2003-03-05 - Minutes of mozilla.org staff meeting

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Asa Dotzler

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Mar 13, 2003, 12:04:18 PM3/13/03
to st...@mozilla.org
Mozilla Staff Meeting Minutes 2003-03-05
----------------------------------------

2003-03-05 - Mozilla Staff Meeting Minutes [DRAFT]

Present: Dan, Seth, Mitchell, Asa, Myk, Scott


*Discussed Mozilla 1.3*
1 mac blocker remaining. dmose asked about splashing on mozillazine to
try to get others to reproduce it. 1.3 status is "a few mac-specific
bugs left, we're gonna get one or two and push out the others".

*1.4 development and planning*
drivers contacting 1.4 people and starting to discuss what's in and
what's out.

*Camino release*
Camino may not be ready till end of next week. (hah! we beat our
estimates.)

*Gerv looking for relicense scripting help*
Gerv's mail sounds fine. Ship it.

*Re-licensing*
Time to revive efforts to get final OK's to trilicense remaining code.
Mitchell to look into corporate side; staff to consider remaining
individual contributors.

*Sun crypto press release*
Discussion of Sun's significant crypto contribution to mozilla codebase,
and how to best make this known to the relevant community.

*Status Report maintainer*
Everyone agrees that Alex Bishop is the most qualified candidate to
maintain the mozilla.org status reports.2003-

*Java-related Component Ownership*
Asa is already working with Sun china on Java-related component ownership.

*Leadership discussion*
Mitchell lead a discussion about leadership of the mozilla project, what
staff is doing and what we ought be doing wrt to applications, GRE, XRE,
and embedding. Didn't come to conclusions yet, discussion to continue.
Mitchell to publish document about the big picture goals of the Mozilla
project.

--Asa

Henrik Gemal

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Mar 14, 2003, 11:15:06 AM3/14/03
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> *Sun crypto press release*
> Discussion of Sun's significant crypto contribution to mozilla codebase,
> and how to best make this known to the relevant community.

Could someone please explain these contributions?
Bug numbers? Plans? Features?

> *Java-related Component Ownership*
> Asa is already working with Sun china on Java-related component ownership.

This sounds excellent!

--
Henrik Gemal
Mozilla Evangelist

Description of profile files:
http://gemal.dk/mozilla/files.html

ralph

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Mar 14, 2003, 1:14:55 PM3/14/03
to Asa Dotzler, st...@mozilla.org
Asa Dotzler wrote:
> Mozilla Staff Meeting Minutes 2003-03-05
> ----------------------------------------
>
> what we ought be doing wrt to applications, GRE, XRE, and embedding.
> Didn't come to conclusions yet, discussion to continue. Mitchell to
> publish document about the big picture goals of the Mozilla project.

Thesis:

Decision makers considering reliance on the Mozilla project
find its resourcing to be in no small part reliant on AOLTW's
good graces. Fears related to this result in lack of buy-in
regardless of any technological or other merit. This is the
project's biggest current problem. Thus the primary goal has
to be a credible plan for weaning the project from reliance
on AOLTW's current level of funding.

--
ralph

Gervase Markham

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Mar 15, 2003, 8:51:39 AM3/15/03
to ralph, Asa Dotzler, st...@mozilla.org
ralph wrote:
> Decision makers considering reliance on the Mozilla project
> find its resourcing to be in no small part reliant on AOLTW's
> good graces.

How is this different to any other open source project, which is
similarly reliant on the continued interest of its contributors?

> Fears related to this result in lack of buy-in
> regardless of any technological or other merit.

Mozilla would not become less capable or useful if all the contributors
stopped working on it tomorrow.

> This is the
> project's biggest current problem. Thus the primary goal has
> to be a credible plan for weaning the project from reliance
> on AOLTW's current level of funding.

Why would this issue not apply to our alternative source of funding, if
we were to obtain one?

Gerv

Grey Hodge / jesus X

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Mar 15, 2003, 3:26:53 PM3/15/03
to
On 3/15/2003 8:51 AM Gervase Markham cranked up the brainbox and said:
> How is this different to any other open source project, which is
> similarly reliant on the continued interest of its contributors?

It isn't. This is the typical FUD propagated by those eith an irrational
dislike/distrust of any and all large organizations, corporations, and even
governments. They are unable to discern mistakes and bad management from evil
intent, and it's silly.

> Mozilla would not become less capable or useful if all the contributors
> stopped working on it tomorrow.

Quite true. I still use, on a daily basis, a program that was written 16 years
ago. It hasn't been worked on since it's release, it's author isn't even in
software anymore, and there's been no way to get it for 14 years. It's just as
useful now though as ever.

> > This is the project's biggest current problem. Thus the primary goal has
> > to be a credible plan for weaning the project from reliance on AOLTW's
> > current level of funding.
> Why would this issue not apply to our alternative source of funding, if
> we were to obtain one?

It won't. Again, FUD and muckraking based on AOL's status as a large corporation.

--
jesus X [ Booze-fueled paragon of pointless cruelty and wanton sadism. ]
email [ jesus_x @ mozillanews.org ]
web [ http://www.mozillanews.org ]
insult [ As usual, you've been a real pantload. ]
warning [ Don't touch that! You might mutate your fingers. ]

KaiRo - Robert Kaiser

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Mar 16, 2003, 5:04:07 PM3/16/03
to
> Quite true. I still use, on a daily basis, a program that was written 16 years
> ago. It hasn't been worked on since it's release, it's author isn't even in
> software anymore, and there's been no way to get it for 14 years. It's just as
> useful now though as ever.

