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Mozilla The Internet

Mozilla Foundation's Future: No Mozilla Suite 1.8 486

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the calling-it-quits dept.
batb0y writes "The Mozilla Foundation has published its Mozilla Application Suite transition plan, confirming that there will be no official Mozilla 1.8 release. There will be a 1.7.6 release to be maintained by the Mozilla Foundation. All future suite versions from the Foundation will be minor updates only." Don't despair, however, as there is already a community effort underway to continue development.
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Mozilla Foundation's Future: No Mozilla Suite 1.8

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2005 @08:48PM (#11905823)
    Did someone say "fork" ?
  • by Neil Blender (555885) <neilblender@gmail.com> on Thursday March 10, 2005 @08:49PM (#11905824)
    Until it doesn't happen
  • Firefox forever! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by qewl (671495) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @08:49PM (#11905831)
    I guess now we now for sure where the foundanion is headed. The new Netscape can probably take the place of a lot of the suite.
  • That sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tet (2721) <slashdot@@@astradyne...co...uk> on Thursday March 10, 2005 @08:49PM (#11905837) Homepage Journal
    I may not use the mail, news or chat parts of the suite, but the browser rocks. Firefox has done wonders for popularizing the Gecko rendering engine, but Mozilla is still the better browser. Let's hope Firefox can come up to speed soon.
    • What exactly do you like more about Mozilla than Firefox? I used to use Mozilla only and didn't like Firefox, but now I can't stand Mozilla and use Firefox exclusively.
      • Re:That sucks (Score:5, Informative)

        by Rick_T (3816) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @08:57PM (#11905902) Homepage
        > What exactly do you like more about Mozilla than
        > Firefox?

        One thing I like is searching or entering URLs in a single large bar. By default, Firefox has separate search and URL bars on the same line, which mean you can see less of the search term/url you're entering.

        My wife says that it's easier for her to open tabs with the mouse from mozilla (the new tab button is immediately obvious to her in Mozilla, but not in Firefox).
        • Well, get rid of the search form widget and type "google foobar" in your location bar. Or "imdb foobar" or whatever. Read up on Quick Searches and create your own.
          • If they stopped stubbornly adhering to that dumb "I'm feeling lucky" default, you wouldn't even need to type "google". I fixed it myself, manually, but of course I have to do so in every profile. I now just type searches into the location bar myself, having long ago given up the pretension that one should only use the interface for its "proper" function. When the interface DWIMs what I type, and I understand the DWIM mechanism so it doesn't surprise me, I'm damn sure going to let it DWIM. (That's "Do Wh
        • You know, those were the two things that were hardest for me in switching over, when I eventually did, but I rarely think of them now. I especially like Firefox's tie-in with Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" option though.
        • My wife says that it's easier for her to open tabs with the mouse from mozilla

          Whats wrong with middle mouse button? It works on bookmarks as well as links.
        • Re:That sucks (Score:3, Informative)

          by Denyer (717613)
          One thing I like is searching or entering URLs in a single large bar

          Just edit keyword.URL to http://www.google.com/search?q=

          about:config is a lovely thing. Rather like things such as TweakUI for Windows, the defaults are fine for most people, but there are few little extra enhancements that can be easily made, and which appear in plenty of hints & tips guides.

        • I agree... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Omega (1602) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:38PM (#11906218) Homepage
          Also missing:

          The Mozilla web page editor. I don't actually write web pages using it, but I do like to hit Ctrl-E every now and then to show coworkers the underlying table structure of a page. It's just a handy visual tool. Especially when I'm doing webdev.

          The sidebars. I don't know about you, but I love custom sidebars. I have one for MapQuest [mapquest.com], one for IMDb [imdb.com] and one for Lorem Ipsum [subterrane.com].

          Edit->Preferences. The only reason Options is under Tools in Firefox is because it's trying to mimic IE. :)

          Mozilla Tools:

          Translate Page

          Cookie Manager

          Image Manager

          Popup Manager

          Form Manager

          Password Manager

          Download Manager

          The File dialog. I'm sure the new open/save file dialog is easier for easily confused users, but I like having all the file managing options ready when the dialog first opens.

          I guess you could call Mozilla the programmer's web browser. Feature rich and not ashamed of it.

      • Re:That sucks (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SerialEx13 (605554) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:01PM (#11905942)
        Firefox for the most part appears as a dumbed down version of Mozilla Navigator. Kind of like comparing Windows XP and Windows 2000. Many of the options in Firefox have been removed from the Preferences. This requires more changes to be made in about:config. Firefox enables options that are similar to IE by default (resiszing images). Firefox's default download behaviour of automatically downloading has forced people who I've gotten to try and move away from IE to end up moving back because they get rather annoyed that they aren't asked where to download a file. One user's problems got even worse when it decided to switch between saving to his Desktop and Home folder. Mozilla doesn't have an annoying tiny search bar! I rather prefer being able to type long queries and see the whole text and simply either click Search or press Up and then Enter. Many people also tend to forget that when you install the Suite you have the option to not install components such as the Mail client. Whenever I install it, I only install the browser portion.
    • Re:That sucks (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Thursday March 10, 2005 @08:55PM (#11905893) Homepage Journal
      Yes. Mozilla as a browser is still much more customizable than Firefox -- or hell, I don't know, maybe it isn't, but its customization works in a way I find instantly understandable, which isn't the case for FF -- and I for one like the interface a lot better. FF, like Safari, looks like it's trying to be IE. People may bitch about how "Mozilla looks like the old Netscape," but you know, it was the old Netscape that popularized the Web. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
      • Re:That sucks (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bradac_55 (729235)
        "FF, like Safari, looks like it's trying to be IE."

