MozillaZine

Demise of Netscape Voted Most Significant Mozilla Event of 2003

Sunday January 11th, 2004

Last month, we asked you what you thought was the most significant event for the Mozilla project in 2003. The top choice was the demise of Netscape, which received 35% of the 1,947 votes cast. The launch of the Mozilla Foundation came second, with 29%, followed by the new end user focus (16%) and the new Roadmap (12%). The Firebird naming conflict finished in last place, with only 4% of voters considering it to be the most important event of last year.

For our first poll of 2004, we've picked five of the most popular Mozilla development books and want you to tell us which you think is the best. Choose from the Netscape Mozilla Source Code Guide, Essential XUL Programming, Creating Applications with Mozilla, Creating XPCOM Components or Rapid Application Development with Mozilla and watch the results to see which Mozilla book other readers favour.


#1 Whatever

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Sunday January 11th, 2004 9:24 PM

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Unless there is a change in attitude, I think the most significant event in 2004 will be the demise of Mozilla.

#2 Re: Whatever

by joschi

Sunday January 11th, 2004 10:05 PM

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yes... your attitude is in serious need of change, tanyel.

#3 explain

by Dizzle

Monday January 12th, 2004 12:10 AM

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Tanyel,

Can you describe the attitude characteristics that need changing? It's difficult to guess what you mean.

#4 Re: explain

by michaelH

Monday January 12th, 2004 4:43 AM

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Whoops, you just fed a troll!

#18 Re: explain

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Monday January 12th, 2004 11:50 PM

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One characteristic that should change is calling people trolls every time they offer suggestions or criticism. The general elitist attitude of the Mozilla project hinders it. When one says Mozilla should have a certain feature, the proper response is not "program it yourself". That could only turn non-programmers against the project. The belief, that (Mozilla is absolute good) and (anyone who disagrees is wrong), hurts Mozilla. Suggesting software should not be changed to suit the masses because "the masses are idiots" is suggesting that the small group of people who actually like Mozilla are the only ones who matter. The people will not adjust to suit Mozilla. Mozilla has to adjust to suit the people. That is necessary because popularity comes from all of those "idiots". Without appealing to them, bad things happen like getting discarded by one's primary corporate sponsor. I think the rest will abandon Mozilla as well because the attitude of the project ruins any chance of making the browser popular or suitable for most people. That is the reason for the original comment.

#19 Re: Re: explain

by Gnu

Tuesday January 13th, 2004 12:47 AM

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And you expected what kind of response, exactly? What you did was the equivalent of saying, "Why? Because it's crap."

The kinds of attitudes you describe are perpetuated by a few common Mozilla users; not its developer base, which has always encouraged constructive criticism and pushed to make Mozilla applications more accessable to everyone, not just power users. You'll get those sorts of unflattering attitudes on any big project, particularly in the open-source community. The developers and project leads won't always make decisions that everyone deems prudent, and elevating them to god or devil status belies the fact that they are very human.

The Foundation and Mozilla's core devs have gone a long way in keeping Mozilla's momentum post-Netscape, and it shows little sign of slowing. You seem to suggest that they've gone out of their way to alienate current and future Mozilla advocates, but during the rapid course of transition that Mozilla has been through in the past year, nothing could be closer to fiction.

Of course, one could argue that the source of your ire is that you've had your own comments rudely debunked by a Mozilla developer or two in the past. With respect, seeing the kind of attitude you've shown here, I wouldn't exactly blame them.

#28 Re: Re: Re: explain

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Tuesday January 13th, 2004 4:46 PM

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One could argue that but it would have nothing to do with the point of my statements. It would be more an argument to prevent people from noticing I am right.

#33 Re: Re: Re: Re: explain

by mlefevre

Wednesday January 14th, 2004 6:31 AM

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Well if it's just some/most people in "the community" that you feel are the problem, then I don't see how that problem can be solved. The Mozilla Foundation doesn't have any control over the people posting to newsgroups and forums - it doesn't even have control over most of the developers.

