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Anyone 'losing faith'?

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ehume

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 7:12 pm

One thing that does not seem to have budged, despite a large amount of hollering in Bugzilla, is the default prefs regarding wanted popup windows. Currently Mozilla and Fx come with prefs set that allow a web page author to create non-resizable popups with no scrollbars. Old fogeys like me have our fonts set to a larger size. When a windows can't be resized it often won't hold all the text. There are a set of prefs that when placed in the user.js file solve this problem and more. They should be a default setting, not a geek option. I'll be happy to send them to you.

Another issue is performance. Try saving this page to disk and open with various browsers. IE, K-Meleon and Mozilla all open it in about 1.5 seconds. FB and Fx take 6-7 seconds, and while it is rendering this page Fx is paralyzed--you can't move somewhere else until it is done. Try it and see.

These are my two issues for the mass audience. But you won't find me defecting anytime soon.
Firefox: Sic transit gloria mundi.

bengoodger

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 7:20 pm

ehume wrote:One thing that does not seem to have budged, despite a large amount of hollering in Bugzilla, is the default prefs regarding wanted popup windows. Currently Mozilla and Fx come with prefs set that allow a web page author to create non-resizable popups with no scrollbars. Old fogeys like me have our fonts set to a larger size. When a windows can't be resized it often won't hold all the text. There are a set of prefs that when placed in the user.js file solve this problem and more. They should be a default setting, not a geek option. I'll be happy to send them to you.


I agree with you. File a bug.

esavior

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 7:23 pm

bengoodger wrote:If you wanted to add another feature to that list, you would either have to remove one of the features that is on that list, or delay the ship date.


And thats probably one of the greatest flaws in the cathedral style open source developments. The rate of development hinges directly on the very few people working on it. But dont worry I wont go into a viva linus rant,

But you did do a good job explaining your side to all of this. *goes back to spreading the word of firefox*
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shadytrees
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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 7:26 pm

If the developers actually told us about the legal issues, guess how many of the posts would be insightful, informative, or other good Slashdot karma ratings. Now think how many wouldn't be. Now think how many threads it would spawn. Now think how long each thread would be. Do I really need to link to the "Phoenix needs a new name thread"?

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 7:47 pm

Look,
Everybody just calm down. The development process is fantastic. The devs obviously have all of our collective interests at heart. This shows in the product that we are currently using. The naming issue has been beaten to death already..twice. They had to choose something that THEY thought would be a correct fit. They have many many more facets in their thought process then we do. So before shooting off some half-baked 'idea' .. think about each of your ideas for about 1 hour each. Think about how siad idea would effect other portions of the program, other usability issues, OTHER PLATFORMS, other legalilities and so forth (better make that a couple hours per idea). I think you will find that there are VERY valid reasons why the devs come to the conclusions and solutions they do.

The dev process is NOT a democracy. While all of our 'feedback' is, i'm sure, appreciated by the devs. It does not by default mean that they have to bend to conform to them (the ideas). The ideas we give just go into the back of the devs minds and gel. This is the way it is.. like it or lump it.

To the Devs : keep up the fantastic work

(me getting off my podium)

Carson

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 8:59 pm

An amazing thread. Notice the LENGTH of the component postings--very long indeed, as people try to collect their thoughts.

I notice the request for $4,000--a trifle. I was expecting a request for perhaps a couple of hundred thousand--some significant amount. No, I don't have $4,000. I'll bet that someone here does, however: my guess is a lump sum plus more will make itself suddenly available. (And I hope so, too.)

But now I realize how tiny-tiny-TINY our browser is. Ben and the Browser seem to be more or less the same thing--not literally, but you know what I mean. We have ONE human being here, with a teensy group of very very few friends helping. Their work attracts the extension-developers and others; and all of their work attracts you and me. And the whole thing is so small that "they," aka Ben, ask for--four--thousand--dollars???? Did anyone EVER ask for so little??

We users are something more than 30,000 strong, which is the size of a respectable little city. No wonder our personalities bump into one another and make so much noise! I thought it was all going to, you know, an ORGANIZATION; a THING; a BIG DEAL. But it ain't.

It's going to one guy. One. Count him: Ben=One.

Not to be unfair to his loyal, hard-working supporters in development, I understand of course that you DO exist, and you DO work hard. But does everybody see what I'm saying? $4,000 is nothing. And Ben is one man.

Well, it is said that "a camel is a horse designed by a committee." Fiercely independent creative artists are like Ben (well, he no doubt IS one), and they take things to the other extreme. Ben recognizes his own concern about trust. Yes, it's a dangerous place to stand, attempting to carry something this big all (or mostly) on one's own shoulders. Ben, people are cautioning you against that; as, no doubt, you are cautioning yourself against it. But--we all do what we can with what we have, and as WHO WE ARE, so there's no sense in telling you what you already know: delegating the work is important. I hope it isn't crucial.

If this were mine, I guess I might feel the same way. Certainly this browser is no camel.

