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status update

maintained by Christopher Blizzard <>

Last Updated Tuesday, December 21, 1999

This status update page is updated every weekend. To get updates and news throughout the week you are invited to check out mozillaZine, a site devoted to Mozilla advocacy.

Previous Updates

Friends of the Tree

  • Ben Bucksch and Rich Pizzarro landed new URL/emoticon/structure phrase code in our MIME code -- Phil Peterson
  • Vidur and Chris Blizzard get "AIX Port - Friend of the Week"
    Jason Grace gets "HPUX Port - Friend of the Week"
    -- Marek Jeziorek

  • HPUX & AIX Friends jband and vidur for helping me track down the problem with waterson's DOM checkins. -- Jim Dunn

  • Shyjan Mahamud trashed away old implementations of Place() and implemented beautiful TeX rendering rules. Watch out for the next update of the MathML engine in the CVS tree. MathML in Mozilla will never be the same. -- Roger B. Sidje

  • Startup leaks (temporarily) back down to 18Kb, thanks to shaver, mscott, and yours truly ;-). -- Chris Waterson

Module Updates
Mail / News
Dec 13
Submitted by Phil Peterson <>
  • Fixed 43 bugs, including 18 dogfood/PDT+ bugs
  • Displaying messages no longer uses a temp file (thanks norris)
  • Shift-select in the tree control works now (thanks selmer)
  • Tree control scrolling is incrementally faster (thanks hyatt)
  • Posted results of weekly UI meeting
  • Posted design document on command updating and dispatching
  • In case anyone is watching, the mail/news install package is 815k on Win32 and 1278k on Mac.
  • Mail/news has eight known dogfood bugs. We're doing a killer job knocking off these bugs -- let's wrap 'em up this week!
  • davidmc -  10837 Import 4.x address books
  • bienvenu - available to help with dogfood bugs
  • alecf -  20508 Crash expanding folders and scrolling
  • jefft -  20312 Stall downloading POP mail
  • rhp -  21436 Opening a message with web page attached leads to a crash
  • mscott -  21364 Memory leak starting and shutting down app,  21358 downloading file spews out Unknown File Type dialogs
  • sspitzer -  21178 Printing causes a crash
  • hangas -  21151 Focus problems with delete message
  • putterman - available to help with dogfood bugs
  • chuang - available to help with dogfood bugs
  • ducarroz - available to help with dogfood bugs
Mail / News
Dec 20
Submitted by Phil Peterson <>


  • Fixed 30 bugs
  • Posted results of weekly UI meeting
  • Extensive review of potential beta-stopper bugs is underway
  • Starting to take a hard look at mail/news performance issues (again)
  • UE and marketing working on specs to post to
  • Three remaining dogfood bugs in mail/news
  • davidmc -  10837 Address book import
  • bienvenu - 22101 IMAP message loading performance, 22102 IMAP delete message performance
  • alecf - General mail/news cleanup during tree closure
  • jefft -  21869 Forwarding winter party message crashes, 22043 Bug forwarding IMAP mail
  • rhp -  18410 Japanese body text turned into bogus mailto URL, 3979 Charset of reply and forward is always US-ASCII
  • mscott - 21364 Leaking memory reading mail
  • sspitzer - 21978 New plan for "local folders", 22099 News migration problems on Linux
  • hangas - Helping with other peoples' PDT+ bugs
  • putterman - 21469 Problems deleting messages in threaded view
  • chuang - Verifying bugs during tree closure
  • ducarroz - 22001 Crash trying to read message
Dec 13
Submitted by Peter Trudelle <>
  • David Hyatt (hyatt):
  • Implemented a general-purpose frame recycler and arena for frame layout objects.
  • Rewrote focus and blur system with saari.  Overhauled the event state manager.
  • Rewrote the command dispatcher so that it could track window focus in addition to element focus.
  • Made key bindings hierarchical (element and then into window chain), and defined special keybinding files for use with inputs, textareas, and DOM windows, allowing for complete configurability of key commands.
  • Fixed trees so that they properly did an initial reflow on newly-created content.
  • Worked with alecf to fix a problems with OnContentRemoved and OnContentInserted in the tree widget.
  • Eric Vaughan got the new gfx list box to display, more work still remains. (evaughan)
  • Mike Pinkerton made gfx scrollbars behave better when scrolling full page. (pinkerton)
  • Stuart Parmenter (pavlov)
  • Fixed some random drawing under the browser toolbar.
  • Fixed a few more memory leaks.
  • Got https working (again) in linux builds and fixed a crash with https
  • Steve Dagley finished the  initial implementation of nsLocalFileMac, but see issue below. (sdagley)
  • Steve Dagley and Stuart Parmenter helped Scott Furman land the new cache code on Mac and Linux, respectively. (sdagley, pavlov, fur)

