Suck Claims Mozilla Dead

Monday July 31st, 2000

Suck has yet another anti-Mozilla rant from Greg Knauss, website maintainer and TV critic.

Greg has gone about cataloging all of the extraneous features that are unnecessary to a modern day, competitive browser. Mail. News. XML. XSLT. MathML. In response to XUL, he writes, "Why? Who cares? The mere fact that it sounds sort of neat justifies its existence, and gives it priority over shipping something usable to the ninety percent of the population that has no use for the feature."

Why? Let's see. Could it be because at its heart is the ability to write the application to work on platforms other than just Windows? The ability to customize the application so that people like you can easily have "just a browser"? The ability to be prepared for the future by creating an application that's extensible and robust? The necessity of having a codebase that's easily ported onto emerging platforms? The ability to compete against a company who has turned their own browser product into a platform?

No, couldn't be any of those things. They're all just "cool shit", apparently. They're not important relative to having a browser that runs only on Windows that alienates 50% of the entire Netscape user-base because it doesn't have a Mail/News reader nor half the feature-set necessary to be a "just-a-browser" competitor.

Apparently cross-platform technologies such as XPCOM are a wasted effort; maybe coding the same browser independently for four or more platforms would be less of a waste of resources, Greg? Apparently cross-platform support isn't a sensible marketing strategy in today's monopoly-driven marketplace.

Greg indiscriminantly lumps third-party coders' work on such projects as XSLT, MathML and ColorSync [you must have delved into the archives to find ColorSync!] with the work of the main development effort, in an effort to prove his point that they're bogging down the process. Wrong. Those efforts are independent, and they'll only go into the first release if they're completed before the ship date. If you had been paying attention, Greg, you may have realized that.

The piece ends with a curious paragraph that begins, "Theater owes its advantageous position to picking its spots, exploiting its audience and making slow, purposeful strides, even if every step is second-guessed for its cost."

They don't call it Suck for nothing, I guess.

Maybe I should just give up on Mozilla. Maybe I should resign myself to a life of banality and security breaches using IE and Outlook the rest of my days.

I think I'll stick with it. I hold the Mozilla developers in higher esteem than I do any of their sniping critics.

UPDATE: There's a great comment in our forum from Alec Flett.

#1 Re: What's up with those builds?

by kerz

Monday August 28th, 2000 3:16 PM

Suck Sucks.

#2 I think we understand why they call it suck, now.

by brista

Monday July 31st, 2000 10:11 AM

I think we understand why they call it suck, now.

#3 Suck is right...

by angel

Monday July 31st, 2000 10:20 AM

I'm going to have to agree with Suck, to a point. The features listed in the article are all well and good. So is cross-platform portability and the like. But where Mozilla dropped the ball big time is in getting anything at all out the door.

A 1.0 Browser shoudld've been released long ago. a UI for Gecko, a simple config editor, and boom: Lean and Mean. Then, implement features over time. The Mozilla Project is proof to itself that such a large list of features should not be taken on all at once. Most likely, the world would have a much favorable view of the Mozilla project had a Gecko-runner been released a year ago, to at the very least whet their appetites.

I respect the programmers, and their skill, but realistically, the Mozilla project is somewhat embarrassing...

#6 Re: Suck is right...

by basic

Monday July 31st, 2000 10:45 AM

Yet another misinformed critic. How many times does it need to be said that nglayout (and therefore gecko) is not ready! As for Netscape's mistake of making it a platform? Come on! The only mistake Netscape made was not rebuild their browser engine earlier.

I think that Mozilla did what was needed to be done. Their only failure was not able to convince people that its goal was not to create yet-another-web-browser. OK, I'll stop here, back to bug testing

#9 Re: Re: Suck is right...

by angel

Monday July 31st, 2000 11:40 AM

What I am saying is, instead of spending all this time on all these varied features, focus on the not-yet-working NGLayout and thus Gecko so you have a base product to get out there.

Rome wasn't built in a day, I understand, but it wasn't built in one fell swoop, either.

#7 Re: Suck is right...

by samfish

Monday July 31st, 2000 10:57 AM

So what you're saying is that Mozilla should have been done like windows? Rush it out to market, leave all the features half done, no real support for some features, then later on build other things on top of it that should have really been built into it early in the rewrite process, then keep adding on top and hacking more stuff in until you have a monstorous blob of crap that can barely keep itself running? Is that waht you wanted? I've downloaded a couple of the recent nightly builds and I must say that I'm pleased with the look and feel of the new (classic) skin and features. Maybe Mozilla has a chance after all. Once it becomes more stable I may replace Netscape 4.x with it as my main browser.