The fact that Mozilla relies on volunteers they don't control for doing development and support is really the way things have to be, given the way they are funded and the fact that the users aren't paying cash for the products. Lots of people think the advantages of working this way outweigh the disadvantages...

#5 missing titles

by ratman

Monday January 12th, 2004 6:05 AM

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what happened to "mozilla for dummies" and "the complete idiot's guide to xul"?

#6 No change is indeed needed!

by MvD

Monday January 12th, 2004 8:27 AM

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At the moment I there seems to be a lack of inovation. I especially worried about supporting to 'suites'. Although I understand that a lot the financial support from big corporations is directed at the suite, we need to stop development on the suite (bug fixes and security updates are fine, but there should be no more new releases - maybe only SP packs or something like that) and concentrate on Firebird and Thunderbird. To overcome IE's monopoly we have to be the best. Not simply the best, but the best at what most people (non-power users) consider useful. So we have to have things like IMessenger extenstion (with support for the biggest protocols out there), prebundled flash, shockwave java and so on...

My other ideas: <http://forums.mozillazine…storder=asc&start=120>

#7 Re: No change is indeed needed!

by meyergeorg

Monday January 12th, 2004 11:19 AM

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Lack of inovation? Maybe. But right now, I'm not interested in innovation that much. I got a perfectly, tightly integrated solution called Mozilla 1.5 (soon 1.6). It works flawless 99% of the time, I got no problems clicking on links from email sent to me or on email adresses within a web page at all. (linux) I got "autocomplete best match as you type", it saves so much time visitng sites regulary. In a word, I got everything you need for your internet needs in one place. (except Instand Messanging) Especially your comment regarding that is strange for me if you're so much in favor of the birds, because I want IM integrated in mozilla as well, but in the suite, to start only one app to do it all. In my eyes, the strategy right now seems to be to destroy the suite and make programs out of the pieces. Honestly, I still fail to see why this will make mozilla more attractive to end users, not to speak of corporate ones. If you feel the current suite is bloated, than yes, go and remove some features, and make them avaiable as extensions. Extensions? Yes, Extensions! The extension system, supposed to be the great thing of the birds, is allready working in the suite, so nothing new here. Make a new default theme if you think the current one is ugly, use the firebird icons if you think that's where we should go.

Right now, I feel the way firebird and thunderbird are going are not going to satisfy the users. Not the power users, they want all the features allready in the suite, and more, like IM. Not the minimalists, they want something, well minimalistc and right now, they are catered for by apps like epiphany, galeon and k-meleon. Not those whose main goal is to have tight system integration, they use konquerer (yes, I know that's not gecko based), galeon, maybe k-meleon, and, the vast majority uses IE.

Where is the place for the birds in this scenario ?

#9 Re: No change is indeed needed!

by meyergeorg

Monday January 12th, 2004 11:32 AM

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Sorry, I had no intention to double post. (bug?) I tried to make my point of view clear and argue on why I'm not satisfied with the current direction of mozilla.

#8 Re: No change is indeed needed!

by meyergeorg

Monday January 12th, 2004 11:20 AM

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Lack of inovation? Maybe. But right now, I'm not interested in innovation that much. I got a perfectly, tightly integrated solution called Mozilla 1.5 (soon 1.6). It works flawless 99% of the time, I got no problems clicking on links from email sent to me or on email adresses within a web page at all. (linux) I got "autocomplete best match as you type", it saves so much time visitng sites regulary. In a word, I got everything you need for your internet needs in one place. (except Instand Messanging) Especially your comment regarding that is strange for me if you're so much in favor of the birds, because I want IM integrated in mozilla as well, but in the suite, to start only one app to do it all. In my eyes, the strategy right now seems to be to destroy the suite and make programs out of the pieces. Honestly, I still fail to see why this will make mozilla more attractive to end users, not to speak of corporate ones. If you feel the current suite is bloated, than yes, go and remove some features, and make them avaiable as extensions. Extensions? Yes, Extensions! The extension system, supposed to be the great thing of the birds, is allready working in the suite, so nothing new here. Make a new default theme if you think the current one is ugly, use the firebird icons if you think that's where we should go.

