JWZ Resigns

Thursday April 1st, 1999

It is a bittersweet day for the Mozilla community, as while the first anniversary party for Mozilla is on going, is reporting, and Jamie Zawinski has confirmed, that he is leaving AOL/Netscape, as well as the Mozilla Organization.

This comes as a blow, as Jamie was one of the key leaders of, and brought about its formation in the first place. Jamie will be missed, and we wish him luck.

#65 Jarr is right - but wrong too

by Snowshoe guy in the woods

Saturday April 3rd, 1999 11:26 PM

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He's right because (obviously) the "free software model" has to appear hopeless and weak compared to the marketing efforts of your average $100 billion dollar company. But he's wrong too because he's been sucked in by the same attitudes he's trying to criticize.

College kids releasing one of their projects under BSD/Artistic/GPL (which should be a requirement for graduation) or semi-retired engineers hacking some driver for XFree 'cause their teen nephew is using Linux is going to appear pretty "unglamourous" compared to the marketroid stuff. But because people's expectations are way off track, (due largely to *unrealistic Linux mania and hype*) the real value of those small contributions is overlooked. Unix is 30 years old: demanding your OSS Office Suite NOW and declaring the OSS model a failure if it doesn't occur is insane and it's an attitude that is fostered by the current hyped up atmosphere of "competition" between free OSS and M$. Jarr is right to point out some of the limitations of OSS but he's judging it using criteria that have been warped by the current climate.

Personally I love the way NetBSD just keeps on truckin' away - steadily improving ... maybe moving up a point release (0.01) once in a while but never asserting it's going to "take over the world" (umm I think even Linus means that ironically). And yet look where the BSD core ends up: inside NeXT, inside MacOS/NX, inside a ton of software "appliances" - huge spews of press coverage don't occur but it keeps improving.

Maybe Linux should go back to it's "silently the stealthy Linux" mode for a while ... and people should calm down a bit. Think of software more like art - like something you can author ... partly. Think of what you can contribute to that art. A lot artists, writers and poets you can find in the library poured themselves into their work because they enjoyed it and because some benefactor or inheritance allowed them to. If you can do that with free software then do it.

And adding artistry to science isn't just whimsical: The great thing about art is it's often free, publically available, it's in the library and it it's impervious to being declared a "failure" ...

Imagine you're 46 and for fun you "develop" some Unix software with your 14 year old nephew and his geeked out girlfriend (they can't believe someone your age knows about Unix). It's more fun that buying it at the store. Maybe you go the beach afterwards and surf for real. It's not a "competitive" model for software development but combine it with some other things (Cygnus, Mozilla, RedHat, *BSD's) and you get more than the sum of the parts ...

(Post this widely and trash it if you must - I remain, Snowshoe guy in the woods)