  • The XPToolkit team resolved 70 bugs in the last week, fixing these 45 (includes 16 PDT+):

ID Owner Summary 
20193 [dogfood]Ctrl-W to close window crashes
20811 [DOGFOOD] Close no longer works in viewer
12225 hiddenwindow.xul should be in a platform-specific overlay
13695 [DOGFOOD] Window close box needs to call JS close routines
4649 thumbs in scrollbar blink
5586 [PP] Pageup/down scroll the content, but the scroll bar is n
13571 [PP] Layout/springs problems in pref panels
19142 [Regression] Styles broken with gfx scrollbars on
21004 tbody with scrollbar does not layout properly
21348 GFX scrollbars don't scroll a full screen when clicking in b
19736 [DOGFOOD] Die and exit in nsBoxInfo destructor
16709 [DOGFOOD]dataloss because ender stores state in frames, not
8689 [RFE] Means of reloading Navigator.XUL required
9489 DOGFOOD: tree scrolling through msg thread is slow
20493 [Dogfood] Lazily created tree row groups and rows need initi
15916 need to fix context menu inefficiency
19553 [Skins] Global skin must not be loaded implicitly
19555 [Skins] All XUL Windows for a package must load master skin.
20268 [TREE} Distinguish between deleted frame and display:none
21163 buttons in dialogs don't have borders around "OK"/"Cancel"
21180 [DOGFOOD][BLOCKER] Crash when clicking in the browser window
21247 [Dogfood]Typing in composer is very slow (keybindings issue)
21018 [DOGFOOD]Overlong menu items appear blank, with no text
20496 [DOGFOOD][REGRESSION] Navigation Toolbar appears bad
16310 [DOGFOOD][PP]Regression: Modal on top of modal leaves zombie
20449 [Mac] scrolling of fixed positioned elements is broken
15571 Clean-up build warnings
18979 [DOGFOOD] [REGRESSION] Mozilla crashes on exit / quit
18932 Many Precondition errors when shutting down
8956 Dogfood: After clicking on toolbar button, focus should retu
9305 When text input control loses focus, insertion caret remains
9454 [dogfood][BETA]sched: XP & popup menus partially offscreen
12991 [PP] Set the focus into an input text field doesn't work
16399 Focus/Command Dispatcher doesn't handle focus/blur correctly
18222 [DOGFOOD] Paste into form pastes to wrong place
19268 [DOGFOOD] Focus problem with iframe breaking Delete button i
19973 Carets in every address bar
20207 onBlur/onFocus events error
20225 [DOGFOOD] Need focus from eventstatemanager
21153 crash in event state manager
20671 [PP]Dogfood: Unable to focus or select unless user clicks ou
21239 [Dogfood]Crash clicking in text fields
14024 [PP] Mac builds have a "b" menu item instead of Help Content
21157 [dogfood][blocker]caret is missing
14540 [DOGFOOD] Crash mousing over bookmarks menu with large bookm

    (current open bugs prefixed with a *)


