Last days I spent a lot of time with .NET developers, I spent many hours chatting with my friend’s boyfriend – always arguing about differences between Open Source model and “Closed Source” model of coding. There was no doubt that the decision is far more important than just choosing if you sell or give your work. This choice determinates the way you work, learn, teach, earn money, live (?). Both models have their pros and cons, I’m devoted to Open Source, they’re not (even they really appreciate it). I was wondering what’s the real difference and if there is any. A difference that would make my choice anyhow “better” than their choice.
First thing I see is that all of them are sure that they understand the reasons behind Open Source, and all of them are wrong. They often repeat that “I’m young and enthusiastic” and they were the same many years ago. Well, it doesn’t answer why Novell, IBM or Nokia plays in our game. They all greatly underestimate the power of something that Asiego called “having fun of what you’re doing” – no, not some slogan, a real, great, fun. They’re all a bit blind – they see coding just as a method to get money, nothing more. They might like it or not, but, from what they’re saying, they wouldn’t code if they couldn’t get money for this – so it’s something completly different from most Open Source movement!!! And it’s a huge difference. Second thing is that they can only imagine applications that they can write. They don’t have any Great Ideas for Computer Software which could be created by a huge group of people. Probably because their minds work in a simple relation – every idea has one If statement described as “Can I get money from this idea?”.
But that’s not what I wanted to write here. It doesn’t give me the point I was looking for. And suddenly, yesterday, I found it. They are at the end of a blind alley of coding. No matter if they are 20, 25 or 40 years old. Why? Because none of them asked any question during this long discussions! I was a bit shocked when I discovered that. I made a test and checked my theory – 100% success!
People who’re working on closed source software doesn’t ask questions. They’re not interested in anyone else ideas, knowledge OR they’re sure they know everything. Both cases are just stupid in my humble opinion.
Why is it so important? There is a theory of Memes and Ian Steward and Jack Cohen, in “The Science of Discworld II” used a term “Extelligence” to describe the merged intelligence of humanity. They proved that individual human being has very limited resources and it’s not possible to evolve too far with such small brain. But having extelligence, united intelligence of all human beings we can “reach the stars”. The base of extelligence is a share of knowledge between humans. Open Source is an expert in this game. Closed Source teaches not to share anything – including ideas.
So working for Open Source you must share ideas and knowledge with other people – it’s our way to improve product. All features in our products comes from complex process of selecting ideas from hundreds people who write them down. We learn this thanks to open source, and we can use it elsewhere making our life better, happier.
There is also one more reason – very important for me. Open Source people works with mentors, authorities, people who are a real guru’s for us all. It makes us all modest. We are safe from falling in infatuation, from cheating ourselves that we are gods. I can clearly imagine someone who’s working on his own, without sharing anything, any knowledge, selling his very similar products and getting the feeling that he knows everything. That he is the best. And what is most important – that he doesn’t have to learn. To study. To improve.
Of course, you can find exceptions. rustic Open Source people and charm Microsoft developers 😉 – but I feel that this theory fits my experiences with both kind of developers.
Once you stop learning, when you can’t find motivation to try, experiment, test, create something for fun, learn – who you are? Where do you go? It means that you won’t be any better – and others will overtake you in a minute.
And how can you learn in Closed Source model? You must buy a curse or learn from tutorial – both ways are not funny and you’re quite alone during this process. In Open Source model you learn with others, from others, giving your contribution in reward – it’s a great deal – both sides win + users. And you code together. So you’re more social than boring, sad, tired of coding, closed source guy who don’t want anything from life beside getting money for selling someone his secret code once more.
Well, mostly, that’s all. What do you think? Did I miss some important part in my theory?
Prace ida ostro do przodu, ostatnio dorobiliśmy się Słownika. W ciągu ostatnich 4 dni zostało dokonanych ponad 500 (sic!) edycji!
I’m wondering why people keep naming any news about recent version bump like that.
It’s a shame. We’re just changing version to better reflect product status and every blog/journal/news site tries to scary user that we just resigned from releasing 1.1.
A user who see such title thinks that we have some (major) problems and we’re unable to workaround them so we gave up. Additionally, some news sites (after ZDNet?) keep article in that form – “There will be no long awaited 1.1 version! We will have to wait MUCH longer for 1.5″ and so on.
Once more Mozilla community/foundation/press showed that we are amateurs in term of media handling. We absolutely don’t know HOW to speak to keep journalists repeat what we want to tell them.
I read that “Major reason for users to update from 1.0.4 and 1.0.6 is that 1.0.6 was released in 30 languages at the same time!”. And it’s not that journalists are usually lazy and looking for dramaturgy. It’s also because we don’t know how to play with them to make them write what we want.
Examples? Every news site wrote about this change. There is no official news from Mozilla Foundation. So they’re using ZDNet, Slashdot, Weird or some blog post. It’s a mistake.
Localizations are, as always, underestimated by Mozilla Foundation, so there is no way for many journalists to get any information in their language. And they WONT ask in English mostly because they don’t speak it well. So they will translate (with many mistakes) ZDNet, read some blog, or invent something!
Journalists are looking for informations when they write any press news (those less lazy ones 😉 ).