What program do you talk of? Windows? ;-)

Robert Kaiser

Grey Hodge / jesus X

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Mar 16, 2003, 11:29:40 PM3/16/03
to
On 3/16/2003 5:04 PM KaiRo - Robert Kaiser cranked up the brainbox and said:
> What program do you talk of? Windows? ;-)

Windows was FAR from useful 14 years ago. :)

Gervase Markham

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Mar 17, 2003, 5:20:00 AM3/17/03
to
Henrik Gemal wrote:
>> *Sun crypto press release*
>> Discussion of Sun's significant crypto contribution to mozilla
>> codebase, and how to best make this known to the relevant community.
>
> Could someone please explain these contributions?
> Bug numbers? Plans? Features?

Sun has added elliptic curve cryptography support to NSS.

Gerv

KaiRo - Robert Kaiser

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Mar 17, 2003, 6:59:01 AM3/17/03
to
>>What program do you talk of? Windows? ;-)
>
> Windows was FAR from useful 14 years ago. :)

IIRC, that would actually be the same state as now :P

Roberet Kaiser

ralph

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Mar 18, 2003, 9:22:12 PM3/18/03
to Gervase Markham, st...@mozilla.org
Gervase Markham wrote:
> ralph wrote:
>> Decision makers considering reliance on the Mozilla project
>> find its resourcing to be in no small part reliant on AOLTW's
>> good graces.
>
> How is this different to any other open source project, which is
> similarly reliant on the continued interest of its contributors?

The difference with Mozilla, compared to projects that don't
have the same problem, is degree of reliance on one contributor.

An example (that I chose specifically to stay on the optimistic
side of things) is enhydra. This is an open source platform that
used to have one primary contributor. That contributor fell by
the wayside and the platform (and hence many of the vendors that
adopted it) suffered a great deal as a result, partly because
the project organizers didn't organize the project ahead of time
so that it was designed to reasonably gracefully cope with the
withdrawal of support of the primary contributor.


>> Fears related to this result in lack of buy-in
>> regardless of any technological or other merit.
>
> Mozilla would not become less capable or useful if all the
> contributors stopped working on it tomorrow.

Vendors that evaluate platforms put a lot of store in a
platform's vitality and roadmap. The prospect of a period
of mere turbulence is a *major* disincentive to adopt the
platform.

(The idea that development might completely halt is beyond
the pale, but imo unrealistic, at least in the next few years.)


>> This is the
>> project's biggest current problem. Thus the primary goal has
>> to be a credible plan for weaning the project from reliance
>> on AOLTW's current level of funding.
>
> Why would this issue not apply to our alternative source of
> funding, if we were to obtain one?

"one" is the problem. If all you did was swap AOLTW funding
for the same level of funding from some other single party,
the issue would probably still apply. (If the other party
were, say, IBM, that might make some difference, but the
problem, though reduced in the short-term, would still
apply, especially if later there were reason to question
IBM's desire or ability to maintain its level of commitment.)

Coming up with alternative sources of funding isn't the
only possible solution to the problem. Other possibilities
include: AOLTW altering the structure of their financial
involvement to be more like a trust fund that ensures a
more steady commitment or at least one where any notice
of a substantive change is many months or even years; or
making some other project changes that aren't directly
financial but still reduce the risk level represented by
the current apparent substantial reliance on AOLTW funding.

Even pointing out data that shows how m.o is NOT reliant
on AOLTW funding would help a great deal. The fact that
Mitchell remained in her leadership role after AOLTW cut
the funding for her position, and is still there 2 years
later, is symbolically very powerful. More info like that
please!

KaiRo - Robert Kaiser

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Mar 19, 2003, 10:01:10 AM3/19/03
to
> Even pointing out data that shows how m.o is NOT reliant
> on AOLTW funding would help a great deal. The fact that
> Mitchell remained in her leadership role after AOLTW cut
> the funding for her position, and is still there 2 years
> later, is symbolically very powerful. More info like that
> please!

Would it halep to tell that a great bunch of major contributors to
Mozilla aren't employed by AOLTW anyhow?

see blizzard (RedHat), mkaply (IBM), bzbarsky, neil, cbiesinger etc.

Robert Kaiser

Boris Zbarsky

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Mar 19, 2003, 12:11:53 PM3/19/03
to
KaiRo - Robert Kaiser wrote:

> Would it halep to tell that a great bunch of major contributors to
> Mozilla aren't employed by AOLTW anyhow?

On the other hand, all the development infrastructure (CVS servers,
bonsai, tinderbox, lxr, bugzilla) is provided by AOLTW.... cvs-mirror
used to be independent, but is not anymore.

Ralph Mellor

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Mar 19, 2003, 2:58:44 PM3/19/03
to KaiRo - Robert Kaiser
KaiRo - Robert Kaiser wrote:
>> Even pointing out data that shows how m.o is NOT reliant
>> on AOLTW funding would help a great deal...

>
> Would it halep to tell that a great bunch of major contributors
> to Mozilla aren't employed by AOLTW anyhow?

Perhaps. The crucial point is their part in a story of how
m.o would maintain continuity in the event of AOLTW cutting
funding.

--
ralph

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