Full Article Attached Independent Projects Status Reports

Thursday February 22nd, 2001

Tony Jordan writes:
"Here are this week's status reports. Included are reports from K-Meleon, Sherlock, Jabberzilla, Chameleon, and mozmp. Check it out!" Click the full article link for the reports!

#1 critical mass

by asa

Friday February 23rd, 2001 8:28 AM

Reading these status reports gives me the feeling that "Mozilla" (by this I mean more than the browser, read on) is reaching a kind of critical mass necessary to support the variety of interesting Mozilla technology based products.

I suspect that there are a few major factors contributing to this and I wanted to ask around to see what others think.

First I think that the Mozilla technologies have evolved to a stable enough point where they are more easily consumed for new applications. Where 6 months ago the floor was moving out from under people's feet, it seems like the building blocks and foundation are moving at a gentler pace and with fewer mojor shakeups tht would force app developers to start over from scratch.

Second I think that the Mozilla and Mozilla technologies have made there way out of the lab and into the market. I am starting to see the 'idea' of Mozilla leaking into more mainstream audiences.

This leads to my final thought about why projects like those hosted at mozdev and elsewhere are really starting to come into their own, community. Community building is not an easy task and takes time. I think that the kind of community that has grown up around the core Mozilla project, one that includes development, QA and testing, advocacy and news, and other types of suport, is starting to happen for many of these peripheral projects. They are building community of their own and evolving into something more than peripheral. Community creates identity, identity fuels evolution and it is this evolution which seems to be beginning for many of the projects I've been reading about in these status reports.

I think that all of this is wonderful and highlights both the successes of Mozilla as a technology and to the successes of open source development.

What do you all think?


#3 Re: critical mass

by ERICmurphy

Friday February 23rd, 2001 10:22 AM

Yes, I think that there is definitely a MozDev community forming. One thing is noticeable how we seems to have time to help each other out. Everyone directly involved with Mozilla is very busy, and questions seems to get overlooked sometimes.

It was dismal starting work on Jabberzilla last summer (a lot was my inexperience though), but now things are starting to solidify, and feature requests are being taken care of.

Eventually Mozilla is going to be a viable (production quality) application platform, and one of the best out there.

#4 Re: critical mass

by petejc

Friday February 23rd, 2001 11:04 AM

> and to the successes of open source development

Amen bro . . .


#8 Re: No way

by bk_raze

Friday February 23rd, 2001 4:33 PM

There's no way that Mozilla is gaining critical mass. Unless major software companies like Microsoft or Macromedia (companies that make major critical applications that people rely on daily) embrace Mozilla, it will remain a niche development platform. Linux is a niche development platform (at least on the consumer end), and it probably has more support behind it than Mozilla.

And I hate to say it, but I have to: in addition to this, the Mozilla browser lacks marketshare. And I know that the platform is independent of the software built on it, but in the minds of developers and corporations, it means a lot for the success of the platform only if real people are using products based on it.

These two things will prevent it from ever gaining critical mass, and it's likely that each reason I said depends on the other.

#9 Re: Re: No way

by FrodoB

Friday February 23rd, 2001 8:33 PM

Congratulations, you've successfully proved that no product has critical mass. Let's examine the argument.

A product lacks marketshare. Therefore, it is a niche development environment. Consequently, it has little marketshare. Therefore, it is a niche development environment. Because of this, it has little marketshare.

And I could go on typing until I was dead and never hit the end. :)

Arguments like that are pretty defeatist in nature. They basically state that we can't win, so we shouldn't try. Other companies have done it (yes, I know it's hard to remember, but even mighty Microsoft was once a lowly niche market [they happened to make decent compilers and knew when to buy an operating system that they could pitch to IBM to get capital]).

#10 Re: Re: Re: No way

by bk_raze

Friday February 23rd, 2001 9:55 PM

I'm fully aware that everything starts small, and I never implied that "you can't win, so don't try." What I said was that the two things I brought up affect each other. I'm sure you agree with me on that. You say I've proved that no product has critical mass? I never proved that. Where did I prove that? I still believe in the possibility.

Let me just sum up the two things I said: the Mozilla platform will gain critical mass when it gains support from major companies and when its flagship product gains marketshare. We haven't reached this point yet.

To say that right now it has critical mass, is a statement made out of sheer excitement over how far Mozilla development has grown to this point. I'll admit that development has progressed, but it has not yet reached the turning point. The release of a major product will help give the Mozilla platform more visibility, but we'll talk critical mass when we come to it.

#12 Re: Re: Re: Re: No way

by FrodoB

Saturday February 24th, 2001 10:08 AM

Yeah, I know what you meant. It's just that the logic was circular.

I definitely agree that the possibility exists. However, I think Netscape still has enough mental marketshare that to require one of the big players to use it to make critical mass is perhaps unnecessary. Heck, AOL is one of the *real* big players (they have a lot more capital than Macromedia, definitely). :)

#15 Re: Re: Re: Re: No way

by Kovu

Saturday February 24th, 2001 12:30 PM

Evidently you missed the news that companies and companies like Intel, Red Hat, Eazel, and Nokia (through a deal with AOL) are all working with Mozilla. Or maybe you missed that AOL Time Warner is more powerful than Microsoft in the online media arena, hates Microsoft, and is certain to base future projects on Mozilla code. Or that NeoPlanet is planning on releasing Mozilla-based custom browsers any day now. And that's just what we've heard about.

mozDev has open source projects on it, there's no telling how many non-open source projects are also working with Mozilla. Just don't be too sure of yourself.

