MozillaZine

Full Article Attached Mozilla Bug Week

Monday October 22nd, 2001

Many of you are familiar with the Bug Day's that we started a few years ago. Well, with the number of people wanting to help out skyrocketing these last few months, gerv@mozilla.org and others have decided that a bug week was in order. They'll be running it from Saturday October 27th to Sunday November 4th, and they'll have plenty of smart people on hand to help folks learn the bug system, learn how to use the various other web tools, and of course, learn some tips on how to contribute code to the Mozilla effort. Click the Full Article link to get all the details.


#1 Arrr, the memories

by mpthomas

Tuesday October 23rd, 2001 2:33 AM

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"Many of you are familiar with the Bug Day's that we started a few years ago."

Arrrrr, yes ... Many years ago, it was, aye, a whole 1.8 years ago in fact. <http://mozillazine.org/talkback.html?article=954> When men were men, and bugs were plentiful ...

(Now they're even more plentiful!)

(Shush, you!)

... When it was really hard to find reported bugs, because the `world-class' Bugzilla interface was truly hideous to use ...

(It's still hideous to use!)

(Shut up!)

... Those good old days, when Mozilla's front end was written in XUL, JS, and CSS, instead of being written in `web technlogies' ...

(Sophist!)

(Gobbledygook-peddler!)

... When the standard response to any Mozilla problem was to create a new IRC channel for it (#jihad, #focus-hell, #goat) ...

(That's *still* the standard response! We have a perfectly good #qa channel for things like this, no need for a separate #bugweek channel!)

(Look, I've told you to shut up several times now, you really leave me with no alternative ... Now, what shall be my weapon of choice today? A cattle prod, a flamethrower, or a Netscape 6.0 CD?)

-- mpt

#2 Re: Arrr, the memories

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Tuesday October 23rd, 2001 3:43 AM

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You've been working too hard, haven't you?

Alex

#3 Arrrrr

by mpthomas

Tuesday October 23rd, 2001 10:48 AM

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Arrrrrrrrr.

#5 Re: Arrrrr

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Tuesday October 23rd, 2001 2:12 PM

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An inspired response.

Alex

#10 Alex, it's your fault. Don't answer to trolls (nt)

by dipa

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 12:29 AM

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nt

#13 Re: Alex, it's your fault. Don't answer to trolls

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 1:49 AM

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Trolls? This would be MPT, User Interface: Design Feedback default assignee thingy and troll?

Alex

#15 oops?

by dipa

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 2:36 AM

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Are you sure it's him ? If yes, I 'm retracting my words. Although, in that case, I would think he has a strange taste of humour...

Those are the consequences of anonymous posting. But I can't blame anyone for this because I follow the same practice. Still it's easy to know who I am, isn't it? :-)

#16 Re: oops?

by dave532

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 6:30 AM

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Anonymous posting? It says submitted by mpthomas although mpt might use mpt as his username and this is a troll but I'm sure I've seen him use this name before so I'm 90% sure it's him.

#18 A conundrum

by mpthomas

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 7:29 AM

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> Are you sure it's him ?

How shall I prove my identity? Mozillazine's talkback forum doesn't lend itself very well to eye-watering displays of ASCII art.

-- mpt

#20 Simple

by choess <choess@stwing.upenn.edu>

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 8:43 AM

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We'll do a quick word-association test.

Please tell us the first thing you think of when you hear each of these phrases:

"nested context menu"

"we should have a pref for this"

"but it's 4xp!"

"Apple HIG"

I think that should suffice.

#25 Re: Simple

by johnlar <johnlar@tfn.net>

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 11:37 AM

Reply to this message

No, No, No, and Maybe.

#33 Re: Simple

by strauss

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 12:52 PM

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>> "Apple HIG" <<

Hey, stop picking on Eli!

#42 Answers

by mpthomas

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 8:36 PM

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> "nested context menu"

`Never use submenus in shortcut menus; the position in which they appear, relative to the initial position of the pointer, is so unpredictable that it is faster to choose the item from a menu in the main menu bar instead.' <http://geocities.com/mpt_…/ig2h.html#menus-shortcut>

> "we should have a pref for this"

Is that because a non-trivial proportion of the user population would be interested in changing it, or because you're too lazy to work out the most usable choice?

> "but it's 4xp!"

4.x got many things right. The 4xp keyword is still, after all these years, useful as a clue-stick.

> "Apple HIG"

That's the name I used to use mistakenly when referring to the Macintosh HI Guidelines. <http://developer.apple.co…lines/HIGuidelines-2.html>

Did I pass? :-)

-- mpt

#21 Re: Re: Alex, it's your fault. Don't answer to tro

by strauss

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 11:04 AM

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A "troll" is someone who expresses an opinion you find annoying.

#26 Re: Re: Re: Alex, it's your fault. Don't answer to

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 11:38 AM

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No, a troll is someone who posts a comment that is designed to invoke a reaction, either by posting something that is deliberately incorrect (or just controversial, though some would claim this is strictly flamebait not trolling).

#31 Re: Re: Re: Re: Alex, it's your fault. Don't answe

by strauss

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 12:37 PM

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No, that's the ostensible meaning of troll, as opposed to its meaning in actual usage.

#32 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alex, it's your fault. Don't a

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 12:45 PM

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Well, the way I perceive actual its actual usage must be different to the way you do. I will say that the term has moved from its original meaning of posting to provoke a response to something more akin to flamebaiting but I don't think that someone posting an opinion that doesn't agree with my own (or that of the group at large) constitutes trolling. I would say it constitutes having an opposing view. And that's fine.

Alex

#34 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alex, it's your fault. Don

by strauss

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 12:53 PM

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I agree with you completely; I was making an ironic comment on the way the term "troll" has come to be widely abused.

#35 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alex, it's your fault.

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 12:55 PM

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Oh, well I don't get irony.

Alex

#48 EXACTLY !

by dipa

Thursday October 25th, 2001 6:37 AM

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AlexBishop: "No, a troll is someone who posts a comment that is designed to invoke a reaction, either by posting something that is deliberately incorrect (or just controversial, though some would claim this is strictly flamebait not trolling)".

I agree 100%.

strauss: "I was making an ironic comment on the way the term "troll" has come to be widely abused."

How do you call a person that repeatedly expresses his negative opinions for Mozilla, even after his arguments defeated so many times? Considering your repulsion for open source projects, why do you insist bothering with Mozilla after stating so many times that there's no open source project will the slightest chance to succeed ? If I was you, I would have left this project to die in its misery, since this is what you think about it. Is this whining all what makes you happy ? Please, get a life.

#4 Re: Arrr, the memories

by Gerv

Tuesday October 23rd, 2001 2:09 PM

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> We have a perfectly good #qa channel for things like this, no need for a separate #bugweek channel!)

I don't get this? Is the announcement not sufficiently clear? Bug Week has very little to do with QA.

Gerv

#9 Re: Arrr, the memories

by johnlar <johnlar@tfn.net>

Tuesday October 23rd, 2001 9:11 PM

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It was funny. Lighten up

#12 Re: Re: Arrr, the memories

by mpthomas

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 1:45 AM

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> Is the announcement not sufficiently clear?

You just made one crucial mistake ...

> Bug Week has very little to do with QA.

... Right there. If it has very little to do with QA, then referring to it as `Bug Week' is gratuitously confusing; not only is it inaccurate in itself, but it also seems like an extension of `Bug Day' when it is not. It certainly confused whoever it was who wrote the Mozillazine article summary, which began by talking about Bug Day, went on to imply that Bug Week was the same as Bug Day but moreso, and only made a very slight reference to contributing code at the end.

Still, referring to it as Bug Week has one minor benefit; the use of `BW_' as an IRC prefix for people who know what they're talking about will allow me to use the nick `BW_AHAHAHAHA'.

-- mpt

#24 Re: Re: Re: Arrr, the memories

by Gerv

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 11:36 AM

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It's a week devoted to getting people fixing bugs. Would you have preferred "Bug Fix Week"?

