New mozilla.org Roadmap Posted
Sunday December 24th, 2000
David Polberger writes:
#52 bug count going up and up
Tuesday January 2nd, 2001 2:04 PM
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Why does that matter? The question is whether Mozilla is a failing project. That has nothing to do with IE.
Anyone who has been associated with the repeated shipment of commercial software products, as I have for many years, knows that the defect curve is the primary determinant of software readiness to ship. Late stage development activities invariably consist of attempting to drive this defect curve down to an acceptable level under a feature freeze regimen.
Since the project began, the defect curve for Mozilla has never gone down. (Though you can't see this fact any more, since bug trend graphing itself has been broken for months.) Even given feature freeze, code review before checkin, and strict bug ranking, the curve is still not going down. That is a description of a project which never becomes shippable.
I wouldn't need to have this discussion with any trained software professional, but unfortunately Mozilla has bought into the open source community's set of assumptions -- primary among which is that flakey software is perfectly acceptable. I have yet to meet an advocate of the open source religion who had any familiarity with any software engineering process models from the 1960's to the present, and so it is possible in that community to simply ignore obvious bellwethers such as an ever-increasing defect curve and high regression rate. The people involved in open source have only worked on toy projects on their own time, for the most part, and do not understand the basics of software process or quality. Mozilla has not developed the project management structures that would be needed to put this project on a shipment track, instead promoting the untrained keyboard jockeys who've made the mess so far to project management positions for which they have no qualifications.