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February 01, 2005

roadmap updates





Ben has posted an update to the Firefox 2.o Roadmap with more some specifics on the Firefox 1.1 schedule. From that information I've constructed an updated Firefox 1.1 roadmap diagram.

I've posted an update to the 1.8 schedule and a new roadmap diagram for that. I've also put together a view of the two roadmaps that should help to make clear how the Mozilla roadmap and the Firefox roadmap line up.

You can see larger versions of the three diagrams by clicking on the thumbnails to the left.

And for those of you who haven't seen my latest update at n.p.m.seamonkey, here's the story on 1.8 Beta 2.

OK, here's the "more details" part.

In order to align the Firefox 1.1 and Thunderbird 1.1 goals with the current roadmap, we've decided to insert one additional beta before branching for Gecko 1.8.

We're still freezing for 1.8 Beta (1) at midnight, Tuesday, February 8th. That's one week away. This 1.8 Beta (1) release will hopefully be a fairly quick release from the trunk and then we'll open the tree for 1.8 Beta 2 work.

The Firefox team intends to release a Developer Preview Release sometime between 1.8 Beta (1) and 1.8 Beta 2 and we cannot afford regressions during this time. At the same time, we don't want to slow development to a crawl and we don't think the drivers' gate is necessary if everyone can exercise some care during this period.

During the 1.8 Beta 2 cycle, drivers won't be locking the tree and requiring approvals for every change but we need everyone to be very careful during this period, putting off any serious changes which aren't critical to a solid Firefox 1.1 and Thunderbird 1.1 until we branch for Gecko 1.8 and the trunk opens to 1.9 alpha development.

I've updated the Mozilla Roadmap diagram to show this additional beta cycle as "chilly but not frozen". I'll be posting a Firefox 1.1 roadmap diagram to the Firefox 2.0 Roadmap page later today or tomorrow and after that, I'll be posting a (hopefully) helpful diagram that shows the two roadmaps together.

--Asa

I'll continue to post updates here and at npm.seamonkey over the coming days. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to post them here.

It's probably also worth noting that these roadmaps will likely evolve and exist to facilitate developer cooperation. They are not hard commitments to ship dates and should not be viewed or referenced as product press announcements. Posted by asa at February 1, 2005 12:27 PM

Comments

Ben also said that Fx1.1 will be off the trunk. Your picture makes it look like development will branch at Fx1.1PR. Can you elaborate?

Posted by: Simplex on February 1, 2005 05:17 PM

I know it still seems hard to believe, but this is definitely 2005...

Posted by: Dave H on February 1, 2005 05:25 PM

Simplex, Firefox 1.1 will be released from the Gecko 1.8 branch.

Dave H, thanks for the catch. I'll update the diagrams.

--Asa

Posted by: Asa Dotzler on February 1, 2005 05:28 PM

do you know what app ben uses to make those timelines, I've been looking for a program that can make ... well... pretty timelines.

Thanks
Anders

Posted by: Anders on February 1, 2005 05:32 PM

Anders, yes, I know which app is used to make the timelines since I'm the one that made them. I use Photoshop :-)

--Asa

Posted by: Asa Dotzler on February 1, 2005 05:47 PM

heh (/me slaps forehead) I was just in #bs and someone mentioned that you made them... and I realized... "oh man, I'm going to sound so dumb". Thanks :)

Anders

Posted by: Anders on February 1, 2005 06:20 PM

Simplex:
1.1PR is the first (preview) release from the 1.1 branch, which branches off from the trunk. The 1.1DPR comes straight from trunk, it's probably just a nightly build with 'DPR' slapped on it.

Posted by: Jussi Kukkonen on February 2, 2005 03:00 AM

Asa: has the naming convention for the "preview releases" been carefully thought through? As I point out here: http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/gerv/archives/007436.html , Ben's logic seems backwards. And all those who commented can't understand it either...

Posted by: Gerv on February 2, 2005 04:01 AM

I would LOVE to participate with FireFox development. I have little experience on various programming language i.e. C++, Php, MySQL, bash shell scripting, envelop (where is it nowadays?), gcc, Linux and few others. I'm deaf and am strong advocate with accessibility (i.e. ip-relay, captioning and such). Where can I get started?