  • nsILocalFile is still a moving target as the current spec isn't usable for anything, on any platform (there's no way to pass it to NSPR or any other system in Mozilla that wants to deal with a file spec).  Steve Dagley, Doug Turner,  and Warren Harris had a meeting on Wednesday to determine how nsIFile, nsILocalFile and Necko are going to converge into a replacment for the current nsFileSpec/nsFileStream file  routines. (sdagley, dougt, warren)
Dec 20
Submitted by Peter Trudelle <>
  • David Hyatt and Chris Saari totally nailed focus and blur, key bindings, and command dispatching! PDT+ bugs fixed include several key binding ones plus the focus PDT+ bugs 21895, 21832, and 21610. (hyatt, saari)
  • Stuart Parmenter hooked up Tinderbox to Christmas lights display, so you can see the status of all major platforms at a glance. (pavlov)
  • The XPToolkit team resolved 70 bugs in the last week, fixing 30 of them, including 13 PDT+! For details, see our resolved bug list .
  • Didn't hit the objective definition of dogfood, although several people are using most builds as dogfood.
Priorities (current open bugs prefixed with a *)
  • All: Finish triaging M13 and M14 bugs to fit the beta schedule.
  • pinkerton: 21847
  • danm: 9614, 10029 and 16248
  • saari: Take over or help on PDT+ bugs.
  • hyatt: 19345,
  • evaughan:
    • *Finish work on GFX list box, bug 18895.
    • Begin integration of clip widget removal code. (Pork)
  • sdagley:
    • *15166 removing 4.x prefs cruft (cause the change is sitting in my tree)
    • *17949 nsILocalFile spec is pretty stable now, finish up Mac impl
    • #18399 support selecting items in the Apple menu (cause it only takes a few lines of code, at least for DAs)
  • pavlov: *20185absolute repaint wrong w/GFX
  • Mike Pinkerton reports that the original clipboard implementation doesn't scale well, and needs to be rethought and rewritten (bug 21847).
  • David Hyatt is on vacation through 1/1.
  • Steve Dagley will be on vacation 12/23 through 1/1.
  • Stuart Parmenter will be working remotely 12/20 - 12/23
  • Everyone will be on vacation 12/24 through 1/1.
Dec 13
Submitted by Beth Epperson <>

This weeks priorities:

  • Kin: resolve issues found running purify
  • Kathy: code reviews, key binding work, bug triaging
  • Steve: continue to work on webshell (13374) and bugs 21771, 12417 & 21444, assist on other bugs where needed
  • Joe: assist IME when necessary and bug 21566
  • Simon: work on 18395 and assist where needed
  • Mike: 18046, 19981 & 20519
  • Charley: continue with table editing functions, dialogs and menus
  • Akkana: 18033

Other tasks for the week:

  • International development support by the entire Ender team when needed and when necessary
  • Review and prioritize M13, 14 & 15 bug list
  • Highlights:

    • 27 editor bugs were resolved this past week, 14 were PDT+
    • 8 open M12 bugs, 4 are PDT+


    • We currently have 280 open bugs against the editor


    • Kin
      • fixed 20106, 20524, 21317, 18622, 21409
      • ran purify builds to help track down window startup crashes and tracking down the cause of UMRs reported by purify.
      • helped with 21030
      • helped triage bugs
    • Kathy
      • eating dogfood and filed lots of bugs
      • bug triaging
      • worked with mjudge, hyatt and saari on key binding issues
    • Steve
      • code reviews
      • fixed 21378, 21187, 9213, 10434, 16591
      • worked with Hyatt and Waterson on key binding and XUL controller designs
      • worked with Travis on some webshell stuff
    • Joe
      • fixed 21030, 20457, 21158, 19130, 21244
    • Simon
      • assisted other engineers on fixing bugs
      • fixed nsDebug to do the right thing on NS_WARN_IF_FALSE on Mac
      • fixed 21189, 21428 & 19256
    • Mike
      • worked on key binding issues
      • fixed 20519
    • Charley
      • basic table insert and delete is now in (6256)
      • other major fixes: 13695, 21077, 21222
    • Akkana
      • made progress on 18033
      • helped Mike with 19981
      • worked with pink on 18049 & 21208
      • debugged 20603
      • added output sink tests to the Unix (enable-tests) and Windows builds.


