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Mozilla Moves Into 2002? Maybe. 376

Posted by Hemos
from the peering-into-the-crystal-ball dept.
alanjstr writes "MozillaQuest reports that Mozilla 1.0 has been pushed back into 2002 (from Oct 2001) in its latest schedule update. Since the end of 2000, the rate of new bugs being submitted has doubled (according to the pretty graph)." However, the Mozilla guys, whom our own HeUnique talked to have said that they are still on target, and that the 2002 story is not true. So - you be the judge on this one. Or not. Whatever.
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Mozilla Moves Into 2002? Maybe.

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  • Doubling bugs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ryants (310088) on Sunday August 26, 2001 @11:28PM (#2220052)
    A possible explanation for the increased bug rate:

    The rate increase in bug reporting is possibly due to wider use; as each build got better and better, more and more people tried it and found more and more things (little things) wrong.

    In which case, that just means that Mozilla is getting more and more refined. I think this correlates with most people's experiences with Mozilla from build to build.

    Just a thought.

    • The rate increase in bug reporting is possibly due to wider use; as each build got better and better, more and more people tried it and found more and more things (little things) wrong.

      Well, it is also natural to not right up to cosmetic bugs when you are more concerned with truly broken features.

      This probably means that the "Look and Polish" bugs are starting to get attention, as well as performance bugs (ie, it works, but it is slow)

      - - -
      Radio Free Nation [radiofreenation.com]
      "If You have a Story, We have a Soap Box"

    • Re:Doubling bugs (Score:5, Informative)

      by asa (33102) <asa@mozilla.com> on Sunday August 26, 2001 @11:58PM (#2220121) Homepage
      The rate of incoming bugs has been pretty steady for some time. With 15,000+ active Bugzilla accounts it is not at all strange to see 300 bugs reported in a single day. Anyone who takes a minute to look closer will see a couple of important trends in these numbers. First the percentage of Duplicate, Invalid, and Worksforme bugs continues to rise and is at about 50% so nearly half of all bugs reported turn out to be something other than new bugs in the code. Second, the overall average severity of incoming bug reports has been going down for some time so that while the volume of incoming bugs hasn't changed a lot, the kinds of issues being reported are more polish issues that development or testing blocker issues.
      I have been involved in organizing the Mozilla community quality assurance and testing effort for more than two years and I can say with confidence that the project is at a much higher quality level than it was 2 years ago, 1 year ago, 6 months ago (grab M9, M16 or 0.8 and compare for yourself). Bug counts have never been an accurate measure of the quality of the product.

      --Asa
      • The key issue that needs highlighting is the *number of high severity bugs* - as long as this is going down, as it is, Mozilla is clearly converging on a releasable product. Personally, I'm quite happy with Mozilla's quality already - the few bugs that I've found myself have typically already been reported and on the way to being fixed, and in 0.9.3 it's now quite stable and almost as fast as IE5.

      • First the percentage of Duplicate, Invalid, and Worksforme bugs continues to rise and is at about 50% so nearly half of all bugs reported turn out to be something other than new bugs in the code.

        Where I come from, "works for me" cannot close an open issue, and must be followed with "cannot duplicate with same configuration". I get a whole lot of "works for me" anecdotes when I tell people about my miserable experiences with new kernels, reiserfs, and mozilla builds. Well, most firestone tires didn't blow out either. Still want a set on your SUV?

        I realize you don't have the resources to investigate every worksforme problem, but if you come up with a product that's only perfect in your test lab, you still don't have a quality product.
    • Re:Doubling bugs (Score:5, Interesting)

      by asa (33102) <asa@mozilla.com> on Monday August 27, 2001 @12:27AM (#2220179) Homepage
      The incoming bug rate is NOT DOUBLING. I don't know if that is some figure you got from MozillaQuest (reason enough to discount it) or if you actually went to the source (bugzilla.mozilla.org) but someone got their queries/reports confused. The bug charts [mozilla.org] show that the rate has been pretty much steady for a long time. The only interesting thing about this graph (that the person reporting the doubling nonsense obviously was confused about) is the rise in New and the drop in Assigned. Bugs start out as New and get marked Assigned when a developer decides the bug is his. In late 2000 we stopped sending out a 'nag' email that urged developers to accept their New bugs. When we stopped sending that mail the Accepting dropped off. The incoming bug rate has not changed significantly and neither has the fix rate.

      --Asa
      • When we stopped sending that mail the Accepting dropped off

        So basically the bugs are the same, but nobody is fixing them? :)

        • Nope. Bugs are being fixed at about the same pace (maybe a little faster). It's just that they are not being Accepted in Bugzilla. So a lot of bugs go from New to Resolved Fixed without having been moved to the Assigned status.

          --Asa
    • more people tried it and found more and more things (little things) wrong.

      It still disappears for no good reason on a regular basis. Not a "little" bug.
  • It's nearly ready now. I haven't logged into bugtraq very often lately, but I haven't had a bug to report in over a month. 0.9.2 has been very stable and usable. It's a little slow on the load, and the e-mail proggie it comes with could be a lot easier to use, but those are truly the only complaints I'd have with it.
    • The only problems I have with it are related to printing out web pages.

