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.

#22 Open Source does NOT benefit consumers

by danielhill <>

Monday May 1st, 2000 12:32 AM

You are replying to this message

I'll be the odd one out here, but I don't think Open Source benefits consumers at all. I'm talking the average Joe Blow off the street who wants to buy 'one of dem computer thingys to go on the fishing net'.

Is Joe Blow going to report bugs? No. Is Joe Blow going to get out that C++ compiler and add his own features? HAHAHA!

I'm sorry, but I haven't seen an open source project delivering superior quality to a closed source one. Maybe Mozilla will be the exception to that.

With Open Source, there are too many things to go wrong. What if somebody takes the code, chucks the license and flogs their version of the software without giving credit nor source? You cannot prove he didn't write it himself.

As for Open Source projects encouraging and accepting more feedback, well I'll dispute that right now. A while ago in this forum, I posted something about Autocomplete and Tooltips. Somebody from Netscape literally laughed at me. I think it was Tanyel who said Mozilla wasn't that great on a 32 meg machine, and was laughed at and labelled a troll. I have heard of many cases like this, with too many Netscape engineers' heads too far up their a**es.

Don't get me wrong: I like Mozilla. I think it will make a great browser. I just don't like the attitudes of a lot of people associated with it (the 'You use MS, you're scum' set of people) and I think maybe a few people have too much faith on open-source.