    • The editor team needs to iron out functionality issues and document action policies. This will be part of the overall Editor Functional spec.
    • Steve's continued focus on webshell is affecting the overall bug fix rate for the editor team


    • Everybody is out on 12/24-31
    • Simon is on vacation 12/20-23 & 1/3-7
    Dec 20
    Submitted by Beth Epperson <>

    Priorities for this week:

    • The highest priority -- we all plan on having some well deserved time off for the holidays
    • International development support by the entire Ender team when needed and when necessary
    • Reviewing and prioritizing M13, 14 & 15 bug list
    • Bug list for week of 12/20/99: (bold denotes highest priorities)
      • Akkana:
        • triage bugs
        • start on M13 bug list
      • Kathy:
        • make checkins for Simon
        • triage bugs
        • check in color prefs code
        • code review when needed
      • Steve:
        • start picking up some of Kipp's bugs
        • work with Travis and Troy on browser embedding
      • Charley:
        • triage bugs
        • wrap up any M12 loose ends
      • Joe:
        • triage bugs
        • on vacation
      • Kin:
        • fix 21029
        • triage bugs
        • start on M13 bug list
      • Mike:
        • reviewing M13 bugs to see which ones have been fixed because of the key binding check ins
      • Simon:
        • on vacation


    • Mike, Akkana, Hyatt & Saari got the new key binding / focus

    • system redesign work done for 18033, 18046, 21534, 21610, 20519, 21539, etc.
    • 44 editor bugs were resolved this past week, 7 were PDT+ bugs
    • currently, there are 91 open M13 bugs, 63 M14 bugs, and 82 M15 bugs
    • Kin
      • ran purify looking for UMRs and FMRs, etc.
      • assisted Joe in debugging 21346
      • fixed 21683
      • debugged 21029
      • fixed editor API logging playback
      • helped Brendan verify that his JavaScript exec() memory bloat problem was indeed fixed. This was a serious problem where an editor log that was 400K or more  could cause a PC with 640Mb of RAM to run out of memory
    • Kathy
      • code reviews
      • triage bugs
      • filed lots of bugs while trying to eat dogfood
      • worked on color prefs with Seth
    • Steve
      • can you say: webshell
      • fixed: 21612, 18500, 21571
      • holding fixes for 20387 & 21032
      • did several code reviews and consultations
    • Joe
      • worked on the problem of low level txns moving selection around when we don't want them too
      • worked on block transformations
    • Simon
      • worked on 18395 -- figure out how to best hook this up
      • started working on 11859
      • fixed 21639, 22065
      • wrote a patch for 13933, needs to get checked in when the tree opens
    • Mike
      • completed code to get key bindings to work. worked with hyatt and got all the fixes in.
      • fixed all his assigned PDT+ bugs
      • there will be several M13 bugs that are fixed from these checkins, he is waiting until M12 is respun to say that they are fixed.
    • Charley
    • Akkana
      • spent almost the whole week working on the key binding / focus system redesign
      • wrote new key binding files for Unix & Mac
      • filed lots of bugs while trying to eat dogfood


    • We have a total of 279 open bugs (M13-M20)


    • The key binding and focus worked seemed to cause an enormous amount of anger and frustration from all sorts of people. I think we all need to remember that everyone is trying their best. That much of this development work is new to everyone involved and many superior theories are not so wonderful when it gets implemented. People are going to make mistakes, mistakes happen -- you learn from them and move on.


    • Charley was out sick for two days
    • Beth was out sick for two days
    • Simon on vacation until 1/10/2000
    • Joe on vacation 12/22-23/1999
    • Beth on jury duty 1/6/2000
    Dec 13
    Submitted by Mike McCabe <>

    JavaScript 1.5 is now in beta. Let us know what you think.

    Rob Ginda has been getting our JavaScript test suite into shape: he has created and documented a new test driver for the Rhino and Spider Monkey JavaScript engines. Rob has also revived our LiveConnect test suite, and is adding new tests for ECMA-262 version 3 conformance. He's been working with Roger Lawrence to find those dusty corners where we don't quite conform, and (after a few minor tweaks) we now pass all tests.

