Differences between Mozilla 1.5, etc., and Firebird?

Discussion in 'Firefox' started by Larry G, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. Larry G

    Larry G Guest

    What are the differences between Mozilla 1.5 and Firebird? And, are there
    any differences between Netscape 7.1 and Mozilla 1.5, 1.6a, etc.?

    I've been thinking about downloading Mozilla for its pop-up blocker, but
    then read Netscape might already have it.

    Thanks in advance,
    Larry G, Dec 1, 2003
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  2. Best bet for accurate information is to read the release notes for these
    various releases.




    Leonidas Jones, Dec 1, 2003
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  3. Larry G

    Keith Bowes Guest

    Yes, Netscape 7.1 has a pop-up blocker. Since the Mozilla site is now
    difficult to navigate, I'll give you a little history lesson.

    When Netscape 4.5 was released in October 1998 (after being acquired by
    AOL), they simultaneously started the Mozilla Project (mozilla.org) to
    form the open-source basis of Netscape 5 (which was named Netscape 6).
    The first binary versions of Mozilla started popping up in March, 1999.
    Netscape 6 was prematurely released in November 2000. Netscape 7,
    released August 2002, was what Netscape 5 should have been--based on
    Mozilla 1.0.

    Alongside Mozilla 1.0 and Netscape 7, Phoenix (now called Firebird, due
    to a legal dispute) was created, to be a small browser-only release.
    Firebird lacks many of the features of Mozilla; those are implemented
    via extensions, which are a hassle.

    The current status is AOL dropped Netscape after getting what they
    wanted from Microsoft (the short end of the stick), Mozilla is
    prospering (Mozilla 1.4 is the latest stable, and 1.6b is on its way),
    and you've got to either love or loathe Firebird.
    Keith Bowes, Dec 1, 2003
  4. What about 1.5?
    Leif K-Brooks, Dec 1, 2003
  5. Larry G

    Ed Mullen Guest

    Mozilla 1.5 Release is very stable. It's my default program. Mozilla
    1.6 Alpha is available for testing. Next up will be 1.6 Beta. Then 1.6
    Release Candidate x (one or more). Then 1.6 Release. Beyond that I
    won't even attempt to describe the development map and build
    nomenclature. ;-)
    Ed Mullen, Dec 1, 2003
  6. Larry G

    dantu Guest

    Um, AOL didnt acquire Netscape until 24 November 1998 well after the
    advent of 4.5
    The Mozilla.org project also predates the merger.

    Yes the first binaries of the 5 series did start showing up in March of
    99, but it was then that it was realized that due to certain components
    of Communicator being copywrited, an entire rewrite would be required.
    Out of that came the Gecko engine, and the product we now know as
    Mozilla. Due to the rewrite, the release of Netscape 6 (based on
    Mozilla prior to the 1.0 milestone) was much delayed. And then when it
    did come out, it was a horrible flop, due to it being based on a product
    that was in effect a beta product at the time.

    Netscape 5 was supposed to be based on the open source of Communicator
    upgrade. When that fell thru, the version was changed to 6 when the not
    then ready Mozilla product was rushed to market. The new name/version
    of Netscape 7 was chosen to differientitate the product from the dismal
    failure that was 6.

    AOL closed Netscape because it simply couldnt afford to spend money on a
    program, with which it had no income stream. Prior to the merger,
    Netscape was netting about $100 million per quarter, but based mostly on
    other aspects of its business, NOT the browser product at all. AOL had
    absorbed most of those aspects of the business (inclusive of the
    lucrative Netscape portal) leaving Netscape (the division) with just the
    browser - with which there was little hope of income (hard to make
    money when you have to give away your product to compete). AOL is not
    the money making machine it was, it spent billions on TimeWarner in the
    hopes of creating a multifaceted information empire, but found that
    combining the magazines/movie/TV/internet was beyond its capabilities.
    It also spent 4.2 Billion on Netscape and got less than 1 billion in
    income in return (tho income from the Netscape portal will steadily
    increase that). In short, AOL bought the future and then found the
    future wasnt what it thought it would be.

    AOL divorced itself completely from the Mozilla.org program (which it
    never really owned anyway), by cutting the apron strings, providing 2
    million of seed money and some equipment to it. Mozilla.org is now
    completely on its own.

