Should UXP be managed by the community?

Discussions about the development and maturation of the Unified XUL Platform (UXP).
Warning: may contain highly-technical topics.

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Who should own and manage the platform (UXP)?

Moonchild Productions/Moonchild (current situation)
31
94%
Binary Outcast/Tobin
0
No votes
A different existing organization (comment below)
0
No votes
A new Community-sourced organization
2
6%
A particular individual (comment below)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 33

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Moonchild
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Should UXP be managed by the community?

Post by Moonchild » 2020-09-23, 03:24

Our current situation is that I own and manage the platform and its repo. While that has been fine since I also do most of the work for it, there has been some noise that platform releases are very "Pale Moon centric", in that release bases are tied to Pale Moon releases and the release notes for it are referring to Pale Moon (which isn't complete, because those never mention changes for components that aren't included in Pale Moon, but are included in the platform, like changes for WebRTC, EME/DRM, mail/news core, accessibility, parental controls and other things that are not part of a browser or are excluded from Pale Moon builds but that are still part of UXP development).

I have no problem stepping back and letting someone else or some other group take UXP management into their hands and fill a more "application neutral" role in that respect, if that is what the community wants, so I'm creating this poll to probe and see what y'all think should be done.
Please keep polarized opinions to a minimum. You may not agree with certain leadership but that's not what this poll is about and I'd prefer any discussion to remain calm and neutral.
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Re: Should UXP be managed by the community?

Post by RealityRipple » 2020-09-23, 04:34

I kinda feel like https://github.com/MoonchildProductions/UXP/graphs/contributors speaks for itself.
If another person or group wants to manage UXP, they should start off by approaching your level of consistency in working with UXP. Matt's a contender, but he seems to be better suited to the role of bouncer and cleanup crew than frontman (3 million deletions vs 2 million additions).

A big part of this is that there aren't that many programs using UXP that have active developers interested in maintaining and improving UXP at the same time as the program. If they need something, they tend to make do with what already exists. If they really need something, they ask for the change, rather than make a pull request themselves. Working with PM and UXP together simultaneously, while definitely behaving like a train and car on the same track, also means that both actually get somewhere, instead of constantly vying over what direction to take next, or one being left behind as too much weight is tacked on to the other to make up for it.

If you could get some of those fired Mozilla employees to take an interest in their unwanted clone child, maybe there'd be someone with existing underlying experience and interest in pushing UXP forward as its own product, but they all sat back while Firefox became what it is today, so do you really want that kind of person to be guiding the rest of the way for this project, and subsequently the capabilities of all the other projects tied to it?


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Last edited by RealityRipple on 2020-09-23, 06:27, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Should UXP be managed by the community?

Post by athenian200 » 2020-09-23, 06:25

Moonchild wrote:
2020-09-23, 03:24
there has been some noise that platform releases are very "Pale Moon centric", in that release bases are tied to Pale Moon releases and the release notes for it are referring to Pale Moon (which isn't complete, because those never mention changes for components that aren't included in Pale Moon, but are included in the platform, like changes for WebRTC, EME/DRM, mail/news core, accessibility, parental controls and other things that are not part of a browser or are excluded from Pale Moon builds but that are still part of UXP development).
I don't think that particular complaint is well-founded. It might have had some basis last year when Pale Moon and Basilisk were still in the UXP repo complete with official branding and MailNews was a separate thing, but I really think at this point any remaining tendency for UXP to be Pale Moon-centric is a consequence of Pale Moon being the most popular UXP application. Naturally development priorities will tend to reflect that reality. I suppose that the UXP release notes probably need to be more comprehensive and not simply link to the Pale Moon release notes, but fundamentally I don't think we need a change in management at all. Maybe someone else could simply be asked to write the UXP release notes for the rest of the components if you don't have time/energy to cover those other components, but I feel that removing you as the primary manager of UXP would be a bad move.
I have no problem stepping back and letting someone else or some other group take UXP management into their hands and fill a more "application neutral" role in that respect, if that is what the community wants, so I'm creating this poll to probe and see what y'all think should be done.
Please keep polarized opinions to a minimum. You may not agree with certain leadership but that's not what this poll is about and I'd prefer any discussion to remain calm and neutral.
I hope my opinion doesn't come across as polarized, and that I don't sound too dismissive of any of the alternatives, but I feel very strongly that this project must be led by an individual with a strong, clear vision of what is needed. I don't believe a community-sourced organization is a good idea. I believe going that route would lead to hard choices not being made (like the removal of the marquee element that was unpopular but needed for security reasons), and avoiding easy quick-fixes that would back us into a corner (like possibly adopting Rust to solve the WebComponents issue). As long as either Moonchild Productions or Binary Outcast is running the show, I feel reasonably confident that development will get done and the platform will be taken in the necessary direction. However, I do not trust the broader community to govern the platform in a "democratic" fashion. There could be a committee appointed of course, but I feel like even that would lead to slower movement and more argument over merging patches, etc.

