Mozilla 1.4 Release Candidate 2 Out

Wednesday June 18th, 2003

The second release candidate of Mozilla 1.4 is now available for download. Read the Mozilla 1.4 RC 2 Release Notes for more information and get a build from the Releases page or directly from the mozilla1.4rc2 directory on

#1 java 1.4.2 beta

by jilles

Wednesday June 18th, 2003 7:06 AM

What's up with java 1.4.2 beta version being required to run applets? I haven't been able to get this version working with firebird. Apparently a lot of other people are having the same trouble with firebird and java 1.4.2 beta (and yes I tried all the usual tricks to get java working). Older versions work fine.

Could someone explain why this version is now required for mozilla 1.4?

#2 Re: java 1.4.2 beta - not needed for Windows

by mlefevre

Wednesday June 18th, 2003 7:15 AM

Firstly, that requirement only applies to Linux (and I guess other *nix platforms). Windows users can continue to use any version of Java from 1.3 upwards.

I'm not a Linux user, but AIUI, Java has to be compiled with the same version of the compiler as Mozilla for them to be able to work together. Mozilla has moved to a newer compiler (which means faster and more optimised Linux builds), so you now need a Java compiled with that newer compiler, and that means 1.4.2 beta.

#11 hope a workaround could be found ...

by pcabellor

Wednesday June 18th, 2003 2:14 PM

Things like this may severely damage the Mozilla (and Java and Linux) image. I think one of the strengths of Mozilla and the open source projects is to handle this kind of issue if not avoiding them completely.

Yes, I understand there are technical requirements, things that may and probably are beyond Mozilla control, but that's the same MS has been saying about the DLL maze. I am sure it won't pass much time before we read reports on this on main IT media.

There's pretty urgent homework here.

#12 Re: hope a workaround could be found ...

by asa

Wednesday June 18th, 2003 4:27 PM makes just a few binaries for a few platforms. If our binaries don't work for you then you can compile your own or get someone else to compile one for you. There are no code barriers here. This is a simple compilation issue and shouldn't be a significant problem. Maybe your Linux distro will make a distro specific build. Most of the popular ones do.


#18 Are there expectations for Mozilla going mainstrea

by pcabellor

Thursday June 19th, 2003 6:41 AM

I would like to clarify this point with authoritative and experienced users/developers of Mozilla. Is Mozilla really oriented only to developers or are there expectations to become mainstream at some point?

If it is oriented to developers, what's the point? I thought Mozilla "mission" was to contribute to massification of web standards. I don't see that happening if only developers are using web standards compliant browsers. As long as their bosses establish that whatever application must work with IE, because it IS the browser more than 90% of people is using. There's no way we can believe that without a big browser market share, there's any possibility to enforce anything.

If this is not true, and Mozilla has real expectation on consumer market, then this kind of Linux-Java-gcc-Mozilla incompatibility is a main issue, or at least a shoot in the own foot, for the open source community. Read this: "Linux is the only OS having problem with the outstanding and glorious (shis is true) Mozilla".

Once again, I am asking for this clarification on Mozilla mid and long term goals. I have posted similar question in several forums here and this news comments without an answer. Would sincerely appreciate it.

#21 mission

by mlefevre

Thursday June 19th, 2003 9:17 AM

The mission is available on their website: "[] coordinates the open source Mozilla browser project. Mozilla is an open-source web browser, designed for standards-compliance, performance and portability" ... "A group exists that is chartered to act as the virtual meeting place for the Mozilla code. That group is We will provide a central point of contact and community for those interested in using or improving the source code... We will provide technical and architectural direction for the project. ... We are code integrators. And, through our forums, we will try to help people reach consensus, and thereby provide direction and coordination for future improvements"

So is most definitely oriented only to developers, because their role is to coordinate development.

Different contributors want different things - mainstream use of the Mozilla code is good, frequent releases to keep things moving are good, standards are good, having good code that performs well and is portable is good. Exactly what the balance of various things are, and what happens long term, depends on what happens in the community (and of course the community includes Netscape, Redhat, and the other commercial folks that use the code and do work on it), so it's not really up to Mozilla set long term goals, it's up to the contributors.

There's not much point in saying "we're going to do X", because they have no resources to actually do anything much - X will only happen if some contributor makes it happen.

The Java thing is mostly a distribution issue - Netscape, Redhat, and others distributing the Mozilla code will sort out the Java versions in their own distributions. Of course it would be nice to get it sorted out in the Mozilla binaries too, but it doesn't make much of a difference to the contributors, only Mozilla "users", and contributors are the only ones who can do stuff.

