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In a swipe at Chrome, Firefox now blocks ad trackers by default (wired.co.uk)
679 points by whalabi 17 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 420 comments

Those who want a world where Firefox has a higher market share and mind share, please consider doing the following:

1. Evangelize Firefox to people you know any chance you get and show them all the reasons why its better than Chrome (focus on privacy as an important point). Show them how great browsing can be with a few key extensions (like uBlock Origin, Containers, Privacy Possum, etc.). This does not imply that Mozilla is beyond criticism or that Firefox should not be held to a higher standard.

2. If you can, donate money to Mozilla regularly. [1] As of a couple of years ago (IIRC), more than 90% of Mozilla's revenue was from its partnership with Google for being the default search engine in many geographies. As long as this remains true, Google will only tolerate Firefox being a viable competitor while Firefox still remains as small to moderately sized competition (to avoid antitrust action). If/when Firefox gains a much larger piece of the market, Google will (as it has been doing all these years) even more forcefully use its money and marketing muscle on all its properties as well as add more tiny annoyances on its properties to make Firefox seem buggy citing tangential things like "web standards" or "pushing the web forward" and other euphemisms that companies like Google use to crush competition.

IMO, there needs to be a lot more individual funding of Mozilla while keeping it accountable to users and as per its own manifesto. The level of competition among browsers right now leaves us all vulnerable.

Edit: After seeing a reply to this comment, I did a quick search and found that donating money to Mozilla means donating to the Mozilla Foundation, and that the money may not go to funding Firefox development, which is part of Mozilla Corporation. See this discussion from December 2018 on reddit. [2] It may be desirable for at least part of the donation (as decided by Mozilla Corporation) to go to Firefox development. Does it already happen that way or is there a way to get this result, like in the case of Mozilla Thunderbird where donations go to that project (alone)?

[1]: https://donate.mozilla.org

[2]: https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/a98gmi/donations_t...

Is there some way to ensure the donation money will actually go to Firefox and not to some sort of "diversity" campaign?

I get the desire to fund one specific project directly (like I get to do with Mozilla Thunderbird where I know I'm donating to that project directly) or at least have part of one's donations go to the development of Firefox. But it doesn't seem like that's possible at all. I have edited my comment above to reflect that.

I personally value everything that Mozilla Foundation does (including diversity campaigns) and wouldn't hesitate to donate to it (I've been donating for a few years now), but I would also like to donate to Mozilla Corporation and directly fund its activities, even if it means some money may go to Pocket or Lockwise or anything else. I don't want to micromanage how the company manages my money. It would be defeatist and unfair to ask that, IMO.

Donations have a nice way of revealing value misalignment between the donating and receiving party. Like e.g. I'd like to donate to Firefox, maaaybe Thunderbird, but not Pocket or diversity campaigns. Money is technically fungible, but that works only if it's enough of unassigned money - if N dollars get donated "for Firefox" and then Firefox development receives less than N dollars, I'd feel cheated as a "for Firefox" donor.

Anyway, I can see this being inconvenient for Mozilla. But it is desirable for some users. I don't see how it is defeatist, and it's not unfair either - donors can say, "we want to give money for specific purposes", and Mozilla can accept or refuse. Neither outcome is unfair to anyone; donations are still voluntary transactions.

"Defeatist and unfair" are bizarre ways to describe it, but I'm not sure how the earmarking process would work: what would prevent Firefox from ostensibly allocating your dollars as donated to Firefox and shifted unconstrained dollars from Firefox to another initiative, with your donation ending up funding non-FF activities relative to the counterfactual? Barring the narrow case where they have more FF-only donations than unconstrained ones, this just seems like an accounting fiction.

To some extent it is, if they have other sources of money. Yes, if there's $N in the donations "for Firefox only" and the budget they planned to give Firefox based on other sources is $X, X > N, then they could keep the budget at $X and move the now free $N to other purposes.

But it can be made more complicated by that, depending on the organizational policies, levels of transparency, and funding methods. If, for example, they have an internal fund labeled "for Firefox", I'd expect $N in donations to go there, and would be pissed if less money appeared. Alternatively, if they were running a funding model of "$X for Firefox + money from donations", then I'd be pissed if Firefox was getting less than $X + $N (this would be equivalent to the recent "companies are stealing tips" dramas of share economy).

It's worth noting that charities handling multiple causes usually solve this by creating separate accounts for donating to each cause.

This ultimately can get as complex as Mozilla would like, but Mozilla has also a perfectly valid option of not allowing donations for specific purposes at all, and I think it's fine if they do that. Donors have no right to force Mozilla to implement earmarking if they don't want to.

If you have a company, hiring FF developers who are allowed to contribute directly to Firefox may be a good contribution.

If you are trying to avoid funding administration/marketing you can offer bug bounties for Firefox or Servo.

How would one go about this? I don’t see a way to donate to a bounty or create one.

You can use a generic OSS bug bounty market place, eg. Bounty Source.


Which then take 10% off the top for administration of the platform. You cannot avoid funding administration, as that function enables the distribution of the money in the first place.

Of course distribution isn't free, but it can be made very efficient. So it follows that people will shop around.

That's a good solution, I might start doing that.

Sure: pay money directly to one of a thousand developers to implement missing functionality or fix pressing bugs in Firefox and make a pull request on it.

For example: I see that Firefox still hasn't yet made all SVG elements attributes into presentation attributes per the SVG 2 spec. So right now in Firefox you can't do 'rect.style.width = "12px"' but in Chrome you can.

Not sure you could easily get full coverage (e.g., I'd bet css "d" atty would be tricky). But there's probably a fairly workable introductory subset for which one could create a fairly clean patch set.

Or pick a different self-contained, non-controversial feature/bug and fund a dev to attack it.

I'm sure that funding for "a tiny feature" or fixing "one tiny bug" would be beyond what most users can pay for at an individual level and still have the developer make a decent living. All the work that's desired to be done needs collective donations to be pooled and used since individual donations would be very small by nature.

I'm addressing a single HN poster who seems genuinely puzzled about how to target their support directly toward improvements to the FF codebase.

You've jumped to discussing an imagined general purpose digital payment pooling system that works at scale.

Your suggesting feels good at a personal connection scale (i.e. you fixed my bug painpoint, have some dosh), but really to get the sort of traction where the donations are viable you'd be working at a much larger scale right? Plus, why should the donator does each do this all headwork? Charities make it easy to donate for a reason, it increases donations... Specifically on the topic of scale, if the donations are small enough to not run into this problem, they are probably too little to impact anything, hence scale matters if the donations do.

I like the approach but I don't think I could individually fund a dev, or really do much more than buy them a few meals

Hell, just start by filtering the open bugs for stale pull requests. Find the handful that look relatively self-contained and get in touch with the dev who wrote the patch and go from there. A lot of times they just assumed nobody gave a shit and will quickly revise the patch if there was a problem with it.

Better yet-- buy a few meals for a dev to write a tool to generate this data for you.

Money is fungible. You could donate simply to keep them afloat regardless of their campaigns, in acknowledgement that the sum total of their activities is a massive positive that doesn't need nitpicking.

Otherwise, you can recruit and hire someone to write the features you approve of.

If I give Mozilla more money than they were anticipating, will they put it aside for a rainy day? Or will they expand their ambitions to fit their new budget and find themselves impoverished again next year?

Money is fungible but budgets have a nasty habit of being elastic.

Mozilla can go a full year without revenue currently (their financials are public). I wish more of their meeting minutes were public though.


Money is fungible only if there's more money in each budget than money donated for that budget. If there was total $N donations explicitly marked "for Firefox", but Firefox budget could only use $M < $N, then the remaining $(N - M) isn't free to be reallocated to a different budget.

Yikes why would you not want companies investing in diversity? Especially if they are the interface to our online world?

I suppose if he wanted to donate to a diversity campaign, he'd donate to one directly.

Wikipedia is a big one for this: the donation campaign is all about 'keeping our servers running', and then huge chunks of the spending goes on community feelgood stuff.

I've nothing against diversity campaigning but if you were to treat donation like any other 'purchase' you'd be pretty miffed if you thought you were ordering a cheeseburger and you got a carrot and the waiter gave himself a bottle of beer.

> I suppose if he wanted to donate to a diversity campaign, he'd donate to one directly.

This interpretation of his comment is... generous. I agree that there's a legitimate point around wanting your donation to go specifically to browser development and not overhead or other side-projects, but it's pretty clear that he was using the word diversity contemptuously.

Perhaps OP feels that the specific strategy Mozilla employee for helping diversity is ineffective; in the same manner that refusing to donate to ineffective anti-poverty charities, is not the same as supporting poverty.

Edit: rather than trying to read OP's mind or surmise what they may be thinking, I'll give my own experience on this. I have seen companies spend money on diversity as lip-service, or targeting groups that don't really aid diversity much.

As much as I support female/LGBTQ/race rights and diversity, I suspect many companies I have been a part of would have got a better number of "units of diversity per dollar spent" had they spent money on people from lower socio-economic classes, or countries with poorer education/access to facilities (or maybe combined with the previous groups; I suspect the middle+ classes of female/LGBTQ/different ethnic origin groups are far better catered for than their working class counterparts).

But perhaps people don't consider social class or country of origin diversity? Perhaps "we hired lots of underprivileged people" doesn't give as much political capital? I'm not sure.

