Independent Project Status Reports
Tuesday April 10th, 2001
Here are this week's reports. Featured are Beonex and Hermes. Enjoy!
#1 Full article is on wrong URL
Tuesday April 10th, 2001 10:09 AM
Where on earth is this full article??
#2 For the uninitiated...
Tuesday April 10th, 2001 10:24 AM
could you add a one sentence summary of what each project is for?
#6 Re: For the uninitiated...
Tuesday April 10th, 2001 12:12 PM
Ok.. I can do that.. for Hermes at least.
Hermes is a project that is aimed at allowing you to access your web based e-mail accounts a little bit faster.
It comprises a sidebar tab, with login/password fields for various webmail providers. If yours isn't there.. request it.. better yet try to help us add it.
#10 Re: For the uninitiated...
Tuesday April 10th, 2001 3:27 PM
FYI - the name of the project (i.e. "Beonex") is already link that, when activated, will take you to the home page of the project for more information.
The following are brief summaries (which may not be completely accurate - I am not associated with any of them):
Beonex is a commercially supported software suite based on Mozilla. New features are added based on funding.
Hermes aims to create a sidebar tab to ease access to web-based e-mail accounts. Chameleon the open source version of Netscape's Theme Builder tool. Theme Builder is a graphical tool made to simplify the creation of themes (customized user interfaces) for Mozilla. mozmp (MOZilla Media Player) is an attempt at creating an audio and video player much like Real Networks Real Player using Mozilla components.
mozCalc is a desktop calculator application written using Mozilla technology. ForumZilla is a XUL application for reading web discussion forums (a.k.a. weblogs) in a Usenet newsreader-like interface.
DocZilla is a commercially supported extention to Mozilla that adds enhanced support for XML , SGML, HyTime links, and CALS tables.
Bookie is an application which keeps all your bookmarks on a central server so that you can access bookmarks from anywhere on the web.
Tuesday April 10th, 2001 10:36 AM
The interest in Mozilla is waning, there are about 2 Billion bugs and the product doesnt seem to get any better. There is as much regression as there is progress, what does that equal to, more waiting. We cant wait *forever* for a stable product. Anyone 2nd me on this?
#4 go away.
Tuesday April 10th, 2001 10:55 AM
Whatever, as time progresses more companies are commiting to ship products based on Mozilla. Look over past news items to proove my point. Mozilla ain't going anywhere. As much as i don't like AOL, their backing of Moz is no small deal. As far as regressions go, you have obviously NEVER been involved in a major software project before as regressions are a normal part of the process. Please stick your trolls where the sun don't shine.
#41 Re: go away.
Saturday April 14th, 2001 10:18 AM
What's with the attitude? I seriously doubt that YOU have been involved in major software projects.. The ones I've been involved in have been much more well behaved as far as regressions go.
The whole point of object oriented and well componentized code is that you write something and define the interface how it interacts with the rest of the application and after you get it working, you don't have to touch it. Regressions across the board the way we see on Mozilla should NOT happen after 3 years into development.
I haven't been able to download a nightly build that would have had fully working bookmarks in almost a month now! Soon, it will start using the new outliner widgets which spells even more problems. And we're near to version 0.9!
In bookmarks on the sidebar, a single click is enough to open a folder. For history in the sidebar, you have to double click. Clicking on the triangle-arrows on bookmarks requires a double click. There's absolutely no consistency in the user interface and things like I just mentioned are absolutely everywhere.
Do some "aggressive" surfing - clicking forward, back, opening new windows, closing them etc. and you will get a crash easily within a minute. The latest nightly build I downloaded today crashed when you click on "compose email".
When people write and criticize that they feel Mozilla is buggy, the right response is not to say "go away" or "shut up". In some cases, what they have to say may not be constructive but the signs are all over the place; the Mozilla project is having serious problems. While some things are getting better (outliner, PSM 2.0 fixed most of the serious SSL problems - at least for me, XUL is faster in many areas etc.) there are *VERY* serious issues in many areas that have worked in the past and should be working by now.
The amount of outside contribution and adoption by major companies doesn't impress me much. Apart from AOL/Netscape (obviously), I can't think of any major company that would be using Mozilla in their products. The Nokia product announcements are things that are years away from being released and by then, they might have switched to Opera or Konqueror or who knows what.
When you say "Mozilla ain't going anywhere", you maybe be very right... UNFORTUNATELY...
#42 Re: Re: go away.
Saturday April 14th, 2001 12:38 PM
Is Intel enough of a major company for you?
From the document: For the browser technology, Intel has chosen the highly customizable Mozilla browser for state-of-the-art support of Dynamic HTML 4.0.
#44 Re: Re: Re: go away.
Saturday April 14th, 2001 1:56 PM
Well, that's what I mean.. Nokia, Intel, IBM.. But where are the products? IBM's OS/2 browser is for a completely marginal operating system that hasn't been updated in years and years and that hardly anyone uses anymore. Nokia's and Intel's web appliances (which are actually very similar in many ways) are both experimental products that you won't see on shelves in stores for years - if even then.
