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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Will I be providing an Australian English dictionary for Thunderbird V5?

I received the question today Will I be providing an Australian English dictionary for Thunderbird V5?

The answer is, unless I can see a change in Mozilla projects and how they use material from others the answer is no. I no longer support Mozilla projects such as Firefox and Thunderbird.

Open source projects take the work of others and consume the efforts of others for their own benefit. All an open source project needs to do is to link to the sites of others so people can get the work provided by others and then everyone wins. At the moment all that is happening is the open source projects take the work of others, incorporates that work and then the original developer becomes irrelevant and invisible.

Unless a mechanism is put into place to help those who help the projects there will be a constant of churn as people find for all the hours they put in there is no return for their efforts.

With my Australian English dictionary work for project I found that after three years I'd only been contacted by a handful of people. Almost no one contributed anything and almost no one paid anything. I recognised the situation was the same as working for a company. You're effort whilst at the company helps to build the company, but when you leave you have nothing to show for it. I recognised this was happening with open source projects. I decided to take the work outside of the project and at that point the project began to grow and I was able to build dictionaries for a wide range of projects. One by one each project came along and took my work and incorporated it into their project. First it was Firefox, then Google Chrome, next Opera let me know they were going to do the same but to their credit didn't proceed and then finally The circle was complete and the hundreds of hours of time over the years had been wasted.

As a result I no longer support open source projects.

Each of these projects could easily link to the developers site. That way users get the latest and best version of their add-in. It helps the project, it helps the developer and it helps the community. The current approach used by projects of consuming the efforts of others only helps the project.

I apologise to those who I no longer make my work available to. I wish things were different but I need to accept the way things are.

Kelvin Eldridge

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