MozillaZine

Full Article Attached Minutes of the mozilla.org Staff Meeting of Monday 8th September 2003

Friday September 12th, 2003

The minutes of the mozilla.org staff meeting of Monday 8th September 2003 are now online. Issues discussed include Mozilla 1.5 final, Mozilla 1.4.1, server migrations and other decisions.


#1 beta usage

by pbreit

Friday September 12th, 2003 8:54 AM

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"1.5 beta usage not very high"

Since 1.5 is kind of a dead end, this isn't surprising. Is the move to Firebird near?

#2 Reply

by Racer

Friday September 12th, 2003 9:28 AM

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Shooting yourself in the foot, even if its for the greater good, tends to keep people away from you in the short term. I'd guess that people are either confused as to which one to get or weary of trying new things when Mozilla 1.4 is officially "stable" and both Moz 1.5 and Firebird are not.

IMO, the move to Firebird requires a trustworthy Thunderbird build as well, since together, they would replace the most important parts of the Mozilla suite. However, I hope I am surprised by a 1.0 "stable" Firebird release within the next month and a Thunderbird 1.0 within a month after that.

Currently, I don't feel safe recommending Firebird to new users due to its constant beta status. I don't want to risk accidentally alienating a new user from Gecko simply because of some bug in Firebird that problably doesn't manifest itself as badly in the stable 1.4x branch. Unless I'm hallucinating, others feel similarly as well.

#3 Re: beta usage

by vfwlkr

Friday September 12th, 2003 9:35 AM

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Gotta agree with you 100%. How many companies do this - announce that a product is at end-of-life, and yet release revisions, alongside new versions of the next greatest thing. And to expect people to actaully use BETA version of the revision of the soon-to-be-dead interface? Isnt that ridiculous.

I would say they should scrap their current plans for 1.6 immediately, and focus on the move to seperate apps. Trivial bugfixes can wait. Get over this major hurdle first. Forget the funny scheduled release dates.

#4 Re: Re: beta usage

by vfwlkr

Friday September 12th, 2003 9:41 AM

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Heh, I'll answer my own question. Another company that did something equally stupid was microsoft when they announced that the win9x filesystem was dead, and still released WindowsME.

I'll Guess that the beta usage of WindowsMe was not 'high'.

#16 I must disagree

by tseelee

Friday September 12th, 2003 7:51 PM

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WinME was a moneymaking/apps-integrating release. It took advanatage of some who bought it and others who had to take it.

#5 Re: Re: beta usage

by mlefevre

Friday September 12th, 2003 9:56 AM

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Yes, but that's all a perception thing.

The "dead" product and the "next greatest thing" are mostly the same code. Anyone using Firebird nightlies is using the 1.5beta code (except the front-end, and the browser front-end for Seamonkey 1.5 hasn't changed much since 1.4)

However, just because it's a perception problem doesn't mean it's not an issue - they need to get the roadmap updated so that testers know what is going on (and I understand they are working on that).

#6 Re: Re: Re: beta usage

by Anthracks

Friday September 12th, 2003 10:16 AM

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Good points. Also, to be fair, I think that the "beta usage was low" comment refers to its usage compared to other *betas*, not compared to 1.4. Of course less people are going to use beta software, but less than normal are using 1.5b as opposed to, say, 1.4b when it came out. Mozilla.org shot itself in the foot a bit if they wanted to get people to continue downloading SeaMonkey builds. By saying Firebird/Thunderbird would displace SeaMonkey months ago and also declaring 1.4 the last stable branch, I'd wager they convinced the risk takers who would normally download 1.5b to jump ship to Firebird/Tbird, and the rest to stick with 1.4.

From where I stand, Firebird and Thunderbird both look awfully mature. I think if they just wrote an installer (I know some people hate installers, but Firebird is the END USER version of the Mozilla tech, and your average user likes installers) so that Java and a few other plugins work without registry hacking and zip file wrangling, they'd be 90% of the way to 1.0. Heck, the recent nightlies of this "beta" software blow the pants off IE and OE! Once the shared GRE stuff gets worked in, they'll compete in memory usage too. I think it's time to knuckle down and get a 1.0 version of these out the door so people who (unnecessarily at this point) fear the 0.7/0.2 version numbers feel reassured enough to adopt what is now a great product.

#18 Re: Re: Re: Re: beta usage

by tseelee

Friday September 12th, 2003 7:55 PM

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I hope and think it'll be called Mozilla Browser 1.7 (cuz I don't see it coming before 1.6), cuz that'll sound just that much better to people who feel more comfortable with the v6.0 software from this big company.

#19 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: beta usage

by jeti

Saturday September 13th, 2003 1:59 AM

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Even a Mozilla 2.0 would be reasonable when as Fire- and Thunderbird get final.

#7 Re: Re: Re: beta usage

by vfwlkr

Friday September 12th, 2003 10:18 AM

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When they're complaining about 'not enough testing on 1.5b', are they talking only about seamonkey, or about seamonkey + recent firebird nightlies combined?

I do understand that the underlying code is the same. What then, is the motivation for testers to use the old UI, and not the new one, which allows them to test the same code base?

i.e. Why should someone like me test mozilla 1.5 final RC over Firebird 0.7 RC?

#8 Re: Re: Re: Re: beta usage

by MarkHB

Friday September 12th, 2003 10:36 AM

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> i.e. Why should someone like me test mozilla 1.5 final RC over Firebird 0.7 RC?

Well, I can't say precisely as I don't know you, and don't know what your preferences are, but one large reason for sticking with Seamonkey over Firebird would be if you want to keep using the entire suite, with chatZilla, Composer, etc., rather than having it broken into itty-bitty pieces. In other words, if you actually prefer the Commmunicator design over the separate-apps design.