If you check web server logs for a *major* site that represent a good average of all web users, you'll find that Mozilla and Netscape 6 users - together - are completely marginal right now (less than Netscape 3 and IE 6 beta!). Given the reactions Netscape 6 (and 6.01) is receiving in major web sites and magazines, that percentage isn't going to rise anytime soon unless the browser gets it's shit together. In light of that, "go away" and "shut up" isn't the right response to critical opinions.
#47 Re: Re: go away.
Saturday April 14th, 2001 5:40 PM
So what? What do you suggest? Stop the project? Hire a bunch of coders? Sit around and cry? Go on as usual? Touch the code with a magic wand to make all bugs disappear?
I don't understand why you're writing all this. Do you want the contributors to leave Mozilla? Or do you want them to stay and think that Mozilla is rubbish?
Please, stop telling us how bad Mozilla is. Make suggestions instead.
#48 Re: go away
Sunday April 15th, 2001 2:10 AM
Oh, I'm contributing and I'm making suggestions, filing bugs, downloading nightly builds and testing the damn thing.
I'm just saying to those that don't tollerate negative feedback that their attitude is wrong. They should listen extra carefully to negative feedback because by listening and fixing those things, Mozilla actually has a chance of getting better. Negative feedback should of course first and foremost come in form of bug reports, but posts in forums like this is also one channel.
#53 Re: Re: go away
Tuesday April 17th, 2001 6:44 AM
> I'm just saying to those that don't tollerate negative feedback that their attitude is wrong. They should listen extra carefully to negative feedback because by listening and fixing those things, Mozilla actually has a chance of getting better.
Yes, I agree! We should listen for serious comments (even if negative) and try to fix what is mentioned. But please tell me, how should anybody "fix" this feedback:
"The interest in Mozilla is waning, there are about 2 Billion bugs and the product doesnt seem to get any better. There is as much regression as there is progress, what does that equal to, more waiting. We cant wait *forever* for a stable product. Anyone 2nd me on this?"
You can't. There is no suggestion, there is not even mentioned, what's wrong! The posting only says "it's wrong, do you agree?". Mozilla IS makeing progress and the developers are working their asses off. The current nightly is almost release quality. There are still a lot of bugs, but they are mostly of cosmetic nature. 0.9 is coming along and will be a huge step ahead of 0.8 (I especially like the new image lib). It's solid, fast and beautifull. So what is wrong? We have to wait some weeks for 0.9. Then we will be REALLY close to a final release. It's up to US to decide, which release is worth a final. Come on, there is no need for such crap like "There is as much regression as there is progress". This is simply not true and he can't proof it in any way. Tell me, what would you do with such postings, if you would be a developer? Work harder? Work smarter? And if you already work as hard and smart as you can? This would be quite demoralizing, no? YES! The only reasonable way to handle such postings is to ignore them. If you have a suggestion of how to improve Mozilla quality, than feel free to post it. I'm sure you won't get a "shut up" or "go away" in this case. Cause it would be constructive. Something, that really lacks all your postings I have read yet (but this aren't very much, so don't worry). I just hope your Bugreports are more constructive. ;)
Tuesday April 17th, 2001 9:06 AM
I have to agree with you 100%, Sparkster! I wish I could say it as well as you. Back to learning english! ;-) Fabian.
#56 handling negative feedback constructively
Wednesday April 18th, 2001 10:00 AM
I agree that the original post wasn't exactly constructive - I never said it was. Kidding yourself that 0.9 will be "REALLY close to final" (with 'really' in all caps) isn't exactly constructive either. You say it's up to us to decide, which release is worth a final. Well, my vote is a "HELL NO!" for 0.8.1 and I'm pretty sure my vote will be an almost as vocal no for 0.9.
Recently someone suggested on a newsgroup that there should be the same kind of review process for UI as there is for code. The review would be performed by a group of experts (including but not limited to people like Ben Goodger that know the UI inside and out) on the UI as well as experts on usabillity and quality. The reason this is needed is that the UI is starting to be in such bad shape that it's very alarming.
When we get a suddenly get an announcement of a completely new skin instead of polishing the existing one and keeping that in the final version, it kinda makes you wonder if the resources are put into 100% smart use. QUALITY and PERFORMANCE need to be the #1 priorities right now - not new skins and the likes. I'm all for the new image lib, PSM 2.0 the new outliner widget etc. and I completely understand and accept the temporary regressions caused by this as they will directly improve the performance...
I get the feeling that people are cleaning the deck on the Titanic and that some are still in the bar playing blackjack, saying "damn this ship rules! we will look so good when we arrive in New York".
#57 re: handling negative feedback constructively
Wednesday April 18th, 2001 6:00 PM
> Kidding yourself that 0.9 will be "REALLY close to final" (with 'really' in all caps)
Oh, so you know how 0.9 will be? I don't think so. Neither do I, but...
> my vote is a "HELL NO!" for 0.8.1
I agree. The current nightly is far away from 0.8.1. The render engine make a very polished impression. The UI is fast and stable. Maybe they are bugs in some of the advanced GUI features, but I didn't find them yet. So if 0.9 is quite stable, I'm sure my vote will be "HELL YES!" very soon. Of course it's your right to say NO. We will see, what the majority thinks. :)
> I get the feeling that people are cleaning the deck on the Titanic and that some are still in the bar playing blackjack, saying "damn this ship rules! we will look so good when we arrive in New York".
