mozilla.org and the Phoenix project

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Mitchell Baker

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Oct 4, 2002, 12:58:41 PM10/4/02
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Mozilla.org is hosting a small, experimental project exploring
development of a cross-platform, XUL and Gecko-based stand-alone browser
application. The project is known as Phoenix. Phoenix is roughly
analogous to the Chimera project, which mozilla.org is also hosting.
Chimera is a new browser for the Macintosh platform built using Gecko
and a native toolkit for the Macintosh to give Mac users the native look
and feel they so desire. Phoenix is our stand-alone browser experiment
for Linux and Windows. Although we don't yet know how far Phoenix will
evolve, we've already seen some interesting results such as customizable
toolbars, satchel for form field autofill, and first-class
add-on/extension support.

We're interested in this project because:

1. Phoenix exercises the Mozilla application framework in an
illuminating way. We now have an application toolkit which has reached a
1.0 status, and which was created with browser-related projects in mind.
What better way to test it out than to iterate once again a build a
focused browser application. Our current application suite showcases
what can be done to promote integrated applications. A project
focusing on using Mozilla technology to create a single, stand-alone
browser application may teach us new things. Perhaps we'll find
shortcomings in our XUL 1.0 capabilities. Or perhaps we'll find that
it's an even better toolkit than we expected.

2. Phoenix explores the idea of decoupling the various applications that
create our current application suite. We've received requests for a
stand-alone browser for quite some time. Now that Mozilla 1.0 has been
released, we can accommodate this type of experimentation.

3. Phoenix aims to provide a "layered" approach to building a web
browser. In other words, allowing mozilla.org to ship a simple, stable
base with core functionality, and provide a means for managing
extensions and layering add-ons, so that a user could build up the
browser to be as complex as he or she wants. This allows some users to
have the range of features found in today's Mozilla releases (or even
more) while also providing a convenient path for those who want a lean,
quick, simple browser.

4. It has been proposed by a group of XUL experts who have been leaders
in the development of Mozilla's browser application, and whose
creativity we want to encourage.

To do this, we've created a separate browser partition in our CVS tree.
This will allow the cohort of hackers who proposed this project some
room to experiment without affecting either the branch or the trunk of
the browser application suite (aka SeaMonkey.) . This is a restricted
partition, meaning that it is open only to its designated owners and
peers. In other words, CVS write access to the SeeMonkey tree does not
include write access to this partition.

Development of the SeaMonkey browser application suite in the CVS tree
will not be affected at all. Review, super-review, check-in access,
involvement of drivers and other mozilla.org policies will continue for
SeaMonkey without change.


Mitchell


jeti

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Oct 4, 2002, 5:19:43 PM10/4/02
to
Only please, please make sure that uninstalling extensions
will finally be supported by the installer.

Jenny Craig

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Oct 6, 2002, 5:24:20 AM10/6/02
to

Jenny Craig would like to take this opportunity to extend a warm hello
to all of the BLUI Administrators, BLUI addicts, and any other blubber
pimping members who happen to drip hang at Mozillazine.


--
Jenny Craig - #1 Success Rate in Blubber Busting
Just say NO to Mozilla/Netscape BLUI - Blubber Layered User Interface
Jenny Craigs War on Blubber:
http://www.geocities.com/moz_blubber/
Jenny Craigs BLUI Addiction Therapy:
http://www.geocities.com/moz_blubber/signup.html


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