Anonymous Former Netscape Executive Donates $4,200 to AmiZilla Project

Saturday December 20th, 2003

James "Kovu" Russell writes: "A former Netscape executive who chooses to remain anonymous has just donated $4,200 to the AmiZilla booty, resulting in a total booty of over $8,400! 'His only request is that he wants to see the amount get over $10,000 so is requesting others donate what they can,' says the story at Rock on!" The AmiZilla project aims to raise a bounty to encourage programmers to port Mozilla to Amiga OS.

#1 Why

by alanjstr

Saturday December 20th, 2003 7:19 PM

I would much rather see some of the bugs in Bugzilla get fixed instead.

#2 Why? Because.

by Gnu

Saturday December 20th, 2003 10:00 PM

That's a bit short-sighted, isn't it? An Amiga port might not seem too important to you or I, but it certainly would to the strong Amiga contingent who would love a modern, complete, standards-compliant browser with a strong user base. The more platforms Mozilla can fill, the better for Mozilla as a whole.

Besides ... it's his money, he can put it wherever he pleases. The fact that he chooses to do it anywhere in the vicinity of Mozilla is good for all of us, in some way.

#6 Re: Why? Because.

by alanjstr

Sunday December 21st, 2003 8:43 AM

Yes, and there are oh so many of those Amiga users out there. With both Seamonkey and Firebird/Thunderbird as well as the dissolving of Netscape, I don't think the developers should be thinking about yet-another-port.

I'm not saying Amiga doesn't deserve such a great browser, I'm saying that they don't have the resources.

#7 Re: Re: Why? Because.

by Anthracks

Sunday December 21st, 2003 9:38 AM

I doubt it'd really be "the developers" as such undertaking this. It seems more likely one or two hackers who happen to be crazy about the Amiga platform would undertake this, I can't imagine actively encouraging most of the main developers to spend lots of time on this.

#8 Re: Why? Because.

by thelem

Sunday December 21st, 2003 10:05 AM

> Yes, and there are oh so many of those Amiga users out there.

Well there are enough of them that they can raise $4200 (not counting this new donation) to *help encourage* somebody to create *even a beta*

#14 Re: Why

by michaelH

Sunday December 21st, 2003 2:41 PM

You're quite welcome to donate $4200 of your own cash to get some bugzilla bugs fixed ;)

#16 Re: Why

by alanjstr

Sunday December 21st, 2003 6:24 PM

There are currently 92 bugs with 50+ votes. Some of them are 4 years old.

#23 Re: Re: Why

by FattMattP

Monday December 22nd, 2003 1:59 PM

We await your patches, alanjstr. If you can't code yourself, then you can pay someone to fix them for you.

#3 And who's to say bugs won't get fixed?

by rkl

Sunday December 21st, 2003 5:41 AM

It's quite possible that whatever team ports Mozilla to the Amiga platform may well find some new bugs that affect all platforms (or indeed they may need to fix some existing bugs in Bugzilla in order for the Amiga port to work), so the bounty may well indeed spur "some of the bugs in Bugzilla [to] get fixed".

The thing I'm not sure about is the size of the "new" Amiga community (remember we're not talking about the "classic" Amiga from the golden days of Commodore here) and whether that would make an AmigaOS port worthwhile, but if they want to port Mozilla for the benefit of a few thousand users, then why not? It's their time/money after all.

#4 Ug

by mr_magoo

Sunday December 21st, 2003 7:35 AM

Do they even sell amiga stuff anymore?

What a complete waste of money. As alanjstr said, why not give the money to the mozilla foundation... I'm sure it would be a more productive investment.

#5 Is Amiga alive???

by ezh

Sunday December 21st, 2003 7:49 AM

Do they sell Amigas endeed? If now the Amiga comunity is dead at least in 3-4 years, just like ZX Spectrum and BeOS (I do not believe it will rise on from current state) is.