Posted by: LinuxGold on February 2, 2005 04:13 AM

I thought just the same like Anders... really cool the program Asa's use to make those timelines...

It would be awesome some program to do that.

Posted by: Chucho on February 2, 2005 05:39 AM

"Ben also said that Fx1.1 will be off the trunk."

I think Ben was trying to correct some misconceptions that 1.1 would be off the long 1.0 branch, or that future releases would come from another long branch - he didn't mean that 1.1 would actually be based on the trunk code at the time of release.

1.1 will be "off the trunk" in the sense that there will be a short branch based on the current trunk. 1.5 (or 1.2 or whatever) will then again be another short branch from the trunk.

Posted by: michaell on February 2, 2005 06:38 AM

Thanks for such a great browser. I was sick and tired of using the internet explorer because of the deficiensies that I now see solved in firefox. I know that everyone is enjoying firefox and hope that it continues to grow so that online experiences improve for everyone who has had a headache from using microsoft's monopolistic explorer.

Posted by: fenyx neutron on February 2, 2005 12:21 PM

Thought you'd get a kick out of this. I was registering for web access to my 401K account using Firefox 1.0 but kept getting an error message about the account not being web-accessible. I called customer service to complain and the response was that I needed to use Internet Explorer because Firefox was "too secure". This from an financial services company! I complained to the guy's supervisor that the site should support Firefox. BTW I just tried to access the site again through Firefox and it worked fine. I love this browser!!

Posted by: JT Snowden on February 2, 2005 12:39 PM

Wow, this is really useful. Can't wait for 1.1 and then 2.0! Thanks!

Posted by: Omar Saleem on February 2, 2005 12:48 PM

It rocks to see that FireFox is still beating the tar outta IE. I gotta hand it to you guys -- I started using it about a year ago. Now all my friends are converts and keep thanking me for "such a better browser".

... not to mention; ya'll do it with so much class!

Posted by: JW on February 2, 2005 07:32 PM

Any hope of windows update ever being possible inside of firefox?

Posted by: FrostyWolf on February 2, 2005 11:54 PM

Totally off topic, but how are those graphics generated? Thank, nikolai

Posted by: Nikolai Weibull on February 3, 2005 03:31 AM

@nikolai: read Asa's posting from February 1, 2005 05:47 PM ;)

Asa: Are there any special plans for Mozilla Suite 2.0?

Aqua

Posted by: Aqualon on February 3, 2005 04:11 AM

Nikolai, I build the roadmap diagrams with Photoshop.

Aqualon, there aren't even concrete plans for Seamonkey 1.8, much less 2.0. Any discussion you hear about "Mozilla 2.0" is most likely about "Mozilla the Platform" and not Seamonkey.

--Asa

Posted by: Asa Dotzler on February 3, 2005 06:28 AM

how about a reply to LinuxGold, Asa?

Posted by: Asa Fan on February 3, 2005 06:45 AM

Asa fan, I already replied via email and attempted to get LinuxGold hooked in.

--Asa

Posted by: Asa Dotzler on February 3, 2005 07:12 AM

Any discussion you hear about "Mozilla 2.0" is most likely about "Mozilla the Platform" and not Seamonkey.

So why not call it Gecko 2.0, as it's going to be the main codebranch? That'd be keeping in sync with the changeover from Moz seamonkey 1.7 -> Moz ff 1.0 to Gecko 1.8 -> Moz FF 1.1

Posted by: AkaXakA on February 3, 2005 07:35 AM

I use FF 1.0 and TB 1.0 at work all the time. At home, I still have to use Pegasus for email, since it has many more actions it can do when it filters email like the following:
1. If filter matches, then send contents of specified text file to sender of email.
2. If filter matches, foward that email to another address.
3. If filter matches, set mail subject line to a specified color.
3. If message is set to a certain color, then do other stuff.

I can't migrate my website hobby email to TB until this kind of functionality is added.

Please forgive posting this here, I don't know where else to post it. Hopefully this will somehow reach TB developers.

