MozillaZine

Tree Closes For 0.9.8

Wednesday January 16th, 2002

Mozilla.org has closed the tree to approved checkins only, starting as of 12am Wednesday, and will do so until 0.9.8 has branched. 0.9.8 will have a variety of new items including new natively drawn widgets on WindowsXP, Mac OS X, and GTK, when you are in the classic skin (We will have more on this later, including screenshots); the addressbook was rewritten, and now supports printing, a new "Get Map" button allowing you to query for a map based on a card address, and other stability fixes; Windows MAPI support; and a huge amount of performance and stability work.

Many believe this is one of the last milestones prior to 1.0, and that Mozilla.org will actually have 1.0 following 0.9.9. 0.9.8 should branch sometime next week, with a release two Mondays from now. We'll keep you updated on both the branching and the release.


#84 Re: Your arguments

by strauss

Saturday January 19th, 2002 2:24 PM

You are replying to this message

Thank you for your polite response.

I do not agree with your voluntary-contribution model of how open source projects are architected. In this case the architectural change was made not by someone who simply came along and decided to do it, but by the person who all along had been the primary technical owner of XUL. Had it been done by anyone else, or without that person's agreement, the code would have been rejected. Once architectural policy had been established and put into design documentation, conflicting code from outside the in-group would not have been accepted. We could of course argue the hypotheticals here, but the fact is that the architectural change was made by the long-established owner of the feature.

As for the reduced scope of theming and skinning given native widgets, my assertion was not that theme creators had any reduced technical capabilities now, but that users showed a marked preference for platform standards, which would make themes or skins that did not respect platform standards irrelevant. Creating good widget sets is a phenomenally difficult task which could easily take a small team of designers two or three years of full time work. Since no one is committing that kind of resources, there is not going to be any real-world competition for the native widget sets from Microsoft and Apple. Themes and skins look even more toy-like and less ready for prime time once they are competing with the native widgets. We can see the marked user preference in the effusive and nearly unanimous user comments about native widgets here and on the newsgroups in the last month. Since few users will use it, the importance of the theme and skin features is much less than it was.

Lee Strauss