What will be in Firefox 1.5? When it’ll be released? What with Thunderbird 1.5? What is this SVG? Why we have to wait for 1.5 so long? Will there be Firefox in my language? Who is localizing it? How Mozilla gathers money? Is it Firefox or FireFox? Who is using Firefox? How much market does it have? Why Firefox is cool? (version not for user but for journalist who want to write a sentence “Firefox browser was widely adopted because …”) Is Firefox a Netscape? Is Mozilla a Netscape? Why there’s no link to Netscape 8 on Mozilla.org? There were 6 big security updates in half a year, why someone says it’s secure? I heard that there is more than 300 000 “bugs” in Mozilla! and so on…
I think that Mozilla is still very young in the “adult world” of market. Webpages, pressnews,policies are focused on creating great tools, creating a fresh brand, promoting it, but we fail to keep promoting it wisely.
We’re often loosing, for example with Opera, because of no plan. We had SVG for years but we will release it after Opera (and possibly after Konqueror/Safari!). We ignore secunia but journalists use it everytime they write about our security. So we still keep some bugs that we threat as not security not fixed in 1.0.x branch. And journalists still see “18% unfixed security bugs in Firefox” – great!
We had a problem with releasing locales (we still have with Thunderbird – can’t we learn from previous mistakes?) and everyone wrote about it. There was no official announcement, so they based on MozillaZine and mostly cited me or marcoos. If MoFo would write “we’re sorry for that, we’re trying to avoid a mess and we’ll give you all new builds in two days” everyone will be happy! And journalists will write that there is some minor issue and MoFo is doing their best to solve it in two days.
There are other examples. Our Visual Identity Team is not working (or I can’t see this) so our webpages around the world doesn’t have one, strong visual identity. We need a few templates and ask people to use it on any firefox.pl, mozillapl.org, getfirefox.de page. There is no Press Team to cover the longterm plan about media handling. Mozilla Localization Project has no real power to control Mozilla communities, ensure quality of local webpages, teach a few people in each country how to promote Mozilla and have our people “inside” the country… Instead MoFo tries to control everything by themselves.
We need to start working around this areas. We made extremely good work to create environment to work on great products. We made a work to release them. Now it’s time to improve those areas which often wastes brilliant work in others.
Beside of this. The situation when coders from the project, affiliates, advocates, localizers, and whole community involved in the project gets the news about version change from some blog whose author tracked some document history is another issue – complete lack of communication which leads to potential disasters and practical irritation of thousands of people who’re working around the project. Pity 🙁
Jak pewnie wiecie, od kilku dni Devmo jest dostępne pod pełnym i finalnym adresem developer.mozilla.org. Jego Polska wersja – DevmoPL – jest dostępna pod adresem developer.mozilla.org/pl/docs ale już niedługo będzie dostępna pod developer.mozillapl.org 🙂
Niedawno został włączony mój patch pozwalający używać jednej bazy danych kont dla wielu wiki. Dzięki temu nie trzeba mieć kilku kont i można między nimi przełączać się bez problemów.
Ale najważniejsze co chciałem napisać, to że na Devmo zaczyna się ruch. Jeszcze niedawno, DevmoPL tworzyły dwie osoby – Ptak82 robi fantastyczną robotę przy tłumaczeniu Pomocnika XUL, a ja starałem się utrzymać synchronizację szkieletu (kategorie, główne działy itp.) z orginalnym Devmo, czasem przetłumaczyć coś małego i tyle.
Mam nadzieję, że już niedługo DevmoPL stanie się naturalnym centrum technologii webowych w Polsce – a to wpłynie na poziom wiedzy polskich webmasterów i chciałbym, aby stało się odpowiedzią na osiolki.net – Osiolki sa tworzone przez ludzi z Opery, pracują przy nich ludzie i z Mozilli i z Opery, projekt jest niezastąpiony dla obydwu społeczności. Czuję pewien dług wdzięczności i chciałbym, aby DevmoPL stało się czymś takim samym 🙂
Jeśli masz chwilę czasu – przyłącz się! 🙂
According to new roadmap Mozilla Foundation decided to bump release version from 1.1 to 1.5 for next Firefox and Thunderbird. Firefox 1.5 will be released in September 2005.
Good news. Version 1.1 released nearly year after 1.0 would give our users unclear information about changes and Mozilla roadmap. Releasing 1.5 is OK – we can release 2.0 “somewhere in 2006”. (and I doubt we’ll release 3.0 in 2006 ;)).
After all – our new release is a big change – like… +0.5, not like +0.1!
Mozilla Europe is advertising Firefox in a few european countries like Germany, France, UK, Italy and Poland!
Enter www.google.pl, type “browser” or “przeglądarka”, watch 🙂
It’s the first Mozilla ad campaign in Poland ever! Woo Hoo! 🙂
Dziś skończyliśmy z Panelami w produktach lokalizowanych przez AviaryPL.
Do wersji 1.1 zmienimy jeszcze “Sidebar” na Pasek boczny i Sanitize – być może na “Oczyść”.
Reszta to zmiany kosmetyczne.
Pod koniec tygodnia będziemy mieli gotowe wersje testowe Firefoksa i Thunderbirda. Pierwszy raz rozpoczniemy testy lokalizacji na ponad 3 tygodnie przed wydaniem!
Gratulacje należą się całemu zespołowi AviaryPL 🙂
It seems that Bugzilla has some nice features now in it’s nightly build.
Improved look and shape, while FoodReplicator is not bad, I prefer the WorldControl app – I think it can be a next killer app on Gecko, I submitted by first nice bug – you can see that there’ll be some tool for estimate time summary for every bug/release/product, and you can set some comments as private (?).