Tuesday December 21st, 1999
M12 is now out. Get it from the FTP site. It might be a little difficult to get in. If you have a mirror site, let us know in the forum, and we'll add your info to this news item.
So far there are releases for Mac, FreeBSD, Sparc Solaris 2.7, Windows, OpenVMS and Linux.
by Darchmare <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wednesday December 29th, 1999 6:15 AM
You are replying to this message
This is not a religious debate, but rather a coding style one. I for one could care less for the 'religious' aspect of things (I'm certainly not an RMS follower, and while I think ESR is better from a more practical perspective, I tend to think for myself). I'm talking from a purely pragmatic point of view.
Ever hear of opportunity cost? If the people working on Mozilla were paid to do so (which, incidentally, some are), it would cost less in the long run for those who can code to do so exclusively rather than debug, leaving that job for those who can't code but know enough to debug. Using your method, coders would produce half as much code, spending the other half of the time debugging, and everyone else who can debug will be left with less to do.
Those who write the code DO debug to a limited extent, but they aren't nearly able to do as thorough job as a bunch of dedicated testers are (multiple platforms, OSes, processors, etc). Everyone does what they do best.
You are also working under the false assumption that everyone's installation of Mozilla is as buggy as yours. As I've said twice already, my install under (I assume) similar hardware is pretty stable. Not up to release or even beta standards, certainly, but certainly as good as any other alpha I've played with.
I'll be the first to admit that open-source is not a panacea, nor will I be one to say that anyone has a moral right to 'free' software, or even that it's perfect for all projects. However, I don't see why you discount Mozilla so quickly - once again I cite the progress it has made in the last couple of months. I don't know what's up with your build, but many of us are having no problems.
Mozilla, by most accounts, has started with a small group of dedicated developers. Just like these other 'successful' open-source projects you cite. As time has gone on, interest has increased as the codebase has become more solid. Once it hits beta, my bet is that even more developers will more than happy to add on to it.
I think the problem is in how you presented yourself upon first posting to this forum. Constructive feedback is fine, but you have to remember that many of the people here have contributed to the project in some way or another. It's not too far of a stretch to assume that you were insulting the programming integrity of the Mozilla engineers and everyone else who has contributed in some way to the project. All this after a single install of a pre-alpha that seems less stable than that of many others. While this may not have been your intention, the wording of your post could be construed as being inflammatory. If you are going to refute the Mozilla development model, don't simply complain - suggest a better alternative. Don't have the time to debug? That's fine, but don't blame us - I've put far more than 90 minutes into Mozilla, and it doesn't bother me a bit. Do as much as you like, and let others take the rest. While your efforts are appreciated, we'll live without them.