Keep up the good work guys!

#12 Re: Re: Suck is right...

by SJCBear

Monday July 31st, 2000 1:01 PM

If it worked for Windows, why shouldn't it work for Mozilla? There's nothing to be ashamed of here: it's a good thing to ship the product in a mostly-working state, and then issue bug fixes later on. The important thing is to ship, to get the product in the marketplace. Once you've got the revenue stream in place, *then* bother to do it right the second or third time around.

As far as the "barely keep itself running" comment, I'm happy to say that my Windows 2000 PC has been running without a single crash since December 1999. Not bad. And yes, I remember NT, Windows 95, Windows 3.1: they weren't great, but they established a beachhead. Anyhow.

#23 Re: Re: Re: Suck is right...

by Dan6992

Monday July 31st, 2000 3:12 PM

Look how long NT4 was out before Win2000! Think of Netscape 4.x as the Win95 or NT4 of browsers, and Mozilla as the Win2000. It may take a while to get out, and have a few unexpected delays along the way but it should be well worth the wait once it is released.


#38 let's not get stuck on the MS Heroin model

by archen

Monday July 31st, 2000 9:13 PM

I don't know about anyone else, but I think it's completely idiotic to download a bunch of "fixes" to fix what should have worked in the first place. Besides which, typically when you end up swapping and fixing individual components, things tend to be less stable.

And remember, that Micro$oft can do that sort of thing because they do have a monopoly. Say what you will about it being a free market, but until I see PCs offered with Windows AND/OR Linux, you'll never convince me. 95% of Windows users are a captive audience, and are pretty much incapable of installing a different operating system even if they wanted to. So MS can simply lead them along as they please...

Lets just make improvements a version at a time

#8 Re: Suck is right...

by BigShu

Monday July 31st, 2000 11:01 AM

I would love to be able to use Mozilla as my primary browser as many people on other platforms have been able to do. But unfortunatly Mac has not recieved the same kind of speed increases as had the rest of the "cross-platform" browser.

Granted, I love the Mozilla project, and in the year or so I have been following it I have seen great improvments. However, I made the silly mistake of trying Mozilla on Windows the other day. It was great! Unfortunatly, Mac is nowhere near that point. Why was it there was compleate outrage from the Mac comunity when public beta 1 was released? Because it takes a few seconds for anything to load. A new window. A prefernce pannel. I can't use it as my default browser untill I can have three to four windows open at a time without everything slowing to a crawl.

On the other hand, I am waiting with bated-breath for the cross-platform engine features of Mozilla. I would love to have programs work on the Mac at the same time as everything else.

Sorry for the rant. Just a few thoughts.

#22 the press would have laughed at it !

by RvR

Monday July 31st, 2000 2:43 PM

you can't win the press with just "a UI for Gecko (and) a simple config editor"

and without the press, you're dead. Mozilla has better be late than dead.

#4 Get a fucking browser out...

by dhickey

Monday July 31st, 2000 10:33 AM

...before I die (i'm 24).

#5 Sorry >> Re: Get a fucking browser out...

by dhickey

Monday July 31st, 2000 10:35 AM

..for the language.

The delay is just tiring me out.

#10 Suck is Dead

by westonmr

Monday July 31st, 2000 11:43 AM

Preach it brother. I don't think people understand the importance of all the features that Mozilla has. Maybe if they took of Microsoft's veil, and actually used Mozilla they would figure out what is really happening. THE REVOLUTION OF THE INTERNET!!!! Mozilla reigns supreme emperor!

#11 Patience sadly wearing thin

by eskilling

Monday July 31st, 2000 1:00 PM

It's been two years and still not a 1.0 release. Not to trounce on all the hard work of every involved but I think that's time enough to release at least something finalized. Sure, it might not have all the feature sets that we want but that's why most apps have a 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 version etc. right? Please hurry so I can get IE off my Mac.


#24 Re: Patience sadly wearing thin

by Dan6992

Monday July 31st, 2000 3:18 PM

This may be a 1.0 product for Mozilla, but it is a 6.0 product for Netscape. This means they have strict requirement on what it must do to compete in the 6th generation browser market. They can't just throw out an unfinished piece of crap to try and hold on to market share. This is what they are doing with the NN4.x updates, and no one is happy with those.