#23 Are there expectations for Mozilla going mainstrea

by pcabellor

Thursday June 19th, 2003 12:01 PM

I have reviewd sevral times the Mozilla Mission Statement webpage, but, and this is another concern, I can't find anything similar to what a mission should be. A mission should follow a vision, which is also missing in I would expect some kind of vision like: "a web browsing experience absolutely intuitive, technically transparent, and efficient" as an example. Or "a standardards based web" , or something like that.

A mission will folow, somthing like: "to build the browser", "to promote those standards by providing a feature rich and W3C compliant browser", or similar.

It's just my opinion but "write code" or "build a web site" doesn't seem like a mission.

I know that for some people and mainly developers, a product seems to be just as good as the code is. But this in not true, or at least incomplete, in the competitive world Mozilla exists.

For what I've seen, Mozilla is indeed capable of saying "we are doing this". The best example is the new roadmap. So it is completely possible to say "we are making Mozilla consumer-oriented" because this, as far as I can see and would appreciate to see different opinions, doesn't have to be opposed to "developer-oriented". Of course it is signficantly more difficult to build a consumer oriented product, but versions (dev and consumer) don't have to be synchronized. For example, right now a task group may be working in a consumer oriented Mozilla 1.3, while 1.4 keeps going. This would be working on issues known and overlooked on developer edition, but could be a show-stopper for consumers.

Is Netscape supposed to be this consumer oriented Mozilla? Maybe, but probably it is more AOL-oriented (obviously).

So, to put it simple, where do you see Mozilla, five years from here? As a niche browser, the browser king, the "other" browser?

Why did Linux went mainstream (at least in the server market)? What is happening to Why?

Mozilla can be a good browser or it can be the browser that changed the web and users' experience.

I am completely off topic now, sorry about that. Sincerely.

#25 Re: Are there expectations for Mozilla going mains

by the_Rebel

Thursday June 19th, 2003 2:54 PM

"Why did Linux went mainstream (at least in the server market)?"

If anyone wants Mozilla to "go mainstream" like Linux has, then they are free to make it happen.

Red Hat, Mandrake, etc all took the open source Linux code and built upon it to create their "mainstream" business.

That same possibility is possible with the Mozilla code.

#28 Are there expectations for Mozilla going mainstrea

by pcabellor

Friday June 20th, 2003 6:18 AM

Yes. And Netscape should have been the RedHat of Mozilla. Does the Netscape brand still has some value? I mean, when I hear about it I think on failure and opportunities going, even considering the MS antitrust.

This may explain why Netscape is where it is. Of course this is not the only reason: there is AOL, that released a Netscape based on pre alpha Mozilla.

So, I agree with the idea of the "need" (as I see it) for a third company to be capacle of offering a consumer oriented Mozilla: give it a cool name, add some bells and whistles here and there, promote it heavily, team with partners, find profit on all these and take Mozilla to the scenery.

#32 Re: Are there expectations for Mozilla going mains

by the_Rebel

Friday June 20th, 2003 9:49 AM

A whole lot of blame goes to Microsoft for their illegal business practices.

This AOL/MS antitrust settlement is absurd. Just another example of Microsoft getting away with murder.

However, all of that aside, the primary reason why there is no one filling this alleged "need" for mainstreaming Mozilla is because there is no profit in it. In order for a business to survive, it has got to make profits. Can anyone describe a business model whereby a business can focus on developing and polishing the Mozilla code into a "mainstream" web browser product. Remember that this hypothetical company needs to provide technical support to the userbase. How many people would be willing to pay for the web browser? How many would pay for web browser technical support? Any other suggestions as to how this company would be able to pay its bills?

#22 Re: Are there expectations for Mozilla going mains

by AlexBishop

Thursday June 19th, 2003 9:48 AM

"I would like to clarify this point with authoritative and experienced users/developers of Mozilla. Is Mozilla really oriented only to developers or are there expectations to become mainstream at some point?"

The Mozilla technology is intended to be mainstream. And it is (being used in Netscape, CompuServe, AOL for Mac OS X etc.). However, the builds provided by are intended for development and testing purposes only. Hence the presence of stuff like Debug and QA menus. Basically, Mozilla's target market is not users but vendors who will use the technology in their own products.


#26 Re: Are there expectations for Mozilla going mains

by bzbarsky

Thursday June 19th, 2003 5:03 PM

> then this kind of Linux-Java-gcc-Mozilla incompatibility is a main issue, or at > least a shoot in the own foot, for the open source community.

