Reports of Phoenix's Death Greatly Exaggerated

Monday January 20th, 2003

Recently, there has been speculation that Phoenix has died. Not so. In a message to the Phoenix General forum, developer Pierre "pch" Chanial has announced that Phoenix is still alive. While pch won't be able to work on Phoenix for at least a month, Mozilla veterans Dean Tessman, Peter "jag" Annema and Jan Varga have all been given CVS access. A 0.6 release is under development.

#1 excellent news

by morg

Monday January 20th, 2003 8:40 PM

This is excellent news. Extra points to Mozillazine for rumor control.

#2 What about Blake and Hyatt?

by stylo

Monday January 20th, 2003 10:05 PM

No mention of them at all? Do they plan to work on it anymore?

#4 Re: What about Blake and Hyatt?

by erik

Tuesday January 21st, 2003 8:33 AM

Hyatt is working for Apple with their KHTML based browse, Safari, so you can count him out.

Blake just closed down his Blog after weeks of inactivity. Most likely he is busy with his studies.

#13 Re: Re: What about Blake and Hyatt?

by djst

Wednesday January 22nd, 2003 9:07 AM

Wrong. Blake hasn't closed his blog. He has even posted a message saying that Phoenix is not dead.

#6 and Chimera?

by macpeep

Tuesday January 21st, 2003 9:34 AM

Hyatt was working on Chimera too. Now that he is at Apple, working on Safari, can we count him out from Chimera and Mozilla as a whole?

#8 Re: Uninstalling of extensions?

by mlefevre

Tuesday January 21st, 2003 10:16 AM

no, hyatt is still helping out with Mozilla stuff... not doing nearly as much as before, of course, and I doubt he'd have any interest in Chimera or Phoenix specific stuff, but he's certainly still around...

#3 Leadership?

by jrt

Tuesday January 21st, 2003 1:32 AM

While it is nice that are now apparently now some more developers with official access to the Phoenix CVS tree, there is no mention here of any sort of leadership. Who is driving the direction of Phoenix? Or will it just become a bunch of patches on top of Mozilla?

#5 Re: Leadership?

by Allenz

Tuesday January 21st, 2003 8:49 AM

Leadership? I learned a while back that Open Source efforts eschew Project Management...or management of any kind. When I offered to lend my expertise to an Open Source effort, I got so much crap from the "real computer people" that I decided to never volunteer again :) As you can see from the above posts, we are unlikely to see a staffing plan, WBS or milestones that are refined beyond "sometime next month". I definitely appreciate the work people do and think Phoenix is a fantastic browser. But, without a more defined delivery roadmap, it is unlikely we will ever get the kind of corporate support required to take us to the next level. In fact, the recent lack of progress has already caused some people I had using Phoenix to switch back to IE. I couldn't persuade them otherwise because I had no information to assure them it was not going to wither on the vine or stagnate.

#7 On being professional

by mesostinky

Tuesday January 21st, 2003 9:51 AM

We all know that Phoenix is a volunteer effort. That's what has made the work so impressive. The fact that people who have other lives are willing ot donate their time to work on something for free is an amazing thing. I think we all are amazed at what Phoenix has become and truly thank those who made it what it is. That said just because your doing something for free doesn't mean you don't have to be responsible or professional. I find the way the people involved just "walked away" very unprofessional. In real life I have volunteered for things like charity work and let me tell you, when I was ready to take a break or stop I just didn't stop showing up. I let the people I was helping know what my plans were. Instead the big Phoenix players just stopped working and stopping communicating. That was uncalled for and really the worst thing they could have done. They should have simply let everyone know that they were a)taking a long break or b) no longer have time. Just letting Phoenix hang in limbo without critical patches and not communicating their situations was the worst thing they could have done. Here's to hoping the new devs have an open communication policy.

#11 Re: On being professional

by mboullet

Tuesday January 21st, 2003 1:26 PM

Even if English was my mother language, I could not say it better.

#9 Chimera

by pbreit

Tuesday January 21st, 2003 11:04 AM

Chimera is apparently under consideration as well.

For building browsers, KHTML is looking better than ever.

#10 Mozilla

by SubtleRebel

Tuesday January 21st, 2003 12:42 PM

Since I primarily use Macs, Phoenix has never really been much of an option for me (the OS X port of Phoenix being unofficial and unsupported).

I hope that the new group of Phoenix developers will consider either including an official OS X port or else at least incorporating more of the Phoenix advancements back into the cross-platform Mozilla browser.

#12 Re: Mozilla

by pbreit

Tuesday January 21st, 2003 1:59 PM

A MacOS port of Phoenix is unnecessary given Chimera.

Windows resources would be better spent on K-Meleon anyhow since, like Chimera, it is going with native instead of XUL.

#14 Makes no sense

by SubtleRebel

Wednesday January 22nd, 2003 9:00 PM

"A MacOS port of Phoenix is unnecessary given Chimera."

I have heard this multiple times, but it never has made any sense.

For some reason people accept the fact that there is a legitimate reason to develop Phoenix for the Windows and Linux platforms, despite the fact that there are dozens of other browsers already available for those platforms. However for some reason the existance of a single browser on the Mac platform - Chimera - somehow negates every reason for Phoenix to be developed for OS X.

Can anyone show the logic behind this argument?

#16 Re: Makes no sense

by pbreit

Wednesday January 22nd, 2003 10:09 PM

Dozens of browsers?? ROTFL!

There's *one* on Windows!! Three on Mac. And who knows on *nix.

There are already three flavors of Mozilla on Mac, one of which has gained traction (the, surprise, lean one with native widgets).

There are 4 significant flavors on Windows with none standing out (k-meleon could take a sheet from Chimera playbook).

