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Mozilla has had "we'll be #1 again once X is launched!" things since I was there 5 years ago (and servo was one of those things back then). It won't happen.

Mozilla won the browser war. Firefox lost the browser fight. But there's many wars left to fight, and I hope Mozilla dives into a new one.




I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel yet, though that's certainly a sentiment I hear a lot of around town :-)

As technology shifts to a world where most people do not have a monitor on their home computer or a screen on their phone, what it means to be a browser will dramatically change. Certainly, we could post-it the current user experience into whatever we will have tomorrow, but if VR, AR, Speech, and AI and ample cheap private computing power don't excite people for the future of browsers and user agency, I don't know what will.

I know we've been working on tech such as Servo for a long time, but sometimes even just being "better" isn't enough, especially when there's a large legacy gap to close. You also need to get lucky with a point where consumers are making massive changes and open to new things.

I think that time is much sooner than the "always 5--10 years quoted", and you're going to see mind-blowing things on the web in general and supported by the browser and related services specifically. And I'm betting (at least with my current career) that Mozilla will lead the charge.


"Mozilla won the browser war. Firefox lost the browser fight. But there's many wars left to fight, and I hope Mozilla dives into a new one." Very poetic way of putting it. Couldn't agree more!


Mozilla lost the mobile OS war unfortunately if that what's inspiring you.

What's next isn't clear to me


Everybody lost the mobile OS war.

Apple lost it by getting boxed into a market share corner by android. Google lost it by losing control over android. Android OEM's lost it by getting stuck in a cutthroat competition. Microsoft lost it by being microsoft. Users lost it by having no good choices left (either go with the golden cage iphone, or go with the privacy and security mess android).


Google regained control of Android many years ago by progressively moving every bit that matters from AOSP to Google Apps and Google Play Services.

Now OEM have to obey to Google because losing the Google apps and services licence (thus losing the Play store and the whole ecosystem) basically means they're dead as an Android manufacturer.


Except china.


And except Amazon ;-)


Can you elaborate for people not in the loop as much?


Android is pretend-open. Technically, you have to use Google Play to use the Android name. If you use AOSP then you lose the store and Google's proprietary apps, so you have to build an alternative store and plead for third-arty app support.

That works in China because Google is relatively weak there. It also works for Amazon, which has its own store for Fire products.


> Apple lost it by getting boxed into a market share corner by android.

Apple was never likely to license iOS to other manufacturers, nor were they likely to have enough capacity to satisfy the whole market. I reckon they are where they always wanted to be: owning a very profitable and locked-in niche.


>> Apple lost it by getting boxed into a market share corner

You mean the corner where they are the premium smartphone vendor, taking 90% share of global profits? That's a great corner to be boxed into :)


Profits and usage are different categories. Apple might be taking more money home, but that's not what is being discussed. The points being made were about having control and influence over the ecosystem.


Do web developers feel like their applications must support iOS? Why?

Because iOS users are a significant source of potential profit.

Apple doesn't need to maximize usage in order to control the ecosystem - they just need to maximize profit potential.


Our team has become more and more focused on supporting two platforms with our App Development effort, Apple and Samsung. 75% of our users have an iPhone 5S or newer. The remaining 25% is a mix of Android, other iOS devices and older iPhones. Of the Android users, 80% are using some Samsung device.


The Mobile OS war can still be continued. Mozilla should join forces with Lineage OS instead of wasting time with their own. Do the embrace, extend, extinguish strategy with Android.

Secure messaging is also still a hot topic. Join forces with Signal or Wire or Matrix or XMPP. For example, Wire intends to open source their server code and enable federation [0].

Voice control requires some weight for an Open Source solution. Specifically, we could use something which does not rely on the internet. PocketSphinx is an ok foundation, but needs more work.

[0] https://medium.com/@wireapp/open-sourcing-wire-server-code-e...


You should definitely have a look at Mozilla's DeepSpeach https://github.com/mozilla/DeepSpeech/blob/master/README.md


I don't know a single Android user that even knows what Lineage OS is all about.


A vast majority of Android users know nothing about custom ROMs.

However I would say that among those who do know, Lineage OS has a fairly good reputation for quality. You wouldn't be targeting mass adoption with this, you'd be targeting the influencers.


I never heard of it before, and this about page isn't exactly helping:

https://lineageos.org/about/


I bet all the OEM manufactures do. Its not that they care at all about users installing custom ROMs. They will be looking for options to not be tied to Google forever (assuming they have looked at the history of IBM and Microsoft). The problem is they never have to actually release a Lineage OS/Tizen/${insert other phone OS here} they just need a viable option for what they would use instead when they talk to Google about licensing (E.g. Samsung and Tizen).


Fork/Successor to Cyanogen would probably net slightly more recognition.


Servo barely existed 5 years ago.


But it did exist, no?


Yes, but even five years ago people acknowledged that it was going to take more than five years to write a browser engine from scratch. I'm on the record as stating in ~2012 not to expect a usable Servo any sooner than 2017 at the earliest (basing my estimation on the time it took to write V8 from scratch). And that was indeed optimistic, but we are seeing bits of Servo (most importantly WebRender and Stylo) being integrated into Firefox this year.


Hey, you weren't totally wrong. If you want to use a simple and fast web-browser on the bleeding edge of development, you can use Servo today. On all the computers I've tried it on it's been really fast, though with plenty of rendering issues.


It started in 2012. It was a total toy for most of that year, though. I would barely consider it a real engineering project in that state--heck, for quite a while it was a readme and nothing else :)


https://vivaldi.com

The Vivaldi browser has copied the original Firefox user interface and stole the best ideas from the Firefox extension makers so if you want the Chromium web rendering engine with the original Firefox user interface you are served by the Vivaldi browser. Hopefully they will become profitable and release their modification under a free software license.


Mozilla also lost its proud feature - freedom of internet. There is no going back ever.




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