    The latest stable release is 1.5.1 actually.
    dantu, Dec 1, 2003
  7. Larry G

    Keith Bowes Guest

    I was a little fuzzy on the details. Thanks for correcting this slight
    Yes, but the rendering engine was still superior to Netscape 4.x (since
    about M10, probably). Also, Netscape should have had seven or eight
    Now, that is the part of the story that I find hard to believe. They
    should either admit they did it for marketing reasons or explain the
    I have no problem with AOL discontinuing Netscape, since Mozilla will
    always be ahead (and, AFAIK, is more widely used than Netscape) and
    Netscape has that whole notoriety thing. But it is the decision to
    discontinue it immediately after getting license to use IE that raises
    suspicion. As with the versioning, they seem to be omitting certain truths.
    Another product of ambiguity. 1.4.1 (I forgot about this minor update
    in my original post) is actually the latest stable version, as in what
    is recommended for use. The latest stable build as far as program
    stability is concerned is the latest nightly build. Either way, anyone
    who wants something that just works should avoid Firebird.
    Keith Bowes, Dec 2, 2003
  8. Can you please show a single page on mozilla.org saying that?
    Leif K-Brooks, Dec 2, 2003
  9. Larry G

    dantu Guest

    dantu, Dec 2, 2003
  10. Larry G

    dantu Guest


    Of course the rendering agent was superior in 6, it was
    Gecko! The same rendering engine in use today

    Admit what? That the planned use of Communicator as an open source fell
    thru? Thats a matter of public record.

    This is what fell through and work had to begin afresh on an entirely
    new program, what we now know as Mozilla. The first six months or so,
    trying to base things on Communicator open source had to be thrown out.
    The problems with using Communicator as a source was that not all parts
    of the code were Netscape's (parts were licensed from other developers)
    and over the years the code had been so enhanced by so many, that it was
    very difficult to follow. It was just simpler to throw everything out
    and start anew. This is a big part in the delay to get a new browser
    out, which led to the premature release of Netscape 6 of course.
    What do they have to explain? Netscape 5 (which never existed really)
    was suppossed to be based on an open source development of the
    Communicator code. When that turned out to be non doable, the emphasis
    was switched to creating an entirely new program from scratch, and this
    program begat Netscape 6 (based on Mozilla .87 thru .94) and then
    Netscape 7 (Mozilla 1.02 and later)

    the release of Netscape 6 was totally premature, it was rushed to market
    to suit the marketing types, who wanted something to show to clients
    (mostly commercial clients who had Netscape 4x releases - who then went
    elsewhere, 6 being what it was)
    Most of the developers, and testers who had any input to the project
    were adamant that it should at least be called a BETA product, but once
    again the marketing types over ruled, and Netscape 6 was born. They
    even persuaded Netscape (the portal) to tout it as a 'replacement' for
    Communicator. 6 was based on .87 and .94 of Mozilla and was really
    totally unsuitable for a end user program at that point.

    Even marketing belatedly admitted this when they decided to rename the
    Netscape product based on Mozilla 1x Netscape 7, an effort to distance
    the product from the dismal failure that was Netscape 6

    Um who is hiding what truths Keith?
    AOL doesnt own Mozilla, it never did. Mozilla does its own thing.
    AOL did plan to have its Netscape (browser) division base further
    products on the Mozilla products, outfitted with AIM, ICQ and Netscape
    (portal) mail links, and this is what AOL finally closed down.
    As to why they did, one can only speculate, AOL isnt saying exactly all
    the factors that went into the decision. The fact that AOL convinced MS
    to give them a long term license was a known fact prior to the
    announcement of Netscapes demise. Sure it was a contributing factor,
    but it wasnt the only factor in the decision.

    No, Mozilla 1.5.1 is the latest stable release

    1.5 is listed as the product, l.6 is listed as a technology preview.
    (1.5.1 is a Mac only build off the stable 1.5)

    1.4 isnt even listed on the products page, its been replaced by 1.5

    Firebird .7 is a development
    Thunderbird .4 is development as well
    dantu, Dec 2, 2003
  11. Larry G

    Ed Mullen Guest

    Too confusing for mere mortals. The Mozilla nomenclature derives from a
    development architecture. People who seek, either at Walmart or via
    online, actual "stuff" they want to buy or use can't follow it. If
    Mozilla wants to be anything other than a niche oddity it needs to
    change its public persona. Hell, I follow this stuff and I'm confused.

    I couldn't care less what any company or organization calls any internal
    project; pick a name, call it anything. I don't care. But, when you
    put it out there, alpha, beta, test, release, free, pay to play,
    anything, label it in a sensible manner. To do anything else is
    marketing suicide.

    And what the hell is the difference between Mozilla 1.4.1 Stable Release
    and Mozilla 1.5 Release? Aside from the feature and bug resolution
    differences? I mean, what the hell is is the difference between a
    "stable release" and "release?" Jesus, no wonder the average person
    runs screaming from this software.