Yeah, but we have some people doing the dirty work and looking for icebergs. Let's enjoy the ride until the boat is NOT sinking.
#58 Re: re: handling negative feedback constructively
Wednesday April 18th, 2001 11:50 PM
Do I know what 0.9 will be like? I can extrapolate from 0.8, 0.8.1 and the current nightlies. From that, I see that it's not going to be "very close to final" but that can of course be discussed. Kinda funny that you should ask me a question like that tho, after proclaimin in all-caps as a fact that "0.9 will be REALLY close to final".
Regarding 0.8.1 features I agree that the renderer is starting to be of release quality. Some important bugfixes remain but those bugs can relatively easily go un-noticed, which means it's not too bad for the general public. (textfields being too tall and forms not submitting all fields under some conditions spring to mind)
"The UI is fast and stable", you say. Here I definitely don't agree. I have a 500MHz Athlon with 128 megs of RAM at home and on that machine the UI is usable but definitely sluggish and since the browser crashes a couple of times per hour, I couldn't call it "stable" no matter how hard I tried. Maybe it's not the *UI* that crashes but how am I supposed to know that - or you for that matter?
Like I always want to point out after a negative post; I'm not here to say "Mozilla sucks". The reason I follow the Mozilla project is that I want it to succeed. I file bugs, test nightly builds, discuss topics in newsgroups etc. It's just that I'm nowhere near as optimistic as a lot of people on MozillaZine are. I still feel that IE 5.5 is *LIGHTYEARS* ahead as a browser (forget security bugs etc. for a minute). It's fast, it's stable, the UI is very responsive and it's standards compliant enough that it's not a major (or even minor) problem for web designers or users. Until Mozilla is at least on par with IE, very few are going to switch. And let's not forget that while Mozilla is supported on a million platforms, IE is supported on Win32, Mac, Solaris and HP-UX. Even with just Win32 and Mac, that's somewhere between 98% and 99% of the userbase, depending on your source. With IE6 coming up and being even more standards compliant than 5.5, I can't help but be very worried when I see the quality of the recent nightly builds and the comments about Mozilla being close to final now.
I sure hope THIS isn't close to final because MUCH more work is needed.
#59 Re: Re: re: handling negative feedback constructively
Thursday April 19th, 2001 3:21 AM
> Do I know what 0.9 will be like? I can extrapolate from 0.8, 0.8.1 and the current nightlies.
You didn't say, that you know the currenty nightlies. If you do, fine. So we are talking of a bug fixed current nightly as potential 0.9 candidate, right? Yes, I think it's ready.
> Regarding 0.8.1 features I agree that the renderer is starting to be of release quality.
And that's the most important component.
> Some important bugfixes remain but those bugs can relatively easily go un-noticed, which means it's not too bad for the general public. (textfields being too tall and forms not submitting all fields under some conditions spring to mind)
I agree. I expect most of the last renderengine bugs to fixed in 0.9 or soon afterwards.
regarding the UI: Maybe it's sluggish on a 500. It's not, on 750. I agree, that this is not very good. But considering the upcoming Windows XP release, which will "run best on a new computer" I don't think there will be a lot of < 700mhz comps in some month. Most Windows dummies will upgrade and bang, Mozilla UI is fast. With stable, I meant the UI widgets. They look quite solid and I didn't see any graphic errors lately. This was very bad around 0.8. The current nightlies crash occasionaly, but that's what I expect from a nightly.
But now let's look a bit further. You say, the engine is up to release quality. Let's take a look at "Galeon". I't an outstanding application and all of it's manpower is put into the UI, nothing else. It's nice, fast, powerfull and customizable. This is surely the best Browser UI I have ever used. And this is combined with the best render engine I have ever used. This equals to an almost unbeatable browser. Only downside: It's Gnome only. BUT... how difficult do you expect such a project to be? How difficult would it be for a somehow experienced user to copy the IE interface (without the engine of course)? Not very much. Expect more of those "specialized" browsers to come, and this is possible because the Mozilla engine is free. I'm really wondering why you always speaking about the Mozilla UI. It's clear, that YOU don't like it. It's clear, that YOU don't need the plattform independence and that YOU don't need the themes or flexibility. So why don't you concentrate on something like k-meleon instead? It's your choice, take it. :)
#60 cross platform
Thursday April 19th, 2001 10:18 AM
Galeon may be great but the percentage of users that run GNOME is about 0.3% - 0.5% or so (that's not just something I put there - it's a pretty well educated guess, based on the number of Linux users and the number of GNOME users among Linux users etc.). In my book, that's so marginal that if we're speaking about Mozilla as a whole - "the Mozilla project" it doesn't amount much as far as success or readiness goes.
I use Windows 2000 at work because the toolchain I need to compile for what I need to compile for only exist on Windows. At home, I run W2K on my laptop because I consider it the best laptop UI. The desktop at home is Win98 at the moment - for games and general surfing etc. - so I see the world through a very "what works best?" perspective since a browser is just another application for me. I need to read documentation, news, weather, sports, Slashdot etc. I'm not all that caught up on idealism regarding my OS nor do I care that much which browser it is I'm using as long as it works very well.