#35 Re: Re: Patience sadly wearing thin

by Luddite

Monday July 31st, 2000 7:22 PM

So all I heard the last year is "Mozilla is not Netscape!" So now, Mozilla's release is dependent on Netscape's release standards? What? Can't Netscape release on their own schedule?

#41 Re: Re: Re: Patience sadly wearing thin

by Dan6992

Monday July 31st, 2000 11:22 PM

If you want a Mozilla only release download a nightly build! Even when they do finally slap a 1.0 on Mozilla it will still be a work in progress. It will continue to evolve just like it does now, and will always have new features that aren't quite finished. Would you prefer they just slap a 1.0 on the latest nightly to make people happy? This way they could just release patches for each new milestone (i.e. M18=1.01, M19=1.02, etc...) Then people could design pages that only work in Netscape 6.0+ and Mozilla 1.08+. Does that sound like a better solution? Not to me!


#13 Feature Creep for stability.

by jelwell

Monday July 31st, 2000 1:09 PM

People don't seem to understand that all these "features" are being added while the core is still stabilizing. If gecko/necko were solid then there'd be no feature creep. Notwithstanding the outside developer effort, which shouldn't be included in the "feature creep" idea. Can't ship a 1.0 until the layout engine is solid. So, might as well make a nice bookmark manager (etc) with other resources in the meantime. Joseph Elwell.

#15 Re: Feature Creep for stability.

by pbreit

Monday July 31st, 2000 1:34 PM

so everyone should be working on nglayout, not all the other crap like mail, news, edit, chat, skins, etc.

if it's a "programming paradox" situation, then just turn those developers away.

just get a frigging browser out that's lean, fast, stable and standards-compliant! why is that so difficult?

i don't agree with suck that they should kill the thing outright. but they should definitely kill all the extraneous, useless cruft like mail, news, chat, and edit.

#18 The man-month is a myth

by alecf

Monday July 31st, 2000 2:02 PM

You obviously haven't worked on a large software product before: you can't just keep throwing developers at a problem, it simply doesn't scale.

I suggest you read The Mythical Man Month by Brooks - it explains why some development projects work, and why some dont, and most importantly shows how adding developers to a project can actually be counter-productive and EXTEND the length of time spent on a project.

Most of the mozilla projects (Gecko, Necko, XP Toolkit, Mail/News) always feel understaffed by one or two people, but that does not mean you could take all of these people, put them all on the Gecko team and have a complete browser in a few weeks.

Besides, other components like MailNews have helped to push gecko to it's limits and find out where we really are lacking in standards compliance in the DOM, CSS, JS, etc, instead of relying on isolated test pages and Top100 sites.

#21 Fewer man-months, not more

by simonstl

Monday July 31st, 2000 2:39 PM

You're right that it's not a matter of pouring on resources.

The only way I've ever heard of to get a software product out close to schedule requires blocking any and all feature-creep, and ferociously.

Once a product's gone so far off schedule that no one believes in it any more, the only way to get it back on schedule is to cut off all parts that crept in, or as many of them as possible. They tend to worm into architectures pretty deeply, and leaving gaping wounds when removed, unfortunately.

I don't hear enough folks willing to do that here, unfortunately, and there's definitely been feature creep.

Maybe, just maybe, there's something in what Suck is saying. I want my Mozilla, and I wanted it six months ago and a year ago. A lot of users aren't waiting anymore.

#36 Re: Fewer man-months, not more

by alecf

Monday July 31st, 2000 8:02 PM

Admittedly there has been feature creep. But we're past that now: we're in tight lock-down for the rest of the product cycle. No new features have hit the tree in well over a month.

This is one thing the suck article does not acknowledge: that we are in the homestretch, and that we're bracing for the release by going into bug fix mode. Netscape resources are honed in on specific, targeted fixes which will only make the product tighter, faster, and more stable. Suck assumes that the development cycle is the same from beginning to end and that if we had feature creep 3 months ago, we must have it now.

Finally, the one thing very few people seem to understand is that we're writing something that nobody has written before, and that means that we're going to make mistakes. There is alot of expertise being brought to the table to develop mozilla, but nobody has tried to make a product meet so many vast goals: Other projects have one god to answer to: the corporation that funds it. Mozilla has many: Netscape, AOL, the W3C, platform champions, open-source developers, embedders, the list goes on and on.

