[Project_owners] Clarification for a SeaMonkey User
axel at pike.org
Tue Sep 16 05:19:12 EDT 2003
Pete Collins wrote:
>> Maybe this post is a little OT, but my main concern is that we are
>> wasting resource when we just have a complete suite and we have to
>> produce "only" an API and good documentations to help programmers.
> Yep, i totally agree. Mozilla is already a working system that isn't
> perfect but doesn't suck.
> Good documentation can go a long, long way.
> It might make sense for Mozilla.org to do this:
> 1. Release 1.5 and get it out of the way.
> 2. Stop, Stop Stop! Reevaluate the entire project
That alone is very ambitious. Let alone that the definitions of "entire"
and "project" prolly diverge. As can be seen in this discussion.
> 3. Put together a mission statement that inclusively reflects the
> Mozilla community as a whole.
marked WONTFIX ;-). There is no such thing. It'd be nice to have, sure.
But so many people can't agree. Let alone the fact that more people feel
part of the Mozilla community than just those that do the work. Which
*must* create a conflict between different users in the first place, and
even worse, a conflict between what the user part wants and the
developer part is willing to implement. In any given timeframe.
> 4. Document the architecture, all vital public API's, document,
> document, document, *samples*, *samples*, *samples*.
For what? Mozilla1.0? Mozilla1.4? Toolkit? Just frozen API's or vital
ones? And, should the Mozilla developers fix the bugs (and change the
API's as necessary, which sometimes is inevitable) or rather document
the current (or not so current, eg. 1.0) code? For which audience, even?
Oh, and which of the numerous dead documentation projects should this
stuff end up in? This is by far more than one issue, and it's a matter
of priorities and keeping those that should do the work motivated.
> 5. Establish clear module ownership.
That is mostly a matter of putting money where your dreams are. Module
ownership requires time in the first place. That costs money. Which is
one reason why module ownership is deadly rotting away these days. It
was never in best shape, but right now, it's a burning inferno. Like the
lifes of the former owners.
Plus, module ownership requires a good combination of knowledge of code,
social skillz and the willingness to do decisions. Even decisions that
conflict anything that may have been dreamt of in 3. and 4. That is a
pretty rare combination, which keeps us from just pointing fingers at
people and declare them module owners.
> 6. Establish technical direction based on the mission statement.
How is that supposed to come to life?
> 7. Establish a technical plan on precisely how proceed step by step.
> 8. Proceed one day at a time.
Last I heard, programming doesn't work that way. I thought you'd start
off with a vision of the result, and iterate towards it. Precise plans
require simple targets. We don't have too many of those. Sadly. Oh, did
I mention money? So much for "one day at a time". The majority of the
developers will likely have to work "on or off the other week".
> 9. Stick to the plan.
> 10. Continue releasing stable snaps of the tree.
> If there is clear direction, then it is all just a matter of everyone
> being on the same page and getting there. Everyone has their part to
> play and I don't think there is anyone in the community who wants to see
> Mozilla fail. There is still a lot of dedication floating around despite
> the worst of setbacks. That dedication needs to be leveraged not
Sorry Pete, but I think one essential thing to keep Mozilla afloat will
be tolerance-to-frustration. I lack that myself, but I got used to it
back in the AOL-paid days and I'm getting better every day. If things
don't work out the straight way, try another path to your goal. And be
ready to see it fail. (I myself am waiting for a security review writeup
for almost half a year now. So I changed direction, just to end up in
another fight. I moderated that fight down, now I don't get any
responses. See? A cookie for those that guess the bug #s. ;-) )
One thing that can help on getting there is adjusting ones expectations,
of course. Which is why I replied.
The best thing we can say about the current situation is that those
outside Netscape (now all) don't depend on decisions from folks inside
AOL (now basically none). We're just left with drivers still being
somewhat mystical, which is, AFAICT, the heatsource in this thread.
(Apart from giving all kinds of folks another chance to raise their
voice and get all the things of their little souls that lingered there
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