So I would believe that donating to some enginier would bring more to the Mozilla than spending money in a dead end OS port. In Mozilla itself are so many bugs not fixed and features not implemented...

Just my opinion.

#9 whoa

by pizzach

Sunday December 21st, 2003 10:32 AM

Wow. A very anti-Amiga group here. I would probably figure the people porting Mozilla to Amiga are using Amiga what else are they going to do with their time? Switch to their Wintel box right next to it? (That's not totally out of the question either.) Nya, they probably would be just wasting it.

#21 Reply

by Racer

Monday December 22nd, 2003 11:38 AM

We're not all anti-Amiga here. Some people just don't like to support projects which do not benifit them directly. What they fail to realize is that the more people that use Mozilla, the more people will support and contribute to the Mozilla project as a whole - no matter if they're using Windows, Amiga, or somewhere else.

#10 Yes, Amiga's still alive

by Kovu

Sunday December 21st, 2003 10:51 AM

The AmigaONE computer is already available, it's a PPC computer. Amiga OS 4, which is a PPC-native version of Amiga OS, is very close to being done. Currently the AmigaONE comes with Linux and a coupon for Amiga OS 4 for free when it's finally out.

No, the money shouldn't go to the Foundation. The money was intended to light a fire under Amiga developers to get the port done. For the same reason, it won't take any resources away from Mozilla itself - none of the developers to my knowledge have any interest in this. It's too much of a learning curve to learn the Amiga MUI; it's best if someone who already knows MUI does it and that would be an Amiga developer.

#11 $8579

by Kovu

Sunday December 21st, 2003 11:19 AM

Booty's at $8579 already. Woot!


by flacco

Sunday December 21st, 2003 12:08 PM

hear that? that's the sound of pbreit's head exploding.

#13 hmm

by pmsyyz

Sunday December 21st, 2003 2:11 PM

So the Amiga is just another dead, proprietary, low volume OS?

But people are still attached to it because it was advanced when it first came out when they were young?

#15 Re: hmm

by Gnu

Sunday December 21st, 2003 5:35 PM

Does that look like some circa-1985 OS to you?

Amiga was the first mass produced consumer-grade computer to run a Unix-like OS. The difference between Amiga then and Amiga today is akin to *nix then and now -- old mechanics, modern principals. You'd be very surprised at how many Amiga nuts there are hiding out in the shadows ... well, enough to scrape up nearly ten grand for a Mozilla port, apparently. It's quite a robust system these days.

And people should know better by now than to equate propriety and low volume with dead technology. Of course, supportive of open-source as I am, I'm also not the militant sort who sees closed-source as evil incarnate (in spite of my name). I'm a rather poor socialist. Besides, slagging off closed-source operating systems pretty much shoots Mozilla in the foot when you consider the huge injection of popularity given to the project in recent times by Windows users -- is that any better because it's a high volume OS?

#17 Re: Re: hmm

by alecf

Sunday December 21st, 2003 8:37 PM

> Does that look like some circa-1985 OS to you?

No, it looks like some circa-1995 window manager to me. I guess once they ported TWM to the amiga, they figured mozilla was the next obvious step?


#18 Re: Re: hmm

by leet

Sunday December 21st, 2003 8:59 PM

All that, IMVHO, is beside the point. While it's, well, interesting to see so many people giving so much for an Amiga port, the overwhelming majority of mozilla users will not benefit much from the endeavor. With IE adopting many of the most compelling reasons for an alternative browser, ie. popup blocker, etc, and with mozilla still mired in low single digits in market share, it's vital that mozilla survives AOL's abandonment. Ask Amiga users this: do you want to see moz at stregth two years from now, or an Amiga port in a few months?

#19 And?

by Kovu

Monday December 22nd, 2003 4:55 AM

To heck with "the overwhelming majority of Mozilla users". They're not paying for the port, Amiga users and even former Amiga users (moi) are.

