Evaluating Commercial Open Source Projects
Thursday April 22nd, 1999
A recent Forbes article characterized Mozilla as a "flop". The article had so many inaccuracies that I felt a rebuttal was required. At the same time, I felt that some light needed to be shed on the differences between commercial Open Source projects and "all volunteer" Open Source projects. What follows (click "Full Article" below) is a rebuttal to the assertions in the Forbes article and my opinion on what can reasonably be expected from a commercial Open Source project.
As always, the opinions are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of mozilla.org (which MozillaZine is not affiliated with).
#5 Re: Evaluating Commercial Open Source Projects
by Albert LLanes
Thursday April 22nd, 1999 2:22 PM
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Regarding Josh McHugh's article entitled,"Open Sourcery" in Forbes Magazine:
Perhaps Josh should first educate himself on: 1) the need for standards on the internet and the compliance of the existing browsers, and 2) the time-table that Mozilla set for itself.
The promise of the Internet is that you can connect and participate whether you are on a Windows, Mac, Unix, OS/2, Linux, or BeOS machine. The Web has for the time being broken down the walls that have compartmentalized PC's and peoples to speaking to only their own kind.
By the introduction of non-approved standards into the browser and server side of the Web the communication of PC's and peoples will once again become fragmented which will be to the financial advantage of only the status-quo. Perhaps the Forbes author was ignorant of the big picture. Maybe for his next article he can stick to a strictly Wintel platform article to which he seems more predisposed?
Also note that Josh McHugh places a lot of importance no Zawinski's departure. However, Mozilla will go on without him just as Linux can continue without Linus or the Parliament without the Queen if need be. It seems Josh has no conception of the power of a grass roots movement.
It is essential that one of the browsers be 100% committed to complying with web standards. I am glad to see that this is the approach Mozilla is taking in the next version. In this light, the fact that someone else pre-released a browser that does not attempt to be 100% compliant with the first has no relevance.
Note: The opinions expressed here are my own and not necessarily those of an employer or group with which I may have and affiliation or membership.