It is my opinion that democracy doesn't work with software projects. You wind up with design-by-committee, unpopular decisions needed for the health of the project not being taken, people who don't have the right vision and/or don't have as much invested as the primary developers having too much say in things, and too much gridlock in general. Community-sourced projects tend to wind up losing the spark that made them special and slowly become more bland and unimpressive as the majority of people lack vision and willingness to sacrifice for a long-term goal. What I believe does work, is strong leadership and someone ultimately saying "the buck stops here." For this project, you and Tobin have (whether intentionally or not) provided that leadership and indeed have balanced each other out. I would be extremely worried about UXP if either of you stepped back or kept less of a close eye on things. It would throw things out of balance.

However, that being said, I will respect the results of the poll and not condemn others for their decision if they disagree with me on this matter. I understand that other people will have other perspectives and valid reasons for them, but I wanted to express mine clearly.
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Re: Should UXP be managed by the community?

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2020-09-23, 09:29

My complaint was really that platform releases and release notes were too Pale Moon-centric yes but I feel that what we need is better coordination not an outright leadership change or giveaway to some commons. I just think more balancing the needs of those that use the stable platform releases and better coordination to prep a release is all that needs to be done.

We HAD a very well working groove going through mid-point of the 28-milestone but then 2020 happened and the ad-hoc split-development and WebComponents and other things happened that screwed us all up. I think we can get back to what it was towards the end of 2019 but it is gonna require more communication and better cooperation and coordination.
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Re: Should UXP be managed by the community?

Post by badnick » 2020-09-23, 09:49

I voted but I don't think I should. This issue should not even be put to the vote for all. Only those directly involved in development need to discuss this with each other, because they know exactly what it is about and what the implications are.
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Re: Should UXP be managed by the community?

Post by adesh » 2020-09-23, 10:48

UXP should be managed by people who are currently managing it but I feel UXP needs to see faster releases than Pale Moon. For example when a big feature is considered stable, a UXP release can be announced without waiting for Pale Moon to include it. This way other UXP applications take advantage of the updated platform. Similarly, security fixes should be pushed ASAP in its own release. I think this will cause more work for the project maintainers but it'd help independent developers to adopt changes and get security fixes sooner.

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Re: Should UXP be managed by the community?

Post by Moonchild » 2020-09-23, 11:48

New Tobin Paradigm wrote:
2020-09-23, 09:29
My complaint was really that platform releases and release notes were too Pale Moon-centric
Contrary to what you may think it wasn't just you who complained. I've just taken the feedback to heart.
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Re: Should UXP be managed by the community?

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2020-09-23, 12:16

Adesh, Security changes are done as quickly as possible and is one of the main drivers for minor releases. The problem for major releases how fast should we go.. We have been bitten by shipping some bigger changes too fast before and there has also been a reoccurring issue to do a major release only to turn around and do minor releases for security or minor changes. We have even been in the position of doing a security release THEN a major release.

