Looking for that Interview with Chris Hofmann that Slashdot Mentioned?

Friday November 12th, 1999

Slashdot had a piece online this morning about Mozilla, with a link to an interview with Chris Hofmann of the Mozilla team. However,the server was soon Slashdotted, and no one could get on to the site. We have permission to mirror the Evolt page with Chris's comments, so if you are interested in reading an update on the state of Mozilla, click here. Thanks to Daniel Cody of for allowing us to post the article.

#1 Looking for that Interview with Chris Hofmann that

by Waldo

Friday November 12th, 1999 3:10 PM

Thanks Chris for the mirror.

You know, I'm thinking since "Netscape 5.0" is going to be out in semi-parity with IE 6.0 or whatever, maybe the new naming convention should start with 1.0 - it's a whole new product anyway, really.

That way, IE will look like an old bloated fogey and Mozilla can shine as the young, trim upstart that it is!


#2 It all doesn't matter until its release time

by ERICmurphy

Friday November 12th, 1999 8:15 PM

Sure some of the press is saying bad things about Mozilla, but it really does not matter right now. If they criticize the effort after the first product release, then we better worry, but we all know that is not going to happen.

I am personally a little scared to see so many bugs still in the product at this stage, but I suppose it is just normal. I say this because on my NT machine, the images come up garbled on sites with layers. Yes, I have reported the bug, and hopefully it will get taken care of. I see all the open buds remaining, and it looks so overwhelming, and I know that fixing bugs can be very time consuming and tedious.

However, I am still very confident in Mozilla, and hope the organization will expand to bigger and better projects in addition to working on the web browser suite.


#3 The next IE won't look like an old bloated fogey

by Anon

Sunday November 14th, 1999 4:27 AM

Sorry to be the one to say this, Waldo, especially since Mozilla is my preferred browser, but Micro-Soft's going to make IE6 look all brand new, just like they're making NT5 look brand new.


Most everyone I ask thinks that Windows 2000 is a Windows 98 upgrade, but the truth is that it's the Windows NT upgrade. Micro-Soft just changed the name from NT5 to 2000 first to hide the fact that it's about three years late and second to hide the fact that it's still NT, not something better.

I'm willing to bet that they'll do the same thing to Internet Explorer: change the version number to a year number, especially if trying to make it as good and as compliant as Mozilla turns out to be harder than they think.

-Sailor V

#4 Don't you mean....

by FrodoB

Sunday November 14th, 1999 8:44 AM

Windows 2001 (the date at which corporations will actually begin using it because of the service pack fiasco with NT 4) and IE 2007 (the date at which IE's compliance might catch up to Mozilla's)? :)

#5 I just hate to think...

by Waldo

Sunday November 14th, 1999 11:48 AM

I hate to think that Mozilla's numbering would be one off of IE's for no reason-- especially considering that this is really a newly written product and not so much a continuation of "classic" navigator. Now if 4.7 had been called 5.0, then maybe Mozilla could be a 6.0 or something... And I guess 5.0 could just be skipped... I dunno, I'm just thinking 1.0 is more appropriate and doesn't look like it's a number behind IE... W

#6 maybe . . .

by gerbilpower

Sunday November 14th, 1999 12:02 PM

Maybe that could be the next marketing tag ling:

"It's so advanced that we skipped a number!"

Hell, why not skip a couple more?

Well I'm not the marketing type but just hope that Netscape marketing comes up with something good.


#7 Now presenting....

by FrodoB

Sunday November 14th, 1999 1:21 PM

Mozilla 9.0! We're so advanced, we get to do what MS did and jump 5 version numbers (like Word did, to counter WordPerfect 6)! ;)

#12 Maybe Mozilla should have a name contest?

by Waldo

Sunday November 14th, 1999 5:29 PM

I mean... Let's say they decide to go with a 1.0 - new browser, new product, new number. Maybe they could have a contest to name the new browser? Or something? Its' really a whole campaign that needs to be created... I don't think such a thing has ever been done in o/s before-- well, there is the Tux mascot...I guess that is an important part of the Linux identity. I dunno.. W

#13 or maybe...

by Ben_Goodger

Sunday November 14th, 1999 7:54 PM

a name should be picked that most users will be able to identify the product by easily.