Right now, I feel the way firebird and thunderbird are going are not going to satisfy the users. Not the power users, they want all the features allready in the suite, and more, like IM. Not the minimalists, they want something, well minimalistc and right now, they are catered for by apps like epiphany, galeon and k-meleon. Not those whose main goal is to have tight system integration, they use konquerer (yes, I know that's not gecko based), galeon, maybe k-meleon, and, the vast majority uses IE.

Where is the place for the birds in this scenario ?

#10 Re: No change is indeed needed!

by Dobbins

Monday January 12th, 2004 11:34 AM

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You want to stop development on the areas that the big finicial supporters want? Are you offering to take up the slack if the money goes away after that development is stopped? If you want more work done on the birds, then download the source and have at it. No One is stopping you from doing that, and there is no reason for stopping development of the suite by people who want that.

#11 Re: Re: No change is indeed needed!

by Blake <blaker@netscape.com>

Monday January 12th, 2004 11:45 AM

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You imply that big financial supporters aren't interested in Firebird and Thunderbird. You are wrong.

#13 Re: Re: Re: No change is indeed needed!

by galio

Monday January 12th, 2004 12:44 PM

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Perhaps they are interested in them, but the suite is a better offer for them. Also, I don't see a reason to stop the suite's development. It wouldn't be straightforward... many people use the suite, and it has more users than firebird; the *birds are still in beta stage, and most of the code is the same. If the suite can be mantained, I don't see any reason to stop its development... Or, I don't see were is the good point of stopping it Please, no flame wars here... It's all the same.

#16 Re: Re: Re: No change is indeed needed!

by Dobbins

Monday January 12th, 2004 7:25 PM

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The poster I was replying to made the implication that the suite was being developed because finical supporters want it. I Pointed out the error in the logic that development should stop even if people who are suppling funds want it to continue.

#12 Reply

by napolj2

Monday January 12th, 2004 12:04 PM

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>At the moment I there seems to be a lack of inovation.

I recommend that for a while we keep our efforts focused on fixing the huge number of unresolved bugs in bugzilla before putting too many new features in, and there are parts of the website that need to be updated. Also, it would be nice to have some sort of community-building event (kind of like Bug Day) where people can learn more about Mozilla internals and understanding the source code. The Mozilla project is so dauntingly big that it's hard to know where to start.

#15 Re: No change is indeed needed!

by bzbarsky

Monday January 12th, 2004 4:11 PM

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> we need to stop development on the suite

You seem to be under the misapprehension that a new suite release means there were changes to the front-end code. Typically, there were not (much). But the new suite release DOES have a newer Gecko.

I suppose we could stop development on Gecko too; it's not like the birds need it.

#17 Re: No change is indeed needed! >>> No!

by Darken

Monday January 12th, 2004 8:25 PM

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> we need to stop development on the suite

I only use Mozilla (suite). I don't see why that you would like that it stops developing Mozilla (suite). Stop thinking that all people uses Mozilla Firebird. ;)

#14 it's clear

by mlefevre

Monday January 12th, 2004 2:42 PM

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It's clear what's wanted - we need a lot of innovation and new features, while keeping things tidy, fast and small, increasing stability and fixing bugs, and obviously this needs to be done across the birds, Camino and the suite, and on all platforms. If we can deliver those things over the next few weeks, I think we've got it...

#21 Re: it's clear

by jgraham

Tuesday January 13th, 2004 3:02 AM

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Yeah Mozzila SUX!!!!!! If you don't do this **NOW** I'm going back to IE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#20 I am starting to understand Tanyel

by MvD

Tuesday January 13th, 2004 1:28 AM

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I don't see a lot of the bugs detting fixed. The dumb profile bug isn't fixed out of the box. Thunderbird still has no option to have one single master account and no advanced anti-SPAM features (reading headers only, SPAM filters for headers, DNS blacklists etc) . I am not even talking about lack of things like a true singlewindow mode (using TBE slows my FB too much and its buggy). And shouldn't the extenstions be created by the devs, not only hackers. Read my first post in the forum link I posted - there are loads of things that Mozilla could improve on.

