Mozilla 1.3 Browser-Suite Released
Mike Angelo -- 13 March 2003 (c)
[Webmaster's Note: Story and Links update in progress now!]
AOL-Netscape's Mozilla Organization placed its third post-Mozilla-1.0 release, Mozilla 1.3, on its public FTP server today. Mozilla 1.3-alpha (1.3a), was released on 13 December 2002 and Mozilla 1.3-beta (1.3b), was released on 10 February 2003.
In effect, Mozilla 1.3 will be a replacement for Mozilla 1.2.1. Mozilla 1.3 was scheduled for release on 21 February 2003 and is nearly three weeks late.
The Mozilla 1.3 download information and links are at the end of this article.
The Mozilla Organization placed the Mozilla 1.2.1 update milestone release to its Mozilla 1.0 browser suite on its public FTP server on 2 December 2002 -- just seven days after releasing Mozilla 1.2. In effect, Mozilla 1.2.1 was a replacement for Mozilla 1.2, which was recalled only two days after its release.
The Mozilla Organization pulled the links to its 26 November 2002 Mozilla 1.2 release from its Main and Release Web pages on 29 November -- because Mozilla 1.2 was too darn buggy! With the Mozilla 1.2 release, Mozilla quality assurance sank to a new low as the cumbersome Lizard slinked off with its tail drooped down between its legs. Please see Table 2, below, for the increase in Mozilla bugginess from the Mozilla 1.1 release to the Mozilla 1.2 release.
For the details and more information about the problems and bugs that forced the Mozilla Organization to recall Mozilla 1.2, please see our article, Buggy Mozilla 1.2 Recalled.
Mozilla 1.3a and Mozilla 1.3b sported some improvements and new features since Mozilla 1.2.1, Mozilla 1.1 and Mozilla 1.0. However, overall Mozilla has more bugs now than ever and the Mozilla Organization still is playing footsie with security and privacy issues. Please see Table 2, below.
The Mozilla 1.3 release is nearly three-weeks late. The Mozilla Roadmap called for Mozilla 1.3 to have been released on 21 February 2003. However, unfixed bugs prevented Mozilla 1.3's timely release.
However, not all the bugs that were targeted to be fixed before the Mozilla 1.3 release have been fixed or resolved. A check of Bugzilla, the Mozilla Project bug tracking database earlier today showed that there are more than 2,600 (2,633) unfixed and unresolved bugs targeted to have been fixed or resolved before the Mozilla 1.3 release. Of that more than 2,600 bugs, 2593 were targeted to have been fixed or resolved before release of Mozilla 1.3b
Mozilla 1.3b was late, also. The Mozilla Roadmap called for Mozilla 1.3b to have been released on 24 January 2003. Unfixed bugs caused Mozilla 1.3b to be released 10 February 2003, nearly three weeks late.
The Mozilla 1.3a release was a week late. The Mozilla Roadmap called for Mozilla 1.3a to have been released on 6 December 2002. However, unfixed bugs prevented Mozilla 1.3a's timely release, too.
Mozilla 1.1 Killed Mozilla 1.0, Etc.
The releases of Mozilla 1.2/1.2.1 and Mozilla 1.3 put more nails in the coffin of the Mozilla 1.0 browser-suite and its ensuing 1.0.x editions. Earlier the release of Mozilla 1.1 in effect killed Mozilla 1.0.x, if the release of Mozilla 1.1-beta had not done so already.
In effect, the release of Mozilla 1.1 killed Mozilla 1.0 and its 1.0.x maintenance upgrade progeny as viable product. To whatever extent Mozilla 1.0 and Mozill1 1.0.x still might have had any viabiltiy left, the releases of Mozilla 1.2/1.2.1, and now Mozilla 1.3 kill it even deader.
We suspect effectively killing Mozilla 1.0 as soon as it could be killed has been the intent of the Mozilla Organization all along -- despite Mozilla Organization verbiage that Mozilla 1.0.x is supposed to be a long-lived branch. However, that is another story for another day. Meanwhile, please see the sidebar About the Mozilla Organization Verbiage to your right.
On the other hand, AOL-Time-Warner continues to base its Netscape 7 releases on Mozilla 1.0.x code. The recently released Netscape 7.01 is based on pre-Mozilla-1.0.2 code. Netscape 7.02 is based on Mozilla1.0.2 code. Incidentally, Mozilla 1.0.2 was released on 15 January 2003.