My browser of choice is therefore IE 5.5 SP1 because from a purely "what works best?" perspective, that's what's #1 in my book. For the record, I use Netscape Communicator for email because I don't like Outlook at all.
The main reason I find IE to be a better browser than Mozilla is - like you've probably guessed from my posts - the UI. It's slow on every machine I've ever tried (and the machines I use tend to have quite a bit of RAM too). If for some reason I couldn't use IE, I'd probably use Netscape Communicator 4.77 instead of Mozilla because it's just so much more responsive. The Opera UI looks nice and is responsive but it just doesn't fit me that well.
I hope 0.9 will be fast and stable but I'm not counting on it, nor do I expect it.. I hope it will take me by surprise and if it does, I promise I'll admit it openly on MozillaZine. :) I have absolutely no personal reason to NOT like Mozilla - it's 100% purely that I just don't find it that good - yet.
BTW, yeah, these kinds of posts aren't constructive or anything.. I just wanted to tell you where I'm coming from since I'm getting the impression that a lot of people here seems to think that I'm just here to promote IE. That's not at all the case.
#62 Re: cross platform
Thursday April 19th, 2001 3:08 PM
Interesting, IE 5.5 is essentially crap... the UI is absurd: lowest common denominator to the point of being about as insipid as the Apple OS, and it crashes practically every session I use it (which is rare, because it feels like I'm browsing with something created by Playmobile).
#63 Re: cross platform
Thursday April 19th, 2001 11:39 PM
The UI in IE isn't top-notch. I like the UI in Netscape Communicator 4.x much better but the IE UI is just.. *shrug* nothing spectacular. It's not bad, nor is it good..
As far as stability goes, clearly this seems to be dependent on the setup because the thing you just described "crashes every session I use it, which is rare because it feels like I'm browsing with something created by Playmobile" could be an exact quote by me, regarding Mozilla. For me, IE 5.5 is infinitely more stable than Mozilla and Mozilla is the browser that seems like it's created by Fisherprice or Playmobile. I'm not going to start arguing about who is right and who is wrong but clearly, on my machine, IE is more stable and clearly on your, Mozilla is more stable. Very interesting how we have to same feeling but about different browsers. BTW, the Playmobile feeling about Mozilla comes primarily from the UI for me - not so much from stability or lack of it.
#64 Re: cross platform
Friday April 20th, 2001 2:06 AM
You didn't get my point. I know that you can't use Galeon, it was just an example, of how easy a new Mozilla UI can be designet. Look at K-Meleon, they did it in ONE DAY!!! And yes, it's a Windows app. So I really would recommend you to take a look at K-Meleon (http://www.kmeleon.org). The current release is 0.4, I'm sure it will getting better fast (Galeon was crap in the beginning too, but now it's absolutely outstanding). And it's opensource, If something on the UI doesn't suit your needs, you could try to help them. Mozilla has to be Crossplattform, but of course native applications often work much faster. Also there is never an UI that suits the need of everybody. So take the fantastic Gecko engine (you admined, that it is alsmost ready) and use it with your favorite UI. Have fun.
#65 Actually the link is...
Friday April 20th, 2001 2:07 AM
#66 Kmeleon release is v0.3
Friday April 20th, 2001 8:05 AM
There you\'ve done it! You\'ve gone and gotten my hopes up only to have them dashed. The current release is still .3, but I hope .4 comes along soon. .3 is very good and fast, much faster than mozilla. I\'m looking forward to .4.
#67 Re: Kmeleon release is v0.3
Friday April 20th, 2001 8:40 AM
Argh, I'm sorry! :) If K-Meleon is only half as good as Galeon, I can really understand, why you like it so much. But I'm sure, the author could need some help too.
#68 No answer macpeep, does that mean...
Wednesday April 25th, 2001 5:47 AM
that you agree? :) I'm sure there will be a Mozilla Frontend for everybody soon. Even for you. :) Just keep an eye on the renderengine, it's much more important for now.
#61 Re: Re: re: handling negative feedback constructively
Thursday April 19th, 2001 3:05 PM
I have a p2-400, and the UI in Mozilla is more responsive than IE's, in practically every respect. I have to wonder what's wrong with your machine if you find it sluggish.
Nothing about the current nightlies' UI do I find sluggish. The only thing about moz now that is at all sluggish on my machine is initial startup and window open/close. But I don't consider that "UI" in even the most general sense.
#51 Re: Re: Re: go away.
Monday April 16th, 2001 1:49 PM
I've never understood why people interpret the expression of concern as a statement that everyone should pack up and go home. When you have a problem, you solve it.
In Mozilla's case, the failure of the project so far results from some very comprehensible and addressable factors.
First, inadequate technical leadership has left the project in a stumbling, blundering state in which leads on key components can't even be bothered to send status reports. Get some seasoned management in there and get some discipline into the operation.
Second, short spending on quality assurance has resulted from adoption of false models of quality in the open source community, in which quality is magically invoked without cost by something called "eyeballs." Back on earth, here's what you need to do. Hire on a few dozen good quality engineers, get through that giant bug report backlog, and start looking at components using root cause analysis methods. Create test suites for all the major components and turn down any checkin that doesn't pass the tests.