>You seem to be under the misapprehension that a new suite release means there were changes to the front-end code. Typically, there were not (much). But the new suite release DOES have a newer Gecko.

I suppose we could stop development on Gecko too; it's not like the birds need it.

My First Post: "(bug fixes and security updates are fine, but there should be no more new releases - maybe only SP packs or something like that)"

>I only use Mozilla (suite). I don't see why that you would like that it stops developing Mozilla (suite). Stop thinking that all people uses Mozilla Firebird. ;)

Because we will never capture a large enough market share if we concentrate on the suite. And it seems to me that the only way to this is stop developement on the suite - the devs seemed to be too tied to it.

#22 Re: I am starting to understand Tanyel

by mlefevre

Tuesday January 13th, 2004 3:39 AM

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"(bug fixes and security updates are fine, but there should be no more new releases - maybe only SP packs or something like that)"

That's just an issue of naming - if you want to think of Mozilla 1.6 as "Mozilla 1.4 service pack 2", that's fine. The amount of work that has been done on the Seamonkey front end since 1.4 isn't significant - a few tweaks to tabbed browsing and some bugfixes. All the significant change is in the back-end, which applies to Firebird as well.

Everyone seems to think there's a lot of work happening which could be stopped and the resources diverted to fix something else - that's really not the case. It's just that resources are limited, and not everything can be fixed at the same time.

#29 Re: I am starting to understand Tanyel

by bzbarsky

Tuesday January 13th, 2004 7:25 PM

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> I don't see a lot of the bugs detting fixed.

Maybe, rather, it's that bugs are getting fixed that you don't notice? I suggest a look at the checkin logs to see what's being fixed. Quite a lot of good work going on, just not on the UI (and not on new UI features). So you may not even notice it, but the people who're out there trying to make their sites work with Mozilla sure notice; working well with sites is just as important as UI features to increasin the user base.

> Thunderbird still has no option to have one single master account

> and no advanced anti-SPAM features

These are both pretty advanced features; I get the impression that TB is focusing on slightly more basic things for now (it being in 0.4 and all).

> things like a true singlewindow mode

Which almost no one seems to care about (and none of the developers care about, which is why it's not happened).

> Read my first post in the forum link I posted

I read it before replying to your first post, of course (and I'm not sure why you had to start a new thread, btw). You mention a number of things in there that are real problems. I think everyone involved agrees on that.

> My First Post: "(bug fixes and security updates are fine,

What about changes to Gecko that are neither? Like new features? Should those not happen? ;)

> Because we will never capture a large enough market share if we concentrate on the suite.

Is the goal to lead in market share or write a good browser? Perhaps different people have different goals?

> the devs seemed to be too tied to it.

Perhaps because they can use it for dogfood? Up until very recently, firebird absolutely could not be used as a browser by anyone doing serious DOM or CSS work (no DOM inspector, no Venkman). Guess what developers spend their time doing?

What's the point of working for fun on a browser you don't use?

Things to ponder.

#34 Re: Re: I am starting to understand Tanyel

by MvD

Wednesday January 14th, 2004 6:49 AM

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>Maybe, rather, it's that bugs are getting fixed that you...

OK, Maybe I was a bit harsh about that one, but I really can't understand why they can't sort out the linux profile bug out of the box....

>These are both pretty advanced features...

No can't agree with you on that. Especially about the master account thing for POP. I wanted to convert my mother to thunderbird, but as soon as she saw my 3 POP accounts, she said NO! (although she does use firebird).

>Which almost no one seems to care about...

LOL, now thats just plain wrong! Just check out the Mozillazine forums... Most people who use tabs would appreciate single window mode! This is just absurd....

>What about changes to Gecko that are neither?