Posted by: AutoHost on February 3, 2005 11:25 AM

I, for one, welcome our new Mozilla overlords.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 3, 2005 11:28 AM

Nice diagrams! Great work!

I'm now looking forward to enjoying Firefox 1.1 by june and hopefully participating in another mozparty :) It looks so promising I have even considered the creation of a local Firefox Users Group.

Thanks & keep it up!

Posted by: Oscar Sierra on February 3, 2005 11:31 AM

Re: the guy who wants to be able to do WindowsUpdate from within Firefox--
That's exactly why Firefox is superior to IE. Doing WindowsUpdate requires essentially an .exe to be run from within the browser. This isn't a good thing-- big security risk. Microsoft should release a separate update client (or improve the automatic update thing they use).

"The purpose of a web browser is to browse the web." -Me

Posted by: Mike Scovetta on February 3, 2005 11:33 AM

are there any plans for better memory management? using firefox 1.0 on windows and it had 60mb allocated with one window (single site, no tabs). firefox has a lot of things up on other browsers, but as people have pointed out other places, it can take up a larger memory footprint then the entire mozilla suite. since i'm running on a system with limited resources, it really hurts to have so much memory allocated. is this issue a concern for the 2.0 release?

Posted by: jon hohle on February 3, 2005 12:35 PM

OT - I love FF (tabbing) too, I just hate that memory isn't released in a timely fashion. I have a 3rd-party utility running on my desktop showing me (a pretty version of) my running process (Task Manager but better) and I can see in real-time that FF never releases memory right away like other processes do (when minimized or closed!). Because of this, I reverted to IE last week and WOW, it is so much faster!

Catch up FF, I'm eager to get back to tabbing!

Posted by: Billy on February 3, 2005 12:37 PM

Pointing out things like my last post is what got me banned from the Mozillazine Forum, sorry it's true dev's! (hence, reason I had to post here)

Posted by: Billy on February 3, 2005 12:39 PM

"Any hope of windows update ever being possible inside of firefox?"

I hope not. Jamming inappropriate applications inside the browser is why IE is such a security nightmare in the first place.

Posted by: Peter da Silva on February 3, 2005 01:24 PM

Please listen to Billy's comments. He makes some good points about Firefox's memory management. I too have reverted back to IE because Firefox consumes too much memory! Not only that, but sometimes the application won't even open. This was not an issue with PR1...only 1.0. If you fix the memory management then Firefox will go down in history as the greatest browser...ever.

Posted by: anonymous on February 3, 2005 01:27 PM

Firefox does release ram upon being minimized, it just slowly creeps back up over time. One big problem with Firefox and Mozilla is the framework it uses. Now that it's developed, it's time to take out XUL, like K-meleon is. Those of you who would like more speed try the new K-meleon builds, they're already using Gecko, and don't use XUL, much faster.

-- Robi

Posted by: Robi on February 3, 2005 01:29 PM

FF and memory, I always thought that was the big PLUS for using FF, it was an "extremely light" version of Moz's browser. I have not tried it myself, but seeing those comments does make you wonder.

Posted by: Travis on February 3, 2005 01:35 PM

How did you create the graphics?

Posted by: NSK on February 3, 2005 02:35 PM

Robi, don't tell me, RAM DOES NOT RELEASE WHEN MINIMIZED OR CLOSED, at least for 20 seconds (I stopped counting after that!). It opened, I immediately minimized it and it is STILL sitting at 21016K, NOT MOVING AT ALL. Finally, I just closed it and it all recovered. I have done every tip listed on the Mozillazine forum pages and this is the results. I still like all of FF's features way better than IE's but I'll wait for the next release and try again. Travis, the best thing to do is watch your task Manager window and see how much memory it uses vs. IE on the exact same operations (start with just open, minimize, close IMO), you'll see what I mean. True, less extensions mean 'lighter", but irregardless, it should still release the memory when minimized or closed. G/L. (awaiting memory fix)

Posted by: Billy on February 3, 2005 03:29 PM

NSK, can't you read? PHOTOSHOP!