        That's the point, create an open source browser that looks similar to IE and then do a better job than MS. That's the real strength of the Firefox team. They've made the Windows version the primary development product over the Linux and Mac versions. Once the Window version is at an acceptable level work on the others (not that the Linux version is worse, but the same can't be said of the Mac version).

        Once the common home users start making the switch
        • Re:That sucks (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:40PM (#11906235) Homepage Journal
          This is a philosophy for F/OSS products that I've always thought is a mistake, for three reasons. The first is personal bias: I think Micrsoft UI's are generally lousy, and if a F/OSS project is going to imitate someone else's work, IMO they should pick a better source of inspiration. Microsoft's success has nothing to do with the quality of their UI's, and everything to do with marketing.

          Second, the idea that ordinary users can't learn to switch interfaces is absurd. People have gone through DOS, the MacOS, and Windows; through WordStar, WordPerfect, and MS Word; through Mosaic, Netscape, and IE. A product that looks like the MS equivalent but isn't quite the same thing isn't the way to get people to switch.

          Which leads me to my third and most important point: if you build a product that looks almost exactly like the MS equivalent, but acts just a little different, people aren't going to say, "This is almost as good, and it's free, so I'll use it." They'll say, "This is a cheap knockoff." You can replicate every widget, every menu item, every weird behavior -- but all you'll do with that is lull people into a false sense of familiarity, so the first time something doesn't behave exactly the way it does in Windows/Word/IE, their reaction will be to assume that the F/OSS app they're using is broken, and that by extension, F/OSS is broken. And where will that send them? Right back to Bill.

          Nobody will ever be as good at being Microsoft as Microsoft is. Instead of trying to be almost kinda sorta just as good, we should try to be better -- and "better" implies "different."
          • Re:That sucks (Score:5, Informative)

            by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @10:35PM (#11906571)
            "I think Micrsoft UI's are generally lousy"

            Think again. Microsoft has spent a lot of time and money refining their UI. It may not be as clean as Mac OS, and there are definately some rough edges, but after seeing how new users pick up on Windows XP's new features, I have no doubts that their product is "easy to use".
            • Re:That sucks (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Dwonis (52652) *
              Do you know what "workflow" means? Microsoft UIs are perhaps nice for clueless users, but they're really hard to use efficiently on a day-to-day basis.

              For example, in WindowMaker (and a few other X11 window managers that I've used) you can move a window by holding down Alt, grabbing anywhere in the window (with the left mouse button) and moving the window around. Likewise, to resize a window, you can hold hold down Alt, and drag any one of the four quadrants of a window. As far as I am aware, you still

            • Re:That sucks (Score:5, Informative)

              by LnxAddct (679316) <sgk25@drexel.edu> on Thursday March 10, 2005 @11:52PM (#11907031)
              Err... I've spent alot of time with users and analyzing how to use their computers. WinXP had the worst learning curve out of all windows releases. Win2000 seems to consistently win out. Also, after users learn WinXP's UI, they still remain highly inefficient in what they do. This extends from the operating system to the Office Suite as well. Interestingly enough, OS X has the least intuitive interface (albeit the highest level of eye candy) yet after learning it, users have a higher level of functionality and ease of use as compared to WinXP. Linux desktops, while requring the highest learning curve and sometimes(depending upon the distribution) theme tweaking to be pleasant on the eyes, almost always result in the user becoming most efficient and capable of utilizing the most functionality (the two kind of go hand in hand). I think thats typical of OSS, developers throw in tons of really great ideas and other things, but often don't know how to properly implement it in an interface. Gnome is really doing quite a job of making the linux desktop experience easy for users of all needs from novices to advanced. (That is not to say anything bad of KDE, its just Gnome focuses more on a strict HIG). Of course the desktop in general is only halfway near the level it should be at and hopefully this will all be fixed within a few years.
              Regards,
              Steve
  • Not to mention... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2005 @08:50PM (#11905846)
    More to the point, the Mozilla foundation is dealing with a whole bunch of products from the original Mozilla suite (Thunderbird, Firefox, Sunbird, and others). What would be the point of pulling Firefox away from that?

    It seems like the Mozilla Foundation made a decision that they preferred the Firefox development model. Firefox, Thunderbird, and Sunbird are set to be the *new* Mozilla suite, and the old one is in maintenance mode. It seems like this is comparable to people complaining that Microsoft isn't putting enough development into Windows 3.1.... Well, yeah, it's the old product that they've discontinued.

