27 Nov 2002 MichaelCrawford   » (Master)

movement, I just posted a comment to my bugzilla report about how unpleasant mozilla is for my wife and reopened it.

I ask that you leave the bug open and encourage the mozilla developers to discuss the important issues I raise in the bug report.

You give some hairsplitting technical reasons for why it's an invalid bug report, but I assert that the report is completely valid. You have a serious organizational problem. You are not going to succeed in your mission unless you are able to convince people who try your product to take it seriously.

My wife is willing to give it a second chance, but I don't think she will give it a third. I'm hesitant to even let her try out 1.2. Most people wouldn't give you a second chance. That's one of the drawbacks of free software - people don't have so much investment in the product and aren't so willing to work with the vendor to get it fixed.

Most people would say that what I should do is file bug reports and submit patches. I do that when I can, but my time is limited. I feel that I can have a greater, positive effect on the community as a whole through the kind of quality advocacy role that I play with LinuxQuality.

Your turn.

PS. I don't think Kameleon works on windows. However, Internet Explorer works just fine.

Updated: movement said:

If you want to change things, pay for it, code it yourself, or get hired by Netscape. Don't whine.

There's something like 50,000 open source projects hosted at sourceforge. There's something like 8000 packages in debian woody, many of which contain more than one program. I regularly interact with dozens of different open source programs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS.

But you say that if I have a problem with any of them, I should pay for it, code it myself, or get hired by the publisher? Where will I start? Bill Gates himself doesn't have the cash to pay for all the bug fixes we need. I contribute actively to two projects, and I don't have enough time to do a decent job on those. And I'm happy with the job I have. In any case, each of those would only allow an incremental change to one application.

What I feel is the best thing to do is to help everyone to do better. I don't feel that enough attention is paid to quality in open source. That's why I write articles like these and and this and this one..

To some extent the poor quality of many open source packages works out OK because so many of the users are committed because of their ideology. But what about people who have no such emotional commitment, who want to get work done and get on with their lives? People who don't know how to program, are frightened by talkback, and find bugzilla unfathomable? Are you suggesting that their answer is they shouldn't bother, and use proprietary software like Internet Explorer?

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