MozillaZine

MozillaZine Readers Give New Mozilla Website a 7.4

Monday December 29th, 2003

In our previous poll, we asked you to rate the new Mozilla website on a scale of 1 to 10. 3,168 people voted, giving the new site a mean average of 7.4 and a modal score of 8. The variance of the votes was 4.4 and the standard deviation was 2.1. All in all, it looks like you like the new site then.

For our final poll of the year, we want you to pick the most significant event for the Mozilla project of 2003. There's five developments to choose from, including the major Roadmap update unveiled in April, the Firebird naming conflict, the launch of the Mozilla Foundation, the dismantling of Netscape Communications Corporation and the Mozilla Foundation's new end user focus. Pick one, vote and see which event other readers regard as the most significant. Results in the new year.


#1 AOL uses Netscape name for ISP Startup

by ndebord

Monday December 29th, 2003 6:32 PM

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AOL is now in the process of totally trashing the Netscape name and in so doing, probably confusing the web community. A ten buck a month ISP dialup service is coming and it is using the Netscape name. Sad.

N

#2 Re: AOL uses Netscape name for ISP Startup

by buff

Monday December 29th, 2003 6:40 PM

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It is not really that sad. The Netscape name doesn't mean much to most people anymore. It had it's time and place in the history of the internet. I don't find it confusing that the Netscape brand now refers to a dial ISP service. Hey, I use 20/month Earthlink and if the Netscape ISP is any good I just might give it a try. The future is all Mozilla anyway so know need to fret. ;-) Optimism my dear lad, sip on some eggnog and get all nostalgic about the 'golden years of the internet' where you could get a free scooter, thermos, and company umbrella when becoming a new employee and the cooler was freely stocked with soda pop.

#4 Reply

by Racer

Monday December 29th, 2003 9:46 PM

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Netscape to web site developers meant that they would make an effort to make the site compatible. For Netscape 7.0 & 7.1, this meant good support of Mozilla 1.x as you could write to webmasters and say "your web site does not work with the latest Netscape" to which they usually responded by fixing the problem. However, now that newer Netscapes are not being released, this argument is less and less powerful as time goes on. Even worse, saying "your web site does not work with the latest Mozilla" will often get you a weird look.

Yes it is true that Netscape is no longer a force to be reckoned with, but it was an icon that everyone knew and respected in a sentimental sort of way. To put it another way, the Mozilla projects would be better off if AOL would grant the Netscape license to the Mozilla foundation and allow rebranding of the Mozilla suite as "Netscape 7.2+". Sure, there would be no new features AND it would still be open source, but it would be "Netscape" and people would automatically trust it more. (We all know this probably won't happen).

#22 Re: Reply

by beastie

Wednesday December 31st, 2003 1:42 AM

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> Even worse, saying "your web site does not work with the > latest Mozilla" will often get you a weird look.

Is this based on actual experience, or simply speculation?

#27 mozilla compatibility -> weird looks

by mattdm <mattdm@mattdm.org>

Wednesday December 31st, 2003 4:17 PM

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well, i've certainly gotten that response. As well as "we don't support beta browsers".

#28 Re: mozilla compatibility -> weird looks

by Down8 <down8@yahoo.com>

Wednesday December 31st, 2003 7:31 PM

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Anyone who would respond such a way cannot be considered a real web developer. A FrontPage user, maybe, but not a web developer.

-bZj

#29 Re: Re: mozilla compatibility -> weird looks

by mattdm <mattdm@mattdm.org>

Thursday January 1st, 2004 8:32 PM

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Sure, condescend all you want, but when one is locked out of, say, a major financial services company, telling them that they're not real web developers isn't likely to be much *actual* help.

#23 Re: Reply

by jsebrech

Wednesday December 31st, 2003 4:22 AM

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That the site doesn't work with the latest netscape isn't such a good reason anyway. Right now it's better to argue that the site doesn't work in the default mac browser (if something doesn't show in mozilla, it likely doesn't show in safari either), or that the site is inaccessible for the blind and the disabled (it's hard to make a site both accessible and ie-only).

#3 Re: AOL uses Netscape name for ISP Startup

by mesostinky

Monday December 29th, 2003 9:39 PM

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From the Inquirer's 2004 prediction list:

"In a yet another cost-cutting measure, AOL will fire all their remaining programmers, shipping MSN CDs with a sticker covering the product name, just enough to replace the letters "MSN" with "AOL". The company's management will call this "a bold step to ensure the Online Unit's long term survival and technological leadership" :P

Who cares if Netscape is now just a launcher for Internet Explorer? Netscape is Dead and Mozilla.org is no longer related. Better to just forget Mozilla.org ever had anything to do with AOL/netscape and move on. No point in worrying about the reputation of a product that has nothing to do with the future of Mozilla.

