Full Article Attached Minutes of the Staff Meeting of Wednesday 19th February 2003

Monday February 24th, 2003

The minutes of the staff meeting of Wednesday 19th February 2003 are now online. Issues discussed include the 1.3 release, plans for 1.4 and 1.5, the Chimera/Camino 0.7 release, having host another tinderbox rewrite and additional developer tools, a research request for Talkback data and the splash screen.

#12 mozilla is a distribution

by jilles

Tuesday February 25th, 2003 6:59 AM

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I think the reason mozilla is perceived as a distribution is because it is distributed as a monolithical application (now even with kitchen sink). While at the implementation level everything is properly componentized, at the deployment side it is one big distribution that only leaves users a handful of choices with respect to what to download an not to download.

In terms of quality management, the customization phase such as applied by e.g. Netscape doesn't have much consequences for mozilla. The handful of changes that are made flow back to Mozilla anyway. This is why end users mostly ignore Netscape: Mozilla is usually ahead of Netscape and includes all quality enhancing changes that go into Netscape.

There is a difference between mozilla distributions and linux distributions. Linux distributions pick the fruits of multiple (thousands) of independent OSS and commercial projects. Mozilla bundles the results of the Mozilla project and basically the Mozilla distribution is almost identical to Netscape (ok they add some commercial stuff most people can find on their own if they need it). Obviously, if Mozilla wants to change this, it should focus more on delivering the individual components rather than the bundled result. I don't see why mozilla mail needs to be bundled with mozilla browser. It would be better for each if they evolved separately (see phoenix). Likewise the mozilla platform should evolve separately from the mozilla applications. The deployment phase should consist of selecting stable versions of each component and bundling that rather than wait until each component has evolved enough to warrant a new release, a perfect task for an organization like Netscape.

The whole mozilla 1.0 branch is getting rediculous. Millions of development money go into creating 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, .. and all Netscape uses is Mozilla 1.0 (and most users opt for Mozilla because of that). I am not surprised AOL is in trouble, they burn money like crazy.