I agree with this. It might not be that he feels contemptuously about eliminating discrimination but rather than that he's unhappy with the way diversity campaigns are run.

Sometimes it seems to me that whereas in the past we had Churches in a privileged position, telling us how to behave, that we now have NGOs doing the same thing.

For example there was just last week a report in the UK about how employees in oxfam shops had sign NDAs in settlements so that the organisation would not get negative publicity for not practicing as they preach.

The irony is, females/LGBTQ/race rights compromise, statistically, a large majority of the lower socio-economic class and are poorly educated (especially with regards to race).

It's very perplexing that you make this conclusion as a legitimate opposition to diversity.

I think particularly in the US, there is certainly a link between race rights and socio-economic class, but I think to that end ,improving access to education and helping lift those in the least-privileged socio-economic class out of poverty would do a lot more to combat racial imbalance than anything else. As far as female/LGBTQ rights, I'm not aware of them being statistically more likely to come from a lower socio-economic class, but I could well be wrong!

If I donate to cancer research and find out that the money went on a "diversity in research" campaign, I'd be of the opinion that my money had been misused. Not because diversity in sciences isn't important, but because that wasn't what I wanted to spend my donation on.

I think diversity is just being used as a proxy for "social do-gooding, rather than tech do-gooding" and the commenter feels the former is not the thing s/he cares to support. Which is fine! I choose not to support all sorts of nominally good things. Lets not witch-hunt people for caring about different things.

I can't speak for the OP, but just so we don't a priori pin opposition to diversity campaigns as indefensible, I really loathe them. It's a real position people have!

Orders and purchases are different from donations and gifts.

True, but if I donate to a charity because I'm passionate about their mission of X and instead they spend their money on Y which is still a worthy cause, but one I'm less passionate about, I'm not likely to donate to that charity again - because my aim is to donate towards X.

Hell, X and Y don't even have to be all that different. Did you know Make-A-Wish doesn't grant wishes for hunting or fishing, while other charities do that exclusively?

When you provide a general purpose donation to a charity, you're giving them a gift. You're entrusting them to do with it what they think is best. If you don't trust them to do the right thing, don't give them the money in the first place, or donate to a specific campaign if they offer such opportunities.

Unless they turn out to be deceitful, duplicitous, or otherwise exceptionally wasteful, second guessing and/or judging their decision making process from the outside isn't likely to be a particularly fruitful endeavour for any of the parties involved.

If you want to explicitly target a very narrow case, you need to donate explicitly to that very narrow case. There are NPOs and charities that provide this kind of explicit service[0], for narrow targeted funding where you control exactly where your money goes. If you donate to an organisation with a broader mission, you shouldn't have any specific expectations of where that money is spent.

[0] e.g. https://www.donorschoose.org/

People who write large checks never donate unrestricted funds because they know how terrible charities are ran.

Do you want to make $10k a year for 5 years on something that costs you $2k? Buy a copier on ebay and lease it to a 501(c)3. That's why smart donors restrict funds.

The point is that they say they will use it for purpose X, but instead they use it for Y.

A lie is a lie whether it is related to a donation or a purchase.

Mozilla is quite open about what they do and where the money goes, nobody is lying:

"The direct work of the Mozilla Foundation focuses on fueling the movement for a healthy internet. We do this by supporting a diverse group of fellows working on key internet issues, connecting open Internet leaders at events like MozFest, publishing critical research in the Internet Health Report, and rallying citizens around advocacy issues that connect the wellbeing of the Internet directly to everyday life."

But what if you want to only support software development and not social development?

I think this is the crux of this thread of discussion.

I'm not sure that's a compatible position to be having, especially in the context of wanting a privacy-focused browser alternative to Chrome.

It's inherently a social development in the form of software.

Development of code is a technical action. Can you explain why a secondary action outside of writing code is required simply based on the results of the code?

Surely you aren't suggesting that for Google to develop anti-privacy code would require them to have anti-privacy social development?

Development of code is not, strictly, a technical action. Otherwise, how would you know what to develop unless you discussed the requirements of the customer? Discussing requirements with the customer, or even within your team, involves several facets of industry, including diversity.

For example, if you were trying to construct an app to measure diversity, you would need to know what category to measure, how to measure it, how to present it, etc.

And getting requirements right is paramount to the results of the code.

Of course, there are projects where these discussions are probably minimal (such as a kernel for instance), but in most cases, it compromises the majority of software development.

Are you saying that Mozilla's only social development is asking questions and "getting requirements"?

And I entirely disagree that programming code /requires/ any social interaction at all. You can do it purely alone in a basement with no contact with anyone.

Yes, if you're making your own product. If you're not making your own product (ie. company development), then it's not purely a technical exercise.

Even if you're making your own product, you at least want to get market data and/or customer feedback once you release it. Otherwise, what's the point of selling a product if your customers don't like it?

And I'm not saying that gathering requirements is Mozilla's only social development. I'm saying that you underestimate how much social involvement there is to development, especially on the organization level, where code isn't purely technical.

Do you feel their is a difference between asking people what they want in a browser and telling people how they should live their personal lives?

Because I think that is a core distinction many of the commenters are concerned about here.

Not really, Mozilla tells you to use its browser. So does every product. Why is that an issue? You're telling me you want to live a life where people aren't telling you how you should live? Just by the fact of the organization asking the people for feedback is an invitation for people to tell them what to do.

If you don't want people telling you what to do, Hacker News ain't a great place to be.

It will be a sad day when the only services and products you can buy or use require fealty to their world view.

The thread I'm replying to has moved on to implying Mozilla is being misleading by using funding or social development.

Are you saying Mozilla does _not_ have social development projects?

A specific comment on part of this thread seems to indicate it's part of their charter. (or something, not sure what to call it)

Mozilla explicitly states that they have social development projects. Mozilla is not misleading anyone. The commentor you're replying to explicitly posted[0] this a few comments up as well:

> "The direct work of the Mozilla Foundation focuses on fueling the movement for a healthy internet. We do this by supporting a diverse group of fellows working on key internet issues, connecting open Internet leaders at events like MozFest, publishing critical research in the Internet Health Report, and rallying citizens around advocacy issues that connect the wellbeing of the Internet directly to everyday life."

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20876014

Thanks, that was the comment I recalled. You seemed to imply that Mozilla was being up front about where the money was being spent.

Do you have any documentation on the budget inside Mozilla? Because I think this would solve the issue of transparency for many people here.

If only a tiny fraction of the money went to social programs, maybe more people wouldn't care. But if it's a significant portion, then maybe they are being misleading. Either way, it would end some debate on the matter.


As a foundation (charity/NFP) its records are, by law, very transparent. Any issue of transparency has been invented.

Thanks for the link. Since I am not an accountant, I don't think I could look at this paperwork and determine how their budget works.

Is anyone here an accountant? Or know of a summary online somewhere by an accountant? The tax paperwork for the company I work at is many hundreds of pages (if not thousands), and I know I could not determine from that paperwork how the money is spent. I'd need actual access to internal books, and even then I'd likely not be able to tell.

It seems some budget clarity is in their annual reports:

>"In addition to building products and technology, Mozilla also invests in people and organizations around the world who share its mission."


Who are they supporting?

Some real numbers from this page:

>In 2017, Mozilla spent $966,365 on its agenda-setting work.

>In 2017, Mozilla spent $2,733,016 to support our mobilization work.

>In 2017, Mozilla spent $13,256,720 to support the Mozilla Leadership Program.

This last bit is suspicious, mainly because it's the same technique used by IKEA to avoid millions in taxes and in this circumstances is a bit scam-like. (trademark royalties)

>$10.1M of this revenue came from the proceeds from Firefox, which are transferred from Mozilla Corporation to Mozilla Foundation through a trademark royalty agreement.

So here's a clear statement that $10.1 million dollars is moved away from Firefox development and put into the Mozilla Foundation.

Why this is really odd is because Mozilla Corp is owned by Mozilla Foundation. Why is the parent organization taking funding from the corporation it's supposed to be supporting?

So, it seems that many people are right about Mozilla being clear about where their money is going, but no one seems to be stating they truly understand where that is. This seems like three car monty with donations to Firefox.

Mozilla's financials are public.

It is explicitly part of their charter, that's why claiming that they are spending donations on things like diversity is "misleading" are not correct.

I did a bit of digging, and I am starting to agree they are being open about where their money is going.

But I'd argue you don't know where the money is going. I just found that in 2017 income from Firefox development was syphoned off to pay from Mozilla Corporation to Mozzila Foundation to pay for various programs and re-donated to others.

Every marginally legitimate non-profit in the US that solicits and gets donations has restricted funds. Money from that fund cannot go to anything other than what those moneys were received for.

Non-profits hate that because that money cannot be used for G&A, their other pet projects, feel good stuff or say charitable events used for fundraising (you know, the fabulous parties that non-profits throw - spend $300k to raise $303k while important people at the non-profit have a good time being photographed). Make sure to donate to restricted funds. In that case your funds will either be returned to you ( your donation rejected ) or it will be used with the restrictions you put on it.

For the downvoters:


As far as I can tell Mozilla does not have a spot to select what the donations go to. I haven't gone past the first screen on the donation page so maybe its further down the process.

They do have the option to send a check so you could restrict it for only Firefox development but any money that is not restricted is fungible. This means if I donate $100 for Firefox development they can take another $100 (that is not restricted) that they would have used on Firefox on something else. Most people do not mark their donations as restricted so I would still for all intents and purposes be funding something other than Firefox.