      It's certainly much better than the old Navigator. Can't wait for 1.0!

      Jon Acheson
  • by newbiescum (190145) on Sunday August 26, 2001 @11:32PM (#2220061)
    MozillaQuestQuest [mozillaquestquest.com]

    Props to Mozillazine [mozillazine.org] for the link. If you want real Mozilla news, check out the latter link. Much more informative, and the discussions are at least somewhat insightful.

    • I thought MozillaQuestQuest [mozillaquestquest.com] was funny when it first came out. Then I read this "article" [mozillaquest.com] at MozillaQuest and it became clear that the parody just can't be as funny as the real thing. The title is just so ludicrous to anyone who has the slightest knowledge of the Mozilla project it simply defies taking the piss out of it. And the right sidebar! I haven't laughed so hard in ages. Someone sign this guy up to write for Slashdot!
      • by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <plasticfish@info.gmail@com> on Monday August 27, 2001 @01:38AM (#2220278)
        The MozillaQuest site itself is so badly executed and so sophomoronic in content as to place it beyond the bounds of credibility or even lampoonability. How anyone can come up with "October + ? = 2002" is simply beyond me -- unless they've an ulterior motive. That funny biz with the screenshots and graphs struck me as an amateurish (but still annoying) attempt at disinformation.

        It's just so fscking sad that anyone would even link to it, much less give it guaranteed traffic by posting a story from it as "news" here.

        /. editors, please don't choose articles when you've been smoking crack. You'll just continue to embarass yourselves and waste our time. Thank you.

        In the meantime, I plan to continue to ignore MozillaQuest and hope that it'll just go away.

        BTW, I'm using Mozilla 0.9.3 exclusively for my email and it kicks butt (and I don't have to worry about .vbs viruses on my Windows boxes).
      • And the right sidebar! I haven't laughed so hard in ages. Someone sign this guy up to write for Slashdot!


        I absolutely agree, and I'm happy to see that somebody else has already expressed their sentiments on the issue. In all seriousness, when I first saw the link (on Mozillazine) to that article, I really believed it must have been a parody site. Subsequent research left me astounded to find out that it wasn't. I have honestly never seen such unprofessional and irreponsible journalism (if it can be called that) in all my life. And as you said, the sidebar really took the cake. It reminded me of some of the crap people in high school debate classes would dream up. In fact, better make that junior high. The high schoolers were much better at critical thinking.

        This latest article just continues to prove how worthless it is to read articles on Mozillaquest -- unless you just want a good laugh. In fact, if you take a look at the current roadmap for Mozilla (that has been in place for a while), you'll see clearly that they aren't promising a 1.0 release anytime this year. They are *hoping* to have one, but the more conservative of the two numbering schemes obviously takes them into the next year. It's been that way for a while since the roadmap was revised.


        My suggestion is that you use Mozillaquest to test out your new DDoS tools. We can just consider it to be the "door stop" of websites.

  • Why 1.0? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scrag (137843) on Sunday August 26, 2001 @11:32PM (#2220063)
    What is the obsession with reaching version 1.0? It's not a finished product until then? Then tell me why I have been using it for everything that several finished products can do. It won't have bugs by the time it reaches 1.0? I cant understand that either. It's not everyone will stop working on it when it reaches 1.0, so that means version 1.0 is just another version in the middle of hundreds of others.

    What is really important is that the browser keeps getting better, and it is. With each release they fix tons of bugs. That isn't going to change when it reaches 1.0. I don't care if it never reaches 1.0 as long as it keeps getting better. They could call the next release 1.0 and everyone would be excited, but it wouldn't really mean anything. Just like the actual 1.0 release won't.
    • in theory the 1.0 version is the version you release to the general public with grand ability to say, HEY THIS SOFTWARE WORKS AS ADVERTISED (as if that were ever true). the 1.0 version supposedly marks the point at which all the key features work and work well enough and without too many bugs. There is a method to this whole crazy version scheme
    • 1.0 is important because it is the point where the programers can sit back and look at what they have done, in it's 'compleated' form. It's the point where they have to ask them selves wether it is good or not.
      As a user I always want a new version, with fixes and new stuff to play with.
      As a developer I often want to reach a point where I can call it done and feel good about it.
    • Re:Why 1.0? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by goldid (310307)
      It's pretty simple. Remember that the whole world isn't computer literate. We may be please to use version 0.9.3, or even version 0.4. The average user? The users whose massive support makes certain projects fundable and viable? They want version 1.0. 1.0 says, "Hey, this is stable, it won't kill, maim or cause your machine to implode." That's what the rest of the world is looking for. Keep them in mind. 1.0 is a major milestone. While 0.9.3 may be just fine, it takes 1.0 to make it not scary.
      • They want version 1.0. 1.0 says, "Hey, this is stable, it won't kill, maim or cause your machine to implode."

        You must have been hiding under a rock while MS redefined the meaning of "1.0".
      • "1.0" says to most people who got into computing after 1995 "was released in 1901".
    • Re:Why 1.0? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by rgmoore (133276)

      AFAIK the key is that Mozilla is in a feature freeze for the 1.0 release. All work until then is supposed to be bug fixing, although there also appears to be some cosmetic work like changing the available themes. Once they reach 1.0, they can start adding new features again (though many posters here would claim that Mozilla is already so bloated that new features would be redundant.) As other people have pointed out, 1.0 is also a big psychological milestone.

