Links Toolbar Landed
Wednesday October 3rd, 2001
Gervase Markham writes: "The Links Toolbar from bug 87428 has finally landed, bringing us ever-closer to full support for HTML 2.0. You'll see it in this morning's builds. The auto-show is still in development over in bug 102832. Good places to try it out are Bugzilla buglists, the W3C, htmlhelp.com and many machine-generated manuals or documents, such as the GNU Make manual."
#196 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cool, but ...
Thursday October 11th, 2001 2:27 PM
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I think you're making a very valid (though nearly religious) point about how projects *do* need an occasional freeze on new code, so that developers can concentrate on fixing the code that's there. In an ideal world, you have a staff of developers that you can simply re-task and allocate to fixing problems. A feature freeze in this type of environment allows you to move those developers working on new features to the job of fixing the bugs in a product.
The problem is, this isn't really how OpenSource works. With an army of moderately-skilled in-their-spare-time developers, you can't just say, "I want all of you to start working on bugs X, Y and Z." 90% of them aren't remotely qualified to do that. The 10% that are left might oblige, but others might find it boring, so they won't participate. This is OpenSource.
In situations like this, if you have a large number of 3rd-party developers working with a large project, you have these developers finding something that interests them, and then coding in response to that interest. Forbid them to develop this interest further (since it's not a bug), and they will either stop contributing, or they will continue working on the side. After all, we're doing all of this in CVS. You can have multiple trees of development going on simultaneously. This is OpenSource.
So basically, lighten up. Mozilla is getting some great stuff accomplished using this development model. Their accomplishments might not be in the area of bug fixes, but Mozilla is improving nonetheless. As another poster mentioned, "Deal." If you want to fix bugs, you know how to do contribute. Dictate development priorities to developers you pay, not the ones that are volunteering in their areas of interest. I would much rather have a paid Netscape developer spend some of his time trying to integrate a very useful feature that implements a piece of HTML functionality than have him defer a contribution like this indefinitely.
I really don't understand why this is getting so blown up.