> It certainly confused whoever it was who wrote the Mozillazine article summary,

The reason for that is because Kerz didn't bother to read the article. ;-)

Gerv

#38 Re: Re: Re: Re: Arrr, the memories

by hwaara <hwaara@chello.se>

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 4:19 PM

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> It's a week devoted to getting people fixing bugs. Would you have preferred "Bug Fix Week"?

Bah. That's what the default week should look like. Fix bugs. Or were we supposed to slack on non-bug weeks?

#6 suggestion for helping organize

by cabbey <mozilla@cabbey.net>

Tuesday October 23rd, 2001 5:58 PM

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I'd suggest that you have a list of the folks that have volunteered to be "BW_" that lists their given fields of expertise/interest... i.e. if I'm interested in fixing the default dialog placement then I need to look for "BW_fred", or if I'm interested in fixing some aspect of the default chrome then someone like "BW_barney" might be more appropriate. etc.

#22 Re: suggestion for helping organize

by Gerv

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 11:32 AM

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Not everyone's going to be there all the time; everyone who's helping should be able to point you at the right person if they aren't it.

Gerv

#7 Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla's Mistakes

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Tuesday October 23rd, 2001 7:13 PM

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"When the Mozilla project started, it immediately became the number one poster child for Open Source software development. Now its luster is tarnished to the point where closed source advocates point to Mozilla as an example of how Open Source cannot compete one-on-one with proprietary software, in this case with Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Is this true? Or was Mozilla's development process, not the fact that it was Open Source, to blame for its problems?"

Discuss.

Alex

#8 Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla's Mistakes

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Tuesday October 23rd, 2001 7:15 PM

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I suppose I should really give you a link to the full article: <http://www.newsforge.com/…e.pl?sid=01/10/20/1841215>

Alex

#11 Strauss will trigger a lot of responses :-) (nt)

by dipa

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 12:35 AM

Reply to this message

nt

#14 Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla's Mistakes

by macpeep

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 2:03 AM

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I'm surprised this hasn't generated more response yet.. Anyway, I'll bite. :)

First I'll give some background so we can perhaps avoid all the mud slinging that usually takes place. I'm a software developer myself with relatively long experience. I work for a company in Finland that makes a 3D game engine for handheld devices (PDA's, 3G & 4G mobile phones & dedicated game devices and similar). The game engine is cross platform in very much the same way that Mozilla is - there's an underlaying framework that abstracts the hardware and CPU.

There are many things similar with Mozilla and the product I work on for a living. Both are large scale, cross platform apps where performance is absolutely crucial. The approaches to these are very different however. Mozilla has a large developer base (even in the "internal" Netscape developers) and an even larger "feedback" base. Thousands of people test and report bugs and about as many people have loud voices regarding what they love and hate about Mozilla. The product at work has a developer base of about 20 developers of which some work on tools. It's a very classic closed source development project that adapt the "extreme programming" ideas with strict guidelines for milestones, testing, schedules etc. Mozilla does a lot of this in the same way, but there is one very obvious difference.

The thing Mozilla lacks or has been lacking is a clear target to shoot for. If you're an athlete, you usually set a goal.. "I will run 100 meters in under 10 seconds at the Olympics in XXXX in the year 20XX." With a clear goal, you can then lay out milestones on the route to this goal and measure your performance and compare it to how you should be performing. If you're just going with "I'll just try to run a lot every day and do the best I can.", chances are that you're not going to be that sucessful. Schedules and measurable performance is everything. I'm using the word "performance" here in the meaning of "progress".

I don't think there's anything wrong with open source in itself. I believe that the current problems are more or less because of Mozilla's development process, not open source. I believe that what's missing is the guts to define a bold target (3 years ago) and then go for that and not stray off the target. Now everyone is being a captain and everyone is steering in different directions. While some say "1.0 is needed" and write documents about why it's needed, others say "you're being silly. 1.0 is just a number. let's call it 1.0 now and be over with it". Without a person at the helm (like Linus Torvalds for example), it's very hard to get a coherent strategy and goal for the project. JWZ was that person in many ways. While he hadn't set a public 1.0 goal for one year after the initial release, that was clearly his personal goal and he left as a result of not being able to make that goal. Mozilla today is slowly improving but is very far behind the implicit schedules that people (end users, web developers and fans) expected. That wouldn't be so bad if we weren't also so far behind the performance (speed, size, stabilty, quality, market share etc.) that the same people expected and expect.

The "1.0" document by Brendan Eich is a good start, I think. We need a date and a set of features and performance metrics to shoot for. We need to be aware that all of these may not be met, but we need to list them and write them down and then start working towards them. The date can't be pushed around forever because what happens then is what has been happening in the past couple of years: developers lose hope, the product loses market share (product being "Netscape & Mozilla" - you know what I mean) and the project loses credibility.

If this insults someone, developers in particular, I'm sorry. That's not my intention. I see problems with the project, as I've done for a long time. I want to see those problems fixed. I have absolutely no interest in just plain and simple diss Mozilla. I don't believe anyone on this site has. It's clear that people experience Mozilla in different ways, however, but that can be a strength.

#19 Re: Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla's Mistak

by choess <choess@stwing.upenn.edu>

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 8:33 AM

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I think part of the problem is that the logical goals to set seem to be unachievable in the current time frame. For instance, one of the original goals for NS 6.0 was full CSS1, DOM1, HTML4 compliance. After 3.5 years, this turns out to be a lot harder than anyone thought at first. (Seems to be the usual 10-90 problem; 10% of the standard takes 90% of the work). Another obvious goal would be equal-or-better performance to IE, which doesn't look like it will happen without significant changes in architecture and lots of rewrites. Is Tasman better engineered than Gecko, or is it that Gecko is better prepared for extensions into CSS3 and XFlavorOfTheWeek? I don't know. But I think that our inability to achieve goals that looked deceptively simple at the beginning of the project may have a lot to do with this.

#71 Re: Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla's Mistak

by dipa

Friday October 26th, 2001 2:28 AM

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> I don't think there's anything wrong with open source in itself. I believe that the current problems are more or less because of Mozilla's development process, not open source. I believe that what's missing is the guts to define a bold target (3 years ago) and then go for that and not stray off the target. Now everyone is being a captain and everyone is steering in different directions. While some say "1.0 is needed" and write documents about why it's needed, others say "you're being silly. 1.0 is just a number. let's call it 1.0 now and be over with it". Without a person at the helm (like Linus Torvalds for example), it's very hard to get a coherent strategy and goal for the project. JWZ was that person in many ways. While he hadn't set a public 1.0 goal for one year after the initial release, that was clearly his personal goal and he left as a result of not being able to make that goal. Mozilla today is slowly improving but is very far behind the implicit schedules that people (end users, web developers and fans) expected. That wouldn't be so bad if we weren't also so far behind the performance (speed, size, stabilty, quality, market share etc.) that the same people expected and expect.

While myself I'm not able to find the exact reasons for Mozilla's long "time to market" (not appropriate term for such a project), I suspect you 're right. But even if all the above hold true, things would be easy if resources were sufficient. Open source people reluctant to work for a project targeted as the backbone of commercial applications? Insufficient documentation and complicated development environment? All I know is the lack of developers and bug triagers, that is is my impression from bugzilla and cvs. Proposed solutions ? Alas, I am not able to offer one...

#17 It's the autonomy, stupid!

by mpthomas

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 7:03 AM

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Roblimo certainly gets some details wrong in that article <http://www.newsforge.com/…e.pl?sid=01/10/20/1841215> . his description of volunteer Mozilla contributors as people working `for free' for Netscape is as silly as describing any Linux kernel hacker as someone working `for free' for Red Hat, or any BSD hacker as someone working `for free' for Apple. He understates the impact of the initial Mozilla code release being basically unusable, and of the 1999 decision to rewrite Mozilla from scratch. And he has his dates wrong, implying that Netscape was already an AOL subsidiary by the time the Mozilla code was released. However, his main complaint -- the lack of autonomy of those running the Mozilla Project -- is definitely valid, and I think that lack of independence is the main reason for the failure of the project thus far.