You're right. ABI changes are precisely that. The transition from gcc 2.9x to gcc 3.x is pretty painful across the board, with major compatibiliy problems in all sorts of apps, not just Mozilla. That's the pain of changing the ABI.

It's not quite as bad as the a.out -> elf change back in the day, but similar in effect.

There's not much Mozilla can do past coordinating the compiler switch with some major plugin vendors (which we are in fact doing).

#17 Re: hope a workaround could be found ...

by GAThrawn

Thursday June 19th, 2003 4:46 AM

If you've ever installed a random RPM package or something similar off the web you'd have noticed that any piece of linux software that's even slightly complicated has massive dependencies on various versions of various libraries. The Linkux world is in on way immune to Windows' DLL hell, it just calls them libraries instead and stores them slightly more sensibly.

Any competent package management program will normally try to hide this from you and sort it out for you, but even so it can still be a bit of mess.

If you're downloading a binary from it is bound to have some dependencies on various versions of bits of software, it just so happens that until now most people's systems have been up to date enough that they barely notice.

#3 Java 1.4.2 beta on Linux

by JonL

Wednesday June 18th, 2003 7:21 AM

Presumably you are running linux? If not then ignore this post. You need to use a version of the java plugin that has been compiled with the same version of gcc that mozilla has been, the 1.4 latest branch mozilla build have been compiled with gcc3.2 and therefore you need to use the gcc3.2 plugin that ships in the latest betas of Sun's JRE (and there is also a suitable Blackdown java).

The kicker comes if you run an old linux distribution (e.g. Redhat 7.x), - you don't have the dynamic link libraries required to run gcc 3.2 code as they weren't available when RH7.x was released. Mozilla still runs as it includes all the relant libraries statically linked inside it - the java plugin doesn't. You therefore either need to recompile Mozilla with an old version of gcc or install the libraries for gcc 3.2.

Hope this helps?

#4 Re: Java 1.4.2 beta on Linux

by jilles

Wednesday June 18th, 2003 8:27 AM

I'm running windows xp but this explains the slightly contradictory requirements regarding java in the release notes (at least three versions are recommended at various places).

#6 Re: Re: Problems deleting emails

by max_spicer

Wednesday June 18th, 2003 9:48 AM

Sounds like this could really do with being clarified in the 1.4final release notes. For people just scanning the top of the file it definitely looks as if they need to get a new version of the plugin for windows. This could put people off - especially if a journalist gets hold of it.

#5 On Java for Linux

by mesostinky

Wednesday June 18th, 2003 9:28 AM

If your using linux you can also just use Blackdown Java where you can grab builds built with either gcc 2.95 or 3.2. Alternatively you can download the java sdk and recompile it if you want to use 1.4.1

#9 1.4.2 Where? Was Re: On Java for Linux

by TheMatt

Wednesday June 18th, 2003 10:28 AM

That's great, but the release notes say it requires 1.4.2. I can't seem to find that in the Blackdown tree (at least at the two N. American mirrors). Can you please point to a mirror *with* 1.4.2?

#10 Re: 1.4.2 Where? Was Re: On Java for Linux

by mlefevre

Wednesday June 18th, 2003 11:48 AM

the release notes say *Sun* Java 1.4.2 beta, because that is the only version of Sun Java compiled with GCC 3.2.

Blackdown Java is an alternative that the release notes don't mention (although they should, and hopefully will...), and if you use Blackdown, you don't need 1.4.2beta - Blackdown 1.4.1 is fine, just make sure you get the version that is called GCC 3.2.

#7 What about this blocking bugs?

by alemine

Wednesday June 18th, 2003 10:04 AM

In previous announce I read remaining blocker bugs,104532,198806,104778,204236,178183,193865,208300 and only 3 results solved, but anyway we have RC2. What about these bugs?!?!?

#8 Re: What about this blocking bugs?

by mlefevre

Wednesday June 18th, 2003 10:12 AM

bug 104532 is fixed on the 1.4 branch (look for the fixed1.4 or verified1.4 keywords rather than the overall status of the bug).

bug 204236 is why there are different Linux builds and a lot of talk about Linux Java plugin versions - it's still an issue, but it's not really a bug in Mozilla as such.

bugs 193865 and 198806 look like they may be related, but as yet they haven't been tracked down - it may be that they can't be fixed before 1.4 is released (there will probably be a 1.4.1 after a while anyway) - seems those memory leaks have been around since Mozilla 1.2 anyway...

#13 Toolbar Overflow

by andyed

Wednesday June 18th, 2003 7:55 PM

The "personal toolbar" overflow menu rocks!

