Development :  K-Meleon Forum
K-Meleon development related discussions. 
Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: ||||||
Date: April 09, 2002 01:03PM

Ya know, the longer and longer that you wait for the K-Meleon .6 release to come out most people will have given up on it. Let me see.. version .6 came out like six months ago and since then the development stages have been pretty much stale and at a standpoint. Can you guys please hurrry up and release this bugger? Hate to see a decent browser die in its own lack of time managment on the coders' end.

thx

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: Al.
Date: April 09, 2002 01:24PM

>Ya know, the longer and longer that you wait for the K-Meleon .6 release to come out most people will have given up on it. (sic)

I don't know about that, they have a tendency to keep coming back to these forums every once and a while and post nags like the one you just did ;-)
As the last beta (incorporating Gecko 0.9.9) was only released a week or two ago, I personally feel they're progressing nicely with it.
btw, K-Meleon 0.6 is already out ;-)

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: Julian
Date: April 09, 2002 08:25PM

I don't see how the KM user base is doomed to shrink every month as if there weren't any new users incoming. Yes, there are people who haven't heard about KM yet and they haven't waited months or something for a new release.

I've been using KM most of the time since 0.6 came out (0.5 and older had some bookmark issues I didn't like) and there haven't been much changes in the browser market since then except the release of Opera 6.x so I can't see why I should change my preferences now just because the new release doesn't come out (yet).

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: David
Date: April 10, 2002 01:58AM

Suppose friends invite you and your significant other to their house for dinner. He's in the kitchen working on the meal, and she's conversing with you in the living room. Sure, you're hungry, but do you jump up and run into the kitchen every 5 minutes, asking when dinner will be ready? I sure hope not!

Please remember that the folks who work on K-Meleon (and most other open-source software) do so because they enjoy it. We are not paying them anything, so they don't owe us anything (including updates).

All that you're apt to do by nagging them is kill the fun of the process. Then they'll work less enthusiastically and the release will take even longer. They might even decide that it's not fun any more, so they should just not bother.

Don't get me wrong. This isn't a threat, and I'm not on the development team. But I ~am~ grateful that these folks keep improving K-Meleon. They're kind enough to give out their work for nothing. In fact, they support this free software better than most of the big vendors support commercial software.

I'd like to see that continue. So please don't annoy the cooks!

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: Andrew
Date: April 10, 2002 04:40AM

Just so everyone is on the same page, development has not been at a standstill. No, you haven't seen releases but that doesn't mean work has not been taking place. There have been improvements and added functionality in both the browser and plugins.

Andrew

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: Mark
Date: April 24, 2002 02:07AM

Remember most end users want a stable, pollished program even if it is not updated as often.

Most users will not be bothered to update regularly. If they signed up to the email list they will be informed of the next release when it comes out.

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: po
Date: April 24, 2002 06:39AM

yep... and by extension, those are the people who you also don't hear from much on these forums, so the point bears reinforcing... to keep the perspective of all involved from getting warped by all the henpecking. smiling smiley

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: DigitalOnes
Date: June 01, 2002 08:22PM

PO, Mark, Andrew & Al, You guys are missing the point here. As I look through some of these complaints I'm actually surprised at the quantity of them. Most users don't complain about the lack of releases but you've got a ton of them doing so here. Perhaps you're unaware that statistically for every one complaint their are, on average, 27 people who feel exactly the same way or worse but didn't take the time to bother complaining. If you do the simple math you can see that K-Me does have a significant PR problem.

This is, of course, compounded by some of the responses you guys are giving on these forums. I don't know how many times I see you guys blaming everything under the sun for what's going on but K-Me itself. It's mozilla, It's their release schedule, It's the major coding we have to do with each release, It's the poorly coded web pages, It's the lack of corporate insistence on adhering to the standards, Look at developer X they don't release until it's ready, and the list goes on and on. These may all individually be valid problems, collectively however, and unaccompanied by frequent releases, they begin to look like excuse making.