So yes, I want my mozilla and I want it yesterday too. But even if the market has been demanding it for 2 years, it simply takes time to produce a product that satisfies so many. I'm sure there will be many dissatisfied people when the "first version" ships, be that Netscape 6 or Mozilla 1.0.

But we will ship, and soon. It's happening. Beta2 is done. We've got Beta3 locked in our scopes. RTM is just a small step beyond that!

#45 Is it too late?

by simonstl

Tuesday August 1st, 2000 8:33 AM

I'm glad to hear you think Mozilla's "in the homestretch", but to be honest, there are a lot of people wondering whether it matters - anymore.

Lack of interest in the outside world's impatience may have doomed this project long ago. However much I want Mozilla, I have wonder and wonder and wonder whether too much too late is going to make it go.

#26 Re: The man-month is a myth

by pbreit

Monday July 31st, 2000 4:32 PM

well, that's what i was trying to say but i guess i mistakenly referred to it as the "programmer's parados" (i.e., throwing more programmers on a job doesn't speed up the work and can, in fact, slow it down).

i've been involved in a zillion software developmnet projects, the vast majority of which were completed way late, with countless bugs and far over budget and that the singular most significant factor is scope definition and scope creap.

mozilla has the most horrendous scope i've ever seen and i would have been very surprised if it were completed even remotely near anyone's expectations. scope should be at least 75% less than what it is. namely, no chat, mail, news, edit and skins.

#27 Re: Re: The man-month is a myth

by FrodoB

Monday July 31st, 2000 4:47 PM

I find it ironic that you're trying to argue to a man that he should not have a job. Because Alec Flett is one of the lead developers of mail/news.

Or perhaps you are arguing that someone whose strengths lie in knowing the intricacies of the IMAP and POP protocols should be helping to implement the HTML specifications.

What really makes no sense is that you agree with his premise that more developers can hurt but that that's exactly what should be occurring. People have their strengths in different areas. Some people know IMAP, others know HTML, still others like myself know music theory (yes, this is supposed to be a joke).

FWIW, the chat client is not sucking up Netscape resources (it's being developed by Robert Ginda, who doesn't work for Netscape). Skins are not optional; they're the only reason we have Mozilla on Mac, Linux, and well, basically anything other than Windows. (Pinkerton has said as much; without XUL, Netscape's management would not have approved programming for Mac and Linux.) Mail/news is required (there are a LOT of Netscape Mail users, and Netscape has to keep their market share in mind [when I say it's required, it's required for Netscape]; I personally use the newsreader in 4.74 and intend to use it in Mozilla). And the editor is used for all forms (including the URL bar, etc.) and all mail composition.

Mozilla can make no headway on any platforms where it matters without mail/news (and, yes, Windows is about the only place it matters right now, as the market share of Windows makes the statistics gathered from other platforms almost irrelevant to Web developers). Linux users (of which I am one, about 20% of the time) can probably rightly complain that they have no halfway decent Web browser right now, but what good is a standards-compliant Web browser in Linux if all Web sites are designed for IE (and therefore, for Windows and MAYBE Mac)?

#28 A correction

by mozineAdmin

Monday July 31st, 2000 5:01 PM

Robert Ginda does indeed now work for Netscape. However, his chat client he develops in his free time.

#29 Re: A correction

by FrodoB

Monday July 31st, 2000 5:25 PM

Ah. Thought I'd heard that somewhere. But it was mostly done before he was hired, anyway. :)

#60 Re: The man-month is a myth

by bogado

Thursday August 3rd, 2000 10:23 AM

In short 9 women can't make 1 baby in one month. :-)

#14 don't bother to read their ignorant rant

by caseyperkins

Monday July 31st, 2000 1:13 PM

Let's not get give SUCK the satisfaction of having us load their stiny article and add to their hits. With all of the W3C standards and technologies Mozilla implements, it is the most ambitious browser project ever undertaken. Pulling the plug would be a huge disservice to the future of the web and is a downright sucky suggestion.

#16 They don't get it

by ERICmurphy

Monday July 31st, 2000 1:58 PM

These people who write these articles do not understand the implications of the Mozilla effort.