Third, on the technical level, address the terrible bug-fix productivity among the paid contributors, few of whom seem to be able to fix more than two or three bugs a week. (See status reports.) If people can't fix a dozen or more bugs a week, you have either the wrong people or a system which is hard to debug (or both). In this case, we know that the incredibly long compile-link-run turnaround time on Mozilla is a major contributor to the slow bug fix rate. Find a way to boost the compile rates -- there are a number of ways to performance tune the compilation and linking process.
Fourth, get some competent user experience help. The one person on the project who seemed to understand this area left the project because no one cared about user interface standards and he was tired of being ignored. The UI for Mozilla is dreadful, rather like a Windows 3.0 application. No one who has even half a clue on these matters would approve an interface that is so inconsistent and incoherent. Hire a good UI consultancy and give them the XBL/XUL support they need to create an interface that is at least up to 1995 standards.
Yes, these things imply spending money. It's rarely possible to dig oneself out of a hole without buying a shovel. But if any more proof was needed that the free software/open source model does _not_ create great software for free, it's this project. Spend more now, or waste everything you've already spent. Your choice.
#5 Re: Yarn!!!
Tuesday April 10th, 2001 10:56 AM
I don't know what kind of interest in Mozilla you are talking about, but my interest has not wane. In its current shape Mozilla is not ready for 1.0, and the only way to fix that is to work on it.Where did you get the 2 billion from?
#26 Re: Re: Yarn!!!
Thursday April 12th, 2001 4:28 AM
> Where did you get the 2 billion from?
I did a bugzilla query (the bug count report doesn't allow to choose the components) with the following settings:
status: UNCONFIRMED, ASSIGNED, NEW, REOPENED program: BROWSER component: all, but ActiveX Wrapper, Chatzilla, Embedding components, Evangelism, Help, Java components, MathML, Mozilla Translator, SVG, Talkback, Tracking, XSLT keywords, not allowed: nsonly summary doesn't contain: [FEATURE] [RFE]
... there were 2487 bugs - and then after 20 secs mozilla crashed showing the long bug list ;-)
#27 Re: Re: Yarn!!!
Thursday April 12th, 2001 4:29 AM
oh damn, no <br>s - here the settings again:
status: UNCONFIRMED, ASSIGNED, NEW, REOPENED
component: all, but ActiveX Wrapper, Chatzilla, Embedding components, Evangelism, Help, Java components, MathML, Mozilla Translator, SVG, Talkback, Tracking, XSLT
keywords, not allowed: nsonly
summary doesn't contain: [FEATURE] [RFE]
Thursday April 12th, 2001 6:04 AM
1. Unconfirmed shouldn\'t count. You never know... 2. What about those \"enhancement\" bugs? Personally I filed two bugs which are only suggestions but no real bugs. They shouldn\'t count neither.
What woule be the new number then?
#30 Re: Re: Re: Yarn!!!
Thursday April 12th, 2001 12:17 PM
UNCONFIRMED shouldn't be in there, because many of them are duplicates of existing bugs, or invalid bugs, or just spam.
The Evangelism component actually has nothing to do with the codebase, but is instead for lobbying page authors to write standards-compliant HTML pages. Personally, I think that's what the WSP is for and shouldn't be in the Mozilla project (and certainly not under the "browser" module), but that's just me.
You should have excluded bugs with severity of "enhancement", many of which do not have [RFE] or [FEATURE] in the subject (even though in most cases they should).
You should also have filtered out meta-bugs, which are just for grouping other bugs (like the "GNKSA compliance" bug, which depends on all bugs that must be fixed in order that Mozilla Mailnews can get a GNKSA).
And at any rate, you can't get 2 billion bugs from any query because there are only approximately 75750 bugs in the database, total--including closed and unconfirmed ones.
#46 new bug #
Saturday April 14th, 2001 4:37 PM
a total of 1759 bugs for my last query excluded the "enhancement" bugs and the [LAYERS] bugs
#8 there IS progress...
Tuesday April 10th, 2001 2:57 PM
you did not use it lately, do you ? ever noticed the outliner widget in mail/news ? this is a dramatic improvement in terms of speed... windows opening improved a lot too (thanks to people working on XUL), subscribing to the news is times faster than a few months ago. there are less crashes. i noticed also a few bugs in rendering which have been fixed. and there are little things like click hold on Mac for context menus, wheel mouses now supported, and so on...
facts please, not rumours...
-- Hervé - mozillazine-fr.org
#9 We want stability, now!
Tuesday April 10th, 2001 3:17 PM
Although there are regressions, I've seen a lot of progress. It loads somewhat faster and is more polished. Just look at the build comments from the build bar for the last few months to see what's been fixed. It's the little things that are making it shine.
Although I want Mozilla out really soon, I want it to be stable even more. Netscape 6 has been a disaster. In good conscience I have to discourage people from moving to it over 4.x. It's not there yet. Mozilla's getting closer and I've advocated it, but suggest waiting for the 1.0 release because of regressions.
The bug count is very difficult to judge. There are more than a few duplicates. There's also a great many enhancement requests and suggested features that aren't strictly bugs. Many of the bugs are in rare places.
