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status update

maintained by Chris Nelson <>

Last Updated Saturday, November 14th, 1998

This status update page is updated every Friday evening or Saturday morning (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 13th
Submitted by Chris Waterson <>

Chris Waterson writes in with this RDF update: "XPCOM-ed portions of hypertree back-end to work with a new XPFE tree widget that's being written. Getting ready to land mozilla/rdf into the main NGLayout build." (See the XPFE status below to see David Hyatt's update on this)

WinFE - well, almost
November 13th
Submitted by Bill Law <>

Bill Law writes, "Greetings. I suggested last week that we'd have our act together by the end of this week so I feel obliged to reply (even though we may not truly have our act together).

I've spent less and less time on the OS/2 port. Meanwhile, the OS/2 port has made incredible progress (it seems the XPViewer runs there better than just about anywhere, including perhaps Windows). So I guess this makes me the "ex" OS/2 platform owner. The *real* owners are now Henry Sobotka <> and John Fairhurst <>. I'm working on getting them ordained as the official "owners" of the OS/2 platform. I think the OS/2 platform demonstrates the value of Mozilla as much as anything else out there.

I'm not sure the "WinFE" has a story in the new scheme of things. The Windows platform continues to be crucial and we will definitely be devoting resources to doing Windows-specific features. It's just that there doesn't seem to be a central repository for the Windows-specific code any more. Instead, there's Windows-specific implementation scattered throughout the code base."

November 13th
Submitted by Mike Pinkerton <>, David Hyatt <>

Mike Pinkerton writes, "I've been working on the XPToolkit pages on ( and trying to fix the event system on Mac, which is strongly coupled between the viewer and the NGLayout engine. Until we fix this, the Mac version can't be embedded in anything except the viewer test apps!

Chris Saari has been working on Mac redraw issues and now has it redrawing without the garbage!

The entire group has been in meetings trying to figure out our direction. We're really excited and think we're going to be able to do some really cool thinks with XML-based UI specification."

David Hyatt writes, "I'm busy working on the trees and toolbars that will be hooked up to RDF."

November 13th
Submitted by Scott Furman <>, Mike McCabe <>

Scott writes, "It's been a quiet week in the JavaScript group - many were out for the JS '98 conference, etc.

The transition to NGLayout hasn't affected our group very much since we are primarily responsible for the JavaScript language interpreter and related technologies (LiveConnect), not the DOM and all the object behavior specific to HTML, XML and the browser embedding.  NGLayout is already making use of the existing JS APIs to implement its DOM and we will continue to support and extend those APIs.

Our main effort to support NGLayout is in the form of XPCOMConnect, a means by which XPCOM pbjects can be manipulated from JavaScript and vice-versa.  Mike Shaver and Bjorn Carlson are the primary implementors."

Mike McCabe also has this news:

"One, in the Just For Fun department:

I've added line-editing and history capabilities to the 'js' interactive javascript shell. You should expect it to land on the SpiderMonkeyDev_BRANCH javascript development branch in the next day or two. As always, cd mozilla/js/src; gmake -f Makefile.ref to get a standalone javascript shell. This'll mostly be interesting for unix developers, as windows already provides command-line editing at the system level."

JavaScript Debugger
November 13th
Submitted byJohn Bandhauer <>

John Bandhauer writes in:

"A project page for JavaScript Debugging was added at

We are starting work on a debugger - written in JavaScript - for the XPFE/NGLayout based Mozilla. This work will be in the mozilla tree for anyone interested in contributing and documents will be posted as they are written.

November 13th
Submitted by Troy Chevalier <>

Lots more HTML 4 attributes working.  I think the only unimplemented HTML 4 attributes are:

  •   caption align=left|right
  •   dir="rtl"
More DOM support (for example, "table.caption" now works as an accessor for the caption on a table.)

CSS Support:
Beginnings of "display: run-in" and "display:  compact"
More progress on ":first-letter" support

We can now display XML documents using CSS and CSS2

November 13th
Submitted by Akkana Peck <>

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

We've been dividing our time this past week between:

  • Helping other groups get going with common library code and cross-platform build issues
  • Trying to come up with preliminary design specs to post on; we've made some progress on xpfe widget requirements, Transaction Manager, and Selection
  • Building (or trying to build) nglayout and getting familiar with the code; we've written some code stubs but nothing that qualifies as the beginnings of a real editor yet.
November 13th
Submitted by Vidur Apparao <>

Vidur Apparao writes in with his first update as the owner of the XML module...

In the last week or so, we've got some basic XML display with CSS working. The basic list of working features is:

  • Display of XML files (file suffix .xml) with a linked external CSS stylesheet (using a xml-stylesheet processing instruction).
  • Support of namespaces and the ability to embed HTML elements using a HTML namespace.
  • Ability to embed scripts (using a HTML namespace prefixed SCRIPT tag) and access to the document and its elements using the W3C Level 1 DOM interfaces.
  • Some support for XML links (simple links with show="replace" or "new" and actuate="user").

Directory SDK
November 13th
Submitted by Chuck Boatwright <>

Chuck Boatwright writes in with this Directory SDK update:

  • A tools section was added to the page. We are encouraging other people to submit tools for ldap which use mozilla SDKs.
  • Leif added a PerLDAP FAQ
  • The C SDK which branched (with the tag of LDAPCSDK_19981015_BRANCH) on October 15 will be touching down this week. Don't forget to cvs update -d your development trees.
  • Since the Netscape SDK for C has shipped, we are beginning development on new SDK features. We are encouraging other developers to participate. Look at for the new features.

November 13th
Submitted by Chris Yeh <>

On November 20th, the default build system for mozilla (Unix) will be based on autoconf. All static makefiles will be removed from the tree and all support will cease for the static makefile build system.

If you have not familiarized yourself with autoconf, there are several excellent references to get you up to speed. The first is the autoconf web page on Here, you can find instructions on how to get started with autoconf and how to build nglayout using it.

Also, those unfamiliar with autoconf should review the following documentation:


There are some things that will need to be cleaned up and improved. Review this NOW and ask questions so that we can get them resolved before the old build system is killed. You can direct questions and concerns to the newsgroups, not to internal mailing lists.

Many thanks should be extended to Chris Seawood <> for making this happen.


Previous Updates