While wording could be improved, the point stands. I want my money to be used for working on Firefox (the core browser) and for that exclusively. Not something like Pocket or whatever Mozilla thinks it should bring out that nobody asked for. There is no way to ensure this, so I will not give any money at all.

> There is no way to ensure this, so I will not give any money at all.

Please keep in mind that this is not a personal attack as I don't know you and I don't find it particularly constructive to engage in this kind of attacks, so please only focus on my argument:

I cannot understand this way of thinking.

On one hand we have the option to give Mozilla some money to use them however they see fit.

This means that from the sum of the donations they can use whatever percentage they see fit to fund different products/aspects, e.g. the engineering department so that they can keep working on Firefox, the marketing department to increase the awareness and drive adoption, the user researchers to better understand their user needs etc.

On the other hand we have the "default" stance where we don't support what Mozilla is doing.

This means that the development of Firefox, the marketing to raise awareness etc, are depended on Google and on Pocket which is something that we want to get away from.

I think it mostly boils down to some simple questions and how we feel about the answers:

- Do I prefer to know that all my money go to hire more engineers and improve Firefox? Probably (tbh personally I would focus a bit more on user research, it's the everyday people that they should be after, not us)

- Do I prefer to allow Mozilla to be depended on Google? Definitely not.

- Can my donations be used to make the current situation worse (i.e. tie them tighter on Google's business)? No.

So for me, although I don't control where my money goes, I think that they can only be used to improve things.

> I cannot understand this way of thinking.

If you ask me, it’s because most of us work very hard for our money and don’t have a lot to spare.

If we are going to make the sacrifice of donating, we want to make sure the sacrifice is worth it.

If my hard earned money is going to be used for something like the moz://@ nonsense, it’s not worth the sacrifice.

If it’s going to be used to support development of privacy features in the browser, then it is.

I think you left out an absolutely huge question that dwarfs all of those in importance.

What other good can I do with my dollars?

That donating to Mozilla wont make it worse is such a low bar when there are kids that need malaria nets or deworming or whatnot.

If you think about the opportunity cost of donating to an organisation thats doing some things you think are really important as well as some things that you think are only kinda sorta important, when there are organisations that focus 100% on things you think are really important, then that should clear things up for you.

> I cannot understand this way of thinking.

I want Mozilla to build a browser and a mail program. Nothing else. It's easy as that.

And if I have to "fear" that they will use my money to build something else, I will not donate to them.

Think of them as a company with several products. People would buy Firefox, they would buy Thunderbird, but probably nobody would buy the aforementioned "moz://" product or Pocket.

In a traditional company this would lead to a production stop of the later two and to a better focus on the first two products.

With Mozilla, and other donation-based "companies" it will not work that way. There will be other stuff that gets allocated lots of money, because "the money is there" and needs to be used.

FWIW people do buy Pocket.


> I want Mozilla to build a browser and a mail program. Nothing else. It's easy as that.

Then buy Mozilla, the company, or buy FF/mail server devs to do it. By donating to mozilla you are actually supporting at least one effort Mozilla is participating in. If their revenue goes down after pursuing Pocket, then Mozilla will understand in general their donors don’t approve of pocket. On another coin, by not donating to Mozilla one also is fine with not funding FF/Mail because money just might go to things one doesn’t approve of.

> Then buy Mozilla, the company, or buy FF/mail server devs to do it.

Stupid argumentation. If you don't like the new Apple MBP keyboards, you don't buy Apple itself, but just another notebook from another vendor. Same thing applies here, just that I don't need to "not buy" something but can just decide not to donate.

> On another coin, by not donating to Mozilla one also is fine with not funding FF/Mail because money just might go to things one doesn’t approve of.

No need to make me feel guilty. Simply decouple those projects cleanly from each other and everything is fine. If I could donate for a specific purpose, that would be okay, too. But just like Wikimedia, it's not about keeping the servers running but cross-financing other "projects" (broad term for really anything here) that I do not want to support.

"No need to make me feel guilty."

There's no guilt here. It's strictly true. Not donating to Mozilla because they might use the funds in a way the donator doesn't like is also saying the risk of the funds being used for other initiatives is not worth participating in the funding of things they do like.

Donations with conditions lessen the good that the nonprofit could do with them, because then they cannot use those funds to keep the nonprofit alive, much less use those funds to fund the things they do.

Donate restricted fund and restricted funds only.

Problem with restricted fund is that the organization is forced to put it in a place where it may not be needed and they cannot use it elsewhere, even in the case of emergency.

So lets say you donated specifically for development of module X. What if a server died and it was in desperate need of repair? What if they need to hire Y person that had good talent for module X? People could construe the funding for interviews for that talent as not being specifically for development.

In short, a lot of people don't understand the bureaucracy of the company enough to make targeted donations for specific use. And it often hampers the organization when you do it.

I guess it's a case if you want Mozilla as an organization to exist as a whole since much of its parts are probably needed to get the product out the door, or caring about one specific piece of code which, in that case, you might as well just fork it and work on it yourself.

Those are made up reasons. If you have a solid definition of what is needed and what not, this is no problem at all.

Except for every large non-profit charity that employs entire teams to navigating restricted funds.

Not made up example: nobody wants their donation to go to marketing. It’s not very sexy. But (to a point) money spent on marketing has a non-zero return. Basically every charity pays for their marketing out of their general fund and it’s always strained because it feels like pure overhead but it actually fuels their growth.

Talk to anyone who works in development and they’ll tell you that unrestricted donations have the largest impact.

For Mozilla their diversity campaigns are the same way. They’re banking on bootstrapping a large undervalued talent pool as a long-term growth strategy and social good.

See my reply from above. Just state that up to X% of the restricted funds are used for marketing purposes and I'm fine with that.

> For Mozilla their diversity campaigns are the same way. They’re banking on bootstrapping a large undervalued talent pool as a long-term growth strategy and social good.

I would prefer not to see tech companies trying to fix our society. We have seen numerous examples where this went really wrong and maybe we should stop that right now.

I would prefer not to see tech companies trying to fix our society. We have seen numerous examples where this went really wrong and maybe we should stop that right now.

This is laughable. Nearly every single technological advancement affected society in some manner. Just because you have some narrow view of examples where they did something wrong, doesn't mean you should be militant in your view and try an weasel funding out of an organization that does 95% good. Much better than any private corporation in my opinion.

And restricted funding is based on donor request. You can't say restricted funds are used for X unless donor said for X.

> And restricted funding is based on donor request. You can't say restricted funds are used for X unless donor said for X.

Exactly! Donor in question does not want his or her money to be spent on Mozilla fixing diversity. There's nothing that prevents Mozilla from courting Zuck or Musk or Gates or whoever else that according to their positions think diversity is more important than the ad blocking.

Please tell me, how is server dying, need immediate replacement "made up"? How is a flood disaster in organizational building "made up"? Sure, I made them up on a whim, but they're based on real scenarios that restricted funding may not cover.

Sorry if I was misunderstandable.

What I mean is that those limitations are made up. You just have to clearly state what you want to do with the money and that will fix those problems. Obviously restricted funds are nothing that is set up in 5 minutes, but I would expect that somebody really thinks about that.

And if you state that up to 10% of the restricted funds might also be used for any other projects of Mozilla, that might be okay.

Something like "your fund will be used for maintaining the infrastructure necessary to provide downloads of the latest binaries" would also be totally fine for me in terms of "buy a new server for this whenever you need it", be it a flooding or just the old server dying. But that obviously does not cover putting money into whatever shiny project is prioritized right now and might die in a year or less.

Otherwise you'll have a cash cow project that finances everything else. While that might be nice for one side, the other side would love to know that their funds are used to improve the already good product.

According to 501c3 law, the funding must be restricted to whatever the donor suggests or rejected. I mean if you suggest adding every single condition to your donation, you're not really helping the organization at all.

Otherwise you'll have a cash cow project that finances everything else. While that might be nice for one side, the other side would love to know that their funds are used to improve the already good product.

It's a holistic endeavor. Improving the product includes getting it in the hands of a lot of people, making decisions during conflicting ideas, writing better code, etc.

Restricted funding only hampers this on the perceived notion that the organization is stupid and will waste it all. There's no indication Mozilla will do this.

So? There's nothing that prevents people who think like you from donating to the Mozilla general funds.

People who do not think like you should be taught to donate to restricted funds.

Why make people who would like to support development of the privacy first browser support decision of Mozilla to lease class A office space in a slew of expensive cities?

Not my monkey, not my circus.

Here's a way to avoid having to deal with restrictions on the funds raised from people: become a regular company that sells a product.

Considering Mozilla created a browser designed to do its best to not track people, and private companies don't do this, I can't see your point other than being bad faith.

Yeah, have Mozilla become a private company, beholden to shareholders and profit. Look how that turned out for companies that supposedly coined the "Don't be evil" motto.

That was before. Now Mozilla is not even committed to ensuring that ad blockers work. Sort of like long time ago Google was "don't be evil" company that made web better.

Plus, there's nothing that prevents others from donating their money without restrictions for the "good of Mozilla"

Mozilla is not a democracy.

You donate towards their mission and you are probably not informed enough about the back-stage politics of their foundation.

I like Pocket because it provides features I don’t find in other browsers. I would happily pay for it especially knowing that this is the money that may also be used for the development of the browser engine.

