Salon on Mozilla
Tuesday March 12th, 2002
A number of people have submitted this article, and while it's not really news, it's just another example of how Mozilla is starting to win people over. This is also beneficial to the evangelism efforts going on.
#50 Exactly, that's the point
Thursday March 14th, 2002 1:39 PM
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"... it was M3, IIRC, when [Netlib] was replaced by all-new code known as Necko"
M9, actually <http://mozillazine.org/talkback.html?article=698> . Before the Great Rewrite, Gecko was developed as a replacement for Mariner. After the Great Rewrite, Necko was developed as a replacement for the original netlib. Later, Modern 1 was replaced by Modern 2 and Classic. Still later, imglib1 was replaced by libpr0n. And so on.
I expect that any software project works the same way; existing features are improved by rewriting chunks at a time. The smaller the chunks, the smaller the improvement you can make in a single checkin, but the the less likely you are to regress fixed bugs and to cause delays.
The enormity (look it up) of the Great Rewrite was that the old code was decommissioned before the new code was of even similar completeness. That meant that Netscape (and the Mozilla Organization itself) went for three *years* without being able to ship something resembling a release-quality browser based on their latest technology. Netscape had to drip-feed 4.7x releases to the faithful, which understandably gave conniptions to the same Web standards advocates who had pushed for the use of Gecko in the first place.