Full Article Attached Feature Status Updates

Friday March 2nd, 2001

Gervase Markham has polled various feature owners, and has written up a brief status report on some of mozilla's components. Click the 'Full Article' link to check them out.

On a side note, Gerv is looking for help in making this a weekly or monthly mozillaZine feature. If you are interested, let Gerv know.

#1 great article...

by castrojo

Sunday March 4th, 2001 9:39 PM

thanks for putting this together, of course this means that we'll be expecting an update every week... :)

#2 This Rocks!

by asa

Monday March 5th, 2001 12:22 AM

First, thanks Gerv!

Now this rocks. The status updates at are a great resource but these overviews really help to clarify what's actually going on. I hope that someone can find the cycles to help make this a regular feature at mozillazine.


#12 Re: This Rocks!

by witbrock

Monday March 5th, 2001 1:05 PM

I agree. This report was amazingly encouraging! It's nice to see that there will be significant improvements in just a little while.

#3 SSL / PSM

by macpeep

Monday March 5th, 2001 3:05 AM

What's the status on SSL? The current implementation is *SLOOOOOOOWWWWWW* for me on all sites I've tried. When I try a site with IE, first without SSL and then with SSL, the slowdown is not even noticeable. When I switch to Mozilla, the SSL version takes about 30 seconds to load while the normal non-encrypted version takes less than 1 second. My computer is a 500Mhz Athlon with 128 megs of ram, Windows 98 and my network connection is a 2Mbps ADSL line so that shouldn't be a problem. With IE, the SSL version of the site loads in less than 1 second so it's not the server.

I get similar results on ALL SSL sites I've tried. Any chance that someone is working on getting this fixed to usable levels? This is a serious hurdle for many people to switch to Mozilla / derivate products since they do their banking, buy stuff etc. online without it taking 50 times longer than it used to.

#4 Re: SSL / PSM

by hstark

Monday March 5th, 2001 4:17 AM

I have the same problem, Netscape 4.75 works just fine but no version of Mozilla works at all. The downloads are very long if they work at all.

SSL/PSM is an important feature to many end users. It should be addressed ASAP.

#5 Re: SSL / PSM

by fab

Monday March 5th, 2001 5:43 AM

First, SSL/PSM work fine for me on my windows 95. No noticeable slowdown. Second, if you look the PSM projects page (link on the page), you will see that PSM2.0 is on its way, and it is supposed to be much better (in process instead of the current out of process). Some people already got PSM2.0 to compile.. Fabian.

#6 in process PSM

by macpeep

Monday March 5th, 2001 6:13 AM

yeah, it's in process but the communication is still with sockets and it's still a proxy.. that's hardly an optimal solution for speed...

#7 Re: SSL / PSM

by sconest

Monday March 5th, 2001 6:48 AM

It's a known fact and it's bug 50843

#9 Re: SSL / PSM

by Gerv

Monday March 5th, 2001 11:16 AM

Bob Lord says there\\\'s lots going on - try .


#8 Great Report

by jrmski

Monday March 5th, 2001 8:50 AM

I love the status update, i hope that we will see many more in the future. The updates seem to concentrate on the number of bugs fixed and left, whereas this concentrated on features and improvements we can look forward to. I like that!

#10 module rewrites?

by strauss

Monday March 5th, 2001 11:23 AM

It seems strange that so many modules are being rewritten and replaced late in beta. Doesn't that create a stability risk?

#13 Re: module rewrites?

by strauss

Monday March 5th, 2001 1:13 PM

Five modules are being rewritten and replaced according to this report: image handling, view handling, caching, string classes, and view source.

With the exception of view source, all are components which could have major ripple effects throughout the entire system. Most could also have compatibility effects with respect to a majority of web pages in the world.

Am I really the only one who finds this disturbing?

#14 Better now than never

by sleepy

Monday March 5th, 2001 2:04 PM

I for one find the current imagelib and cache suck. In some cases, they're worse than Netscape 4.x. Try visiting a site with lots of animated GIFs, and you'll see how much Mozilla suffers from decoding the GIFs for every animation loop (especially on Linux). Sometimes Mozilla couldn't even cache the images used for javascript "onMouseOver" effects, and it looks plain awkward. Finally, many web developers have complained that "view source" doesn't always give you the source of the page that's displayed in your browser; rather, Mozilla tries to re-get the source from network. This will turn off many developers, and we'll have more and more web sites developed for IE.

Of course, I would like to thank Mozilla developers for recognizing these problems and fixing them. Wish them luck.