Lest I be accused of trolling, I hurry to note that by `failure' I don't mean the complete death of Mozilla through being unable to forestall Microsoft's hegemony on the Web such that the DOM, CSS, and eventually HTML and HTTP become Microsoft-only closed standards which are prohibitively difficult to keep up with. (That might be true, but it will take another five years or so before we can tell. The most important bugs filed in Bugzilla currently aren't the crasher bugs, or the performance bugs, or the API freeze bugs, or even the user interface bugs; they're the Tech Evangelism bugs.) By `failure' I mean that after three and a half years, the Mozilla browser is roughly equivalent in quality to Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 browser, which was released just over four years ago. (Mozilla is way ahead on standards compliance and number of supported platforms, which most users don't care about; and it's way behind on performance and user interface quality, which most users do care about.) To be sure, Mozilla may be catching up in many respects, but it may not be catching up fast enough to make a difference.

The lack of an independent Mozilla Foundation or similar <http://foundation.gnome.org/> , with a basic constitution <http://www.debian.org/devel/constitution> and a clear goal (e.g. `to build the best and most widely-ported Web browser in the world'), has (directly or indirectly) caused a number of systemic problems in Mozilla development. A few examples.

* The Mozilla Organization is funded largely by a single Mozilla distributor, one which currently does not add very much closed-source value to Mozilla, with the result that the Mozilla Organization has to tread lightly to avoid the appearance of competition with that distributor. Instead of being honest about this, Mozilla staff have created a `Mozilla is not for end users' meme, backed up by incorrect claims that an open-source user community is incapable of providing its own marketing <http://linux.com/> or technical support <http://www.debian.org/support> . By itself, I wouldn't mind any of that -- *except* that `Mozilla is not for end users' has become an excuse to have a Heath-Robinson-style user interface, something which no Mozilla distributors have the skills and resources to fix in their own versions. So Mozilla distributions languish for lack of usability.

* For the same reason of avoiding competition, the mission of the Mozilla Organization is not to `coordinate the development of a great Web browser', but (rather hand-wavingly) to `act as the virtual meeting place for the Mozilla code' <http://mozilla.org/mission.html> . This provides leeway for the Mozilla CVS trunk to host distractions such as IRC clients and Web page editors -- and yes, I *do* think that if those weren't in the Mozilla trunk then the other parts of Mozilla would develop more quickly.

* Mozilla's bug database system is modelled on the previous Netscape bug database, so it was inadvertently designed with closed-source development assumptions built in. The idea of default assignees and QA contacts for components, for example, makes sense when one person is paid to fix/verify all the bugs in a given component --- but it is harmful if trying to attract volunteer contributors. <http://groups.google.com/…0student.canterbury.ac.nz> In addition, many new contributors are under the impression that all they have to do is attach a patch to the bug report, when the Mozilla Project actually puts much greater demands on them than that; again, this would be much less of a problem if Mozilla was closed-source and programmers were being paid to get their patches checked in.

I'm sure this situation will get better over time, that these problems are just the growing pains of a community struggling towards independence. But currently, the Mozilla Project is of most use for an example of how not to run an open-source project, secondly for its bug database software, and thirdly for its Web browser.

-- mpt

#37 Re: It's the autonomy, stupid!

by kiko <kiko@async.com.br>

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 3:32 PM

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Eeeek. mpt, maybe I didn't understand your point so well, because I don't agree at all. Mozilla.org is a very special place to many people outside netscape, and calling it "a way not to run an OSS project" is just oversimplifying.

Mozilla is a very large project, and one of the few OSS projects where there is a very large and opinionated community involved. This has a lot of impact on the way development happens, and it also influences our beloved UI. To say it's a failure is simply ignoring these problems and saying "a proper OSS project wouldn't do these things so badly".

The fact is that most OSS projects fare evil when there is a large codebase involved. Some people might scream Linux, and I say "look into the Linux development process and judge for yourself". Some people might scream Debian (and I'll agree it's an example of a project with a lot of success) and still I'll point out the major differences in the kind of software produced (and the modularity acheivable). People love a browser too much.

An OSS project has to acheive a balance between developer motivation, proper modularity and quality. Larger projects suffer more; that's just the way it is. In a closed source environment, because nobody's watching, it's easier to brush stuff under the carpet and call them post-1.0 features. The lack of somebody with a stern call for 1.0 does mean we sit around waiting for it to happen longer; it doesn't mean we're doing a bad job developing the browser, however.

I don't ever like to be negative when analyzing mozilla.org's actions because I know we're in a tight spot and nudging forward has produced better results than pointing out problems. So I cheer us on, <*@netscape.com> included (perhaps foremost), before digging back into the code.

#23 Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla's Mistakes

by Gerv

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 11:32 AM

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Why not discuss it on Newsforge's boards? That would seem more appropriate, seeing as it's their content.

Gerv

#27 Re: Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla's Mistakes

by macpeep

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 11:52 AM

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Oh, I'm sorry. I mistook this site for one where Mozilla issues are discussed.

#28 Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla's Mistakes

by Gerv

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 12:01 PM

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> The lack of an independent Mozilla Foundation

Ah, if only it were that simple. Speaking frankly for a moment, as someone who has watched the mozilla.org staff employed by Netscape narrowly avert multiple crises almost weekly over the last two months, I know that talk is cheap.

<staff@mozilla.org> have to fight to justify the existence and usefulness of the open source project to Netscape management on a weekly basis, partly because many of the people in the Mozilla community sit around bitching, moaning about bugs and demanding features, instead of doing anything.

Look at our newsgroups - a sea of "Waah! My tab browser doesn't work in today's nightly! Fix it NOW!" and "Does anyone think Mozilla should have my pet feature X?" and "When are Netscape going to release a browser that has all the stuff I want in it?".

Where are the large contributions made from outside Netscape we can point to to show the value of the open source process? Total independence won't happen until the Mozilla project is able to make significant progress without Netscape, and mozilla.org has some bargaining chips on the table to prevent Netscape simply saying "Well, if we get less control, then we're going to go back to developing behind the firewall, because we won't lose much and frankly, this open source stuff is too much hassle."

Don't think it would never happen. One of the big reasons why they think it's a hassle has been the whole UI mess.

So, if you care about the project, start working on bugs in the 1.0 meta-bug dependency tree. The stable, long-lived 1.0 branch is very important to getting more companies using Mozilla technology. That is Mozilla's future, and the best route to independence.

Gerv

#29 Open Source

by tny

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 12:12 PM

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> Where are the large contributions made > from outside Netscape we can point to to > show the value of the open source process?

BiDi. 'nuff said.

#40 and the link toolbar

by joschi

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 5:34 PM

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It is my understanding that the link toolbar came from developers outside of Netscape.

#44 Yes, but ...

by mpthomas

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 11:03 PM

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... If I was a PHB at Netscape (from the alternate-reality-dept.), I would regard the Links `Toolbar' -- in its current state -- as an argument against external development, rather than for it. It wouldn't take much more effort to develop the Links Bar to the point where it was more useful than annoying; but because the complete lack of LINK UI no longer longer scratches the itch of those interested in it, I don't anticipate the various interface bugs in it being fixed any time soon. (Of course, I'd love to be proved wrong.:-)

-- mpt

#53 Re: Yes, but ...

by Gerv

Thursday October 25th, 2001 11:12 AM

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The links toolbar is a tiny thing in the scheme of things and, mpt is right: I am ashamed and embarrassed at the complete lack of movement on any of its key bugs since I made a serious effort to get it checked in. Any activity there has been was the usual pie-in-the-sky discussion of cool new features we could add to it, rather than fixing its current problems.

If this continues, I've half a mind to rip it back out again.

Gerv

#52 Re: Open Source

by Gerv

Thursday October 25th, 2001 11:10 AM

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You think Netscape gives a stuff about BiDi? When the next release, whose release number we all know, comes out, see how many BiDi language packs it ships with.

