it seems that i may be beating this netscape thing to death, but at least i’m in good company. in the discussion on yet another great educational bit by joel called netscape goes bonkers, cam unloads a great list of links on managing open source projects:

“Many of the issues Joel raises are more related to the usability of Netscape 6 than they are to the way it was developed. These usability issues can be easily solved, if Netscape took the time to build them in. Unfortunately, Netscape pushed the product out the door too early based on marketing deadlines (Comdex) instead of deadlines based on software quality. So, many of the things that should have been solved during the normal quality assurance process were neglected. Open source software development is a very intriguing concept, and Netscape has almost made it work by using the Mozilla codebase. Unfortunately, because Mozilla is a true open source project, the kinds of project management you find in commercial software development are almost non-existant. This problem is being addressed by many people in the open source software developmeny community:

Anyway, I agree that Netscape 6 is a fine example of poor or non-existant software project management, but am a strong believer in what open source can do for the software industry. The innovations in Mozilla alone are enough to provide a solid application framework to compete against Microsoft’s upcoming .NET services framework. But that’s another discussion altogether.

— Cameron Barrett (, November 21, 2000″

i’ll add one more link that i found in a recent discussion on the mythical man month and open source, entitled Brooks’ Law and open source: The more the merrier?:

“An aphorism from some twenty years ago, Brooks’ Law, holds that adding more programmers to a project only delays it. But if this is so, what accounts for Linux? Paul Jones gathers perspectives on the open source development method and whether it defies conventional wisdom.”

Leave a Reply