Weekend Discussion

Friday April 28th, 2000

What does Open Source mean to you in terms of user feedback? Does it mean that you are given more power to interact with the developers? That you are given more power over those developers? That the end-user takes on a more active role in determining the direction of development?

And the big question (which feeds off a discussion in a forum today): what kind of responsibility do third party developers have to meet the deadlines of commercial entities who are utilizing their Open Source code? What if these deadlines are being advocated by end-users? What role should the end user play in directing the time of volunteer coders?

For example, should the third-party volunteers implementing XSLT or SVG or MathML have a responsibility to meet the deadlines of Netscape 6? Even if Netscape didn't promise the technology for the 6 release? What if end-users are telling them that they need to get it done for that release? How much can or should an end-user expect in this situation? How much responsibility should the volunteer developer feel to deliver?

We're interested in feedback from both end-users and developers. Let us know what you think. It's a complex question, but one that I think needs a public airing.

#1 Simple Answer, Mozilla /= Netscape

by ERICmurphy <>

Friday April 28th, 2000 4:31 PM

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The advantage to separate Mozilla builds is that more releases can be made with cutting edge features before Netscape issues their releases with the feature updates.

Say, XSLT is brought into Mozilla in a couple of months. Mozilla builds would have that, but Netscape would not get it until the next major release.

Anyway, deadlines are always moving targets, so that would not be a good idea.

I think it will soon become apparent that many of us will be using the Mozilla instead of Netscape. Right now, there is not much difference, but there will be.

<sidenote>Also, I really hope XSLT comes along soon. At first, I was skeptical of the idea, as I thought it should all be done on the server-side, but now I understand why having it on the client-side has its benefits.

Anyway, doing these things on the client-side or server-side is going to be a mixed-bag for years to come.</sidenote>

In conclusion, I look to see Mozilla one or more steps ahead of the Netscape releases. It will keep us happy, and allow us to get our ducks in a row (as website developers) before the next big Netscape release does come out.