Update on 0.9.4
Friday September 7th, 2001
We asked Asa for a quick status on 0.9.4's status, which was for release this weekend, and here's what he had to say:
#93 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Poll
Monday September 10th, 2001 5:16 PM
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You obviously don't understand what Mozilla is (or what it isn't). Mozilla will never "ship" unless you call binary testing releases shipping in which case we ship several times a day. We said last year and the year before that we'd call it 1.0 when it was ready. When it is ready is up to the community. When new memebers of the community start doing something new with the Mozilla architecture and expose new problems we work to correct those. This project will never be done/over. It is ongoing and will continue to get better as long as people are motivated to participate. The actual date that this project gets slapped with the label "1.0" isn't a problem. We aren't in denial about this non-problem. If it is a problem for you then I'll make a special build called StraussZilla 1.0 and you can have your 1.0 release. Netscape called it a release (twice). ActiveState called it a release (and charged money for it). RedHat and Ximian and other linux distributors called it a release (several times) and shipped it with OS updates.
This "ever-increasing defect curve" you keep referring to is total bs. You simply don't have any understanding of what is happening in Bugzilla. If you stopped to see that there are more than 30,000 Bugzilla accounts (99% of which aren't professional software qa engineers) reporting many of the same issues over and over again along with requests for new features and many non-browser bugs (like UI design discussions, website spelling errors, Bugzilla keyword changes, problems with features that aren't even a part of Mozilla, etc.) then you'd have a different take on what these numbers mean. Your "defect curve" is misleading and harping on it when the product is clearly getting better, not worse, is a kind of FUD that no one needs. If you took a few months to digest the evolution of the bug system's content you'd also see that the overall severity of bugs is going down not up while the number duplicate, invalid and worksforme reports are also going up . More bugs reported doesn't mean more bugs. It means more of the existing problems are known and being digested. Generally speaking the product is not getting more bugs, we're just doing a better job at identifying the bugs we have.
Your comments about "the powers that be...hiring more QA staff" expose your fundamental misunderstanding of what mozilla.org and drivers are doing. In the first place, there are many "powers that be" and most of them aren't in a position to hire anyone. We're an open source prject and take contributions from anyone wiling to give them. Some of these contributors are paid and others are volunteers but anything that finds its way into the tree is a contribution. Drivers aren't working to make a commercial-style browser release. We're working to identify a point in development when the code is ready for the many different types of code consumers (browser vendors like Netscape or Beonex, gecko embedders like Galeon or Skipstone, Mozilla platform consumers like ActiveState and OEone, etc). Mozilla code consumers like Netscape, ActiveState, Beonex and others are already shipping commercial products based on Mozilla. We could have called it 1.0 when that group was satisfied (early this year) but there are other consumers of our technology that say it's not quite ready for their particular use yet. When it is ready for everyone (that speaks up and makes requests of us) we'll call it 1.0 and probably create a long-lived stability branch for those folks to use while we work toward 1.1 and then 1.2,...2.0, 10.0 etc.
If you're concerns are about some kind of commercial-style Mozilla 1.0 browser release then you misunderstand how we work. We're not under any commercial pressure to ship an app. We don't and we probably never will "ship" and app. Netscape and other vendors like Beonex, RedHat and OEone handle that part. We are solely concerned with making the technology better for our customers (Beonex, ActiveState, Netscape, Nokia, Bloomberg, all those folks using Mozilla code in their products).
Because the Mozilla technology is so popular and being used in so many diverse applications and because the Mozilla community grew to encompass these varied consumers our requirements for satisfying the community have grown. We've apparently already satisfied a number of them (see the shipping products mentioned above) but we'd like to get to a better place for _all_ of them. When you are doing something significant to cotribute or distribute then let me know and I'll see what <email@example.com> can do to facilitate your work (even if it means a delay in when we make a mystical, magical, tag in the tree named MOZILLA_1_0_BRANCH).