MozillaZine

Phoenix 0.1 Coming Soon

Thursday September 19th, 2002

Blake Ross writes: "We are targetting a Phoenix 0.1 for Monday. Please be sure to hammer on the nightlies, keeping in mind that this is merely a 0.1 release. Please check to see that your bug is not reported before filing. If it's a big issue, we're probably already aware of it. Thanks."


#1 more on Bug Reports

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Thursday September 19th, 2002 11:14 AM

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At this stage we've hacked a lot of stuff to pieces. There's plenty that's broken and we're pleased to see bug reports for those problems. The Phoenix bug list is <http://bugzilla.mozilla.o…glist.cgi?product=Phoenix> small (less than 60 total as of this posting) so please do read through the summaries of existing bugs before reporting new bugs.

We're not interested in feature requests so if you want to see something new implemented or you're not happy about something we removed that's fodder for the mailing list (coming soon) and not for Bugzilla. Requests for new features or to add back features we cut will be resolved as Invalid so please don't file bugs like "implement mail for Phoenix".

Also, we're don't need core Mozilla bugs reported to the Phoenix product. If it's also a bug in Mozilla then the problem should probably be reported to the appropriate Mozilla Browser component and not to Phonix. Phoenix re-uses large pieces of Mozilla (all of the layout and networking plus other back-end functionality and even some of the front-end stuff) so if you can reproduce the problem in Mozilla please don't report a bug to Phoenix.

Thanks

--Asa

#2 What are the plans???

by robdogg

Thursday September 19th, 2002 1:47 PM

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The roadmap is fine (0.1, 0.2, 0.3, etc...) but it doesn't mean anything, since it doesn't explain what features are targeted for what release. Is there a document that addresses this? In fact, other than rearranging icons on the toolbar, I can't figure out the point of Phoenix.

#3 Other than rearranging the icons...

by eiseli

Thursday September 19th, 2002 2:59 PM

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... the goal of phoenix is to provide a browser-only variant to Mozilla (like Galeon, K-Meleon and Chimera), but by remaining cross-platform and therefore building on XUL.

#6 Hmmm

by peng1can

Thursday September 19th, 2002 3:23 PM

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How many times have we heard from Mozilla developers that because of the modularity, things like mail/news, chatzilla, etc. don't come at the expense of the core browser? If that's the case, why do we need a separate browser-only browser that's appears to be hosted and developed by several people close to the core mozilla project? Especially one that is still just as platform-agnostic as mozilla. Not trying to flame, just trying to understand.

#11 Re: Hmmm

by michaelg <mike@vee.net>

Thursday September 19th, 2002 6:37 PM

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The software components that the other apps (MailNews, Chatzilla, etc) use *do* come with the browser. Components such as the layout engine, XPCom, XUL are already there if you have the browser, and so you don't need to install them again if you are just adding MailNews, for example. This is modularity you're talking about.

Thre reason why there's an abundance of Navigator-only apps is that the Mozilla application heavily integrates the various parts together, and has a lot of bloat because of it. Do you really need to be able check your socks from your addressbook?

Also, the whole thing runs as a single, monolithic app, so if you're decoding a huge attachment in MailNews, your Navigator windows might be sluggish, for example.

HTH, /mike

#5 Re: What are the plans???

by Blake <blaker@netscape.com>

Thursday September 19th, 2002 3:19 PM

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I guess you didn't actually read the roadmap page, you just looked at the pretty picture. Go ahead and read it again.

#7 Ok, I read it, still unclear

by robdogg

Thursday September 19th, 2002 3:33 PM

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I try to limit myself to thousand words per article, and since the picture is worth a thousand words...

Anyway, I read it, still don't understand what Phoenix is all about. Could you please point out where on that page are the features targeted for various releases? The bug reports contain a few pointers but nothing that spells out what Phoenix aims to be and why someone should be using it instead of Moz proper.

I am not trying to be a naysayer, simply to grok the existence.

#8 Ok

by Blake <blaker@netscape.com>

Thursday September 19th, 2002 3:45 PM

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Ok, sorry for snapping. Unlike Mozilla milestones, Phoenix milestones are extremely controlled. The list of bugs targetted for a given milestone generally /is/ the list of bugs to be fixed and features to be implemented for that milestone. We're trying to remain more bug-driven than date-driven, such that if the list hits zarro and we're still a week away from our guestimated date, we'll release at that point anyway.

So, the roadmap links to our various milestone buglists. We'll probably only think about 1 or 2 milestones ahead at a time. As you can see, some new features we have planned for 0.2 include an overhauled download manager, a new IE-style form filling feature to replace the current wallet, and a global history Go menu.

As for what Phoenix is in general, it's really to show what Mozilla could be if it wasn't being dragged down by (a) too many people checking in (and too many not knowing what they're doing) and (b) a review system obstacle course, which is needed because of (a). It's supported and backed by mozilla.org, who are considering replacing the trunk with it as it matures. It's intended to be far less geeky than Mozilla, and it's also something like 40% faster to startup and 20% faster to open a new window on slower machines, because it's written by people intimately familiar with xul.

