Mozilla 1.7 to Become New Long-Lived Stable Branch
Friday April 2nd, 2004
In a newsgroup posting, Asa Dotzler has announced that the Mozilla 1.7 branch will become the new long-lived stable branch, replacing 1.4. The stable branch is intended to act as a baseline for developers building Mozilla-based products, with critical bugs fixed on the branch as well as the trunk.
Mozilla Firefox 1.0, a new milestone of Mozilla Thunderbird, a new Camino release and several third party Mozilla based products will be based on Mozilla 1.7, so the Foundation is making efforts to ensure that it is high quality. To do this, the branching of 1.7 from the trunk has been delayed by a week to Friday 9th April and the final release of Mozilla 1.7 has been moved out a month to mid-May. Between the branching and the final version, three release candidates of Mozilla 1.7 will be made available, much like there were for Mozilla 1.0 and Mozilla 1.4. These release candidates will ensure that the 1.7 branch gets more testing and QA work.
While most welcome the fact that the aging 1.4 branch is to be replaced by something more modern, some developers have expressed concern that the decision to use 1.7 has been made so late in the release cycle.
>Why not continue with this new plan of delaying 1.7 to mid march and shooting for 1.8 to be the stable-branch. That way, Fx/TB/Caminoa/etc. will all get the exact same "stable release" from 1.7. And yet other vendors will be able to decide if they shoudl wait for 1.8 or dive into 1.7 "knowing the risks". That would keep everyone happy, and let the devs be devs.
I think the issue with the vendors was that 1.8 would not be tested enough to assure crash-stability by the time they need to release. Perhaps we could just finish up 1.7 quickly as a normal release, then have a brief 1.8 cycle only for API changes and stability work. We could then do all the RC's and extra testing on 1.8 to make it the long-lived API stable branch, and it should be out in time for the vendors to use it. But it looks like things have been decided already.