Phoenix 0.3 Delayed Until Next Week

Wednesday October 9th, 2002

As mentioned by Blake Ross in the Phoenix General forum, Phoenix 0.3 has been delayed until next week. Originally, the plan was to release 0.3 yesterday. The delay means that Phoenix can take advantage of the extra stability offered by the trunk freeze.

In related news, Blake Ross has begun working on Thunderbird (formerly Minotaur), a stand-alone mail client to accompany Phoenix. It is expected that Thunderbird 0.1 will be released around the same time as Phoenix 0.5.

#12 Integration and process

by mpthomas

Thursday October 10th, 2002 2:26 AM

You are replying to this message

"I'd miss the features and I really want an integrated (or tightly coupled) e-mail client."

Combining a browser and a mailer into the same executable is a very poor method of integrating them. It causes undue bloat when you use either of them, given the low frequency with which most people want to use both of them at the same time. And it makes programmers lazy in their integration work, as they can just call a function elsewhere in the same executable (like Mozilla does) instead of making the proper IPC calls (like MSIE, Opera, Eudora, Outlook etc do). For example, last I checked, without installing extra hacks <> , you *still* can&#8217;t get Mozilla to launch a composition window for a non-Mozilla mailer when clicking on a mailto: link. Conversely, if you have Netscape 7 set up as your chosen mail client and click on a mailto: link in MSIE, you get Netscape's useless "Activation" window, an alert box, the same alert box again (because you didn't read the deceptive wording the first time), a useless browser window, and *then* a composition window. It's a mess.

It's not surprising, then, that very few people use an integrated browser and mailer, and most of those who do are people who don't care so much about either bloat or individual taste -- those using AOL or MSN.

"But, if Phoenix can, in what, 3 weeks, make customizable toolbars, why is mozilla no closer to doing this than they were 3 YEARS AGO?!?!"

Because the development process for Mozilla's front end code is broken. It's broken firstly due to control by Netscape designers who (perhaps because of their lack of experience) cling unreasonably to poor decisions made by their predecessors. (The toolbar layout since Netscape 6.0, and the composition window address fields since Netscape 4.0, are two examples of this.) It's broken secondly by the inevitable suckage effect when too many talking heads (of which I used to be one) get involved in a design. And it's broken thirdly by the expectation that good coders will spend large amounts of their time reviewing other people's mediocre patches instead of producing their own good patches.

"Given the imagination of the Phoenix folks, couldn't they benifit mozilla more by working on the mozilla browser?"

Sorry, that doesn't make much sense. These people are working on Phoenix. Yes, they could benefit Mozilla more (in the short term) by working on Mozilla. But they could also benefit Linux more by working on the Linux kernel, or benefit Apache more by working on Apache.

Like anyone, the Phoenix hackers will work on what they think is the best use of their time. And I doubt that it's the best use of *anyone's* time (except perhaps Netscape employees) to work on the current Mozilla front end.

-- mpt