It’s like donating to Wikipedia, but only donating toward articles about Biology. The issue is that you are donating towards infrastructure, not the actual articles written by someone.

Quite from the top down your comment, but okay.

> Mozilla is not a democracy.

Obviously not, no. But as a user and a society we can still democratically decide how to handle companies and how they do business. And we can express our opinions just like I did and some people seem to have the same opinion, that's nice.

> You donate towards their mission and you are probably not informed enough about the back-stage politics of their foundation.

What is this? Some kind of "Our savior knows better than you, so keep your mouth shut, sheep!" didactics? From what little I can see from the front, I really don't want to get to know their back-stage politics.

And why back-stage politics after all? What's wrong about a clear "let's build the best, privacy-focused browser and best mail program" as a company mission? Actually that would be a great mission in this day and age. No need for back-stage politics and a more complicated mission.

> It’s like donating to Wikipedia [...] The issue is that you are donating towards infrastructure [...]

Especially this is not correct for Wikipedia/Wikimedia. They are doing _lots of_ stuff with that money that has absolutely nothing to do with keeping Wikipedia up and running. See [0] or [1] for lots of examples.

[0] https://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/20/cash_rich_wikipedia... [1] https://www.wikimedia.de/de/themen

>> Especially this is not correct for Wikipedia/Wikimedia. They are doing _lots of_ stuff with that money that has absolutely nothing to do with keeping Wikipedia up and running. See [0] or [1] for lots of examples.

So would you think it’s a good idea to allow people to only donate to certain parts of the stuff they do, then?

Henry Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" is about not being able to send money to an organization without funding projects he doesn't want to fund, therefore not sending money at all.

Many consider it an important work, including myself.

It's short, with several free versions linked to from the Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Disobedience_(Thoreau).

"…as the chairman of cultural department of our house..."

"Chairwoman," Philip Philipovich corrected her.

"Would like to ask you," at this point the woman pulled out of her coat-front a few brightly coloured journals, still damp from the snow, "to take a few journals sold for the benefit of German children. 50 kopecks each."

"No, thank you," replied Philip Philipovich briefly, glancing at the journals.

The four indicated total amazement and the woman went the colour of cranberry juice.

"Why do you refuse?"

"I don't want them."

"You have no sympathy for the children of Germany?"

"On the contrary."

"You grudge fifty copecks?"


"Why then?"

"I don't want them."

-- "The Heart of a Dog", Mikhail Bulgakov

"Diversity" in tech means "we should have programmers with skin colour X or genital configuration Y". But I don't care about people's skin colour or genitals.

It turns out people are diverse anyway and that's why not everyone end up in tech.

Yeah, and it is insane how much amount of money you can receive in the name of diversity. I am pretty sure people who are getting fat rich from it are perfectly aware of this.

Slightly off-topic but it is also funny that X would praise diversity, and at the same time imply that we should balance some things out when it is the people themselves who are the cause for the imbalance. They make the assumption that imbalance is bad. Imbalance is not a problem! We do not have to balance/even things out. Examples: construction workers? Mostly males. Nurses? Mostly females, although this has been changing. So what? I do not see these people trying to push women into getting to construction work. Let people decide. We do not have to intervene. If women do not want to get into construction, that is fine! If they do not want to get into IT, that is also fine (but apparently it is not)!

I live right next to a major highway construction project. They work in all weathers (or at least try to) and 24 hours a day. 100% male. Funny how nobody is crying foul about this clear case of discrimination. Yet in tech/IT we're failing if the numbers are not 50/50 apparently.

> It turns out people are diverse anyway and that's why not everyone end up in tech

That's true but also ignores the problem that many people drop out of tech due to discrimination or feeling like they don't belong even though they are interested.

"While a majority of the men in the study reported that their internship experiences were positive, women’s experiences were much more of a mixed bag, full of ageism, sexism, and not being taken seriously"


What if they are dropping out because they are not good at it? I like playing music but I'll never be good enough for any orchestra. If I had been told ever since I was a child that a) I can be a professional musician if I want to (in fact, that I should become one because there aren't enough with my kind of genitals), and b) that I will face discrimination, then when I inevitably fail what do you think I will attribute it to?

It should be abundantly clear that certain groups, especially white women, are actually preferentially selected. There is no discrimination against them. Other groups, like black women, may have a stronger case, but you can't just take an individual's word that they failed due to discrimination. There needs to be evidence far beyond self-reported victimisation.

It's unclear to me what the relationship is between treating women like people and fat stacks of cash.

It seems to me the former can be done without the latter, which makes me suspect anybody who asks for the latter as though it were a prerequisite for doing the former.

Because Mozilla's version of diversity ignores the people I wish would get a shot in technology. I can donate to local initiatives myself. I especially don't want my "interface to our online world" to have opinions on the subject.

Possibly because affirmative diversity could be seen as incompatible with meritocracy.

If you're not aware of the origins of the term "meritocracy", it's worth a read of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rise_of_the_Meritocracy

"It is good sense to appoint individual people to jobs on their merit. It is the opposite when those who are judged to have merit of a particular kind harden into a new social class without room in it for others." https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2001/jun/29/comment

Is your meritocracy measuring merit in the way you think it is?

"Meritocracy" is an unattainable goal, like "utopia". It sounds good in the abstract, but "merit" is such a subjective concept that it's useless for any practical purpose. Every person's life is as much a product of random chance as innate potential, so there's no objective measure of merit by which a meritocracy could be judged.

I'm sure there's reasonable arguments against affirmative diversity in general or Mozilla's diversity projects in specific, but incompatibility with meritocracy is not a strong one.

How do you define diversity though? How do you slice and dice and at what point do you say it is done?

Say I am a hiring manager at Mozilla and I hire a college graduate from Rwandan not because he is best but because of a diversity quota. What if there is also a Sudanese grad who is looking for a job or a Nepalese transgender MtF? How do I decide at that point?

Is it my call and only my call or should there be regulation and legislation to deal with situations like this? I have one spot and many diverse candidates. How do I choose?

> How do you slice and dice and at what point do you say it is done?

When everyone has an equal opportunity.

You should be able to derive the rest of the answers to your questions from that.

> When everyone has an equal opportunity.

"Equal opportunity" is an unattainable goal, like "utopia". It sounds good in the abstract, but "equal opportunity" is such a subjective concept that it's useless for any practical purpose. Every person's life is as much a product of random chance as innate potential, so there's no objective measure of equal opportunity by which a society that enforces equal opportunity could be judged. (Very much /s, of course.)

The point being that any arguments made against the unattainability of true meritocracy apply just as well to true equal opportunity.

It turns out that measuring discrimination and opportinity is a pretty well studied topic. It's mainly the discipline of sociology which quantifies this but there are plenty of other disciplines, such as economics, that do it as well. You can do a Google scholar search to learn more.

By the way, targets do not need to be attainable in order to produce (also quantifiable) positive effects.

Can you quantify the diversity benefit of having a nudist in a group compared to other diversity goals. Having read a lot on the topic I can say with some confidence that any attribute beyond those that the US law defined as protected classes lack any kind of well established methodology to quantify diversity.

> It turns out that measuring discrimination and opportinity is a pretty well studied topic.

And measuring skills is not?

"skill" is not necessarily the same thing as "merit", but it's a lot more measurable. In general, though, the people most skilled at a given task tend to be the people who've been doing it the longest. The second tier of skill tends to be people who have been around people doing that task. That is to say, the most skilled people are generally current practitioners and their children, who grow up to be the most skilled people of the next generation.

In short, a "skillocracy" tends to look and act very, very much like an aristocracy, which is kind of the opposite of the idea I think most people try to express with the word "meritocracy".

But a lack of diversity is a sign of a lack of meritocracy: clearly not all talent gets an equal chance to flourish. Trying to get more talent on board is valuable.

A lack of diversity isn't in and of itself a sign of a lack of meritocracy, and nor is simply increasing diversity a sign of meritocracy.

It's misguided to think that by manually ensuring diversity (eg. By hiring someone for simply being a qualified minority rather than necessarily the best candidate) is pushing for meritocracy.

If diversity programs were interested in maintaining meritocracy while increasing diversity, they'd focus their energy on uplifting poor families through things like training or scholarship programs so their kids have a better shot at life.

That's the usual line, that assume no qualified minority candidates exist. Which is, at root, a biased assumption already.

E.g. Stanford (used to) vigorously recruited qualified minority candidates to help improve diversity on campus.

Isn't explicitly choosing based on their race also making the same assumptions? That there aren't enough minority candidates, and thus they need to explicitly force more of them in? After all, why would there be any bias if selections were completely merit based (that is, blind to race and sex) unless the pools being drawn from were themselves biased? The best way to get around biases in the hiring process obviously being to avoid informing hiring managers about the identities of candidates, instead of emphasizing it even more.

My assumption was that not enough qualified minority candidates exist, obviously there are qualified minority candidates, just not enough, thus why they aren't as equally represented in the field in question.

> "why would there be any bias if selections were completely merit based (that is, blind to race and sex)"

But that's a really big "if". Selections are not completely merit based. They are not blind to race and sex. Minority candidates who use a male western sounding name are much more likely to get invited for interviews than if the have a female or foreign sounding name.

The bias is there. We need to undo it or compensate for it. Extra effort to hire from underrepresented groups makes a lot of sense. Bars should not get lowered for them, but they should be able to get a fair shot.

