This was originally a reply to Dan Lackey’s post on Flock and the Coop extension coming from Mozilla. However, I realized I had more to say than just a comment on his blog and my thoughts deserved a separate post.
Having been around Flock for pretty much the same time span as you, I would have to agree with you. As a community member, I spent many hours of my time over the last 18 months reading bug reports, SVN commits, etc. Sure those details are open, but you have to dig through mailing lists to find them.
I am faithful that Flock is not vaporware, but I feel, like you, that Flock needs to be more open. Sure anyone can browse through the code, file bug reports, and download “nightlies”. However, what makes or breaks an open-source project is the community. Firefox and Ubuntu are good examples here.
Flock is coming around though. The main wiki is starting to be a place for Design specs. IRC and the developer mailing list are starting to pick up again. But all of these communication channels are for the more technical user (yes, I know. this is a beta so many, if not most, are higher up the technical food chain. but there need to be more user friendly communication channels). For example, Flock’s community dude Evan sent a survey to one of the mailing lists. Ok, that’s a great way to get user feedback. However, the mailing list is a lot less visible than the official flock.com blog. The blog is one click away from flock.com, whereas the mailing list at least 3. So I would suggest cross posting things such as this survey, unless one wants to get feedback from a specific subset of the Flock community.
Ok, I think I am done. Don’t get me wrong, I think Flock is a great product and has enormous potential. I just feel Flock needs to be open in more ways than just source.
P.S. Evan, if you read this, I liked seeing some pics in your Flickr account from Flock HQ. Please make that a regular thing. Makes you all seem more human or something.