Posted by: Billy on February 3, 2005 03:30 PM

Billy, while I agree that FF is using too much memory, comparing it to IE through task manager is not a fair comparison. when microsoft says they've integrated IE into the OS, they mean it, and when it loads, many of its libraries are already loaded into RAM under names other then iexplore.exe. so while i agree with you that there is a problem, your comparison is inaccurate.

just out of curiosity, why would FF release RAM when it's minimized? what does it not have to do minimized that it does while its restored? and when its restored, won't it have to reallocate all that memory anyway? or does it wait for minimization to do some kind of garbage collection (if so, why wait?)? (and i would hope that closing the app would release the memory, if not, that's windows fault, not FF).

Posted by: jon hohle on February 3, 2005 03:42 PM

How about turning on SVG support by default once and for all? What I've seen in the SVG builds is damn impressive to say the least. Check http://www.croczilla.com/svg/samples.

The longer we wait to turn on SVG by default, the longer the longer the world is stuck in Macromedia proprietary purgatory.

Once SVG is turned on for the world at large, "cool" SVG pages will appear. People using IE will wonder why these purportedly "cool" pages won't render properly in IE, and (if given a link to Mozilla/Firefox) will be more tempted to download to see said "cool" page. Or maybe they'll catch a Mozilla/Firefox user over their shoulder viewing a "cool" SVG.

Turn it on and let's get crackin'!

Posted by: Eric P. on February 3, 2005 04:56 PM

Wondering where Netscape is going to be in this map. Currently, Netscape Browser Prototype is using Firefox 1, would the release version use 1.1?

Posted by: Jim on February 3, 2005 05:36 PM

Eric, we have to be careful to not release SVG to the world without having solved some forward compatibility issues or we'll just end up pissing off developers when we break them in the next version. Smart people are working on it and I expect to see more happening in the Gecko 1.9 timeframe.

Jim, Netscape hasn't said a word to me about their release plans. They've upgraded to the 1.0 release and it would be a major leap to 1.1 given how much has changed on the trunk since we branched for 1.0/1.7 almost 10 months ago.

--Asa

Posted by: Asa Dotzler on February 3, 2005 06:46 PM

jon hohle: Working set in Windows goes both ways. It's true that a library used may to some degree be listed under another process, but the most common thing is that code and data that is in fact shared will still be listed as virtual memory "used" by both processes.

Posted by: CN on February 3, 2005 07:19 PM

Jon, I was just trying to point out that I can actually see other processes go lower in my list (or disappear, if I close them) when looking at the Task Mgr. I realize that IE is deeply infiltrated into the Windows O/S but this happens with all other processes I use (SharpReader, my RSS feeder for one and WinAmp another); if I minimize or close them, they immediately drop in the list (usually faster than I can actually see it happening). So, based on that, I don't have to compare it to IE, EVERY other process does it, just not FF. Of course, all this is only on my machine... but why should it be any different than anybody else's box? It isn't.

I'm only reporting what I see when I minimize it and other apps and really only started paying attention to it after reading someone else's post on Mozillazine, it's a real eye-opener. The worst part of all this is not having tabs in IE...

Posted by: Billy on February 3, 2005 07:42 PM

reg. Firefox memory usage, just performed a crude test: opened IE, minimized it. had firefox open with 6 tabs, minimized it. memory usage by minimized firefox with 6 active tabs was LESS than memory usage by a blank IE ! This happened immediately , no 20 second wait, etc.

Posted by: varun on February 3, 2005 07:43 PM

I wish I had such luck, really. Good for you bud.

Posted by: Billy on February 3, 2005 07:57 PM

Did the FF memory go down after minimizing it though? To say it used less memory than IE is another subject (although it doesn't use less on mine).

Bottom line, you have to do what is best for your situation (hardware/software settings, etc.) and so far, I can't get FF to run better than IE ON MY BOX but I'm happy for those that can.

Whatever you do, don't talk like this on their e-zine, you'll get banned like I did hehe (no problem, I like playing chess better anyway).

Posted by: Billy on February 3, 2005 08:04 PM

Crude test #2... My current ff running for days with out closing... full of extensions and themed.

