Mozilla Firebird 0.7.1 Released for Mac OS X

Sunday October 26th, 2003

A minor update to Mozilla Firebird 0.7 has been released for Mac OS X users. Version 0.7.1 is a recommended upgrade that fixes several usability issues and significantly improves performance. The Mozilla Firebird 0.7.1 Release Notes have more information. The new build is available for Mac OS X only from Starting with version 0.8, Mozilla Firebird will use Kevin Gerich's Pinstripe as the default theme on OS X. This theme is also available for 0.7.1.

In related news, the Mozilla Firebird Roadmap has been updated with details about the the plans for each milestone up to 1.0. The Mozilla Firebird 1.0 Charter has more general information about the project's goals.

#1 Version numbers

by vfwlkr

Sunday October 26th, 2003 7:58 PM

From the roadmap 0.7 0.8 0.9 0.10 0.11 0.12 1.0

Am I the only one who thinks this is plain dumb? Aren't there easier ways to create chaos in the forums. Ok, how about 0.A, 0.B, 0.C between 0.9 and 1.0? As long as people working on it understand, its all ok. If end users cannot understand it - its their problem. Correct?

#2 Re: Version numbers

by nonpareility

Sunday October 26th, 2003 8:06 PM

I imagine there'd be just as much, if not more, confusion with 0.A and such.

#7 Re: Re: Version numbers

by vfwlkr

Sunday October 26th, 2003 11:34 PM

You think 0.A was serious?

#18 Re: Re: Re: Version numbers

by mlefevre

Monday October 27th, 2003 7:24 AM

So, do you have a serious suggestion instead of 0.10, 0.11 that will be less confusing?

The 0.x and 0.x.y versions are tied to the Mozilla code trunk/branch setup and the time-based milestones - therefore, there's going to be a bunch more releases before the magic "1.0". If the Firebird version numbers don't stay in sync (you've said, for example, that 0.7 could have been 0.6.2), that might make things easier for people just looking at releases, but for those in the forums who are following nightlies and branches and stuff, I think it would make it even worse.

#3 Re: Version numbers

by runeskaug

Sunday October 26th, 2003 9:11 PM

I have to agree, it looks stupid, but if the 0.9.1...0.9.X (used for Mozilla, IIRC?) is not going to happen, I like 10 better than A.

On the other hand, 0.X, 0.XI, 0.XII would be more trendy.

#10 Re: Re: Version numbers

by vfwlkr

Sunday October 26th, 2003 11:41 PM

OK dudes, O.A suggestion was NOT serious. It was just used to prove a point.

I also think 10 minor revs per major rev is more than generous. I dont think 0.7 deserved a new minor rev. it could've better been 0.6.2, If 1.0 is so sacred.

My recommendation would be: 0.8.X - new featues 0.9 - feature complete 1.0 - bugfixes

#13 Re: Re: Re: Version numbers

by Ben_Goodger

Monday October 27th, 2003 3:17 AM

Yes, but you see this doesn't correlate to the list of work that needs to be done. The list of work that needs to be done requires the number of milestones outlined in the roadmap, in order to maintain a release schedule that is at least quarterly, and more likely accelerated further still towards the end.

#5 Re: Version numbers

by hoodedone0

Sunday October 26th, 2003 11:06 PM

It's a common thing in the general versioning scheme Mozilla (and other open-source projects, and probably some other projects) follows. The numbers aren't standard decimals anyway; there's no such thing as 1.4.1. Instead, the points delimit independent numbers.

This really allows them to be more consistent with versioning, as they're not limited to any set number of minor releases per major release, nor are they limited to a certain number of bugfix releases per major release.

#8 Re: Re: Version numbers

by vfwlkr

Sunday October 26th, 2003 11:35 PM

Mozilla 1.4.1 exists AFAIK

#14 Re: Re: Re: Version numbers

by pcabellor

Monday October 27th, 2003 4:54 AM

OMG!! He means 1.4.1 is no number!

#30 It might look dumb the way you did it...

by adipose

Wednesday October 29th, 2003 1:02 AM

But if you show the whole picture:

.6, .6.1, .6.2, .7, .7.1, .8, .9, .10, .11.1, 1.0, 1.0.1, 1.0.5, 1.1.1, etc...

The numbers aren't true decimals, as someone else already pointed out. They are versions and sub versions. A program reaches 1.0 when it's ready for production, not before (at least it's supposed to work this way). But you still release major milestones when major things are accomplished.

Perhaps the .10 and .11 ruin your notion of a decimal system, but it wasn't ever a decimal anyway--it was versions, sub-versions, and sub-sub-versions.