#10 Re: Re: AOL uses Netscape name for ISP Startup

by galio

Tuesday December 30th, 2003 8:09 AM

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but the fact is that even the Mozilla name comes from Netscape

#14 Re: Re: Re: AOL uses Netscape name for ISP Startup

by mesostinky

Tuesday December 30th, 2003 9:55 AM

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True, but again who cares? AOL can start selling Netscape "member enhancers" for all we care. AOL will probably continue to prod the corpse of Netscape for years to come, might as well get used to it.

#5 "it looks like you like the new site then"

by mlefevre

Tuesday December 30th, 2003 4:57 AM

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I think 7.4 is a pretty fair score. It's not brilliant, but it's ok - same as the site.

Looking at the stats the other way around, 22% of voters rated the site 6 or lower, which is a definite "good do better".

#6 I would of voted for the roadmap....

by aldo_ <mozilla@martinalderson.co.uk>

Tuesday December 30th, 2003 5:21 AM

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But nothing is being done to implement it. They said 1.5 would be the changeover time. Then 1.6. Now it's somewhere post-1.7.

As I've said again and again, Mozilla needs to refer to the new products as Mozilla 2.0. This will give some distinction between the products. It also means people who like SeaMonkey (ugh) can continue work on the 1.x branch. I mean a complete change in the browsers basis and user experience is what I call enough for a 2.0 release.

#7 Re: I would of voted for the roadmap....

by mlefevre

Tuesday December 30th, 2003 5:46 AM

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"But nothing is being done to implement it. They said 1.5 would be the changeover time. Then 1.6. Now it's somewhere post-1.7."

Not entirely true. They ("they" being the Mozilla folks) originally said that 1.5 would probably be the changeover. Then they said that it wasn't going to happen in 1.5. I don't think they've ever said it would happen in 1.6 or that it will be "somewhere post-1.7" - that has all just been speculation by other people.

All they've said is that the roadmap published back in April is outdated and that they need to work on a new roadmap to replace it.

#13 Re: I would of voted for the roadmap....

by bzbarsky

Tuesday December 30th, 2003 9:38 AM

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Well.... What is this a 2.0 release of? Mozilla? Would that be the app suite? Or what?

It's not a 2.0 release of the rendering engine, that's for sure. It's just a new product like any other, based on the same rendering engine. Should KMeleon be numbered 2.0 just because it's a significantly different browser from the Mozilla suite? Should Camino be numbered 2.0? Should Thunderbird?

Firebird is not the "successor" to the app suite. It's just a separate product. They will both end up existing in parallel, as the roadmap will most likely clearly say once someone actually friggin' updates it (how many weeks ago did we see the "I have the update on my hard drive, I just need to upload it" thing?).

As for the "changeover" time, that was _hoped_ for in 1.5, based on just hope. When a realistic assessment of the work required was done, it became clear that the hope was a baseless one. Then Netscape was closed down, which totally changed the situation (since Netscape would no longer fill the "app suite" market, which is mostly corporate intranets (i.e. places where Mozilla use could actually be enforced from above if we would fit their requirements; nothing like being forced to use a product at work to make you actually try it out)).

#17 Re: Re: I would of voted for the roadmap....

by mlefevre

Tuesday December 30th, 2003 10:42 AM

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> "I have the [roadmap] update on my hard drive, I just need to upload it"

I haven't exactly seen that said, but I wrote this before in a rant and then didn't post it:

Brendan on July 25 - "the roadmap needs another update. It'll take a little while to get a schedule worked out in light of the good news of the Mozilla Foundation. I hope you can be patient while we work out the details."

September 8 minutes - '"Roadmap out of date" is a known issue; brendan to update as soon as possible.'

September 22 minutes - '*Roadmap* To be updated shortly by brendan - Lots to say :-)'

October 13 minutes - '*Roadmap update* ETA Wednesday in time for the website change/announcement.'

November 3 minutes - '*New roadmap status update* - break it into various different documents so we can update it piecemeal; - Brendan has been ill recently; - Brendan is going to send out a draft, and work on it this week'

November 10 minutes - '*New roadmap update* - Asa has an operational update to make' (i.e. to the old roadmap)

The new roadmap then disappears from the meeting minutes. I understand from a conversation I had with someone a few weeks ago that the draft was indeed circulated. Dunno what happened after that...

#25 Re: Re: I would of voted for the roadmap....

by pbreit

Wednesday December 31st, 2003 10:45 AM

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All the attention should be on transferring to Firebird. The Roadmap is pretty vague on when that's supposed to happen. I've heard 2Q04 which may or may not be Moz 1.7. The suite simply needs to go away. That's what got Netscape and now Mozilla into this mess in the first place. Netscape was doing fine until it vastly over-extended itself with the suite. Now we're in a holding pattern until Firebird can get to a 1.0 and replace Moz 1.x.

#30 Re: Re: Re: I would of voted for the roadmap....

by bzbarsky

Saturday January 3rd, 2004 10:48 AM

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Maybe _you_ are in a holding pattern. You certainly repeat the same comments over and over again... People with real work to do are focusing on that work (fixing bugs in the 90+% of the code that the suite and firebird share, for example).