    Now, it's all open source, so if someone wants to work on it, go ahead. But why people are trying to convince the Mozilla foundation to offload their new, exciting, successful, popular line-up of software and head back to what's become a bit of a dead-end, I don't know.
  • No problem. (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by bogaboga (793279)
    There is Firefox 1.0 and the soon to be 1.1 and if Mozilla 1.8 will not be there, theremight be 1.9 or 2.0 since development continues. Right?
  • Uuh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @08:55PM (#11905890)
    From TFA:

    Our primary concern in the short term is with being able to ship a SeaMonkey front end on
    top of a Gecko


    That doesn't sound like a developer's list, that sounds like a post on alt.sex.zoophilia.
  • So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the pickle (261584) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @08:56PM (#11905897) Homepage
    Honest question. What does it matter? Is there some great advantage that I'm not thinking of to having a giant bundled suite of apps, rather than five or six individual downloads?

    As long as there's good interoperability -- and I don't see how this decision is going to hurt that -- does it really matter whether there are five apps that each do one thing or one app that does five things?

    p
    • Is there some great advantage that I'm not thinking of to having a giant bundled suite of apps, rather than five or six individual downloads?

      You get it in one giant download, instead of five or six measly, unsatisfactory ones...
      • This is one of the reasons I like Firefox. You don't have to download all of the other packages. I wish OpenOffice were written in a way to allow you to only download/install individual components of the suite...
        • Re:So? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by SerialEx13 (605554)
          Neither does the Mozilla Suite force you to. Download the net installer and just download Navigator.
    • Re:So? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Matt Perry (793115) <perry.matt54@yahoo . c om> on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:20PM (#11906064)
      Honest question. What does it matter? Is there some great advantage that I'm not thinking of to having a giant bundled suite of apps, rather than five or six individual downloads?
      It's not just the bundling. I use the suite but all I have installed is the browser component. I just like the suite's browser better than Firefox.
    • Re:So? (Score:3, Informative)

      does it really matter whether there are five apps that each do one thing or one app that does five things?

      As others are pointing out, Mozilla.org hasn't componentized the backend ("GRE") of the applicaitons yet. That means that Firefox and Thunderbird share very little compiled code, which is not good because they aren't very lightweight programs to begin with.

      I guess Mozilla was designed from the beginning to be one big monolithic application , so discontinuing that application seems a little odd.
    • It's not the bundling or lack thereof that is keeping me from using Firefox. It's the design decision to remove features from the UI - features which I use. Sorry for the inflamatory wording, but it's the dumbing-down of mozilla browser that I don't like, not the breaking out of the applications. Heck, I like the idea of breaking them out with good interoperability. What I really want is for Firefox to be a standalone version of the Mozilla Suite browser... alas, it is not.
    • Re:So? (Score:4, Informative)

      by anonicon (215837) on Friday March 11, 2005 @12:07AM (#11907104)
      "Is there some great advantage that I'm not thinking of to having a giant bundled suite of apps, rather than five or six individual downloads?"

      It's not that, it's that Mozilla's behaviors and interface are much, much smoother compared to my experience with Firefox 1.0.0. Some key UI examples:
      * When I download from Mozilla, it automatically allows me to choose where it's going, instead of defaulting to what it thinks is best.
      * The address and search bar are combined - not separate, which means extra keystrokes to do what previously took one.
      * Searching from the /large/, not /micro/ address field takes me to the Google results page where my brain can eyeball the best possible results, instead of annoyingly, automatically taking me to the "I'm Feeling Lucky" result.
      * Removing features so that we get to play whack the mole with multiple extension downloads, installations, and configurations.
      * If you separately download Firefox, Thunderbird, and the components which give you the same functionality as Moz 1.7.x, they take up more space and have a larger memory footprint than the "kitchen sink" suite.

      There are other annoying issues to boot, but listing all of them is just kicking a baby. For now, IMO, Firefox is nowhere near as nice as Mozilla 1.7.x.
  • by blamanj (253811) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @08:59PM (#11905923)
    As I read this:

    1) Mozilla (suite) is dead. Long live Firefox.
    2) Gecko lives as the main development focus.
    3) Mozilla (suite) will be born again as Seamonkey, but won't be high visibility.

    From a development point of view, this may make sense. From a branding point of view, it seems odd. It appears that the Mozilla "brand" is being de-emphasized in favor of the individual component names. While Firefox is a memorable name, it seems like a loss not to take advantage of the Mozilla name recognition.
    • From a branding point of view, it seems odd. It appears that the Mozilla "brand" is being de-emphasized in favor of the individual component names. While Firefox is a memorable name, it seems like a loss not to take advantage of the Mozilla name recognition.
      Maybe that's because Mozilla Suite is abbreviated as "MS." Then again, if they emphasize "Mozilla Seamonkey" instead of "Seamonkey," the decision makes no sense.
    • From what I've heard, there may not be anymore "Firefox" and "Thunderbird".

      There was plans to rename them as "Mozilla Browser" and "Mozilla Mail".

      And lo and behold, my hunch is correct.

      From the branding strategy [mozilla.org]:
      Use the names "Mozilla Browser" and "Mozilla Mail" to describe the Firefox and Thunderbird projects after the 1.4 release.

