eWeek Ponders Significance of Netscape 7.2
Thursday May 27th, 2004
eWeek has a report about the forthcoming release of Netscape 7.2, which is expected to be based on Mozilla 1.7. Featuring comments from former Netscape employee Daniel Glazman, the article discusses how committed AOL is to continuing the development of Netscape and why they might be releasing a new version.
Update: Daniel Glazman has published the full text of his email interview with eWeek.
Given that most AOL Netscape employees left for other jobs (such as the Mozilla Foundation), who is updating/testing 7.2?
How much testing is needed?
Netscape's browser is Mozilla Seamonkey with a few proprietary additions, such as support for Netscape mail and AIM. Spinning a new release is probably a largely automated affair, merging the Netscape specific code with the Mozilla codebase and doing a build. The Mozilla codebase is largely debugged and quite stable at this point, and I doubt the code has changed in a manner that would break Netscape's additions.
I agree with Glazman that Netscape doesn't have the engineers available to make major enhancements. The former Netscape developers were either let go or transferred to other development positions within Netscape. I would expect a 7.2 release to be Mozilla 1.7 plus the Netscape tweaks.
Meanwhile, I doubt AOL has made up its mind exactly *what* its strategy is. The decision to spin a new release of the Netscape browser is probably the result of internal debate, with a "It won't really cost us anything, and it won't *hurt* to do it, besides, it helps keep the Netscape name out there. Might as well..." sort of rationale. ______ Dennis
Makes sense. They don't have the employees on it to make many changes, but do they really need to? Just make sure their IM and Netscape.net mail addons still work, and swap out a few images and text strings.
> It won't really cost us anything,
Ah. A side-effect of "Netscape doesn't have the engineers available to..." is "AOL has to rely on contractors". So it **does** cost to AOL.
#4 1.4 -> 1.7 not a minor upgrade
Friday May 28th, 2004 4:24 AM
I think that changing from 1.4 to 1.7 is quite a big change for Netscape. I would never call it a minor upgrade.
If my memory is correct the last version of netscape was close behind the release of mozilla that was its foundation. It may have even been released before the final release of that version of mozilla (1.4.2 ???)
Mozilla 1.4 and Netscape 7.1 came out on the same day. (June 30th, 2003)
I need another version of Netscape like I need another hole in the head.
Finally we will have a packaged version of Mozilla that includes java and needed plug-ins again. And now I can upgrade some folks who are happily using Netscape 7.1 without shocking them with an application name change.
Hmm, will CDs and manuals be available again?
This will be good to have another browser name out there we can really talk about again. Mozilla rules but some people just don't get it. I don't see how anybody can even browse the net with MSIE any more, visit the wrong web site and *poof* spyware or worse automatically loaded.