Now that Mozilla 1.1, 1.2.1, and 1.3 have been released, there is not much use to using what now likely amounts to a quality-wise, technology-wise, and usability-wise outmoded Mozilla 1.0, 1.0.1, or 1.0.2 builds. Mozilla Organization people claimed that Mozilla 1.1-beta was more stable and better than Mozilla 1.0.1. Moreover, Mozilla 1.1 was released before Mozilla 1.0.1 ever saw the light of day.
It has been more than eight months since the release of Mozilla 1.0. However, rather than use those eight months to get rid of Mozilla bugs and problems, the Mozilla developers have added lots of features. Features are nice, but bugs are not nice.
We have not tested Mozilla 1.3 yet. However, AOL-Netscape's Lizard does not seem to be one that can change its spots. While the Mozilla 1.3 AOL-Netscape Lizard will have more features than do Mozilla 1.2.1 and Mozilla 1.3a, it likely will come with most all of those bugs, resource hogging, and poor performance spots in Mozilla 1.2.1 and Mozilla 1.3a
Even so, Mozilla 1.1 brought down one of our Linux test machines recently. It is a 1-GHz Pentium 3 with 512-MB of hard RAM and 512-MB of Linux Swap space on the hard drive, running Mandrake 9.0. Mozilla sucked-up some 84.8% of memory -- pulling the free Swap space down to 14-KB, which resulted in the box locking.
The memory-related stats for mozilla.bin from the Linux TOP utility observed when this Linux lock-up occurred include a SIZE of 788-MB and an RSS of 413-MB. The Manual page for TOP describes SIZE as the size of the task's code plus data plus stack space and RSS as the total amount of physical memory used by the task. At the time of the lock up on the Mandrake 9.0 box there were 133 processes -- 106 sleeping and 27 running.
Of course allotting more Linux Swap space might prevent Mozilla from locking the box. However, there is no reason a well-designed and well-programmed Web browser should eat up 84% of memory on a box with 512-MB of hard RAM. In other words, Mozilla is a poorly-designed and poorly-programmed application.
Much as with the pretty yet sour lemon, the Mozilla 1.x branch (as opposed to 1.0.x branch) is loaded with new features (the pretty part) but also has lots of obnoxious bugs (the sour part). Mozilla 1.2 was so bad that it had to be recalled and replaced with Mozilla 1.2.1.
Mozilla 1.2a was released with nearly 1,300 bugs still targeted just to it. And that's just a smattering compared to the 27,435 open new, assigned, and reopened bugs listed in Bugzilla, the Mozilla bug-tracking database at the time Mozilla 1.2a was released -- plus 4,584 unconfirmed bugs.
On the day Mozilla 1.2.1 was released there were more than 29,000 open new, assigned, and reopened bugs listed in Bugzilla plus more than 5,300 unconfirmed (not yet triaged) bugs listed in Mozilla's Bugzilla. Interestingly, nearly 3,000 of those 29,000 bugs were targeted to have been fixed before release of Mozilla 1.2. Even more interesting is that only 28 of those then yet unfixed 3000 bugs were targeted for Mozilla 1.2. All the rest of those nearly 3,000 bugs were supposed to have been fixed before release of pre-Mozilla-1.2 milestones -- and they should have been fixed long before release of Mozilla 1.2.
On the day Mozilla 1.3b was released, there were more than 30,244 open new, assigned, and reopened bugs listed in Bugzilla plus nearly 5,700 unconfirmed (not yet triaged) bugs listed in Mozilla's Bugzilla.
Earlier today there were more than 30,500 open new, assigned, and reopened bugs listed in Bugzilla plus more than 5,900 unconfirmed (not yet triaged) bugs listed in Mozilla's Bugzilla.
The points here are simple ones. The Mozilla developers are not getting bugs fixed on schedule. Bug counts are incresing. New code, such as new features and improvements, is being written to an increasingly buggy code base -- thus compounding the bug problems. Mozilla is a poorly managed project! Please see Tables 2 and 3, below.
Too Many Crash Bugs in Mozilla 1.3
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 was up to 618 open crash bugs by the time Mozilla 1.1a was released and the "crash" bugs count was 620 open crash bugs when Mozilla 1.1b was released. On Mozilla 1.1 release day, the "crash" bugs count was 663 open crash bugs. By the time Mozilla 1.2.1 rolled around, the "crash" bugs count was up to 718 open crash bugs.
