Roadmap Update

Wednesday February 28th, 2001

Asa Dotzler writes:
"In response to the large number of bugs nominated and targeted by the community against Mozilla 0.9 and our desire to maintain 0.9 as a recommended beta branch point we have added one additional milestone to the schedule. This new Mozilla 0.8.1 Milestone will replace the 0.9 milestone in the calendar. Mozilla 0.9 and all subsequent Milestones have been shifted out one 5 week cycle. This results in a projected a 0.9 release date of April 23."

#1 Time waits for no one

by Mazen

Thursday March 1st, 2001 5:36 PM

The efforts of the Mozilla development team are very much appreciated. There is no question that the technology behind Mozilla is head an shoulders above the competition. For the sake of the success of Mozilla, I hope the developers heed this friendly advice:

Time waits for no one. You cannot keep on delaying Mozilla and expect it to succeed. With every delay the road to success gets steeper and Mozilla becomes increasingly irrelevant in the minds of many. It is even starting to affect Linux, that it has no browser on par with IE. Every day, more IE-only web pages are created.

To be sure, stability is very important and so is some eye candy. Mozilla should not be released prematurely, but it doesn\\\'t need every little feature and support for every obscure standard right from day 1.

Stabilize the browser, use a (optional) preloader so that it starts in under 5 seconds, speed up window creation, cut down on its apetite for RAM, fix foreign language support and turn off minor features that don\\\'t work right yet.

When people see a stable, fast, customizable browser you\\\'ll have a whole new pool of potential contributors who can help fine tune XUL or add support for the latest three-letter-acronym.

#2 Re: Time waits for no one

by chip

Thursday March 1st, 2001 6:28 PM

two more evidences for time..

- there are increasing number of books about DHTML, just advising users to IGNORE any version of NS, checking HTTP_USER_AGENT string, and putting javascript alert to block NS access.

- There are increasing (new) sites that simply don't bother to test sites with anything else then IE. Even our mozilla user make the complain to the webmaster, they just not bother, and urge me to switch to IE.

- For current Mozilla (20010228) builds, international support is still very horrible.. even can't dare to recommanded it to my friends... (we usually surf sites with traditional chinese)

#4 Re: Time waits for no one

by pallando

Friday March 2nd, 2001 2:33 AM

Mozilla will never win by playing "catch up".

Mozilla doesn't have to match IE. It has to beat it. To significantly eat into IE's installed base, it needs to do things IE not only doesn't do perfectly, but can't do at all.

You've had your interim "get it out there" release. That was NS6. Now is the change to get the rest of it _right_. MathML, XBL, Chrome. There will only be one Mozilla 1.0 - and unlike Microsoft, most people can't survive a bad first impression.

If Mozilla is good enough, then even if it doesn't come out for another 6 months, it will wipe the floor with IE. You've seen how peer to peer software like ICQ, AIM, Napster took off? Well with Jabber and Chatzilla, Mozilla can do the same.

#8 "get it out there"

by tono

Friday March 2nd, 2001 10:41 AM

Herein lies the problem with Mozilla. The "get it out there" release of NS6 was utter crap, it was slow, unstable, and had many many annoying features that even Mozilla didn't. If AOL/Netscape could have waited and released .8 as NS6 you'd have many many more people using NS6 then are doing so right now. The people heard Mozilla was the basis for NS6 and said in their minds, "eww NS6 sucks, so Mozilla must too." I can't really fault them for thinking this way, because people in general don't want to try new things or give crappy software a second chance. I can only hope netscape 6.1 whenever it's released will be based on the final mozilla 1.0 codebase instead of their dysfunctional branch.

#13 Re: Re: Time waits for no one

by unbekannt

Friday March 2nd, 2001 11:26 AM

A defeatest attitude like that will only delay the project further. To say that Mozilla needs to be perfect and more feature-complete than IE is crazy. People are already using NS6, and that is far from both. Most people won't use MathML, XBL or chrome anyway (although chrome has worked for quite some time already...).

I don't understand the paranoia. As soon as Moz 1.0 comes out and AOL ships it as the default browser, we'll have a better than 50% market share right there. There is nothing Microsoft can do to stop it.