And maybe the problem is not so much that there are not enough minority candidates, but that there are too many unqualified majority candidates who are taking up space.

Its sophistry, to say "to combat race bias, you are using race bias! That's just as bad!"

Of course one is in service to bigotry, and the other to equality. That makes them pretty different.

If you're driving down the road, and your car pulls slightly to the right, you steer slightly to the left to compensate. Sure, we'd all like a car that steers straight. But it doesn't. So we steer slightly to one side.

I do not understand your analogy. Are you implying that we cannot be unbiased? I do agree with that, however, what is this diversity thing, fighting over biases or preferences (sides)? I do not understand how one side is bigotry, and the other is equality. It seems like it is just a matter of POV. When you are steering to the left, the right is in service of bigotry, and when you are steering to the right, the left is in service of bigotry. Additionally, according to your analogy, it seems like that everyone - including the people who say they prefer "equality" - is actually not steering straight, just to a different side.

It would be great if the people who preach we should not discriminate based on ethnicity, religion, and so forth would actually stop doing that, and start paying more attention to skills, which is actually more relevant to the job. It seems like that they do not wish (or at the very least do not, regardless of intent) to stop discriminating, they just steer to a different side.

Because one side attempts to ease societal bias by including folks often overlooked. The other attempts to perpetuate this system, keeping an underclass.

The old tired argument that "It's just another sort of bias!" is bankrupt. Its a sort of bias that seeks to repair real problems, not keep them.

And the solution to not having enough qualified minority candidates is to increase their level of qualification.

But the problem isn't necessarily just that there are not enough qualified minority candidates, but that qualified minority candidates are often passed over by less qualified majority candidates. Often simply because they look the part.

Maybe a straw man? Citation?

No, the line is that "there's less qualified candidates of X minority".

Which is completely true - SV companies employee percentages fairly accurately mimic CS graduates percentages. So the majority of bias isn't in hiring... In other words, by the time you're picking the most qualified candidate it's already too late to correct for any cultural/societal bias (you should start in primary school or even earlier).

And in doing so, forced Asians and Asian-Americans to attain higher test scores than a comparable white person to get into their programs. Diversity in action.

So, minorities must remain minorities lest the currently-successful classes are affected at all? The logical conclusion is, the USA needs a poor underclass to remain fair and functional? Please tell me where I misconstrued that remark?

Of course not. The assumption is that there is other factors involved.

Here is statements I wish people would honestly try to argue against: A person like to be in a environment where they feel safe (claim 1) and people feel safer being in a majority than in a minority (claim 2).

Why would minority candidates seek to be in an environment at the same rather as majority candidates, if everything else is equal?

> "A lack of diversity isn't in and of itself a sign of a lack of meritocracy"

I disagree. At least for the majority of cases. It's possible that there are skills or jobs where the talent to excel is extremely rare in certain demographic groups, but I think those cases are extremely rare. For the vast majority of cases, a lack of representation of certain demographic groups would be very strong indication that something is preventing those groups from participating on an equal basis.

> "nor is simply increasing diversity a sign of meritocracy."

That is absolutely true. There are definitely wrong ways to increase diversity that are contrary to meritocracy, but there are also correct ways to do it.

> "uplifting poor families through things like training or scholarship programs so their kids have a better shot at life."

An excellent example of what should be done more.

But even if merely increasing diversity for its own sake does not improve meritocracy, it can actually help meritocracy indirectly: research has shown that people hiring for a job are inclined to hire people who look like the people already in that job. So if a certain industry is dominated by white men, they are inclined to hire more white men for that job. Even if the person hiring for that job is not a white man, and even if they are aware of this issue. So simply increasing diversity can make it easier for talent from minority groups to get recognised for their merit and get hired.

But I think anyone who has any amount of work experience will be under no illusions about the meritocracy in the corporate world. There are plenty of incompetent people getting hired or promoted over more competent people, and that's certainly not a new development. Meritocracy is mostly a fantasy, and I think people who consider diversity a threat to meritocracy are confusing it with aristocracy: the old aristocracy would also claim that they were obviously inherently more suited to rule. They may have claimed to have merit, but the whole point of meritocracy is that it opposed that, and that anyone should be able to rise to the top. Meritocracy and diversity should be going hand in hand. If they're not, you're probably confusing something else for meritocracy.

NBA is about 75% black players. There is a clear lack of diversity. Does that mean there is a lack of meritocracy in the NBA? Why not mandate 60% of the players be white and only allow about 12% of the players be black to match with the US population?

Diversity != diversity campaigns != diversity campaigns as implemented by a given organization.

Ignoring the specific case, it's totally reasonable to say "I want to donate to nonprofit X because of thing Y that they do that I value, but I'd like the money earmarked for that thing only, not for all their other activities, which I may or may not support".

(Quickly googled example: https://www.nonprofitissues.com/to-the-point/can-earmarked-c... )

In the US, where Mozulla Foundation is organized, the organization often does not have a legal obligation to honor an unsolicited restriction. Mozilla would first have to solicit donations specifically for Firefox before a donor should reasonably expect donated funds to be used solely for Firefox.

Consider that this company specifically once fired a guy because someone revealed he had a fetish, then ask yourself how much they really care about diversity and how much is just a show they put on.

Jeepers it's almost like the OP wants the choice of what their money gets spent on.

For example:


Unconscious Bias Trainings are (Often) a Waste of Your Money

Wanting their funds to not go to diversity doesn't equate to not wanting Mozilla to fund diversity.

It could be that your parent comment wanted to spark a discussion on whether there is value added from Marketing campaigns, rather than about politics / diversity in the workplace.

Because diversity in the tech world isn't real. Just read about Brendan Eich. He got fired because he had the incorrect opinion.

In my world, that is the complete opposite of diversity.

Javascript is not the kind of diversity I want!

But on a more serious note, from the little I know he got fired because he supported banning same-sex marriage. Which is not just about 'opinion'. That's about discrimination and he should be called out for it.

Let us assume that he got fired for what you said. What if he supported the legalization of same-sex marriage? Would he have gotten fired for it?

He funded such a campaign, yes. With his private money on his free time. That is not discrimination. He even wrote sorry for causing hurt and pledged to promote equality at Mozilla.

Your comment is a prime example of what's wrong with the tech industry in my opinion.

> That is not discrimination.

Genuinely curious, how isn't that discrimination? Since when did it being his own money in his free time stop it being a discriminatory stance?

It may be a discriminatory stance, I am not certain since I am not an US citizen and haven't really dug into the details of what that law would imply.

It is not discrimination because there is not any individual being discriminated against. He did not use his position to discriminate against gay people for example.

He outright did the exact opposite and wrote that he was going to push for equality at Mozilla. I do not believe that he would discriminate anyone at Mozilla that was married to someone of the same sex.

I believe that a person can have professional courtesy.

This seems like a very 'pick and choose' definition of discrimination. I don't think it holds up — professional courtesy within one particular job and an outward political attempt, using his vast wealth and influence, to prevent a certain group of people from having certain rights, these don't have any relation to each other.

"private money" ... his salary, paid in small part by my donation to Mozilla, going to a cause that I definitely don't support. Seems we are full circle.

Is it your argument that he should only be paid his salary if he passes a litmus test? Or should he be paid his salary for the work he agreed to perform in exchange for it? In any case, I don't know that firing him was about his opinion (I hope not), but about the distraction the press coverage caused. I found it unfortunate nonetheless, even as a gay activist.

No, I'm pointing out the hypocrisy in being concerned that donations to Mozilla can go to funding causes somebody doesn't believe in while also being upset for firing the CEO for funding causes somebody doesn't believe in.

I contacted Mozilla and told them I would never give them another nickle as long as their CEO was evil. I find it hard to believe you were ok with it.

If you spend your salary on supporting a cause or movement with which we disagree, you are fired!

Well that makes you a homophobic and you should be forced to take another lower position at your company. Also, people are going to post your name and image and say that you are a gay-hating bigot.

Because that is just, right? You supported the same thing as Brendan.

Happy to be an example against discrimination. :)

People should be held accountable for such views. It should be clear to anyone that having "an opinion" which discriminates a whole group of people is not that same as sharing an opinion about Star Wars..

> People should be held accountable for such views

Well, in my country (and I think in the entire EU) what you want is very illegal and is taken very seriously. I think you choose a very fitting username. ;)

Hate speech is illegal in the EU. They haven't taken such opinions lightly when announced publicly.

Edit: btw with held accountable I don't mean that is should be illegal. I meant that people have a right to react to "injustice"

What do you talk about? Hate speech is not illegal, at least not at EU-level. Where I live, we don't even have a term for hate speech because it's not really happening here that much.

So people should lose their livelihoods for having controversial views that the elites in big cities don't like? It isn't even as if his opinion was interfering with his professional responsibilities.

Same-sex marriage was a very hot topic just a few years ago, should we unperson everyone who was ever against the cause? Even though the entire point of having freedom of speech and association is to allow safe political discourse?

Where would you draw the line? Next do we start firing everyone who supports Trump? Every conservative? Anyone against late-term abortions?

It's a shame that you don't seem to appreciate the value of diversity of thought.

> Even though the entire point of having freedom of speech and association is to allow safe political discourse?

It's to reduce the need for violent revolution against the government by making such discourse that challenges the government safe from retaliation by the government. It is not to make discourse free of consequence more generally. That may in some cases be desirable on its own merits, but it is not part of the “entire point of having freedom of speech”.

