Weekend Discussion

Friday February 18th, 2000

What *one* feature would you most like Mozilla to have by final release? If it's already on the slate to be in the final release, let us know why it's important to you. Just click the Responses link to join the conversation! Our forums are quite civil, and we'd love to hear your opinions.

#125 Re: modularize all "parsers"

by rkl

Sunday February 20th, 2000 4:44 AM

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I actually had an idea I sent to Mozilla's "Blue Sky" section ages ago (middle of last year I think) where I suggested Mozilla went one further than that:

Actually modularise the *entire* browser. A module would be a collection of shared libraries that implement a major feature (e.g. a mail module, a news module, an HTML editor module, even the protocols and parsers could be modules). You'd have dummy libraries to fill in return values that say it's not implemented and to add or delete a module, you simply replace the appropriate shared libraries with dummies or vice versa and restart Mozilla.

A nice idea in concept (if I say so myself), but runs into nasty issues like dependencies and gazillion of many-platform many-version shared libraries having to be kept on Mozilla's sites (and mirrors) so they can be downloaded (via an intelligent, separate, installer program).

Sadly, it never appeared on Blue Sky and I never even got an "are you mad ?!" e-mail back :-)

However, the major advantage is that you build your own Mozilla combination out of modules. You have a core set of course that are compulsory modules and you can roll your own "Standalone", "Standard", "Professional" etc. by just choosing what modules you want. Of course the combinations would lead to a nightmare w.r.t. testing :-(

Plus upgrading is just a simply case of loading up the intelligent installer, which spots which ones are out of date and downloads a .zip of the shared libraries that updates your modules. Sort of like "SmartUpdate", but better :-)

I've got the original stuff I sent to Blue Sky, but the more I think about it, the more it's fantasy - it would require a major reworking of the source code to support it.