#14 Re: Re: Re: Time waits for no one

by pirat

Friday March 2nd, 2001 11:46 AM

Just reading from our statistics: MSIE5.0 35%, MSIE5.5 28%, Mozilla4.7 9%, Mozilla5.0 6%... Far less than one half of NN4 users switched to NN6 (or Mozilla)... (Not mentioning Opera by default identify itself as MSIE5.0.)

#18 More stats...

by rgelb

Friday March 2nd, 2001 2:42 PM

Here are some stats from a dev site about VB. Admittedly MS-leaning, but still useful stats

Dec 2000 IE 5.x 75.83% Navigator 4.x 9.99% Navigator 6.x 0.73% Navigator 5.x 0.68%

Feb 2001 IE 5.x 77.02% Navigator 4.x 5.82% Navigator 5.x 3.80% Navigator 6.x 0.84%

So almost half the NN4 users that visit this site have converted to something else (bulk to Navigator 5.x)

BTW, what is the difference between Navigator 5.x and Navigator 6.x

Do NN6 and Mozilla send different USER_AGENT strings?

#21 ... and mor stats...

by NikoP

Saturday March 3rd, 2001 7:29 AM

here are the stats for my domains (current week):

MSIE 5.x : 70.69% NS 4.x : 15.25% MSIE 4.x : 3.68% NS6/Mozilla : 3.57% : 3.17%

but if I look at the first week of January:

MSIE 5.x : 70.5% NS 4.x : 14.78% MSIE 4.x : 4.53% NS 3.x : 3.79% NS6/Mozilla : 0.64%

so there are users switching from NS 3.x/4.x to NS6 (and Mozilla)

#30 And yet more

by vonmugel

Monday March 5th, 2001 7:55 AM

The following is from They generate stats based on some 400-500 mill hits per month.

NC4 is losing marketshare fast (dropping from 16,1% in june/2000 to 9,3% in Feb/2001). And, sadly, people aren't switching to Moz/N6: Moz/N6 stood at 0,03% in june/2000, and 0,31% in Feb/2001. Furthermore, Moz/N6 isn't gaining: The share is the exact same as in Dec/2000.

I've checked with the logs of a fairly high-traffic site I've worked with. Same thing there: Moz/N6s share stands at 0,2%.

#6 bug # for preloader idea?

by mattdm

Friday March 2nd, 2001 8:00 AM

Is there a bug # for the preloader idea?

#15 Re: bug # for preloader idea?

by klee

Friday March 2nd, 2001 11:47 AM

Yes, that's bug #36283.

#17 Re: Re: bug # for preloader idea?

by rgelb

Friday March 2nd, 2001 2:32 PM

I wrote a preloader for Moz a couple of milestones ago (for Windows only) and I can't say that I got a huge improvement. The loading time on my amd 300mhz went from 20 seconds to 13-15 seconds.

#19 improvement

by mattdm

Friday March 2nd, 2001 4:16 PM

Hmmm. 25%-35% is significant, at least.

#20 thanks

by mattdm

Friday March 2nd, 2001 6:25 PM

cool, thanks.

#26 Do you think we're twiddling our thumbs?

by mpt

Sunday March 4th, 2001 12:14 AM

Mazen, I suppose I'm completely the wrong person to say this (since most of my role in Mozilla is giving advice of a particular sort), but anyway ...

The Mozilla Project doesn't really need friendly advice now. It has an excess of advice already.

What Mozilla needs right now is code.

As for `delaying Mozilla', nothing is being delayed except the version numbering. Development is continuing at its usual pace (unfortunately), no matter what version number is used. It's possible that a flood of new developers will arrive just because a particular version is given a .0 number, but I doubt it.

It's also possible a flood of distributors will arrive to shovel out their own versions of Mozilla to millions of users, just because Mozilla itself has reached an .0 version number, but I doubt that too. The two distributors of Mozilla so far -- Netscape and Beonex -- didn't wait for a .0 version before making their first Seamonkey-based releases. Why would any other distributor wait?

Incidentally, judging by the number of tricky feature bugs I've seen marked as `mozilla1.0', I don't think this is the first time the roadmap will be extended. Unless there's massive feature-cutting, I'm doubtful of seeing a final release of Seamonkey this side of Christmas.