Of itself this wouldn't be so bad but what I find intolerable are the constant references to how the betas are fixing so many problems, but K-Me development steadfastly refuses to release the betas. If I've got problems 1 - 37 with K-Me, of what good does it do me that the unreleased beta fixes 100 or a thousand problems for that matter? In the end do I not still have problems 1 - 37 ? Do I use K-Me often? Yes quite a bit but I can't even come close to attempting to use it exclusively because most everything I would like to browse I have problems with through K-Me and almost no problems through IE.

I've seen users blamed for having unrealistic expectations of this browser, to the thoughtless individuals who've made that comment let me apprise you of how I feel about that in no uncertain terms. WELL EXCUSE ME FOR EXPECTING TO BE ABLE TO BROWSE THE MAJORITY OF WHAT I WANT TO BROWSE WITH THIS WEB BROWSER.

You can regale me with tales about the standards and how IE has fostered an attitude of ambivalence for those standards until you and I are both blue in the face. At the end of the day I still can't access the content I want through K-Me while I can with no problems with IE. If that's something you're unwilling to even attempt to address with this software than whether you believe it or not K-Me will always be playing second fiddle to IE and most other browsers for that matter as well.

Some may claim that it's not fair to compare K-Me with IE feature for feature, unfortunately these tend to be the ones all too eager to compare the problems and security bugs of IE with K-Me all to happily. Well if it's good for the goose it's good for the gander. Don't compare the negatives unless you're willing to realistically compare the positives as well. And when I say realistically I mean that it's not realistic to put off a complaint of K-Me's inability to handle non-standard coding, when IE can, because it happens, not only all too frequently, but with exponentially increasing frequency. The perfect utopia in which the world stops coding the way it is and starts coding exactly to standards is never going to exist. To attempt to hold K-Me up as the banner of this unrealistic standard is to relegate it as a boot note in history.

Calls for patience with development would probably go over a lot better if they weren't coming most ardently from those who currently have the benefit of the fixes incorporated into the most recent beta.

Constantly blaming the individuals complaining about release schedule isn't cutting the mustard gentlemen, it's simply a way of avoiding the issue.

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: Mark
Date: June 01, 2002 10:29PM

(I'm a different Mark than the Mark up there, btw.)

So I see two main issues in your post, DigitalOnes. One is the issue of our release schedule, which I will get to in a minute. The second relates to standards-compliance, page-rendering, etc. I don't know how this entered the discussion, but I will address it.

The rendering engine for K-Meleon is taken directly from Mozilla. KM wraps an interface around it, but has nothing to do with what it does and doesn't render. One of Mozilla's goals is standards-compliance, and it does this very well. KM inherits this from Mozilla, and really has no control over it. So, by extension, KM essentially has this same goal of standards-compliance. That's just the way it is. It's not worth discussing here, because we have no control over it. As I see it, KM isn't meant to do everything IE does. It's a different browser. You don't complain that Swiss Army knives don't have built-in pliers; you go get a Leatherman.

As for the release schedule... Well, it's been discussed to death already. I'll address some of your points directly.

"K-Me development steadfastly refuses to release the betas."

The betas are released to the developers list. The betas are very broken and are not fit for release to the general public. People who are interested in testing, bug-hunting, etc, can sign up to the developers list and get the latest betas for those purposes.

"Calls for patience with development would probably go over a lot better if they weren't coming most ardently from those who currently have the benefit of the fixes incorporated into the most recent beta."

I'm writing this from one of the latest betas. Yes, that offers me some benefits, but it also has some major problems which have been stated in this forum. I frequently open up my 0.6 install, IE, or even NS 4.79 to deal with things this beta can't handle. I'm running it for development, testing, and debugging purposes. I'm as eager for a new release as anyone else. It's not like I'm sitting here, happy with my shiny, fixed-up beta, content to let everyone else use 0.6...

"Constantly blaming the individuals complaining about release schedule..."

I don't think that has been happening. I'm pretty sure any sane individual realizes that people who complain about the release schedule aren't responsible for said release schedule...


Well, I'm not sure how useful this post will be. This whole thing has turned into a religious war of sorts, where people have fixed opinions and argue them forever without changing them a bit. Talk about unproductive... My excuse is that I'm waiting for Mozilla to build, so I can't really work on KM right now, anyway. :-)

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: rmn
Date: June 01, 2002 10:34PM

> The perfect utopia in which the world stops coding the way it is and starts coding exactly to standards is never going to exist.