I would suggest, Ben, you go easy on yourself, and, as opportunities happen along, attempt to trust just a bit more here, and a bit more there. But you're right: there is only one thing that people can ever betray, and that is trust. And, if you do trust people, you are, indeed, wide open to betrayal. No one can protect himself from that.

With so much at stake, who would want to cross his fingers and say, "Well, here goes nothing?"

So I would take it slow, not worry unduly about it--and watch for those opportunities. They WILL come along, very often in the disguise of less than attractive masks. But they will come along--they always do.

Anybody got $4,000?
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jedbro

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 9:12 pm

bengoodger wrote:For 1.0 we have decided we need two more major features:

- Seamless Data Migration from other browsers.
- Automated extension update, stability and version compatibility.

Extension update and compatibility checking is critical. Why? Notice the big warning on the front of Mozillazine and the link to instructions on how to fix your busted Firefox 0.8 build. I posted instructions and got kerz to make them so prominent because I realized people don't read release notes. But still, that's not enough. People don't like to follow instructions either. It is an instant black mark in your name if you make people jump through a complicated series of hoops just to get your product to start. Most of them will probably just trash it.
............


This sounds awesome.
I've been waiting for better extension managment since Hayatt said he would implement something (like a year/2 years ago?).

I'm not sure how your going to go about the auto-update etc.
But if you need anything from <a href="http://extensionroom.mozdev.org/about.html">Extension-Room</a> or <a href="http://database.mozdev.org/members.html">Database</a> please let us know.
(Both <a href="http://texturizer.net/firefox/">Firefox Help</a> and <a href="http://extensionroom.mozdev.org/about.html">ER</a> use the same XML based <a href="http://database.mozdev.org/members.html">database</a>).

--Jed

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 10:07 pm

Carson wrote:But now I realize how tiny-tiny-TINY our browser is. Ben and the Browser seem to be more or less the same thing--not literally, but you know what I mean. We have ONE human being here, with a teensy group of very very few friends helping. Their work attracts the extension-developers and others; and all of their work attracts you and me. And the whole thing is so small that "they," aka Ben, ask for--four--thousand--dollars???? Did anyone EVER ask for so little??
<snip>
Anybody got $4,000?


Dude! Verify your facts before writing up an essay. Mozilla Foundation is not asking for any money. Mozillazine is asking for this money. Mozillazine and Mozilla Foundation are NOT the same thing.
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intatia
 
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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 10:20 pm

Losing me faith? No way! I love the browser, and with 0.8 I've started pushing it again towards my friends.
It is unfortunate that there isn't that many people working on firefox, but the amount of work and results the current team is producing is simply amazing.

Unfortunately I don't have $4000 spare, let alone having ever had that much money...

Ben, keep up the good work, I've started a thread that lists a few brief reasons for a close button for the download manager.
http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic ... 475#373475

Molerat
 
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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 10:37 pm

If I may add my comments quickly...

As a relative newcomer to one of the first open-source projects I am truly excited about, I have been trying to find an area to contribute. It seems that, right now, the best way to contribute is to add (what I hope are) meaninful comments and suggestions.

By glancing threads in this forum, and charter documents throughout this site, it is my opinion that Firefox is experiencing growing pains.

Firefox is an excellent project, and those involved (especially bengoodger) should be commended for their work. Their dedication has produced a product that is ready to seriously challenge Microsoft.

Think about that for a second. Firefox isn't some ethusiastic startup project anymore. It is a viable alternative to Internet Explorer, the defacto browser of the world wide web. Firefox is more-or-less ready for MILLIONS of users. That is no small accomplishment, nor is it a small responsibility.

When you start to talk about MILLIONS of users, you have real, tangible management issues. How do you field the feedback from these users? How do you field the requests for features? How do you decide what is best for MILLIONS of users? These are questions that probably cannot be answered by one person. I certainly don't think they can be both ANSWERED and IMPLEMENTED by one person.

From what I've read, bengoodger is an excellent coder with a solid vision for the project. But I don't think it is possible for one person to manage a project this size. There just aren't enough hours in the day. When you reach "critical mass," as Firefox is rapidly approaching, you have to grow your infrastructure to accomadate the impending deluge of comments.

How do you seperate the wheat from the chaffe? How do you greenlight the insightful comments? How do you assure that all users have a voice, even if it is redundant, or not particularly meaningful? How do you insure quality discussion without making users feel excluded? These are serious concerns that a project of this size must address going forward.

I wish I had suggestions to offer. But the best I can do is offer an opinion, like thousands of others on this board.

Carson

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 11:42 pm

vfwlkr, you're saying there is the browser itself, as programmed and put together mainly by Ben, and there is also this Mozillazine, which is really nothing connected with that--it's simply a group of forums which DISCUSS the separate browser?

(Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

I never really distinguished before. The names are so similar, I thought one (Mozillazine) was simply the voice of the other. So, I thought money going to one would go to the other.