The longer the Mozilla release takes, the more likely it seems to me that Mozilla will need to support "defacto" standards, such as document.all. It may be heresy to standardistas, but it's turning Mozilla into an also-ran for many web developers. How do you convince people to upgrade to a browser that fails on most of the dynamic content out there (IE-style)? How do you justify the cost of converting dynamic sites when Mozilla has extremely limited marketshare (< 2% compared to IE's > 70%)?
#11 Market share
Tuesday April 10th, 2001 3:48 PM
'How do you justify the cost of converting dynamic sites when Mozilla has extremely limited marketshare (< 2% compared to IE's > 70%)?'
One word (well actually an acronym): AOL.
#15 Evangelism wouldn't be necessary if bug fixed
Wednesday April 11th, 2001 1:00 AM
You make a good point about the number of bugs for components other than Mozilla (and for other than the browser, which is what many people think of when you say Mozilla).
> there are bugs to track problems that are not due to Mozilla but other problems such as bad HTML usage [there are 408 bugs open for Component = Evangelism].
Many of these bugs start with [Layers] and are about the fact that Mozilla supports neither document.layers nor document.all. Although I somewhat understand not implementing Netscape 4's layers, it's becoming less and less understandable why Mozilla doesn't implement document.all. Go back to my previous post about not being able to justify the cost of changing a site for a barely used browser. Asking all these sites to re-code for Mozilla seems a losing battle. (But one I hope they win because it will make a better web.)
#34 MS IE6
Thursday April 12th, 2001 2:13 PM
The new internet explorer has both standards compliance and the same \\\\\\\"quirks\\\\\\\" mode that was talked about in netscape. document.all is being phased out by everyone just like layers. They are both a stick in the side of standards.
#12 Re: We want stability, now!
Tuesday April 10th, 2001 4:04 PM
> The bug count is very difficult to judge.
This should be strongly emphasized. Looking at the raw bug counts is not always very useful. You have to do at least some investigation of the counts.
Not only are there "enhancement requests" [there are 1821 Severity = enhancement bugs open] and numerous duplicates, but there are also bugs in software other than Mozilla [there are 546 bugs open for Component = Bugzilla or Bugzilla 3 and 40 bugs open for Bonsai] and there are bugs to track problems that are not due to Mozilla but other problems such as bad HTML usage [there are 408 bugs open for Component = Evangelism].
#23 Re: We want stability, now!
Wednesday April 11th, 2001 5:27 PM
"How do you justify the cost of converting dynamic sites when Mozilla has extremely limited marketshare (< 2% compared to IE's > 70%)?"
According to stats at thecounter.com, the figures are more like < 0.5% for Mozilla and > 86% for Explorer. Netscape 4.x has fallen from 12% in November to 8% now, but all of that is IE defection, with almost no visible upgrades to Mozilla or Netscape 6. At this rate, IE will be the only browser before the end of the year.
#24 Re: Re: We want stability, now!
Wednesday April 11th, 2001 8:47 PM
\"...IE will be the only browser before the end of the year.\"
Well I guess we should just throw in the towel then, right?
Wrong. We all know the direction the numbers are going. It\'s a fact of life. But people who bring that fact up all the time are not helping anything. So what if IE holds 99.9% of the know-nothing user market? I feel that\'s all the more reason to want something better than the status quo and to devote my time and energy towards its development and advocacy.
Mozilla is (or at least is becoming) without a doubt that something better. And I believe that good products will prosper in the end. Proof in point? Browser vendors such as AOL and Neoplanet committing to building their products on the Mozilla codebase. People recognizing that just because a browser has majority market share and is bundled with every computer sold doesn\'t mean it\'s the only or best choice.
And the word is slowly spreading amongst web developers as well. We\'re starting to see the advantages that a full-featured, strictly standards-compliant browser has to offer. Just recently I decided (after much anguish, believe me) that I would have to target a web application I\'m currently developing to support Mozilla-based browsers only, due to IE\'s incomplete and buggy support of XML, DOM, and CSS (and yes I tried it on IE6). Who woulda thought. I can\'t be the only one who\'s starting to have to do this.
IE is a good browser, sure. I like it a lot. But Microsoft\'s attitude toward the user and developer is starting to backfire on them as people like me and many others start rewarding solid technology.
Look to the future, my friend. It is bright.
#32 Re: Re: Re: We want stability, now!
Thursday April 12th, 2001 12:22 PM
"Browser vendors such as AOL and Neoplanet committing to building their products on the Mozilla codebase."
When did AOL commit to using Mozilla? Surely you're not referring simply to the awful Netscape 6.x releases. AOL has been distinctly mum on the question of Mozilla adoption for the AOL browser.
"the word is slowly spreading amongst web developers as well."
I am a web developer and I deal with many web developers. Yes, the word is spreading. that word is: Mozilla is buggy and slow, and nowhere near ready for prime time.
It's really looking like it never will be, with the ever-increading defect curve, and AOL's likely unwillingness to continue to sink hundreds of millions of dollars per year into a product which can't make it any money. (In case you hadn't heard, AOL is now in a drastic cost-cutting regime.)
Thursday April 12th, 2001 1:34 PM
Yes, I was speaking of Netscape 6.