As to your question, I reiterate that this won't take developers from the current Mozilla project, it will in fact ADD Amiga users to the existing Mozilla base of developers. You would not get those Mozilla users to contribute to a non-Amiga port. And since it's their money, not the foundation's, where's the harm to Mozilla? There isn't any.

#29 Re: hmm

by trilobyte

Tuesday December 23rd, 2003 1:07 PM

I'll give you a couple of reasons that, from a developer's point of view, Mozilla users will benefit from a successful Amiga port:

- The AmigaOS has no protected memory - The AmigaOS has no virtual memory - Classic Amigas are slow (only getting up to 75mhz, max)

Meaning that for Mozilla to work on Amiga, developers are going to have to be VERY attentive to detail and VERY active in debugging / profiling. They might find some really obscure (or overlooked) inefficiencies in the code.

The newer Amigas with their new AmigaOS 4 and MorphOS are probably equipped with memory protection and virtual memory, so performance considerations mentioned above may not be as important on those platforms. But for Classic AmigaOS, these are a big concern.

I still look at the BeOS port as a sign that the AmigaOS can get a port. And please keep in mind that the BeOS port was done 99% by BeOS coders, not jumped-ship Mozilla coders from other platforms. And the OS/2 port was funded largely by IBM, IIRC, but nobody's whining about *that*.

#20 Reply

by napolj2

Monday December 22nd, 2003 10:11 AM

Speaking of bounties, since there are so many Mozilla bugs with bounties on them, someone should create a meta bug listing them all, and advertise this well to attract developers.

#22 Who gets the money?

by permanentE

Monday December 22nd, 2003 12:39 PM

Assume that a developer starts working on this huge project and actually gets it to compile, and then other developers join in and get it to actually start up, and then dozens of other developers submit patches and iron out some of the bigger bugs. Assume that after a couple of years it kind of works but it's still buggy.

Who gets the money? When do you decide the project is "finished" and award the money? Who makes these decisions?

It seems to me that someone needs to organize these kinds of things and answer these questions.

#24 focus?

by pbreit

Monday December 22nd, 2003 4:01 PM

Can't Mozilla focus on getting a 1.0 version out on a couple of major platforms before wasting more resources and bandwidth on yet another port for a virtually non-existent platform?

#25 Re: focus?

by RMo

Monday December 22nd, 2003 5:53 PM

Mozilla did release a 1.0. Last year. In fact, about a year and a half ago. It was for three major platforms and has been ported to many more. They're already on 1.5, and 1.6 will most likely go out the door shortly after the start of the new year. They have preview versions of two successful standalone browser and mail/news clients in testing that should be released next year, also.

But if any of this bothers you, it *is* open-source. Feel free to volunteer your own help. Patch away!

#26 Re: Re: focus?

by pbreit

Tuesday December 23rd, 2003 10:01 AM

I'm talking about Mozilla Browser 1.0 (currently known as FireBird 0.7). This is the only version that has mattered since the founding of 6 years ago.

#28 Reply

by Racer

Tuesday December 23rd, 2003 11:20 AM

I disagree. I run Mozilla Suite 1.x now on multiple platforms and love it. Mozilla does have a young feature set but it is well rounded.

AFAIK, none of the current resources that is using are being diverted to Amiga. In fact, it is probably mostly non-Mozilla Amiga users that are being brought to the project, thus helping Mozilla as a whole.

#30 Re: Re: Re: focus?

by bzbarsky

Thursday December 25th, 2003 1:28 PM

> This is the only version that has mattered

Yep. It's the only version that's had a good chance of actually driving away developers... I'm glad to see it slowly failing at that.

#27 Re: focus?

by Kovu

Tuesday December 23rd, 2003 10:36 AM

How many times do I have to say this? "Mozilla" as you put it has nothing whatsoever to do with an Amiga port. If Amiga users ported Mozilla, that would ADD developers to the Mozilla effort. No one is being hurt, here. It's a win-win situation.