Other problems with your system would be when a product goes from 1.x to 2.x. Must a program reach 1.9 before going to 2.0? Or is it ok to jump from 1.4 to 2.0? The answer is: yes, because the change from 1.x to 2.x represents major (and usually incompatible) changes, not .1 greater than 1.9. Also, if a program reaches .9, there will probably be excessive sub-versions if the program is deemed not ready for 1.0: .9.7, .9.8, .9.9, .9.9.1, .9.9.2, which starts to get ridiculous, especially if the changes are bigger than those numbers would imply.

There is no reason to impose the arbitrary base of 10 to a versioning system just because we use base 10 in our daily lives. While I agree it is nice to know that .9 = product almost finished, and .5 = product half done, the truth is versioning never really works that way, because the developers can't really predict when a product will be finished. Frequently products get bogged down in the .9xxx as I described above, specifically because they try to follow a decimal type system, even though development doesn't mirror that.

The choice to use .10, .11, .12 was made after it became clear Fb was progressing through milestones faster than it was approaching 1.0 status, and I think it was the right decision. It might look a little strange, but at least the system will be consistent, isntead of progressing towards 1.0 and suddenly halting.


#4 who is firebird?

by djcovey

Sunday October 26th, 2003 11:01 PM

I have to say I am really impressed by firebird. I have been a long time mozilla user (since about <0.9ish) however I struggle to see who is contributing to firebird. As it is it seems like a one man developer effort, Ben Goodger and him alone. Are there any other people contributing to this project on a regular basis? I am just concerned about the future if firebird has only one main developer. What has happned to the likes of David Hyatt, Blake Ross, Shaver, Waterson,Pavlot et al?

#6 Re: who is firebird?

by Ben_Goodger

Sunday October 26th, 2003 11:24 PM

I admit I was saddened by Pavlov's departure. I was really hoping to integrate his triangle drawing code into 0.8.

#19 Re: Re: who is firebird?

by grayrest

Monday October 27th, 2003 7:50 AM

Anybody have a link to info on said triangle drawing code? I haven't heard about that one.

#23 Re: Re: Re: who is firebird?

by Ben_Goodger

Monday October 27th, 2003 1:22 PM

No, no code, all we ever got to see was the result of the program running:

#25 Re: Re: Re: Re: who is firebird?

by WillyWonka

Monday October 27th, 2003 2:46 PM

um, what is the joke behind this? Is it documented in someones blog or something?

#22 Re: Re: who is firebird?

by jedbro

Monday October 27th, 2003 12:39 PM

That is sad. Why has he "Departed"? He's still working on Camino when he has time isn't he?

#9 Re: who is firebird?

by Simplex

Sunday October 26th, 2003 11:40 PM

from: (toolkit work)

And that's all just from the last 24 hours. There are more that aren't on that list (hyatt) and there are some that rarely every contribute.

#11 Extension update UI

by leafdigital

Monday October 27th, 2003 2:04 AM

I'm glad to see that 'extension update UI' is included as a required feature. Am I being too optimistic in hoping that this corresponds to a way to install extensions from within the browser (in a sensible, managed list of useful/quality/recommended/supported extensions), a la JEdit, rather than jumping to a random website with links to lots of extensions that may or may not work with a given browser version, which doesn't display information about which extensions you already have installed, etc.?


#12 just to clarify

by leafdigital

Monday October 27th, 2003 2:09 AM

I'm not suggesting copying anything *else* JEdit does. In particular I wouldn't want to see Fb copy the feature where you annoyingly have to restart the program in order to use new extensions... oh wait... :)

#15 0.8 is when it will start to get serious!

by aldo_

Monday October 27th, 2003 5:23 AM

With the installer.

Out of the say 50 people I have tried to convert to Mozilla Firebird, about 30% of them say they don't want to because it doesn't have an installer. I don't think people understand how much 'newbies' are scared by the nice 'please do not go in here otherwise your computer will break'-esque message windows put's up if you try to go into C:\Program Files.

Another thing I would like to see is better Windows intergration. You check a checkbox on the install (Do you want to make Firebird your default internet browser?) and if it is WinXP SP1 it goes ahead and changes the newly added program access rights to firebird.

I also think maybe a combined Firebird and Thunderbird installer would be a good idea - espeically if the much touted 'GRE' ever lifts off.

#17 Re: 0.8 is when it will start to get serious!

by dave532

Monday October 27th, 2003 6:24 AM

"I also think maybe a combined Firebird and Thunderbird installer would be a good idea - espeically if the much touted 'GRE' ever lifts off."

Well the GRE is already here, it is used by Mozilla (seamonkey) and Netscape 7.1, in fact Netscape 7.1 and Mozilla 1.4 could share the same GRE.

