Full Article Attached 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, 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. 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.

#101 Happy... but not? If that's possible?

by neva <>

Thursday April 3rd, 2003 6:24 AM

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I like the idea of splitting the browser and mail client--and I definitely like that Phoenix is a bit more user-centric than Mozilla's always been. But there are a few things that bother me about this.

First of all, Mozilla-the-browser and Phoenix aren't identical at the moment in terms of feature set. Some things are done differently, sometimes in a largish way. (The dropdown searching from the location bar was mentioned in a previous post, and is something I use a *lot*.) Phoenix gaining the additional development power will solve some problems, but it doesn't exactly deal with what they're going to do about places where the two programs have already taken different paths.

Second, what're they going to call it? Will there be, in essence, no more 'Mozilla'? Or are Phoenix and going Thunderbird/Minotaur/whatever to be called Mozilla-Browser and Mozilla-Mail? Or what? That's not terribly clear, and among other things, it's kinda hard to evangelize to friends and family and coworkers and the like when you don't even know what to tell them they ought to use.

Third, does anybody know what Netscape and the like are going to do about this? Are we going to see a Netscape Browser and Netscape Mail done separately, eventually? Will they continue to merge many things into one program?

And fourth, and finally... what about the things *other* than Phoenix and Minotaur/Thunderbird/whatever? What about Calendar? What about Composer? What about Chatzilla? I don't necessarily use these things, but some people must, and it doesn't seem immediately clear where they'll fit into the grand scheme of things. More separate programs? This stops seeming like such a good idea when you start thinking about using all of these things and having to install and run them all separately. How well are they all going to integrate when they all run separately?

So... well. I think this has the potential to do good things, but I'm really unsure at the moment of what to expect. I really can't see why the existing model is so bad and must change, but I hope that changing it won't leave those of us relatively happy with the way things work in the dust.