Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
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.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mozilla Foundation's Future: No Mozilla Suite 1.8

Comments Filter:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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 bwthomas ( 796211 ) <bwthomas@gmail.COFFEEcom minus caffeine> on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:20PM (#11906074)

    While Firefox is a memorable name, it seems like a loss not to take advantage of the Mozilla name recognition.

    That's just crazy talk. In terms of branding the name 'Firefox' has what 'Mozilla' never really had: buzz. Even people that call IE "The internet" have heard about Firefox, even if they don't know what it is. Firefox, as a brand, has momentum.

    They would be much better served if they called their organization "Mozilla", their stack of applications "the Mozilla Suite", and left the individual names alone.

  • 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.
  • 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:Good thinking! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SteelV ( 839704 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:52PM (#11906290)
    Now that's a good idea. Focus resources on developing great stand-alone apps, but allow them to pool resources when more than one is detected to be present on a system.

    I use GMail for my email address, and have it set as my primary email service through gmail notifier (although I have the system-tray "notifier" portion turned off-- just use it as a hack to get mailto: links working). When I click on a mailto: link, it opens in a new tab an email window with the respective fields already filled in. Works great.

    Now why would I want Thunderbird? For calendar, well I use a paper spiral book, sort of old school but I'm used to it, and it doesn't run out of batteries! All I need is FireFox, so make it great guys! (same with Thunderbird for those that need it, etc.)
  • Re:The Death Knell (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2005 @10:02PM (#11906352)

    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.

  • by alacqua ( 535697 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @11:02PM (#11906749) Homepage
    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.
  • 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).
  • by Myen ( 734499 ) on Friday March 11, 2005 @12:07AM (#11907105)
    Actually, I recognize 5 of the 10 names at the bottom of the open letter from Mozilla related stuff, and I'm just a guy that watches from the sidelines. And the guy that wrote the letter (bz) is like some super-developer or something - he seems to touch the Mozilla tree all over the place (in a good way), is responsive and gets lots of stuff done. He's also expressed the desire to keep the suite before, so I'm not exactly surprised to see him being part of the effort.

    I'm guessing the lack of interest before the offical "we're killing Seamonkey" announcement is because there seemed to have been no reason to step up while the situation was in limbo - backend stuff (shared w/ Firefox &c) was being done, there really wan't that much need to change the frontend drastically. Other than porting XPFE to the new toolkit I guess - not sure why they weren't majorly working on that beyond "sync blah with toolkit blah" bugs. Totally unfounded guess would be NIH.

    (As I noted - I'm just a random bystander; heck, I don't even hang out on their IRC server)
  • 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11, 2005 @01:18AM (#11907426)
    http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/asa/archives/007707 .html

    About 19 comments down, Asa's third response, should clarify things for you. Firefox/Thunderbird/Nvu/etc. will take over the Mozilla suite's old place in the active development cycle, although Asa also states that current stable releases (including Mozilla 1.4.x and 1.7.x) will continue to be supported.

    Firefox started with the Mozilla suite browser's source code, although the developers have moved the frontend to a new toolkit that's separated FF/TB and suite UI development causing suite UI development to slow down, if anything. I haven't seen an honest-to-goodness new feature (something like RSS support or junk mail controls, not bug fixes) in Mozilla since 1.4.x! Don't forget that Firefox has 25,000,000+ downloads and rising steadily. The suite couldn't claim that for Mozilla 1.7. This won't be near the end of Firefox.
  • Re:No... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by acroyear ( 5882 ) <jws-slashdot@javaclientcookbook.net> on Friday March 11, 2005 @01:25AM (#11907451) Homepage Journal
    yeah, it really comes down to question of "what would you do with it". its all good and well that everybody likes feature "X" that comes from the integrated suite that currently the separated apps can't give (doesn't mean they won't get some form of triggering the other apps as a result of this announcement), but what more do you want besides a browser that stays the way you already know?

    Mozilla SeaMonkey drove producing a set of capabilities cloning the original Netscape base it derived from (in a very detached way, of course), with the idea that Netscape/AOL (and others) could take the baseline and produce *standards-compliant* browsers on top of those capabilities.

    3 things happened, and one thing *didn't* happen.

    1) Netscape 6.x and 7.x were successfully rolled out based on the Mozilla baseline (only now 8.x has already started coming from the Firefox base, and the "Communicator" concept is gone)

    2) AOL decided, in spite of their investment, to give up the idea of actually doing an AOL browser based on Mozilla in favor of playing marketting games with Microsoft by supporting IE instead in exchange for not being blacklisted off of Microsoft's illegal (but still practiced) OEM deals.

