Thunderbird Migration Bugday on Tuesday

Friday August 6th, 2004

Asa Dotzler writes: "The Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail client is swiftly approaching its 1.0 release, currently planned to coincide with Firefox 1.0. In order to ensure that all those happy new Thunderbird users have a great experience migrating, we're holding a special Thunderbird Migration Bonanza party all day long on Tuesday.

"Bring your Outlook, Eudora, Mozilla, Outlook Express, and Communicator e-mail clients with you and join us on IRC for a day of testing the Thunderbird migration features. The goal is to get as many testing migrations performed on as many clients and as many operating systems as possible and to discuss and record all the problems in Bugzilla.

"With your help, we can ensure that mail, account settings, and address books migration and import are all in tip-top shape for the big 1.0 release coming up. I also expect that some of you doing this migration test will see how wonderful Thunderbird is and won't want to go back to your old clients, so please join us on Tuesday on the IRC server, channel #mozillazine for this special BugDay and we'll have a great time getting new users set up and migrated to Thunderbird. For those that aren't ready to make the leap, you can help us with some testing, trash it all when you're done and know that you helped make the Mozilla Firefox/Thunderbird 1.0 release duo the best thing to happen to the Internet in years!"

#28 Re: Deadliness of deadlines?

by Skyfaller

Saturday August 7th, 2004 6:42 PM

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Ha, ha... if I had kept on reading, I would have seen this elaboration:

"One way to do this is to fix the deadline but leave the feature list flexible, allowing features to drop off if not completed by deadline. This is essentially the strategy of the "stable" kernel branch; Alan Cox (the stable-kernel maintainer) puts out releases at fairly regular intervals, but makes no guarantees about when particular bugs will be fixed or features back-ported from the experimental branch.

The other way to do this is to set a desired feature list and deliver only when it is done. This is essentially the strategy of the "experimental" kernel branch. De Marco and Lister cited research showing that this scheduling policy ("wake me up when it's done") produces not only the highest quality but, on average, shorter delivery times than either "realistic" or "aggressive" scheduling.

I have come to suspect (as of early 2000) that in earlier versions of this paper I severely underestimated the importance of the "wake me up when it's done" anti-dealine policy to the open-source community's productivity and quality. General experience with the rushed GNOME 1.0 in 1999 suggests that pressure for a premature release can neutralize many of the quality benefits open source normally confers.

It may well turn out to be that the process transparency of open source is one of three coequal drivers of its quality, along with "wake me up when it's done" scheduling and developer self-selection. "

Given this more complete quotation, what do you folks have to say? Why is Mozilla Thunderbird not like GNOME 1.0? Or was ESR wrong that GNOME 1.0 had poor quality, or wrong about the reasons for its poor quality?