Friday April 28th, 2000
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.
I think external developers can never be responsible for Netscape deadlines. Their work always has to be a bonus which lets development progress faster.
If netscape decide that something is important for the next release, then it is their responsibility to bring it into Mozilla.org (differant from mozilla, I am talking about bugzilla etc) and assign employees to it.
So long a someone is a volunteer you can't ask them to do too much.