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Anyone 'losing faith'?

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Firefox
bengoodger

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 1:47 pm

Caligo73 wrote:Well, without reading everyone's response, so I may repeat a few people--I work for a small software company in Vegas. We have a very small audience and have been working on the rollout for a new version for over a year. With the small audience we have we are contstantly being bombarded with complaints, suggestion, etc. Although we would love to take all of them, if we did we'd never get the software released. One suggestion overshadows another. You want it faster, but you want me to do more work to make it "improved"? We're already a year behind our release date and at some point we simply have to stop working on "improvements', simply work out the current bugs and get the thing out the door. And without building so much they can't handle the file size of the program.

I'm sure the developers would love to take every suggestion you guys have. But if FireFox is ever to be "released" they have to at some point stop. And keep in mind, we can't have it all--at least not right away. How often has a Version 1.0 of anything ever been complete? When has anyone ever stopped and said: "ok, it's perfect. We're done." If the suggestion isn't done now, that doesn't mean it can't be looked at later.

FireFox is far from perfect. But it's still better than the rest in my eyes. Otherwise, I'd just use IE. Or Opera. Or any of the dozen browsers out there today. You do have a choice. That's what makes it so nice. It's up to you to decide what the best choice for you is.


Superbly put. If we all look at the roadmap, you'll see Mozilla would like to ship 1.0 this summer. That means that feature development has to slow down, a specific set of remaining features critical to 1.0 identified, those implemented, and then the rest of the time focused on spit and polish. After that product ships, then the doors are open to new features again. It's just like the Seamonkey development process really, except because we don't have the benefit of a finished product it's going to take us another 6 months of discipline to reach 1.0 final.

esavior

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 1:56 pm

On the worldofwarcraft.com forums there is this girl named Kat, and she is the community manager. Her job is to read the forums, and then summarize the non troll conversation and take it back to the developers. That way the dev doesnt waist its time reading crap. She then also brings back what the devs say about the issue. Is that option out of the picture?
Mindjunk
I didn't hear no bell...

Jarmo P
 
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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 2:01 pm

Ben, it looks like a finished product to me a long time.
Any news would be appreaciated that still needs to be done?
I have not used FB for my internet bank site paying bills, but propably would have worked fine.
Maybe time to skip the 0.9 version?

Not missing any new features, so you just keep making it solid.

Good working !!!

allsorts46
 
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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 2:02 pm

esavior wrote:On the worldofwarcraft.com forums there is this girl named Kat, and she is the community manager. Her job is to read the forums, and then summarize the non troll conversation and take it back to the developers. That way the dev doesnt waist its time reading crap. She then also brings back what the devs say about the issue. Is that option out of the picture?


Sounds ideal, so long as you could find someone to take the job
Ashley Oliver aka allsorts46
me@allsorts46.co.uk

Greg K Nicholson

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 2:05 pm

KLB wrote:validation so that we know that extensions from source 'X' are safe and free of any nasty secrets.
If I recall correctly, this is planned, pre-1.0.


bengoodger wrote:
gaspeer wrote:I have only one major "complaint" and feature suggestion. It's a suggestion that's been beaten to death in these forums, but if you have a chance as one of the developers, I'd like you to help me understand or at least respond to this: Why is there no built-in "Single window mode" in Foxfire?


Excellent question! Is there a bug? There probably is, search for one. If not, file one.

-Ben

Yes, there is one - bug 227241.

Bernie

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 3:36 pm

mqwtm wrote:...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...


Obviously this guy's never done any software development ;)
Bernie Zimmermann
http://www.bernzilla.com

KLB

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 3:42 pm

Software is never released with bugs in it. . . is it?
Ken Barbalace - AMO Editor (I focus on reviewing themes)
I maintain Classic Compact, a very compact yet clean Firefox theme.
EnvironmentalChemistry.com (Periodic Table)

TheOneKEA

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 3:49 pm

KLB wrote:Software is never released with bugs in it. . . is it?


Um.....
Proud user of teh Fox of Fire
Registered Linux User #289618

Alaska Jack

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 3:55 pm

Ben, if you're still listening, I have one short and I think pertinent question, relating to the *inclusion* of the download manager (NOT the DL manager itself!) and its implications on the FF model as a whole.

I can imagine a number of different ways a DL manager could work. It seems to me, therefore, that a DL manager is an ideal candidate for an extension or other form of plug-in. So, if you didn't like Firebird's bare-bones downloader, you could download an extension that would implement a more full-featured DL manager; and if you didn't like that one, you could just uninstall it, and download another.

