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NewsForge: Is Geodesic's Free Gift Helping Mozilla Development?

May 16, 2002, 09:00 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robin Miller)

"Michael Spertus, of Geodesic Systems, has set up a free online demo version of his company's Great Circle software, a real-time error detection and code diagnosis tool, specifically for Mozilla developers. He says Mozilla leaders have been 'supportive,' but he has no way of knowing just how helpful Great Circle has been to the Mozilla development process.

"The demo itself is rather interesting. It can pinpoint areas within Mozilla that account for some of the program's largest problems, identifying them almost down to the offending line of code. Think of this as a mechanized aid to the idea of 'many eyes make all bugs shallow' that allows human developers to skip the annoying step of reading through the millions of lines of code (literally) in Mozilla and go straight to some of the major bugs and fix them.

"Since the Mozilla Great Circle demo requires no login or other identification from users, Spertus has no way of telling how many Mozilla developers have accessed his site or what they have done with the information it has given them. 'It's hard to tell with the Mozilla community because it's so decentralized,' he says. 'I don't actually know how much they have been using the tool...'"

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