I guess it just depends what circles you hang out with, then. I\\\'m sorry that the \\\"word\\\" amongst those you deal with is apparently so bad that you\\\'re giving up on Mozilla this soon. Sure it\\\'s got bugs. So do all other browsers. No surprise there. *Parts* of it are slow, yes (mainly the interface, rendering certainly isn\\\'t slow) but they\\\'re getting faster. Just look at the page load performance charts. And don\\\'t forget to keep in mind all the things that Moz already does incredibly well: CSS, DOM, etc...
I find it unfortunate that because of its current faults you are giving up on what still promises to be a superior browser. And certainly constantly saying that Mozilla \\\"never will be\\\" ready for prime-time and is doomed to die can\\\'t help anything. Or do you think it can?
#35 Re: Re:
Thursday April 12th, 2001 4:33 PM
Yes, I believe these are productive observations. The first step in solving a problem is admitting there is a problem.
Unfortunately, the Mozilla advocates have not yet reached that point. I really don't know what it would take, since it's so obvious to everyone else in the world who cares.
Friday April 13th, 2001 2:58 AM
Please note there is no such thing as "the mozilla advocates". The mozilla community consists of many individuals with a lot of different roles in mozilla development (testing & bug reporting, bugzilla QA, writing documentation, coding, ...) and different opinions about almost any aspect of the whole project. True, most of us probably wouldn't help with mozilla if we did not believe that mozilla will be successful in the end. But that doesn't mean we're denying the existence of problems. Instead, we are working on solutions.
More comments here later today.
Tuesday April 17th, 2001 3:33 PM
Sorry for being late...
You seem to be worried about the "increasing defect-curve". While I agree that there is no correspondence at all between the absolute number of bugs filed and the quality of Mozilla, the existence of bugs is indeed a long-term problem because it makes spend people a lot of time on "bug triage". For a proposal Bugzilla can be improved to support this better, see (among others) the "FeatureZilla" bug 75172 http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=75172 and the plan from the new Bugzilla developer at mozilla.org news://news.mozilla.org:119/3AD622F1.8050301%40mozilla.org about his future work.
#37 Performance charts
Friday April 13th, 2001 4:48 AM
> Just look at the page load performance charts.
Where can I do this? I would be really interested to see those charts. I feel that Mozilla is getting much faster, but my feeling could be wrong. :)
The current state of Mozilla is impressive. The speed is absolutely perfect on an Athlon 750 Mhz Machine with 256 megs of ram. The new imagelib and cache are impressive. And don't forget, that Gecko can be used in any application, not only in Mozilla. It wouldn't be much of a problem to produce a cheap Internet Explorer shell that uses the Gecko engine. How would you compare THAT? The rendering engine has still some minor bugs, but if development goes on at current speed, 1.0 will be outstanding.
And what about version 2, 3 or even 6 as IE is currently...
#38 Performance Charts
Friday April 13th, 2001 8:54 AM
...are posted daily on the netscape.public.mozilla.performance newsgroup. Average page load times are charted for each platform on each day's builds. You can definitely see a consistent improvement, especially recently.
I agree with you in your optimism about Mozilla's performance. And browsers like Galeon and K-meleon which use Gecko in an IE-like shell are blazing fast. PSM 2.0 being turned on in yesterday's builds also shows an impressive performance improvement. It's because of these obvious trends that I don't understand the "Mozilla is doomed, it doesn't have a chance of ever being good enough" attitudes.
#40 Re: Performance Charts
Friday April 13th, 2001 2:57 PM
They can also be seen here.
#45 Re: Performance charts
Saturday April 14th, 2001 3:15 PM
You use words like "impressive", "perfect" and "outstanding".
Taking into account that Netscape 4.x was lightyears behind IE 4.0 and that Netscape 4.x compared to Mozilla/Netscape 6 gets performance charts like this http://mozilla.org/quality/perf/browser-archive/bookmarks-13apr2001.html and the fact that Microsoft is going to release IE 6.0 before Mozilla 1.0 is released is what makes me NOT use those kinds of words.
The rendering engine has some bugs but is starting to get there - that I agree on. I also agree on that page loading speeds (even now for SSL thanks to PSM 2.0, which was a MAJOR problem for me) are starting to get in shape. The user interface speed and quality is in extremely bad shape however and I've seen very little progress in that area (except for the outliner widget) in the past 12 months!
For me, no matter how much I'd like to, Mozilla is nowhere near usable for daily use yet. I'm getting worried.
#49 Re: Re: Performance charts
Monday April 16th, 2001 12:11 PM
Who said Microsoft are going to release Internet Explorer 6 before Mozilla 1.0 comes out?
IE6 is due to ship at the same time as Windows XP Home and Professional. The release date for Win XP is the second or third quarter of 2001. Microsoft have never released an OS on time, so I think it's going to be Autumn (or Fall, as the Americans would say) before we see Win XP or IE6.
Mozilla 1.0 on the other hand is due out according to the schedule on the roadmap http://www.mozilla.org/roadmap.html. That places the 1.0 release on May 28th at the earliest. I don't think that's likely, but the end of the Summer doesn't seem an unreasonable estimate.
Whatever happens, I think Netscape will bring the release of Netscape 6.5 forward if it looks like Mozilla 1.0 is going to be released significantly later than IE6 (more than a couple of months or so). Yes, that will be another premature release, but it's got to be better than Netscape 6.