Clue: it's a round number.

Gerv

#57 Re: Re: BiDi

by tny

Thursday October 25th, 2001 11:25 AM

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If they don't, frankly, they deserve to have a 5% market share. BiDi is important to internationalization, internationalization is important to market growth. But one doesn't need language packs to take advantage of BiDi: sometimes one does want to read texts in languages other than one's native language; so BiDi support in Mozilla is already being used, by folks who have an English language UI but want to read Arabic, Hebrew, etc.

#39 Re: Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla's Mista

by strauss

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 4:41 PM

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I didn't want to be the one to respond to this message, Gerv, but nobody else seems inclined to.

These seem like some pretty amazing statements.

Are you saying that there have been numerous cases in the last few months of Netscape threatening to shut down Mozilla as an open source project, and that you believe Mozilla can only go on living by separating from Netscape?

Forgive me if I'm reading something incorrectly here.

#54 Re: Re: Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla's M

by Gerv

Thursday October 25th, 2001 11:17 AM

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You are reading me somewhat incorrectly.

I am saying that Netscape pays mozilla.org people and contributes to Mozilla. Like any business, they are constantly analysing what they are doing to see where they could be making more money for less effort. You can't blame them for this.

"Netscape" (not that there is such an entity who could do the threatening, if you see what I mean) has not threatened to shut down Mozilla as an open source project, because it can't do that. The code belongs to the community. It could go back to developing inside the firewall, or it could fork part of the code, such as the UI - both things would be bad for Mozilla. At a more extreme level, it could stop paying the mozilla.org staff it pays, and stop providing resources such as machines and bandwidth. Like any other part of the company, the money spent on me, Asa and crew, and the time taken participating in the open source process, has to be justified.

I believe Mozilla and Netscape can go on living and working together - I firmly believe this is possible. I also believe that, eventually, mozilla.org will be more independent from Netscape. I'm just trying to encourage people who make trite statements about "Ooh, it should be more independent, _then_ we'd have loads of developers" to consider the here-and-now political reality.

Gerv

Gerv

#59 Re: Re: Re: Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla

by strauss

Thursday October 25th, 2001 11:43 AM

Reply to this message

Thank you for the clarification.

Personally, in your situation, I would be looking less at ways to justify what you've already done, and more at ways to make your sponsors happy in the present and the future. I believe this would necessitate some changes to the ways you plan and track the project, a more schedule-driven approach, a heightened level of professional accountability, reduction of the open bug count, and a renewed focus on aesthetics at the level current consumers expect. Given changes of this type, you might even find your sponsors wiling to invest more.

#69 Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla

by Gerv

Thursday October 25th, 2001 8:03 PM

Reply to this message

> I believe this would necessitate some changes to the ways you plan and track the project

Please, give us the benefit of your accumulated wisdom.

> a more schedule-driven approach

You don't think "We want 0.9.10 to be Mozilla 1.0; if we have to slip one milestone, so be it, but not more than one" isn't schedule-driven?

> a heightened level of professional accountability

What exactly is that? It's an empty snipe.

> reduction of the open bug count

How exactly do you suggest we speed up this process? Engineers are working as hard as they can. Suggestions as to how to prevent 50% of the new bugs filed per day ending up as dupes within a week would be particularly welcome.

> and a renewed focus on aesthetics at the level current consumers expect

I haven't seen you breaking out Patch Maker and submitting UI patches. :-)

Gerv

#72 Re: Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla

by strauss

Friday October 26th, 2001 2:56 AM

Reply to this message

>> a more schedule-driven approach <<

> You don't think "We want 0.9.10 to be Mozilla 1.0; if we have to slip one milestone, so be it, but not more than one" isn't schedule-driven? <

It's a big improvement over the "we don't have a schedule -- we're open source -- we'll ship whenever we feel like it" party line that was de rigeur up until Brendan Eich's recent message. That was a big step forward. Now let's see you show that you're taking it seriously.

>> a heightened level of professional accountability <<

> What exactly is that? It's an empty snipe. <

I'm sorry to hear that you feel that way. Pervasive immaturity is your leadership's biggest problem; it's at the root of most of your other problems. It's reflected in things like evasiveness, hand-waving, defensiveness, cliquishness to the point of cultishness, suddenly changing answers without acknowledging that you've changed them, playing fast and loose with facts and numbers, saying you'll keep your chief after she was fired (precisely for her lack of accountability), and similar childish antics. I am sure that your senior management at Netscape has gotten quite as sick of this run-around as I have, and that this _emotional_ reaction to your rascally, irrepresible slipperiness has a lot to do with the fact that you are now being threatened with dissolution. You would do well to take a good hard look at this issue of attitude. It's critical to the survival of your project in its current form..

(Yeah, I know, saying that to guys in their twenties is pointless. Oh well.)

>> reduction of the open bug count <<

> How exactly do you suggest we speed up this process? Engineers are working as hard as they can. Suggestions as to how to prevent 50% of the new bugs filed per day ending up as dupes within a week would be particularly welcome. <

You need resources. You will have to pay them. The volunteer model does not offer adequate reward for serious QA and support work.

I'm not saying anything here that I haven't said before. I am, however, pointing out that if you tie a request for resources to something your management (or sponsorship, if you insist on denying the reality of Netscape's role) cares about, they might just be willing to listen. For instance, "we need a half-dozen support staff to screen the incoming bugs before they go into the QA database, and the same number of fresh QA people to sift through the existing bug queue, to make a January deliverable," that's the sort of thing technical managers give serious consideration to, if you can back up the numbers.

>> and a renewed focus on aesthetics at the level current consumers expect <<

> I haven't seen you breaking out Patch Maker and submitting UI patches. :-) <

Not my job, dude. I have a job. I'm nearing the end of a sixty-hour week and writing to you during compiles. Why should I work for you for no money? The lion's share of work on your project is compensated, and as far as I'm concerned, the unpaid contributors are suckers. I wonder how they'll feel when and if Netscape gives up on open source and takes the only realistic Mozilla branch back inside the firewall. See the recent /. thread on Lutris Enhydra by any chance? No open source project has every gotten to anything like a professional stage of development without large amounts of professional compensation expended for the commercial benefit of a particular company.

#73 Re: Re: Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla

by SmileyBen

Friday October 26th, 2001 4:56 AM

Reply to this message

>I'm sorry to hear that you feel that way. Pervasive immaturity is your leadership's biggest >problem; it's at the root of most of your other problems. It's reflected in things like >evasiveness, hand-waving, defensiveness, cliquishness to the point of cultishness, suddenly >changing answers without acknowledging that you've changed them, playing fast and loose with >facts and numbers, saying you'll keep your chief after she was fired (precisely for her lack >of accountability), and similar childish antics. I am sure that your senior management at >Netscape has gotten quite as sick of this run-around as I have, and that this _emotional_ >reaction to your rascally, irrepresible slipperiness has a lot to do with the fact that you >are now being threatened with dissolution. You would do well to take a good hard look at this >issue of attitude. It's critical to the survival of your project in its current form..

Lee, you are sooooooooooooooooooooo beyond out of line it's hilarious. Grow up, get a life, or at least some *hint* of manners.

#74 Re: Re: Re: Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla

by strauss

Friday October 26th, 2001 8:29 AM

Reply to this message

As I said, discussing attitude issues with men in their early twenties is probably pointless, but I'd be remiss in not letting you all know how you come across, and that this has got to be one of your biggest issues in dealing with senior management. They're not going to have this little talk with you -- they're just going to cut you off at the kneecaps if you keep jerking them around. You can think about it now, or later. It would be more useful to think about it now.

#75 Re: Re: Re: Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla

by macpeep

Friday October 26th, 2001 9:03 AM

Reply to this message

If you don't agree, post your comments on why you think strauss is wrong - don't attack or ridicule the writer. While strauss' post is obviously not for the faint of heart, it's quite correct. Or are you saying that it's all easy going and there are no problems and that there's no need for taking a good hard look at where the whole project is heading? You reacted exactly in the way strauss described. Problems aren't dealt with but instead people take a defensive attitude and resort in name calling and other childish behavior.