      IMO, Mozilla is already well ahead of the quality of most released commercial software, and the willingness of Netscape to base NS6 on the existing Mozilla tree is pretty good evidence that Netscape agrees. The Mozilla team could declare the next version to be 1.0 and I doubt that any more people would complain about the quality than with other packages. The decision to squish every last bug before declaring 1.0 is a really good sign of the quality of code that the team wants to put out.

    • Why? Because even tho it's stable for YOU now, it's totally unusable for ME. Granted some of the hardware I use is pretty crappy (S3 Trio graphics card gives me headaches all the time), but that shouldn't explain why it crashes on me every time I open a few (3-4) windows. Granted I'm part of only a very small percentage of users, but if you're suggesting Mozilla developers should start patting themselves on the back then you're kidding yourself.

      Given the amount of trouble I've had, I'm not going to touch it again until 1.0. And also until they trim down the file size. I thot the thing was supposed to be efficient and stuff, fit on one floppy or whatever.
    • have versions. That's so that people don't have to download and install a new version of the software every single night. That's totally unacceptable. But what is, is waiting until a good number of bugs have been squashed, then formally releasing the software as version 1.0.
    • Then tell me why I have been using it for everything that several finished products can do.

      Because your version crashes far less often than the one I tried recently (for MacOS 9)?

  • Mozilla 0.93 is great as it is - why about worry when 1.0 is coming out?

    I have absolutely no problems with .93 what so ever on Redhat 7.1. Nevermind, guys - keep on moving forward, at the pace you need. I'm certainly impressed, as well as extremely grateful, so far.

    Soko

    • Re:I'm not worried. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by PingXao (153057)
      I'm going to agree with this. I've been a Mozilla basher for almost 2 years now, happily using Konqueror and, before that, an older Netscape.

      But even though I gave the Lizard below-average marks up until now - and deservedly so, I think - since I downloaded 0.93 I couldn't be happier. On my RH 7.1+ boxes it runs much faster than Konqueror. The ability to kill off unwanted banner advertisements and the fine-grained control over cookies is a godsend.

      So, after 2 years I now recant everything bad I said about Mozilla. More importantly I can now recommend it to everyone I do business with! It's about time!
    • I'm myself not that convinced about the stability of Mozilla. For me,
      • 0.9.1 worked just fine,
      • 0.9.2 usually crashed within a minute, and
      • 0.9.3 always jammed when starting and didn't even show up.
      (Sorry for not filing bug reports this time.) This was also in RH 7.1. Ok, it probably works for most people, but for a few it doesn't, and the reasons don't appear to be obvious.

      Besides, it's still rather slow in Linux, compared to Konqueror, and especially to old Njetscape 4.7x. I mean the GUI; the rendering is rather quick.

  • by Ars-Fartsica (166957) on Sunday August 26, 2001 @11:33PM (#2220065)
    What is the problem? Mozilla is essentially stable and featureful from my perspective as an everyday user. Given that the product is useable today, isn't 1.0 more or less an arbitrary release point? Its not like 1.0 will close off all existing bugs and not open any new ones - every release is an incremental march towards stability with new features adding their own instabilities.

    Lets be frank - its not like rushing to a 1.0 release now is going to reclaim substantial market share from IE - the browser wars, at least on Windows, is basically over. We've waited years for Mozilla to get done - they ar emaking great progress in 2001, so lets just call 1.0 when the time is right.

  • by FattMattP (86246) on Sunday August 26, 2001 @11:35PM (#2220070) Homepage
    I think that anyone who's kept up with Mozilla Quest and its articles has realized that it's one huge troll. The guy who writes the articles hardly ever has anything good to say. He also has a way of misconstruing and twisting things that would make a Microsoft PR executive beam with pride. Someone created a great parody of it called Mozilla Quest Quest [mozillaquestquest.com]. Apparently it requires Mozilla, or something that can handle XML, to view it.

    Bottom line: Take anything the Mozilla Quest site says with a HUGE grain of salt.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Okay, I give in.... who is this guy? MozillaQuest sounds very important and it certainly had me going for a couple of minutes, but then look at the front page.... over 20 articles, and all written by Mr. Angelo.

    Trying to be self important but having nobody to listen to you. The site looks quite sad, to be honest.
  • I don't see the real importance of whether it is 1.0 or 0.9.xxx etc.. I have tried the different Mozilla milestones in the past and thought this is way too buggy to be usable, but around 0.9.2 it really stabilized to the point where it has become quite usable and worth the effort of using and filing talkbacks when there is a problem. The speed has increased dramatically and the crashes are pretty rare. I believe that is progress, so I don't really care about what number is placed on it, as long as they are moving forward, I don't see how you can complain. You make the following comment in the article:

    To the Mozilla Organization's and Mozilla Project's credit they almost have a darn nice browser suite. But they will not have a nice browser suite until they get it right (to-wit, get rid of the bugs and release Mozilla 1.0).

