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Comment Re:One thing to keep in mind... (Score 1) 244


I can't count the number of times I've come across an open source project online, and couldn't figure out what it was

When I worked at SourceForge, this was a major thing I worked on. I called it the "Yeah, but what does it *DO*" campaign, and I'd try to get projects to explain what their project was actually for, rather than saying that it was "an effort to build a fast, efficient, best of breed tool XYPDQ object-hierarchical framework" or whatever.

Turns out that a lot of people find this kind of thinking revolutionary. It's honestly eye-opening when you say some people might not know what their whizbang is used for.

Comment Re:You get what you pay for (Score 1) 244

Good documentation is typically not written by "most coders". It's written by writers. Some of us do indeed get a thrill from writing good documentation. I've been doing this for 20 years because it's fun, not because I'm paid for it, in much the same way that you have been coding, because it's fun. Different people find different things fun. The trick is to make it easier for these kinds of people to get access to the communities which are typically coder-dominated. (As you might guess, there's more about this in the article.)

Comment Re:Counterargument: OpenBSD (Score 1) 244

Yes, there are plenty of counterexamples. And those communities - I presume you are referring to Linux? Or did you mean something else? - are remarkably hard for beginners to break into, unless they display a similarly belligerent attitude. Thus, this kind of attitude is self-perpetuating, and it makes it remarkably hard to improve the tone of the community over time. Monkey see, monkey do.

Look, I'm not declaring this to be a theory or a law of community organization. I'm saying that when you're nice to people, you tend to make it easier for them to solve problems.

Comment Re:One thing to keep in mind... (Score 1) 244

As I mention in the article (you did read it, right?) is that there are different voices required for different types of documentation. There's a place for both the "straight to the point" (reference docs) and "conversational" (howtos, more learning-oriented exposition) voices, depending on who you're talking to, and how much they already know.

Comment Re:Don't forget Firefox Hello! (Score 1) 147

Videoconferencing from any device on the planet without installing any special software is bloat?

YES, in the same way that every user on the planet would probably want a calculator once in a while but that doesn't mean the browser needs to add one!

Firefox comes with a couple of calculators built in. It has since before it was called Firefox.

Comment What is the point? (Score 4, Insightful) 88

What was the point of Firefox? IE was free and was a proven and already well-established browser. By your logic, we never should have built Firefox and the Web should have stalled with IE6 in 2002.

The world needs a truly open mobile OS as much as it needed a truly open browser a decade ago. Android is open in name only and Google is hurriedly moving its most lucrative components into closed proprietary services and apps that aren't a part of open source Android. iOS is as closed as everything Apple does. Windows is getting some nice HTML5 support for apps, but not nearly enough. There's clearly an opportunity for HTML5 apps to compete on mobile if someone can build a solid alternative platform to the monopolies and silos we're all stuck with today.

Submission + - The Apache Software Foundation now accepting BitCoin for donations (

rbowen writes: The Apache Software Foundation is the latest not-for-profit organization to accept bitcoin donations, as pointed out by a user on the Bitcoin subreddit.

The organization is well known for their catalog of open-source software, including the ubiquitous Apache web server, Hadoop, Tomcat, Cassandra, and about 150 other projects. Users in the community have been eager to support their efforts using digital currency for quite a while.

The Foundation accepts donations in many different forms: Amazon, PayPal, and they’ll even accept donated cars.

On their contribution page the Apache Software Foundation has published a bitcoin address and QR code. As of this afternoon, the address has already collected on the order of 4 BTC.

Comment Re:Mozilla doesn't build hardware (Score 3, Interesting) 89

Your attempt to confuse here isn't really helpful.

Google does *sell* Google Glass and Nexus phones and tablets and Chromecast and Nest and soon Dropcams and probably more. They are "Google products" branded and sold by Google as theirs.

Mozilla only has one device that it works on directly, the Firefox OS Flame reference phone. The rest of the hardware you see out there is being made and sold by someone else.

And that's not just true of the hardware. Much of the work going on to extend Firefox OS software into areas outside of phones is being done by third parties for their products.

Comment Mozilla doesn't build hardware (Score 4, Informative) 89

Mozilla doesn't build hardware. We make software, including Firefox OS. Firefox OS is a completely open platform freely available for any company to build on top of without restriction. There are dozens of companies building Firefox OS-based products today and there will be more tomorrow, covering mobile phones, tablets, TVs, set top boxes, game consoles, streaming dongles, wearables, and more. Some of those companies are working directly with Mozilla and others are taking the code and running with it on their own.

Comment Mozilla is not a public company (Score 1) 564

Mozilla is not a public company. It is a 501C3 tax exempt non profit and its wholly owned taxable subsidiary. Our stockholders are the people of the world. Our decisions are based on maximizing the value of the Internet for the benefit of everyone everywhere, especially those who lack representation from the giant institutional multinational publicly traded corporations like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft.

Submission + - Subversion project migrates to Git (

gitficionado writes: The Apache Subversion project has begun migrating its source code from the ASF Subversion repo to git. Last week, the Subversion PMC (project management committee) voted to to migrate, and the migration has already begun.

Although there was strong opposition to the move from the older and more conservative SVN devs, and reportedly a lot of grumbling and ranting when the vote was tallied, a member of the PMC (who asked to remain anonymous) told the author that "this [migration] will finally let us get rid of the current broken design to a decentralized source control model [and we'll get] merge and rename done right after all this time."

The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison