Archive for March 10, 2005

It’s time to put up or shut up.

There, I said it. I’ll say it more bluntly. We, as a community, whine too damn much and do too damn little. Hell, I admit that I was part of the whiners at times. The Mozilla Suite communty right now is sounding a lot like the Mac OS 9 community did a couple years ago when support for OS 9 was being dropped due to a shrinking userbase and an even smaller developer group. The Mozilla Foundation has limited resources, limited time, and an even more limited budget. The shift from Seamonkey to Firefox/Thunderbird as the primary project was announced long ago, so people wanting to step up and maintain Seamonkey have had ages to prepare for this day. When OS 9 support was being dropped, there were lots of Mac users crying foul. said, “Hey, the code is still there, if you want to maintain it, please do! But we can’t, so someone else needs to take over.” No one did. Now that the Suite is going away, we’re hearing the same moans. I wasn’t a Firefox fan for ages, and just recently shifted to Thunderbird. But now that I changed over, I literally have not fired up Mozilla since. I’ve even found my small bugaboos with Firefox to be easily addressed.

Notice, however, that I actually did something. I checked out the alternatives, and found them to be better than the suite alone. Most people just whine and don’t even bother to try Firefox or Thunderbird to see how they work compared to Mozilla. And give it a fair shot, don’t try it for three minutes. It’s different, so give it a few days to get used to it first. I found I was so ingrained being able to search from the URLbar that changing the behavior of the URLbar’s default Google action (changing it from “I’m Feeling Lucky” to the normal search) was easier than trying to relearn to use the Googlebar. I also found the increase UI speed is most certainly worth the switch. I noticed the slimmed down Prefs panels made no difference in my life. And yes, I used to bitch about that.

I installed one extension into Thunderbird (Mnenhy, the worst-named extension in history) to add back different column views for mail and news and it’s better than Mozilla was now. Much faster in many ways. And now when Yahoo’s Java apps wind up bringing Firefox to it’s knees, when I have to kill it my mail lives on regardless. Peace in the valley.

In short, this is an Open Source project here folks. If you don’t want Seamonkey to die, stop talking and do something about it. Can’t code? Learn, or find someone who can and try to help by testing, traiging in Bugzilla, evangelizing, whatever. Work with the Foundation to shuttle the code into a new project that doesn’t carry the Seamonkey baggage and make it what you feel it should be. But don’t just sit there and whine.

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