I'm not sure which is more sad; the problems or the complete denial.

This kinda reminds me of an experiment where two test groups were given extremely boring repetitive assignments for one week. They were told that the tests were a very important scientific study. Members of one of the groups got paid, the members of the other didn't. After the tests were over, they interviewed all people involved. Those who got paid told the interviewers that the tests were extremely boring and annoying. Those who didn't get paid said that it was quite interesting and they were proud for having been part of the test and contributed to science.

I guess it's just human nature...

#77 Re: Learning from Mozilla

by Gerv

Friday October 26th, 2001 10:47 AM

Reply to this message

> Pervasive immaturity is your leadership's biggest problem; <snip>

If I could pause you in mid-rant for a second, to clarify: my point was that "you need more professional accountability" is, on its own, a meaningless statement. Your list of accusations are simply wrong. You will, of course, put this down to "defensiveness" and "denying the truth" and "playing fast and loose with the facts", but I think your baseless accusations are far more indicative of your attitude than our problems.

What particularly irritates me is the way you assume you know exactly why Mitchell got laid off, and further (contrary to the evidence I see before me at meetings and on mailing lists every day) you assert she's no longer part of the project, and we are lying when we say she is.

> (Yeah, I know, saying that to guys in their twenties is pointless. Oh well.)

I don't know about where you come from, but in this project we don't assess people based on their age.

> You need resources. You will have to pay them.

Are you offering?

> The volunteer model does not offer adequate reward for serious QA and support work.

I disagree. I think we've done better for non-Netscape help in QA than in code. Netscape QA often admit they wouldn't have a prayer of triaging the incoming Bugzilla bugs without a lot of other help.

> that's the sort of thing technical managers give serious consideration to, if you can back up the numbers.

Your naiveity is almost amusing. Do you really think we can wander up to Netscape management and ask for ten people, and we'll get them? We can't even get the cash for a faster Bugzilla machine, and that software is a critical tool used by the entire unit every day.

> Not my job, dude.

But it is your job to criticise endlessly? Why not put that energy to better use. The amount of attention I pay to someone's comments on the project are in proportion to a) the number of helpful suggestions they offer, and b) the amount of constructive work (of any sort) they've put in so far.

> No open source project has every gotten to anything like a professional stage of development without large > amounts of professional compensation expended for the commercial benefit of a particular company.

I could name numerous counter-examples but, instead, I'll just ask you: why is it, per se, a problem that companies work on projects in their own interest, just as individuals do?

Gerv

Gerv

#78 Re: Re: Learning from Mozilla

by strauss

Friday October 26th, 2001 11:44 AM

Reply to this message

> "you need more professional accountability" is, on its own, a meaningless statement. <

It means quite a lot. As I said before, I'm sorry to learn that those words have no meaning for you.

> Your list of accusations are simply wrong. You will, of course, put this down to "defensiveness" and "denying the truth" and "playing fast and loose with the facts", but I think your baseless accusations are far more indicative of your attitude than our problems. <

You're denying defensiveness in the course of being defensive.

I could point out numerous recent examples of you playing fast and loose with the facts -- for instance, denying on /. that mozilla.org is at all dependent on Netscape, then coming back here within a few days and complaining that Mozilla.org is too dependent on Netscape; or claiming on NewsForge that using native widgets would have meant writing the whole browser over for each platform. The former is a contradiction, the latter a blatant falsehood. You, Asa, and other fervent supporters of Mozilla are distinctly slippery in your engagement of the world of facts. Your conclusion is always "whatever we have been doing has always been perfectly correct," facts and consistency be damned. I'm sure this is playing just about as well with your management as it is with me.

> What particularly irritates me is the way you assume you know exactly why Mitchell got laid off, and further (contrary to the evidence I see before me at meetings and on mailing lists every day) you assert she's no longer part of the project, and we are lying when we say she is. <

That's a perfect example of your habit of misrepresentation. I said that your insistence that Mitchell was still your chief, even after management fired her from that role, was a deliberate slap in the face of the people who are paying the bills, which could not help your relationship with them. Instead of responding to that, you responded to something completely different which I did not say. This is a normal experience in dealing with you, and Asa, and SmileyBen, and SubtleRebel, and the rest of the cult -- or the "flunkies," as Tanyel has taken to calling you. It doesn't play well to non-cult-members.

>> You need resources. You will have to pay them. <<

> Are you offering? <

A perfect example of a slippery non-response.

>> The volunteer model does not offer adequate reward for serious QA and support work. <<

> I disagree. I think we've done better for non-Netscape help in QA than in code. Netscape QA often admit they wouldn't have a prayer of triaging the incoming Bugzilla bugs without a lot of other help. <

Adequacy is easy to determine in this case. You admit you are buried under a mountain of incoming bugs which you do not have the resources to process, and which make your bug database's defect tracking lines relatively useless as a measure of product quality. Therefore, the current process and/or resources are inadequate. Your defensive response above chooses to ignore the actual point at hand in favor of yet another "everybody is doing a great job and things are going really well." They're not going well. If you can't use your bug database to generate useful quality statistics, things are going very badly. This is a problem to be solved, not to be waved away.

> Do you really think we can wander up to Netscape management and ask for ten people, and we'll get them? <

I don't recall saying anything about wandering. From your account, there are weekly meetings about project status. Have you made the case in the way that I suggested, backed with numbers and tied to schedule in a measurable way? You said they already suspect they are not getting adequate support from outside contributors, so pitching this as a more traditional in-house work mode already has the right spin. I suspect that the reason you don't make such a pitch is that your religious convictions about open source don't permit you to acknowledge that there are gaps in the open source approach.

> The amount of attention I pay to someone's comments on the project are in proportion to a) the number of helpful suggestions they offer, and b) the amount of constructive work (of any sort) they've put in so far. <

By (a) I should be high in your rankings. Unfortunately, your ingrained defensiveness makes it difficult for you to perceive critical comments as helpful. I acknowledge that my present state of exasperation with your slipperiness has made my tone less than conducive to such a positive perception, but I haven't gotten any farther with the polite approach in the past.

>> No open source project has every gotten to anything like a professional stage of development without large amounts of professional compensation expended for the commercial benefit of a particular company. <<

> I could name numerous counter-examples <

Feel free, if you can. There are very few open source projects that have ever reached such a level. The Linux kernel, Apache, GNOME/Eazel, OpenOffice and Mozilla have all followed the course I just described, in which companies paid people to work on them out of commercial interest in the results. I'm not so concerned with hacker-oriented stuff like emacs or the rest of the GNU tools -- GCC is the only one that even comes close to professional quality, and it's radically inferior to commercial compilers in everything but portability. Volunteer labor does not deliver professional results except as an ancillary contribution to a paid backbone.

> but, instead, I'll just ask you: why is it, per se, a problem that companies work on projects in their own interest, just as individuals do? <

Did I say it was a problem? I said it means that the volunteer model of open source doesn't reflect the reality of software development, which is that you have to pay people to get professional-quality software. Again, you don't seem to be able to respond to what I actually say.

#88 Re: Re: Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla

by emlyn

Saturday October 27th, 2001 6:38 PM

Reply to this message

>No open source project has every gotten to anything like a >professional stage of development without large amounts of >professional compensation expended for the commercial >benefit of a particular company.

That depends on what you mean by "professional". The GNU system is widely used to run mission-critical computers, because it just doesn't crash. *BSD doesn't crash either. Php is a far smaller security risk than ASP. And so on. None of those things are even vaugely "nice" to use, but they have quality of a sort.

You don't *need* corporate backing. But it does help.

#90 Re: Re: Re: Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla

by strauss

Sunday October 28th, 2001 3:31 PM

Reply to this message

> That depends on what you mean by "professional". <

True enough. I'm referring to software that lives up to current consumer expectations, which have risen dramatically since the release of Windows 95, a mass-market Macintosh clone.