Sure, the main goal right now is to produce a browser suite, but there is so much more to this project.

Mozilla has the technology to spawn a whole new race of cross-platform, webified applications. Mozilla is one of the (if not the) first applications to TRULY use XML to its potential. The only really big thing missing is XSLT, but that is also coming.

I am developing the Jabber client for Mozilla, and have been, on and off, for the past few months. It has been a slow progression mostly because of bugs and instability, but now everything is to a point where I am making progress every day.

XUL is totally awesome. I think you are eventually going to see some blow-you-away skins for Mozilla apps. Now that the kinks are coming out, I have enjoyed working with it.

XPCOM is something special too, and I like how I can use XPConnect to access its data structures using JavaScript.

Mozilla is one of the most exciting and important technologies out there today. Someday all of us will realize it.

#33 Re: They don't get it

by basic

Monday July 31st, 2000 6:25 PM

Cool! When will we see a jabber client for Moz?

#44 xslt,xslt,xslt

by cyfer

Tuesday August 1st, 2000 8:13 AM

i can not wait any more to see my xml presented perfectly in mozilla, be quick please!

#17 It may be a long wait, but it'll be worth it.

by jesusX

Monday July 31st, 2000 1:59 PM

I for one don't see the world waiting with baited breath for NS6.MZ1, but when it hits the market, it'll catch like wildfire. So since it's still not in center stage, let's chill. It's coming. We're almost there. Yes, it's taken a long time, but in reality, THIS mozilla project won't be two years old for a few more months. MozClassic dev time doesn't count against THIS product.

And as for switching to IE in the meantime? Hell no. I'm still using NS4.74 and I will continue to use it till the release of Moz1. A few features aren't worth the crapy UI of IE and the flood of security updates. I've had MS tell me there are about 50 or 60 critical updated for that crap since release. That's unacceptable.

#25 Re: It may be a long wait, but it'll be worth it.

by Dan6992

Monday July 31st, 2000 3:32 PM

"And as for switching to IE in the meantime? Hell no. I'm still using NS4.74 and I will continue to use it till the release of Moz1. A few features aren't worth the crapy UI of IE and the flood of security updates. I've had MS tell me there are about 50 or 60 critical updated for that crap since release. That's unacceptable."

I agree! IE is just a gapping security hole waiting to be exploited. I would much rather deal with the flaws in NN4.7 then update my browser every 2 weeks when they find yet another security hole.


#19 Greg Is Right

by guymac

Monday July 31st, 2000 2:03 PM

Well he's right. At this rate, Konquerer and Galeon will build userbases faster than Mozilla will, if it ever reaches a stable release.

So what good is the creeping featurism if you don't have a user base to use it?

Why couldn't there be a Mozilla beta that actually looked good, that perhaps worked only on Windows, which was maybe just the stable core browser engine, so people could start using a workable alternative to IE.

It is the robust user base that makes a project *living* and it appears Mozilla won't ever have that, except perhaps in some strange afterlife as AOL 6.0... it's sad that that is the only bright fate Mozilla has ahead of it.

#34 Re: Greg Is Right

by basic

Monday July 31st, 2000 6:31 PM

If the Mozilla project was creeping more features before, they seem to have stopped now. Get real, will release something soon, Netscape will release something even sooner, why complain about the non-release? Why not do some bug testing and complain about your most hated bug of Mozilla?

#20 One day not far from now...

by Netvigator

Monday July 31st, 2000 2:15 PM

One day not far from now I know it I'll come up to and I'll read "Mozilla 1.0 OUT!". I'll go to the talkback area and discover 357 messages. I'll forget about the talkback and start downloading mozilla to then come back and delight myself reading all the messages saying "great, moz. finally out!". And I'll remember all the people who mentioned moz was just a waste of time, that it wouldn't work, etc. But there would be more important things to do. On how many computers could I install it in the next few hours; "How far have you taken mozilla today?"

And then guess what people would start talking about mozilla and how well it works. Remember when linux started and many people didn't know exactly what is was but thought it was great? well that kind of feeling. They'll start giving away mozilla with your favourite newspaper, when you go to buy music records ...

And It'll work great, but wait the best has to come yet. After release 1.0 mozilla will just get better. All the effort that had to go into building a browser from scratch will now be able to go into making it incredibly-stable, adding new features, making in more support more standards and maybe even faster!

