More Mozilla RC1 Reviews

Thursday April 25th, 2002

Anonman writes: "c|net's article Don't Miss the Thrilla from Mozilla is quite positive. Their only complaint seemed to be a problem with Mozilla reading a Netscape profile. The reviewers liked Mozilla's quicklaunch, tabbed browsing and price, going so far as to suggest that 1.0 'may actually best its two most powerful competitors.'

The LinuxPlanet review Evaluating Mozilla 1.0 Candidate 1 pits Mozilla against Opera with good results. Opera seems to do slightly better in a couple of his performance tests. The reviewer found that installing Flash and Acrobat plugins was a breeze and concludes with the statemeny: 'I look forward to the production release of Mozilla 1.0 and believe it will be stable, speedy, easy to use and of high value. Linux users would do well to give it a try. '"

UPDATE! NewsForge has a nice little piece from Robin. With tasty bits like "Tabbed browsing is one of those features you don't know you need until you have it. Once you have it and get used to it, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it" and "I think we're going to see a lot more positive reviews of Mozilla before long -- and not just in leading-edge tech media, either" this short review is worth a read.

#17 rewriting Moz from scratch vs keeping the old code

by JayeshSh <>

Saturday April 27th, 2002 7:16 AM

You are replying to this message

This is something I have been thinking a lot about too. I think the article that macpeep mentioned was well written, although I don't have enough real-world experience with (large) software projects such as Netscape or Mozilla to be 100% sure whether he is wrong or right.

The author does make a good point, in pointing out that it is sometimes more attractive (for software developers) to create something new that is your own, rather than work on what someone else's creation.

I have often thought about whether the world would be different today if work on the "old" / classic / 4.x codebase had taken center-stage instead of Mozilla/NGLayout/ Gecko. Looking at abandoned creations such as Aurora ( <…icator/future/aurora.html> ) and Grendel (<> , scroll down to the bottom of this page ), I wonder how the world today could have been different if somehow fate had willed Netscape's future differently.

Even if Netscape *had* decided to continue on with its old source code, and produce 4.x generation browsers until 2000 or so, it is unclear if it would have been more successful against Microsoft's onslaught. Microsoft's merging Internet Explorer inseparably into Windows certainly caused Netscape to lose marketshare; whether this loss of market share could have been stopped or slowed based on Netscape's preserving (or changing) its internal product code remains unclear. (We all know Bill Gates likes to win, and whether that desire is inherently evil is another question, which should be addressed separately.)

Another issue is measuring a product's worth by its market share or press coverage. In my article "Mozilla's Silent Revolution: Why Mozilla has revolutionized the browsing experience (yet has not made it to the front page of the New York Times)" [ <http://www.vorstrasse91.c…_revolution.html#article1> ] I argue that whether or not the press stands up and applauds Mozilla's usefulness or greatness, the Mozilla project has still produced something of value.

This is because Mozilla has achieved unprecedented things through an unprecedented model of development for an "established" / "monolithic" program/company: a cross-platform , embeddible browser, with a front end crafted out of XML, JavaScript and CSS, most of which would have been hard to accomplish with the old base. What this means for the average user is another question though. For Mozilla's creators, the hardest question to answer is whether all this rewriting means something to grandmothers using computers for the first time to email their grandchildren, or students using a browser for research on a paper.

Wherever the "real" truth of the matter lies (in whether dumping the old code was the right decision or not), I remain convinced that the Mozilla we have today was not a waste of time. This is because the project has produced a working product through an open community, both of considerable value. The important thing, however, is to keep that community open: to new ideas, self reflection and criticism, and the capacity to look back and say "that's what we did wrong" or "that's what we did right."