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.]
#26 the benchmark and the personal satisfaction
Wednesday June 27th, 2001 3:27 AM
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I believe there are two sets of criteria which apply to a 1.0 Mozilla release: the benchmark and the personal satisfaction.
If Mozilla wants to go anywhere it has to beat the rest of class in the benchmark. In every aspect. Development took such a long time - if this can't be possible, something went wrong somewhere. All critics will jump on the release and compare it to the rest of the field. If you want to recapture all the lost users from IE, you should be better.
What does IE different? They're concentrating on the core product: a browser. Let me provoke: who gives a shit about some email/composer/irc/whatever application? Get the basic thing right. The rest will come. People will use the best in class. The best IRC they can get, the best composer they can get and the best browser. The browser doesn't get better by having a big footprint and carrying some email client in its back.
Instead, the browser should do its job right. Why does it seem so difficult for browsers to perform the most basic tasks: printing? I have not seen a decent solution yet - which means one can make a difference and set new standards.
Beat the rest of the field exactly there: printing (must be better than IE), fast page display and persistence between sessions (must be better than Opera), bookmarks (must be better than NS 4.x), autocomplete widget (must be better than Konqueror), cookie, pop-up and ad-blocker (must be better than Naviscope and Opera), ... this is how Mozilla's success will be measured. Do a good job at what you're supposed to do for the stupid user who just wants to browser the net a bit.
And then there is the personal satisfaction field of criteria. This seems to be the one where a lot of the Mozilla development went on: get full standards support, design some most beautiful interface language, be elegant from the inside... But frankly, the user doesn't care. These are nice to have and might prove strategically crucial - but what use is skinnability if I can't print my page?
I know, I'm provoking. But I'd like to make the point that I don't see 1.0 anywhere near. I don't see a browser that makes a big difference to the user - and that is what counts. But I do see a solid basis to get to this stage. However, this will require some priority reshuffling.