    To get it right, its gonna take time. I believe the reason there are so many more bug reports are because people like myself and many others have noticed the improvements made to Mozilla and have actually started using it again. With more users comes more bug reports, which will create more debug data which will help the Mozilla crew squash bugs a lot faster. Be patient, there is progress being made.

    I've now actually switched to using IMAP with Mozilla 0.9.3 and it finally works really nice since the 0.9.x series. I noticed one bug that caused a crash in 0.9.2, filed several talkbacks, and the problem was gone in 0.9.3. Visible progress, just the way I like it.

    bbh
  • Mozilla Quest is the single biggest source of lies on the net today. This is the same man who claimed Netscape 6.1 wasn't based on Mozilla code. The more attention this guy gets, the more lies he spreads. Would a "LinuxQuest" that posts crap about how Linus is an MS employee who's being paied to drive Linux into the ground get as much attention around here?
  • bugs are not bugs (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bagel (78837)
    Some of the bugs present on bugzilla are actually enchancement suggestions. So don't be fooled by the raw number on the list. How many of them are critical bugs? How many are just "this feature should be included" or "the menu item should belong to another place"?
  • Remember people, this is not propietary software! Mozilla is getting more stable and faster as each day and milestone goes by. It's not like you cannot use it now - get any recent Linux distribution (except Debian until Woody is released) and a recent Mozilla is included.

    Releasing a version 1.0 matters more in the commercial world, but since in that aspect Netscape 6.0 and 6.1 has been released, that aspect shouldn't be overrated as well.

    After all, the ext2 file system is still at revision 0.17, Enlightenment 0.17 is still in CVS and Sawfish is still at 0.38 - and millions of people use them.

    Regards,

    Michel

    • get any recent Linux distribution (except Debian until Woody is released)

      Woody still has M18. Guess debian users will have to wait till sid is released.

  • by asa (33102) <asa@mozilla.com> on Sunday August 26, 2001 @11:48PM (#2220104) Homepage
    I just want to make sure it is very clear to slashdot readers that MozillaQuest is in no way connected with or affiliated with mozilla.org. Do not be confused by the name or the 'borrowed' mozilla graphics (mostly gone now I believe). MozillaQuest is a series of articles written by Mike Angelo who has no connection to mozilla.org or any 'inside information' about the goings on of the Mozilla project. mozilla.org has in the past made attempts to correct the misinformation that is published at this site but the requests went pretty much unanswered and so we've turned to simply ignoring the site. It is a shame that slashdot, a place that many in the open source community turn for information, continues to point its readers at this kind of sensationalism.

    --Asa
    (my opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or mozilla.org)
    • To put a finer point on what Asa said, the author of MQ is, by all evidence available, a fool.


      See www.MozillaQuestQuest.com [mozillaquestquest.com] for a parody. I assume he works for Microsoft, the poor guy.


      The Mozilla crowd has learned to ignore him; Slashdot should too.

    • MozillaQuest is a series of articles written by Mike Angelo who has no connection to mozilla.org or any 'inside information' about the goings on of the Mozilla project. mozilla.org has in the past made attempts to correct the misinformation that is published at this site but the requests went pretty much unanswered and so we've turned to simply ignoring the site.
      Michael Angelo has a serious credibility issue, being a teenage mutant ninga turtle and all

      cowabunga dude

      keep up the good work

    • Ah. I don't recall seeing a big disclaimer saying that the site was in no way official. Actually, I followed the link to the article from NewsForge. Sorry for the confusion.
    • Well, now that we've spread some FUD, how about a nice official write-up of how Mozilla is progressing. Perhaps Slashdotters can submit questions, like "Why is 1.0 considered 1.0 if it will have known bugs?"
  • while I was writing an email to the author of that article the mozilla email composer program crashed :( *sigh* I guess there are still _some_ serious and probably elusive bugs to fix but on the whole I like Mozilla better than the "competition." Yes, I've tried them all.
    • by PurpleBob (63566)
      That's a feature. If you had managed to send an e-mail to Mike Angelo and gotten a reply, your inbox might have had a stupidity overload and caused all the other messages you would ever recieve to spontaneously turn into badly-formatted sources of misinformation with ugly and irrelevant blue buttons on the side.

      Now aren't you glad Mozilla sacrificed its own process to protect you from this horrible fate?
  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@@@keirstead...org> on Monday August 27, 2001 @12:03AM (#2220132) Homepage

    For all those who keep saying "Who cares when 1.0 is coming out when 0.93 is out now", and you are somewhat right, don't forget that RedHat has said (and I believe other distros will follow suit) that when mozilla reaches 1.0, it will stop carrying the horrid Netscape 4.7x altogether, in the distro, and focus on Mozilla as the default browser. This support alone will help Mozilla greatly.

