Mozilla 0.9 Released!
Monday May 7th, 2001
mozilla.org today released milestone 0.9, which moves us a big step closer to a 1.0 release. The 0.9 release contains some of the largest changes in quite some time, with rewrites of the imglib, memory and disk cache, message view in mail, bookmark manager, Personal Security Manager 2 (PSM2), and the help viewer. Many of these rewrites have helped greatly enhance Mozilla's performance since 0.8.1, with the Mail front end rewrite and PSM2 being two of the largest improvements. For those of you who use Java, the JVM is now loaded on first use, rather than when you first start up, leading to much quicker startup.
#29 Re: Good release, but ...
Tuesday May 8th, 2001 9:21 AM
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Undeniably, there has been a fair amount of feature creep in the mozilla project. I remember posting what I believed to be really pessimistic 1.0 release dates on this site quite some time ago (like 1 and a half year ago or so). To put it mildly, these dates have passed quite a while ago (and I was flamed quite a bit for posting these dates in the first place).
Feature wise, mozilla was ready enough for netscape to release their 6.0 browser more than half a year ago. Arguably Mozilla has improved in this period. A few features have landed, but the development in this period was mostly bug fixing and optimizing. But still it is not release quality. I think everyone severely underestimated the time debugging and testing mozilla would take.
I think, realistically, that mozilla 1.0 will take several more releases to be completed. I would be surprised to see a 1.0 release this summer. Q4 2001 seems the earliest possible release date.
Now is feature creep bad? Does it really matter that we have to wait a bit longer? I don't think so. For quite a while it has looked like MS was going to dominate the browser market. However, other platforms have popped up: linux, mac Os X and a whole range of pda operating systems. Especially in the latter category of systems MS has not yet succeeded in world domination. So, it's not over yet. Linux users are going to need browsers, mac users may want some choice and even windows users may be willing to switch provided the alternative is as good as internet explorer. Mozilla is still a very ambitious and innovative project. If a stable, fast, polished version would be released I think it will attract users very fast.