History of Mozilla Application Suite - Rewriting From Scratch

Rewriting From Scratch

Ultimately, the Mozilla core developers concluded that the old code could not be salvaged. As stated on the October 26, 1998 development roadmap, it was decided to scrap the whole code base and rewrite it from the ground up. The resulting plan included, among other things, the creation of a whole new cross-platform user interface library and a new layout engine.

Few observers foresaw the result. On December 7, 1998, Netscape released a special "preview" based on the Gecko layout engine. Gecko had already been in development for some time at Netscape under the internal name NGLayout (short for "Next Generation Layout"). It was noticeably faster and smaller than its predecessor (known as Mariner). One widely publicized feature of the first Gecko preview release was that it fit on a single 1.44 MB floppy disk, making it about one tenth the size of most contemporary browsers.

The prompt release of Gecko led many to believe that a complete browser could not be far behind. However, the first release of the layout engine was far from bug- and crash-free, and even further from being ready for the prime-time. Producing a fully functional web browser required much more than the nascent rendering engine: the Mozilla developers soon envisioned a project more ambitious than a simple web browser. The new Mozilla (internally codenamed "Seamonkey") would be a platform for Internet applications, with a fully programmable user interface and a modular architecture. This Mozilla would function equally well as a host for email client, instant messaging client, news client, or any number of other applications.

Due to the effort required for this massive rewrite, the project fell far behind its original projected deadlines. In the years that followed, skepticism about Mozilla grew widespread, and some doubted that a finished Mozilla browser would ever see the light of day. However, the project persisted, continuing uninterrupted through both the purchase of Netscape by AOL and the end of the dot-com boom.

By June 5, 2002, the Mozilla project had produced version 1.0 of the browser that worked on multiple operating systems, including Linux, Mac OS, Microsoft Windows, and Solaris. The browser was praised for introducing new features that Internet Explorer lacked, including better support for user privacy preferences and some interface improvements. Additionally, the Mozilla browser became a de facto reference implementation for various World Wide Web Consortium standards, due to its strong support for those standards. Recent versions of Mozilla are highly customizable and include advanced features such as cookie, popup, password and image management, and tabbed browsing.

Read more about this topic:  History Of Mozilla Application Suite

Other articles related to "rewriting":

Divergence (computer Science) - Definitions - Rewriting
... In abstract rewriting a reduction is called convergent if and only if it is both confluent and terminating ...
Regulated Rewriting
... Regulated rewriting is a specific area of formal languages studying grammatical systems which are able to take some kind of control over the production applied in a derivation step ... the grammatical systems studied in Regulated Rewriting theory are also called "Grammars with Controlled Derivations" ...
Abstract Rewriting Machine
... The Abstract Rewriting Machine (ARM) is a virtual machine which implements term rewriting for minimal term rewriting systems ... Minimal term rewriting systems are left-linear term rewriting systems in which each rule takes on one of six forms Continuation Return Match Add Delete Ident Each of these six forms is ... Accordingly, minimal term rewriting is achieved at tens to hundreds of clock cycles per reduction step—millions of reduction steps per second ...
Properties of Rewriting Systems
... Observe that in both of the above rewriting systems, it is possible to get terms rewritten to a "simplest" term, where this term cannot be modified any further from the rules in the rewriting system ... normal forms can be used to classify and describe certain rewriting systems ... There are rewriting systems which do not have normal forms a trivial example is the rewriting system on two terms a and b with a → b, b → a ...

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