Mozilla Article at LinuxWorld
Wednesday July 21st, 1999
Bergie sent in this news:
"LinuxWorld has posted an article on Mozilla's state. Nothing really new but a good summarization nonetheless. How is Mozilla doing, and what you think about it? Go check the article out and leave your opinion to the discussion forum."
This should generate some interesting feedback.
What a surprise. The author thinks development should focus on Linux. Could it be coincidence that he is writing for LinuxWorld?
I wonder what platform mac/os2/java/be users would prefer Mozilla to focus on.
>1.Free the project completely from Netscape/AOL. No direction, control, no contingent funding from them or from any other commercial entity. Sponsorship is fine, but it should be unconditional.
WTF?!!! Basically he's saying "let's take all the programmers who are PAID to work on mozilla, who's daily project it is to work on this," and get rid of them??!! Gee, I wonder what would happen?!
There's a certain point, a threshold that any project has to cross before it appeals to large amounts of open sourcers who have only so much time to offer... and mozilla hasn't gotten there yet. (Namely, it's gotta be at least a beta-quality product so developers can tweak it, fix bugs & add features). It takes a focused, concentrated effort to get to that point, and Netscape's getting it there. These are the tough days when everyone's a naysayer and a critic, and many of those same people will be singing the praises of mozilla once it's near completion... It's all about perception and momentum.
"free the project" from netscape/aol (and incidentally, it is "freed"-- you can work it on your own and fork development any time if you think you can do a better job) and good luck on ever seeing mozilla on any platform. It's not ready for people to take it over, and I don't know that any developers will be as interested in getting it to be as extensible and platform independent as Netscape.
Netscape is doing us all a favor, supplying the tools and hardware to give this thing parity on all the machine... it's very forward looking and I don't mind having these experienced programmers working on it one bit. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth!
Oh, and what's this about mozilla being developed primarily for win32? Last I looked it was running on quite a few platforms.
Phew that's it.
No, spaz boy
He was saying that netscape should not "lead" the project. The part time programmer cannot keep up with 50 people coding 8 hours a day. What results is feature creep with few components becoming stable. Mozilla has been a netscape project simply because they can give it the most time. I'm not saying this is a bad thing.
I have personally seen no indication of "feature creep" whatsoever, in the sense of badly thought out features. They're obviously implementing new features, but they're doing it in a modular way.
For example, the new Network Library, Necko, that is due to replace the old one shortly, looks to be about only half of the size of the old one from the preliminary figures that were posted and is supposedly a better design. And then Gecko replaced the old layout engine a while ago. Netscape's development of Mozilla has in my opinion, been impeccable.
As for the claims that the number of developers working at frantic pace decreases outside development - possibly - but that would be true for any project, regardless of whether the frantic developers are volunteers or paid. It's been said that Mozilla already has more developers than Linux.
But there are a lot of people submitting bugs, patches and commenting on things. One guy over at the MathML newsgroup has supposedly almost got a full implementation complete.
I personally believe that having so many Netscape developers would not stop many people participating. I have always found them very receptive.
What's preventing people participating is
(a) A reasonable quality milestone that they can run on, which we will reach in a couple of months. (b) Negative perceptions of Mozilla, which will likewise shortly disappear. (c) Refined documentation on the product and its interfaces, which will eventually be written.
And no, I'm not a Netscape engineer. =)
I recently downloaded the Linux M8 release for my Pentium 75 and found it to be unusably slow...maybe 3x slower than Netscape? I'm hoping this is because debugging was enable during the compile...if it wasn't, well, woe is me.
No I don't think there's debugging code in the milestones. Rather, its the fact that they haven't tweaked the code. They're slowly doing that, but at the moment they're mainly finishing the feature work and fixing bugs.
I think you can expect ~M12 to start to rock, and surpass N4s speeds. I've been looking at the milestones since even before apprunner existed, and believe me, its come a long way in a short time.
"Spaz Boy" here.
You want to have a team of a hundred full-time programmers to sit around on their asses, hopefully waiting for someone else with less time to take a leadership role? Puhlease. At this pt in the development cycle, it makes the most sense for netscape to be leading this effort. Someone has to do it, netscape's willing to and has a ton of $, experience w/browsers, clout, skills, and physical resources.. to suggest that anyone but them take over leadership is crazy, esp. since no one has even stepped forward saying they WANTED to, that I'm aware of anyway.
#12 Mozilla Article at LinuxWorld
by sj12fn <email@example.com>
Tuesday July 27th, 1999 8:13 PM
I personally think that an umbrella group like the Apache Group or SPI should take over. Leave the AOL and Sun /developers/ on the job but cut the management baggage.
#6 Mozilla Article at LinuxWorld
Thursday July 22nd, 1999 4:49 PM
lacking any names to work with, I agree with "Spaz Boy" (-_-)
I remember reading the article and that line stopped me dead in my tracks (although its not entirely surprising coming from a linux magazine).
I think Netscape is doing a good thing, indeed the probably the *only* thing it can do to see a good browser out at the end of the year. If I was actually able to write good C++, and I was giving some code, I wouldn't have any problem giving it to them since it was for what I consider to be a Good Cause. (I say this as someone who has long struggled with stupid JS and stupid "DOM" implementations)
I think open source works so:
A leader come out and a lot of people help the leader of the project. If you're paid (and not sponsored) the leader is who pay you, and not necessary who is the real leader. Netscape should continue to pay the developers, but via sponsorship. If the leader of the project come from outside Netscape, is not a problem...
I got a letter today from a reader who said it was too bad I hadn't waited for M8 before writing that article. So I downloaded M8 earlier today and lo and behold it does run, in fact I am using it now to post this note. The reader was right! See ya, Joe Barr
I also couldn't get M7 to work, but succeeded with M8.
#13 Windows or Linux Which is it gonna be?
Friday July 30th, 1999 7:39 PM
I was just wondering just exactly what platform this program will run on in the end. It seems to me that the Linux version is far behind the Windows one in terms of usablility and speed. So I am just wondering. It would appear that money is more important than anything else here and by that measure then I am sure the Windows version will be far ahead of Linux for some time yet. Its a real pity.