Isn't this the basic philosophy behind Fire*? I am just wondering why you departed from this philosophy and built in to the browser itself something that seemingly would have been an ideal candidate for an extension.

- Alaska Jack

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 4:45 pm

Ben:
Having developed on projects before with a large audience, I can offer a few suggestions to you that should make it alot easier.

1) Find someone you know and trust who's willing to be a community manager. Someone who can take into account all of the suggestions, and is familiar enough with the software that he can differentiate between stupid ideas and good ideas. Then, he can report to you. This way you don't have to micromanage the forums and community stuff. You can then converse directly with him on something like IRC, and he can act as a filter, representing the community.

2) Get someone to make a suggestions/complaints/change-request system. Forums don't cut it; theres no way to differentiate between veterans who have proven themselves useful, and it's too difficult to sift through the mass of information. Bugzilla was not meant for that kind of thing, and neither were these forums.

Just some ideas to help you develop easier and please the community at the same time.

Edit:
More explanation on #2:
I'm thinking a system which sorts features and requests of the community based on voting where different users count for more votes. For instance, people who consistently come up with good suggestions that get implemented could count for more votes, etc. Eventually, the people who really help alot and consistently will become mini-community managers where the community tries to get even their attention.

The reason I say bugzilla is not for this is because bugzilla is not really for the community at large, it's for the developers and those who actually contribute, and for the development of features and bugs, NOT the election of what features the community wants.

Smackfu
 
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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 5:00 pm

Does anyone here even care whether it gets to 1.0? Does anyone expect that version to be significantly different from or better than 0.8?

bengoodger

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 6:45 pm

Reading this:

Smackfu wrote:Does anyone here even care whether it gets to 1.0? Does anyone expect that version to be significantly different from or better than 0.8?


reminded me of:

dangrey wrote:The road-map is regarded as some gospel document that must not be challenged.


The Firefox roadmap originally contained a bit more feature content before 1.0. This had to be stripped out because:

We wanted to ship this summer. While there are a lot of people in the Open Source Software world form whom practicality is not a concern, we are not among them. Consider that Microsoft will be shippng an update to IE in the first half of this year that supports popup blocking, one of the key reasons to get Firefox. Consider that we only have so long before Longhorn comes out and Microsoft attempts to have its way with the web. Look at history. Netscape dithered and delayed its next generation browser for years - it was too late to the party with a browser that had so many useless features and not enough emphasis on core stability. In order to ship a product in a timely fashion, you need to make tradeoffs.

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.

Those are the two *big* new things we have time for before 1.0. This does not include bugs, smaller features and OS integration work. 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. If you want to delay the ship date, see above for time-to-market, relevance, etc. If you want to remove one of those two items on the list already, you are crazy. Seamless migration is critical for adoption by people who don't spend all day hanging out in tech forums. A new browser is pretty useless if your favorites, passwords, etc aren't there. The hack job way of migrating data by hand etc that we have now is so far from acceptable that Firefox can presently only be considered marginallly acceptable for novices. (This statement is also true of any other browser that attempts to take market share away from the dominant browser on the platform, such as Netscape 7, Mozilla, Opera, etc)

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.

I am here to take this browser to the mass market, to steal as much market share from IE as possible, not to satisfy a relatively small number of people on forums. The project can only do that by being better than IE in every way. IE's installation an setup experience is top notch because it has the benefit of distribution on new PCs so people just get it when they get a new computer. To compete with that we need to be very, very clever. To compete with IE we need to make one of our competitive advantages not screw people over every time they upgrade.

Greg K Nicholson

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 6:58 pm

Hear, hear!
Now we know why Ben works alone - he's got it sussed. 8)

Next time someone says "Why doesn't Firefox have fancy feature X?!", point them to http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic ... 037#373037 ;)

KLB

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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 7:05 pm

WOW!

Ben I am very impressed by what you just wrote. If I like your vision and look forward to seeing you succeed with your goals for Firefox.
Ken Barbalace - AMO Editor (I focus on reviewing themes)
I maintain Classic Compact, a very compact yet clean Firefox theme.
EnvironmentalChemistry.com (Periodic Table)

IGAU
 
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Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 7:07 pm

If Firefox turns out to be as good as Ben's ability to express his thoughts in writing, stop looking elsewhere for your perfect browser (IMO).

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