      So there will be Mozilla Firefox 1.4, but 1.5 and so on will be called Mozilla Browser. Firefox's popularity might change these plans though.
      • That's talking about the 1.4 release of Mozilla. The page you reference is about 35 years out of date.
      • Changing brand names at this pont would be ten kinds of retarded. A few every day people are starting to realize that there's an internet outside of Internet Explorer. Fewer still are realizing that firefox exitsts. To change brand names again will kill any chance they have of gaining a substantial amount of mindshare.
    • It's got a great and long history, but I think the plain truth is that the word "Mozilla" sucks. It was funny in the Netscape 4.x days, "Huh huh, mozilla. Netscape rulez," but it now sounds like a nerdy in-joke. While valuable to the culture of the developers and OG users, there's just no way I could bring myself to tell people, "I use Mozilla browser and email." An irrational personal problem to be sure, but what's so wrong with the animals? Their icons are certainly better and more identifiable.
    • > While Firefox is a memorable name, it seems like a loss not to take advantage of the Mozilla name recognition.

      You: Oh yes, Mozilla, of course itself a name pun on Mosaic, when Marc Andreesen couldn't call it Mosaic anymore what with it being connected to UIUC and all, so he started developing a new commercial browser, calling it "Mozilla". Well, of course that didn't make a respectable brand, but if you look in the old Netscape readme files, you'll see "It's spelled N-E-T-S-C-A-P-E but it's pronounce
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday March 10, 2005 @10:13PM (#11906410) Homepage
      Ok, just a recap for those who are confused (I have no inside knowledge, but this is what I've gathered from public statements and the development pages):

      The mozilla foundation, somewhere around 2 years ago, decided replace the Mozilla suite (which has had the codename "Seamonkey") with a group of standalone applications. There were projects already underway to create a standalone version of the browser and e-mail client, and the Mozilla foundation chose these two (which after a couple name-changes became Firefox and Thunderbird) to serve as the base for their development.

      Originally, "Firebird" and "Thunderbird" were meant to be code-names for these apps while they were under development, as Seamonkey was the codename for the Mozilla suite. When these products reached version 1.0, they were supposed to be renamed "Mozilla Browser" and "Mozilla E-mail".

      However, the development versions of the software had become famous/popular enough that people become worried that changing the name would lose name-recognition (which is bad for branding purposes) so it was decided instead that they'd be called "Mozilla Firefox" and "Mozilla Thunderbird". As far as I can remember, those are now the final names, but perhaps someone who knows better will correct me.

      Anyhow, these stand-alone apps were designated to be replacements/upgrades for the old suite, and indeed, most users have stopped using the old suite and are using the new applications. However, many developers still prefer the old suite and are gearing up to start a development group independent of the Mozilla Foundation and branch off from Mozilla 1.7. For this purpose, it has been suggested that they call the software "The Seamonkey Internet Suite" because, no longer being affiliated with Mozilla, they can't use the "Mozilla" name.

      Make sense?

  • by linebackn (131821) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:02PM (#11905950)
    Firefox was supposed to be the replacement for the Mozilla suite for a long time now, but I find it a tad lacking because the e-mail client is separate, and is the composer even being maintained any more by anybody? It wouldn't be such a big deal if Firefox had all of that included. (as optional components of course).

    I am also still not crazy about some of the new features in Firefox 1.0, but I imagine these will be worked out in time.

    Perhaps now that they are officially abandoning the suite and focusing in one direction, there will be more of a push to include or exclude features to make former suite users happier.
  • by panaceaa (205396) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:02PM (#11905954) Homepage Journal
    Can someone please explain what the Mozilla Foundation did, and why it is being discontinued? I thought, in the most recent versions, the Mozilla suite was Firefox and Thunderbird and the other mozilla.org projects bundled together. Or was Mozilla still the old Gecko code from before it was pulled out and put into a stand-alone browser?

    Does this announcement mean that bundles of all the Mozilla suite pieces will no longer be created, or is the old architecture of the Mozilla browser going away? Is some other group or project going to do the bundling instead?

    Thanks for answering my questions!
    • by arthurs_sidekick (41708) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:14PM (#11906031) Homepage
      Mozilla == the successor to Netscape Communicator. It spoke HTTP(s), SMTP, POP, IMAP, IRC and other stuff. It was the original "kitchen sink" wrapper around the Gecko HTML/XML rendering engine.

      Firefox and Thunderbird were split off as standalone apps that embedded the Gecko rendering component and a few other goodies from the original Mozilla suite, but they've always been their own critters, from an application standpoint.

      So, now it looks like major development on Gecko-based products is going to be on apps that do one small cluster of things well, instead of a large app that does lots of things.

      clear 'nuff?
    • by typhoonius (611834) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @10:00PM (#11906341) Homepage

      You're confused. That's okay, though, it's confusing because there are so many things that use the "Mozilla" name.

      The Mozilla Foundation supports the Mozilla Project. The Mozilla Project includes the Gecko rendering engine and associated technologies such as XPCOM and XUL. It's more than simply a browser; it's a framework for creating applications. It just happens that these applications are mostly browsers.

