The more I think about it, the more I’m thinking Firefox 1.0 is very ambitious. It’s a worthwhile goal, but I think it’s being rushed slightly. Leading to people being very loose with the knives and willing to cut things out. So far victims include the ever so popular offline mode, and now everyone’s favorite (and as Daniel Glazman points out required) CSS switcher. Those spared from the knife have been the JS console and the Mozilla Lizards Gonads (the gonads is rumored from good sources, but so far the bug is set as a protected bug so we can’t view it).
Mozilla needs offline mode. It’s crucial to laptop users. It’s an extremely popular thing, especially in the workplace. If we are going to expect businesses to adopt Mozilla for more security (than IE), and deploy it to all their users. We need to parity the popular features. Offline Mode being one of them. This is used all the time by office workers with laptops. This will block corporate adoption of 1.0 by most potential converts.
Then we have the CSS switcher. An extremely popular tool. Something many bloggers (who are a big contributor to promoting Firefox) have been raving about, since it lets them theme their site. Now we are pulling that out from under them, right before we really need everyone to kick up the effort to promote Firefox. Then of course it’s mandatory in CSS2.
I’m not questioning the Mozilla Foundation as much as the timeline itself. If such popular and necessary features are removed from 1.0, is it really worth calling it a production worthy release? Or should we have another development cycle, then do a beta, public beta, and release. I’m personally of the opinion the extra time would do better than the premature release. I’ve mentioned this before when I first saw this problem manifest. I’m fearing a Netscape 6 style release.
Firefox is a great product, and very worthy of trying if you haven’t yet.
But I’d question calling it 1.0, and telling people it’s a production worthy product prematurely.
It’s tough to make a good first impression the second time around.