We expect Phoenix to move more quickly than the trunk FE, because there's no review system and there are very few people checking in. For example, customizable toolbars was done in a night or two. As for why you'd want to use it instead of Mozilla, well, the list of reasons is fairly small right now but will grow over time. Reasons now might include: Phoenix has history and bookmarks quicksearch, and customizable toolbars, and is a lot faster, and has bookmarks undo/redo, and a simpler interface, and better preference defaults. And I think its find dialog looks better :-)

#9 Another question

by Synopsis

Thursday September 19th, 2002 4:09 PM

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How stable is Phoenix right now compared to Mozilla? Is it as stable as 1.1 or only as stabel as 1.2a or even more unstable?

#16 Re: Another question

by adsmith

Friday September 20th, 2002 1:07 AM

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I've ony had one crash in the two weeks I've been using it, and that was with the first build I downloaded. Since then it's been solid. My thanks to Blake & Co!

However, as Asa said, it's pretty hacked up at the moment, so large bits are missing, particularly when it comes to the prefs. To be honest though, the default prefs are so good (middle click opens a tab in the background - yay!) that I've only really missed two things:

1) Being able to assign Ctrl+MouseWheel to change the text size. This is the default behaviour in IE, and it isn't assigned to anything else by default in Mozilla or Phoenix.

2) The password manager, but that's coming back in some form or other anyway.

Oh, and would someone explain to me the rationale for having tabs close the other way round to Moz?

Anyway, my advice would be to give it a spin, it's nice!

#17 Re: Another question

by Synopsis

Friday September 20th, 2002 1:18 AM

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I downloaded one of the publicly announced builds and this build was as stable as Mozilla 0.8.1 or Mozilla 0.9 back in the old days. So my question really is, has Phoenix become more stable over the last two weeks?

#19 Stability improving - YMMV

by adsmith

Friday September 20th, 2002 2:08 AM

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Well, from my experience (as detailed above) I would have to say that stability is improving. I've gone from one crash with a build from two weeks ago to none since. I'm using Phoenix for all my browsing. YMMV.

#22 tab close order

by djk

Friday September 20th, 2002 7:33 AM

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Heh.

I filed bug 167100 on that.

It was closed as invalid because "this is by design".

Why, oh why?!?!?

#18 development style

by masi

Friday September 20th, 2002 1:47 AM

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> As for what Phoenix is in general, it's really to show what Mozilla could > be if it wasn't being dragged down by (a) too many people checking in

Do you refer to Netscape/AOL engineers or the number of enthusiasts that are wiling to code freely for basically a commercial project.

> (and too many not knowing what they're doing) and (b) a review system > obstacle course, which is needed because of (a).

You cannot have it both ways. And without QA the code gets just quicker dirty even if only a bunch of programmers is hacking away.

> It's supported and backed by mozilla.org, who are considering replacing > the trunk with it as it matures.

What does that mean? Another UI rehaul?

> It's intended to be far less geeky than Mozilla,

So this means what? No bells and whistles? That's what I love about Mozilla, DOM Insepctor, mouse gesture add-ons etc.

> and it's also something like 40% faster to startup and 20% faster to open > a new window on slower machines, because it's written by people > intimately familiar with xul.

Well, this is a cause.

> We expect Phoenix to move more quickly than the trunk FE, because there's > no review system and there are very few people checking in.

So you are elitist in this respect.

#20 Having it both ways

by abraham <abraham@dina.kvl.dk>

Friday September 20th, 2002 3:41 AM

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Actually, they can have it both ways, by having two branches.

1. The main branch with an open development style. Here, the project recruit new developers and new ideas, and ensure a stable if slow evolution of the browser, each release being incrementally more poweful than the previeus.

2. The Phoenix branch, where a small elite of full time programmers redesign large part of the application. Here radical and rapid progress can be made, with the risk of reaching a dead end.

Progress consists of both long periods of many small improvements, and short periods of radical change. Free software is traditionally best at the first, but the second type is also needed, so the larger free software projects usually have branches where people test more radical ideas.

#21 Re: no loss

by davidbalch

Friday September 20th, 2002 6:06 AM

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>So you are elitist in this respect.

Good, a bit of elitism in the right places will produce better results, quicker.

Some people are bettter at certain things than other people, that's life.

DaveB

#25 Re: development style

by bzbarsky

Friday September 20th, 2002 4:04 PM

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> Do you refer to Netscape/AOL engineers or the number of enthusiasts that are wiling to code > freely for basically a commercial project.

From what I have observed, Blake means both. It's hard not to give checkin access to enthusiasts who want it when Netscape/AOL engineers who are just as clueless have it.

#27 Re: development style

by masi

Saturday September 21st, 2002 1:17 AM

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So checkin access policy will be like with the Apache httpd. Only after a really long period of providing good patches, excellent contribution, etc you get CVS access. That's fine, but means a heavy review duty.

#33 Re: Re: development style

by bzbarsky

Saturday September 21st, 2002 11:18 PM

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A heavy review duty already exists. Anyone on the "sr" list already spends at least 50-60% of their "work on Mozilla" time doing code reviews...

