Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2 aka Netscape 7.0-beta Browser-Suite Released
Mozilla 1.0 updated!
Mike Angelo -- 25 August 2002 (c)
Moreover, the Netscape 7.0 directory structure already is in place on the AOL-Netscape FTP server(s). That means that Netscape 7.0 could be released to the public this week.
We suspect that Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2 is really pretty much the work of AOL-Netscape developers producing Netscape 7.0 -- that it really is AOL-Netscape (a commercial for big profit enterprise) releasing Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2 -- and AOL-Netscape is looking for free help from the Open Source community in beta testing AOL's Netscape 7.0.
If that is so, then AOL-Netscape ought to put what we believe to be, de facto, a Netscape 7.0 beta edition, hiding as Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2, on the AOL-Netscape FTP servers -- and label it Netscape 7.0-beta -- or something to that effect.
AOL-Netscape released its Netscape 7.0-PR1 edition to the public on 22 May 2002. We have not published a review of Netscape 7.0-PR1. However, many of the pros and cons discussed in our comprehensive Mozilla 1.0 coverage also apply to Netscape 7.0-PR1. Much of our discussion here today also will apply to Netscape 7.0 because it is likely that Netscape 7.0 will be based on a Mozilla 1.0.1 release candidate or final code. Netscape 7.0-PR1 was based on Mozilla 1.0-RC2.
Meanwhile, AOL-Netscape continues to update its very old and very out of date Netscape 4 series. Just two days ago on 23 August 2002, AOL-Netscape released Netscape 4.8 to the public.
Interestingly, the Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1 update to its Mozilla 1.0 browser suite was made available for public downloading on 15 August 2002. However, neither that release of Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1 or the release of Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2 have been announced on the Mozilla Organization main Web site page. This is a clear departure from past procedures. Additionally, the non-announcing of the Mozilla 1.0.1 release candidates on the main Mozilla Organization Web page is one reason that leads us to believe that Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2 is really an AOL Netscape 7.0 beta disguised as a Mozilla 1.0.1 release candidate.
So far, the Mozilla Organization has not provided release notes for either Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1 or Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2. Yet another departure from Mozilla Organization standard release procedures.
Moreover, at press time the latest Mozilla Roadmap Schedule does not call for a Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1, a Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2, nor a Mozilla 1.0.1 release (Please see Figure 1, below).
However, a 1.0.1 release is depicted in the Mozilla Roadmap Tree Management diagram. Incidentally, that Tree Management diagram also shows a Mozilla 1.0.2 and a 1.0.3 release but the Roadmap Schedule does not show a 1.0.2 or a 1.0.3 release (Figure 1) at this time.
Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2 is pretty much the same as Mozilla 1.0. That final Mozilla 1.0 release was placed on the Mozilla Organization public FTP server more than eleven weeks ago on 5 June 02.
Interestingly, the Mozilla 1.0.x editions of the Mozilla browser suite, including Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2, pretty much have been killed by the recent Mozilla 1.1-beta release and the upcoming and now past due Mozilla 1.1 release. That means also that if Netscape 7.0 is based on Mozilla 1.0.x code, it already will be substantially outdated when it is released -- worthless.
The horrible oingo.com History Tab bug seems to have been fixed in Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1. One of the most obvious and onerous Mozilla 1.0 Sidebar bugs was the oingo history-tab bug. When you selected the History sidebar tab, Mozilla, without you so requesting Mozilla to do so, downloaded and displayed an oingo.com Web page. This bug made opening the Mozilla Sidebar History tab a very annoying pain in the butt. (Please see Figure 2, below.)
The Mozilla 1.0.1 release candidate for Windows (Mozilla-win32.zip) we looked at seems faster and perkier than Mozilla 1.0. Additionally, there has been a tables layout bug that resulted in some Web pages with tables to not display correctly. So far, it seems at least to have been partly fixed in Mozilla 1.0.1-RC1. (Incidentally, many MozillaQuest Magazine pages are being displayed incorrectly in Mozilla 1.0 and earlier Mozilla releases due to this tables Bug. You can force Mozilla to correctly render those pages by hitting the reload button until Mozilla gets it right.)
There are few, if any, new features in Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2. The Mozilla 1.0.1 milestone release will be pretty much a maintenance upgrade aimed at fixing highly visible bugs in Mozilla 1.0, particulalry bugs involving stability and polish issues.
Although new features, per se, are not on the Mozilla 1.0.x agenda, there are low-risk, minor, polish enhancements such as the New Tab button added to Mozilla 1.0.1. The general plan is to make only very low-risk bug-patches to the Mozilla 1.0, Mozilla 1.0.1, et sequiter branch of the Mozilla development tree.
However, some new features have been added to the Mozilla browser suite in Mozilla 1.1-alpha, which was released on 12 June 2002, and Mozilla 1.1-beta, which was released on 22 July 2002. New features, bug-fixes, architecture development, and so forth will be added to the main trunk of the Mozilla code-base. The milestones based on the main trunk will be designated as Mozilla 1.1 et sequiter. Please see our articles New Mozilla Roadmap Sets 1.1 for 9 August 2002 and Effectively Kills Mozilla 1.0.x, Mozilla Roadmap: Mozilla 1.0-RC2 Set for 10 May Release Mozilla 1.1a for 22 May 02 and Turmoil in MozillaLand: Current Status of Mozilla 1.0, 1.0.1, and 1.1-Alpha for more information about the post-Mozilla 1.0 roadmap and development plan.
At the time Mozilla 1.0-RC1 was released there were 533 crash bugs listed in Mozilla's Bugzilla bug-tracking database, 561 crash bugs listed when Mozilla 1.0-RC2 was released, and 585 crash bugs listed when Mozilla 1.0-RC3 was released. When Mozilla 1.0 was released, the crash bugs count was up to 585 open crash bugs. Additionally there were some 150 dataloss bugs listed in the Mozilla bug-tracking database, Bugzilla, on Mozilla 1.0 release day.
The crash bugs count is up to 664 open crash bugs today. Additionally there were more than 150 dataloss bugs listed in the Mozilla bug-tracking database, Bugzilla, 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. Moreover, there are several Windows browsers that provide tabbed browsing.
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.
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 recently 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. Opera has something similar to tabbed browsing too and tabbed-browsing is in the works for Konqueror.
The Mozilla browser-suite is much lighter than the Netscape browser-suite. So, that should give Mozilla an edge over Netscape in the battle for the Linux desktop. Additionally, the Mozilla browser-suite is Open Source whereas the Netscape browser-suite is proprietary. On an emotional basis that also should give Mozilla an edge over Netscape in the battle for the Linux desktop.
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.
Interestingly, 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.x 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 Mozilla 1.0, please see our comprehensive Mozilla 1.0 coverage.
What's New in Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2
[Note: This section is awaiting Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2 release notes for updating. However, so far the Mozilla Organization has failed to provide publically available release notes for Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2. Stay tuned.]
Here is what is new in Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2 according to the Mozilla 1.0.1-RC2 Release Notes:
The download information and links are in the Resources section at the end of this article on Page 2.