Netscape 6.1 Beta 1
Tuesday June 12th, 2001
#63 I _like_ 6.1
Thursday June 14th, 2001 12:16 AM
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6.1 falls back and says "Okay, 6 had ISSUES", but also admits "Hey, this ain't good enough for a .5"
See, .5 releases need to KICK ASS.
6.1 is actually in line with Navigator 4.08. Netscape honed a version of the browser until they were happy, then moved on to .5.
6.1 will be something like 6, but honed. But it's still not good enough for a .5 release. As a product, 6.1 is just Mozilla getting to its feet and getting its bearings (6 was the dizziness after waking up). 6.5 will be a finely, finely tuned machine and will just kick 4.5 in the ass. That's the problem - Netscape 6 was nowhere near as finely tuned as 4.5 and later releases because those releases were the end result of finely tuned-Windows-native code. Netscape 6 was a very unfinely tuned version of platform-independent code. 6.1 is reaching a level on-par with 4.5, if not with some issues. 6.5 will be the most finely tuned version of Mozilla - probably coinciding with Mozilla 1.0. That is, once Mozilla.org thinks Mozilla 1.0 is done, Netscape will probably release 6.5 based off of that code since, by definition, a .5 release should be the most finely tuned version of that particular code.
Now, some may use Communicator 4.77 as a reason to argue - this won't happen again. That was a fluke. Netscape decided not to release Communicator 5.0 commercially, but as open source instead. If you find a version of it, it had serious improvements over 4.x, including the sidebar and a Windows file manager. But Netscape decided, probably, that to release and work further on 5.0 would detract from the Mozilla effort, since that would take developers from Mozilla to work on 5.x code.
Thus, 4.6 was born, and it was actually a wise decision. Again, 4.5 was finely tuned, thus it was very easy to update the code when it was needed for a point release, bug fix, or security patch. It was already at the end of its cycle, and so was less of a distraction than publicly suppoting 5.0 would have been. If 5.0 had been released, Mozilla would have taken longer, and may not be where it is today.
Anyhow, to cut it short(er), .5 should be the last version in a cycle of releases. This release is not that good. It is much better than 6, but it's still not THAT clean. If it was, it would be versioned 1.0 by Mozilla.org, I think.
Now, 6.1 has a new interface, true, but that's not in itself enough to warrant a .5 release. If this had been .5, Netscape would have been saying that they were happy with 6.01 as the last in the pre-.5 cycle. By making it .1, they admit 6 sucked ass and needed a major update before they moved on to .5.