#34 Re: development style

by masi

Monday September 23rd, 2002 3:53 PM

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Oh dear. Hmm, looks like it got a bit out of hand ;-)

Well good lick and happy coding then.

Just one request, perhaps superfluos given the checkin rules, add code easily but think twice before changing the UI.

Hopefully the code will be good and on par with your confident. So it'll be ok, I reckon. OTOH an ever changing UI is a nuisance.

#4 Screenshots?

by Psiren

Thursday September 19th, 2002 3:18 PM

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Any screenshots anywhere? I'd like to see just what they're trying to do.

#24 Re: Screenshots?

by ethvignotb <ethvignotb@netscape.net>

Friday September 20th, 2002 3:06 PM

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#26 Screenshots?

by Psiren

Friday September 20th, 2002 5:30 PM

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Hmm, other than the removal of the Go and Window menus, I can't see any visible difference. Early days I guess.

#10 How about giving back to Mozilla...

by ksheka

Thursday September 19th, 2002 6:09 PM

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The idea of using pheonix is a little silly for me (and probably others) who also want a news reader, which pheonix probably will never have (if I understand the purpose of the project).

Are there plans to back-port some of the modifications to the core Mozilla browser? Things such as customizable toolbars, better preferences defaults, and an overhauled download manager (when available) would be useful to (most) all those that use the Mozilla browser.

#13 Re: played with it today.....

by Blake <blaker@netscape.com>

Thursday September 19th, 2002 7:54 PM

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Phoenix is a *browser*. What'd be silly is if a browser came with a newsreader. You probably want Minotaur, which is the project to create a standalone mail client.

#15 Re: played with it today.....

by Blake <blaker@netscape.com>

Thursday September 19th, 2002 8:15 PM

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Phoenix is a *browser*. What'd be silly is if a browser came with a newsreader. You probably want Minotaur, which is the project to create a standalone mail client.

#12 a couple of questions

by treebeard <treebeard@treebeard.net>

Thursday September 19th, 2002 7:54 PM

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How well do phoenix and mozilla co-exist on the same machine ( windoze ) ? Can both run at the same time? Mozilla mail/news & Phoenix?

#14 Re: a couple of questions

by WillyWonka

Thursday September 19th, 2002 8:13 PM

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Yes. Unlike Netscape 7, Phoenix puts it's profile data in a different directory. So mozilla and phoenix can be loaded at the same time.

You can't share bookmarks or anything though (as far as I know)

#29 Re: Re: a couple of questions

by davemacgb

Saturday September 21st, 2002 2:56 AM

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On Windows you could in theory set the Imported IE Favorites folder as the default folder for new bookmarks to be created in - in both Mozilla and Phoenix. Then any bookmarks you add will be available in Mozilla/Netscape/Phoenix and IE. The setting is in the Bookmark manager (Ctrl-B). Highlight the folder and then use 'View->Set as New Bookmark folder'.

Can't say I've tried it. I normally just move the bookmarks in to the IE folder if I want to access them in a different browser.

#23 If you use a proxy

by treebeard <treebeard@treebeard.net>

Friday September 20th, 2002 12:57 PM

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You can copy the "user_pref("network.proxy...." lines from your mozilla prefs.js into the "mozbrowser" one and it works. I also brought over my bookmarks.

#28 Had problems with running out of memory

by ronbu

Saturday September 21st, 2002 2:09 AM

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I tried builds 20020915 and 20020920, and had problems with it running out of memory too quickly on my computer with a 128 meg RAM Windows 98 5.9 Gig hard drive. Since Phoenix is still in Alpha state, and K-Meleon does not have a final release version based on Mozilla 1.x, those Windows users who want a browser with less memory than the full Mozilla should use Beonex Communicator 0.8.1 without the mail/news and chat clients. I use it with the less than 1 meg YAMC as my mail client and it works beautifully. The Phoenix browsers at this time should be used only for testing purposes.

#30 phoenix nightly size

by mielke

Saturday September 21st, 2002 4:42 AM

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why is that archive so big? Just to hold also mfcembed? Its more lean than phoenix (no xul at all).

#31 Re: phoenix nightly size

by WillyWonka

Saturday September 21st, 2002 8:08 AM

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phoenix uses xul.

#32 Re: phoenix nightly size

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Saturday September 21st, 2002 1:34 PM

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"why is that archive so big? Just to hold also mfcembed? Its more lean than phoenix (no xul at all)."

why is the archive so big? Well, it's about eight and a half MB. I've got my version stripped down a little bit further to about seven MB.

Just to hold also mfcembed? I don't know what that means. mfcembed.exe is about 34K compressed. We should remove that from the Phoenix build but that's not a very big win compared to removing some other things. 34K is less than half of one percent of the overall size of the Phoenix download.

I'm not sure what you mean by "Its more lean than phoenix..." Do you mean mfcembed is a smaller download than Phoniex? Well, sure. It is. A download of the win-embed test app is about 5MB, a download of Phoenix is about 8.5MB, a download of Mozilla is about 11MB, and a typical (according to the MS website) download of IE6 is abouot 17MB. I don't see much of a point there. Different apps with different capabilities are going to have different download sizes.

--Asa