Five Years Ago: Netscape Announces Intention to Release Source Code

Wednesday January 22nd, 2003

On this day in 1998, Netscape Communications Corporation announced that it was planning to release the Netscape Communicator 5.0 source code to the public. Heralding the move as "bold" and "aggressive", Netscape described how it intended to "create a special Web site service where all interested parties can download the source code, post their enhancements, take part in newsgroup discussions, and obtain and share Communicator-related information with others in the Internet community." You'll know this site as

#40 Maybe I wasn't clear enough...

by Malc

Friday January 24th, 2003 7:22 AM

You are replying to this message

Woah. You're over-reacting - don't be so sensitive. Maybe I'm over-reacting, but it feels like you've spent a whole reply (including the title) trying to put my comment down. You've complete misunderstood what I was saying (which could well be down to my writing style) by trying to paint me in to the same corner with the anti-Mozilla trolls. I'm a big fan of Mozilla and have used it as my primary web browser for over a year, and dabbled with it for far longer. I evangelize it amongst my family and friends trying to get them to use it, so I'm certainly not "taking shots" at it.

Just because you rarely have problems with Mozilla doesn't mean there aren't problems, and nor should you use that as a basis for dismissing other people's grievances and trying to shove them under the rug. I agree, too many people whine about Mozilla's resource requirements... I suspect they have unrealistic hardware expectations and trying to run it on much older systems. Now, there's an argument that Mozilla should run all systems possible, and there's another argument that we shouldn't worrying about that and just looking to the future. I'm not going to get in to that though as my original comment about the memory usage was to highlight the fact that Mozilla had jumped from it's normal 25MB footprint to almost 4x that in its failed attempt to download newsgroup headers. Read what I said. Do you really and honestly think that it's acceptable for a news client to spend over 2 hours trying to get to grips with a newsgroup? BTW, to give you some perspective: 1.2Mbs DSL line and dual P3-850 w/ 384MB. That seems like reasonable hardware to me.

Now, as for the meat of my point and your response. I like Mozilla. I like and want Mozilla to be a suite. I want to use it for more than just browsing. I want it to be an integrated suite. But what has that got to do with it being in a single process space? Microsoft Office is a very tightly integrated suite, but do Excel, Word, Outlook, Access, etc all run in the same process? NO! Thank goodness. (Note: I have to use Outlook for work and I tried using Word as my email edittor for a while. I had to stop because of problems that kept forcing me to re-type messages. Just like browser crashes in Mozilla would take down my email if wasn't using Netscape 4.79.)

Obviously Mozilla has been well componentised. I can pick and choose which items of the suite I want to install. This is good. I would choose to install more than just the browser. But again, explain to me why it all has to execute in the same process space? That's just bad and fundamental implementation fault. I'm not asking for the suite to broken up, just each component run in its own process space. The last decade or so has seen a big move in desktop OSes that support isolation of processes (e.g Win 3.1 -> Win NT), and for good reason. The current implementation of Mozilla goes completely against that philosophy. This is my grievance.