On the day Mozilla 1.3b was released, the "crash" bugs count was down to 672 open crash bugs. Earlier today, the "crash" bugs count was down to 665 open crash bugs. Although those are nice improvements from the 718 open crash bugs in Mozilla 1.2.1, 675 open crash bugs still is too darn many crash bugs.
Mozilla Not for End Users
Apparently, 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 Mozilla Community to get-real and make Mozilla 1.0, et sequitur, 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 Mozilla 1.0 comprehensive coverage articles:
What's New in Mozilla 1.3.
Here is what is new in Mozilla 1.3 according to the Mozilla 1.3 Release Notes:
What's New in Mozilla 1.3
* Mozilla Mail has junk-mail classification. With some initial "training" the client can identify and segregate spam messages from good messages. To see more about Mozilla's junk-mail classification, visit the Mozilla Spam Filtering page.
* Newsgroup filters have been implemented.
* An initial implementation of Mozilla Midas, rich text editing controls, have landed in Mozilla for 1.3. See the Midas page for more information.
* Image auto sizing allows a user to toggle between full-sized images and images sized to fit the browser window. To give it a try, load a large image into the browser window or size the window to be much smaller. Now clicking on the image will alternate between auto-sized and full-sized.The feature can be disabled (or enabled) from the Appearance panel in Preferences.
* Users can now "dynamically" switch profiles. To give it a try, from the tools menu select "Switch Profile..."
* Find as you type, formerly known as type ahead find, has a new preferences panel (Advanced: Keyboard Navigation).
* When installed, Chatzilla now has a normal Mozilla preferences panel.
* Mozilla 1.3 also includes fixes for performance, standards compliance and site compatability.
New Additions to the Release Notes
These are items that have been added to the release notes since the last milestone although the bugs themselves may have existed previously.
* On Mac OS X, XPInstall has been disabled for 1.3. This means that extensions and themes will not install for Mozilla 1.3 on Mac OS X. (bug 181293)
* The mozdev spellchecker released for earlier versions of Mozilla does not work with 1.3 or newer builds and will lead to crashes. Please upgrade to the new spellchecker (bug 185251
* The MRJ Java plugin is not available in Mozilla 1.3, so LiveConnect does not work. Mozilla will use Apple's Java Applet plugin, if available, to display applets. (bug 97613
The download information and links are in the Resources section at the end of this article.
Lots of Bugs for Mozilla 1.1 and 1.2/1.2.1 -- More for 1.3
By Mozilla 1.2 release day, the targeted, new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs count was up to 12,512. The new, assigned, and reopened bugs (open/unfixed bugs) altogether bug count was up to 29,263 bugs. In addition there were 5,188 untriaged (unconfirmed) bugs listed in Bugzilla on Mozilla 1.2 release day.
On Mozilla 1.3a release day there were 29,548 open new, assigned, and reopened bugs listed in Bugzilla plus 5,493 unconfirmed (not yet triaged) bugs listed in Mozilla's Bugzilla. The targeted, new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs count was up to 12,487. Please see Table 3.
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. For more information about how Mozilla bugs impact on the user experience please see our articles A Quick Look at Some Mozilla 1.0 Browser-Suite Annoyances, Bugs, And Issues, Mozilla 1.0 Browser Quick Look, and Mozilla 1.0 Browser-Suite's E-Mail & News Quick Look .
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.
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.
Incidentally, a Bugzilla query today for open bugs with the keyword crash turned up nearly 700 hits. A similar query made today using the keyword dataloss turned up 183 bugs. That's not a very pretty picture either.
All this bug stuff can be confusing. The most important point is that Mozilla 1.3 includes not merely the bugs targeted to Mozilla 1.3. Rather, Mozilla 1.3 includes some 30,000 un-fixed new, assigned, and reopened Mozilla bugs. The Mozilla 1.3-targeted bugs is merely a subset of the more than 30,000 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 post-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 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 articles, Moz 1.0 April Release Confirmed & Post-1.0 Development Plan Announced and New Mozilla Roadmap Sets 1.1 for 9 August 2002 and Effectively Kills Mozilla 1.0.x
Downloading & Installation Info
Here are the FTP download links for Mozilla 1.3 for you readers that cannot wait to try Mozilla 1.3
Please see the important note in the sidebar to the right here before installing.