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.

#12 small step into otherwise unknown giant area

by punkrider <>

Saturday April 29th, 2000 1:31 PM

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The ability for end-users to help out with their ideas brings amazing power to the software, and the world. For example:

Back around M8 I got involved a little bit with Mozilla. Having never undertaken any large sofware programming, I was eager to see what all of this hype would be about. I posted some stuff in the newsgroups as RFE's and lo and behold, one of the most important ones gets picked up. Aphrodite has mentioned lately that they are working on a crash recovery bit. This bug #19454 <> was something that I brought up. I have not seen any results, as of yet, but am eagerly anticipating the first release. Had it not been for Open Source, we might never have seen this very useful and powerful enhancement.

I would have loved to get an internship with Netscape to work on Mozilla this summer.