Brendan Eich worked against equal rights.

Don’t you know Karl Popper’s formulation - a tolerant world cannot tolerate intolerance.

No he did not. He funded a political campaign. No I do not know that formulation and I completely disagree with that.

It's like saying you need heavy censorship in order to have free speech. Complete bullshit.

It's a rather well-known saying. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance.

The core point is, if you have a society that accepts anything and everything, that society will not end up with all the things, because it'll also accept people working explicitly to get rid of some of the things. It will instead end up with few things, being run by "dictatorship of small, intolerant minorities"[0]. Therefore, if the society wants to stay accepting, it has to carve an exception - it needs to reject anyone who doesn't also accept anything and everything.

Reasoning behind the "paradox" is sound, but its application to real world varies. In particular, I've recently noticed that the "paradox of tolerance" is primarily being wielded by small, intolerant groups that want to aggressively force their way on everyone else.


[0] - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20837171

Maybe you're right, I think I may already follow this since I do not tolerate Mozilla's intolerance.

I have never seen any more intolerance than in people who thinks social justice is important. I do not tolerate these peoples intolerance.

I obviously do not accept anything and everything, that is why I am upset at Mozilla and their actions.

> "dictatorship of small, intolerant minorities"

This. This is what a lot of the tech world has become like in my opinion. A lot is dictated by people that think a code of conduct is more important than contributions and actual value.

As soon as you say make a sexual joke, say "there is only two genders" etc you will get banned from that community, be called a nazi, people will try to take your job and income away. Just look at all my posts here, they are all downvoted not because I spam or write something objectively false, but because my opinion is incorrect according to the dictatorship.

By all means, you are definitely oppressed at work for making a sexual joke. Let's ignore the fact that that joke may be seen as harassment of others in the office. You shouldn't be called a Nazi, but if you are contributing to an intolerant culture then the company you work for has a perogagitive to get rid of you.

And you are probably downvoted constantly because you are spewing beliefs and opinions that scream, "I would prefer to work in a Mad Men era office, than one that values and respects the opinions and beliefs of others."

Fact of the matter, our society is better by saying that beliefs about making a statement like, "there are only two genders", are inappropriate and have no place in modern society.

As always you are more than welcome to exercise your right to free speech, but that doesn't mean others can't exercise their freedoms to remove you from the equation.

> By all means, you are definitely oppressed at work for making a sexual joke.

I think 'ecmascript was referencing a particularly well-known case of a person making a sexual joke to another in a causal private conversation outside of work, in which some busybody overheard the joke and made so big a ruckus that the joker got fired from his job.

> but that doesn't mean others can't exercise their freedoms to remove you from the equation.

I know you didn't mean it like that, but the way you phrased it kind of reinforces ecmascript's point about social justice being pushed by a group of extremely intolerant people, who are willing to break all the rules of civilized discourse in order to have things their way.

I never wrote anything about being oppressed lol. I never even mentioned work, just community. A lot of open source projects utilize the same rules. If you so much as make a single dongle joke, you may be excluded.

I always say whatever I believe, even if I am at work. If the company would fire me over a joke then fine I wouldn't want to work there anyway. So far I haven't met any issues on that front. Also I don't work in the US so you can't really fire someone where I live because of a joke and it's outright illegal to do it over beliefs.

I do not get the mad men reference, since I haven't seen the show. But so what if I am? No one values or respects everyone's opinions, that is just such a load of horseshit imo. Obviously people here don't value or respect my opinion for example.

> are inappropriate and have no place in modern society

This is very funny, a biological hard fact has no place in modern society? I don't even understand how this is even a controversial thing to believe yet you believe it has no place in a modern society.

I do not wish to live in your definition of a modern society.

> Obviously people here don't value or respect my opinion for example.

While it may seem like that, people aren't valuing your opinion that involves beliefs or views that can inherinitly make groups of people feel discriminated against. A person that identifies as non-binary or gender-fluid would not feel comfortable being around your opinions.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs, but when you say whatever you believe you have to understand the potential to be disliked because of that.

People constantly view your dongle jokes or whatever as being insane that you can't make them anymore, but the thing is even before it wasn't socially acceptable, people still were made uncomfortable by it.

A person that identifies as a flower wouldn't either. What is your point exactly? I think that is bullshit and the science is on my side. I don't care if those who claim to be allergic to electricity gets offended when I say that shit is not real, just as I claim that there is only two genders and you are the one who is a bad actor if you try to make others believe otherwise.

It's like a sect that people just seems to buy into for some reason. It doesn't make any sense, it doesn't have any scientific validity what so ever and still that is a touchy subject but calling out other silly stuff people believe aren't? Do you also believe in a flat earth perhaps? If not, why not?

I have a hard time living that hypocrisy, dislike me or not. I do not care if everyone doesn't like me as I expect everyone not to. It is ok if you have another opinion but it is pretty typical since intolerant people usually are like that, can't accept that other people do not share their worldviews. Also I actually am pretty good at making jokes, so it doesn't seem that way to me.

Maybe people like you just lack a sense of humor?

> I always say whatever I believe, even if I am at work.

John Finnemore says it better than I can: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAMHBlt_CQA

Very funny actually.

I should've added that I do speak my mind when asked about it or if its a open discussion. I don't go around calling people overweight, but if they ask me if I think they are I will for sure tell them what I think they are ;)

>It's like saying you need heavy censorship in order to have free speech. Complete bullshit.

Many philosophers of free speech and first amendment jurisprudence would argue that some restrictions on free speech for the sake of free speech could hypothetically be permitted. The law does this all the time; it restricts action in order to help guarantee the freedom of action of others. The most basic formulation of this is in the harm principle, in which it is recognized that harm should not be permitted because it interferes with others' rights.

They funded a homophobic political campaign.

Websites started user agent detecting Firefox and putting banners saying to not use Firefox because of their homophobic CEO.

It's pathetic that people like you hide behind censorship arguments and "diversity of thought" when defending the right to attack minorities.

This kind of disingenuous thinking makes me question anyone evangelising Brave as a web browser.

One website.

Just because someone donate to a political campaign that wants to stop same-sex marriage doesn't automatically make that person homophobic.

He didn't attack any minority, stop spreading objectively false information. I am defending his right to believe whatever he likes in private. It will be a quick downhill (as we already have seen) as soon as you start listing bad values and try to hate on people that have these values.

You may think I'm pathetic if you wish, I don't care. But remember, I will defend your right to your opinion too. It's kind of obvious you do not believe in the same thing and if more people would be like you we would find ourselves in a dark dystopia. You could move to China, they are well on their way to building the kind of society you seem to strive for. :)

"Just because someone donate to a political campaign that wants to stop same-sex marriage doesn't automatically make that person homophobic."

Really? What's the point in arguing stupid semantics.

People are defined by their actions.

He has a right to believe what he wants.

He also has to accept the consequences of those beliefs.

At the end of the day it's just a job. As CEO or an executive you're a figurehead. Your actions are publicly associated with the company you head.

You can decry the evils of "wokeness" or "social justice" but it's also the right of the employees of the company to complain or even campaign against the CEO.

Why is one political campaign acceptable and another not?

Because it really seems like you just don't agree with the politics of one.

Your disingenuousness is what I'm calling pathetic. Like calling up China?

An authoritarian country where the state owns all business whilst discussing the actions of a private company in America.

There are plenty of conservative companies in the USA which would be fine with his political contributions.

The idea of having no social consequences or accountability for your actions isn't a Chinese thing and it isn't an American thing. But it seems to be an effective playbook adopted by conservatives worldwide.

But anyway, it's not like I'm going to change your mind :)

In most donations, you're donating to the product as a whole. There's no way to ever know where your money explicitly goes. At least I've never seen a charity operate that way.

Even if you did donate to development, development is not averse to administration, marketing, hiring, and diversity. And developers are not spending time at Firefox getting the product in the hands of people so it can get better with feedback. Marketing and all the other areas you find "problematic" are trying to do that.

Either way, even if your money doesn't go where you want it, that's a bad reason to not donate considering there's no indication that their product is substantially inferior to competition, they're making hugely poor decisions, etc.

That's unfortunately often how it is, but it doesn't need to be that way. As an example, Ubuntu's donation page allows you to select how you wish your contribution to be allocated: https://ubuntu.com/download/desktop/thank-you

FOSS foundations should (and typically do) accept code contributions that aren't restricted to their leadership's agenda, so why should they not accept financial contributions beyond their agenda?

Because a restriction on code contribution makes sense due to the fact there's often only one area where the code makes sense. If it doesn't fit the vision of whatever the code is trying to do, then there's no reason not to restrict it.

Financial contributions affect all areas of the organization and the needs/wants of the organization changes daily, some times spontaneously. People simply donating to "writing code" doesn't make an organization function. There has to be some sort of PR. There has to be some sort of administration. There has to be marketing, quality, distribution, etc.

What’s bothering you, really? So you have evidence Mozilla is splurging their money into political campaigns ?

when you buy a product or service, do you get to tell the company how they can spend the money?

Good point!

I would suggest that Mozilla has enough money already- they just don't spend it on Firefox. Donating only validates their current budget and gives them a mandate to keep building their sprawling portfolio of side projects.

There was some discussion about this a few days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20850950

Not that the donations are not going to a good cause (they are [1]), but donations do not go to funding Firefox development.