Now, it's time to make it exscade:

#14 Re: Toolbar Overflow

by Tar

Wednesday June 18th, 2003 9:42 PM

1) 2) Click beginEstacade 3) Click View and select date 4) Press Tab three/four times 5) Crash

WinXP Mozilla rv:1.5a Gecko/20030604 and rv:1.4b Gecko/20030603 Mozilla Firebird/0.6

Known behavior or is a bugreport in order?

#15 Re: Re: Toolbar Overflow

by Trapanator

Thursday June 19th, 2003 12:59 AM

it doesn't crash to me.

Mozilla 1.4rc2 - Win2000

#19 Re: Toolbar Overflow

by WillyWonka

Thursday June 19th, 2003 8:10 AM

Wow, I'm a lot slower with exscade. I kept overshooting the menu items.

#20 Re: Re: Toolbar Overflow

by antroy

Thursday June 19th, 2003 8:38 AM

Me too. Though looking at the linked applet, it seems that it would work well for long lists (say 20 or more items), rather than for short hierarchical menus where it just causes confusion...

It would be a good plugin if it only activated for longer lists (i.e. bookmark folders which Moz would otherwise use scroll buttons at top and bottom for).

#24 Re: Re: Toolbar Overflow

by locka

Thursday June 19th, 2003 2:47 PM

You're obviously not an OS X user then! The dock does much the same thing, though it's benefits from a usability point of view are somewhat dubious.

#27 Re: Re: Re: Toolbar Overflow

by croddy

Friday June 20th, 2003 6:16 AM

well, the OSX dock does its expansion smoothly and I still sometimes overshoot the icons. I always turn off that swelling/bulging when I use it, and shrink it down.

the XUL expanding menu seems extremely slow and jerky, while the standard one is fast and light so the cursor follows my mouse pointer. in the end I'm more comfortable with the standard menu because the context isn't changing around my pointer (which is kind of confusing/annoying actually), and it's not requiring all those graphic redraws in the middle of pointing. (athlon 700mhz, mozilla 1.4rc2, redhat 9, gnome 2.2)

granted, I'm running XMMS in the background, but that's not about to change :-)

it's a nice UI model, but I don't think XUL can implement it efficiently enough on middle-of-the-road machines yet.

#31 Re: Re: Re: Toolbar Overflow

by WillyWonka

Friday June 20th, 2003 9:44 AM

And you're right :) I've only used OSX once and crashed the display control panel before finding the command line unix stuff. My friend (Whose laptop I was using) looked over and said "It comes with perl installed? Why didn't anyone tell me!?" hehe. That's about my knowledge of OSX. I never actually used the dock... I just moved the mouse over it and went "woo it grows".

#16 No Java at all on MacOs X

by vintz

Thursday June 19th, 2003 2:51 AM

Since Mozilla is a Mach-O build, I have no Java at all. As Mozilla 1.4 is mean to be a "very stable" release, I think this is a blocker on that platform.

What's strange is that nobody seems to report this. Am I the only one with no Java ?

#29 Xft build?

by croddy

Friday June 20th, 2003 6:23 AM

are there plans for an Xft build once 1.4 becomes a final release? I'd do it myself but the build instructions are too complicated for me :-(

#30 Re: Xft build?

by mlefevre

Friday June 20th, 2003 7:08 AM

well Mozilla doesn't do official XFT builds (which is why there aren't any yet), but I'm sure someone will make a build with XFT and contribute it. so there aren't plans as such, but there will be a build :)

#33 Shouldn't the RC link on top of MozillaZine be upd

by tseelee

Friday June 20th, 2003 10:49 AM

updated? It's still showing RC1...

#34 agree with you

by youying

Friday June 20th, 2003 5:50 PM

Personal thinking, the best MozillaNews is Mozilla 1.3. If the final release of 1.4 still contains these regressions, I won't use 1.4. I'm disappointed with 1.4 RC version, worse than 1.4 alpha/beta.

#35 MailNews still contains lots of regression

by youying

Friday June 20th, 2003 5:51 PM

Personal thinking, the best MozillaNews is Mozilla 1.3. If the final release of 1.4 still contains these regressions, I won't use 1.4. I'm disappointed with 1.4 RC version, worse than 1.4 alpha/beta.

#36 Archived source with release

by erikreut

Saturday June 21st, 2003 7:41 AM

What happened to the source tar-balls with the latest releases? I would like to build RC2 with XFT enabled and it would be alot easier for me if I could download an archive with the tagged source in it.