World Of Open Source Software

World Of Open Source Software

By Reza Ganjavi

I use Thunderbird (TB) from Mozilla as an email client -- "Client" in techie talk is a program that runs on your machine (vs. a server) -- in modern language, an APP -- which are Application programs.

I've used other email clients before but TB is the best. In the Microsoft world, Outlook has a serious problem and that is all emails are stored in one file and that file does get corrupted and all mails are gone (except backups of course).

Outlook Express has a big problem with integrity. Things just get corrupted.

TB is SOLID. But the latest version has a bug.

So this is the latest way the bug process works. You report a bug on the Mozilla support portal. It gets reviewed and you go back and forth discussing it. If it's confirmed as a bug (which the one I reported today was), it's sent from MOZILLA to BUGZILLA.

BUGZILLA is where it's at. There are machines that get the bugs and log and route them. So a group of open-source programmers (volunteers across the planet) get the report and start assessing it. It gets assigned if it gets enough votes from others or if a programmer thinks it's important or just likes it and wants to fix it.

So mine was assessed by Andre who had a question. I provided additional steps. Later I emailed the group in charge of that pool with a PLEASE fix this I beg you kind of message. One of them forwarded it to Andre! So here I am talking to Andre via email :)

I'm supposed to go to "irc" on the weekday after New year to get it assigned to a programmer but hopefully Andre will fix it and it will go in Thunderbird's next release.

This is a VERY COOL system.

If you found a bug in a corporate program like Microsoft's Outlook for example, you would never be talking to a programmer directly or getting this kind of a rapid response.

By the way, I have a file of technical tips I collect for my own reference that I drop solutions I find to problems I come by in there for future reference: