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Author Topic: Mozilla to "stop innovation" on Thunderbird  (Read 1939 times)
Jibz
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« on: July 06, 2012, 06:14:08 PM »

This sounds like bad news:

http://techcrunch.com/201...thats-it-for-thunderbird/

Quote
Mozilla is not “stopping” Thunderbird development, it has just decided that: “continued innovation on Thunderbird is not the best use of our resources given our ambitious organizational goals.” And it’s pulling people off the project. But it’s not stopping? Right.
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40hz
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2012, 06:33:59 PM »

Hmm...

Quote
We have come to the conclusion that continued innovation on Thunderbird is not the best use of our resources given our ambitious organizational goals.

And what exactly are those ambitious goals, if I may be so bold? Unless, of course, it's the ongoing commitment to deliver buggy releases of Firefox on a more accelerated basis...

Whatever happened to the "release when it's ready" philosophy that was the trademark of FOSS development?

 undecided
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db90h
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2012, 08:41:09 PM »

Whatever happened to the "release when it's ready" philosophy that was the trademark of FOSS development?

When commercial software of the same genre is also free, they find that they suddenly have *real* competition. This has forced them to be much more aggressive in their development cycles, at least IMHO.
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superboyac
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2012, 09:17:00 PM »

Hmm...

Quote
We have come to the conclusion that continued innovation on Thunderbird is not the best use of our resources given our ambitious organizational goals.

And what exactly are those ambitious goals, if I may be so bold? Unless, of course, it's the ongoing commitment to deliver buggy releases of Firefox on a more accelerated basis...

Whatever happened to the "release when it's ready" philosophy that was the trademark of FOSS development?

 undecided
What I feel is happening is that all these recognized tech companies are all trying to one-up each other and chasing every little idea that comes up.  We keep moving away from real innovation and putting all our energy in this kind of superficial innovation.  And why?  well, $$$ is the answer as far as I can tell.  Firefox coming out with a new integered version every week is a superficial innovation.  Version 8 and version 13 used to 1.2 and 1.5 a few years ago.  So it's all bullshit labeling etc.  Do I know how this kind of thing makes money?  Not really.  The whole system is very complex, and the people who can make it more simple or better want it that way.  My friend and I were talking about fitness clubs recently and testing the idea of starting one.  Only to realize that all the money comes from the bullshit vitamin and suplpement sales inside the gyms and the real profits are coming from the (and I can only describe it like this) a pyramid-like scheme of membership.  And if I go grab some Harvard Business Review articles about fitness clubs, it confirms that.

Is this bad?  I don't know, that's a political question.  i don't like it.  I think it depends.  It's good for certain definitions of economic growth, which i don't want to get into.  But for true innovation, which is something that almost all normal people can feel and appreciate, it's bad.  It's bad because we can't start a fitness club and make it really nice for the members, because that's bad for profits.  The only way to do it is to start like 5 fitness clubs, with a profit margin beign generated as I described above.  So the innovation is coming from the idea of "How do i sell more protein bars and get more people to sign up" rather than "how do I provide a place to work out that is fun and cooler than the other place?"

And that pisses me off.  Just about every good idea I have runs into this dilemma.  I know the joke of "selling out" has always been around.  But I want to say that before, you only had to sell out a little and still be fine.  Now, you have to sell out completely.  Firefox is selling out, and it's free!  What kind of sense does that make?!  Think about it!  That's because it's really not free and they do the same shit as everyone else.

Furthermore, and something for all of us here to think about, something I'm worried about...all these developments taking place recently is totally anti-geek friendly.  We are being left behind.  Those who found their place in life tinkering with machines and computers, opening them up, finding out how they work, getting ideas from them, combining weird machines to make a new one, finding a cool tool in the trash...this is all going away with one word: copyright.  Copyright means, "we don't want you opening our shit up, and even if you do and figure it out, you can't use it in any way shape or form from this point on." And that halts innovation.  It stops it right in its tracks.  And the owners of those copyrights obviously don't have that much motivation to innovate.  But human beings demand new and better things, so they have to fake it.  hence...the new version number scheme from firefox and chrome.  The big deal everyone makes for the new Samsung having quad-core instead of duo-core.  These are the lamest innovations there could be!  Let me break that one down if I may...quad-core in and of itself is not really new.  So the real innovation was sticking a quad core chip in a phone.  All that means is that somewhere in Samsung, somebody decided to stick a quad-core chip instead of a duo-core chip.  Really not that big of a deal.  Nor does it change the end user experience much.  "OOO it's faster"  Whatever.  It was just shitty slow before, that's all.  Now it's ok.  Given the possibilities for innovation that we know exists, this is the tiniest thing they could have done.  But cue all the media to make a huge deal out of it and get everyone hopped up about it.

You know how many people out there have the ability (knowledge, money, skills, etc.) to make a kick-ass cell phone that will blow all these away?  A lot.  Can they?  Nope.  We have to rely on firefox and samsung for innovation.

Whatever.  I'm trying to figure out a way in so that I can try to innovate, but it's proving to be very very difficult.
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40hz
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2012, 10:02:37 PM »

Whatever happened to the "release when it's ready" philosophy that was the trademark of FOSS development?

When commercial software of the same genre is also free, they find that they suddenly have *real* competition. This has forced them to be much more aggressive in their development cycles, at least IMHO.

Nothing is forcing them to do anything unless the goal has shifted from making "best in class" software to figuring out a way to for some parties in said FOSS software project to "monetize" portions of it for certain individuals within the project.

Therein lies the problem with the FOSS philosophy once a popular project reaches a certain level of maturity. Some key players suddenly decide to take the codebase - along with all the freely submitted contributions from unpaid volunteers - and sell it for large sums of money. MySQL is one example of that.

Because FOSS is dependent on altruism, and mostly run on the "honor system," such moves have a deleterious effect on the entire FOSS ecosystem. Because it erodes the implied social contract that most people who participate in FOSS projects believe is the rule of the realm.

And all it takes is one person 'cheating' (in fact or appearance) to bring the whole FOSS 'understanding' into question.

Like Cyndie Lauper said: Money changes everything. nono2


 undecided
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Tuxman
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2012, 02:32:39 AM »

Actually, what's the big deal? Thunderbird works.
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db90h
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2012, 02:42:10 AM »

Therein lies the problem with the FOSS philosophy once a popular project reaches a certain level of maturity. Some key players suddenly decide to take the codebase - along with all the freely submitted contributions from unpaid volunteers - and sell it for large sums of money. MySQL is one example of that.

Yep. Seen it happen over and over again, and is why I don't do that much F/OSS these days. Some ahole always comes along, exploits the work for profit, and all the contributors who made it possible aren't compensated, nor could they be really... would be hard to figure out how to fairly compensate people. Meanwhile, F/OSS users demand more from F/OSS developers than most other developers - perhaps because they are more accessible, I dunno. I still do release open source work, but only with the full realization that its pure charity work. Even then, it's often stolen or abused.
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2012, 04:34:35 AM »

From another angle, FOSS stuff is "education". No Child Left Behind and all that. People can think of new things because they have the building blocks left over from the FOSS crowd. But yes, this new lockdown mentality is worrying. Viewed from the education angle, it's like a sick version of Wheel of Fortune. "Yes, let's do education, all the consonants are free! You have to buy the vowels."
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