-- mpt

#27 Re: Do you think we\\\\\\\'re twiddling our thumbs?

by Martyr

Sunday March 4th, 2001 12:47 AM

No. Someone needs to say this. And say it again, and again, and again. The \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"friendly advice\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" which is no more than criticism with a painted happy face is wearisome. It\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s either the same people who never learn, or newbies who should have lurked longer before posting, but it gets tiresome. If you\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'re not going to contribute, do you think whining here helps? If you believe it does, you are delusional. If you know it doesn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t, then you must admit you cause harm to the project at the least by giving press-people dirt. Yes, this has been done, it\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s not pie in the sky. know what to do. Fill out a bug. Write code. Write a help page. To those who don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t contribute (and whine about how hard it is to contribute) you have no say in the product. It\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s that easy. People who don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t contribute really cannot complain how it turns out. You had the opportunity to steer the ship and you refused, so your advice, your criticism, your words all count for nothing. I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'m all for putting stars next to the people\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s name by how many bugs they post, how active they are on the newsgroups/mailing lists, or something. I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'d really love to show the world that most of the whining does come from people too lazy to actually help!

#28 Feature cutting

by mgroeber

Sunday March 4th, 2001 4:22 AM

It seems to me that there isn't even that much disagreement between your paragraph and the original post:

>> Mozilla should not be released prematurely, but >> it doesn't need every little feature and support for every obscure >> standard right from day 1. > Unless there's massive feature-cutting, I'm doubtful of seeing a final > release of Seamonkey this side of Christmas.

Or is the general impression among the development team that the feature set is already stripped down far enough so that any further reductions would endanger the goal of creating a new platform, giving people an incentive to switch and providing a drop-in replacement of Netscape's 4.x Communicator? The last argument I have heard frequently as a response to people asking for a split between the browser and the mail/news client...

ciao marcus

#29 Bad code is much worse than no code!

by herzog

Sunday March 4th, 2001 7:19 AM

If on average every fix sooner or later causes one regression Mozilla is getting nowhere (even if you add a million developers). And that situation actually may exist right now.

Well, presumably you need no advice about getting on top of the quality problem, as you're an advisor yourself.

#3 This don't mean much

by ERICmurphy

Thursday March 1st, 2001 8:34 PM

There is still the same amount of bugs to be taken care of, no matter what number you assign them to.

Considering the amount of testing this product has been through, and all the bug reports it has gotten, I expect 1.0 will be an excellent peice of software, no matter when it is released.

#5 sort-of-offtopic

by basic

Friday March 2nd, 2001 5:30 AM

Judging from the status reports the new outliner widget is coming along. Mozilla Mail and News desperately needs that for 1.0 . I might start using Mail and News again when it speeds up to NS4-like speed.

#22 Re: sort-of-offtopic

by Sparkster

Saturday March 3rd, 2001 3:37 PM

this is quite stupid. don't expect netscape 6 (what mozilla was meant to be) to be faster than netscape 4. that's like saying "i use netscape 4 as soon as it is as fast as netscape 3". time goes on, we need new features, apps WILL get slower. but of course mozilla on current hardware, shouldn't run slower than netscape 4 ran on current hardware of it's time. :) of course mozilla should get a lot faster, but as fast as netscape 4? i think that's technically impossible.

#23 Re: Re: sort-of-offtopic

by basic

Saturday March 3rd, 2001 9:45 PM

Technically impossible? I would expect mail and news (mozilla) to be close to NS4 speed. After all it is going to use an NS4 inspired outliner widget

#7 It's Fine Now

by unbekannt

Friday March 2nd, 2001 10:27 AM

I've been using Mozilla nightlies for months, and in that time it has crashed fewer times than IE 5.5 does in one setting. Plus, it doesn't take out my desktop the few times that it does crash. I've been working with the Mozilla team on several bugs, but I think it's ready to go NOW myself. It already has fewer bugs than any other browser I can name in the same feature-rich category. The only thing that really needs to be worked on is SPEED of loading; that's it -- everything else is fine. If anyone wants to help out with Mozilla, it's EASY:

1) Download the latest nightly build.