And mozilla, one of the most talked about products before coming a reality will begin to win the battle for real innovation (not copying other people's ideas and code)

And that day believe me is not that far from today

Can't get much more optimistic, can it? ;->

#30 stupidity incarnate

by Kovu

Monday July 31st, 2000 5:25 PM

I can't believe you even posted this Chris, but I can see your need for satisfaction and a rebuttal. He's wrong, anyway, according to Microsoft. If MS didn't think that they needed to compete against the full Netscape package (browser, HTML editor, mail/news) they wouldn't have hacked Frontpage Express and Outlook Express to go with it.

All of these arguments boil down to impatience. Yes, we're all impatient. The browser was supposed to be out last year (remember M9 being feature freeze? HAH!) but those of us with a clue can see just how far we've come in two years. This guy just don't get it.

#54 Re: stupidity incarnate

by pbreit

Wednesday August 2nd, 2000 7:01 PM

oh, puh-leaze!

microsoft bundles outlook and front page because it can (in fact, i don't even know if it does. i have ie but not outlook or fp express).

bundle eudora and coffeecup if you want. how hard is that?

#59 Re: Re: stupidity incarnate

by FrodoB

Thursday August 3rd, 2000 9:46 AM

Extremely, due to their licensing. (Sure, you can offer Eudora and CoffeeCup for download, but offering them in a bundle would be illegal under their redistribution licenses.)

#31 Articles About Netscape

by Tanyel

Monday July 31st, 2000 5:51 PM

This article seems mostly correct to me, and the article from the Web Standards Project seems mostly correct too.

I think they were wrong to tell Netscape to produce just a web browser. I think Netscape should be more than just a web browser, because it would not be worth downloading if it did not increase the functionality of the user's computer. and Mozillazine should stop pretending everything is okay.

I am not a fan of Microsoft. I have told Microsoft to die and burn in hell many times but they refuse to listen to me. At this point, I was going to tell Netscape to die too, but instead, I have a suggestion.

Absolutely ignore the articles until the Web browser is finished. Then tell them to go to hell like Windows CE did. If the browser cannot be finished then die so I can remove these bookmarks without thinking I may miss something.

#32 Re: Articles About Netscape

by basic

Monday July 31st, 2000 6:23 PM

Heh! I think we are getting less coherent around here. Why don't we get back to bug testing and wait for the next Mozilla nightly/milestone build no?

#37 Re: Re: Articles About Netscape

by danielhill

Monday July 31st, 2000 8:04 PM

Damn straight.


by LightenUp

Monday July 31st, 2000 10:10 PM

I know many of you on this forum are coders and maybe that's why you don't have much of a sense of humor about this stuff. Or maybe you're just a bunch of Canadians. In any case, everyone who has posted here seems to grossly misunderstand the journalistic role and intent behind Well, I'm not going to explain it to you.

For those among you who are still able to laugh in front of a computer I suggest you sift through the Suck archives. I find myself almost able to pee in front of my computer. This sort of free content is too rare on the internet.

Or, if you are a Mozilla coder and take everything as a personal attack, just keep coding. (I had to switch into 4.74 just to finish this damn message...)

#43 satire is fun... when it's accurate :

by RvR

Tuesday August 1st, 2000 6:48 AM

i like satire, but it has to be based on reality. and it has to be a bit subtile. Greg's article is obviously not... it's just unfair.

#40 NS 4.x Code Base

by Metrol

Monday July 31st, 2000 11:22 PM

A little something that the Suck article linked to was a story talking about the decision for the total re-write. I've never seen the original NS 4.x code, and what I have seen of the Mozilla code sure seems confusing enough. Looking back in hindsight here, but Netscape had this Gecko engine written over a year ago. Pretty much everything else in the Mozilla project has had to do with all the stuff that had to go around Gecko, like the networking protocols, screen handling, scripting, and all that.

Looking back on this, shouldn't there have been some effort to get the 4.x code base to talk to Gecko before embarking upon a complete re-write of everything? 4.x may have been yucky and all, but by gosh it worked. It had a functional menuing system, preferences that actually stored, a bookmark database that worked, an E-Mail client that is still above par, and all the other shell stuff. What was lacking was the display engine, not all that other stuff. I find it difficult to believe that the code in there was so bad as to make it a more than 2 year project to implement.