#15 Re: Re: module rewrites?

by Ben_Goodger

Monday March 5th, 2001 6:14 PM

At least two of these large scale changes (imglib2 and the new cache) are addressing major performance problems - image loading bottlenecks and the lack of a decent cache. Addressing these issues should reduce the perceived difference between Mozilla's speed in loading and navigating between pages and IE's.

A lot of this work is being done on branches or not enabled, so that rather than landing things quickly and breaking all sorts of things, the individuals involved have time to test their changes thoroughly before landing their branches or enabling the feature. Ultimately, these are things that have to be done before Mozilla can have a meaningful 1.0. If it takes a little longer to get it right, it's worthwhile (And this is not talking about taking time to perfect minute seldom-used features, this is talking about tuning page load and navigation performance, which is in many cases terrible).

#18 Re: Re: Re: module rewrites?

by strauss

Monday March 5th, 2001 8:12 PM

I agr that these issues are significant and need to be addressed. My concern was not that they were the wrong changes to make but that they risk further slipping the delivery schedule by destabilizing the program. If there is a take-away from my message, it is just to underscore the need for caution in making such changes -- which it appears you are already aware of.

#42 Re: Re: Re: Re: module rewrites?

by hwaara

Friday March 9th, 2001 5:57 PM

I think it's a matter of priority; do you want a fast, stable Mozilla 1.0 or a half-assed Mozilla with all sorts of bottle-necks and bugs that could've been fixed if the schedule was changed?

I prefer the former. I have all the time in the world, as long as 1.0 gets good I'm happy. After all, 1.0 will just be "yet another" nightly with a different package and name AFAIK

So it's not like 1.0 will be much different than any nightlies from those dates.

#43 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: module rewrites?

by NikoP

Saturday March 10th, 2001 7:27 AM

I think 1.0 won't be "yet another nightly" since it will get a longer branch, so it will have a longer stabilizing time than 0.8, 0.9 and as a result it will be more optimized than a nightly build.

#11 Off topic - talkback builds

by oopsilon

Monday March 5th, 2001 12:29 PM

What happenned to the win32 talkback .zip builds? Are the submitted bug reports useless (compared w/bugzilla) so talkback is now disabled?

#16 Perfecto!

by yancey

Monday March 5th, 2001 7:40 PM

This is exactly what I\'ve been wanting! Now I am more excited about Mozilla than ever before. I hope there will be more of these in the future.

#17 Great article!

by arnoudb

Monday March 5th, 2001 7:46 PM

Gerv, you rock! This kind of info is exactly what I've been wanting to see. This really gives a birds-view of what's going on with Mozilla, and that's just so much nicer than just looking at individual bugs. I hope to see more of these in the future!

#19 Programmer's Humor

by kberk

Monday March 5th, 2001 8:38 PM




#21 Re: Programmer's Humor

by MOPyvis

Tuesday March 6th, 2001 4:30 AM

Ever had a look on bug 63015?

#30 Re: Re: Programmer's Humor

by Salsaman

Wednesday March 7th, 2001 1:12 PM

And there's also this one:

#20 Status

by hubick

Monday March 5th, 2001 10:43 PM

Yes, this was goood! Things like this would have helped me figure out that libimg2==libPr0n much sooner than I had :-)

Also, anyone know the status of: A) GPL licencing? B) Newsgroup Renaming?

#45 GPL licensing

by gluon

Saturday March 10th, 2001 1:14 PM

Mozilla can't be licensed under the terms of the GPL. For more informations on this issue read

#22 Thanks a bundle

by tny

Tuesday March 6th, 2001 1:27 PM

How's TRANSFORMIIX doing? (for next time, maybe?) Is that non-1.0?

#26 Re: Thanks a bundle

by Pike

Wednesday March 7th, 2001 5:35 AM

check out, we target 0.9. Most issues are in bugzilla, the project page has a query link that get's you going.



by tny

Wednesday March 7th, 2001 12:28 PM

Thanks a lot! Unfortunately, I keep crashing with a Necko error when I try to load the package. I'm using 2001030704. I'll search bugzilla later and file if it's not there.

[Axel's link has a stray comma in it; click here

if you're too lazy to fix it yourself]

#23 The future of status reports

by mpt

Tuesday March 6th, 2001 10:32 PM

One day, I hope the status reports on are like this. Based around features, rather than engineers. No mention of how good particular antibiotics are, or that someone is having problems with their laptop, or other irrelevant stuff. And written in complete sentences!