> The GNU system is widely used to run mission-critical computers, because it just doesn't crash. <

I think you mean Linux rather than GNU per se, since GNU never managed to come out with a kernel. It's not widely realized that Linux development is professionally subsidized by various companies hoping to make money from it. Linux has a self-mythology that it just grew by decentralized volunteer labor, but without Red Hat paying the core kernel developers, it would not have gotten very far.

> *BSD doesn't crash either. <

But for it get up to current usability standards required a massive commercial effort by Apple/NeXT in the form of Mac OS X.

> Php is a far smaller security risk than ASP. <

Couldn't comment. But again, this is hacker-oriented stuff. I'm not disputing that open source and free software can produce good software for programmers. I use open source devlopment tools myself, and have given away development tools that I have written. But for open source to create software that successfully targets the average user seems to have required corporate subsidy so far.

> And so on. None of those things are even vaugely "nice" to use, but they have quality of a sort. <

Right, but not the kind of quality that concerns me. I've been developing applications and system software for ordinary people since the first year of the Mac and I don't yet see open source software catching up even to the level of usability we had back then. Most open source software is command line based! When I see open source getting close to a current usability level it always seems to have taken tens of millions of dollars of corporate sponsorship to get there, from companies like Red Hat, Netscape, Sun, Apple, IBM, the late Eazel, and so forth.

> You don't *need* corporate backing. But it does help. <

Not for development tools, you don't, although even there it does help (e.g., Cygnus). But for mass-market software, open source by itself doesn't seem to get to the finish line without serious commercial sponsorship.

#91 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla

by gwalla <gwalla@despammed.com>

Sunday October 28th, 2001 9:14 PM

Reply to this message

"I think you mean Linux rather than GNU per se, since GNU never managed to come out with a kernel."

I think he means the whole GNU/Linux system, since there's more to an OS than the kernel.

"But for it get up to current usability standards required a massive commercial effort by Apple/NeXT in the form of Mac OS X."

I'm sorry, but that's bull. OpenBSD, NetBSD, and FreeBSD were being used for mission-critical applications long before Apple made Darwin.

#92 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Newsforge - Learning from

by strauss

Sunday October 28th, 2001 9:29 PM

Reply to this message

> OpenBSD, NetBSD, and FreeBSD were being used for mission-critical applications long before Apple made Darwin. <

But none of those BSDs were suitable for use by non-gearheads, which is the issue I was talking about. The first true UNIX-for-everyone is Mac OS X, which has an open source kernel but a closed source toolbox.

#41 Re: Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla's Mista

by emlyn

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 6:57 PM

Reply to this message

So, you're saying that Mozilla seems to be a Netscape-only project beause no-one will contribute, and that no-one will contribute because it's percieved as a Netscape-dominated project by and for Netscape only?

Cool. I like vicious circles. They're fun.

#55 Re: Re: Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla's Mi

by Gerv

Thursday October 25th, 2001 11:18 AM

Reply to this message

Yeah, sucks, doesn't it? That's what bug week (in a small way) and 1.0 (in a big way) are about - getting more people working with the code. This is the only way we can break that circle. So encourage your friends to come along and hack on Mozilla. :-)

Gerv

#45 I'm not blinking

by mpthomas

Thursday October 25th, 2001 12:50 AM

Reply to this message

Gerv, I am aware of the endless Strait of Messina which <staff@mozilla.org> are having to navigate. I think they are doing the best job possible under the circumstances, and their problems would be present no matter who was on board.

> Look at our newsgroups - a sea of "Waah!

A large proportion of that problem (though assuredly not all of it) is because the newsgroup reorganization <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=62228> hasn't taken place yet. So there isn't a mozilla.users group for non-developers to idly chat in, so they clutter up the developer groups instead. And whose fault is it that the newsgroup reorganization hasn't taken place yet? Not mine, not yours, and not <staff@mozilla.org>'s ...

> One of the big reasons why they think it's a hassle has been the whole UI mess.

Bah. Most of the messiness of Mozilla's UI is Netscape's fault. :-) (Seen the P3P UI lately? Phwoooarrr.)

> Where are the large contributions made from outside Netscape we can point to to show the value of the open source process?

Bi-di. MathML. SVG (in progress). Substantial work on font handling, the build process, the DOM, browser front end architecture, the address book, and (I'm sure) other unsexy things which I've never seen. Hundreds of polish fixes which a paid employee wouldn't have time to work on. Most of the improvements to Bugzilla in the past couple of years. The continuing work of master hackers such as Mike Shaver after they leave Netscape. A mountain of QA and triage work. A much easier job for Netscape's HR department, as they can pick from the best Mozilla contributors (Blake Ross, Stephen Donner, Peter Anemma, Jesse Ruderman, et al.) rather than relying on references from possibly non-existent previous employers. A veritable battalion of evangelists. A future.

> So, if you care about the project, start working on bugs in the 1.0 meta-bug dependency tree.

The 1.0 meta-bug dependency tree <http://bugzilla.mozilla.o…endencytree.cgi?id=103705> currently leaves me with nothing to do.

-- mpt

#56 Re: I'm not blinking

by Gerv

Thursday October 25th, 2001 11:22 AM

Reply to this message

> because the newsgroup reorganization (LINK) hasn't taken place yet

Indeed. I've been trying to make this happen, but it's like hitting a brick wall. If you know of some other company happy to provide us with a news server, let me know.

> Bah. Most of the messiness of Mozilla's UI is Netscape's fault. :-)

Not that sort of UI mess, I mean the UI process mess. Speaking frankly for a moment, one of the reasons given for Mitchell's laying off is that she was unable to solve the "UI problem" - the conflict between Netscape's UI team and Netscape's engineers and Mozilla UI people. The seriousness of this conflict was escalated in the eyes of management because certain people kept sending Netscape upper management email complaining about the current situation!

> The 1.0 meta-bug dependency tree (LINK) currently leaves me with nothing to do.

That, you twit, is because I have twice emailed you in the past week asking you to nominate bugs for the UI section, and you haven't done so!

Gerv

#30 Re: Re: Newsforge - Learning from Mozilla's Mistak

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 12:23 PM

Reply to this message

"Why not discuss it on Newsforge's boards? That would seem more appropriate, seeing as it's their content."

I know this topic can (and is) being discussed on Newsforge's boards and I've seen your comments there. I brought it up here because I wanted to see the reaction of the Mozilla community rather than the Newsforge community.

Alex

#36 OFFTOPIC: Browser bugs

by Trucoto

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 2:16 PM

Reply to this message

Though you may find this interesting: <http://www.guninski.com/browsers.html>

#43 OT: Poll slightly broken

by gwalla <gwalla@despammed.com>

Wednesday October 24th, 2001 10:42 PM

Reply to this message

Remember the problem Mozine had a while back where posting dates were being displayed as "W M D, Y r"? It seems the poll still/now has that problem.

#70 the archive page too.

by basic <_basic@yahoo.com>

Thursday October 25th, 2001 8:35 PM

Reply to this message

n/t

#46 mozilla.org justifing to Netscape

by castrojo <castro@infantry.com>

Thursday October 25th, 2001 12:58 AM

Reply to this message

If this is true .... then maybe a call for more outside developers is in order? Maybe mozilla.org can campaign for more support from other companies. IBM comes to mind. They're investing $1 billion in Linux, and Linux still needs a good browser. Red Hat is too small, and needs to worry about making a profit right now, I think Blizzard's contributions are more than enough than one could expect from a small company.

Whether it wants to be or not, Mozilla has become the standard bearer to wether open source development works or not. Linux and others have always been open source, they started with no expectations, Mozilla started with huge expectations. Mozilla is the first "commercial" attempt for an open source package with corporate backing. If it "fails", then most closed source pundits would say "See, Mozilla failed, now Open Office will probably suffer the same fate, as well as (you name it)." Then, coporations will see that as opposed to the advantages of an open model.

