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status update

maintained by Chris Nelson <>

Last Updated Saturday, November 7th, 1998

This status update page is updated every Friday evening (but check back, because I may add in late updates on the weekend). To get updates and news throughout the week , I invite you to check out mozillaZine, a site I maintain devoted to Mozilla advocacy.

Previous Updates

There has been a lot of behind the scenes reshuffling at the Mozilla Project this week. Because of this, a number of the module names no longer apply; I used the old names this week. There should be new module names next week, and we should have more to report on the restructuring as the pieces fall into place.

Module Updates
RDF and HT (HyperTree)
November 6th
Submitted by Robert Churchill <>

Robert Churchill has this RDF update for us, with some news about the restructuring:

  • Chris Waterson has joined the RDF group! He's done some very interesting work in the past such as Java prototypes, and building a thin news client on top of RDF using the old Shack widget. We're excited to have him working with us.
  • We're looking at completing the XPCom work on RDF's APIs in short order for Raptor. In parallel, we're currently having discussions regarding RDF presentation in Raptor and the options available to us. We hope to achieve consensus over the next few days on which of the paths is the best to take; options include:
    • removing the HyperTree layer, and putting a new, thin layer on top of RDF that speaks XML+CSS to Raptor.
    • keeping the HyperTree layer, and having raptor's toolbar and table components use it

We're looking over our lists of tasks and prioritizing them. More information next week when we know more. "

November 6th
Submitted by Bill Law <>, David Hyatt <>

Dave Hyatt writes, "Some people from the WinFE, MacFE, and XFE teams have become the XPFE team. Others have moved to the XP Apps/OS Integration team. We just found out the new organization recently, so that's about all there is to report. :)"

And Bill Law writes, "We're in an awkward state right now. We've just reorganized to implement the new product "roadmap" and the old module definitions don't necessarily make sense any more. Specifically, there really isn't a "WinFE" anymore. Bear with us for another week or so. Then we should have a clearer idea of where we're heading and what our status is."

November 6th
Submitted by Mike Pinkerton <>

My group has yet to really get down to the nitty gritty, but our goal is to provide an infrastructure for people on the web to leverage skills they know (XML, CSS, XSL, HTML, JavaScript) to build a Navigator, both UI and logic.

We need the help of the net to fulfill our dream and once we get settled with our new manager we will be opening up all our discussions to the net. Expect to see a lot of traffic in the next few weeks as we start work. It should be exciting (we're all very excited) and we hope we can impart that upon net developers as well.

On a side note, xpviewer builds and runs on Mac, but drawing is messed up because of the discrepancies between the parent/child window models on mac and win/unix. This will be fixed shortly, but it does build and run!


Unix, GTK & NGLayout (until there's a new name)
November 6th
Submitted by Chris McAfee <>, Mike Shaver <>

Chris McAfee has a status update on the general Unix status of the transition:

  • xpviewer links and runs for awhile on Linux, Solaris is close behind.
  • mozilla/ checked in, this should now be an easy way to pull the source code. Comments in this file have usage examples.
  • I heard that the GTK people got the viewer app to bring up a window; GTK has bolted out of the gate so far. Go GTK! (read below for more)

Mike Shaver writes in with a GTK specific update:

  • viewer builds and links and pops up a window
  • working on getting the rest of the widgets all happy, and then we'll start working on the gfx layer
  • hope to move to xpviewer stuff shortly, but for now we're using widget/tests/viewer as our test vehicle

November 6th
Submitted by Scott Furman <>

  • JavaScript 1.4 Release 1 is officially born.  It is now built as part of the browser (the SpiderMonkey140_BRANCH code was merged into the trunk).  JS 1.4 implements some proposed features of the upcoming ECMA-2 standard, such as exceptions, and the 'in' and 'instanceof' operators.  JS 1.4 also features localizable error strings.

    With the release of JS1.4, we've added a new CVS branch.  Work on JS1.5 has just begun on SpiderMonkeyDev_BRANCH.  As before, JS 1.4 bug fixes will be made on the SpiderMonkey140_BRANCH (for future maintenance releases of JS1.4)

  • Chris Cooper has done some final tweaking of LiveConnect exceptions in order to permit primitive values like numbers and booleans to be thrown from JavaScript to Java.
  • Mike Shaver, Chris Cooper and Bjorn Carlson are beginning work on COMconnect, a technology that will allow JavaScript to manipulate external software components that expose XPCOM interfaces.  (We expect more docs on COMconnect to be available later in the week.)
See all the recent checkins to JavaScript 1.4.
See all the recent checkins to JavaScript 1.5.

November 6th
Submitted by Troy Chevalier <>


style changed incremental reflow, and a variety of layout bug fixes

Core Layout:

simple page sequence frame which we use when paginated. Print preview window is starting to limp along

Neat New Stuff:

CSS first-line pseudo element support

November 6th
Submitted by Akkana Peck <>

Here's Akkana's update on the status of the editor (composer) through the transition:

Our current plan is to use the xpviewer as the basis for our editor test bed. In between design meetings, we've been working on getting the xpviewer built and running on our various platforms to test the feasibility of this idea.

We have a new page on, where we will be posting our design spec documents as they become available.

We also have a new mozilla newsgroup, netscape.public.mozilla.editor, gatewayed to the mailing list mozilla-editor.

SmartUpdate (softupdt) and Registry
November 6th
Submitted by Dan Veditz <>

Dan Veditz writes in with the SmartUpdate update:

"4.5 shipping code merged into the Mozilla tree.

"For now SmartUpdate development will go onto the MozillaSourceClassic_19981026_BRANCH since it relies on too much infrastructure which is not yet available in the new world order. Once we have it resurrected in the Java-less world we'll work on COM-ifying it."

ImgLib (Image Library)
November 6th
Submitted by Pam Nunn <>

Pam Nunn writes in with this update:

NGLayout will let us simplify the ImageLib code significantly. I am currently evaluating where I can streamline the interface functions. Since gfx gives us compositor access, true cross platform alpha channel support is high on the list.

Previous Updates