    • The problem is not 1.0, but being usable. RH is understandably vary of the browser "underdevelopment" - it, unlike Mozilla, can not say their paying customers: "OK, it would work when we are ready do make it work". It should deliver the product now. And Mozilla, while being useful browser, still has a number of problems, among which performance and memory footprint is not the least. When RH says: "when it will be 1.0" they most probably mean: "since you are good respectable guys and would not call it 1.0 until is is really good, we want to pick it up there when it's really ready for us". From this POV 1.0 is important for Mozilla team more than for RH and RH is just trusing Mozilla team to do a good 1.0.
  • I've started using Mozilla whenever I can as of 0.9.2, but it's not something I want to encourage others to use yet. They are making a great deal of progress though, with 0.9.2 I always kept a copy of Netscape 4.7* running and now I only run it when something actually goes wrong with Mozilla (Or I need POP3 which now crashes my Windows copy of Mozilla.) Point here is that 1.0 has meaning to me, should it be fairly robust I will encourage my friends to use it and install it on a bunch of machines that I don't update with every release.

    Now to the subject line, being a programmer I find the interpretation of these Bug Graphs silly. All the "New Bugs" don't mean anything, when someone looks at them or tries to fix them they'll probably realize there are 20 bug reports that all refer to a single bug. The fact that assigned bugs grew matters, but this certainly hasn't jumped as much as usage has so again the interpretation that things are getting worse is flawed.
    And that mention of fixing the "Memory Problem" before v1.0 is silly, just make it not crash and work like it's supposed to. Fixing the memory problem or speeding up the parser are features which can wait for v2.0. Of course, they are not going to fix 1500 bugs by v1.0, when they cull all but the 5-6 stop-ship bugs then we'll know triage has been done and Mozilla is a few months away.
    • by asa (33102) <asa@mozilla.com> on Monday August 27, 2001 @12:44AM (#2220204) Homepage
      Point here is that 1.0 has meaning to me, should it be fairly robust I will encourage my friends to use it and install it on a bunch of machines that I don't update with every release.

      What if Mozilla 0.9.8 is "fairly robust"? Will you not encourage others to use it because it is not called 1.0? What if the plans for 0.9.9 and 1.0 do not include any improvements in the "robust"ness of the app? Is is useful to hold off recommending it until the magic number 1.0 happens? What if we had never moved from the Mx Milestone naming scheme? We'd be at about Milestone M26 now. Would you wait until it hit M30 or M50 or maybe M100 before encouraging others to use it?

      Of course, they are not going to fix 1500 bugs by v1.0

      Actually, we average about 1500 bugs fixed every Milestone (about every 5 to 6 weeks). So I sure hope we can fix at least that many in the Milestones we have between now and 1.0.

      BTW, I appreciate the sentiment of your comments. Don't take my nits as anything but nits and my questions as genuine curiosity.

      --Asa
  • by goingware (85213) on Monday August 27, 2001 @12:05AM (#2220136) Homepage
    I believe it was IBM that first figured out that bugs in a large project asymptotically approach a constant number.

    You may fix the worst bugs, but as time goes on more and more bugs are found, and eventually bugs pretty much crop up as you fix them.

    The thing is, although bugs are constantly appearing, the frequency of the average bug decreases. You start getting bugs that happen only once every thousand user-years. Try as you might, you can't squash them all.

    There is some hope, in that you can use some fundamentally better method of software engineering and things get suddenly better. The bugs still approach a constant level, but it is a smaller level. Back when IBM studied this, it was still common to write operating systems in assembly code. Using a high-level language is so much easier to debug that you can achieve better bug rates.

    But at the same time, we have much greater ambitions for our software. Mozilla 1.0 will have far more features than Microsoft Word 1.0 did.

    • > I believe it was IBM that first figured out that bugs in a large project asymptotically approach a constant number.

      Mr Crawford --
      Does it
      have to be a requirement that there will always be bugs?
      I would like to believe that given strong specifications, proper coding practice, accounting for situations, and no unreasonable time constraints, it's possible to produce a bug-free piece of software that performs its task correctly on a given system... I've read Worse is Better [jwz.org]
    • How I wish you were right.....
      "The mythical man-month" quoted research showing that most big programming projects could be characterized by a single number.
      This number was the average number of new bugs introduced, uncovered or otherwise made noticeable by fixing an old bug.
      If this number is 1, you should start planning for replacing the system.
      This is one reason why INTERFACES are important: the more isolated a fix is, the bigger your chance of keeping your number 1.
      IBM S/360 was the OS where this was first made explicit, I think.
    • You may fix the worst bugs, but as time goes on more and more bugs are found, and eventually bugs pretty much crop up as you fix them

      I guess that depends on your software's structural design. Our older systems where I work used to have such horrible design, that it was nearly impossible to fix or add *anything* without something else breaking. Often, something seemingly totally unrelated to the change would break! It gets to the point where you're afraid to change anything for fear of the repurcussions. We had no version control either.

      We've rewritten everything, and we've put a huge amount of effort (and experience) into a decent design, and not only is our software MUCH more robust, but our known "buglists" for version 1 have in the recent past dropped to 0. Yes, zero, we have no known bugs anymore. These are reusable libraries consisting of over 100000 lines of code. We completed "version 1" recently, and the rate at which we currenly find new bugs is maybe three or four a week, so keeping the figure at "0" is now quite easy. It takes a lot of hard work to get there, and a "feature freeze" is a requirement (very difficult when programmers always just want to add "this cool new feature" or "that useful new feature"). Some todo's move over to the "version 2" todo list, and the remaining stuff (bugs and minor design issues) just need to be tackled, one by one.

