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Mozilla The Internet

Mozilla Foundation's Future: No Mozilla Suite 1.8 486

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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  • That sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tet ( 2721 ) <slashdot@astradyn[ ] ['e.c' in gap]> 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • No... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Trillan ( 597339 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:01PM (#11905944) Homepage Journal

    If Mozilla Suite had community enough to support it, they would have been integrated into the Mozilla Foundation to begin with. That it's been dropped like this shows there are plent of people willing to talk about supporting it, but not enough people willing to actually do it.

    Mind you, maybe this will shake some supporters out that didn't realize things were in such rough shape.

  • 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 :)
  • 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.

  • Re:So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SerialEx13 ( 605554 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:10PM (#11906004)
    Neither does the Mozilla Suite force you to. Download the net installer and just download Navigator.
  • Re:That sucks (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SCVirus ( 774240 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:22PM (#11906090) Journal
    So lets have someone spend ten minutes and make a mozilla skin for firefox.
  • Re:The Death Knell (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:23PM (#11906092)
    Actually, the failure of mozilla and the success of firefox in a way reflects the failure of Linux and the success of Windows. 99% of computer users have no use for all those features of Mozilla. They want an app that just works and doesn't need, or want configuration. FF fits the bill, small, simple.

    Windows comes in basically one flavor, you install it or buy a computer with it installed and that about the end of the configuration, then it's all about using Photoshop, or Word.
  • yo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) * on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:24PM (#11906102)
    That should be spelled as "congratumalations." FYI.
  • by MasterOfDisaster ( 248401 ) <kristopf AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:24PM (#11906104) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • 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.
  • Re:That sucks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bradac_55 ( 729235 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:31PM (#11906162) Journal
    "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 in mass it's easier to show them other projects like OpenOffice, etc. Then after they are accustomed to looking for and using Open Source projects it'll be easier to move them to a Linux distro.

    - Brad
  • 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? :)

  • by BeemerBoy ( 24030 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:39PM (#11906222) Homepage
    Damn shame. Dump a product that actually WORKS for two that crash and/or lock up all the time. Makes perfect sense to me. :-/
  • by SILIZIUMM ( 241333 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:39PM (#11906226) Homepage
    Geek joke, like many on /. You must be new here.
  • 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."
  • by bersl2 ( 689221 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:48PM (#11906271) Journal
    But all was not lost, for from the ash rose a great bird.

    Um... looks like we need a new entry in The Book of Mozilla.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2005 @10:01PM (#11906348)
    I use Mozilla suite because the memory footprint is incredibly smaller than having FF & TB open at the same time. FF on my wifes computer if left running for long (which she does) consumes huge amounts or memory. I have heard this from many others as well.
  • 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

  • by Curtman ( 556920 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @10:50PM (#11906671)
    Um... looks like we need a new entry in The Book of Mozilla.

    And what did the bird (Phoenix/Firebird) do? He:

    • cast
    • fire and thunder upon them
  • Re:That sucks (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AnxiousMoFo ( 816405 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @11:03PM (#11906755)
    There's a different philosophy for free software that I think is also a mistake: expose every option that anyone would ever think is useful. It looks like the decision algorithm for putting something in Mozilla's Preferences dialog was based on whether someone, at some time, thought it might be useful. Ditto for putting something in the Sidebar (why would I want my address book in my browser's sidebar?). In general, Firefox's UI is much cleaner and simpler, and closer to the UNIX philosophy and the philosophy of most good applications: do one thing and do it well.

    Actually, come to think of it, exposing every possible option is something that Microsoft likes to do, too - just use Outlook for five minutes and compare and contrast with a saner email app like Thunderbird or Apple Mail.

    I do agree with your point about free software and Microsoft UIs - it's something I think to myself every time I use KDE or StarOffice.
  • Re:That sucks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dwonis ( 52652 ) * on Thursday March 10, 2005 @11:08PM (#11906790)
    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 can't do anything like that in Windows; You have to grab the title bar or the window edges, which requires much more precise mouse movement. It's absolutely terrible with a trackpad. (I imagine some people can work around this by maximizing all their windows all the time, but I find that just slows me down even further.)

    And don't even get me started on Microsoft's recent practice of moving icons around so that you can never get used to where they are...

    It's nice that people come up with all sorts of theories as to why Microsoft's UIs should be nice and wonderful and easy to use, but my experience is that they are, as Daniel Dvorkin put it, lousy.

  • 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.
  • Re:So? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by powermung ( 780700 ) on Friday March 11, 2005 @12:27AM (#11907197)
    I'd been a Firefox user since the Phoenix 0.1 days, but recently switched to Mozilla 1.8B for speed and memory requirement. Firefox is actually slower than Mozilla now as covered by slashdot before, and Firefox and Thunderbird load their own separate page rendering engine unlike the Mozilla suite. In my case, I save about 10-15Mb RAM with Mozilla. The reason why I switched to Firefox in the first place was the promise of being lean and fast. I for one am sorry to see the Mozilla suite go.
  • Re:So? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by anonicon ( 215837 ) on Friday March 11, 2005 @12:38AM (#11907240)
    Yes, you're right, but instead of defaulting to the base behavior of Mozilla, the developers made the decision to completely change the behaviors unless you're willing to muck about in the config file to restore that functionality.

    For me, it was annoying but fixable, and points 4, 5, and unnamed 6-x still stand. For newbies or the tech-shy who aren't comfortable tooling around in the config file, they're stuck with these behaviors until their son visits to fix these 'problems' (hopefully before they exercised their right to say "screw it" and switch back to IE).

    In short, none of their decisions are fatal, but IMO they add to the annoying factor that cruds up the acceptance rate. YMMV.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11, 2005 @12:46AM (#11907267)
    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.

    So, is WinFS going to be shipped with Longhorn? Will it be backported to XP? If "Microsoft clearly communicates what will be released", then those questions should be easy for you to answer.

  • 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.

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

    by ( 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 ) on Friday March 11, 2005 @06:19AM (#11908475)
    Do you Firefox users actually prefer editing a 10 page config file rather than having a nicely-laid out preferences window?
  • by Tincan2k ( 839706 ) on Friday March 11, 2005 @07:54AM (#11908804)
    Hmmm. Ok, if you want more configuration options I guess you wouldn't like the current ones. To each their own. That said, disable the image minimizer - Preferences, Advanced, Browsing - Uncheck "Resize large images to fit in the browser window". If you want a button that creates new empty tabs, View, Toolbars, Customize and drag the "New tab" icon onto the toolbar. "About:" addresses aren't stupid. They don't even show up for new tabs. I'm using Firefox 1.0/Linux, so I don't know where that came from.

  • Re:That sucks (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11, 2005 @10:45AM (#11909863)
    And every program overriding system defaults serves to *break* ui consistency.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford