[gccsdk] Firefox 2 patches
lists at peter-teichmann.de
Wed Mar 28 14:14:11 PDT 2007
Am Mittwoch, 21. März 2007 05:22 schrieb Peter Naulls:
> In message <1757c4c64e.Jo at hobbes.bass-software.com>
> John Tytgat <John.Tytgat at aaug.net> wrote:
> > In message <20070320105313.GC22265 at chiark.greenend.org.uk>
> > Theo Markettos <theo at markettos.org.uk> wrote:
> > And I might point out that releasing the patches is /required/: the MPL
> > doesn't give you any option on that question.
> Let's hop down from druck's high horse for just a moment. No doubt he
> thinks he's doing everyone a huge favour by "forcing" me to comply with
> it, but this is again the short-term thinking I'm so opposed to, and
> very much the attitude he predicted some years ago could and did drive
> developers away. If push comes to shove, then I will supply a tarball
> with everything and no further help, and will have washed my hands of
> the whole affiar. But instead, if we're actually still interested in
> collaborative development, as I'm certain you are, then perhaps we can
> give me the benefit of the doubt and go about this in a more productive
> manner that helps everyone.
I have watched this discussion now for a while. It is sad to see capable
people stuck in this fight without getting the real point. Hopefully I can
help to get it a bit towards the right direction.
What was the reason for the amazing success of open source software? In my
opinion, the main reasons is the availability of the source code. This allows
all interested and capable people to contribute to the development process.
The source is often a trap that catches programmers who just wanted to fix
this small bug but then were suddenly trapped in. That's it: you trap people
who did not know that they want to help. And I do not only mean programmers,
for bigger pieces of software we need a lot more people, and even managers
(yes, really!). Some people (like Richard Stallman) have recognized this
process very early, others later, and some will maybe never understand this.
Unfortunately, the open source idea was never very popular under RISC OS. We
were all big individualists, otherwise we would have used a PC.
What does that mean for our Firefox debate? In my opinion it means, that you,
Peter Naulls, should make use of the advantage that open source offers. You
should release the source not only because you have to, but also for the
benefits you may get if it is not too late already. What benefits can that be?
You can get help with things you probably do not like so much, as
documentation and support for users. You can get help with subsystems which
you maybe are not so familiar with, especially the used libraries. If more
than one person work together, they can specialize on different parts.
Specialization brought mankind a big leap ahead. And finally, twenty eyes
always see more than two.
But this means not only releasing the source. It means also that you will have
to organize the team work and take care of the animosities of your
co-workers. All your work, all your reputation means nothing if you can not
offer them conditions under which they like to help you. Here the management
part comes in, which contains a good part psychology. Releasing the source is
a good way to create trust and demonstrate that it will be not only your work
but the work of a team. You do not catch people with logic, you catch them
with emotions. Even programmers. You do not have anything else to push them!
All that is the price you have to pay when you want to achieve more than one
person can do by its own work. You have to pay in advance, without knowing if
you really get something back. But this is the only chance how you can
finally be successful with Firefox for RISC OS. If you are not able to move
the project towards this direction, all your work will be in vain because you
can not constantly keep your patches consistent with the upstream Firefox
development. I do not know if there are enough people who can help you, but
if you do not try, you will never find out.
On the other hand, what do you have to loose?
You say it is not your fault, but the other's.
But that does not get you any further, even if it is true.
The only thing you can change is yourself,
and often that changes the others too ;-)
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