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Anyone 'losing faith'?

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Firefox
ehume

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 7:36 am

Well, it's good to know that the Fx part of MF is Ben and Pierre. This explains many things. It would have been good info to have explained to us users long ago, but better late than never. We should recall, however, that MF is not just FX. FX is built on Moz code. So, for example, there have been changes in the trunk builds not present in the 0.8 build.

user X wrote:many Mac users have posted here (and on the Thunderbird forums) about bugs (the bookmark search bug has existed over several versions) and yet, NOTHING GETS FIXED!!!!

Posting in forums is not how to get bugs fixed. If you want the bugs fixed, post them in Bugzilla.
Firefox: Sic transit gloria mundi.

Hermeneut
 
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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 7:37 am

What a bunch of whining maggots! You're getting the most standards-compliant browser around, with marked improvements on Firebird, and fast on all my machines, and you're getting it fro FREE and you're getting the most feature-rich extensions culutre for any browser and you're whining???

Shut the f&*k up and go back to IE!

Robin_reala

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 7:43 am

Attitude mate, attitude. You've got to be better than them.

Dunderklumpen
 
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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 7:44 am

Hermeneut wrote:What a bunch of whining maggots! You're getting the most standards-compliant browser around, with marked improvements on Firebird, and fast on all my machines, and you're getting it fro FREE and you're getting the most feature-rich extensions culutre for any browser and you're whining???

Shut the f&*k up and go back to IE!


Calm down and stay civilized. People care - that is good.

blauigel

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

Personally, as someone who is "nothing but" an end-user, I am quite happy with this product, whatever it's called at the moment.

Ben's long post above confirms what I've always assumed: that he is doing this pretty much by himself and is simply too busy to get involved in the ongoing discussion here.

Look at this in perspective. How common is it, anywhere in the universe of software development, to have ANY degree of access to bigshot developers who are working on high-end products?

Maybe Ben is comparatively reticent -- even reclusive -- by the normal standards of the open source moment. But so what? Many creative types (including myself in novel-writing mode) find it helpful, even necessary, to shut themselves in a room and take the phone off the hook during crucial stages of the process. I would suppose that it's the same with software creators, even if the retiring sorts are less common on the open source scene than elsewhere.

Ultimately what counts is the finished product, be it novel or browser. Except for occasional threads like this one, it seems that most people really like Firefox/bird/phoenix a Whole Lot. That's an irrefutable testimony to Ben's accomplishment. And even in this thread, the only objective complaint lodged by the original poster ("slower than IE anyway") seems to have been beamed in from a different planet than the one most of us are browsing on.

I, for one, am sitting back enjoying the fruits of Ben's long and brilliant work.

michaell
 
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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 7:49 am

ehume wrote:Posting in forums is not how to get bugs fixed. If you want the bugs fixed, post them in Bugzilla.


That's not true for Firefox. Firefox bugs often get fixed as a result of forum posts, while bugzilla bugs aren't looked at. As Ben has just said, he reads the forums and picks up useful information from them. He doesn't read bugzilla email. If you want bugs fixed, you really need to discuss them here as well as filing them in bugzilla.

michaell
 
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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 8:19 am

blauigel wrote:Look at this in perspective. How common is it, anywhere in the universe of software development, to have ANY degree of access to bigshot developers who are working on high-end products?


Depends on the software. For open source stuff, and various bits of shareware, it's not unheard of. The Mozilla suite is the obvious place to compare to.

Ultimately what counts is the finished product, be it novel or browser. Except for occasional threads like this one, it seems that most people really like Firefox/bird/phoenix a Whole Lot. That's an irrefutable testimony to Ben's accomplishment.


That is a fair point. However, it should be remembered that a large part (the majority) of Firefox's code is in the back-end - the bits that do the networking and the rendering of web pages. Ben isn't responsible for that (although he's certainly contributed) - Firefox is "just" a front-end. There's also the fact that Ben only came in at Phoenix 0.5 (I think).

I, for one, am sitting back enjoying the fruits of Ben's long and brilliant work.


You're also enjoying the fruits of the work of a whole bunch of other people. The parts of the browser that download and display web pages weren't written by Ben. He just does the buttons around the edge of the good bit ;)

(Note that I'm not saying that Ben would claim otherwise - just look at the big list of names in the new about box)

d_g

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 8:38 am

blauigel wrote:And even in this thread, the only objective complaint lodged by the original poster ("slower than IE anyway") seems to have been beamed in from a different planet than the one most of us are browsing on.


Whoa, there. Have you actually conducted tests? Using dedicated browser-test pages (saved locally) I found IE time and again to be two to three times quicker to render pages whether plain text or CSS.

Before making accusations like that, make sure you can back them up - as I have!

However speed - or lack of - is not what I use FF for - I use it with extensions to be a better browsing experience.

As someone pointed out so eloquently above we are getting a good product free. On the other hand, we <i>care</i>; we want to see Mozilla producing the best stuff it can. That requires not just feedback, but also for the devs to take that feedback on board.

As it stands it seems FF, at the moment, is Ben's pet project. I want it to be more than that, and I think more people need to be allowed to work on the project.

Many good ideas have been marked WONTFIX on Bugzilla by Ben often without explanation or any sign that he's listened to other people's cases. I think if FF was a team effort more time could be given over to considering feature-request bugs and maybe a more balanced view taken.

IGAU
 
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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 8:45 am

I think it's safe to say that amongst the "I hate it" posts there are quite a few constructive posts about the download manager and problems with it Ben. I hope this is helpful.

To make it easier, and at the risk of repeating ideas I've started this nice new post about the download manager, which is intended to be cleaner and free of "I hate it" posts.

