AOL to Release New Netscape Update in Early Summer

Tuesday March 30th, 2004

The Inquirer is reporting that America Online is to release a new version of the Netscape browser. The upgrade will be a "'point' release based on the latest Mozilla code" and "will be made available in the very early summer timeframe." Speculation that an update was in the works began last week, when the San Francisco Bay Area's Mercury News paraphrased an AOL spokeswoman as saying that "there will be future versions of Netscape that are essentially repackaged upgrades of Mozilla."

The confirmation that a new Netscape release is on the way does not indicate that AOL is planning to provide any further development or financial support to the Mozilla project. Indeed, no AOL employees are paid to work on Mozilla and we can expect this latest version to be even more similar to Mozilla than previous releases. The more intriguing question is what made AOL change its mind about shelving the veteran browser.

#46 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New stable branch?

by bzbarsky

Thursday April 1st, 2004 4:09 PM

You are replying to this message

> we're shipping a 1.7 based product that we intend to maintain for some time" then should > say "too bad, our efforts are on the 1.8 branch that no one intends to use"?

Perhaps the appropriate thing to say is "isn't it a little too late to decide this now?" Perhaps the appropriate thing is to push back 1.7 accordingly so that we can give them something worth shipping.

As it is, we're screwing over all the other embeddors because of what Firefox/Camino/Thunderbird want. Would we have done the same if the branch was wanted by Epiphany and Galeon instead of Firefox/Thunderbird/Camino? If not, why not? Is there a significant discrepancy? Or is the fact that those projects are more closely tied to coloring our judgement? (I suspect the latter.)

> What would you propose we do?

At this point? How about clearly communicating to the projects forcing your hand on the issue that what they are doing is NOT acceptable? That some little tiny bit of prior warning is absolutely needed if they want a decent branch to work off?

I'm not sure actually pushing back 1.7 at this late stage is doable; it would put it on a 1.8-like schedule, what with the risky changes that I feel should happen...

So at this stage your best option is probably to curse that you're saddled collaborating with people who don't seem to understand the concept and feel that the world should revolve around them.

> We can work with that or we can not work with that.

Quite frankly, if people are clearly not interested in working with me then I'm not that interested in working with them. Which means that I intend to make no special efforts (nor can I, given other constraints, even if I wanted to) to deal with issues on the 1.7 branch.

But that's my personal response to the situation. You're free to do whatever you will, of course (though my suggestion is that you go and give some people a nice stern talking-to about communication).