More Mozilla FUD - This Time From An MIT Professor

Monday October 18th, 1999

Mike Cusumano, co-author of "Competing on Internet Time: Lessons from Netscape and Its Battle with Microsoft" and professor at MIT's Sloan School of Business Management has an article at Computerworld titled "Mozilla gambit reveals risks of open sourcing". Just another in a long stream of Mozilla articles written by someone who doesn't seem to be too terribly interested in verifying his assumptions.

Thanks to Luddite for the news.

#7 Interestingly wrong...

by leafdigital

Tuesday October 19th, 1999 10:57 AM

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I suppose this is the natural consequence of having Mozilla be the flagship, poster-boy, open source product. Everybody assumes that when it goes wrong or runs late, that's because of open source - when in fact, as those same articles often note, there has been relatively little impact from the open-source nature of the project and most of the core work is still internal to Netscape.

You can't have it both ways.

In this case, where the delay is quite clearly a product of a technical decision (to abandon the old codebase and rewrite from scratch), it's silly to blame "open source".

Mind, I think free software (not specifically open source) sucks, but I don't think it's an inherent cause of software inefficiency.

While I often feel that this site and its readers are not objective enough about Mozilla (ok, it's an advocacy site, we're all pro-Mozilla, but ignoring flaws [pretending it'll be infinitely wonderful and IE is infinitely bad and half the world will realise that and switch right after mozilla is released] won't achieve anything), *none* of the recent news articles have hit the mark in their criticisms and this one is worse than most.

Incidentally, we can conclude from this one genuine disadvantage of open-source development: too-early publicity. People first heard of Mozilla at the start of the development process, and there was a lot of media interest then. This means that the press inevitably see it as taking a long time for the software to be developed, because they're waiting through the whole development process. I imagine most "closed" developments aren't announced until somewhat later in the project when a significant amount of the work has actually been done and there will be less time to wait until release. You can't wait like that if you need to open the project up for external help/scrutiny.