Looking for that Interview with Chris Hofmann that Slashdot Mentioned?
Friday November 12th, 1999
Slashdot had a piece online this morning about Mozilla, with a link to an interview with Chris Hofmann of the Mozilla team. However,the server was soon Slashdotted, and no one could get on to the site. We have permission to mirror the Evolt page with Chris's comments, so if you are interested in reading an update on the state of Mozilla, click here. Thanks to Daniel Cody of Evolt.org for allowing us to post the article.
#17 Everybody does it!
Monday November 15th, 1999 9:04 AM
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Ah, but just because everybody is doing it doesn't mean that it's a *good* thing! Take, for example, the current TV trend to make what-if disaster movies; they're just 1001 variations on the Armageddon/Deep Impact theme. Back to the computer world, everyone's using a Micro-Soft operating system, but only because everyone else is as well, and those who use/have used alternatives regret using MS. (Heck, even my Commodore 64 gets work done faster. In a mouse-friendy way, to boot!)
Netscape, and everyone else who'll package Mozilla Final, can overcome the anonymity of version numbering if the Mozilla Team allows them to use everyone's favorite dragon as a brand icon, just as Micro-Soft did with its flying window brand icon with the release of Windows 3.0. (If you'll remember, those of you who used Windows 1.x [I feel your pane] or 2.x, MS didn't have a logo for its then-OS/2-migratory OS.)
Or perhaps better, I like the idea of starting over with version 1.0, but that would mean changing the product name. "Netscape Mozilla 1.0," hmmm...
But consider switching to year numbers as a last resort. Year numbers are great for identifying the latest release, but you as a consumer lose the ability to easily track version differences.
As an example, Micro-Soft marketed Windows 98 as a completely new OS even though it's only a minor version upgrade. (Anyone remember the differences between Windows 3.0 and 3.1? Pretty long list, as I recall...) As another example, their upcoming marketing of Windows 2000 perhaps as a Windows 98 upgrade. Yes, it's a major version upgrade of NT, but we'll have to wait and see if MS actually markets it as a 98 upgrade. I don't know how they're going to keep it all straight, because the *expected* Windows 98 upgrade is presently called (ready?), "Consumer Windows in 2000."
We can learn from the confusion Micro-Soft is generating by switching Windows NinetySomething, Windows NT, and Office Whatever from versions to years. Stick with versions.