#9 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: beta usage

by vfwlkr

Friday September 12th, 2003 10:48 AM

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That is precisely my point - the only users that will still test seamonkey are the ones that do not want it to go away. But it eventually will. (unless the updated roadmap will change this)

#15 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: beta usage

by WillyWonka

Friday September 12th, 2003 4:02 PM

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(I'm using 1.5b to write this) I want it to go away, but I still use it because I'm one of those rare people who uses the browser, mail & news, chatzilla, dom inspector, and even composer sometimes. I have used venkmen in the past, but most of the javascript I code I can tell what the error is by just looking at the code for 2 minutes longer so I don't really need it.

As soon as firebird and thunderbird come bundled in one install along with the gre and I can install chatzilla et all as addons, then I'll switch over to it. Right now it's just a pain to lose the functionality.

#11 Re: beta usage

by dan123

Friday September 12th, 2003 2:18 PM

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How did they work out how many people are using 1.5 beta?

If it's by talkback results, mine hasn't crashed once since the time I downloaded and installed it (a couple of days after release).

#12 Re: Re: beta usage

by vfwlkr

Friday September 12th, 2003 2:44 PM

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That would be based on the #downloads from mozilla servers, not #crashes!

#10 Nature of Mozilla 1.6?

by kepardue

Friday September 12th, 2003 11:14 AM

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It was my impression that although the programs would be separate apps they would still be distributed as a suite as integrated extensions of one another. That seems to be contrary to the opinion of those posting here. I thought that 1.6 was to be the first 'suite' released based on the standalone apps. Personally, I'd still like access to my mail program from within my browser, and other integrated features.

Ken

#13 Re: Nature of Mozilla 1.6?

by leet

Friday September 12th, 2003 3:43 PM

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That can easily be done by setting http/mail services to be handled by. There's no need/reason to bundle the two. That's what got Mozilla in trouble in the first place. I'd rather have the latest version of each than get a suite, esp since they have different development schedules.

Just to reiterate what others have said, I think they shouldn't worry a heck of a lot about 1.5 and try to get the browser and mail to 1.0, whatever that means. I've put off the mail client which is at 0.2 because I thought it's very poor quality, and I wouldn't have switched if my brother hadn't done so without major hiccups. Now that end-users are the audience I hope the Foundation realizes the necessary marketing.

#14 Re: Nature of Mozilla 1.6?

by leet

Friday September 12th, 2003 4:00 PM

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That can easily be done by setting http/mail services to be handled by. There's no need/reason to bundle the two. That's what got Mozilla in trouble in the first place. I'd rather have the latest version of each than get a suite, esp since they have different development schedules.

Just to reiterate what others have said, I think they shouldn't worry a heck of a lot about 1.5 and try to get the browser and mail to 1.0, whatever that means. I've put off the mail client which is at 0.2 because I thought it's very poor quality, and I wouldn't have switched if my brother hadn't done so without major hiccups. Now that end-users are the audience I hope the Foundation realizes the necessary marketing.

#17 Re: Nature of Mozilla 1.6?

by Anthracks

Friday September 12th, 2003 7:54 PM

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Not being a Mozilla developer, I can't say for certain, but I try to follow the development of it fairly closely via Bugzilla and various blogs/newsgroups. Basically, for some time now it hasn't been the plan to replace the suite with Firebird + Thunderbird til they are more complete, but since no one knows exactly what the new timetable for that is, they haven't bothered to update the roadmap document. That problem is being worked on though, if you look at the article here about the recent staff meeting. Also, a huge percentage of work done to the suite goes directly into the Birds too, so it's not like it's wasted effort.

Basically, they ARE going to replace the suite eventually, but just not as soon as was hoped because integrating them is hard, and they want to get more kinks out of Firebird and Thunderbird before they replace the suite which has become pretty darn stable. That's my take on things now anyway.

#20 confused

by apathetic

Saturday September 13th, 2003 3:14 AM

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am i the only one hoping that tb/fb are nowhere near a 1.0 release? both are extremely ugly and have a long way to go in user interface development.

when can we see a standalone editor and a working js debugger for fb?

#22 Re: confused

by WillyWonka

Saturday September 13th, 2003 7:56 AM

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I don't think the interface is going to change much. Well, firebird is going to get rid of the Nav4 style icons in the Address book and stuff, but they're both moving over to the Qute theme which has already taken place for the most part.

#23 Re: Re: confused

by kepardue

Saturday September 13th, 2003 8:27 PM

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Well, I would understand componentizing them for performance reasons, but ideally I think what I was hoping for was to be able to chose which components, or stand alone programs, I want installed onto my system so that I can pick and choose what to have, and have them operate tightly integrated with each other (on the functional level). For instance, just having the icon to go to my mail program in the status bar at the bottom of the screen, or being able to go to File/New/Mail Message in Mozilla Browser (which is what I understnd it'll be called, as Firebird is just a development name--or was that a statement just to throw off the database people?). I think the biggest achievement is actually to rearrange, regorganize, and thank God, simplify that bloated, complicated preferences options and toolbar menus.. heck, why on earth would I need to access a link to a Download manager or link to my mail program from a bookmark manager?

I agree about the thoughts about the Qute theme. I know they were going for the Windows XP look and feel, but Qute kinda takes it to a new level of cartoonishness. Still, I respect that as the direction the project is taking and it's MUCH better than the dead-body blue Modern theme or the generations outdated Classic theme.

Ken

#21 mozilla1.5 release...

by mss

Saturday September 13th, 2003 4:39 AM

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i think the greatest shift of the "mozilla foundation" is now from technology to politics!