I'm willing to bet most users don't know the version number of whatever software they're using if its just some regular number like x.x. E.g. turn your minds back to 1995, when Office 4.x was the major MS office suite. Did people say they used MS Office 4.2, or just MS Office? Did everyone know they were using Excel 5.0 or Word 6.0? Do people today know they're using Word 9.0 etc? Not really.

I find that most people more easily recognise year versioning. If I say "do you use Netscape 4.6?" I get "I don't really know..." but if I say "Word 97?" "yes, I've got Word 97!"

Year numbering is something that relates to a tangible thing, a year. (well, more tangible than a version number anyway). Aside from this, there is the obvious benefit in that years from now, historic software collectors will be able to easily know the year in which a piece of software was released :)

Thus, I vote for "2000"

#14 Netscape 2000

by Tanyel

Sunday November 14th, 1999 11:21 PM

Netscape 2000 is definitely the best possible name. Then they could make a Netscape 2015 to be right on time for the next release of Windows.

#9 hey, everyone is doing it

by arielb

Sunday November 14th, 1999 3:09 PM

Mozilla 2000

#8 The next IE won't look like an old bloated fogey

by arielb

Sunday November 14th, 1999 1:32 PM

hmm well M-soft didn't try to make IE5 look any different than IE4. Netscape 5 will look completely different

#15 i wonder why

by Tanyel

Sunday November 14th, 1999 11:25 PM

They didn't have to make it so much better because Netscape didn't make anything for them to compete with.

#10 everybody does it?

by Anon

Sunday November 14th, 1999 3:25 PM

mozilla 2000 - and then insist it's a version number, not a release date?

#11 everybody does it?

by gerbilpower

Sunday November 14th, 1999 5:18 PM

mozilla 2001 - not only 1,995 times higher than IE 5, but 1,995 and ONE times more advanced and it's a full year ahead of its time!!


#16 gerbilpower:

by zontar

Monday November 15th, 1999 6:46 AM

I like the Moz 2001 "It's ahead of its time" idea. :-)

#17 Everybody does it!

by Anon

Monday November 15th, 1999 9:04 AM

Ah, but just because everybody is doing it doesn't mean that it's a *good* thing! Take, for example, the current TV trend to make what-if disaster movies; they're just 1001 variations on the Armageddon/Deep Impact theme. Back to the computer world, everyone's using a Micro-Soft operating system, but only because everyone else is as well, and those who use/have used alternatives regret using MS. (Heck, even my Commodore 64 gets work done faster. In a mouse-friendy way, to boot!)

Netscape, and everyone else who'll package Mozilla Final, can overcome the anonymity of version numbering if the Mozilla Team allows them to use everyone's favorite dragon as a brand icon, just as Micro-Soft did with its flying window brand icon with the release of Windows 3.0. (If you'll remember, those of you who used Windows 1.x [I feel your pane] or 2.x, MS didn't have a logo for its then-OS/2-migratory OS.)

Or perhaps better, I like the idea of starting over with version 1.0, but that would mean changing the product name. "Netscape Mozilla 1.0," hmmm...

But consider switching to year numbers as a last resort. Year numbers are great for identifying the latest release, but you as a consumer lose the ability to easily track version differences.

As an example, Micro-Soft marketed Windows 98 as a completely new OS even though it's only a minor version upgrade. (Anyone remember the differences between Windows 3.0 and 3.1? Pretty long list, as I recall...) As another example, their upcoming marketing of Windows 2000 perhaps as a Windows 98 upgrade. Yes, it's a major version upgrade of NT, but we'll have to wait and see if MS actually markets it as a 98 upgrade. I don't know how they're going to keep it all straight, because the *expected* Windows 98 upgrade is presently called (ready?), "Consumer Windows in 2000."