      The Mozilla Suite (codenamed SeaMonkey), Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird, and Camino are all examples of programs that use this framework and that are managed by the Mozilla Foundation.

      Galeon, Epiphany, and K-Meleon are examples of programs that use this framework but operate outside of the Mozilla Foundation (it's all open technology, after all).

      All of these programs use Gecko, the rendering engine and probably the most important part of the Mozilla Project. It not only renders the HTML of web pages but also the user interfaces of many of these apps (through an XML language called XUL). This adds quite a bit of flexibility (it's the reason why we can write Firefox extensions quickly and easily in XUL, JavaScript, and CSS).

      The Mozilla Suite was something of a proof of concept for all these technologies. It's modeled after the old Netscape Communicator Suite. It has a browser, mail client, WYSIWYG editor, JavaScript debugger, IRC client, and probably some crap I forgot about. UI-wise, it hasn't changed in a long time; in fact, it still mostly looks like Netscape 4. It's existed all this time mainly because:

      • Some people prefer the UI. It's clean, conservative, and certainly functional.
      • That said, the UI isn't its purpose. Officially, the Mozilla Suite is a very fancy demo for Gecko, XUL, and so forth, and Firefox and Thunderbird are the actual, real-world implementations of all this technology.
      • Before Firefox and Thunderbird hit 1.0, the Foundation needed the Suite to have at least one stable shipping product to show.

      You can imagine that people who have been using the suite since before Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox existed kind of find it a little silly that suddenly the Suite is considered a fancy demo when, for a long while, it was all the Project had to show (aside from Netscape, which is simply a half-hearted repackaging of the Suite).

      Firefox and Thunderbird are basically forks of the browser and mail client components of the Suite respectively. They have arguably better interfaces and more features (both have RSS support, for instance, which is missing entirely from the Suite).

      I'm a Firefox user, but I'll miss the Suite since it was the application that introduced me to the Mozilla Project, the best thing to happen to the web in a long time, but I accept that nostalgia doesn't pay the bills. Still, I think the Foundation should put out one last Mozilla Suite release. It's kind of cheap to pull the plug on it while the users are waiting for the next version.

  • Good thinking! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SteelV (839704) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:04PM (#11905964)
    Obviously the stand-alone apps like Firefox and Thunderbird are where the future's at. They aren't quite as bloatetd, and allow the user to choose what he wants. It also isn't as difficult for me to tell my friend to download a new browser (firefox) and try it out. Try telling him to download a whole software Suite when he might be using a webmail like outlook, and another calendar program! Never going to happen :)
    • I'm inclined to agree with this. What I think should probably be added is a modular API that will allow developers to code applications in such a way as to be easily added to or subtracted from the suite, with corresponding icons appearing sort of Mozilla-style at the bottom of the window (or wherever the theme allows). Say someone wants a browser and calendar program, but uses GMail for correspondence. OK, download Firefox and Sunbird and plug them together. Or perhaps they want an Outlook replacement,
  • Not a major issue (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr (15451) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:04PM (#11905967) Homepage

    Reading everything, this looks like a minor issue. They're just saying "Mozilla-the-suite is going away. If you want a browser, use Firefox. If you want mail/news, use Thunderbird.". The code isn't going away, if I read it right, just the one-big-suite front-end as a product on it's own.

  • Makes sense, but (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Qwavel (733416) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:05PM (#11905970)
    It is natural that they would want to eventually stop maintaining two seperate product lines.

    But, it was nice having an integrated suite. Perhaps they could offer a suite of firefox/tbird/sbird/composer? Preferably they would all share common code like Gecko.
  • The Death Knell (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hacker (14635) <hacker@gnu-designs.com> on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:06PM (#11905973)

    But why? Before you mod me down, hold on a second...

    Mozilla's suite, speaking just about the browser component, is FAR superior to what Firefox offers. Not only are there many more options for security, cookies, Javascript, saving form data, and many other things... that killing the suite, even if it was just this ONE component, would really be a bad move on their part.

    Personally, I don't like Firefox at all. Even though they're both based on the Gecko engine, Firefox renders CSS much differently than Mozilla in some cases. Mozilla tends to be more accurate with placement. Its not as flexible, and it just looks plain ugly (as compared to Mozilla again, even with the same theme).

    I can't speak for the other parts, because I only use the browser component of the Mozilla suite (and I'm a full-time, very-pedantic, anal-about-standards, web developer, so I can speak with absolute authority on this; my internal QA/test suite includes 13 browsers before I release a site to a client). Firefox, while great as an MSIE replacement, can't even remotely compare to what the Mozilla Suite browser component offers.

    Don't kill the Mozilla Suite, please, and if you do, at least keep the Mozilla Browser component around.

