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.

#6 re: good questions

by RBS <>

Friday April 28th, 2000 6:34 PM

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There are no rigid deadlines for MathML.

Mozilla 1.0? Netscape 6? Netscape 7? AnyGeckoDerivedBrowser? Perhaps one or some of these, provided the implementation is ripe to consumption by the general public.

The point of the matter is that you need to look at something in order to get going and motivate people, while knowing that people understand this point and are not expecting miracles overnight. If there is no glimmering of a goal (such as rendering a part of the specification first), one may be side-tracked into trying to do many things, and end-up with nothing really useful to the large audience. If someone wants to ensure that a (i.e., his/her) target is met, then of course, they are most welcome to come along and help!