    Patrick Beard found and fixed a scoping bug in the Rhino JavaScript engine when JS functions have a closure and need an activation. Certain functions with a try/catch would be unable to see their parameters. Patrick is joining the JavaScript group next week. Welcome Patrick!

    Dec 13
    Submitted by Mike McCabe <>

    John Bandhauer has successfully landed his changes to refactor the XPConnect and DOM code to properly distinguish between JS Contexts and global objects. The landing was handled as a large carpool, and it went off without a hitch. John has also been helping with dogfood bugs.

    Mike McCabe is still working on a compiler for component descriptions, to take the place of the nsC***.idl hacks cropping up in the tree.

    HP and AIX Porting
    Dec 19
    Submitted by Jim Dunn <>
    Highlights Lowlights: Accomplishments:
    • AIX: XPTCall code!
    • HPUX: Have 10.20 & 11.00 M12 builds, waiting for any final checkins
    Issues: People:
    • Shane Culpepper is on vacation till 1/3/00
    • Michael Gleeson is out till 1/3/00, but that will be his last day at Netscape.
    • Jim Dunn is out from 12/23/99 till 1/4/00
    Dec 20
    Submitted by Roger B. Sidje <>
    Thanks to members of the W3C MathML WG who have been using the MathML newsgroup to share their experience and provide much encouragement and feedback to the project since its inception. Special thanks to Robert Miner <>, David Carlisle <>, Paul Topping <>.

    Further chasing and catching up were undertaken to bring MathML in sync with CVS. This shows that a lot of activity is going on in Mozilla... For the first time, there is some chance to see a milestone tarball, M12, (not a binary yet) with a MathML code that actually compiles. I also landed some architectural work to initiate the support of embellished operators.

    Shyjan Mahamud <> significantly improved the visual appearance by implementing TeX alignment rules. The rendering of the MathML engine looks much classy now. These changes have not yet landed in the CVS tree.

    Dogfood and M12
    Dec 20
    Submitted by (Jim A. Roskind <>
    Warning: The following represent my personal opinions, and the plans of a pile of Netscape contributors, and are not necessarilly that of the entire mozilla community. I can always hope that the plans will make sense to a lot of folks, and that they'll join us in this portion of the plan... but we're not mandating any of this outside the Netscape staff. I'm trying to combine both status, our plans, and some motivation for our startegy, and if I say something in a less than PC way, please at least flame me privately ;-).


    We're now planning to branch for M12 on Thursday morning.

    We haven't reached "engineering dogfood," but we're pretty close

    Tree will probably partially open (post M12 branch) Thursday afternoon, but Netscapers will continue to act under an "approval required" rule till we reach dogfood.


    With regard to *M12*:

    We shut the tree down last Tuesday eve, 12/7, as part of an effort to produce a monthly stability checkpoint (M12). During the week we restricted our checkins to fixes for serious regression, *really* low risk items, and major usabality issues (where we had a strong handle on the risk of the fix). The bulk of the checkins centered on major usability bugs called PDT+ Dogfood bugs (discussed in next paragraph). The usability of the product went way up, and the stability also increased over the course of the week (last Sunday was a great build for me... I ran for many hours doing work). We had planned on branching for M12 today, but a last minute regression (landed Monday afternoon) stalled the closing actions, and we'll now branch tomorrow morning. We expect to do some verification on M12, fix any critical regressions that cheated thier way in, and then stamp M12 as done (I've heard rumors about Mozilla creating an alpha around M12... but that will be the topic of other email ;-) ).

    A reasonable review of *dogfood*:

    Our current near term goal has been to get do "dogfood" here at Netscape with Seamonkey. We defined dogfood as the ability to do browsing, reading and sending messages (the basic stuff that most folks do with such a product). Most critically, we were looking only for barely edible dogfood (goes back to the words of wisdom: "learn to eat the dogfood you produce"). We were willing to accept a lot of work-arounds and avoidance maneuvers to use the product (example: don't use the file->open dialog, just enter the URL in the URL box). We had a team of managers (Product Delivery Team, or PDT) triaging bugs that had the word "dogfood" in the summary, and agreeing the bug was a "significant usage stopper," or deciding that it could be worked around. Usage stoppers were marked PDT+ in the whiteboard, and less broadly critical bugs were labeled PDT-.