2) Go to

3) Tell it to list the latest bugs

4) Click on the first bug

5) Either confirm that the bug exists, or note that it works fine for you

6) Click on the next bug and repeat

It's easy.

#9 Re: It's Fine Now

by Zagadka

Friday March 2nd, 2001 10:48 AM

Well, I'm certainly glad that Mozilla works perfectly for you... unfortunately, it is not near a point where it can be called "complete". I'm not terribly sure; I can't use Mozilla because it won't open when Apache is running, so I don't use it as often as I'd like. That tends to be an "annoyance". Of course, my Athlon processor makes IE lock up my system when I scroll, which is another "annoyance". So I'm left with Opera.

Unfortunately for us, I think, we are saddled with the development process of not only a browser, but a suite of programs, all of which must run perfectly on as many platforms as possible. They don't. Each person finds their own bugs. I, for one, wouldn't want to see a program released when the bloody preferences screen didn't show options correctly, refused to be told "OK", etc. Memory bloat. Window management. Etc etc.

I don't think any of us want to see a program that has to be patched immediately and continually. Most people have a hard enough time knowing that a new version of Netscape is out; they don't want to bother with buggy software that may or may not work for them.

If the Mozilla team concentrated on a lean browser (kinda like K-Meleon) and added features after it was complete, maybe...

#11 Re: Re: It's Fine Now

by sleepy

Friday March 2nd, 2001 11:11 AM

Hmm. How does Apache prevent Mozilla from running? I run Apache and Mozilla at the same time all day with no problem.

I agree that Mozilla is now in a good shape. The main complaints about Mozilla has been stability & performance, but I think the stability issue has reached a level that competes with other major browsers; I can run Mozilla for a few hours without crashing. Performance could be better, but if you have a fairly recent computer (e.g. Pentium II, 64MB+ RAM), it's not an issue either.

I use Mozilla as my default browser. I only run Netscape 4.x once in a while when I encounter a Mozilla bug that doesn't have a workaround. I wouldn't touch IE; I don't like the fact that MS forces its application to the users, preloads it at Windows start up, and it stays in memory taking up your valuable resources.

#16 Re: Re: Re: It's Fine Now

by gerbilpower

Friday March 2nd, 2001 12:30 PM

The problem with Apache is actually a known bug, can't remember the bug number for it right now. It only occurs under Windows when Apache is running with the PHP module loaded. I see this on my computer also.

I just temporarily stop Apache (I don't maintain a server, I only use the server for my PHP testing), start up Moz, and then restart Apache.


#25 apache/php/mozilla bug

by basic

Saturday March 3rd, 2001 9:58 PM

I believe the bug number is: 65197

#12 Re: It's Fine Now

by unbekannt

Friday March 2nd, 2001 11:21 AM

My whole point was that Mozilla is more stable and feature-rich than IE already. I'm not saying it's perfect, it probably NEVER WILL BE; just like every other large software project. People love IE for some reason, and now that Mozilla is a more stable IE than IE is I think it's time to move on. I have several users running Netscape 6, which was (is) Mozilla pre-.7 (M18, IIRC). It works just great for them, except for a few niggles that have been mostly fixed in the nightlies. Mozilla is ready, we just need to push it out the door already.

#24 Re: Re: It's Fine Now

by basic

Saturday March 3rd, 2001 9:50 PM

What you seem to be looking for is NS6.5. I believe Netscape will release something soon, regardless of when Mozilla 1.0 is released.

#10 Mozilla will be released when its ready

by jeremyr

Friday March 2nd, 2001 11:08 AM

Mozilla will be released when its ready and NOT before. I am using Mozilla .08 and I use it for a lot of javascript/DOM/DHTML scripting and I push it to the limit and I\'ve found numerous things that make it crash, don\'t work right or standards aren\'t implemented yet. Mozilla should build a reputation for releasing only quality products rather than Netscape who has a reputation for poor quality and releasing buggy products. What is the point of using a open source browser when it slower, buggier than its proprietary counterpart? Mozilla is definetely on the road to being complete but it should not be released until all known bugs are dealt with no matter how long it takes. Quality should always be the top priority over meeting deadlines.