#50 Re: Re: Re: Performance charts
Monday April 16th, 2001 12:13 PM
Sorry, I put a full stop after the roadmap URL so the link won't work. Let's try again then:
#52 Re: Re: Performance charts
Tuesday April 17th, 2001 3:26 AM
Oh, you again... what a pleasure. ;) Let's see... you think, that Mozilla won't be good because it is even slower than Netscape 4. Guess what? Netscape 4 was slower than Netscape 3, but it was better. It CAN'T be faster. It has to be fast, so fast, that it is perfectly usable, but what makes you think, that new versions of products have to be faster, than old ones. If you think so, Windows XP must be the biggest crap ever seen (oh well, maybe it is :D). Next point... you say, the rendering engine is getting there. Wonderfull! Now listen. Your are NOT forced to use the Mozilla UI. Just install a free GNU/Linux box and look at Galeon. It's quite impressive, the most powerfull browsershell I have ever seen. And yes, it's fast and bugfree. You don't want to use Linux? Oh that's a pitty. I don't want to use Windows either. Come on, there will be a Windows GUI, that will even please YOU (if that's possible). Look at K-Meleon, I don't know how far they are, but it looks promising. And on a side note, Mozilla UI is DEFINETLY getting better. It's already almost bugfree and stable. And YES, it reaches native speed on my Athlon 750 with 256 MB ram. It won't be a problem on machines, that are able to run Windows XP. And as soon as Mozilla get's stable and released, they will work on outstanding new UI features. Cause they can. And don't forget, the engine is still free. You can use it in whatever browser you like. Do you really think, it would be so difficult to clone the IE 6 interface? The rendering engine is the important part.
Friday April 13th, 2001 1:16 PM
It's possible that a large percentage of the hits recorded on thecounter.com are coming from a Windows oriented site, thus skewing the results downwards for Mozilla. I don't think the situation is that bad, though clearly IE is well ahead.
#43 Re: thecounter.com
Saturday April 14th, 2001 1:34 PM
I'm sure for Linux-oriented sites the figures for IE are much lower. I run a website for a university (www.auc.ca) whose target audience is about as platform agnostic as you can get, and the numbers the original poster gave were quite accurate. In our case, 69.9% of hits come from IE browsers, 0.5% come from NS6 (or Mozilla Gecko), and 24% are Netscape 4.x (that's probably skewed because we use NS 4.x on campus and the website is everyone's startup page).
#7 Issues with Mozilla code
Tuesday April 10th, 2001 2:13 PM
I am not familiar with Moz code, but the various bugs (so called "regressions") that keep coming up boggle my mind sometimes. For instance, various problems with the preferences box keep coming and going. Moz is billed as having an extremely modular architecture. I've been doing componentized software development for a while now and modularly built software just doesn't behave as Moz does. Once a component is completed it does cause problems for the rest of the project anymore. This doesn't seem to be the case with Mozilla. Maybe it isn't so modular after all?
#16 Re: Issues with Mozilla code
Wednesday April 11th, 2001 3:28 AM
#19 Python would be great
Wednesday April 11th, 2001 5:10 AM
#29 Re: Python would be great
Thursday April 12th, 2001 7:51 AM
#31 Re: Re: Issues with Mozilla code
Thursday April 12th, 2001 12:22 PM
As much as I like Python, using it instead of JS wouldn't really gain you a lot.
Tuesday April 10th, 2001 6:59 PM
What does dogfood mean I have seen it several times but I'm not too sure what it is. And Catfood, saw it earlier today what does that mean?????
#14 Re: Offtopic
Tuesday April 10th, 2001 8:17 PM
Dogfood refers to a bug that prevents its daily use by regular users.
Catfood are bugs that could cause user satisfaction issues.
Slightly more detailed definitions are in Bugzilla keywords: http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/describekeywords.cgi
#17 Off Topic - News Update
Wednesday April 11th, 2001 5:05 AM
haven't found a "contact" on Mozillazine.org (therefor it brakes one of this 10 mayor web-usability rules.... how cares)
german tech news sites are reporting about Komodo from ActiveState now using XUL to let it run in Mozilla as a ... ... application.
http://www.heise.de/newsticker/data/ck-11.04.01-000/ (in german)
maybe not off topic ... it's an independant status report... somehow.
Wednesday April 11th, 2001 5:09 AM
#21 Re: "about"
Wednesday April 11th, 2001 5:15 AM
ooops...ok you are right!
maybe as a web designer i'm just to used to look for the word "contact" (change request (no priority))
#20 Off Topic - News Update
Wednesday April 11th, 2001 5:12 AM
haven't found a "contact" on Mozillazine.org (therefor it brakes one of this 10 mayor web-usability rules.... how cares)
german tech news sites are reporting about Komodo from ActiveState now using XUL to let it run in Mozilla as a ... ... application.
http://www.heise.de/newsticker/data/ck-11.04.01-000/ (in german)
maybe not off topic ... it's an independant status report... somehow.
Wednesday April 11th, 2001 5:25 PM
Komodo 1.0 is now released.
#25 Status reports...
Wednesday April 11th, 2001 11:16 PM
While we are on the topic of status reports, take a look at what I found on the mozilla.org status update page
ben that's cool, hyatt should get some XBL ones.