Chimera Dead?

Mike Pinkerton is pondering what to do with Chimera:

I’m torn about what to do with Chimera. It’s obvious it will only ever be a marginal product on a even more marginal platform. AOL and Netscape have no interest in supporting it. Who aspires to be number two in an already over-commoditized space? Working my ass off for 3% just isn’t any fun any more. Safari has already won, the rest is just to see by how much.

12 days before, he sounded much more optimistic and pointed to Chimera’s strengths:

So I bet you want to know what I think about Safari? … What does it mean for Chimera? Well, we have the ability to be much more flexible simply because we don’t answer to one man: Mr. Happy.… We’re also a real open-source project, not just one that dumps its changes back at the 11th hour because we’re mandated to. That means we get the help of everyone on the net not just in testing, but in development and feedback that is crucial to the success of the milestone releases.

We’ve come a long way in less than a year. Where do we go now? Now that the cat is out of the proverbial bag, we have a chance to openly evaluate what each browser brings to the table and ensure that we’re going in the right direction. Then probably 1.0 after a couple months of polish, then back on the Mozilla trunk so we can pick up a lot of the cooler features that have gone in, as well as speedups (15% by bryner’s latest numbers, and that’s almost as much as we need to catch Safari).

I think it’d be a shame to lose Chimera, even though I don’t directly benefit from it (well, I am using the Chimera theme for Phoenix at the moment) I’ve heard many good things about it from Mac-using friends. It also seems to be an important option for those that aren’t using the latest and greatest version of OS X as Safari requires. This whole conversation is a bit strange to have about an open source project. It may not matter whether there are other options if Chimera still fits some users’ needs.