Time to make a little statement regarding Firebird vs. Seamonkey, and End User vs. Developer.
End User vs. Developer
I’ll start with this first.
Moving from a Developer/Development focus to an End user focus is a much better choice. The only mistake made in the past was not doing this since the early Milestones. Now the question you ask is why?
Every product needs an audience. If it doesn’t have an audience. It’s worthless. Mozilla is a solid application. The result of endless hours of coding on behalf of many excellent programmers. Someone should take advantage of this work they did. End Users are the ones who can benefit. End Users can use this beast that was created.
But what about the Developers you may ask? Who says they have to be ignored? Are they working on a moving target? Right now yes. But will it eventually become more stable? Of course. I have no doubt things will become more stable, and innovation will still continue.
The end user should be the focus. The end user should have always been the true focus. That doesn’t mean you can’t pay attention to the developers. And even help them out (documentation!). But the End user should be the ultimate goal. Help the developers help the end users. Help Mozilla help the end user. The end user should be in every sentence. If it isn’t… then what’s the point?
That’s not to say innovation, and “for the love of standards” is out the window. In fact it’s more relevant than ever. But it’s done with the hopes that the end result will be good enough “for the end user”. That amazing new feature that will revolutionize computing… for the end user.
Developers are important. They are what makes the Mozilla community what it is. But without a target audience (end user). What is this community serving? What is it bring to the Internet at large? A ton of code. What’s a ton of code that’s revolutionary, and able to benefit millions. A ton of good stuff.
End users should be Mozilla Foundations target. The Developers should be targeting End Users as well.
Mozilla Foundation should be helping Developers make this their target through better documentation
Firebird vs. Seamonkey
Firebird vs. Seamonkey is also quite a debate. Personally I’m all for Firebird. But here is my personal vision (not this is personal):
When I refer to “component(s)” I am referring to each product (Firebird, Thunderbird, Sunbird, etc.)
Downloads should be available as separate installers for each app, or one “super installer” (capable of installing all with a “download n’ install” method).
GRE should include auto-update functionality. As Mozilla evolves quickly, end users should have it as easy as possible. Ideally it should check each component and see if it’s been updated. Even extensions.
Just because the conjoined twins are separated doesn’t mean they can’t still be siblings. For example if Firebird sees Sunbird installed, it should be able to integrate itself so that you can have outlook like functionality (calendar and mail integration). If not found, it should look as if there is nothing missing.
The app suite has the advantage of integration. But just because the apps are separate doesn’t mean they can’t work together. They just need the ability to work on their own. Because not everyone is at liberty to change email clients (those whose companies use Outlook Exchange). But they still want to be saved from the hells of Internet Explorer.
I’m for integration with separation. Firebird is great. But it would be nice to see all the new Apps be aware of each other, and work together. To make me. the end user. happy.
So I’m for moving forward. There are two types of programs. Ones under development and dead ones. Mozilla is under development. Changing and evolving. Every Lizard needs to go through puberty before it can become a mature adult. Puberty is an awkward stage. But it will pass.