    Listen, lest anyone get their underwear all in a twist, yes, I'm a
    Mozilla Champion. I love the software. I try to help others who are
    trying to figure it out. But that doesn't mean I think it's without
    flaws, nor that I think the folks who manage it are totally clued into
    the marketing of it.

    Just my three cents.
    Ed Mullen, Dec 3, 2003
  12. Larry G

    dantu Guest

    For my money, each numerical increase is a stable release.
    I.e. 1.5 (1.5.1) is the latest stable release
    1.4 (1.4.1) was the previous stable release

    For example, 1.6a, 1.6b, 1.6RC1 are developmental releases
    when 1.6 is released, it will be a stable release
    When will 1.6 be released? when its stable enough <g>
    Who knows how many nightly builds or release candidates there will be
    between now and then, not me.
    If the build isnt stable enough we may even see 1.6rc2 1.6rc3 and so on,
    but once it is stable enough it will be 1.6

    I think its become quite simple.
    Once the build becomes stable enough, it will be released and given a
    release number (the next one will be 1.6 of course)
    nightly builds after such will have a build number, but generally will
    be referred to as 1.7

    It may take 2 months (60 nightly builds +-) or 3 months (90 +- nightly
    builds) for a version to reach release status (stable). 1.6 is probably
    very close (the release candidate moniker is a give away).

    Users, or those not interested in testing, dont have to look any further
    than the Mozilla home page or the products page.
    1.5 currently is listed as THE product
    1.6a (or 1.6rc1) is currently listed as a development product, for
    testers and those who want to be on the bleeding edge.
    Ergo, users should use 1.5 (1.5.1 Mac)
    Testers can use 1.6a or 1.6rc1
    other testers can use he nightly builds

    In other words, as it seems to me, there WOULDNT be a 1.5 release
    unless it was stable, it would still be in nightlies or in the disguise
    of 1.5rc1, 1.5rc2 and so on. It wouldnt be released as 1.5 unless it
    was stable enough to merit such.
    To explain it another way. 1.6rc1 (release candidate 1) is now out. If
    that doesnt meet stable requirements, then 1.6 wont be released, it will
    be held back until there IS a stable branch of 1.6 that merits the
    dantu, Dec 3, 2003
  13. Larry G

    Jarmo P Guest

    Firebird is my default browser, what is to avoid there?
    Same usability as Mozilla 1.5 for browsing, but no added email etc. things
    that I don't use. I think the development guys find it faster to make new
    things, not that i seem to need any now, than having to maintain the whole
    Mozilla suite?
    Jarmo P
    Jarmo P, Dec 3, 2003
  14. Larry G

    dantu Guest

    Firebird is still in beta at the moment, and has not implemented all the
    features found in the suite.
    Some people prefer to have the 'suite', one program handling most
    internet connections, others dont
    In time Firebird will progress to the point where the suite will be
    redundant, and then when Thunderbird (the standalone email/news client)
    reaches the same state, people will be able to recreate the suite by
    getting both <g>

    The plan was (still is) to have each component of the 'suite' available
    on its own, so people can use as much or as little as they desire.
    Once all components reach release stage, they will work together as
    seamlessly as the suite

    The 'suite' model was pioneered by Netscape, and as such was carried on
    by Mozilla. One download and you had most everything you needed to
    communicate over the net, no need to download a seperate program for
    mail. It appealed to many. No need to learn two separate programs.
    The component model (such as Firebird/Thunderbird) can be made to serve
    those who dont want a suite model, but also can be configured as a
    complete suite if someone wants such (a download that gets you both
    components each preset to use the other as default)

    The intent of breaking down the suite into component parts was to free
    those developers working on the browser from interaction with the
    email/news component. I.e. they didnt have to worry about breaking
    something in email/news when they made a change in the browser (or vice
    versa). In the end, users will end up with two programs that will take
    a little more space than the combined one (some coding will be
    duplicated of course). The component model also allows precise
    comparisons with the other products available, most of which dont come
    in suite packages, but as standalones.

    There are pros and cons to each approach (suite versus component). One
    of he intents of the Firebird/Thunderbird projects is to (in the end)
    have products that combine the advantages of the component type
    development (faster, more easily managed development, better overall
    speed) with the advantages of the suite model (no need to set up two
    distinct programs, seamless intregation of the components, unified
    command structures). In effect giving consumers their cake any way they
    want it, do it their way.
    dantu, Dec 3, 2003
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