      Could you provide a reference to the IBM study? It sounds fishy to me. It seems to me that bug-list graphs have a lot to do with how well-design the software is, and how disciplined developers are.

  • by caspy7 (117545) on Monday August 27, 2001 @12:07AM (#2220138)
    Please, someone tell those that are responsible for posting these to never ever again post any information found on MozillaQuest. Please don't even bother visiting the site so that he gets hits. This guy sensationalises information and just plain makes stuff up. MozillaQuestQuest.com is a good place to point out his contradictions and such.
    My question is how can we delegitimize this guy so the real media doesn't take his lies and run?
    • Yup, that MozQuest article is just plain FUD. Perhaps this guy is trying to get hired by Microsoft PR department, because this article is such beautiful FUD that I don't think MS could do a better job. The way he lies with statistics is beautiful.

      I can't help but think that MozillaQuest MUST be a site run by Microsoft. For one thing, the site is butt ugly, to lead people to think 'geez these opensource guys are unprofessional'. Secondly, the naming of the site seems to be such as to try fool people into thinking its associated with Mozilla. Thirdly, its packed with FUD.

      I mean, lets be logical about this - why would someone intent on dissing Mozilla create a site that on the surface looks like a Mozilla fan site?

      This sort of crap happens every day - I wouldn't be surprised if its just another part of MS's "fake grassroots" spin campaign. Movie companies do this sort of thing every day (create fake "fan" sites to gather "grassroots" support). There are web-design companies that specialise in creating fake "personal" sites, complete with deliberate ugliness and unprofessionalism. I would be VERY surprised if MS did not have such fake sites.
  • by jchristopher (198929) on Monday August 27, 2001 @12:10AM (#2220143)
    There are so many really, really good alternatives to Mozilla now that it really doesn't matter whether it ever appears or not.

    The other alternative browsers (Konqueror, Opera, etc.) are really making progress. Opera is VERY usable on both Win32 and Linux.

  • So.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by EvlPenguin (168738) on Monday August 27, 2001 @12:27AM (#2220178) Homepage
    ...who else here thinks the only reason there is a Mozilla project is that Netscape said to themselves: "well, this code is just too fucked up, lets give it away"?
    • Actually you are right.

      The NS 4.x codebase was fucked almost beyond repair (partly I believe because NS was trying to keep up with all the proprietary changes that MS were making to HTML).

      So Netscape gave it away. Then after a year or so, they realised that instead of trying to fix it, it would be easier to start again from scratch. Hence NS 6.

      • I believe because NS was trying to keep up with all the proprietary changes that MS were making to HTML

        <layer>yeah, netscape would <blink>never</blink> do anything like that</layer>
  • by penguin_nipple (127025) <dan.nedelko@gma i l .com> on Monday August 27, 2001 @01:31AM (#2220265) Homepage Journal
    IMHO, 0.9.3 is an excellent browser. It's installed on all my machines ,including on both partitions of my Development box at work (w2k and slack 8.0). Yes, development my appear to be slow, but I'd simply like to point out to a few things

    1. Mozilla is a massive project, whose (main) goal is a natively running browser on multiple platforms, this is no small task and they have done well thus far. I don't think anyone can point to a browser that runs on as many different platforms as well as Moz does.
    2. Mozilla was one of the first major Open Source initiatives undertaken, and in fact must have been a logisitical nightmare to get rolling - especially taking into account the fact that they wiped the proverbial board clean with Mozilla - however, consider all the other issues that go into an open code distribution system.
    3. We have no other development process to use as a benchmark to the development of Mozilla. Up until this point in time, all one has ever gotten is binary distributions. Very little insight and even less information from previous organizations.
    4. Agreed, the much hyped 'browser-wars' are over, thank god, IMHO, those wars ended up coming down to distribution issues that Microsoft capitalized (unfairly) upon. As we all know, 99% of the world will use the browser that smacks them in the face at home. As for the corporate scene, many organizations continue to use Netscape and (from people I know who deal with these issues) will move to a stable, compliant browser when available. Which is in fact becoming more of a critical issue - called them 'web enabled' or 'network aware' applications. I would point to .NET as an example of how this scheme seems to be gaining prominence.
    5. Mozilla is quite a bit more than just a browser or mark up renderer. Granted most of you wouldn't ever need the capabilities provided in XUL, but many application developers might. Cry cry cry about bloat all you want - if you are using a windoze box to read this, then you are familiar with bloat. You may bitch and moan about XUL and how horrible it is, however, it is essentially providing the multi-platform capabilities of Mozilla. And for me anyhow, it is important to have a rich, dynamic, and actively developed multiplatform browser. Try not to overlook that contribution - Mozilla is an extremely flexible piece of code.
    6. I am not going to put down or put on a pedestal any of the other available browsers. I use them all, on numerous platforms, both open and closed. Konqueror is great for quick and dirty net searches. Opera is great on low-end boxen. Explorer is well...explorer...*sigh*. Mozilla is quick, stable and does everything I want to do online. This is just my opinion.

