The Mozilla Foundation has said it is committed to rewarding the community that helps develop its software. Mozilla’s suite, which includes the Firefox Web browser, is partly developed by unpaid programmers, often working in their spare time. Mozilla on Wednesday said it could not afford to pay all of its voluntary contributors, but instead may contribute by providing hardware to some developers.
Mozilla: We’ll Pay Developers Where We Can
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2006-05-25 9:19 pmDittoBox
I have to agree, purely from a user’s perspective.
But the main reason I don’t use Opera as my main browser is many extensions I’ve installed, which simply aren’t available with Opera. In fact, I don’t even think Opera has the ability to support so-called extensions (please correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve never found it!).
-Web developer Toolbar (this is the most valuable to me)
-AdBlock (anything but text ads drive me insane, GIF and flash ads are the worst, force that crap on me when I visit your site and I *will* block it…or simply not even visit anymore)
-Google Toolbar (Image, site and spell check are a must)
-Permit Cookies (only cookies that are used to login are the ones that I allow)
-SwitchProxy (going Tor in 5 4 3 2 1…)
Those are only the really important ones. If this kind of stuff was available in Opera, I’d switch in a heartbeat!
2006-05-25 9:47 pmGullible Jones
I don’t like Opera for a few reasons… For one thing, the Linux port uses QT (bulky if you use a GTK desktop, redundant if you’re using KDE), for another, Opera is proprietary software, and I like to stick with OSS for applications that I use all the time. I’ve heard claims that it’s the fastest browser out there, but AFAICT it doesn’t live up to that.
(In fact, browsers seem to spend almsot no time rendering, and a surprising amount of time loading page data, even on very fast pages – despite my having a broadband connection, and enabling pipelining and stuff in Firefox. This suggests to me that a lot of browsers may just have unnecessarily low bandwidth usage restrictions, though I don’t know for sure.)
My favorite browser is Konqueror, which has Adblock and most of Firefox’s functionality (and then some); unfortunately it’s also a file manager, and part of KDE, which IMHO is a bloated mess in its current state. That’s why I’m waiting for a stable Webcore/KHTML port to GTK, something like this:
Unfortunately GTK-Webcore seems to be dying, or at least developing at a snail’s pace. And the Gnome people aren’t updating GTKHTML, they’ve switched to Gecko… A real shame.
I don’t think it’s intented to reward, but to help developers work. I mean a better hardware, mean that you can compile faster. Or they might want to provide test machine and so on. That’s why I think they choose to give hardware rather than money.
Firefox is earning serious money, admittedly there is a core set of developers, but won’t most developers suddenly want a chunk of that pie.
Its simply too much money, they are actually hiring someone for 6 months to figure out what to do with it.
…and yet its not enough to go around.
Can they not say hire a few more people full time.
Award Prizes for innovative extentions.
Buy in a new commercial program and firefox it.
Create free online storage for thunderbird users.
Promote Firefox buddies Thunderbird, Sunbird and Nvu.
Develop an online office suite, VOIP, Bitorrent.
Buy some of those $100 laptops while they still look nice, and everyone can feel good using firefox, and selling our souls to google.
Hell anything is better than sitting on an ever growing pile of money, that everyone is suddenly going to take an interest in.
2006-05-26 4:24 amcozby
Wrong. Mozilla should never go into developing online office suites, VOIP or Bitorrent. It should never deviate from its core product – web browsing. They would be treading water in unfamiliar territory, bloody suicide.
I will agree with you on hiring more fulltime staff, and they’re doing that. Also with incentive prizes (Extend Firefox comp.)
What I think they should do, is invest in educational institutions. Securing a solid future in the development of open source applications (Firefox, Xen, etc).
With 10 Million USD from last year, lets hope they reward some of the active contributors. Firefox is one of the “Open Source Killer Apps” much like Apache was one of biggest reasons Linux took off on the server side of things awhile ago.
Besides releasing solid products (Firefox, Thunderbird), giving back to the community is the best way to sustain the community. Notice how Mark Shuttleworth states the fact there will never be a “commercial” version of Ubuntu. You get the same stuff as paying customers of Canonical. Now look at how quickly the Ubuntu community has become a driving force in such little time.
Mozilla is making the correct decision in helping out volunteer contributors.
But is this a preemptive move on their part to co-opt Microsoft’s recent efforts to reward folks for writing code for its platform? (see recent article on WinCE contest). Why would they feel the need to do this, if people are really engaged in their code base? Are people starting to lose interest? How long do they expect to sustain interest in their project?
Now let’s get to work on the 25 MB of slow, chubby browser that you guys call “fast and light”. Or shall we save that until the low-carb diet fads disappear?
(Yes, I use Firefox, but it bugs me. It’s more than twice as big as Opera, and manages to have fewer features, despite being extensible and all. Which is why I’m waiting, and waiting, and still waiting, for GTK-Webcore to go stable, or at least produce a newer snapshot.)