    • Re:The Death Knell (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Firefox is currently using an older version of Gecko

      The latest version will be fully integrated in 1.1 and will in fact be one of the major upgrades of 1.1

      As far as I know, this is the reason FF renders differently, so it should be the same as Seamonkey by then
      • Re:The Death Knell (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The latest stable releases of Mozilla 1.7.5 and Firefox 1.0.1 use the same Gecko 1.7.x rendering engine. Once Firefox 1.1 comes out, then it will be a step ahead in terms of final releases. Right now only the beta releases of Mozilla 1.8 have Gecko 1.8 in them. I don't know why FF would render differently than Mozilla other than comparing FF 1.0.x to a development version of Mozilla 1.8.
    • Re:The Death Knell (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:38PM (#11906214)

      I'm a full-time, very-pedantic, anal-about-standards, web developer, so I can speak with absolute authority on this

      I just clicked on your link, and you are out of spec. because you serve XHTML as text/html without complying with Appendix C of the XHTML 1.0 recommendation.

      Furthermore, your code kicks Internet Explorer and Opera into "quirks mode", where they intentionally go out of spec. in order to cater to non-compliant pages.

      If you are going to claim to be an absolute authority on something, make sure you're doing it right, eh? :)

      • Re:The Death Knell (Score:3, Informative)

        by hacker (14635)

        "I just clicked on your link, and you are out of spec. because you serve XHTML as text/html without complying with Appendix C of the XHTML 1.0 recommendation."

        MSIE doesn't support XHTML, at all. I know all about the issues with text/html [hixie.ch], but this allows the site to function for those using a crippled browser (MSIE).

        "Furthermore, your code kicks Internet Explorer and Opera into "quirks mode", where they intentionally go out of spec. in order to cater to non-compliant pages."

        That main page was a tes

        • Re:The Death Knell (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          this allows the site to function for those using a crippled browser (MSIE).

          No, you misunderstand. I'm not saying that serving XHTML as text/html is wrong, I'm saying that serving XHTML that doesn't comply with Appendix C is wrong. RFC 2854 doesn't permit it. You are violating the text/html specification.

  • How Fitting: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by homeobocks (744469) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:10PM (#11906007)
    In Douglas Coupland's book "Microserfs", "Seamonkeys" is a term used to describe a project that is never going to be completed.
  • by Trillan (597339) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:11PM (#11906013) Homepage Journal

    The Mozilla Foundation has been looking for people to work on the Mozilla Suite for a while now. Nothing prevented people from doing work on it.

    That it was killed indicates there just wasn't enough support to continue it.

    Thus, the help for the community is limited to those who either were not aware help was needed, or are willing to work on a rebranded Mozilla Suite (it's trademarked, isn't it?) but not on the original Mozilla Suite while the Mozilla Foundation drove it.

    In short, new developers and people who fork for the sake of forking.

    • by GigsVT (208848) on Friday March 11, 2005 @02:02AM (#11907634) Journal
      I wouldn't be so sure... the number of critical bugs in the bugzilla for both Firefox and Mozilla reflects the total mismanagement of the projects. New management might be a good thing, and I'd be a hell of a lot more likely to contribute if I didn't have the feeling of total helplessness caused by bugreports ignored for 3-5 years.

      A short list:
      You can't download more than 2-3 files at once in firefox. Trying to download more causes the dialog to come up when another file finishes.

      Mozilla/Firefox store your credit card numbers in plaintext if you don't completely turn off autocomplete. (They closed this one WONTFIX)

      Browser blocks a ton of ports for "Security reasons" that no other browser does. (I guess plaintext credit card numbers aren't a security problem, but somehow this is??)

      And that's just off the top of my head. All these bugs have been around for at least 2-3 years.
  • Does anyone know if this will impact Camino [jasperhauser.nl] (the Mac OS X front-end using a Gecko backend). It sounds like they've already had to make a leap similar to what the SeaMonkey effort appears to be contemplating now, but even with just a voluntary effort these changes may be significant.

    Josh [mozillazine.org] (one of Mozilla's recent hires) posted what sounded like great news about Camino's short and medium term release cycle back on March 5. But these latest revelations may have raised some employment questions for guys like h

  • What about Firefox? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by northcat (827059) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:20PM (#11906066) Journal
    Does this mean there will be no more Firefox and the whole mozilla/gecko/whatever has stopped or that only the bundled mozilla suite will stop and it will continue as firefox, thunderbird etc? If only the bundled suite has stopped, how does this affect firefox etc? Doesn't firefox etc benifit from the development of the mozilla suite by taking much code from mozilla suite?
  • by sho222 (834270) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:24PM (#11906101)
    Can someone please tie this into a Google conspiracy for me? I don't understand /. articles unless they somehow involve Google taking over the world.
  • by teslatug (543527) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:26PM (#11906128)
    They should keep the brand Mozilla, by maybe offering a package of Thunderbird, Firefox, and friends, and calling that Mozilla (Suite?). It's not going to be as integrated, but at least they're not losing the brand name (for which so many people have fought for a long time).
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:30PM (#11906161) Homepage Journal
    Aren't they saying that they're transforming the project from an "suite" of Mozilla browser and Thunderbird mail/news, with lockstep releases, into ongoing Firefox development, and ongoing Thunderbird development? With ongoing maintenance of Mozilla 1.7.x, turned over to the community (not funded or directed by the old group)?