Ben, then, is not asking for any financial help. Okay. I get it. It's for the maintenance of the forums only. I usually engage one and then the other back-to-back, so I guess that's why I glossed over that. Sorry. :-(

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 11:45 pm

I thought that M$ said that they werent gonna ship IE anymore separately from an OS (so basically you were stuck at IE6 if you didnt buy Longhorn, and so on and so forth), or is it that Longhorn ships this summer (I kinda severed ties with M$ back in '99, and don't even pay attention to the news involving them)?

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Post Posted February 12th, 2004, 1:01 am

I can totally relate to Ben's confessed difficulty in delegating. I am also excited by his overt ambition to take on M$ in a new browser war!

I have a few suggestions, tell me what you think:

- speaking of delegating, I think the one task that should be least painful for Ben to delegate would be to find somebody in charge of the OS X version. Based on what I've been reading in the forums so far (and not my own experience, I'm only using the Windows version), the OS X version seems to be lagging somewhat in terms of quality. I think Ben should focus on fighting against IE on Windows and providing a decent browser for Linux users, not worrying about Safari and Camino. If FireFox absolutely has to have its place in the Mac world, let it be someone else's problem.

- I am glad that Ben has been able to resist the urge to add too many features. We all want our little extra feature, but if everybody had their way we would end up with bloatware, or just another Mozilla.

- the Firefox naming problem is due to bad communication rather than to a bad name. Had the explanation that Ben gave in this thread about the secrecy requirements of naming been included in the "Naming FAQ", there would have been much less noise. Having said that, these modern forums have ways to set polls and such, why not use them to help with a decision? Even if Ben has the final say (as he should!), making the users feel included in the decision making process would go a long way in keeping them enthusiastic in spreading the word.

Save the red panda, adopt Firefox!

Nitin
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Post Posted February 12th, 2004, 1:09 am

Carson wrote:Ben, then, is not asking for any financial help. Okay. I get it. It's for the maintenance of the forums only.


That's correct.
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SeaFox

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Post Posted February 12th, 2004, 1:46 am

First I'd like to say that I had no idea Ben was doing the majority of the development himself, I am very impressed. However, this needs to change. Previous posters are right, having the fate of this project on one person's shoulders is very risky. If the Mozilla suite plans to adopt Firefox as it's browser replacement, I'd think they would take more interest in it's development. Pardon this thought if it's way off base but it seems they're letting someone else do the heavy lifting for them.

Anyway, leaving this all to one person can lead to such messes as iCab if any of you Mac user are familiar with it. Right now there is a bug in it where it does not cache pages pretty much and the lone developer (Alexander Clas) doesn't seem to care. He reasons most people will be on broadband - yet builds his browser to run on non-PowerPC Macs! Besides all this the browser doesn't render most sites correctly anymore, the pace of web development has simply outrun iCab's. One guy cannot do it all. If Ben is feeling flustered by all the work he needs to start delegating/accepting more help. Otherwise he's just talking out of both sides of his mouth.

As for the name change, Ben:
The reason I've had such a mean spin on it is I see as accomplishing little of what it was supposed to do. It doesn't appear to me that the new name was looked at "from all the angles" before being chosen. It takes care of the database group's complaint, but as all the examples shown by forum members in the "Firefox???" thread, it is no less bought up than 'Firebird', and any marketing major would tell you it's bad for a product name.

There is no big PR machine for Firefox. It isn't installed on every new Windows PC, and it doesn't have an alternate platform userbase with a fanatical following of their company's products (like Apple). It spreads through word-of-mouth through it's users. Imagine a car salesmen given a fantastic automobile named the Plitz and you have an idea what most of us feel we have to work with with a browser named "Firefox". Tonight a coworker was talking to me and the subject turned to browsers. I told him I use Firefox. "Oh," he said. "I figured you used like Mozilla." It turns out he was well aware of both Firebird and Thunderbird, and had even tried Firebird (in 0.7). But didn't know about the new version/name change. By changing this you have undone the brand name that had started to develop, painstakingly, by users here. And given this is an "open source" project, I (along with others I'm sure) figured it was somewhat community-driven. I wasn't here for the renaming fiasco in Phoenix, but I doubt if you had presented a list of a handful of choices to us someone whoud have run out and trademarked them all right away as you seem to imply. You may be the one developing it, but we have to get people to try it.

New download manager:
If I read the idea behind Firefox correctly, it seems the development of a fast, accurate (to standards) web broswer with a small file/system resource footprint is the goal. So I have trouble understanding why the new download manager is part of the build and not an extension to add if wished. The extension system is a powerful idea. The user only takes the features they need, not more. Leaving the bytes and processor cycles to other tasks. Plus the extensions can be updated independantly of the browser, not effecting it's own development schedule if need be. The stuff Firefox can do with the right extensions needs to be evangalized more. People complain openly about unneeded features in MS Word, that's a hint they'll listen to this.

That's all for now.
/soapbox

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