Agreed, I sort of forgot to mention that....

>Is the goal to lead in market share or write a good browser?

Both, the goal (as I see it) is to write a browser that can easily capture market share (in other words its easy to use), but at the same people can make it as powerful (or 'as good') as they want it to be (with the help of extenstions).

#36 Re: Re: Re: I am starting to understand Tanyel

by bzbarsky

Wednesday January 14th, 2004 8:10 PM

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> I really can't understand why they can't sort out the linux profile bug out of the box....

The lock thing? Because no one has created a patch that actually works properly?

>> Which almost no one seems to care about... > LOL, now thats just plain wrong! Just check out the Mozillazine forums..

So if I ask the small group that cares and are loud about it they will really care?

The point is that tabs were never envisioned or designed to be a total MDI solution; if that's what people want they need to redesign tabbrowser from scratch.

#38 Re: Re: Re: Re: I am starting to understand Tanyel

by MvD

Thursday January 15th, 2004 2:18 AM

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As far as I know there I know ther is a way to work around the linux profile thing just it involves a lot messing around with config files and I WAY too much of a Linux newbie to risk that sort of stuff. Small and load? :) Bzbarsky I've converted three people to FB and two of them do find this feature very useful (for your information they are not power users), and in general I have come to believe that more feature that relate to tabbed browsing... Even for a person who doesn't like tabbed browsing, having a strict difference between single window mode and no tabs ever would be very useful. Make another spin-off? That would dilute the efforts of the Mozilla Foundtaion even more.

#23 bugs?

by MvD

Tuesday January 13th, 2004 6:46 AM

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Well ok, but why is it that we get that the back-end changes first to the suite and only then to FB. Why not fix things in FB and then patch the suite? About the resources bit. I think some bugs have priority over other (consider the Linux profile bugs) and other bugs should be quite easy to fix (implementing some of TBP's and TBE's functionality into FB). Or am I getting things wrong?

#24 Back-end

by FrodoB

Tuesday January 13th, 2004 8:38 AM

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The back-end fixes go into the suite and Firebird at the same time. The suite and the birds differ only in user interface. And until very recently, the number of people who were allowed to check in to Firebird's interface was very small.

#27 Re: bugs?

by jgraham

Tuesday January 13th, 2004 10:31 AM

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> other bugs should be quite easy to fix

Well, in that case, we all eagerly await your patches.

It's very easy to go around identifying things that would be better if they were fixed. To say so is really a tautology. But I think (and this isn't aimed just at you) it's a little bit impolite criticising other people's work, which they give you for free. If you want to help out with the marketing side of the project then that's fine, join the marketing public mailing list, or grab a bug filed under the marketing component and start working. I know I haven't contributed as much as I would like to :(

#30 Re: bugs?

by bzbarsky

Tuesday January 13th, 2004 7:28 PM

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> implementing some of TBP's and TBE's functionality into FB

Perhaps the FB devs simply don't want that functionality?

The last bit of TBE I looked at was extremely buggy (view source in a tab). Buggy enough that it would need a complete rewrite to be even considered for checkin into any mozilla.org tree.

I also suspect the FB devs are focusing on things other than duplicating extension functionlity (eg downloading issues, the extension management system, etc.)

Finally, there is no way to make yourself hated by extension writers as quickly as when you start coopting extensions.... and the moral issues involved therein are a subject for thought, of course.

#25 Importance of the Mozilla *birds

by kujo_74

Tuesday January 13th, 2004 9:44 AM

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I just want to point out that Firebird is extremely important to the continued growth of the Mozilla platform for several reasons.

1) The seperation of the products creates safety in event of a crash. If the browser crashes and you have an important email you are typing, losing just one email will cause some people to abandon it.

2) Speed, for a lot of people the Suite is just too slow, where as the separate apps start much quicker, giving a percieved quickness.

3) They will drive the development of the stand alone gecko engine which will make it easier to build and distribute apps build on Mozilla technology.