    All their announcements (posted by different people, linked to other websites for "clarification") talk about a failure to communicate expectations to developers, consumers, members of the team. Well, this announcement is confusing, and exactly the reason why corporations continue to consume inferior Microsoft crap: because Microsoft clearly communicates what will be released, so corporate IT can plan around it. Even when Microsoft lies about releases, they give a clear communication for PHBs to use in their management jobs. Which is the number one priority for success in corporate environments.

    This transformation might very well produce a continuing improvement in Internet client apps, as the project team members claim. (Though the separation of the Internet Search field from the Get URL field from Mozilla -> Firefox will surely cripple my own productivity :(.) But announcing the transformation in terms of the demise of the organization, and "I'm sorry there will be no next version", is a total fumble. It will scare off consumers, and developers. I just hope that loss doesn't reduce Firefox's momentum below the critical mass it's developed, just before Microsoft releases their (probably competitive) next version of Internet Explorer. Accompanied, of course, by the maximum PR and documentation to exploit the Mozilla fumble.
  • Composer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by allrong (445675) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:31PM (#11906168) Homepage
    I'm interested to find out what happens to the Composer (Mozilla Editor) component. Will this be avialable as a stand alone programs like Firefox and Thunderbird? I often recommended it as a free WYSIWYG editor. IIRC Nvu depends on a Mozilla installation anyway, at least for Linux.
  • by voss (52565) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @10:35PM (#11906570)
    Geezus you guys put out a Beta version and then
    say "oh we never intended to put out a Final 1.8"

    BULLCRAP...and they KNOW its bullcrap!

    You have a 1.8 that is 99% done, FINISH IT!.

    This is not Windows 3.1...This product had a new beta put out LAST MONTH! The nightlys say "Beta 2"

    Take out the unimplemented features, fix the bugs release 1.8 and call it a day.
  • vote on it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KuNgFo0 (519426) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @10:50PM (#11906669) Homepage
    People keep shoving down my throat that "nobody wants big-bad-bloated mozilla anymore firefox is the future!!111 omg" when I know for a fact many people prefer the Mozilla Suite and will defend it to the end. I think it would have been nice for the Mozilla foundation to have had some kind of vote to get a more formal count to justify their actions.

    I have still yet to see a single, solid reason on why Firefox is supposedly better.

    • Is 10 megs really that much harder to download then 5? Is it?
    • Mozilla has about a 1.5 second dry startup time on my two year old computer, is that too much time to wait?
    • Do you Firefox users actually prefer editing a 10 page config file rather than having a nicely-laid out preferences window? I hope you realize the only reason so many useful settings have been stripped from Firefox is because they think its users are too stupid to handle them. I don't know about you, but this is insulting to me.
    • Why should I have to download 10 different inconsistently-maintained extensions for Firefox just to restore the functionally that Mozilla has had for years? And why do I have to redownload half the extensions again nearly every time there's a new release of Firefox that breaks them all? "but hey, extensions are l33t!" you say? Newsflash: Nearly every extension made for Firefox works fine in Mozilla, and has for a long time.
    • God don't get me started on the "brilliant" idea of having a separate search box. I thought the idea of Firefox was making things simpler, not making them more kludgy.
    Plain and simple, Firefox is a dumbed-down toy to satisfied the 10-second-attention-spanned mouth breathers. Firefox will not, and never will, fill the void left by the disbanding of Mozilla.

    end rant, commence modding

    • Re:vote on it (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rura Penthe (154319)

      Do you Firefox users actually prefer editing a 10 page config file rather than having a nicely-laid out preferences window? I hope you realize the only reason so many useful settings have been stripped from Firefox is because they think its users are too stupid to handle them. I don't know about you, but this is insulting to me.

      As a (primarily) OS X user, the Mozilla suite's preferences window OFFENDS me. It is repugnant. I cannot fathom how any human being with even a rudimentary grasp of proper user i

    • Re:vote on it (Score:4, Insightful)

      by davids-world.com (551216) on Friday March 11, 2005 @04:45AM (#11908195) Homepage
      I hope you realize the only reason so many useful settings have been stripped from Firefox is because they think its users are too stupid to handle them. I don't know about you, but this is insulting to me.

      1. You seem to be making the very common mistake to think that you are representative of the general population (potential users). The IQ is distributed normally, that is, it follows a bell curve. That entails that on average, people have an IQ of 100, and the largest number of people have exactly 100. (It's not their fault, and it's not a problem. No need to pity them, no need to be arrogant about it.)

      2. Even as people gifted with an above-average intelligence, I'm not sure if we want to waste our time learning about configuration options of our applications. We're not the boy scouts. Your browser is a tool. It's not a goal in itself. That's essentially why I like OS X, and it's a criticism that applies to a large proportion of open source software coming from Linuxland.