Well done, Gerv ... Now, stop wasting time writing stuff for Mozillazine, and get back to your study! ;-)

-- mpt

#24 the outliner has landed

by Pike

Wednesday March 7th, 2001 5:33 AM

Just a short addition, hyatt landed outliner yesterday. Happy filing ;-)

#25 How is XSLT support coming on?

by bruced

Wednesday March 7th, 2001 5:34 AM

Great report Gerv, this should keep people who aren't "in" enough to understand the reports on-board. Have you sent a copy for posting on

One project I'm really keen to know the status of is the support for XSL/XSLT in Mozilla. This is a key feature, which is currently reinforcing IE's dominance. (My current project has just had to standardise on IE due to the need to deliver training material using XML & XSLT).

#27 Re: How is XSLT support coming on?

by fab

Wednesday March 7th, 2001 5:49 AM

Read Pike's response to the "Thanks a bundle" comment in this article for the answer to your question. :-)

#28 Re: How is XSLT support coming on?

by tny

Wednesday March 7th, 2001 12:22 PM

And do not standardize on Microsoft's older implementation of XML; make sure you use MSXML 3! earlier Microsoft implementations are non-standard. (though there's an encoding declaration bug in MSXML 3).

#31 That was very helpful

by sharlskdy

Wednesday March 7th, 2001 1:34 PM

I've been following Mozilla and testing out builds and using it here and there, but reading this update helped clarify why the browser seemed so slow sometimes: the cache issue, or the image decoding overhead, etc. This is the update for testers/non-developers I've been waiting for, so thanks for putting it together. Even if you don't do another one, this has brought me up to speed at this late day in the game.

#32 That was very helpful

by sharlskdy

Wednesday March 7th, 2001 1:34 PM

I've been following Mozilla and testing out builds and using it here and there, but reading this update helped clarify why the browser seemed so slow sometimes: the cache issue, or the image decoding overhead, etc. This is the update for testers/non-developers I've been waiting for, so thanks for putting it together. Even if you don't do another one, this has brought me up to speed at this late day in the game.

#38 Re: That was very helpful

by chip

Thursday March 8th, 2001 9:46 AM

To be better, i hope there will be better documents rolled into the binary (nightly) builds, giving guidences to users for testing different compontents like XSLT, view manager (and anything else) not enabled by the default install.

as most of us are not hard core Mozilla coders, even don't know how to tweak prefs.js to turn some features on... having these kind of 'get-me-started' testing guidelines will help a lot, enabling more people to help testing.

It will be good, IMHO.

#41 Re: Re: That was very helpful

by asa

Friday March 9th, 2001 8:29 AM

most features that need testing don't require tweaking prefs.js or anything like that. If you'd like to help test the product then pages like and are good places to get started.


#33 chalk another one up!

by glo_worm

Wednesday March 7th, 2001 7:06 PM

thanks a lot, Gerz! this is the perfect kind of summary for the vast majority of us out here, i'd imagine.. hope to see more, but only when you have the time, of course.. thanks again!

#34 Re: chalk another one up!

by glo_worm

Wednesday March 7th, 2001 7:09 PM

oops sorry for the typo... Gerv! 8)

#35 libpr0n

by unbekannt

Wednesday March 7th, 2001 7:10 PM

Are they really going to keep on calling it libpr0n? :)

#39 Re: libpr0n

by arnoudb

Thursday March 8th, 2001 11:49 AM

Guessing from some of the responses I've been reading here and there, why is this name supposed to be funny, or something? What am I missing? :)

#40 pr0n

by schapel

Thursday March 8th, 2001 12:04 PM

Do a google search on pr0n and you'll get it!

#47 Re: Re: libpr0n

by gwalla

Friday March 16th, 2001 1:35 PM

pr0n = p0rn = pornography

#36 What is Outliner

by Netvigator

Thursday March 8th, 2001 2:48 AM

BTW what is Hyatt\'s outliner meant to be had a look at the bug info. but I\'m still a bit lost

#37 Re: What is Outliner

by bzbarsky

Thursday March 8th, 2001 4:01 AM

It's a replacement for the tree widget that's supposed to scale much better (tests with 2-million-item trees have acceptable performance, I am told). First being implemented in places like mailnews, where large trees happen fairly often.

#44 Re: Re: What is Outliner

by NikoP

Saturday March 10th, 2001 7:38 AM

when will it be used, e.g. for the mail folders and usenet trees?

#46 Re: Re: Re: What is Outliner

by gerbilpower

Saturday March 10th, 2001 1:26 PM

According to the article, it says that it won't be activated until after Mozilla 0.8.1