4) Adoption of Mozilla by IE users. Since Firebirds release I have converted 3 IE users to firebird. (I know, I should be working harder, but its a start!!!) 1 - My Boss, he likes the speed, tabs, and 'Privacy' features ;) 2 - A coworker, he was a hard IE user, but since Firebird he now hates when he has to open up IE. 3 - A girlfriend of mine that was getting viruses and popups all over the place because she uses a certain crappy webmail site.

Before Firebird I was unsuccessfull to switch even my wife to Mozilla... It is just to bloated and slow, almost no-one out there uses every feature in the suite. With seperate apps, people choose what they want to use.

#31 Re: Importance of the Mozilla *birds

by bzbarsky

Tuesday January 13th, 2004 7:30 PM

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> 3) They will drive the development of the stand alone gecko engine

I'm not sure what the basis for this comment is. Care to elaborate?

#32 Re: Importance of the Mozilla *birds

by galio

Wednesday January 14th, 2004 6:07 AM

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Sure they are important, and perhaps for IE users they are more familiar. But I've been a NS user sinde the gold era, and get used to the suite. Also, that os "speed".. For example, I have to wait for Navigator to load, but if then I open MailNews, it doesn't even last a second. If you open Thunderbird, yo have to wait as you waited with Firebird. As the most part of the code is the same, I don't see any reason for these sort of flame wars... What is this? "MOZILLA SUX, FIREBIRD ROCKS"... It's all the seame, they use the same engine, are developed by (mostly) the same people, share the same license, are mantained by the same foundation...

#26 Importance of the Mozilla *birds

by MvD

Tuesday January 13th, 2004 10:03 AM

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I agree 100%. The suite will never be able to get a large marketshare, only the birds (or whatever they are going to be called) will be able to that. But I think we could have suite in the sense that we could an optional integrated build of the birds with additional features.

#35 *Birds mis-advocates

by modok

Wednesday January 14th, 2004 10:40 AM

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If you look at the seamonkey CVS check-ins, most of the commits appear to be core infrastrucure common to the suite and the birds. deComtamination, CSS fixes, reflow changes, DOM fixes, XUL fixes, etc... get applied to the birds by default. You make it sound like most of these guys should drop this and start working on the birds? The whole point of the birds seems to imply a reduction in the number of devs commiting to an area of code (well at least stronger ownership over controlling who commits).

I am not sure what the drop-suite-move-to-birds advocates really want the developers to do? Immediately drop seamonkey and force everyone to download the birds? Update the roadmap in some way to politicize the birds better? The suite exists and is still popular. It also has more features than their bird counterparts. Until those features are easy to install extensions or added to the birds, then some segment of users will always desire seamonkey over the birds. It would be fool-hardy not to support seamonkey until that point.

#37 Re: *Birds mis-advocates

by MvD

Thursday January 15th, 2004 2:06 AM

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Maybe I am asking easy to install extenstion that allow you to make FB as powerful as you want it to be? Concentrate on the birds and add patches (that are common and critical stuff) to the Suite. Because when developed the birds have far more potential than the suite because they can be as powerful as the suite or a clean unbloated set of apps... Thats what I want!

#39 Birds and the Suite

by Dobbins

Thursday January 15th, 2004 9:04 AM

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I Can't understand this desire that some people have to jetison the Suite so more people will have to work on the Birds. Folks this project depends on people contributing of their on free will, you can't order them to work on the parts that suit your fancy. Dropping the suite might result in someone who was intrested in it working on the birds. It also might result in them telling you what part of your body you can insert the birds into when they leave the project for something that intrests them, or in a fork where you have two projects, a suite and the birds, who's code bases grow apart so that work from one can't be moved over to the other.

#40 Re: Birds and the Suite

by MvD

Thursday January 15th, 2004 11:25 AM

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I agree that the devs should be given freedom to do what they like, but at the same time I think its important for them to atleast aknowledge the feedback from the users. I am not seeing this happen! The only dev that ever goes to the forums is Ben Goodger (A big thank you for that Ben).