      From the pace of development, Mozilla is doing fairly well. If you're a programmer, you should realize the scope of what they are doing over at Mozilla. As for Slashdot, why exactly would you guys post an article so blatantly and obviously mis-informed?? Generally I look to /. to give up interesting news, somewhat outside the normal of FUD and goofie marketing/media coverage we see everywhere on the net.

      Could someone from /. explain the motivation for posting the story in the first place? Not that an article which is critical of Mozilla or any open source should not be posted. In fact, critical articles are fine. So long as they are informed and well written which this one obviously is not.

      Just a note to Asa - your posts are very obviously showing a note of tension. Don't worry about it, you guys are doing a helluva job and from one (semi) sane coder to another I'd just like you guys at Mozilla to know that your broswer is sweet. They'll always bitch abut something *shrug*

  • by billh (85947) on Monday August 27, 2001 @01:33AM (#2220268)
    While Mozilla has been under development:

    Business plans have been written, VC found, businesses opened, millions made and millions lost.

    We have sent probes to Mars, only to be shot down by the Martians.

    Hundreds of species have gone extinct. Most of which were yet to be discovered.

    People have met, married, and divorced.

    I went from a shell account to SDSL. Of course, I still use the shell account.

    There was peace in the Middle East. Sort of. I think.

    The Olympics. More than once.

    A president got blown by an intern, and we've stopped talking about it on a daily basis.

    Another intern has disappeared, and we might have stopped talking of her by the time we reach 1.0.

    So is it just me, or does this project seem like it is taking an insane amount of time to complete??
  • by Metrol (147060) on Monday August 27, 2001 @02:04AM (#2220338) Homepage
    As a FreeBSD and NT user who designs web pages, layout and font sizes really matter to me. Although I mainly use Konqueror under FreeBSD, it has far more to do with the simpler interface than it's rendering engine. To date, I haven't see any other browser display layout, fonts, and deal with Javascript better than Mozilla.

    With that being said, it's still quite apparent that Mozilla is an 800lbs. gorilla when it comes to memory and CPU usage. It has gotten a LOT better in the last few builds. If these kinds of optimization issues were worked out by the next release, I would happily convert myself and others that rely on my judgement on over to Mozilla.

    Thing is, even as I type this on ye olde Netscape 4.78 after browsing around to several web pages, NT is reporting about 17M of memory allocated. Just to start Mozilla is 22M, and I haven't gone anywhere yet. To further illustrate the point, I went and opened up the newsgroup readers in each, subscribed to a group, and then pulled in all the headers of that group. NS 4.7 comes in at around 18M after this operation. Mozilla at 40.5M. Not going to bother listing numbers off of FreeBSD as I'm still running 0.9.3 on there.

    Personally, it's just frustrating as heck to watch. There we have this Gecko engine was does a truly beautiful job of properly rendering a web page regardless of the platform. Exactly what a browser should do! Wrapped around this is a monster of a UI that even to this day still feels like I'm trying to interact with some bad Java applet. Oh sure it is pretty, but the reaction time even on a 1.2Ghz machine is noticeable.

    Looking back, I'm finding myself in total agreement with critics I disagreed with before over one point. XUL. The Mozilla folks repeatedly told us all how much longer it would take to develop this project if they stuck with native OS widgets. I just have to wonder how much time has been wasted while the resources of the Mozilla project could have had Win32, Mac, Qt, GTK versions out the door by now? Certainly projects like Galeon have shown this could have been done.

    Mozilla made a wrong turn early on (IMHO) with XUL. Perhaps projects like Galeon can be the saving grace. Problem is, those projects are out on the fringe, while IE is dead center of the web universe defining the standards across the board. Mozilla is FAR more than just a browser at this point. It's the last chance gasp at taking control of web standards and the Internet itself from Microsoft.
    • Perhaps projects like Galeon can be the saving grace.
      They are.

      I'm typing this on Galeon 0.11.5, and while Galeon is being a memory pig at 39mb, it is pretty fast, and it has a lot of cool features that respond in a reasonable manner (tabbed browsing, icons, session recovery). Yeah, it's got a few bugs, but it's VERY useable, version number be damned.

      I have currently on-system Galeon, Mozilla (0.9.3, still very useable but a CPU hog as well), Opera (damn that thing is LIGHT! still some CSS bugs; the Linux version lags Win32 in that respect), Konqueror (plain, but functional, and also light... but no tabs like Opera), Amaya (for standards checking, in case a site acts funny), Netscape (the only one I leave Flash-enabled), lynx, and links. All of them have uses... but Galeon is the one I use the most, just because it's that good, that cool.

      Asa and the gang have come a LONG way since M18, and Marco and Ricardo and company have built on that success... I could give a rip about version numbers, what I care about is functionality. If they want to go the Debian route and get *all* the bugs out before releasing 1.0, that's fine with me, as long as they keep putting out milestones. Frankly, except for the way plugins work (or don't), I'm really happy with what they've got now...

      Which leads me to the zinger: if we can do all this with BETA software (Mozilla 0.9.3, Galeon 0.11.5, Gnumeric 0.67, AbiWord 0.7.14, openssl 0.9.5a, LILO 0.21, yadda yadda yadda... out of the 631 packages on my Mandrake 7.2 system, 139 of them, including many vital ones like pam 0.72, have version numbers >1.0)... what will the world look like when all that stuff is finally 1.0?