Okay, so they couldn't open source a lot of it. So what? Has being open source really done all that much for Mozilla? As I recall, Gecko and some of the other key components for it were developed almost entirely by Netscape folks anyway. That engine could have produced a closed source browser by now, thus allowing Mozilla to continue development on this massive project involving XUL, XPFE, Necko, and all the other tools involved in an open source environment.

#42 Need a complete package, not a toy

by dunegoon

Tuesday August 1st, 2000 12:25 AM

A complete package includes a browser, E-mail client, composer, JVM, and an address book (with LDAP). It's not practical to put together a bunch of 'point solutions' and expect our user base to make sense of it, not to mention the support nightmare. We have around 1,000 users and have a mix of Windows, Linux, HP-UX, Solaris, NCs, and Mac. Netscape 4.7 has actually done a pretty good job unifying the enterprise. I am hoping this all works out so I can avoid a migration M$-Exchange. Best wishes, team!

#55 that is patently false

by pbreit

Wednesday August 2nd, 2000 7:04 PM

i'll agree that you've defined a "complete package" properly if you agree that mozilla should never have set out to create a "complete package" and that doing so has basically resulted in near failure.

#57 Re: that is patently false

by dunegoon

Thursday August 3rd, 2000 12:54 AM

Sure! If I had known two years ago that Mozilla was going to make a browser only instead of an integrated package, I would have jumped to something else immediately. Seriously, I need advice. Do you know of an integrated web/mail/news/composer package that can take the place of the curent Netscape? Maybe I am mistaken in thinking that my only choices are Exchange, Lotus, or Groupwise.

#46 How to Make $$$ Off Open Source Software

by thales

Tuesday August 1st, 2000 11:14 AM

1. Write story flaming an open source project.

2. Submit story to Slashdot, and other open source sites.

3. Watch Hitmeter go crazy.

4. Raise Ad rates.

Which is why I haven't read suck's story, and damn well don't intend to.

#48 You forgot three things.

by Tanyel

Tuesday August 1st, 2000 2:24 PM

5. Make a site in support of the open source project.

6. Link to all articles "flaming" the project.

7. Repeat Step 3.

#47 The Brittish are coming!!!

by matt

Tuesday August 1st, 2000 1:04 PM

The Mozilla Project is one of the most significant events in computer history. Be flattered that you are eliciting great fear from the Microsoft zombies and open source wannabes. THIS IS WAR! And all the PR, marketing and biased news articles cannot beat the killer app. Take the red pill.

#49 What's up with those builds?

by jakubusa

Tuesday August 1st, 2000 4:28 PM

I cannot reach with any of the nightly builds. Most websites fail to load, but those that do load, are rendered very fast. I am behind a firewall, so I suspect that is the problem. Also, I am quite concerned about the resources the browser requires. I got a Pentium 133 at home with an old type of SDRAM that I am not able to upgrade for reasonable cost. Currently, with 24 MB of RAM I can forget about using Mozilla instead of Netscape 4.x.

Developers, please don't forget about the millions of older machines out there!

#1 Re: What's up with those builds?

by kerz

Monday August 28th, 2000 3:16 PM

Suck Sucks.

#50 Mozilla Dead? It's Just Barely Taking Off

by huputthe

Tuesday August 1st, 2000 9:13 PM

Mozilla (and Mozillazine) are the most exciting things going on in the browser world. I'm a new fan now that I can get M16 to work (hooray!). With nightly builds and user feedbacks, this is the place to be. Things are just starting to take off now-- yeah!

Of course, Suck is probably using MSIE 5.5, with its new 1000 bugs and innovative security holes. Bully for them...

#51 Suck Isn't Far Off

by gobucs

Wednesday August 2nd, 2000 8:29 AM

My first post but I've been keeping up with the Mozilla project for awhile now. I'm not a web developer but rather an end user who doesn't want to see the browser market go the way of the OS market.

Last summer as my company was arguing over standardizing on a browser. All the developers wanted IE 5.0 I tried to make a stand to wait for Mozilla and explained the advantages. Well, we delayed the decision but after 8 months one was made. 400,000 sales force members are now being told IE is the only supported browser, most of whom were NS users back from our first web-initiatives. Those are now lost mozilla users since our sales force doesn't download and charge browsers. We might have not gone this way, even at that late date, but there is nothing to indicate this browser will be out any time soon. The NS Preview Release did nothing to help my cause either.