Since Mozilla has become an excellent browser lately, the interest has gone up substantially. The reactions on /. and other sites have gotten better, and look at the amount of posts that people are submitting on this site alone, as the product becomes more mature, more people will be interested in it. Now, IMO, is the time when Netscape should be saying "Geez, we're picking up steam now, we're getting there." We're definately getting there faster than we were before, that's for damn sure. To me, the fact that Kmeleon, and especially Galeon are such excellent browsers already make the Mozilla project a success. But maybe a Netscape PHB doesn't see it that way.

And, if "some PHB" at Netscape is really questioning the need for mozilla.org and and open development model, maybe now is the time for mozilla.org to put out a call for more developers. To me that sounds hard, since anyone who is interested in Mozilla would already be contributing. Maybe there should be a more concerted effort to lower the bar for new developers, that means better documentation, etc. etc., so a solution is not easy.

Maybe some numbers would be helpful. Anyone know how much of a % of the active mozilla developers are not employed by Netscape? Obviously it would be difficult to measure the amount of "work" done by non-netscape people, but I think it would give us an idea. Are new developers joining on a regular basis? Is there a turnover of new developers that give up once they see how complex it is? How many non-netscape people understand the code base fully? If Netscape pulled the plug tomorrow, would enough developers be left over to be able to continue?

If the higher ups at Netscape are really questioning Mozilla, they can only blame themselves. The code base as released by Netscape back in the day was crap, so Mozilla had to start over, obviously some engineering decisions during the 4.x days were crappy. They were the ones that chose to release 6.0 when it wasn't close to ready, Now, no matter how good 6.x is, people will remember what crap 6.0 was, giving the whole project a bad name. Are they a browser company or a portal? Does anyone know? They seem to be unsure of what Netscape is and supposed to be. Mozilla has made huge strides to get to where it is today in a short amount of time, they seem to forget that this thing is up there with IE6 already in terms of quality (IMO) in a few short years. I hate to say it, but it seems that Netscape doesn't seem to realize what Mozilla has accomplished, and that is sad, considering how far the Lizard has come.

As far as the 'bitching' of the Mozilla community, this is to be expected with any project developed in the the open. People will never be satisfied. Look at some of the feature requests. If I ask for a feature to make Mozilla cook me food, and someone denies it, I say "Mozilla sucks because it won't bake me a pie." That is unavoidable. They need to learn to get over it. If they don't then let them move on to something else.

Sorry this post is so long ... heh, I guess I had alot to say ...

#47 Re: Re: outliner status

by DavidGerard <fun@thingy.apana.org.au>

Thursday October 25th, 2001 4:35 AM

Reply to this message

"And, if "some PHB" at Netscape is really questioning the need for mozilla.org and and open development model, maybe now is the time for mozilla.org to put out a call for more developers. To me that sounds hard, since anyone who is interested in Mozilla would already be contributing. Maybe there should be a more concerted effort to lower the bar for new developers, that means better documentation, etc. etc., so a solution is not easy."

The Patchmaker is a start. I've even downloaded Activestate Perl and Cygwin because of it. (Though actual contribution requires a surfeit of CFT ;-)

Here's a question: What does the mozilla.org infrastructure cost? What does Netscape pay? (Estimates would be reasonable answers, since those who know almost certainly can't say.) What would it cost to set up sufficient infrastructure outside Netscape?

#50 Developpers

by emlyn

Thursday October 25th, 2001 8:49 AM

Reply to this message

Well, then, show of hands... who *would* write Mozilla code if only there were some landmark, some way in, some documentation? If enough people indicate that their help is blocked only by lack of documentation, if the Netscape engineers had some guarrentee of help if they only documented, made it eay for people to help, then they might do just that.

#58 Re: Developpers

by Gerv

Thursday October 25th, 2001 11:25 AM

Reply to this message

If you head over to the Patch Maker page, there's some software and a meta-bug with about 25 dependencies. Consider that your pointer :-) The Bug Week page also has links to documentation and resources: <http://www.mozilla.org/events/bug-week/>

Gerv

#67 Re: Developpers

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Thursday October 25th, 2001 5:49 PM

Reply to this message

I think I would consider that if Mozilla for Windows did not require Visual C++ and Cygwin. Better documentation would be good too.

#80 Re: Re: Developpers

by gwalla <gwalla@despammed.com>

Friday October 26th, 2001 4:35 PM

Reply to this message

Patch Maker doesn't need Visual C++, just Cygwin (which is free).

#66 Re: mozilla.org justifing to Netscape

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Thursday October 25th, 2001 5:47 PM

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If Mozilla baked pies then that would fix some of those bugs about food not being available.

#81 IBM is already involved

by gwalla <gwalla@despammed.com>

Friday October 26th, 2001 4:35 PM

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IIRC they've been doing BiDi support.

#49 Nice quote from Bugzilla

by dipa

Thursday October 25th, 2001 7:03 AM

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Not off topic and very useful indeed. At least for for someone like me who's still trying to write useful Buzilla reports and comments (unsuccesfully, most times). My only objection is why voting is still active. What's its purpose if qa people and developers don't take it into account ? Quoted from brade, in a recent post:

What does not help get a bug fixed: * Making bugzilla comments which add no technical insight * Encouraging others to vote for the bug (esp. if the bug is very old) * Sending e-mail to the bug owner and demanding to know when it will be fixed * Sending e-mail to the bug owner and complaining about it being broken

How to help? * Look at the code; produce a patch * Look for duplicate bugs in bugzilla * Triage other bugs on the bug owner's plate (look for dupes, invalids, etc.) * Produce test cases for other higher priority bugs this bug owner has * Produce patches for other higher prioirity bugs this bug owner has * Privately ask the bug owner how to help him get to this bug - offer to review patches - offer to test patches - offer to do testing on recently fixed bugs (make sure they don't regress) * Find someone else who can fix this bug and have them submit a patch

#65 Re: Nice quote from Bugzilla

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Thursday October 25th, 2001 5:23 PM

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Just because some or even most people don't pay attention to something doesn't mean it isn't important. I happen to pay attention to voting. Voting is one way to get a bug on my radar and having your pet bug on my radar is probably a good thing.

--Asa

#51 totally off topic

by stylo

Thursday October 25th, 2001 10:51 AM

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Has the -moz-border-radius css property been removed? Doesn't work anymore in Mozilla 0.9.5.

Damn, I liked it. It's not gone for good is it?

#60 MSN BLOCKING MOZILLA

by tny

Thursday October 25th, 2001 3:11 PM

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If you've been reading The Register and Slashdot the past two days, you know that MSN is blocking Mozilla. So, time for a little evangelism: I'm setting my homepage on all my browsers to the following string:

<http://www.msn.com/I_wont…ive_Mozilla_access_to_MSN>

I suggest others do the same.

#61 Re: Re: BiDi

by tny

Thursday October 25th, 2001 3:11 PM

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Oops, so you can read it

http : // <http://www.msn.com> / I_wont_buy_Windows_XP_until_you_give_Mozilla_access_to_MSN

#62 Speaking of which

by jedbro

Thursday October 25th, 2001 4:44 PM

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Speaking of which.. I have changed Mozilla's UserAgent (UA) to spoof as IE5.5 and 6 for windows, and it looks terrible, then for IE5 for Mac, and it loads very similar to ie6 (minus bg and text changes do to MS crappy coding), also have tried as ns6.1 you can also get in, and it looks good.. about the same as the spoof for IE5 Mac.. wierd...

I did this quite easily with a "useragent toolbar" made for Mozilla, that allows you to change your UA.. It's pretty cool.. once you change your UA, just open a new window (CTRL-N) and it works.. PLEASE don't permanatly change your UA.. as we need people to see we are using mozilla... but it is good for getting into sites that are ie only (<http://www.msn.com>), to prove they work fine on Mozilla.

UserAgent ToolBar (LINK)

Please USE WISELY!!