[1] https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/initiatives/

This is pretty much the only reason I don't donate to Mozilla. As far as I can tell there is no way to only donate for Firefox development.

I've given up trying to convince people of taking privacy serious. It's usually just the "but I've got nothing to hide" debate that goes nowhere. Even half of my tech friends still use chrome, got Alexa at home and whatnot.

So instead with my non-techsavvy friends I usually just set up Firefox with ublock and tell them to give it a try. You don't have to mention ublock is available on chrome too, right?

My hunch is that maybe 0.1% to 1% of people truly care about privacy. People love to talk about it and sound shocked about lack of privacy. But when it comes to actually changing behavior based on privacy, very few people actually do.

They may or may not care about privacy, but they do love an internet that's largely ad-free.

Most of them never knew it was possible, but I love to see how wide their eyes get when they see it. "Holy hells! you mean I don't have to look at all that crap?"

I'd argue that most people don't know privacy is possible too. I think the lack of concern is more lack of awareness. People are really freaked out when they think Facebook is listening to their conversations. Lots of people have the "how could they possible know that" story. That's a great starting point to talk about ML and how powerful data is.

In fact there's a sibling comment to yours asking what privacy difference there is between Alexa and a smart phone. And here we are on one of the most tech focused places on the internet! If everyone here doesn't know the difference, how is the average person?

The problem with non-techsavvy people is that they don't have an understanding of how seemingly innocuous data can be misused. My favorite counter to the "I have nothing to hide" argument is what happened during WW2 when the nazis used the consensus data of countries they invaded to hunt down their victims. People gave out this information because they had nothing to hide.

Another counter is what happened with the "anonymized" NYC data set. People discovered that combining two separate data sets can be used to reconstruct the information that was censored.

I have nothing to hide is a false statement that never made sense.

What is the privacy difference between having an Alexa device at home vs. having a smartphone or anything else with an embedded microphone?

While it's possible a cell phone (smart or dumb) might be transmitting audio without user knowledge, it's unlikely and, if discovered, would cause a huge PR nightmare for whoever was involved in making it happen. Voice assistants have been shown to transmit audio unexpectedly, humans are listening, nothing has been done to fix it, and no one is apologizing for it.

Since I cancelled Netflix subscription, every month I donate 5 Euro to Ubuntu and 5 Euro to Mozilla. These are two most important Open Source systems for me.

20 years ago we had to do the same for FF, but that time against IE6. Everything goes in cycles.

With 100s of millions in revenue every year for the last decade plus through their corporate entity aren't they already funded pretty much in perpetuity?

On Wikipedia it says they get 2% of their corporation's revenue, which they own in its entirety, they can increase their funding more just by increasing the 2% they assign themselves from their own revenue. Not even a third of their funding is donations according to a dated IRS audit so they look pretty much secured financially and will appreciate, but otherwise not notice your money hitting the pile.

I think a more important thing we can do to help is make our work exclusively dependent on open technologies instead of Chrome APIs, which might one day be open technologies but till they are they promote not using Firefox.

Most of that money is coming from the search partnership with Google, and that's what's paying the bills for Firefox and other direct development work (as I understand it). The donations from people go to Mozilla Foundation, which works on initiatives and campaigns. So whenever Google decides that the search partnership is not worth it, Mozilla Corporation (the entity that pays for Firefox, and is different from Mozilla Foundation) would have only a few tens of millions from other revenue sources (just guessing).

The way I understand it is the Foundation created and owns the Corporation so they would have a legal construct to receive their profits, and a ton of profits still comes in annually, and it's all their money regardless of which account it landed in or what % is assigned to Firefox.

They're sitting on half a billion in assets - https://assets.mozilla.net/annualreport/2017/mozilla-fdn-201...

>If you can, donate money to Mozilla regularly. [1] As of a couple of years ago (IIRC), more than 90% of Mozilla's revenue was from its partnership with Google for being the default search engine in many geographies.

This is also likely a smokescreen on Google's part to defend against allegations that they are abusing an arguable monopoly decision in the browser market.

'We're not abusing our monopoly position! We give money to The Mozilla Foundation that produces a competing browser!'

One feature I miss having on Chrome is their full page translation for foreign language. I couldn't find an addons that provide the same functionality.

(For the record, full page translate with translate.google.com doesn't work in many cases. Ex: Amazon Japan product page)

"... add more tiny annoyances on its properties to make Firefox seem buggy citing tangential things like "web standards" or "pushing the web forward" and other euphemisms that companies like Google use to crush competition."

I must say, it's great to see this brought to light in HN comments. It may be a small minority of users, but clearly some can see through this nonsense.

Although, having been a web user before there was Google, I think it is more than just Google that created this atmosphere where some browser is portrayed as being inferior to another. I think it started before Google.

Think about the influence of web developers. In the earlier days of the web, they wanted to make money by making websites. To sell those services they needed the web to have more than just basic functionality. They wanted complex browsers loaded with features that could "wow" the user, which enabled marketing and ideally commercial transactions over the web. Why would any web developer be interested in a browser that is not optimised for marketing?

Then think about the growth of websites. Today, every company has one, every organization has one. No web developer has to convince anyone anymore that they "need a website". Web developers today probably have better employment prospects than ever before. Many website owners want to make money directly or indirectly from their websites. Often they are sold on the promise of a return from advertising. Would those websites be interested in "supporting" browsers that are not optimised for web marketing?

We could create a browser for users that had all the features users needed to retrieve and view information and various media types, but which lacked features that enable easy web marketing, ads, tracking, etc. A browser that catered to users' interests above all others. This is possible. However, what would web developers and commercial websites think of such a browser?

Perhaps they would not be interested in designing websites that "worked" with such a browser. For one, they would probably argue that the market share of such a browser is too low to warrant their attention. I have seen this argument made many times on HN.

The point of this comment, which I am probably not getting across very well, is to suggest that developers themsleves are in the best position to control the market share of browsers, not users:

I have used command line TCP/HTTP clients and text-only browser for many years to retrieve information from the web. It has always worked flawlessly for my purposes and continues to do so. One of the amusing side effects of accessing websites this way is that I see all manner of messaging from web developers on websites that tries to persuade users to use one browser or another, and to make sure some browser feature is enabled. Much of it has become increasingly didactic. Developers increasingly are not asking users to comply, they are telling them they "must" do something, or else.

The vast majority of web users follow those instructions. If they are told to use some browser or else a website "will not work", then they will comply. Truthfully, it is almost always still possible to retrieve the information without the preferred browser or without the "necessary" feature. However, most users will follow the path of least resistance. They will do as the web developers tell them to do.

Users cannot be expected to simply switch to some other browser that better protects their interests. Not without cooperation from web developers and their clients, website owners.

The norel link modifier extension is great to. Stops sites you open from links changeing pages of the previous tabs.

Privacy Possum? You mean Privacy Badger?

Privacy Possum is a rewrite by a former Privacy Badger dev and goes beyond what Privacy Badger does. https://github.com/cowlicks/privacypossum#why-not-privacy-ba...

> Those who want a world where Firefox has a higher market share and mind share

I used to be one of these people but I am no longer. I have switched my default browser from Firefox to Brave since I cannot withstand Mozillas bullshit anymore.

Not only is it a complete joke that firefox put Google Analytics on their privacy pages but their actions of "wokeness" in which they fired Brendan Eich and all their diversity shit has left me very unhappy with Mozilla as an organisation. I stopped my monthly donation a while back and I do not recommend Firefox anymore, only Brave.

Why should I donate money towards Firefox when I know it's probably not going to fund Firefox but rather some woke campaign that I am against? They even fired their own CEO when he privately used his own money to fund a political campaign. That is not ok according to Mozilla since diversity of opinion is not something they believe in.

https://www.reddit.com/r/MozillaInAction/top/?t=all (there is a lot of other crap in there as well, but mainly about Mozilla and other tech companies)

For anyone curious, Eich didn’t fund a political campaign but rather a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. It was struck down as unconstitutional.


Additionally, Eich was not fired but resigned even though the Mozilla board asked him to stay.


Judging from the parent’s multiple posts in this thread it appears he is adjusting facts to fit his narrative.


It is a lie that "everyone at Mozilla was against him".

I worked at Mozilla at the time (distinguished engineer). I don't know about the board, but the vast, vast majority of staff wanted Brendan to stay. A handful of Mozilla Foundation staff spoke out against him and got lots of publicity.

Not really the truth though. They wanted him to stay, but in a different role. I regard that as being fired as CEO and I do not understand how you could interpret that in any other way. Several employees started a campaign demanding his resignation. Other companies like OkCupid stated recommended Firefox users to switch to Chrome and there were others as well.

Sure, he wasn't really fired by the letter but rather he was smeared and a lot of people organized a hate campaign towards him. Who would want to stay in such a toxic environment?

Incredible that the same people that claim to value diversity and inclusion just loves to exclude and give people incredible amounts of hate when they do not conform to the exact same beliefs.

No one in the board backed their CEO or defended him. I am not adjusting the facts. I do believe in same-sex marriage. You can marry whomever you want beacause I do not care, but to give someone the treatment he got for not believing the same thing is just horrible and unjust.

One of your points is that Mozilla is using Google Analytics on privacy pages so you switched to a browser powered by Google?

Where will your donation go now if not to Mozilla?

