Archive for the ‘Essays’ Category

Introducing ThunderBrowse's Summer of Funding

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Can you guess where I got that title?

I graduated from high school recently, and I’ve already been approved to my dream college. The problem is that college is expensive and in this world, you have to make money by working.

This means I don’t have time to keep developing my freeware projects anymore as I have to focus on paid work instead.

But I love working on ThunderBrowse because it’s something new and I love helping people. I hope that you guys can help me too.

The truth is that I don’t get paid to work on ThunderBrowse. Ads pay out once every eight months and I only get about $100 dollars (ads pay near to nothing [it’s such a ripoff]). I also don’t get many donations on behalf of the project.

The thing is that I have lots of great ideas for features to add to ThunderBrowse, many of them that you guys, the community, have suggested that I add. With college approaching, I need to be focusing on paid assignments.

But you can help, and this is where Summer of Funding comes in.

What is Summer of Funding?


ThunderBrowse Popup Window

Summer of Funding is a little of experiment that I want to try with the users of Thunderbird and ThunderBrowse in general.

Users can donate money that will support the continuation of ThunderBrowse development and help me pay part of my college tuition for the first year.

I’m going to set up a milestone system, so that whenever the monetary amount hits a milestone, I’ll start working on a new feature that will greatly improve ThunderBrowse.

I’ve yet to decide how exactly new features will be chosen for each milestone (milestones are every $200 dollars [thus there are 5 milestones]) but most of these features will be ones that are most requested. I might put up a poll to decide what gets worked on next.

3.2.7 will be the last version that will have anything new or big in it as I’ll not be available to work on ThunderBrowse during college. If you really want to get some new and improved features and fixes added, then help me out! 😀

How can I help?

You can donate to the project. Currently, we accept payment via Paypal (you can pay with your credit card [you do not need an account with paypal to donate]).

Click here to donate to the ThunderBrowse project.


ThunderBrowse license

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Recently, AMO decided that all extensions hosted must have a software license, or the addon cannot be updated.

Being Mozilla, the only licenses available were completely open source software licenses. However, ThunderBrowse is free software, but not open source but most free software licenses were way too limiting or too open.

For example, one of the Microsoft Public licenses applies to C++, C# and Javascript files. It sounds great, until you look further in. One of the requirements is that your software has to run on Windows only and your software cannot be used in a business environment.

This prompted me to write my own license using the W3C License as a template. Nothing has really changed from what I’ve said in the past.  ThunderBrowse is free to use but not open source.

The new license can be found here:

In a nutshell:

  1. Users can distribute ThunderBrowse as long as it is the one from AMO and complies with the present distribution rules.
  2. ThunderBrowse is free to use and download.
  3. ThunderBrowse cannot be sold [1].
  4. You can modify ThunderBrowse for your own personal use BUT you CANNOT distribute your changes in any way [2].
  5. ThunderBrowse cannot be bundled with other works [3].
  6. No derivative works are allowed.
  7. Software is provided as-is and GameSpotting! Networks is not responsible for any problems that may occur.
  8. Babelzilla translators own their respective translations.

[1]: This clause has an exception that is mainly focused on print media such as magazines. I will only allow ThunderBrowse to be sold with my express written permission (this means if you want to sell a magazine bundled with a CD/DVD and it contains ThunderBrowse you need to get my permission).

[2]: We don’t want people changing and/or distributing individual files and/or wrapping the changes they and/or someone else made into an extension and then distributing it. If you created a custom skin for ThunderBrowse using Stylish or something, by all means, please upload it. This clause may change to no modifications at all if problems arise.

[3]: This pertains to software bundling that some people do. We don’t want ThunderBrowse to be bundled with anything unless we say that it is okay (again, asking for permission is the way to go).

A Different Perspective: Reviews

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Every now and then, I receive a very vague review stating that ThunderBrowse is “bad”. The reviewer never explains why it’s “bad” or what problems they were having. It’s just “bad”. I recently have received one of these reviews and felt like yelling at the person. But instead of doing that, I thought that maybe some people don’t understand how to review. Hopefully, this post will to shine some light on some new reviewing tips and what it’s like to be on the receiving end of such criticism.