I don't see what the logic is of bringing yet another Gecko-based browser to MacOS with Apple beinging out a strong product and Chimera being the sole Mozilla effort to gain >10% on a platform. And with both Chimera and Phoenix having to recently affirm they are not dead?!

The XUL thing may work for *nix, but Mac and Windows require native widgets and no bloat.

#22 Re: Makes no sense

by SubtleRebel

Friday January 24th, 2003 1:41 PM

pbreit : "Dozens of browsers?? ROTFL! "

pbreit, read again what I said in my post: "...despite the fact that there are dozens of other browsers already available for those platforms..."

Nowhere did I say anything about there being dozens of Gecko based browsers; when I said dozens of browsers, I was talking about all of the browsers available for those platforms.

pbreit : "There's *one* on Windows!! Three on Mac. And who knows on *nix."

I have no idea what you are talking about. How can you claim that there is only one browser for Windows? Off the top of my head I can easily think of 5 Gecko based browsers for Windows: the Mozilla browser, Netscape, Phoenix, Beonex, and K-Meleon. There may or may not be others, I do not know, but it is certainly rather ignorant to say that there is only one. Especially when you turn around and state that there are 4 signifigant flavors of Mozilla on Windows.

pbreit : "The XUL thing may work for *nix, but Mac and Windows require native widgets and no bloat."

You really have no sense of logic do you? If your claim that XUL does not work for anything other than *nix were were a legitimate reason to not develop Phoenix for OS X then would it not also be a reason not to develop Phoenix for Windows? That is kind of a moot question though since your claim that Mac and Windows require native widgets is wrong anyway.

Also if Mac users require "no bloat" as you say, then Phoenix would fit the bill. Phoenix does not have bloat.

#15 BTW

by SubtleRebel

Wednesday January 22nd, 2003 9:14 PM

Perhaps I should also point out that Chimera will never have all of the features of Phoenix.

For example, Chimera can not be skinned like Phoenix. Nor can Chimera utilize various add-ons that are available for Phoenix. Why? Because Chimera has a native UI instead of using XUL.

#17 Re: BTW

by pbreit

Wednesday January 22nd, 2003 10:15 PM

That is absolutely, positively, exactly the point! The singular reason why Chimera is the *only* Gecko-based browser to achieve share is that it has a native UI, no add-ons and no skins (and no Moz/NS bloat).

#18 Phoenix add-ons

by SubtleRebel

Thursday January 23rd, 2003 2:34 PM

Phoenix add-ons are not bloat; in fact one of the primary reasons that they were created was to avoid bloat. The type of add-ons that I was talking about can be found at . Perhaps I should have said "extensions" instead of "add-ons" but whatever you call them, my poing is the same These extensions are optional features that can be added on if you want them (thus the name). If you happen to install one and later decide you do not want it, then you can uninstall it.

Chimera does not have that functionality. No Mac browser has that functionality. AFAIK, Phoenix is the only browser on any platform that has that functionality.

I like Chimera, but it does not eliminate a Mac user's need for the kind of functionality provided by Phoenix.

#20 voting

by pbreit

Friday January 24th, 2003 11:36 AM

Well, witnessing the stampede to Chimera and Safari, I'd say Mac users have voted overwhelmingly against the "kind of functionality provided by Phoenix" you speak of.

#21 Re: voting

by SubtleRebel

Friday January 24th, 2003 1:29 PM

'Well, witnessing the stampede to Chimera and Safari, I'd say Mac users have voted overwhelmingly against the "kind of functionality provided by Phoenix" you speak of.'

What a moronic thing to say.

Mac users choosing Chimera or Safari has absolutely no bearing on whether or not Mac users want a browser with flexible modular extensibility like Phoenix has. Mac users are not even being given the opportunity to "vote" for Phoenix extensions.

The fact that many OS X users have downloaded an unofficial and unsupported compilation of Phoenix for OS X proves that there is an interest in such a browser. If there were an officially supported version then I guarantee that there would be signifigantly more people interested.

#23 My goodness

by pbreit

Friday January 24th, 2003 9:07 PM

Wow! I don't know how you can consider that moronic. We're talking about actual data showing that two severely under-featured browsers are extremely popular! I'd be surprised if MacPhoenix had 1% of Safari's downloads.

#24 Re: My goodness

by the_Rebel

Saturday January 25th, 2003 3:51 PM

The thing is that your "actual data" showing the popularity of Safari and Chimera does absolutely nothing to show whether or not Phoenix would be popular with Mac users.

I am not sure if you are trying to make a point by referring to Chimera and Safari as "severely under-featured browsers" or if you are simply trolling, but regardless, that also has no bearing on whether or not Mac users would like to use Phoenix. For the most part, people downloading Chimera and Safari are doing so because they are looking for an alternative to IE; they like Chimera and Safari because even in their beta state, these browsers are faster, more reliable, and render pages better than IE for the Mac.

Also, as I stated before, there is no "MacPhoenix" for Mac users to "vote" for. They can download an expiremental build at but it is not really supported by anyone and there is no guarantee that there be any future builds. Your average end user is not going to download and use a buggy expiremental browser for which there is absolutely no support. It is no surprise to anyone that Safari has more downloads; Safari has a multi-billion dollar company behind it whereas the expiremental Phoenix build for OS X basically has one guy who says that he really does not have time work on it much.

Most Mac users do not even know that Phoenix exists and not all of those who know it exists know that there exists an unofficial expiremental OS X build.

So yes, it is definitely moronic to claim that the popularity of Safari and Chimera in any way indicates that Mac users do not want Phoenix.

#19 Phoenix - awesome

by NeoDogBoy

Friday January 24th, 2003 9:50 AM

First of all I'd like to commend everyone who has contributed to Phoenix. Phoenix has been my exclusive browser for a month or two now and I have told most my friends about it also.

Keep up the good work.