By supporting these non-standard things, we are actually supporting more and more people to write in codes that is out of the standards.
If we don't support them, people may think twice about doing it.

And what are standards for if we do not follow them?

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: DigitalOnes
Date: June 01, 2002 10:58PM

You're missing the point rmn:

Nothing you or anyone else is doing or will do will change what is currently happening. This argument is simply used as an excuse to avoid the central truth that K-me isn't as robust as IE in that it can't support code inconsistancies.

Mark:
You don't complain that Swiss Army knives don't have built-in pliers; you go get a Leatherman.

No I don't complain about that, neither do I complain that the leatherman's shortfalls are the Swills Army knifes strengths.

Mark

"I don't think that has been happening. I'm pretty sure any sane individual realizes that people who complain about the release schedule aren't responsible for said release schedule..."

That's nice but the point you answered wasn't really the point I was making now was it?

The point I was making, which only someone intent on purpusly misconstruing it would miss, is that too many of people here immediatly go on the offensive and blame the individuals making complaints rather than looking at correcting the cause of the complaints.

The complaint is "release the betas." It's quite plain people are getting tired of hearing the same old tired reasons why you can't or why progress is stalled or why they should be patient while those urging that course of action are currently enjoying the benifits of the fixes incorporated in the betas.

I was/am responding to the weak arguments thus far given to people complaining because no new updates or beta has been released to include those arguments made about standards.

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: Mark
Date: June 02, 2002 12:18AM

I didn't purposely misunderstand your point. I just don't see where anyone has been "blaming the individuals making complaints." Perhaps "blame" isn't the right word, there? Even so, nobody has really been attacked for raising issues with the release. They might get some flack for doing so in a less than civil manner, but not for complaining itself.

I'm not sure what to say about the "release the betas" bit. They have been released to anyone who wants them. Reasons have been given for not releasing them to *everyone*. The reasons seem old because they haven't really changed. They haven't really changed because they are still true. If you don't believe the reasons are valid, please argue against the reasons themselves, not their age, frequency of use, or anything else.

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: Andrew
Date: June 02, 2002 12:23AM

DigitalOnes,

Mark answered why code inconsistencies occur in K-Meleon. We are entirely dependent upon Mozilla for the rendering engine. You can say that is an excuse but the reality is that we are not going to build a rendering engine from scratch to emulate IE's behavior. Nor are we going to build K-Meleon around IE's rendering engine. There are other browser projects that do that. If you want that behavior, feel free to use those browsers. If K-Meleon is going to be a foot note because of this behavior, then so are Mozilla and Netscape 7 and Chimera and all of the other Mozilla-based alternatives to IE.

Regarding the release schedule, I'm not really sure what you want to hear. Do you want us to widely release the betas? That's simply not going to happen. People who want to use the betas can sign up for the developers list. Otherwise, they'll have to wait until it is released. That's probably not the answer you want but that's how the project is being managed.

We don't say "this bug has been fixed in the next release" to mock people or point out we have access to fixes that they don't. It just helps make people aware that we are working of correcting problems and that their particular problem is fixed in the next release. I also strongly disagree with your comment that we go on the offensive against people who have complaints instead of addressing the complaint. There might be people who do that in the forum but they are not members of the development team. Also, I think we do a good job of addressing user complaints We can't include or code for every feature but we do listen to all of the feedback and try to fix as many problems as possible.

You may not realize it but there is a very small group of people doing actually development work on this project. All of us do this in our free time and within the constraints of the our lives. It would be nice if there were more people contrbuting and people who did nothing but work on K-Meleon. But since we don't live in that fantasy world, we do the best we can.

Andrew

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: Andrew
Date: June 02, 2002 12:28AM

DigitalOnes,

If any of that last post sounded hostile, it was not intended that way. I just got a little worked up.
smiling smiley

I guess part of the problem I'm having with your post is I'm not clear exactly what you want. Do you want K-Meleon to render pages exactly like IE? Do you want betas released to the general public on a regular basis even when they are "broken" If I had a better idea of what your problems with what we are doing, I could give a better answer to them.