We know that security updates are on a vaguely four week schedule now with us releasing Pale Moon a week later at the most. However, feature releases are feature driven when stable and there is enough of them. I am not sure we can change how fast THOSE go out.

As of the moment we hit Warp 10.. I mean Pale Moon 28.10 we have been staying closer to the redwood trunk. I dunno if release speed or frequency is something that can be increased without sacrificing stability and testing ala rabid release. What I maintain is that we need better coordinated releases and for stable platform releases to be less "need a new version of Pale Moon" and more "need a new version of Stable UXP" and applications following stable UXP releases need to build or at least a good heads up to the effect of "best get your shit in we are CLOSED-TREE in X days with a release on Smarch 13th".

I do agree we DO need proper UXP Release Notes that don't include the changes for Pale Moon and are more complete than the ones produced for either Pale Moon or Interlink when it comes to Platform features perhaps referencing all issue numbers and any standalone/Issueless commits that go into it. More of a Changelog than Release Notes. For the more technically minded than the human-language centric ones on the websites.
Last edited by New Tobin Paradigm on 2020-09-23, 12:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should UXP be managed by the community?

Post by vannilla » 2020-09-23, 12:27

I'm not going to vote because I agree with badnick that issues concerning management should be talked about between developers (in private or in public, doesn't matter) and ask the community only after some kind of agreement is reached and a feedback is sought.
Since it seems there is still some discussion going around this matter, I'll refrain from voting for the time being.
That said, I'd like to be pointed to a page listing a changelog specific to UXP, rather than having Pale Moon/Basilisk/other more or less repeating the same changes or updates inherited from updating UXP. Something like a bullet point stating "Updated UXP: <link to changelog>".
I don't have any strong feeling one way or another about release frequency.

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Re: Should UXP be managed by the community?

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2020-09-23, 12:38

As far as coordination goes we REALLY need to try harder to make sure our release tags and the state of UXP Releases are set in stone. Too often lately moving or reissuing tags has been a problem especially morning of because the repo has been fetched and old tags are regenerated. We just need to tighten and work more together and I say this not to say "Moonchild needs to work harder" he already does release engineering him self for all of it.. I need to work harder and we all need to communicate and coordinate these releases. We had it nailed before.. We can nail it again I think.
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Re: Should UXP be managed by the community?

Post by smithy » 2020-09-23, 16:56

I don't know enough about software management to comment on release dates, but on simpler level Moonchild and Tobin are the "face" of Pale moon and should remain as the prime movers and shakers.
As Athenian said democratic rule doesn't usually improve the situation, just slows it down and makes it more cumbersome.
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Re: Should UXP be managed by the community?

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2020-09-23, 17:05

I wish I wasn't a face of Pale Moon cause despite my contributions, I haven't been officially a member of the Pale Moon project for almost three years. UXP, sure, Phoebus on Regolith totally but not for this project.
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Re: Should UXP be managed by the community?

Post by Tharthan » 2020-09-23, 22:27

athenian200 wrote:
2020-09-23, 06:25
It is my opinion that democracy doesn't work with software projects. You wind up with design-by-committee, unpopular decisions needed for the health of the project not being taken, people who don't have the right vision and/or don't have as much invested as the primary developers having too much say in things, and too much gridlock in general. Community-sourced projects tend to wind up losing the spark that made them special and slowly become more bland and unimpressive as the majority of people lack vision and willingness to sacrifice for a long-term goal.
I agree.

This discussion is calling back unpleasant memories of what the Wikimedia Foundation has done to Wikipedia over the years. It is frighteningly impressive how much bureaucracy creep will occur when you set up special "foundations" for community projects, especially in this day and age. Politics, stopgap measures rather than long-term solutions, nonsense etc. will inevitably intrude.
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Re: Should UXP be managed by the community?

Post by Moonchild » 2020-09-25, 08:43

Thanks for all the feedback.
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