Mozilla 1.0-RC2 Browser-Suite Milestone Released On Schedule
Mike Angelo -- 10 May 2002 (c)
AOL-Netscape's Mozilla Organization placed the second release candidate (RC2) edition of its upcoming Mozilla 1.0 browser suite on its public FTP server today. The latest Mozilla roadmap calls for Mozilla 1.0-RC2 to have been released today. (Please see our article, Mozilla Roadmap: Mozilla 1.0-RC2 Set for 10 May Release Mozilla 1.1a for 22 May 02) for more information about the Mozilla release schedule.)
At least one more release candidate milestone (1.0-RC3) is planned before the Mozilla 1.0 release.
Likely the most significant improvement in Mozilla 1.0-RC2 is the fix for the security vulnerability recently reported by Grey Magic Software.
At the time Mozilla 1.0-RC1 was released there were 533 "crash" bugs listed in Mozilla's Bugzilla bug-tracking database. The "crash" bugs count is up to 561 open crash bugs today.
All-in-all, other than perhaps for its Tabbed Browsing feature, the Mozilla browser-suite still does not offer any compelling, performance reason for people to switch from Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser to AOL-Netscape's Mozilla browser. On the basis of overall browser performance, look, and feel, Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser still is a better choice than AOL-Netscape's Mozilla browser.
Apparently, however, the Mozilla Organization does not desire to attract end-users to the Mozilla browser suite. Interestingly, the official position of AOL-Netscape's Mozilla Organization is that it does not want end-users to run the Mozilla browser suite.
For more information about Mozilla 1.0-RC1, please see our companion article, Mozilla 1.0-RC1 Browser-Suite Sneak Preview.
What's New in Mozilla 1.0-RC2
Here is what is new in Mozilla 1.0-RC2 according to the Mozilla 1.0-RC2 Release Notes:
The download information and links are in the Resources section at the end of this article.
Lots of Bugs for Mozilla 1.0
Release of Mozilla 1.0-RC1 signaled that finally after four-years in development, Mozilla 1.0 is on its way soon. However, some in the Mozilla community question whether Mozilla 1.0 is ready for show time. One major concern is that there are too many open bugs in Mozilla. Another is that Mozilla 1.0 still does not have enough polish.
We addressed some of these concerns in our article, Mozilla Milestone 0.9.9 Branched Behind Schedule. In that article, we noted that on 1 March, there were some 12,137 targeted new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs and 21,199 new, assigned, and reopened bugs (open/unfixed bugs) altogether. However, it appeared that only 1,575 bugs were set to be fixed before Mozilla 1.0 is released.
Earlier today, there were 12,417 targeted, new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs and 23,569 new, assigned, and reopened bugs (open/unfixed bugs) altogether. Mozilla 1.0-RC2 has more bugs than did Mozilla 0.9.9.
Please see our Mozilla 0.9.9 release article for more information about and a breakdown of the targeted new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs complex.
Mozilla has bugs problems. The Mozilla developers have continually failed to get the bugs targeted to milestones fixed before the scheduled milestone branching dates. Moreover, the Mozilla developers do not seem to be very effective in keeping buggy code from getting into the development tree.
However, since the Mozilla 0.9.9 release, code-checkin practices have been tightened down somewhat. That seems to be providing some reduction in the Mozilla runaway bugs problem.
The preceding bugs discussion has focused on the impact of Mozilla's bugs on the development process. Just as important as that, if not even more important, is how the Mozilla bugs hit users. If the Mozilla bugs for the most part are trivial or only rarely occurring, then end-users likely are not going to be very upset by the bugs, However, if the bugs are more noticeable, annoying, disruptive, or result in data loss, system crashes, or application lock-ups, then users likely are going to be rather upset.
That said, the more bugs in a program the more likely users will notice them and the more likely they will be annoyed by them. Bugs in milestone development releases are understandable although not a good thing. However, releasing a Mozilla 1.0 that is so buggy could be Mozilla's death knell. More than 12,000 targeted-bugs and 23,000 open bugs in Mozilla is just too darn many bugs for a Mozilla 1.0 offering.
Incidentally, a Bugzilla query today for open bugs with the keyword crash turned up more than 500 hits. That's not a very pretty picture either.
All this bug stuff can be confusing. The most important point is that Mozilla 1.0-RC2 includes not merely the bugs targeted to Mozilla 1.0. Rather, Mozilla 1.0-RC2 includes some 23,000 un-fixed new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs. The Mozilla 1.0-targeted bugs is merely a subset of the more than 23,000 un-fixed new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs.
Please see our 0.9.4 branching article, Mozilla 0.9.4 Branched -- Behind Schedule & Buggier Than Ever, for more detail and information about the Mozilla bugs.
Mozilla pre-1.0 Milestone and daily development builds normally are available for the BSD, Linux, Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, OS/2, Sun, and several UNIX platforms. Source code usually is available if you want to custom compile your own Mozilla builds.
Incidentally, please check the MozillaQuest Magazine front-page (mozillaquest.com) sidebar every now and then for bug-count updates and for upcoming Mozilla Milestone 1.0 progress updates.
Please see our article, Mozilla Roadmap Update: Mozilla 1.0 Set Back to April 2002, for more information about the October 2001 Mozilla Development Roadmap and development schedule revisions. There is lots of bug information in that article too. For the revised post-Mozilla 1.0 development roadmap and plan please see our article, Moz 1.0 April Release Confirmed & Post-1.0 Development Plan Announced.
Downloading & Installation Info
Here are the FTP download links for Mozilla 1.0-RC2 for you readers that cannot wait to try Mozilla 1.0-RC2
Please see the important note in the sidebar to the right here before installing.