      Me, I'm looking forward to it...

      --
      Need a Unix guru? [speakeasy.net]

  • (with apologies to the Blue Oyster Cult)

    With the best of intentions and Netscape's old code
    They produce a browser that tends to explode

    Rendering pages in pure XML
    XUL's really great, but performance is hell

    Standards compliant every way they can be
    But slow as a bear when compared to IE

    Oh, no. We wish these bugs would go
    Go go Mozilla, yeah
    Oh, no. The rendering's so slow
    Go go Mozilla, yeah

    History explains as a matter of course
    How mega codebases deter open source
    Mozilla!


  • A hilarious parody of MozillaQuest can be found at http://mozillaquestquest.com/ [mozillaquestquest.com] although really, does it need a parody?

    MozillaQuest is usually so creative in his reporting that he might as well not bother. His claims bear no resemblance to any reality I participate in, and there is little point in rebutting him. If we all ignore him then perhaps he will go away? We can hope so.

  • by hatless (8275) on Monday August 27, 2001 @06:49AM (#2220679)
    I've been using Mozilla and Netscape 6.x about half the time for a few years now, and the past few months have brought dramatic speed improvements. XUL is finally fast enough to be usable on machines slower than a 1.2 GHz x86, and mail folders open quickly enough to work with.

    Mozilla 1.0 isn't a terribly meaningful concept, especially given that 0.9.3 served as the core of a genuinely commercial-quality Netscape 6.1--at least in most respects. But I do have a question for those who Mozilla or Netscape 6.x as their primary browsing and mail tool:

    What's everyone doing about proper MIME support? Don't you people (and the developers!) ever send non-text e-mail attachments? Mozilla and Netscape 6 ship with virtually empty mimeTypes.rdf files and no auto-build from exisiting legacy MIME settings whether at the system level or from old Netscape 4.x configs, which means out of the box no external helper apps work--and worse, outbound email attachments other than HTML, text/plain, GIFs and JPEGs are mangled, transported as inline text. These empty MIME settings are years old.

    Even more upsetting, the dialogs to edit and create mimeTypes entries from inside Mozilla/NS6 are broken: the checkbox that activates outbound MIME type declaration for a given mimetype is inactive, leaving hand-editing the poorly-documented RDF file as the only recourse. Not only that, but the Un*x Mozilla/NS6 doesn't seem to use the current environment in launching helper apps. Is it so hard or insecure or distressingly platform-specific to have the PATH environment variable--or use of "which" or "locate"--when launching helpers? Why must users manually locate the fully qualified path to their MP3 player, PDF viewer and so forth instead of simply entering, say, "acroread" or "xmms" in the dialog (or the RDF)?

    Are the Netscape/Mozilla developers and those of you who claim to use Mozilla full-time passing around a hacked-up mimeTypes.rdf that isn't being shared with the public, and isn't even in an experimental branch of CVS? Or do you just never send email attachments?

    And more to the point: doesn't the Netscape 6.x dev team ever send email attachments? How about the QA team? Are they all using Pine instead? And if they are, how does that jibe with the idea of eating dogfood?

    Does Netscape even have a QA team?

    I've thought of fleshing out mimeTypes.rdf myself, but I can't even figure out who owns it. Mail/News? Prefs? The core browser team? With the way the project owners point fingers, can I expect anyone to lay claim to it at all?

    Maybe this is the problem.

    Don't listen to anyone who says AOL's buyout has derailed the Mozilla project. They're clearly not taking an active role at all.

    1.0 means different things in different projects, but one would expect nearly a year into the .9.x series--and two months from the putative release of a 1.0--that proper test code would be in place for core functionality like this and that things would be in a bug fix stage, not that inbound and outbound MIME handling would still be awaiting its first real-world testing two months before 1.x and more than a year after the release of Netscape 6.0.
    • > Don't listen to anyone who says AOL's buyout has derailed the Mozilla
      > project. They're clearly not taking an active role at all.

      You mean, except for the 50+ full time AOL employees who are doing coding and QA for Mozilla.
  • As far as I'm concerned, Mozilla should have stayed with the milestone numbering system.

    I HATE all the conversations about "When will it be 1.0?". The version number is an arbitrary string that has no affect on the code it is stamped on! All it does it make people complain.

    Labelling something 1.0 does not remove any bugs. It does not mean that all severe bugs have been found. It does not mean that the next patch won't cause latent memory leaks or security problems or hard to reproduce crashes. In fact, it basically means nothing other than somebody decided to label it that way. If we called the damn thing 1.0 right now, the code would be exactly the same as if we called it 0.1. Arguing over version numbers is the stupidest activity programmers do. It's basically the one moronic marketing practice that hasn't been abandoned by the open source community.

    What exactly was wrong with taking a nightly build every 4 to 6 weeks, testing it a little more thoroughly, and giving it the next whole number? They should have kept going after M18: 0.6 = M19, 0.7 = M20, 0.8 = M21, 0.8.1 = M22, 0.9 = M23, 0.9.1 = M24, 0.9.2 = M25, 0.9.2.1 = M26, 0.9.3 = M27.

He who steps on others to reach the top has good balance.

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