    3) Firefox came out and had a marketting push unlike any other open source project around, including Linux distros themselves. And to top it off, the damn thing actually works (those few slashdotter complaints in this thread notwithstanding).

    the thing that didn't happen: other ISPs didn't build their own browsers on Mozilla tech. It used to be in the 90s that all the ISPs followed AOL and Compuserve's lead in taking an existing browser (usually IE) and specializing it to become part of their service. Mozilla was setting up its code base specifically for that purpose -- we provide standards-compliance and ease-of-skinning; you skin it to meet your customer's needs. Only by the time Mozilla's codebase was ready for this to actually happen, the other ISPs stopped distributing their own special browsers entirely.

    IE had won the browser wars so successfully that customers were using raw IE in spite of having the special ISP-specific version (of IE) available. So the dialup ISPs stopped doing that, and the broadband dealers had long-since known that people who go broadband have usually already gotten experience with the real browsers and avoided specialized software like the plague. This trend continued as the bugs and security holes of IE became known and the realization happened that one had to go use updated versions of the real IE to be *sure* you had a "fixed" version; with the ISP's version, you could never be sure of what was and wasn't fixed. The ISPs started running out of funds just trying to keep up with the security fixes Microsoft kept putting out all to support a dwindling userbase.

    So in the end, why invest money maintaining a codebase of a hacked version of IE that's neither being used nor giving your customers any real value? And if not with IE, then there's nothing to be gained by doing it with Mozilla, even if it is "free" compared to licensing IE.

    So the whole point of Mozilla as a means of developing capabilities for others to productize ended. nobody outside of Mozilla was really productizing it (the last straw really being when Apple went with the Konquerer baseline for Safari in spite of the speed improvements from 1.4 to 1.7), and Firefox has branded itself a hugely successful product in its own right.

    thus, aside from maintaining a configuration UI that happens to work for a small subset of people, there's little to be gained from maintaining SeaMonkey as a released product. Gecko, Xul, and the other libraries will continue to improve to support Firefox and Thunderbird -- all that's missing is the use of a browser suite to show off their new features before going into Firefox.

    and if its going into Firefox anyways, will anybody *really* miss it? The open-source philosophy will keep the Firefox people from writing generic features in such a way as to make it difficult to use them in other gecko-based products that are still out there or that will grow.
  • 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.
  • by indig0 ( 812630 ) on Friday March 11, 2005 @03:34AM (#11907955)
    Unix applications have taught me: "Do one thing, but do it well." Therefore, I consider application suites to be flawed by nature.

    Consider: Do I really need an IRC client packaged with my web browser? Why is the Moz dev team developing an IRC client when many quality alternatives already exist...? HTML Composer? I use vim. Mail Client? I use mutt 80% of the time.

    There's no reason to assume that a development team that creates a quality web browser could also write a quality e-mail client. Why can't we just accept application-specific forks (FF/TB) and move on?

    There appear to be two main reasons: "Mozilla Suite is better because of [feature or lack of problem]" and "A suite increases inter-app compatibility."

    For the first, allow me to state the obvious: It's OSS. If Mozilla has a feature or quality that you feel is superior, why don't you file a suggestion or submit code? (Yes, this is a standard OSS shoot-footing attitude, but damnit I believe in it. TANSTAAFL.)

    For the second, compatibility should depend upon open standards and protocols, not the fact that the same dev team wrote most of both.

    My simplistic suggestion? Let MoFo focus on Gecko and on pushing forward web technologies and standards, but let the FF and TB teams focus on the applications themselves. Maybe we could fork the IRC client too? ;-)

    Disclaimer: I'm a coder and power user. I've used Netscape since 1.1N and Moz for so long that I can't remember when I started.
  • Re:No... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by m50d ( 797211 ) on Friday March 11, 2005 @05:57AM (#11908410) Homepage Journal
    I suspect many people willing to support it were turned off or not let in by the foundation's elitist approach to which developers work on it. With a community dev team where you don't have to jump through hoops to get onto it, I think more people will be able to contribute.
  • Re:The Death Knell (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11, 2005 @02:59PM (#11912918)
    I'm sure even you realize the conflict of (and IMHO the humour arising from) your two comments, when first you say a thing like this: "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" And then when a minor imperfection of non-compliency (or whatever you wish to call it) in your page/code is pointed out, you reply in this fashion: "It needs to be rewritten anyway, and I'm not surprised it kicks those other browsers into "quirks mode". Shrug. It'll be fixed when I have time to fix it." Shrug? It'll be fixed when you have time to fix it? Aren't these kinds of answers pretty far from a self proclaimed "very-pedantic" and "anal-about-standards" attitude? I realize this is quite a silly little point to stick to or start arguing about, but then again, people wouldn't be pointing it out if you hadn't claimed "absolute authority" on the matter. Which in itself is quite a ridiculous claim to make no matter who you are or how good you are at what you do.

Many aligators will be slain, but the swamp will remain.