Upcoming Mozilla Tree Plans
Friday June 1st, 2001
Chris Blizzard, a member of the mozilla.org Drivers, has posted an update on what will be happening for the next milestone (0.9.2). Basically, checkins will require Driver approval, along with the normal review and super-review. The milestone will only be two weeks long, and will give the tree a chance to breathe a bit, following a long string of large rewrites. To read the entire message, click the full article link.
#82 Re: Netscape 6.5 Release
Monday June 4th, 2001 2:00 AM
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"Now we could have already guessed that Netscape 6.5 Preview Release 1 would be based on 0.9.1. However, the article also suggests that the final release of Netscape 6.5 will be based on a pre-1.0 build."
I wasn't thinking "the next version of Netscape" (be it 6.5, or whatever they call it) would have preview releases. Here is my theory:
I assumed the Preview Releases of Netscape 6 were probably forced by AOL because the company had a huge Netscape press release planned in early April 2000 (Netscape/Gateway announcements). I would warrant that they realized at some point that Mozilla wouldn't be usable until late-2000 at the earliest, and simply couldn't wait any longer to get _something_ out.
It took longer to optimize the product after PR1 than was hoped. Even after three PR releases, the product STILL had major issues usability-wise. (Using the current versions of Mozilla, I'm actually starting to really hate Netscape 6.) I think they put out Netscape 6 when they did A) because it had been like three years since Netscape had had a non-4.5-clone release and B) because there had already been 3 preview releases and moving to PR4 just wasn't an option. By that time, marketing would have already lined up the product's release marketing, etc., it was too late to pull back. And that's why Netscape 6 is accused constantly of being a late beta - it was. That's ALSO why, I bet, Mozilla.org named the would-be M19 "Mozilla .6", to show how fiercely that organization believed that the product wasn't nearly done yet.
Now that Mozilla is in good shape and usable, I assumed that from this point on, Netscape would try and have ONE beta cycle, not three as they did with Netscape 6. Preview Releases are really a BAD idea, they show your product at its most horrible. If they do have PRs, I hope they do no more than two.
Another thing that seemed to support this was that I AOL 7.0 and Compuserve 2000 are both going to be based on Mozilla, according to CNET at least (search for "AOL" and "Komodo") and the beta for AOL 7.0 will have to be out by August or so for the product to be done by October, which is typically the month AOL puts out new versions. Therefore, since Compuserve, AOL, and the next version of Netscape are all supposed to be based on the same code (again, this is just based on public stories from CNET), I assumed that they'd all be on roughly similar schedules since they're all depending on the same code. So I was thinking Netscape beta by July or August, with a final release a couple months later.
It certainly would be preferable to have just one beta cycle. And I think it might be more possible to do this now that Mozilla is in decent shape, as it wasn't before.
The current Mozilla roadmap is hard to read, it shows three possible blue lines for beta branching. Those three could support a theory for preview releases, but then they could just mean what they say "vendor branches as required" (I'm pretty sure there are other vendors waiting on the code to finalize).
It'll be interesting to see what happens, I guess.