    • Re:vote on it (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mrchaotica (681592)
      Do you Firefox users actually prefer editing a 10 page config file rather than having a nicely-laid out preferences window?
      Yes.
  • by sewagemaster (466124) <sewagemaster@NoSPaM.gmail.com> on Thursday March 10, 2005 @10:58PM (#11906725) Homepage
    coincidentally, i just downloaded the nightly build [newaol.com] last night after reading all the great stuff about it few weeks ago [slashdot.org],and was amazed by the speed improvements. i had a bunch of apps (pdf viewer, thunderbird, licq, multiple konsoles) running while running kde, and the mozilla nightly build started in no more than a second, and page rendering was even faster than firefox. i run firefox mainly as a browser, and i do prefer the UI in firefox, but the mozilla nightly just absolutely wowed me.
  • by Ghostgate (800445) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @11:53PM (#11907035)
    I can't believe how many people I am seeing, on Slashdot no less, saying something along the lines of "What's the big deal if there's no Mozilla suite? Just get Firefox and Thunderbird! It's the same as Mozilla, just separate!"

    No. Actually, the Mozilla browser and Firefox are quite different. This is the main reason that many people (myself included) don't want Mozilla to be discontinued. We prefer the Mozilla browser over Firefox. To some of us, Firefox feels like a "dumbed down" version of the Mozilla browser. Now, I understand the intent is for Firefox to appeal to a much wider audience, and that is fine. Believe me, I am behind the Firefox effort 100%, and I install it for people all the time when trying to wean them off IE. But many of us still vastly prefer the Mozilla browser for our own personal use.

    There are many other reasons I prefer the Mozilla browser over Firefox, as well as many reasons I enjoy the full Mozilla suite. But that is not really the point of this post. The point is that the Mozilla browser and Firefox are two different things.
  • Fonts (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Richard_J_N (631241) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @11:56PM (#11907049)
    There is one other great joy about the suite that FF/TB do not have: clear, sharp, crisp fonts.

    I realise this is personal, but cannot bear antialiased fonts - they appear blurry and out of focus, and they give me eye strain. Yes, FF/TB let you switch off antialiasing (as configured by the gnome control panel), but then you get the spidery mess that results from scaled, non anti-aliased true type fonts.

    BUT, in the suite, (using then non-XFT builds), I can have perfect, sharp fonts using the old fashioned 100dpi (bitmap) fonts. This makes Mozilla so much easier to read!

    Other problems with TB/FF: the extensions do not play nice with rpm/urpmi; the keys (Ctrl-[1-5] and Ctrl-N/M don't work (eg no keyboard accelerator in TB to open a new window in FF); less functionality; hidden dependence on the gnome-control-panel (for default browser/fonts); less effective toolbar (google/URL are in separate bars).
    • Re:Fonts (Score:3, Informative)

      by kosmosik (654958)
      You can try recompiling your freetype library to support patented BCI mechanizm (it is perfectly legal to do so). When you do so, with proper fonts (like mscorefonts) you will get exactly the same look as on MS Windows. ;) I use such setup. fonts. in range of 8px to 12px are non-antialiased, fonts outside that range and bold are antialiased. It looks really slick for me. In fact I can post a screenshot to give you insight on what I mean.

      http://oceanic.wsisiz.edu.pl/~kosmowsk/misc/sla s hd ot1.jpeg
  • by DeVilla (4563) on Friday March 11, 2005 @12:23AM (#11907171)
    In the netscape days I never use the whole suite outside of the browser. I didn't even trust it. In the mozilla days, I eventually got to the point I use the browser, mail/news reader, the editor and even the irc client. With the smart email harvesting, I guess I'm even indirectly using the address book.

    I'm sure Firefox is nifty, but it sound like it's not all that mature yet, and I don't want to regress, yet again. I definatly am not ready to trust thunderbird. I'm still pissed from when I experimented with a maturing balsa, just to have it mangle my mail files, hose it's indexes, and start deleting the wrong messages.

    My desktop is not a toy and there are certain function that should not be in constant beta. Email is one of them. Now I have to find a way to migrate, yet again, to something stable and functional for a mail and news reader.

    And yes, I know there will probably be a community project that takes over. There will be a question of migration since we already know they can't use the same name, it's safe to say the dot directory will change and probably some of the files there in. And then there is a question of how smooth the transition will be. Will the software stay stable through all the churn. Will it stagnate like the old netscape suite? Do I want to bet another mailbox on it?

    If there's going to be a migration, I want to at least be sure that the there is a stable program at the other end of the migration. Right now, the suite soon to be formerly known as Mozilla is an unknown.

  • This Really Sucks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LuYu (519260) on Friday March 11, 2005 @01:01AM (#11907335) Homepage Journal

    I really like Mozilla. I was just thinking last night how irritating it is to use Firefox.

    • The configuration options suck.
    • That image minimizer thing is just incredibly annoying... and it cannot be disabled.
    • There is also the absence of a button to create new empty tabs.
    • Also, new empty windows always have that stupid "About:" address in the URL entry window.
    Maybe this is good for Windoze users, but it sucks for those of us who are not under the influence of the Beast at Redmond. I hope something is done about this. In fact, I am using Mozilla right now to compose this.

    I have used many browsers in the past (Firefox, Galeon, Opera, Konqueror, IE, Netscape, NetFront, Lynx... you name it), and I keep coming back to Mozilla. Every time I get frustrated with another browser, Moz has a way to solve the problem. Sure, it is not perfect, but it is way better than most I have used.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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