#8 You can't end a sentence with the word 'then' :)

by thurrott

Tuesday December 30th, 2003 5:54 AM

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>All in all, it looks like you like the new site then.

Should read...

>All in all, it looks like you like the new site.

:)

#9 Re: You can't end a sentence with the word 'then'

by buff

Tuesday December 30th, 2003 6:00 AM

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Hey, I didn't know Miss Manners had been invited to this forum... ;-)

#11 More design feedback

by andyed

Tuesday December 30th, 2003 8:12 AM

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The survey over at usability market gives the new moz.org high marks: <http://zcoburn.f2o.org/site/results.cfm?id=15>

The site ratings are worst for findability and consistency of layout.

While improved, I still find the call to actions too unclear. Watching over the shoulders of family and friends when they arrive to download the "this new browser", they often struggle more than I would like.

#15 Re: You can't end a sentence with the word 'then'

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Tuesday December 30th, 2003 10:05 AM

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And that is why you are a paid professional journalist and I am just an amateur.

Alex

#18 Re: Re: You can't end a sentence with the word 'th

by bugs4hj <bugs4hj@netscape.net>

Tuesday December 30th, 2003 1:23 PM

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That might be true, but what would MozillaZine be without you?

Thanks for all your hard work Alex, and Happy Holidays

#24 Re: You can't end a sentence with the word 'then'

by wgianopoulos

Wednesday December 31st, 2003 5:04 AM

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Hey, like, it look like you like the new site, like!

#12 Site down

by WillyWonka

Tuesday December 30th, 2003 9:24 AM

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I like how this article goes up and mozilla.org goes down :) (Well, it's been down for about the past hour)

#16 "What is Mozilla?"

by mqwtm

Tuesday December 30th, 2003 10:35 AM

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"The Mozilla project maintains choice and innovation on the Internet by developing the acclaimed, open source, Mozilla 1.5 web and email suite and related products and technology."

Right... so what is it, then? <http://www.vorstrasse91.c…oztips/whatismozilla.html> explains it much better.

Also, the offer to buy Mozilla (whatever it is), for "only US$3.95" suggests that Mozilla isn't free. Which is just daft. And the "affordable" telephone support reinforces this while implying that you'll need help using it.

After the bits about "Mozilla" (the app suite), we're then introduced to Firebird which, so says mozilla.org, is "lightning fast in every way!"... so why would anyone want "Mozilla" (the app suite again) when they can have Firebird, which is apparently better?

Camino is "Recommended by c|Net for advanced security setting and privacy features" which is nice... you should probably mention that it's a web browser though (yes, another one).

I suppose it looks OK... but it's not very polished. Those underlines under those links at the top are just daft - too thick and too far away and there are three or four different colour schemes on the front page alone; the icon/logo used for Firebird 0.7 doesn't match the icon/logo used within Firebird 0.7 at all (and it's been reverted in the 0.8 nightlies as well, so there's no excuse).

I've yet to find and way to get to the latest nightly build of Firebird without navigating through mozilla.org's ftp server (or visiting texturizer.net/firebird).

Other than that... not bad...

#19 Re: "What is Mozilla?"

by jgraham

Tuesday December 30th, 2003 4:24 PM

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> I've yet to find and way to get to the latest nightly build of Firebird without navigating through mozilla.org's ftp server (or visiting texturizer.net/firebird).

Excellent. In that case the website has succeeded in improving on the old website in at least one major functional way. End users don't need to be distracted by nightly builds at all. Since everyone who is likely to cope with the continual stability flux of nightlies, can find texturiser.net or the ftp server, not linking those builds on the website is fine.

#20 Re: Re: "What is Mozilla?"

by mlefevre

Tuesday December 30th, 2003 6:08 PM

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That is indeed a good reason for not having them linked from anywhere obvious, as they were before.

However, they should still be linked from somewhere - the Mozilla nightlies are linked from the developers section. The Mozilla website is also supposed to have all the docs for developers and QA work, and those people should be able to find a nightly. Of course, that's not so important, because those people can generally figure these things out.

But the fact that all the useful info for Firebird and Thunderbird is on texturiser.net is in itself silly. That should all be on Mozilla.org as well, along with plugin docs and some other bits that are on mozdev. That stuff is on other sites because it's more practical to maintain it that way with the current Mozilla system - that shouldn't be the case.

#21 Easy on the user, hard on the geek

by prometeo

Wednesday December 31st, 2003 12:22 AM

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Well, the site maybe ok for the end users (so it archived its primary goal), but I think it made harder for the geek (being it a developer or an advanced user) to reach the pages of interest: nightlies, latest-branches, tinderboxen, compile howtos... Maybe a split of the site (dev.mozilla.org?) would be useful, though the work will double for webmasters... And the switch to the new look isn't complete yet. Cheers, Giacomo.

#26 (subject)

by alcatraz52 <red.baron@rogers.com>

Wednesday December 31st, 2003 11:39 AM

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I don't get the difference between products and downloads...its confusing!