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Any truth to this?

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circuit_breaker
 
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Post Posted January 19th, 2003, 10:51 pm

Ripped from /. forums (dare I assume validity of an AC?):
Phoenix development has died. Hyatt is now working on Safaria full time(he couldn't be happier), Blake(high schooler busy with getting ready for college) is MIA and Asa as usual doesn't comment on such things even when they seem grim. It looks like Phoenix as a project is dying/dead. No work has been done on Phoenix since December, and a critical bug has prevented anyone from using themes/extensions with new nightly versions since 12/28. This most basic bug pretty much shows the state of the project and how the developers involved have either a)lost interest or b) simply moved on. I know Blake had talked how eventually even he would get bored and move on(let any dev would), but it would have been nice if he had at least given some sort of warning.

<a href=http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=51266&cid=5115764>direct link here</a>

any truth to this?

daihard
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Post Posted January 19th, 2003, 11:12 pm

I don't know the truth, but by the way the guy who wrote the message didn't want to sign it and emphasized a bit too much that it wasn't FUD, it sure does sound like an FUD.

It seems true that Hyatt is busy working on Safari, and that Asa isn't as responsive as everyone would like him to be. That's not to say the project is dead. Well if that were true, then I'd take the source code and fix those "critical" bugs myself. Isn't Open Source great? ;)
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Chris in MI

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Post Posted January 19th, 2003, 11:23 pm

circuit_breaker wrote:It looks like Phoenix as a project is dying/dead. No work has been done on Phoenix since December, and a critical bug has prevented anyone from using themes/extensions with new nightly versions since 12/28. This most basic bug pretty much shows the state of the project and how the developers involved have either a)lost interest or b) simply moved on.

As much as nobody around here will want to admit it, this seems unfortunately very plausible. Phoenix hasn't seen any new good blood through its veins for over a month, now. Several targetted critical bugs are outstanding, and another batch of untargetted but also critical bugs are in the wings.

Blake is working on getting into college; we may or may not see him for quite a while, but he also can't run the show by himself. Hyatt's attention to Safari unfortunately pays money, whereas Phoenix does not. Ultimately what you're left with is nobody to head up the project, and despite a huge and rabid fan base, very little momentum to keep things going. The legal woes from Phoenix BIOS didn't help - we already know there cannot be an 0.6 release until the naming issue is cleared.

See the blogs of <a href="http://www.mozillazine.org/weblogs/asa/">Asa</a>, <a href="http://www.blakeross.com/">Blake</a>, and <a href="http://www.mozillazine.org/weblogs/hyatt/">Hyatt</a> for a better sense of how dulled the project has become.

I'm not trying to be pessimistic; I love Phoenix and I hope it keeps going. But it's going to need a lot of new faces on board to keep it going.

djnr

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Post Posted January 20th, 2003, 12:34 am

Well, Phoenix is already good enough to be my browser of choice on the Windows platform.

Unfortunately I don't know XUL and whatever else Phoenix development requires, or have the time to learn it, but it sounds like now would be a great opportunity for someone to step in and claim some of the glory that would come from being on the Phoenix dev team.

I can't see it dying however; it's too good a project and this forum is very active with a lot of very smart people who like Phoenix a lot. People will step up to the plate. But it would be nice to hear a definite word from the dev team. They could at least choose a new name for the project and pass the torch or let us know when development will pick up again.

daihard
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Post Posted January 20th, 2003, 12:41 am

djnrempel wrote:Unfortunately I don't know XUL and whatever else Phoenix development requires, or have the time to learn it, but it sounds like now would be a great opportunity for someone to step in and claim some of the glory that would come from being on the Phoenix dev team.

My understanding from this forum is that the code development is done in C/C++ (I haven't looked at the code yet), and that XUL is used for the user interface. I'm not very familiar with XUL, but being a C/C++ developer, I feel there might be a place for me in the Phoenix project if they needed external help. Unfortunately, I don't have much time to set aside for this work, which is probably what's preventing a lot of other people from raising their hands... :(
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agamid
 
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Post Posted January 20th, 2003, 1:18 am

daihard wrote:I don't know the truth, but by the way the guy who wrote the message didn't want to sign it and emphasized a bit too much that it wasn't FUD, it sure does sound like an FUD.


just because one posts as AC does not mean that their opinions are not worthy. It could be that some people don't feel like going through the hassle of registering and having to accomodate yet another login name and password. Now before you say it's not that much trouble, know that most people are lazy.

as for the phoenix issue, what he says is pretty plausible. I'm beginning to believe it myself since the noise in the forums seems to be dying down. do the people working on mozilla get paid?

daihard
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Post Posted January 20th, 2003, 1:29 am

agamid wrote:just because one posts as AC does not mean that their opinions are not worthy. It could be that some people don't feel like going through the hassle of registering and having to accomodate yet another login name and password. Now before you say it's not that much trouble, know that most people are lazy.

