> LQ Radio > LQ Radio Interview #3 – Asa Dotzler

LQ Radio Interview #3 – Asa Dotzler

In this edition of the LQ Radio Interview Series we have Asa Dotzler, of the Mozilla Foundation. In the interview, Asa covers how he got turned on to Open Source and Firefox, why the FF 1.1 release morphed into 1.5, where Firefox and the MoFo are headed, his thoughts on IE7, and what browser he’d use if he couldn’t use Firefox. He also gets into some detail about his recent comments about Linux on the desktop. Total running time is 1:21. A BitTorrent is available.



Firefox, Mozilla, Linux

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Trackback by Jeremy's Blog
2005-07-27 19:56:23

Interview with Asa

I just posted an interview I did with Asa over at LQ Radio. We covered a lot of ground …

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2005-07-27 20:14:43 radio interview

Today, Jeremy from interviewed me for LQ Radio. You can check it out here….

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Comment by AXO
2005-07-28 03:49:44

Excellent interview Jeremy.

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Comment by Aaron J. Seigo
2005-07-31 05:08:32

interesting interview with Asa. i think he’s correct on several points, such as not waiting for the Dells of the world to pick up the Linux desktop and start shipping it by default. he’s also dead on when he says we need to create a diverse, large and balanced community. and i resonated with what he said about extensibility being a means to offer features without pushing them on users by default.

however, i think he vastly trivializes many issues and draws many false parallels between his experience with Firefox and the open source desktop. the open source desktop is not a single application like a web browser, so the whole parallel of being able to install Linux next to Windows and have people use it at home is similar to installing Firefox alongside IE is not particularly credible.

also, contrary to Asa’s claims, while most people don’t enjoy configuring applications, such configuration is absolutely necessary in many situations. think of groupware, email, office applications … we can’t simply strip most desktop applications down like you can with a web browser and hope people will find it useful.

he also seems to assume that the growth of Linux on the desktop is going to be individual windows users. this is almost certainly false. open source desktop growth will happening, indeed _is_ happening through institutional deployments (corporate, government, schools, etc). there are many, many reasons for this, some of which i’ve covered in the past on my blog.

so while i agree with Asa that we need to make our own magic and that we need to grow our community and market share, i fear that as someone who spends his time on a web browser suite and who primarily uses windows he seems to be missing a lot of the necessary bits of perspective to provide accurate analysis on this matter. which is no slight to him; i probably couldn’t talk with great authority on the nuances of w3c technologies.

it would be nice to get someone who is both progressive and intimately involved with the open source desktop movement discussing these issues in a future LQ radio episode.

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Trackback by Jeremy's Blog
2005-07-31 19:34:25

Firefox Tabs

Just wanted to thank everyone who contacted me about Firefox tabs after listening to the latest LQ Radio interview with …

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Comment by Adam Kosmin
2005-08-05 12:32:17

This guy would be better off just sticking with Windows or Mac. He is obsessed with reducing the number of choices available to users of GNU/Linux. One size does not fit all. This point should be obvious just by looking at the number of choices that do exist with browsers, distros, editors, servers, and other aspects of the system that have been created to run with the Linux kernel. The point being that people had itches to scratch and this platform affords them the ability to do it.

I’m tired of hearing views like this that are based off the desire to increase marketshare. People don’t need to be conditioned (and belittled by being referred to as “regular people” and members of the “most users” group) into using GNU/Linux because it is gaining market share. They need to learn about it because it provides and protects their FREEDOM. That is the point of the GPL license and that is what’s missing from this guy’s agenda.

All the best,

Adam Kosmin

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Comment by Gian Paolo Mureddu (Thetargos)
2005-08-07 19:09:40

Very interesting interview. Asa has a lot of insight about a lot of things, especially usability. While I may not agree 100% with him, he’s got some good points, especially the overwhelming choices… Ture it is good to have choices, but may be a bit cumbersome to some people to find what to use… I actually have stumble into people that are overwhelmed about the amount of choices they’ve got in Linux, and while they appreciate it, they usually end up saying “why can’t I have less options?” (yeah, a bit strange, huh?), and I usually walk them on how to uninstall all the applications they do not want. In any case he does make some really good points (besides the choice) about Linux in the Desktop, and maybe we as the Linux communtiy should start paying attention to comments like those.

My 2¢

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Comment by Mimithebrain
2005-08-31 15:15:04

Asa is right. He is right because he reflects the best point of view about simplicity. He reflects the opinion of, say, of the regular user (such as Jeremy’s father ;) and other similar)

If I understand Asa correctly, all we need to do is to make the changes transparent, just like the CTRL+D and CTRL+L issue. Linux and Windows aren’t much different from each other, from the normal user’s standpoint. The normal user doesn’t care about the OS or apps, it just works and that’s all they want. They don’t want to “jump through all the hoops”

However, I don’t see how eliminating KDE or GNOME is going to get us market share. I want to be able to choose my WM.

Hi I’m mimithebrain, and I’m a KDE user.

Finally, I totally agree that most people use Windows because it’s there preloaded in the box, not because they chose it. … If we want to reach beyond the power user population, we need to get those distros on those computers when they come out of the box.

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Pingback by » Podcast
2006-05-16 19:36:26

[...] The other day I heard a cool interview with Asa Dotzler of the Mozilla foundation.  You can find it here.  They talked about how Firefox became successful.  Doztler also talks about how he thinks Linux can gain more of the desktop market.  I don’t totally agree…listen and let me know what you think! [...]

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