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Mozilla Puts A Stop To Browser Suite
TechWeb ^ | March 11, 2005 | Gregg Keizer

Posted on 03/11/2005 3:04:42 PM PST by Eagle9

After several days of confusion about the future of its open-source browser suite, the Mozilla Foundation called it quits, and announced that it would stop development of its namesake.

All development efforts will instead be focused on Firefox, the foundation's stand-alone browser, and Thunderbird, its e-mail client. Supporters of the Mozilla browser suite, however, aren't ready to throw in the towel, and it appears likely that it will live on under a new name and under the aegis of an independent developer community.

The Mozilla suite, now five years old, is a collection of browser, e-mail client, and HTML editor, the collection's contents harking back to the Netscape suite, the forerunner of the open-source Mozilla. In 2003, the Mozilla Foundation was formed, took over development of the suite, and announced plans to roll out stand-alone applications, the first of which became Firefox.

Although it had been the stated intention of the Foundation to stop what it called the "final stable branch" of Mozilla (which in Mozilla-speak is rendered as "Seamonkey") at the 1.7.x line, the group had confused the issue by releasing alpha and beta versions of Mozilla 1.8, fueling speculation that it was moving onto 1.8. That speculation surged last weekend, when the foundation posted notes from a staff meeting that read "Mozilla 1.8 final: To be discussed tomorrow whether we do one."

"The ongoing alpha and beta releases of Seamonkey 1.8 have suggested that the Mozilla Foundation itself will be creating a 1.8 final release. This is not our plan," said the foundation in a posting to its Web site late Thursday.

"There is no doubt that the series of 1.8 alpha and beta releases have caused some confusion about whether there would be a 1.8 product released by the Mozilla Foundation. In addition, a set of people have done a non-trivial amount of work on 1.8 features, thinking this would be part of an official Mozilla Foundation release. This has been a major error on our part. These contributors have reason to be unhappy with us. We can only apologize, at the same time recognizing that apologies only go so far and can't fix the error."

Mozilla reiterated that the 1.7.x line of Mozilla -- the current version is now 1.7.5, with 1.7.6 expected shortly -- will be the last of the maintained suites it releases. Any future releases, it added, would be minor update only.

That decision didn't sit well with a number of developers who have put time into the Mozilla suite. They called for continued development of Seamonkey (Mozilla) by a new crew, under a new name, a plan that the Mozilla Foundation immediately supported. The foundation said it would offer infrastructure hosting and the legal work in obtaining a new name, which may well turn out to be Seamonkey. The new group has a site hosted by Mozilla here, and has put out a call for testers of the 1.8 edition.

The demise of the Mozilla suite, said various Mozilla Foundation developers, shouldn't come as a surprise.

"We first published our intentions two years ago," said Asa Dotzler, Mozilla's release coordinator, on his blog. "After two years of incremental change, we've shipped Firefox 1.0 and Thunderbird 1.0.

"Going forward, Firefox and Thunderbird are the [foundation's] premier applications -- the applications we will productize, ship, and support. They are where our future lies -- and so our focus."

Firefox, which has been slowly but steadily nibbling at Microsoft Internet Explorer's market share, has been downloaded nearly 27 million times since it rolled out in version 1.0 last fall. The foundation doesn't publicize download numbers for Thunderbird, its stand-alone e-mail client.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: browser; firefox; mozilla; thunderbird
In other news:
TechWeb
Mozilla Rolls Out RC For Thunderbird 1.0.1
March 11, 2005

The Mozilla Foundation rolled out the Release Candidate of Thunderbird 1.0.1, indicating that the final version of the newest open-source e-mail client's newest edition is just days away.

Like Firefox 1.0.1, the update to Mozilla's popular stand-alone browser, Thunderbird 1.0.1 contains no new features, but is instead a security update that plugs some potential phishing and spoofing holes.

