Organization home page (mozilla.org).

This problem is so bad that the Mozilla Organization has set up a special meta-bug for tracking the problems caused by the bad back out of Bug 167493. That tracking-bug is Bugzilla Bug 182500 [1.2 branch] parser bugs due to bug 167493 . . .

This is a meta-bug whose dependencies will be problems caused by the incorrect backout described in bug 167493 comment 21. Some of these bugs have been reported as Windows-only, but I've also been able to reproduce them on a gcc 3.2.1 Linux build with -O2.

In Comment #2 to Bugzilla Bug 182500 Malcolm Rowe says, We may have to do something with the 1.2 branch anyway. Some of the checkins to the 1.2 branch disappeared from the 1.2 release - see bug 182506.

According to Bugzilla Bug 182506 (MOZILLA_1_2_RELEASE is missing some checkins from MOZILLA_1_2_BRANCH):

Fixes for at least the following bugs were made into MOZILLA_1_2_BRANCH, but have 'disappeared' from MOZILLA_1_2_RELEASE. That is, these bugs were thought to have been fixed in 1.2, but the 1.2 release tag does not include the fixed versions, though the 1.2 branch tip does.

Bug 178722: calling Array.sort() on an empty array returns undefined instead of an empty array

[venkman fix only]

Bug 124556: Crashing on random pages in 8-bit StaticGray class X11 server [nsImageGTK::DrawCompositedGeneral] [bug is critical, crash]

Bug 180339: Can't send message if receiver contain Chinese character

Bug 167663: [OS X]window disappears when clicking the maximize button (green +) [checkin similar to third attachment, but not identical]

Bug 173195: Changes in the Mozilla/Netscape Installer to run Palm Conduit Installer

However, in Comment #6 to Bugzilla Bug 182506 David Baron notes:

For the record, I'd think this probably doesn't affect the release builds, since the (major-platform, anyway) release builds are done from the branch before the release is tagged (and then tested to see if they're working correctly before they're considered the release). (Or has someone tested that it does?)

Bugs 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. Incidentally, the general query for all new, assigned, and reopened does include bugs related to other-than-Mozilla projects such as Bugzilla, Web tools, and so forth. That is one reason we do not report that bug in our Front Page bug-count tracking.
On 26 November 2002, the day Mozilla 1.2 was released, there were more than 29,000 open new, assigned, and reopened bugs listed in Bugzilla plus nearly 5,200 unconfirmed (not yet triaged) bugs listed in Mozilla's Bugzilla. Interestingly, nearly 3,000 of those 29,000 bugs were targeted to have been fixed before release of Mozilla 1.2. Even more interesting is that only 27 of those yet unfixed 3000 bugs were targeted for Mozilla 1.2. All the rest of those nearly 3,000 bugs were supposed to have been fixed before release of pre-Mozilla-1.2 milestones -- and they should have been fixed long before release of Mozilla 1.2. They were not so fixed!

The problem is that the Mozilla project mangers are unable or unwilling to bring Mozilla development builds within quality control parameters within project release-time schedules. And that happens in part because the Mozilla code-base has become too darn clumsy and too darn buggy. What has happened here with Mozilla 1.2 is a glaring example of these things.

Moreover, this is not the first time Mozilla releases have been made with glaring problems that should have been fixed before the releases. Consider the Oingo browser and e-mail bugs in Mozilla 1.0. Don't forget the known privacy and security bugs that were not fixed prior to release of Mozilla 1.0 -- and so forth. Mozilla is not a quality product!

The points here are simple ones. The Mozilla developers are not getting bugs fixed on schedule. Bug counts are increasing. New code, such as new features and improvements, is being written to an increasingly buggy code base -- thus compounding the bug problems. Mozilla is a poorly managed project! Please see Table 1, below.

Table 1. Increase of Mozilla Bugs.

(Please see the Bugs Note sidebar above for explanations.)

Item

Targeted Bugs New, Assigned, and Reopened Bugs Untriaged (Un-confirmed) Bugs
26 Aug

(Mozilla 1.1)

12,301 26,856 4,161
26 Nov

(Mozilla 1.2)

12,512 29,263 5,188
Increase
211 2,407 1,027

If you want to test Mozilla 1.2 for yourself, you can find the download links in our Mozilla 1.2 Release story.

We addressed some concerns about Mozilla'a runaway bugs problems in our article, Mozilla Milestone 0.9.9 Branched Behind Schedule. In that article, we noted that on 1 March, there were some 12,137 targeted new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs and 21,199 new, assigned, and reopened bugs (open/unfixed bugs) altogether.

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.

On Mozilla 1.1a release day, there were 1158 bugs targeted to Mozilla 1.1a, 12,638 targeted, new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs, and 24,850 new, assigned, and reopened bugs (open/unfixed bugs) altogether. Mozilla 1.1-alpha had more bugs than did Mozilla 0.9.9.

By the time Mozilla 1.1-beta was released, the targeted, new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs count was down to 12,462. However, new, assigned, and reopened bugs (open/unfixed bugs) altogether bug count was up to 25,939 bugs.

For more information about Mozilla 1.0, please see our Mozilla 1.0 comprehensive coverage articles:

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. For more information about how Mozilla bugs impact on the user experience please see our articles A Quick Look at Some Mozilla 1.0 Browser-Suite Annoyances, Bugs, And Issues, Mozilla 1.0 Browser Quick Look, and Mozilla 1.0 Browser-Suite's E-Mail & News Quick Look .

For more information about how Mozilla bugs impact on your privacy and system security please see our article Mozilla and Netscape JavaScript Bugs Compromise Privacy and Security.

Incidentally, please check the MozillaQuest Magazine front-page (mozillaquest.com) sidebar every now and then for bug-count updates and for upcoming Mozilla Milestone 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. For the revised post-Mozilla 1.0 development roadmap and plan please see our articles, Moz 1.0 April Release Confirmed & Post-1.0 Development Plan Announced and New Mozilla Roadmap Sets 1.1 for 9 August 2002 and Effectively Kills Mozilla 1.0.x


Resources


Bugzilla Bug 167493 eHTMLTag_userdefined should be included as a valid head kid

Bugzilla Bug 182500 [1.2 branch] parser bugs due to bug 167493

Bugzilla Bug 182506 MOZILLA_1_2_RELEASE is missing some checkins from MOZILLA_1_2_BRANCH


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

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

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


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