It is using about 22M of memory, if I minimize it it DOES drop to about 4M (immeadiately)... sticks there till I load a page, then back up to 22...

People complaining about this memory usage? In dollar figures I paid about 3 dollars for that ram... (($150/1024)*22)

3 dollars is cheap for the piece of mind I get knowing I have a good browser.

Kudos to the developers, and my deepest gratitude

Posted by: Mefdahl on February 3, 2005 10:22 PM

I am really enjoying using Firefox but one facility that would be really helpful would be a quick cache clear button on the toolbar to make make it easier to check website revisions instead of having to keep going to the options list to clear the cache. Any chance ??

Posted by: lithop on February 4, 2005 01:38 AM

Mefdahl, you shouldn't need to throw more RAM at a problem to make it go away, and on some configurations you just can't add more RAM. my work laptop has 256MB and with all the firm applications loaded i'm sitting with more then a 700MB swap file (460 of that being used). if firefox is taking 60MB (as i mentioned above) of that, that's about quarter of my very limitted physical RAM. right now its flopping between 9~20MB and i have nothing open but this page. Though I have now noticed it releasing memory when minimized (down to 1-2MB). perhaps this is a windows issue that can't be resolved, but allocating 20-60MB of RAM with only one page (no tabs) open is ridiculous. What about people who are stuck on windows 98 machines with 64MB of RAM (or worse, 32MB!)? there's no reason Firefox shouldn't accomodate those people as well, especially when claiming to be a light browser.

I'll love and continue to use FF, but i really think the resource utilization needs to drop. I really think a lot of good work has gone into this project, and I hope the upcoming releases really polish this thing up.

Posted by: jon hohle on February 4, 2005 07:56 AM

A quick check with Task Manager just now showed memory usage go from 22636 K with 12 tabs open....to 560K immediately upon minimization, a second later stabilizing at 960K.

Errr....oh, and good job on Firefox ;)

Posted by: Glen on February 4, 2005 05:30 PM

I'm a "PC Puppy" and new at postings, but been reading a lot of your comments about FireFox and ThunderBird. Yes, IE is a lot faster, "BUT" when you weigh the "PROS" & "CONS" of Internet Explorer & FireFox, FireFox, "Has Been There and Is Moving On"!. Unless your work or PC duties, heavily depend on "the minor advantages" that IE at this time has to offer, over FF, I'd support the "FireFox Team" and stick with them. That's what makes an organization strong and sucessful; working together, listening and making improvements. From what I've been seeing, everybody seems to be caring and not minding the bumps in the road. FireFox, TB thank you for sharing your program with me [all of us] Thanks for listening.

Posted by: 6Realms on February 4, 2005 05:54 PM

Would the memory drop noticed when minimising simply be a result of the counter showing the RAM allocated? That is, the total amount of memory remains the same, but when the app is minimised, the windows memory manager pages out much of that to disk. The exact amounts and "speed" of this happening would depend on the memory manager - how much RAM is required by all the processes running, how much activity (and where) is occuring in the browser code, etc.

Posted by: Keramos on February 5, 2005 12:10 AM

lithop, CTRL+SHIFT+R on Windows forces a page refresh, downloading the latest one from the server

Posted by: AcerKev on February 5, 2005 05:28 AM

Could you comment a little more about the "forward compatability" issues that smart people are working on for SVG?

Posted by: Scooter Morris on February 5, 2005 11:29 PM

I noticed that Firefox starts up a lot slower if there are a lot of items in the cache. If I clear the cache before an initial startup, then it fires up much faster.
Is this a case that the cache should be loaded up on a background thread or maybe divided up so it loads bits on demand?

Cheers

Posted by: Chris on February 6, 2005 05:19 AM

I am convinced that we can solve forward compatibility issues with SVG within the 1.8 timeframe -- SVG itself has taken major steps in that direction and the community is more than willing to follow. Trust me, I've been working with the SVG community since before 1.0 was a Rec and all that you will get from switching SVG on is love and an additional rather large bunch of maniacal Firefox evangelists. We're just there waiting for you to unleash us :)

Posted by: Robin Berjon on February 10, 2005 12:26 PM

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