We can learn from the confusion Micro-Soft is generating by switching Windows NinetySomething, Windows NT, and Office Whatever from versions to years. Stick with versions.

-Sailor V

#18 The problem w/years...

by Waldo

Monday November 15th, 1999 9:31 AM

Is that it makes it look dated really fast.. Imean, who wants to be using Netscape 2000 in 2002? I'd think to be worthwhile and still look cutting edge, the 2000 product would need to come out in 1999. Kinda like how magazines come out a month earlier than the publishing date? So they look newer.

The other problem with the year (2000, etc) is that it doesn't really support the possibility of multiple updates per year or whatever (i guess you could do "service packs")...

We need something better. Something no one's done-- a clear way of indicating version.... hmm


#19 So use names?

by Anon

Monday November 15th, 1999 10:17 AM

If we want to be original in version numering, why not drop the numbers for major releases? I've always wondered why software companies drop the internal development nicknames at release date.

<BR> y2k version: Mozilla Raptor<BR> 2001: Mozilla T-Rex<BR> 2001 bugfix release: Mozilla TRex 2<BR> New major release: Mozilla Mammoth<BR> I dunno.. the naming scheme doesn't really matter, but using names would be a nice way to distinguish ourselves. <BR> just a thought.<BR>

#20 excuse the html

by Anon

Monday November 15th, 1999 10:44 AM

Well pooh on me for putting those tags in. Sorry everyone.

#21 Don't use names

by james_keller

Tuesday November 16th, 1999 12:38 AM

No no.. I hate names. Because then you have to memorize even more facts. Is Raptor better than TRex? Who knows. It's like hair gel where there's ultra hold, mega hold, super hold, extra hold. which one's better? your guess is as good as mine.

I like the idea that I can look at a version number and say 2.3 > 2.2 I personally dislike years, but at least you know 2001 > 2000

#22 Appealing idea but not worth it. -Sailor V

by Anon

Tuesday November 16th, 1999 1:15 AM

Software houses use nicknames during development to prevent competitors from stealing product names, as well as leak the idea that it's a different product in cases of upgrades, I think (I'll plead ignorance)... (Witness MS's Chicago [95], Daytona [NT3.5], Cairo [NT4], and Memphis [98].)

Back to the bigger prospect, giving each major version upgrade a different name is likely to confuse people longer than years will, because people expect something with a new name to be brand new, not just an upgrade. The current Project Mozilla effort is new and different enough from the original in-house Project Mozilla to warrant a new name (Mozilla vice Navigator), but future upgrades -- even major version upgrades -- won't be. Imagine how much more confusing Windows versions would be if MS used its develoment names for each new version of Windows: Is Nashville a Memphis or Cairo upgrade? And what about Neptune?

Think about this idea: numbers for major versions and letters for minor versions. Hence, Mozilla 1A for the final release, Mozilla 1B and 1C for the first two updates/minor version upgrades, and Mozilla 2A and 3A for the first two *major* version upgrades. Unless, of course, the Project anticipates more than 25 bug fix releases and minor version upgrades between major upgrades.

True, you should make each version name memorable, but you should also keep the naming system simple to remember and upgrade names easy to anticipate.

-Sailor V

#23 Looking for that Interview with Chris Hofmann that

by Waldo

Tuesday November 16th, 1999 4:23 AM

Not to complicate this too much, but let's also remember the modular nature of Mozilla-- it's possible that different components will be updated seperately-- no reason to d/l the whole thing when all you need is one part, right? So you might be running browser 1.0, e-mail client 1.1, MozIRC 1.0b2 all implementing the Gecko 1.2 engine.

Man, this is gonna be confusing...


#24 Looking for that Interview with Chris Hofmann that

by url

Tuesday November 16th, 1999 12:07 PM

You raised a very interesting point. I wonder if some type of "module update list" could be added to the SmartUpdate feature, which would scan old/new Mozilla modules and give the user a browser preference "log" to keep track of updated modules, old ones and ones that are already the most currently available. For all I know, maybe this is already being planned. :)

I think there's is something like this in the SmartDownload(?) feature in Netcenter.