Comments on unmaintained products and technogies (bug 441414 #2)
Joshua Cranmer 🐧
Pidgeot18 at gmail.com
Sun Dec 28 20:57:48 UTC 2014
On 12/26/2014 2:14 PM, Kent James wrote:
> (In reply to Ryan Yagatich from comment #202)
> > ... developers have been seemingly forbidden to code with XUL
> In a large project like the Mozilla platform, at any point in time
> there are lots of technologies X where the prevailing viewpoint is
> something like "We would like to replace X Real Soon Now, so we should
> top investing in X" which sometimes gets interpreted as "you are
> forbidden to code in X". Don't exaggerate the importance of these
> announcements, if you do you will find it difficult to do anything in
> a large project like Firefox or Thunderbird, as large portions of the
> code are affected by one or more of these pronouncements. Thunderbird
> as a whole is under one of these pronouncements, and yet many of us
> labor along investing our efforts in the product and disagree with
> that attitude.
> People sometimes don't appreciate that reviewing code changes can take
> as much or more time than doing the change in the first place,
> particularly when the code is both 1) important and 2) relatively
> obsolete. In the specific case of bug 441414, we had the unfortunate
> confluence of those factors causing difficult reviews, with 3) a
> developer unfamiliar with Mozilla culture, who made excessive demands
> on reviewers, and 4) code that primarily affected Thunderbird, while
> the reviewers were primarily Firefox reviewers. These are not the best
> conditions to make policy, like "we will not improve XUL". When
> combined with a common attitude in Mozilla culture of "once we've
> decided something, we can't change our mind" it can lead to
> unfortunate results.
This came about in a m.d.platform post where Robert O'Callahan first
advocated effectively moving XUL to maintenance-mode only, adding a
caveat that new features could be added were there a compelling reason,
which I've interpreted to mean "Firefox wants it." I've noticed that
Mozilla has seemed to move to a mode where some people are outright
hostile to anything not Firefox.
> Personally, I interpret that policy to mean "we will not invest lots
> of reviewer time to improve XUL." We have the power to move forward if
> we want to, we just don't have the right to expect excessive review
> time from Firefox developers.
It's not a matter of reviewer time--it's a matter of WONTFIX resolution:
the owner of the module will absolutely refuse to accept any patches.
Thunderbird and DXR developer
Source code archæologist
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