Therefore once the installer is ready then hopefully Firebird will use the GRE too.

and for all those people who think that an installer will be the end of their beloved zip files then remember that Mozilla is still installable via a zip file, it's just the default linked to on the webpage is the installer.

#24 Re: Re: 0.8 is when it will start to get serious!

by Ben_Goodger

Monday October 27th, 2003 1:24 PM

It is unlikely at this stage that the first release of Firebird will use GRE, because the Firebird builds we do now are static - and it has been shown that static builds are somewhat faster than non-static builds (which is what the GRE is).

#26 Re: Re: Re: 0.8 is when it will start to get serio

by bzbarsky

Monday October 27th, 2003 4:39 PM

Ben, how much is somewhat? Is the data publicly available?

#31 Re: Re: Re: Re: 0.8 is when it will start to get s

by Ben_Goodger

Wednesday October 29th, 2003 1:21 AM

Ask bryner... I'm just repeating what I was told ;-)

#33 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 0.8 is when it will start to g

by bzbarsky

Thursday October 30th, 2003 10:03 AM

Who decided to link statically? Was it bryner? If not, I'd hope they would have the numbers, no? ;)

#28 Re: Re: Re: 0.8 is when it will start to get serio

by jgraham

Tuesday October 28th, 2003 12:36 PM

Great, so the whole project is a waste of time.

I take it we'll still need to download everything twice to get FB + TB? And load the whole danm lot into memory twice?. 'Caus that will make everything faster too you know. I bet potential embeddors will be happy: "look they designed this technology so it could be used as a runtime for multiple apps, but trying to use it that way sucks so much that they're not even prepared to do it with their own products".


#29 Re: Re: Re: Re: 0.8 is when it will start to get s

by bzbarsky

Tuesday October 28th, 2003 11:21 PM

Keep in mind that the people designing the technology and the people "using" it are not exactly talking to each other much.... It's hard to adjust technology to your users' needs if they won't tell you what they want.


#32 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 0.8 is when it will start to g

by jgraham

Wednesday October 29th, 2003 10:52 AM

They really should get together and talk. There are going to be a lot of annoyed people if an ~11Mb suite download is turned into a ~30Mb download of seperate applications (based on 5 apps with 5Mb of identical gecko code and an extra ~ 5Mb of app specific code), plus the same factor in disk space and memeory. Moreover almost no one is going to want to embed gecko if that entails distributing a full copy of Mozilla (which is what Epiphany and Galeon do). Without people willing to embed gecko, it's hard to see where developers are going to come from now that Netscape is dead and the Mozilla Foundation can only employ a small number of people.*

I know you know this, but it seems that the Firebird people have missed the fact that a lot of people in the user community have been waiting for the GRE thing to happen for quite a while now. If the FB and TB projects don't commit to using it then the problems will never be ironed out, which will always provide an excuse to wait longer.

* Yeah, I know a few other companies are employing developers. But I find it hard to believe that there are (for want of a better statistic) as many modules who's owner can devote a significant fraction of their time to the project today as there were a year ago.

#34 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 0.8 is when it will start

by bzbarsky

Thursday October 30th, 2003 10:06 AM

> They really should get together and talk.

Sure thing. Too bad one side was not that interested in the dialog for a long time (still isn't as far as I can tell) and the other side has given up and said "fuck them" because it got tired of wasting its time trying to get communication to happen.

Most gecko embeddors don't have this urgent need to put hacks in the back end, so they should be fine with the GRE (and the performance boost from static linking should be a startup boost only (ben? hard data?) -- most embedding apps already start plenty fast, unlike SeaMonkey).

#16 From the Pinstripe homepage

by denis09

Monday October 27th, 2003 5:41 AM

"Note: This theme is not compatible with the Tab Browser Extension." Not smart making a theme which is not compatible with one of the most popular extensions the default theme ? If it is a known fact it is incompatible, why not at least fix it before it becomes the default ? TBE is becoming so good now I feel I can't have Firebird without it, I feel so naked without..

#21 Re: From the Pinstripe homepage

by pinder

Monday October 27th, 2003 11:29 AM

Kevin Gerich has stated that he plans to make Pinstripe compatible with TBE soon here:

#20 0.9 extension bundles?

by Waldo_2

Monday October 27th, 2003 8:33 AM

So JS Console, DOM Inspector, etc. will be gone from the default Firebird 0.9 and will be extensions/installable options?

#27 What the... ?

by shoes

Monday October 27th, 2003 9:31 PM

I installed this on my OS 10.1.5 iBook and it totally borked my network settings, killed the menu bar status thingie and crashed my Internet Connect app. What's up with that?