The Release Candidate for 1.0.1 can be downloaded from Mozilla's Web site for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

1 posted on 03/11/2005 3:04:43 PM PST by Eagle9
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To: Eagle9
That's okay, Mozilla was starting to become a dinosaur anyway.  Firefox is great.
2 posted on 03/11/2005 3:06:22 PM PST by usgator
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To: Eagle9

I'm glad to see the Mozilla Foundation is getting past the main problem with open source applications: lack of direction and goal-setting. I just hope the guys who wanted to continue work on the Mozilla Suite (and there were plenty) don't become embittered and leave.


3 posted on 03/11/2005 3:08:14 PM PST by Terpfen (New Democrat Party motto: les enfant terribles)
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To: ShadowAce

Browser ping!


4 posted on 03/11/2005 3:09:09 PM PST by Eagle9
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To: Eagle9

Firefox is awesome!


5 posted on 03/11/2005 4:24:40 PM PST by soccer_linux_mozilla (I believe in the potential of Open Source software: Linux, Mozilla, Firefox, OpenOffice,etc)
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To: Eagle9

In many ways I like Mozilla better. This is sad.


6 posted on 03/11/2005 4:30:40 PM PST by Revel
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To: rdb3; chance33_98; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Bush2000; PenguinWry; GodGunsandGuts; CyberCowboy777; ...

Browser ping


7 posted on 03/11/2005 6:24:41 PM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: Eagle9

A new company will form from this. This is great. Competition is ALWAYS good.


8 posted on 03/11/2005 6:39:57 PM PST by BigSkyFreeper (You have a //cuckoo// God given right //Yeeeahrgh!!// to be an //Hello?// atheist)
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To: Revel
In many ways I like Mozilla better. This is sad.

Yeah, I think it's sad that you still like Mozilla too

=)

9 posted on 03/11/2005 7:12:30 PM PST by usgator
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To: Eagle9
They called for continued development of Seamonkey (Mozilla) by a new crew, under a new name, a plan that the Mozilla Foundation immediately supported.

God, not another name change!!!!! These people need to realize that Brand awareness is important.

10 posted on 03/11/2005 9:06:29 PM PST by zeugma (Come to the Dark Side...... We have cookies! (Made from the finest girlscouts!))
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To: usgator

Well I can understand how you feel. Mozilla is for adults. The interface is more complicated, but offers so many more settings. Some of which are not on firefox. Firefox does have its own good points for sure. For who like the the special bookmard features...It is good. And Mozilla will not let delete bookmarks and view/change there properties by right clicking on them. You are forced to do it the "manage bookmarks" area. But there are features in Mozilla that just are not in firefox. The cookie controls are way better in Mozilla. The download options are better. And a ton of other features that are not offered in the "Childs" interface of Firefox. Firefox should have more adustable options. For the children they can keep it simple. For the adults they could put a single check box to open up advanced features.Then it might be a better browswer. However...I really like the integrated email and composer in Mozilla. And I don't even have to have the email part open to see if I have new email. The browser will signal me. And one click in the broswer will then open the email. I am not so sure you can get firefox and thunderbird to do that. I have never tried thunderbird...so I don't know. The bad thing about both firefox and Mozilla is that stupid "salt" folder for the profiles. Transfering profiles to another computer is a real time consuming pain in the butt because of that.


11 posted on 03/12/2005 10:04:47 PM PST by Revel
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To: Revel
Well I can understand how you feel. Mozilla is for adults.

oooohhh ... that's a good one!  I'll bet you lost a lot of sleep until you thought that one up.  What's next: only gays don't use Mozilla?

Please keep those brilliant put-downs coming, revel.  It's obvious we could learn a lot from you.

Mozilla is for adults.

HAHAHAHAHAHA  Sorry, I keep laughing just thinking about it.     Where do you come up with them?  In fact I ... I ... BWAHAHAHAHA ... sorry, I just can't go on .... hahahahaha

12 posted on 03/12/2005 11:40:01 PM PST by usgator
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