NewsForge: Users Care About Data, Not Software

“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


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