Asa seems to have made abundantly clear what’s going on with Seamonkey in some comments on his blog. The initial reaction seems to be a lot of flailing, and not much action, same as has been happening since the oh-so-controversial roadmap update that called for replacing the Suite with standalone apps, which even predates the Mozilla Foundation. Astute readers will note that since November 20th, the roadmap has stated that 1.7 will be Seamonkey’s last stable branch. Considering that 1.4 was supposed to be the last stable branch, that seems a considerable reprieve and a lot of time gained to rally the troops, as it were, to create a framework and a platform for maintaining the Mozilla Suite through future releases, even without core organizational focus. Yet this hasn’t happened. Two years on, there still isn’t any significant groundswell of support for maintaining the monolithic beast.
How do people who do care change that? I believe its time for Seamonkey to follow the lead of the aviary apps:
- Get a small group of committed hackers (probably 8-10 given the size of the app).
- Decide where things should be going, and what the ultimate goals are for the project.
- Choose an app czar to lead the project, and create a roadmap.
- Establish Seamonkey as an app project in parallel with the standalone apps.
- Build a QA team that’s deep enough to manage and properly test potential releases.
There’s still passion out there for the Suite, but it needs to be harnessed and channelled into more than just flaming and complaints. No one gets on a bus if they don’t know where its going and it doesn’t have a driver. So who’s going to drive the bus?
Edit: The answer to the last question isn’t me, sorry. I remain absolutely committed to the Firefox platform and goals, but I’m pointing out what I feel is the best/only way forward for those who want to keep Seamonkey alive and kicking.