Greg K Nicholson

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 8:49 am

Maybe Firefox could just have weekly builds, like Thunderbird?

This means that all of the testers are using the same build for a substantial amount of time, and any new bugs are for specifically that build - not "sometime after last Tuesday". Scott can see what changes were made for that build, so bugs can be tracked more easily (in my experience, anyway).

Scott also announces each new build and hears bugs specific to that build. So Tb gets a status update for each build, every week - this keeps the channels of communication open between user and developer. Users respond directly with "bug x isn't actually fixed", or "regression alert!". Scott can then say he's working on it/thinks he's fixed it/will get to it soon, etc.

All of this matches up pretty well with Freshmeat's Feedback for Bug Reporters article.

Ben's announcements usually come in the form of locked threads; this makes users feel distant from the decision because they can't directly respond to it. Simply unlocking those threads might help. By contrast, Thunderbird's and Sunbird's announcements usually aren't locked and one can converse with the devs - great for morale. :)

You did the right thing by avoiding a repeat of the "Phoenix needs a new name" fiasco. "That's it. It's Firefox. Tough - we're not changing it" worked much better, especially once we knew the reasons behind the approach.

There has been concern that Firefox was put out with several nasty bugs in tact; its roadmap says that 0.9 ill have all of the planned features and 1.0 will fix the bugs. If so, please hold back Firefox 1.0 until every single known bug is eliminated. This doesn't mean bugs in Gecko, or RFEs, but what's there should work perfectly - no exceptions.

My friend tried Firefox yesterday and when it crashed once upon loading a video clip, he went straight back to IE. He didn't notice the download manager, the smart keywords or the text zooming. The point of this is that quality is preferable to quantity, as Phoenix's original remit suggested. It doesn't matter how many features are missing from 1.0; but it matters greatly how many fixes are.

Of course, this doesn't stop Firefox from being an excellent browser :)

KLB

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 8:57 am

blauigel wrote:As someone pointed out so eloquently above we are getting a good product free. On the other hand, we <i>care</i>; we want to see Mozilla producing the best stuff it can. That requires not just feedback, but also for the devs to take that feedback on board.

As it stands it seems FF, at the moment, is Ben's pet project. I want it to be more than that, and I think more people need to be allowed to work on the project.


I agree. Yes we are getting a good product for free, but it is a safe bet that most people in this forum do care about this project and want to help make fire* the best browser out there. This might be why individuals "whine" so loudly about something they are concerned about.

I also agree that one of the most important keys to the success of any project is delegation. This is especially true with a project of this size. I applaud Ben and the others who work so hard at coding this browser. Any project, however, that rests in the ands of a few or one individual will always be susceptible to the fate of those few or the one. It is the age old question a good manager always asks: "what happens if the one gets hit by a bus?" If Ben does not delegate, what happens to this browser if something happens to Ben?

Not everyone has the skills to do the programming required to move this browser forward. Each individual who cares about the success should be able to contribute what talents they can to the success of this project. Maybe it is as simple as using the browser and reporting back bugs or peculiar behaviors to forums like this. Maybe, they are a marketing guru and can help improve marketing strategies like choosing an appropriate name. Heck I bet there are some lawyers in this crowd who could contribute legal advice.

Linux did not become successful because the development was held tightly in the hands of the few. It has become successful, because legions of developers have a personal stake in its success. Strength is in numbers and it is the community that will ultimately determine the success or failure of this browser project.

alcatraz52
 
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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 9:21 am

Yes. I haven't felt like FB has really progressed since 0.5, when it became usable as a default browser. And 0.6, with the great new theme. Those were exciting times ;) I mean, look at 0.8- most touted new feature the download manager that looks as though it were ripped out of the unusable download sidebar and placed in a box.

Personally I've switched back to IE and use Opera 7.5P1 as my secondary browser. FB is unbearably slow to use with tabs, freezing for about a second when you middle click multiple links, which means no scrolling and it's basically no better than using windows if you can't truly multitask.

But then again, I'm a whiner :)

EDIT: I hadn't read the rest of the posts when I made this one! DOn't kill me.
Last edited by alcatraz52 on February 11th, 2004, 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

Greg K Nicholson

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 9:23 am

KLB wrote:Linux did not become successful because the development was held tightly in the hands of the few. It has become successful, because legions of developers have a personal stake in its success. Strength is in numbers and it is the community that will ultimately determine the success or failure of this browser project.

Arguably, however, Linux has lost direction. It's not as successful as it should be because there are far too many flavours out there (especially for a new user).

This lack of clear leadership has resulted in what cen best be described as a mess. So, I understand Ben's wanting unofficial foxes to be clearly distinguishable from the official ones - it'll be obvious exactly what Firefox is.

At the moment, the community can contribute, but if anything wants to be made kosher, it has to go through Ben. The use of extensions seems to be the perfect implementation of this. For example, the Firebird Help content was created by the community; because it was useful, it's now become part of Firefox proper.

(Incidentally, the name change explains why Firebird Help wasn't checked in on the branch.)

Finn
 
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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 9:28 am

that "book of Mozilla" thing in Firefox is creepy, made me think if the devs are taking that a lil' too seriously.

Realish
 
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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 9:40 am

Ben, thanks for all your work.

The feedback from the wider community Ben is talking about is the expanding user base of the product, the glowing media reports, and the vast majority of satisfied users. I, for one, would rather Ben spend his time improving the product rather than babysitting the fanboys in this forum who -- we should all remember -- are a self-selected group and not particularly representative of the average Firefox user, much less the average internet surfer.

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