Andrew

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: Andrew
Date: June 02, 2002 12:31AM

I would also point out that we have given quite specific reasons why a new release has not come out. We've heard from our beta testers that items like downloading and SSL not functioning are valid reasons not to release. If you disagree, please say so.

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: Al.
Date: June 02, 2002 07:40AM

Actually I assume, from what I can ascertain is the gist of what DigitalOnes was getting at is, rather than have people sign up for the developers mailing list, the developers should release whatever the current "beta" version is, to the general public. You know, make an announcement about it in the "News" section on the homepage, then make it the "current" version of K-Meleon for download, in order to appease the masses. I could be wrong, but that is the way I read it.
Of course the problem with that idea is obvious, and flawed: the "beta" versions, as Andrew has pointed out, are broken in many different areas. I remember the last beta version I tried of course didn't have a download dialogue, couldn't log onto secure sites, and also had some widgets missing (scrollbar arrows etc.), plus some text was missing from the pop-up dialogues, that's why I'm now back using trusty ol' v0.6. Now, if the developers were to make this a widely available beta release, it would not last long on many peoples computers, in fact the developers would cop a huge amount of flak because of it: a lot worse than people complaining about "release schedules" and the like. It would ultimately prove a bad PR exercise. At least by releasing betas within the constraints of the developers mailing list, beta testers are made aware of the shortcomings, plus other bugs are more accurately reported, and kept within the mailing list itself. If the beta was made more public than what it currently is, then these forums would become flooded with endless reports of the same bugs. How many times do you want someone saying that they cannot log onto Hotmail or something similar? As has been proven in these forums time and time again, people post before reading what has already been posted: did somebody mention "tabs" again ;-)
Apart from that, DigitalOnes, the rendering issues are Mozilla's, and Mozilla's alone. The K-Meleon developers wrap K-Meleon around the MFCEMBED version of Gecko that the Mozilla programmers put out for release. The K-Meleon developers cannot change it in any way, nor can they rectify bugs in it as well.
Anyways, I've had my rant, time to get off of the soapbox ;-)

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: po
Date: June 02, 2002 07:43AM

a few random thoughts before i go wake myself up:

maybe the superficial visual resemblence of k-meleon is turning into a bit of a liability, to the extent that the fact that they're VERY different things may go right over some heads... since the user-base seems to increasingly include some of these heads (which isn't _inherently_ a bad thing) it might be wise to re-vamp the introduction pages a little in light of the fact; maybe a clear explanation of exactly what mozilla embedding consists of (and allows, and doesn't allow) should be one of the first things people see (at the risk of depriving the devs of some mystique - you don't mind, do you, guys?) so as to put everybody on more or less the same page from the get-go; then people will have a better idea of what constitutes a valid complaint or suggestion... maybe avoid some of the more insane demands, such as for 'IE compatibility'.

(if IE behavior is what you want, then that's what you should be using... if you want a different interface for it, well... that's almost exactly the polar_opposite of what this project is, and that should be well understood. as for the suggestion that people shouldn't even TRY to adhere to accepted standards, i think that's already been given more of a response than it deserves from someone else...)

i think it should be pointed out (or belabored a little further, maybe) that what andrew said about the actual developers involved in the project being few (and seldom heard from) is very true, and there's probably not a lot of percentage in what they're doing... there's even less for people who try to be helpful on the forums; if you want to provide an shining example of how to do it better, there's absolutely nothing stopping you. smiling smiley

and while i'm at it, i'll say that a statement to the effect of "the thing you're asking about appears to be added|fixed|improved in the current beta version" should never be taken as meaning "ha ha, sucker, i've got a better version than you!", because it certainly doesn't mean anything of the sort, and i think most people realize that. it merely serves to provide information that, on the one hand, may please someone (to know that the issue not only is one that has the attention of the developers, but that major progress has already been made, even as we speak), and in some cases, if the issue is important enough to the person (such as, in my case, the better macro scripting capabilities) let them know that they can gain the benefits of the improvements, BUT with the understanding that along with them may come other possible problems, as is usually the case with a non-release version (being unable to use certificates makes a browser entirely unusable for some purposes)... then, if they so choose, they can obtain the beta with a small amount of effort (it really isn't that hard to join the list or dig through the archives... it's probably just the right amount of difficulty to weed out the truly lazy).

having said all of that, i think the point should be taken, again, that if k-meleon is going to be promoted in a 'bubble-gum' manner, the site is going to need to be maintained in a parallel course, or things like this are going to happen. unfortunatley, the promoting part is a lot easier, which tends to create an imbalance, and this should be kept in mind while directing energy at the project, yada yada yada...

ok... somebody else's turn. smiling smiley

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: Anthony
Date: June 02, 2002 07:52AM

How do you download beta versions of K-Meleon? It's not obvious.