The Mozilla effort is a terrible example of a project. The goal of being perfect when shipped is lovely but isn't realistic. The lunatics are running the asylum. The browser is being built to meet the nitpicking whims of techo-geeks and groups like the W3C. The bottom line is that end-users don't know that the current NS rendering engine sucks becuase pages display fine to them- thanks to ennormous tweaking by developers no doubt. There are short comings in IE5 but those also don't stop me from using the browser. Mozilla thinks folks (read: not people working on the project) are going to be impressed with 100% compliance and they are wrong. CSS2 support means nothing to our sales force, or to any other end-user. Outsiders want a browser that lets them go to, and E-trade. NS would have been better in releasing an 80% compliant browser 6 months ago rather than a 100% compliant one 6 months from now. Products have versions for a reason and folks accept/expect it in the browser area. The NS market is vanishing, hell I'm even tempted to go IE since NS4.7(whatever) is such an unstable mess. The bottom line is that anything that works is better than everything that doesn't. IE is working right now and mozilla/ns6.0 isn't.

Other aspects of the development reek of the "coolness" effect. The entire UI is terrible but extremely cool. When folks in the office saw the preview release UI they were appalled. They could not imagine recommending something like that to end-users- and no we are not going to skin it ourselves nor is our user base one we want to explain how to download better UI's. Our users, like many, expect the product to work "out of the box".

One has to imagine that the joke the Mozilla project has become will really keep any sane company from trying to open-source any other projects. At this point the mozilla project is more like an academic effort rather than a business effort. You all might build the perfect browser but you know what- no one will be using it.

Loyalists to this project hide behind the "We aren't gonna be like MS" mantra and use that as a rationalization for a project that is gone too long for no return. Opera went from development to v2.1 (the first release) in less than 2 years by a very small team. They are now to version 4.0. It is stable, looks great, now has a mail and new client. It runs on Win9x, Win3.1, Win NT, BeOS, EPOC, MAC and LINUX. Mozilla has more resources at it's disposal and in about the same amount of time has accomplished a few milestone releases and one terrible preview release.

#52 Re: Suck Isn't Far Off

by jakubusa

Wednesday August 2nd, 2000 9:36 AM

The saddest part probably is that those corporate users won't be lured back to the Mozilla browser once (and if) it is out. Every day the potential user base is shrinking.

Very few companies and government offices will be willing to continue supporting two browsers. And once the decision has been made and content is being generated for the IE browser, things won't change, no matter how superior Mozilla turns out to be. Sad, but true.

#53 Re: Suck Isn't Far Off

by ravi_n

Wednesday August 2nd, 2000 2:35 PM

I would suggest that your perspective is somewhat limited. It wasn't that long ago that people thought IE wouldn't get very far because Netscape controlled the browser market. As long as Mozilla is a big enough leap forward, which, in my opinion, it shows every sign of being, it will gain market share and have an impact.

#56 Re: Re: Suck Isn't Far Off

by Tanyel

Wednesday August 2nd, 2000 10:18 PM

Internet Explorer worked with existing Webpages. It did not require an entire re-write of every script and all of the HTML.

#58 rewrite of Mozilla, rewrite of the Web !

by RvR

Thursday August 3rd, 2000 7:05 AM

"It did not require an entire re-write of every script and all of the HTML."

yes but... the web as we know it today is really crappy, because MS chose to develop its own features instead of cloning what NS had invented.

so, today, every script is split in two *slightly* different versions. and i'm sure that every wise web developer would like to be able to rewrite his scripts in a cleaner, unified, standardized way... you would like to, wouldn't you ?

the W3C standards and the next generation of browsers (even IE6, who knows ?) will give us the opportunity to rewrite all those crappy scripts !

let's rewrite the web just like Mozilla has been rewritten !!!

#61 Re: Re: Re: Suck Isn't Far Off

by basic

Thursday August 3rd, 2000 7:59 PM

"Every" script? "All" of the HTML? Seriously, Most sites just need to clean up a little.

#62 Re: Re: Re: Re: Suck Isn't Far Off

by brobinson

Friday August 11th, 2000 4:45 PM

Seriously, how many sites that worked in both Netscape 4.x and IE 4.x/5.x won't work in Mozilla? Some won't need any alterations at all. The majority of those that don't work will probably just need minor modifications. I can't imagine a company employing web designers and not expecting them to be able to fix their non-standard code.