I totally agree that not everyone wants to go through the (often) lengthy registration process just to post one message. The point I'm making is that AFAIK, those who speak the truth don't shout loud that they do. I saw the OP's too much emphasis on his statements being true and not being an FUD, which to me casts some doubt on the credibility of his message.
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rso
 
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Post Posted January 20th, 2003, 2:03 am

daihard wrote:My understanding from this forum is that the code development is done in C/C++ (I haven't looked at the code yet), and that XUL is used for the user interface. I'm not very familiar with XUL, but being a C/C++ developer, I feel there might be a place for me in the Phoenix project if they needed external help. Unfortunately, I don't have much time to set aside for this work, which is probably what's preventing a lot of other people from raising their hands... :(


Most OpenSource projects do not die officially (with a simple comment about this fact), they die because the developers do not say anything about the status, so that other people lose their interest.

A simple "It's all over now" comment would make it possible that someone else takes the current source (fork the project) and fixes the problems. But where would you place your patches now? Any external work could be useless at the moment, when the main developers continue their work.

I could be totally wrong with my view, of course :-)

tve
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Post Posted January 20th, 2003, 4:14 am

I feared this :[ wouldnt be surprising for me, but I hope its not dead...
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jrt
 
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Post Posted January 20th, 2003, 4:30 am

circuit_breaker wrote:Ripped from /. forums (dare I assume validity of an AC?):
Phoenix development has died. Hyatt is now working on Safaria full time(he couldn't be happier), Blake(high schooler busy with getting ready for college) is MIA and Asa as usual doesn't comment on such things even when they seem grim. It looks like Phoenix as a project is dying/dead. No work has been done on Phoenix since December, and a critical bug has prevented anyone from using themes/extensions with new nightly versions since 12/28. This most basic bug pretty much shows the state of the project and how the developers involved have either a)lost interest or b) simply moved on. I know Blake had talked how eventually even he would get bored and move on(let any dev would), but it would have been nice if he had at least given some sort of warning.

<a href=http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=51266&cid=5115764>direct link here</a>

any truth to this?


This is completely accurate (other than possible the Blake details, but I can believe they are also correct based on some of his past work). There has been no development work on Phoenix since November 2002 - Phoenix 0.4 was the last version with significant project-specific changes. Since then, Phoenix has been coasting on the changes on the shared Mozilla codebase, along with the recent Qute theme change.


I don't really understand the excuses given here for the lack of Phoenix development. Dave Hyatt was defintely the best Phoenix developer, and unless his Apple contract prevents work on other browsers, I can't see why he isn't able to contribute (at all) to Phoenix. I still see Mozilla check-ins that have been reviewed by Hyatt, so it isn't though he has completely disappeared.

Also, I don't buy the Blake Ross "applying for college" excuse. High school + applying for college is, at best, a 3/4 time job. The "got bored and went away" explanation seems much more plausable. Recall that at one point, he was going to stop working on Phoenix anyway and concentrate on the standalone email client. I suspect that project was too much for him, so he returned to browser development for a short time, but has since become disinterested in working on Phoenix.

Finally, everyone seems to be forgetting the 3rd Phoenix developer - Pierre Chanial. Any idea what happened to him?


The future for Phoenix looks rather bleak. There are more and more bugs that are being created due to changes in the shared Mozilla/Gecko codebase. Patches are created and logged, but no one is around to check them in. And there is no driving force for future releases (the naming problem is a trivial problem, at best).

It would be best for the project if the developers would publically either explain the lack of development, and/or give up control of the Phoenix CVS source code tree, so that any qualified developer can contribute changes.

jrt
 
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Post Posted January 20th, 2003, 4:37 am

daihard wrote:My understanding from this forum is that the code development is done in C/C++ (I haven't looked at the code yet), and that XUL is used for the user interface. I'm not very familiar with XUL, but being a C/C++ developer, I feel there might be a place for me in the Phoenix project if they needed external help. Unfortunately, I don't have much time to set aside for this work, which is probably what's preventing a lot of other people from raising their hands... :(


Actually, Phoenix is primarily differs from Mozilla in its JavaScript code. There is some Phoenix specific C++ code, but most of the current bugs can be fixed by changing the JavaScript or XUL code.

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Post Posted January 20th, 2003, 6:02 am

daihard wrote:My understanding from this forum is that the code development is done in C/C++ (I haven't looked at the code yet), and that XUL is used for the user interface. I'm not very familiar with XUL, but being a C/C++ developer, I feel there might be a place for me in the Phoenix project

If you're interested in developing Phoenix, why don't you grab a copy of the source and do some "private development" on your own. That way, if things should continue to be very slow (if not at a dead stop), you could offer your own solutions to the Dev. team and ask them to give you any/all of the necessary permissions/accounts/etc to make you into a true "Phoenix Developer". *chuckle* Heck, I've been tempted to tinker with the code, myself.. but only for the sake of satisfying my own curiousity about the source code! I've not done any programming in a couple of years now, unfortunately. :(

tve
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Post Posted January 20th, 2003, 6:19 am

the project doesnt have the name "Phoenix" without a reason... it will rise again :P
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pepp5
 
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Post Posted January 20th, 2003, 12:40 pm

http://www.mozillazine.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3189

Targeting a 0.6 release in January, it says.

Chris Cook

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Post Posted January 20th, 2003, 12:50 pm

They can rename the browser "Unnamed" and I wouldn't care. Would anyone? Just to see the critical bugs fixed and some _sign_ of renewed activity would make me plenty happy.

The name is a non-issue IMHO.

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