    Simply put, the reason for striving so hard for dogfood is to get the entire engineering staff at Netscape using the product, day in and day out. History tells us that once we reach this critical milestone, that the quality of the product will be held consistently higher, and that critical bugs will get the attention they need much sooner (in part because they are discovered sooner, and in part because of peer pressure when a feature regression impacts your coworkers).

    Progress review towards *dogfood*

    Over the past several weeks we've driven down these PDT+ bugs (by fixing some bugs as new ones were found and injected). The count went on a weekly basis from 120, to 96, to 107, then 85, 73, 63, and most recently, on last Sunday night, to 40. Our objective goal (pulled gracefully from the air) was to get down to a mere 5 PDT+ bugs, and then "call it dogfood" (and presumably note that most of the development staff is using the product, most of the time (eating Mozilla's dogfood)). Not only was the last week spectacularly effective (going from 63 to 40, or a week's reduction of 23 PDT+ bugs), but this week has proved an even more agressive follow on. We are currently around 22 PDT+ bugs (do a query for "dogfood" in the summary, and "PDT+" in the whiteboard to see this list), and it is "only" Wednesday night of the week :-).

    While we've made spectacular progress, the folks on the PDT (which includes me) have become nervous about our "count of 5" criteria, and are willing to settle for the subjective criteria that at least "50% of the local developmement staff use the product for at least 50% of their daily work.". Today in a Netscape Client development meeting, in excess of 50% of the attendees reported using the product more than 2 hours per day, but only about 25% were (as yet) using it more than 4 hours a day. We have high hopes that by next Wednesday we'll be "dogfood" by at least one of our criteria... and so we're going to continue to try to get there RSN.

    Given the proximity that we have to the holiday's, and the desire to be consistent in our monthly checkpoint releases, we've decided to release M12 on schedule, and move forword with the plan given below. There is a big difference in purpose between our "dogfood milestone" and the "M12 Stability Checkpoint." One represents a feature status, the other is somewhat akin to a daily verification build. We expect that folks will "like" the M12 build a lot, but we don't want to delay that sample point waiting for the status we're nearing with dogfood.

    Plan and strategy going foward:

    Netscape engineers will continue to give a _very_ high priority to PDT+ dogfood bugs, and try to drive this count to "zarro boogs" (a programmer's approximation of zero bugs). The good news is that with only about 22 PDT+ bugs remaining, the number of critically involved engineers should be relatively small We'll live on the tip getting checkin permission from chofmann (with jar and brendan as backup approvers). The restrictions will allow folks to begin work towards beta, but will try extra hard to prevent regressions which would preclude reaching dogfood. The checkin approval, and carefully monitored carpool landings as appropriate, should help maintain stability long enough for us to hit dogfood ( least that's the theory :-/ ).Engineering managers will continue to help focus their staff on these critical PDT+ dogfood bugs... and hopefully, we'll be there in no time (I'm guessing that we'll be there by Wednesady of next week :-) ... but I can't promise).

    When we reach dogfood, we'll drop back to our standard "open tree" requiring only code review and bug numbers in the checkin log, along with the running of the smoke test. Here again we hope that we'll stay real near dogfood even as we see additional landings, or at least we'll correct back to dogfood ASAP when we err.

    Our current plan calls for the next stability checkpoint to have a tree closure at midnight, Monday night, January 17th. We feel confident that January's M13 will be a checkpoint with quality well above that of dogfood :-).


    If you like what folks at Netscape are doing, we would ask that you join us in getting approval for your checkins from (or, or We believe it is in the best interest of the seamonkey project to reach dogfood asap, and get on with developing the product, while we live and browse in the code. If you're using Seamonkey now, you'll be able to tell (looking up at the mail header, even if you have "brief format" set), that I wrote and composed this in Seamonkey. I hope you'll join us in both eating the dogfood, and making it taste better, run faster, and jump higher.


    Previous Updates