Mozilla 1.0-RC3 Browser-Suite Milestone Released
Mike Angelo -- 23 May 2002 (c)
AOL-Netscape's Mozilla Organization placed the third release candidate (RC3) edition of its upcoming Mozilla 1.0 browser suite on its public FTP server today. The latest Mozilla roadmap does not call for a Mozilla 1.0-RC3 release.
We did predict a Mozilla 1.0-RC3 release in our RC2 release story stating there: At least one more release candidate milestone (1.0-RC3) is planned before the Mozilla 1.0 release.
The Mozilla Organization's roadmap does not show a Mozilla 1.0 release either. (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.)
There are no more release candidate milestones officially planned before the Mozilla 1.0 release. Either the Mozilla Organization does not know whether there will be any more release candidates before Mozilla 1.0, or they are being secretive about their plans. However, the Mozilla Organization has planned a Mozilla 1.0 release party for 12 June 2002 at San Francisco's DNA Lounge.
Likely the most significant improvement in the 10 May 2002 Mozilla 1.0-RC2 release was the fix for the security vulnerability recently reported by Grey Magic Software. Netscape 6.2.3 was released 15 May 2002 primarily to patch that security problem.
At the time Mozilla 1.0-RC1 was released there were 533 "crash" bugs listed in Mozilla's Bugzilla bug-tracking database and there were 561 "crash" bugs listed when Mozilla 1.0-RC2 was released. The "crash" bugs count is up to 585 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 -- for the MS Windows desktop.
On the other hand, the Mozilla Tabbed Browsing might just be enough to set it apart and above other Linux-based Web browsers. However, there are several popular Web browsers for the Linux desktop such as Konqueror, Nautilus, Netscape, and Opera with which Mozilla has to compete. Opera has tabbed browing too.
Of course, the Netsape 6 browser was based on now outdated Mozilla code (Mozilla 0.9.4.1 for Netscape 6.2). It did not have tabbed browsing. However, the just released Netscape 7.0-PR1 is based on the Mozilla 1.0-RC2 code, which includes Tabbed Browsing. Linux-wise that will put Mozilla 1.x and Netscape 7.x on even footing in so far as tabbed browsing is concerned.
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.
Interstingly, since we raised the "end users" issue in previous articles, there appears to be a movement afoot by some people in the Moziila Community to get-real and make Mozilla 1.0 an end-user product. That's a good move!
If you are an end-user that would like to discuss Mozilla or would like some Mozilla help, try the #ChatZilla, #Mozilla, and #Netscape channels on the EFNet IRC network.
These IRC channels are not affiliated with AOL or its Netscape and Mozilla divisions. It's mostly Mozilla and Netscape users helping other Mozilla and Netscape users. You also will find #Caldera, #KDE, #Linux, #Mandrake, #RedHat, #SuSE, and #Windows channels on EFNet too.
Incidentally, ChatZilla is an IRC client that comes with Mozilla. Give it a try. To launch ChatZilla just go to the Mozilla Menu Bar and click Window > IRC Chat.
For more information about the Mozilla 1.0 release candidates, please see our companion article, Mozilla 1.0-RC1 Browser-Suite Sneak Preview.
What's New in Mozilla 1.0-RC3
Here is what is new in Mozilla 1.0-RC3 according to the Mozilla 1.0-RC3 Release Notes:
Here is what was 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.
However, there has been lots of bug squashing and product polishing during the Mozilla 1.0 release candidates process. Nevertheless, if the Mozilla people want Mozilla 1.0 to be a clear success, they ought to do some more bug-squashing and product-polishing before releasing Mozilla 1.0.
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.
On May 10, when Mozilla 1.0-RC2 was released, 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 had more bugs than did Mozilla 0.9.9.
Earlier today, there were 12,515 targeted, new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs and 24,031 new, assigned, and reopened bugs (open/unfixed bugs) altogether. Mozilla 1.0-RC3 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 24,000 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. A similar query made today using the keyword dataloss turned up some 150 bugs. That's not a very pretty picture either.
All this bug stuff can be confusing. The most important point is that Mozilla 1.0-RC3 includes not merely the bugs targeted to Mozilla 1.0. Rather, Mozilla 1.0-RC3 includes some 24,000 un-fixed new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs. The Mozilla 1.0-targeted bugs is merely a subset of the more than 24,000 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-RC3 for you readers that cannot wait to try Mozilla 1.0-RC3
Please see the important note in the sidebar to the right here before installing.