Major Roadmap Update Centers Around Phoenix, Thunderbird; 1.4 Branch to Replace 1.0; Changes Planned for Module Ownership Model
Wednesday April 2nd, 2003
In the most radical change to the Mozilla project since the late 1998 decision to rewrite much of the code, mozilla.org today announced a major new roadmap proposal that will see Phoenix and Thunderbird (also known as Minotaur) becoming the focus of future development. According to the roadmap, 1.4 is likely to be the last milestone of the traditional Mozilla suite and the 1.4 branch will replace the 1.0 branch as the stable development path. mozilla.org is also proposing changes to the module ownership model including a move towards stronger leadership and the removal of mandatory super-review in some cases. Please click the Full Article link to read the full analysis.
#100 phoenix - not so good
Thursday April 3rd, 2003 6:00 AM
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Architecturally I think this is absolutely definitely the right thing to do, with no question whatsoever. The facility to allow extensions (particularly if these can be extensions into Gecko - kind of a new browser plugin format but at a more powerful/easy to manage level) but keep the basic install simple is exactly what's needed.
From a user interface point of view though, rather than technically, I kind of think Phoenix sucks compared to Mozilla :(
(And that is assuming you use Mozilla just as a browser.)
My hope is that with main development effort on Phoenix, not Mozilla, it will improve quickly. I'd like to see them incorporating a professionally done version of GreyModern, or else some other non-suck scheme (orbit is not so bad) with large buttons by default. There are a lot of Phoenix themes but most of them are pretty poor and as usual, themes don't always keep up with browser features...
I suppose that's my other concern with the 'stronger UI lead' aspect of this - so far I think the 'stronger UI lead' in Phoenix hasn't really made a better UI. There are important UI features that Mozilla is missing, like configurable toolbars, so I definitely see the technical improvements, but the interface itself is still a bit of a mess by comparison (IMO). As far as interface is concerned, Mozilla suite 'bloat' has no real effect on me: five buttons wasting room in the status bar, sure, but who cares. I don't *use* the ugly 'new' menu, I press ctrl-n. :)
And I hope there are extensions at the least that let those of us who don't use tabs consider Phoenix, including middle-click to open new window etc... you don't seem to be able to do that at present (within the GUI).