#11 Re: Re: No way

by fab

Saturday February 24th, 2001 4:01 AM

Hi bk_raze, I have two problems with your argument here: 1) "Unless major software companies like Microsoft or Macromedia embrace Mozilla [...]" Microsoft will never ever support Mozilla. Why would it, we are their rivals. I see it more this way : "Mozilla supports Microsoft [Windows]";) Also I'm not sure what Macromedia has to do with us, but as far as I know their flash/shockwave plugin works in Mozilla (I'm using it right now), and their are commited to creating a wysiwyg editor that creates standards-compliant code. All good. I am much more concerned about AOL. If they ever chose to use Netscape, then Mozilla will no longer be a niche development. 2) I think Asa was talking of the "critical mass needed for the project to take off, to look attractive to new contributors", not the critical mass of end-users that is needed to gain marketshare. It would be a shame to our rivals if we had any marketshare before we even release any software. We have reached a point where people can do something else with Mozilla than developing it (and cursing that it's slow ;). So in my opinion, even though we are not yet famous throughout the world, it is not a reason to say that "These two things will prevent it from ever gaining critical mass", which is basically saying "nice job, but it's useless" (where did I read that.. oh yeah, /.).

Hope I made some sense,


#13 Re: Re: Re: No way

by klee

Saturday February 24th, 2001 11:51 AM

Of course Macromedia supports Mozilla: Macromedia bought Allaire. Allaire produces HomeSite. HomeSite allows to use the Mozilla Layout Engine as the internal viewer. I don't know about DreamWeaver 4, though, concerning Mozilla as an internal viewer and how DreamWeaver will produce standards-conforming code (without layers).

#2 Agreed

by aegis

Friday February 23rd, 2001 9:04 AM

I agree with basically everything you said, and I'd just like to comment on K-Meleon.

Versions 0.1 and 0.2 were cool in that they showed how the browser would look, but I was *very* impressed with 0.3. It loads as fast as IE5 on here (Windows 2000) and is far more responsive in general. For example, it creates new browser windows as fast as Netscape 4.x did.

It also only uses a couple more megs of RAM than IE! Congrats to the Moz embedding team and the K-Meleon guys.

#5 Re: Agreed

by rgelb

Friday February 23rd, 2001 1:39 PM

I didn't know Moz engine was capable of speed like this. Very nice. On my PC the first time around it loads almost as fast IE, second time it is faster than Notepad.

Now if they only could add Proxy support.

#16 Proxy support is in

by spaetz

Sunday February 25th, 2001 9:40 AM

Proxy support can be enabled by manually editing the prefs.js file. We have a prefs dialog for doing so in our latest snapshot, so it will be in the next release...

#17 Where is prefs.js???

by rgelb

Monday February 26th, 2001 10:47 AM

I couldn't find it in the folder.

#18 proxy conf in k-meleon

by spaetz

Tuesday February 27th, 2001 1:43 AM

Oooh, the file changed recently, sorry. It is in defaults/pref/all.js. Just have a look at how NS6 or Mozilla are configuring these if you are unsure as what to put in there. The relevant lines are:

pref("network.proxy.autoconfig_url", ""); pref("network.proxy.type", 0); pref("network.proxy.ftp", ""); pref("network.proxy.ftp_port", 0); pref("network.proxy.gopher", ""); pref("network.proxy.gopher_port", 0); pref("", ""); pref("network.proxy.news_port", 0); pref("network.proxy.http", ""); pref("network.proxy.http_port", 0); pref("network.proxy.wais", ""); pref("network.proxy.wais_port", 0); pref("network.proxy.ssl", ""); pref("network.proxy.ssl_port", 0); pref("network.proxy.socks", ""); pref("network.proxy.socks_port", 0); pref("network.proxy.no_proxies_on", "");

#6 ChatZilla's status report

by rginda

Friday February 23rd, 2001 3:26 PM

(Tony asked me, but I didn't have anything at the time.) has a development version of chatzilla. You will have to rename your existing chatzilla.jar before installing this xpi, unless you have never installed chatzilla.

There are a few more changes I'd like to make before calling this a ChatZilla 0.8, but it looks much better than it used to. If you notice problems or have suggestions, please post them to the netscape.public.mozilla.rt-messaging newsgroup (or reply here.) Some of the changes (off the top of my head) are:

* Lots of new commands (/cancel, /list, /networks, /query, /who, /notify) * unknown commands are sent to the server as if you used /quote. * information from the network (like a /whois reply or a /me) will show up in your current view, if that view is related to the network. * tabstrip under the output window, instead of a button bar on top. * smaller fonts

ChatZilla could really use a new user guide, or a FAQ. If you're interested in creating something like this, drop me an email.

<rginda at>.

#7 ChatZilla chrashes the latest builds

by rginda

Friday February 23rd, 2001 3:32 PM

I forgot to mention that. If you're running something from, um, probably 2/21 or so, don't bother. I'm still working out what's going on.

#14 mozOffice update... finally

by Kovu

Saturday February 24th, 2001 12:19 PM

Don't miss the first mozOffice status update at


#19 I just know

by kerz

Tuesday February 27th, 2001 4:20 PM

Tony Rocks.