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: David
Date: June 02, 2002 11:40AM

> Nothing you or anyone else is doing or will do will change what is
> currently happening. This argument is simply used as an excuse to
> avoid the central truth that K-me isn't as robust as IE in that it can't
> support code inconsistancies.

On the contrary. The more Internet Excluder struggles to render poorly written code, the more careless coders will become. Hold page authors to a higher standard, by contacting them and asking them to code to standards, and page quality will improve.

Don't scoff at this. Contacting webmasters works -- not every time, but surprisingly frequently.

> How do you download beta versions of K-Meleon? It's not obvious.

Subscribe to the development mailing list. You can find the subscription page by navigating from the "get involved" link on the KM homepage. Or just load this page:

http://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/kmeleon-dev

When a new beta build is "released," it's announced in the list, with a download link provided. My understanding is that we are not permitted (or at least not encouraged) to redistribute the beta builds, for reasons explained above.

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: fark
Date: June 02, 2002 12:01PM

Um, seems kind of obvious, but how about posting in the news page -

Latest STABLE release - CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
.:. This version appears to work. Download this version.

-=-=

Latest UNSTABLE (development) release - click here to download
.:. This version is a development version. If something is broken, please don't complain and accept that it is broken. Use it at your own risk, as it may destroy your computer and we will not accept the consequences of you using this. This is meant for developers and people that are just plain sick.

-----------

Seems simple enough, doesn't it? KM has some really serious issues - one being the lack of tabbed browsing (bring on the flames, love) and the fact that experienced users (who are likely the early adopters of potentially-fine products like KM) have to jump through hoops to get a dev release. Sure, you can subscribe to the dev digest (which I have) but who wants to actually wade through 10-20 e-mails about Windows programming? Seems kind of stupid.

Just release the betas freely, and tell people they're farking stupid if they download a beta release.

Flame as necessary. I don't care. I adore the idea and motivation behind KM - I just disagree with some of the methods by which it's being carried. When some of the issues above are addressed, you can be guaranteed I'll switch permanently. Until then, it's stock-Mozilla.

Try Galeon and then KM and tell me what you think.

Until then, it's basically a buggy IE clone. Sorry.

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: catsurgery
Date: June 02, 2002 12:42PM

Here are my two cents about the issue :

I think the K-Me dev team should simply put a line or two on the front page telling the world how things are shaping-up for the beta's (and why they're unusable for the end-user), and/or giving an approximate release date for ver. 0.7

I don't necessarely want to wage throught the forums to get an idea of how things are going on. Stop acting like you're some sort of secret society.

Also, maybe you should talk a little more openly about the new features of 0.7, whether it be stability, features, etc. I'm curious.

As I understand it, one of K-Me's high points is its small system resources consumption.

I'm still on IE, but looking for an efficient replacement, under win. Maybe this'll be it. But not now (0.6)

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Re: Half a year since .6? wtf
Posted by: po
Date: June 02, 2002 12:49PM

the above suggestions make sense in the context of many projects (obviously, since that's how it's often done) but at least consider that there might be a reason it's not being done this way for k-meleon, other than to annoy people smiling smiley

the imagination of anyone who's watched the incredible number of redundant posts collect in the forums (admittedly, the search feature was a little awkward to use until recently) recoils at the thought of the mess that would result from doing that. until there's a support system in place that can handle that kind of thing, it would probably be a bad idea.

note that the people who come looking for a browser are going to represent a different, and much, much larger chunk of the population than the people who're interested in less 'shiny' projects with no mass-appeal. this is fine, but if there's no large support staff sitting around to field all the confusion, why create the confusion to begin with?

never under-estimate the ability of people to be confused... i know i spend enough time in that state, myself. ;)

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