Towards Mozilla 1.0
Tuesday June 26th, 2001
Gervase Markham recently posted his feelings on what a 1.0 release of Mozilla would be. Gerv has sent us the follow-up to that posting, including much of the feedback he received. To read it, click the full article link. Once you have read through it, we welcome you to post your feelings on what you think a 1.0 release would have. [As Gerv says, please don't post your favorite list of bugs, only the criteria for choosing what bugs to fix.]
#119 IE parity (CSS)
Thursday June 28th, 2001 4:47 AM
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There are still serious CSS bugs and nearly all of these constitute broken rather than simply missing standards support. For example, float:right is still in a mess, I believe, and puts things in the wrong place; if you workaround some of the bugs with incorrect positioning (perhaps not realising you're so doing) you will be creating pages that break in correct browsers.
I don't think a release has to have 100% support though - I think by now everyone (Web developers) has realised that Mozilla's claims are *not* going to be met and the browser is *not* going to have flawless support for CSS in particular. At least it does a better job than IE5.5 and probably IE6, in most areas.
There are still cases where correct pages that work in IE might fail in Mozilla though. In practice, the most important thing is that Mozilla can handle all the CSS that IE can (and then some). Web developers will be restricted to whatever IE5.5 or IE6 can support, anyway, so it doesn't too much matter what the 'and then some' is as it won't get used. Poor Web developers (and they are legion) will continue not to bother testing in any other browser than IE, and it's important IMO that as many of these pages as possible actually work.
So I think 'IE parity' should be the main criteria with CSS for a release - certainly not that Mozilla duplicates IE bugs, but that for all areas where IE actually works and correctly implements CSS, Mozilla should too.
If Mozilla release is as good as IE in every area w.r.t. CSS and better in some, then Mozilla is raising the game. If Mozilla's worse than IE in a few areas then it's restricting Web design.
As for non-standards-related areas, I agree that user polish is the most important for a 1.0 release.
The most serious lack is editable bookmarks (right-click), but also important are textfields that actually work perfectly in all cases, focus that behaves as normal, password management that doesn't screw up, mailto links that load your preferred mail client not some lame Mozilla mail program you never use... The client is actually pretty good right now in those areas, IMO near release quality, and a lot of bugs were fixed, but some critical ones remain.
Second most important I'd say is killer features, by which I mean, at least ONE thing that the browser actually does BETTER than IE. (And no I do not mean 'standards support' or whatever). Right now, we do have one feature and that's privacy/security, both cookie management which is great (though I think IE has something similar now?) and, in particular, ad-blocking. Good. Make sure that's obvious to users and is high on the agenda. Maybe improve it a bit, too.
My third priority is that SOMEBODY REMOVE THE F***ING LITTLE TRIANGLE THINGS to the left of menu and navigation and personal toolbar. These are fantastic for accidentally clicking, but nobody has ever used these for their intended purpose in the entire history of mankind. They are useless. No other application has them. They sucked in NN 4.x, they suck in Mozilla, and their functionality is obviously available in a much more useful manner via the View menu.
(Yes, that 'third priority' was in fact a rant that isn't at all relevant to this discussion. Sorry. But it needs to be said. :) --sam