Mozilla Bug Week
Monday October 22nd, 2001
Many of you are familiar with the Bug Day's that we started a few years ago. Well, with the number of people wanting to help out skyrocketing these last few months, firstname.lastname@example.org and others have decided that a bug week was in order. They'll be running it from Saturday October 27th to Sunday November 4th, and they'll have plenty of smart people on hand to help folks learn the bug system, learn how to use the various other web tools, and of course, learn some tips on how to contribute code to the Mozilla effort. Click the Full Article link to get all the details.
#46 mozilla.org justifing to Netscape
Thursday October 25th, 2001 12:58 AM
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If this is true .... then maybe a call for more outside developers is in order? Maybe mozilla.org can campaign for more support from other companies. IBM comes to mind. They're investing $1 billion in Linux, and Linux still needs a good browser. Red Hat is too small, and needs to worry about making a profit right now, I think Blizzard's contributions are more than enough than one could expect from a small company.
Whether it wants to be or not, Mozilla has become the standard bearer to wether open source development works or not. Linux and others have always been open source, they started with no expectations, Mozilla started with huge expectations. Mozilla is the first "commercial" attempt for an open source package with corporate backing. If it "fails", then most closed source pundits would say "See, Mozilla failed, now Open Office will probably suffer the same fate, as well as (you name it)." Then, coporations will see that as opposed to the advantages of an open model.
Since Mozilla has become an excellent browser lately, the interest has gone up substantially. The reactions on /. and other sites have gotten better, and look at the amount of posts that people are submitting on this site alone, as the product becomes more mature, more people will be interested in it. Now, IMO, is the time when Netscape should be saying "Geez, we're picking up steam now, we're getting there." We're definately getting there faster than we were before, that's for damn sure. To me, the fact that Kmeleon, and especially Galeon are such excellent browsers already make the Mozilla project a success. But maybe a Netscape PHB doesn't see it that way.
And, if "some PHB" at Netscape is really questioning the need for mozilla.org and and open development model, maybe now is the time for mozilla.org to put out a call for more developers. To me that sounds hard, since anyone who is interested in Mozilla would already be contributing. Maybe there should be a more concerted effort to lower the bar for new developers, that means better documentation, etc. etc., so a solution is not easy.
Maybe some numbers would be helpful. Anyone know how much of a % of the active mozilla developers are not employed by Netscape? Obviously it would be difficult to measure the amount of "work" done by non-netscape people, but I think it would give us an idea. Are new developers joining on a regular basis? Is there a turnover of new developers that give up once they see how complex it is? How many non-netscape people understand the code base fully? If Netscape pulled the plug tomorrow, would enough developers be left over to be able to continue?
If the higher ups at Netscape are really questioning Mozilla, they can only blame themselves. The code base as released by Netscape back in the day was crap, so Mozilla had to start over, obviously some engineering decisions during the 4.x days were crappy. They were the ones that chose to release 6.0 when it wasn't close to ready, Now, no matter how good 6.x is, people will remember what crap 6.0 was, giving the whole project a bad name. Are they a browser company or a portal? Does anyone know? They seem to be unsure of what Netscape is and supposed to be. Mozilla has made huge strides to get to where it is today in a short amount of time, they seem to forget that this thing is up there with IE6 already in terms of quality (IMO) in a few short years. I hate to say it, but it seems that Netscape doesn't seem to realize what Mozilla has accomplished, and that is sad, considering how far the Lizard has come.
As far as the 'bitching' of the Mozilla community, this is to be expected with any project developed in the the open. People will never be satisfied. Look at some of the feature requests. If I ask for a feature to make Mozilla cook me food, and someone denies it, I say "Mozilla sucks because it won't bake me a pie." That is unavoidable. They need to learn to get over it. If they don't then let them move on to something else.
Sorry this post is so long ... heh, I guess I had alot to say ...