Cheers --Jedbro

#63 Forgot

by jedbro

Thursday October 25th, 2001 4:45 PM

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Forgot to mention, thanks to Mozillanews.org for filling me in on the UA toolbar.. (another great Mozilla new site that complements mozillazine)

#64 LINK

by jedbro

Thursday October 25th, 2001 4:58 PM

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Forgot the link too =( [not my day]

UserAgent ToolBar (<http://www.illsley.org/useragent.shtml>)

#68 Re: MSN BLOCKING MOZILLA

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Thursday October 25th, 2001 5:53 PM

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#76 Re: Re: MSN BLOCKING MOZILLA

by tny

Friday October 26th, 2001 9:49 AM

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If so (if as C|NET is reporting, MSN has opened access to Mozilla), how come I'm still having problems with 2001102503? Or should I file a bug? (And if it's an evangelization bug, how does one evangelize? With a cease and desist order?)

Notice the out-and-out lie: they say they're blocking browsers that don't conform to W3C STANDARDS. Has anyone tried IE4.5 on it? They're blocking Mozilla, but not Netscape 6.1: why?

Whatever one can say about Mozilla, it's standards support is better than IE6's.

#79 Re: Re: Re: MSN BLOCKING MOZILLA

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Friday October 26th, 2001 3:57 PM

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The statement says, "we have detected that the browser that you are using will not render MSN.com correctly." It does not say the browser is unable to render MSN.com correctly. I think the main lie is, "Web Browser Upgrade Required to View MSN.com," since total submission to Microsoft is required rather than an upgrade. I think they are blocking Mozilla, and not Netscape, for reasons similar to America Online's reasons for testing Mozilla with Compuserve and not America Online.

#89 Re: Re: Re: Re: MSN BLOCKING MOZILLA

by tny

Saturday October 27th, 2001 7:03 PM

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Tanyel, I'm referring to their statement in the C|Net article, where they quite clearly say that it's a standards issue. But this is all moot now, as I'm getting into MSN with Mozilla now (and have therefore bought & upgraded to Windows XP Pro - which, obviously, I was planning to do until I saw the MSN story -- see, folks, it pays to give users a choice).

#82 Help me please, I'm new to IRC / chatzilla.

by dman84

Saturday October 27th, 2001 4:10 AM

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Gerv,

Simple Newbie example here:

I dont understand Chatzilla, I'm new to IRC.. and an IRC doc doesn't get me connected. How do I first thing I do: connect to the server we need to access?

-just need a line I can copy and paste to please into Chatzilla. To this point it is not clear on that from anything I've read so far.

-Then any relavent info to do/type next to get me into the #bugweek chat room.

Thank you, Dennis

#86 New to IRC/chatzilla. Summary to Joining #Bugweek

by dman84

Saturday October 27th, 2001 4:43 AM

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Here is a summary:

open Chatzilla:

/attach moznet /join bugweek /nick <your nickname>

other IRC client:

/server irc.mozilla.org:6667

To Leave/remove channel

/delete /Leave

type away, Cheers :)

-dennis

#87 correction

by gwalla <gwalla@despammed.com>

Saturday October 27th, 2001 12:14 PM

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/attach moznet

/join bugweek

/nick <your nickname>

(I bet these were on separate lines when dman84 typed them, but Mozillazine doesn't like newlines)

#83 Help me please, I'm new to IRC / chatzilla.

by dman84

Saturday October 27th, 2001 4:17 AM

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viewing this page: <http://lxr.mozilla.org/mo…source/extensions/irc/DYK>

I extracted this here for entering #Chatzilla from the browser: but I cant seem to find Chatzilla commands to get on the mozilla server and the chat room.

--------- You can manually bookmark an irc channel by creating a new irc:// bookmark. From the "Manage bookmarks" window, create a new bookmark and enter "irc://moznet/chatzilla", to bookmark the #chatzilla channel, for example. ---------

Dennis

#84 Help me please, I'm new to IRC / chatzilla.

by dman84

Saturday October 27th, 2001 4:21 AM

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My Fault for not reading every link about Chatzilla,

New people see page: <http://www.mozillaquest.c…tZiilla02_Story01-03.html>

Next for your ChatZilla demo, please type /attach moznet in the edit (input) box. That will connect your ChatZilla client to the Mozilla Organization IRC network. Likely a box will pop up when you do that and it will ask you to type in and enter a nickname that you want for your name on IRC. Once you are connected to moznet, a view button labeled "moznet" will appear on the view bar next to the "client" view button.

#85 Help me please, I'm new to IRC / chatzilla.

by dman84

Saturday October 27th, 2001 4:25 AM

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Next link of story:

<http://www.mozillaquest.c…tZiilla02_Story01-05.html>

"You can join several channels. Try typing /join #chatzilla to join the #chatzilla channel on moznet. After you join #chatzilla you should notice a "chatzilla" view button added to the View bar with a yellow light."

instead of /join #chatzilla use: /join #bugweek

-Cheers

Dennis

#93 strauss?

by zevious

Monday October 29th, 2001 8:48 AM

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So, basically all of your ranting and raving here is to insure that the world knows that open source doesn't work? I agree that the chances of any open source project becoming as big as Microsoft is way out there but there (as mentioned here) many successful open source projects. I have been running a very succesful ISP since 1996. We use open source programs exclusively for all the mission critical operations. I never once thought, we should contact Microsoft, pay $$$$ for a bunch of licenses because what we have is just not working. I must agree that people tend to be more willing to do a job when cash is involved. But I also know that people will work on something for other reasons. (Loyalty, spite, anger, etc.) With Mozilla there are plenty of other reasons to be working on the project. I must admit that open source projects generally take longer to complete (witnessed by the Mozilla project.) But (I think you can agree), the Mozzila project is coming along rather nicely, even if it's a year or more behind the initial schedule, and the browser IS quite usable for many people.

Bottomline, you can rest assure, I don't think you need to be so frantic to downplay open source, there will always be companies willing to pay you to code. Food will be on your table.

#94 Re: strauss?

by strauss

Monday October 29th, 2001 10:38 AM

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Well, you don't seem to be interested in responding to what I'm actually saying, which is that volunteer-based opens ource projects have never achieved a level of user friendliness which people have come to expect from commercial software. Programs which have come close to current usability standards, such as Nautilus, Mozilla and StarOffice, have all been heavily subsidized by commercial developers, rather than being largely volunteer-developed. I didn't see a single word in your message that spoke to this issue.

#95 free software != volenteer

by joschi

Monday October 29th, 2001 5:17 PM

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Nautilus, Konqueror, Galeon, AbiWord etc all have had much paid for coding in addition to large amounts of volenteer collaberation, but no where does it say that free software/open source require people to go unpaid. In fact, if you read the tomes of the Profits of F.S./O.S. you will see the exact oposite, that a key to growth will be the rise of companies like Ximian, RedHat, The Kompany, Eazel, Netcape, Sun.

#96 Re: free software != volunteer

by tny

Tuesday October 30th, 2001 9:56 AM

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For some projects, volunteer work is useful; I'm part of a scholarly project where all the work is done on a volunteer basis, and it looks like we're going to get a very big project completed in about 10 years that would have taken one or two paid contributors 10 years to do at full time. But that's a scholarly project, not consumer software.

I doubt Mozilla would survive long on volunteer contributions alone. But the contributions of volunteers can help to improve the software, as long as the resources brought by the volunteers are managed properly. The key problem is that Mozilla is at the bleeding edge when it comes to coordinating paid and volunteer contributions on a large-scale consumer-oriented project.

So while I don't agree with strauss, if I read him right, that the open source model is necessarily inappropriate to the development of a general-consumer-oriented product, I do think (if rather he's implying this) that the open source model has to be adjusted for such a product from the way in which it has worked for e.g. Apache, GNU/Linux, etc. And I think those adjustments have been things that the Mozilla project has been learning the hard way. Strauss and macpeep's comments have been sounding more and more reasonable lately: either they've mellowed, or they're right and some are only beginning to realize it, or the project has reached the point in its development where their suggestions are more useful than they were 6 months or a year ago.

That said, I'm still quite happy to see the links toolbar and the tabbed browsing in place.