Weekend Discussion: Is Netscape Doing the Right Thing?
Friday May 12th, 2000
Netscape recently released its plans for the PR2 branch. Mozilla.org then released their tree plans for the next few months, and then followed up this evening with a more detailed position on tree management. The one thing that is clear is that Netscape is working on an accelerated schedule. Mozilla.org has yet to release a beta, and Netscape is currently working towards a second beta. Feature freeze for Netscape is coming much earlier than for Mozilla. This means that Netscape's feature list will probably be truncated somewhat (although the developers are trying mightily to get the remaining features in), and it also means that there might be changes to Mozilla before its release that impact its compatibility with Netscape's final release. Netscape has promised standards compliance, but there is also the serious question as to how bug-free that standards compliance will be by final release.
Is Netscape doing the right thing by pushing ahead and trying to get a release into the public's hands? Or will they just end up alienating Mozilla developers and website developers by rushing a product to market? Is it even fair to consider it "rushing"?
#3 General response...
Friday May 12th, 2000 10:36 PM
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Well, as are most important things in life, I don't think this is black and white, right and wrong.
At it's root, Mozilla started as a commercial product that was in trouble. Netscape took a huge risk, and opened it up. They were the only contributor at that point, and are still the major contributor. It's STILL a commercial product, as is obvious by the license. By making as much as they have public, that's good. By keeping back as much as they still are, and will continue to do, is bad. Especiually since it's still a FREE product. What point is there to open up 95% of a product, but keep the other 5% secret when you're going to give away the final product anyway?
I think Netscape is excellent in their support, but I think that they have litte concern for where the entire Mozilla project (and supporting community) goes and where it's ultimate destiny lies. That's disturbing.