Weekend Discussion: Is Netscape Doing the Right Thing?
Friday May 12th, 2000
Netscape recently released its plans for the PR2 branch. Mozilla.org then released their tree plans for the next few months, and then followed up this evening with a more detailed position on tree management. The one thing that is clear is that Netscape is working on an accelerated schedule. Mozilla.org has yet to release a beta, and Netscape is currently working towards a second beta. Feature freeze for Netscape is coming much earlier than for Mozilla. This means that Netscape's feature list will probably be truncated somewhat (although the developers are trying mightily to get the remaining features in), and it also means that there might be changes to Mozilla before its release that impact its compatibility with Netscape's final release. Netscape has promised standards compliance, but there is also the serious question as to how bug-free that standards compliance will be by final release.
Is Netscape doing the right thing by pushing ahead and trying to get a release into the public's hands? Or will they just end up alienating Mozilla developers and website developers by rushing a product to market? Is it even fair to consider it "rushing"?
#4 It's done when it's done.
Friday May 12th, 2000 10:52 PM
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Commercial reality aside I would rather see an "it's done when it's done" attitude.
I think the primary goal should be to get the code modularized so that the pieces can be developed on individual release schedules. I think you will agree the number one task for this is getting stable API's for the various components. The first versions of these API's should be laying the proper architectural groundwork for full standards support, independantly of whether or not it actually get's implemented.
Once you ship the first version and the whole world starts building on it, I'm scared it will become an increasingly complex process to change it in any fundamental ways. I would like to see full DOM 2/3, XSL, and SVG support be easily added later without having to rip the whole tree down.