MozillaZine

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.


#2 good questions

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Friday April 28th, 2000 5:48 PM

You are replying to this message

The open source environment has given me the oportunity to do a lot more than provide feedback. It has certainly done that but more important it has allowed me to track the results of my feedback, to follow its path, to rethink and restructure the feedback along the way. Before open source user feedback was like a message in a bottle. You put your thoughts into this container and tossed it out to sea hoping that someone on the other side would pick it up and act on it. That was it. If you were lucky in a year you might see some change and wonder if it was your bottle that got picked up or someone elses. But with open source you have the oportunity to participate in the debate that you touched off. You can rally support for your ideas, you can modify your arguement, adapt it or adopt a new one alltogether. The Mozilla project has the tools and the people that make this a very cool and empowering process.

The second part about external development, deadlines and responsibility....hmm. That's a difficult one. I look at it something like this. Netscape doesn't have any significant obligation to deadlines the implementors of MathML have placed on themselves. It's very cool that Netscape is interested in contributing to Mozilla in ways that are helpful to the MathML developers and their product. But the MathML developers can't expect Netscape be bound or responsible for their self-imposed product deadlines.

Well, I'm sure I'll revisit this discussion as it grows.

Asa

(You know it --posted with Mozilla 042808)