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NewsForge: Users Care About Data, Not Software

Sep 28, 2004, 13:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nathan Willis)

"A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article explaining how to migrate your email and addressbook from Ximian Evolution to Mozilla Thunderbird. You might think that this is a straightforward operation, but it isn't. The tools and instructions are below the standards set by other modules in the same programs. Somewhere in the midst of the ordeal, I asked myself why I was going to all this trouble. In a moment of clarity, the answer hit me: users don't care about software, they care about data. And any free software developer who doesn't grasp the significance of that fact runs the risk of failure.

"The distinction between software and data might sound minor, but it couldn't be bigger. I had no allegiance to Ximian Evolution before, and I have none to Mozilla Thunderbird now. My interest lies solely with the contents of my email archive and addressbook..."

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