Can't say I am particular fond of Google either. Brave uses chromium sources but they do not send any data to Google without washing it through their servers first with a default installation. So even if they actually use tech from Google, as a company they are a much better alternative and is much more in line with something I want to support.

Probably I will just save the money for now, but perhaps in the near future I will increase donations to some open source contributors via Open Collective (where I know it will fund the developers directly).

If you care about privacy then you have ETP turned on which means Google Analytics would be blocked for you.

> The block might appeal to users, but is potentially worrying to publishers

Yes, let's have pity on these poor publishers who are relentless infiltrating and measuring our online lives so they can squeeze a few more bucks out of the data grab.

Trackers have gotten insidious. I have privacy badger and on one particular news site there were 36 distinct trackers. And somehow they're still getting around the blockers because I'm getting ads and suggestions correlating to some activity I did on a completely different device.

This business model is toxic and I really hope all the companies using it either pivot or go bankrupt.

Wired is a (particularly) tracking-reliant publisher, so I'm not particularly surprised that they adopted this tone.

I also hope that any sort of tracking-based business model goes extinct. Unfortunately, in the case of online publishing, consumers have repeatedly rejected micropayments (most recently Blendle[1]), which I believe is the only viable alternative.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blendle

I tried loading Wired in a stock Chromium, and it's hard to believe how poor of an experience it is. You have to dismiss multiple overlays. The actual article is only readable in a tiny window formed by sticky elements and ads. Every page or so there is a big ad in the middle of the article. Hundreds of requests flying by in the background.

In my "daily driver" browser (a customised Firefox), nothing loads by default but the HTML. No JS, no CSS, no web fonts, etc. No overlays. The text fills the page, rendered in the font I prefer, in the size that I find easiest to read. No ads. Only a handful of requests. People tell me I'm crazy for rejecting the modern web, but the experience is often superior.

I do like JS myself... I wish there was a way to disable JS in IFrames (where ads/trackers typically propagate).

Traditional media never needed individual tracking for advertisements nor "micropayments". Just because we have the technology to track advertisement spends to the exact person doesn't mean we have to. Just because we because we have the technology charge (fractions of) pennies per article read doesn't invalidate the traditional subscriber model.

(In fact both microtargeting and micropayments are arguably much worse, less stable business models from the perspective of a publisher. Y "demographic" or "universal" advertisers at a steady monthly ad buy with X subscribers at a steady monthly spend is an easy formula to forecast future revenue from. O(X).Y micro-targeted ad buys with X readers at O(X).Z articles per month, is almost entirely impossible to forecast with any accuracy.)

This so much. We had large media organizations and publishers of news/magazines/television/radio for decades and in some instances, centuries, before targeted advertising was even a thing. Traditional advertising is now nearly dead because it's worthless and as a result, media orgs have had to rely increasingly on these creepy as hell targeting advertising systems. Why?

We as consumers never agreed to this. We were never even asked. Make the entire industry illegal, and publishers will revert to traditional advertisement. Again and again it's been made clear that the ad tech industry cannot be trusted with our data, so why do we continue allowing it to collect it and use it to show us crap we don't want?

Throw it all in the garbage. The whole damn thing.

You're completely right, publishers don't need to use the micropayment model. I meant, and should have said, that publishers aren't adopting a low-friction, single-account payment service, of which micropayments are only one.

This is still a massive issue, however. Because the internet makes most online publishers global, consumers have access to many more content sources, and so if even if publishers adjust their subscription prices to match the lower distribution costs and larger audiences that they have access to, the effort of signing up for more than just one or two subscriptions will be much more than most consumers (including me) want to invest.

I am yet to see micropayments system that is easy enough. I don't want to look for my credit card or log in to paypal just to transfer $1 to someone. In my opinion the system that Brave is trying to introduce has the greatest potential. If only I could buy Brave tokens instead of "earning" them by watching ads I would have gladly supported my favorite publishers.

Respectable news organizations have traditionally at least played lip service to keeping their journalists/editors separate from their business/advertising people, such that the journalists are free to publish articles that run contrary to the business interests of the paper. (Example: https://www.nytimes.com/editorial-standards/ethical-journali...)

Of course, Wired is not a respectable publication, and this just goes to show that.

> The block might appeal to users, but is potentially worrying to publishers

This is idiotic because tracking is GOOD FOR GOOGLE and BAD FOR PUBLISHERS. If the saying in advertising is that half of your budget is wasted, why the hell would publishers want to tell advertisers which half?

Advertisers aren't going to pay more than the traffic is worth. If 1/2 of your advertising is going to people who would never be interested in the product and you can cut that group out you're willing to pay approximately 2x as much. If all users were equally of interest to all advertisers this wouldn't matter, but that's very much not the case.

Imagine you're a publisher, and your audience can be divided as 50% coffee drinkers and 50% tea drinkers. Without tracking, you have advertisers each paying you $X to run site-wide ads, while with tracking you can get closer to $2X because the coffee sellers target only the coffee drinkers and the same with tea.

(Disclosure: I work for Google on ads, speaking for myself)

That logic would work great if Google were the publisher. Unfortunately, there are a lot of companies that think they are “publishers” but are actually meaningless now that Google is effectively a publisher, except that they don’t pay for content. Those companies—newspaper, magazines, basically anything middlebrow but not for rich people—are all getting cut out because why would you pay to staff Runners World or Car & Driver when you know who runs (because they post pictures of themselves running) and who wants a car (because they search for it)?

So, yes, in the end, the ad market has a certain size, independent of the advertising companies in it, but now the link between that market and actual writers making actual content people want is broken and everything is turning to shit.

Started using Firefox half a year ago because of a single plugin: TreeStyleTab - which lets you keep a tree of your tabs in a sidebar on the left (I tend to keep a hundred or so open all the time). I have no idea how I've lived without it for so long...

Since then, Firefox has been gaining some momentum + performance and add tracking, surely not planning to switch back to Chrome/Safari anytime soon.

Yep, I've been using TreeStyleTabs for years and years and it is the single most useful addon I have ever used in my life and is also what will keep me using Firefox over every other browser indefinitely. Every other browser feels like a toy without TST. I'd highly recommend everyone check out TST and give it a whirl. It is especially useful when you are researching something on the web due to how well it supports hierarchical, collapsible tab groupings.


TST seems to break with my use of multi-account containers - which spawns tabs in different containers depending on the website

Switched to Firefox a few months back. Havn’t missed Chrome at all

To offer a bit of an opposite view here on HN:

I give firefox a shot from time to time. I switch all devices to it, and then I use it exclusively all the time.

My most recent attempt failed few days ago, after a bit more than a month with it.

Firefox performance just doesn't feel the same as chrome, from constant small freezes, to using 100% CPU pretty often.

And just overall experience on some platforms - especially macOS doesn't feel native at all. On top of that some websites don't support it that good (not Firefox's fault here - but I don't want to deal with that day to day).

Firefox also seemed snappier on the first few runs, but as the time went on I didn't find it faster or feeling less bloated than chrome as a lot of people like to portray it.

Chrome for me, as an average user, does not have any of these downsides. The closest to a downside for some people you could pin to chrome is that it's owned by google.

At the end of the day, chrome gets the job done, and does it without being in my way, on all the platforms I use, - and that's what I want from a browser, so for now I'm sticking with chrome.

"Firefox performance just doesn't feel the same as chrome, from constant small freezes, to using 100% CPU pretty often"

I don't get those problems, but even if I did, it would be well worth it as opposed to seeing ads all the time. If Google wanted me to uninstall Firefox forever and use Chrome they'd allow for plug-ins for Chrome (on Android). While they don't I'll simply never switch. I have no idea how people tolerate ads.

The only sites that give me problems now are ones like Accuweather that try to load media connected to third-party trackers. Firefox won't load them (and I decline to change the settings) and the site fails.

For those sites, and others that are intrusive, if you need them, you can use containers. I use containers for things like Twitter and Facebook.

I use Firefox on my non-Android devices, but sadly I have found that Android Firefox is so slow and clunky that even without ads it's less usable than Chrome with ads. Mozilla knows this, too: they have a total rewrite in beta right now, and it's great, but it doesn't support plugins yet.

I get constant, intermittent stutters when scrolling on FF. On three devices. Sorry, I just want a browser that works. I don't imagine this is a problem for everyone, but I can find reports of it and no fix.

On desktop I just don't feel any difference. There might be one but it's not perceivable to me. I haven't found a site that doesn't work there in ages. And I have an old fire tablet from 2012 at home that I don't really use anymore, but chrome is unusably slow on it while Firefox still works, which I found interesting. Only thing is that touch recognition on Firefox is worse than chrome. Chrome somehow gets stuff like the small links and vote buttons on hn right while on Firefox I hit the wrong thing ask the time.

Mac desktop? Most of the time I see complaints about FF performance, the user is on a Mac. I don't know what they're doing so wrong there, but they could probably win a good chunk of users if they focused on making that experience better.

I've had a Google conferencing app fail before on FF when it worked fine on Chrome. That's about my only experience though. I've been on FF on my laptops for over a year now and they've been fine otherwise. Mobile, on the other hand, will probably always be chrome. I just hate the FF mobile app.

Same here. I use a 12" MacBook "retina" (not air), which is an ultraportable with a weak CPU. Firefox is borderline unusable, even with uBlock Origin, unless you stick to only 1 or 2 tabs. High def video in YouTube really struggles, Google Maps struggles, and other Google properties like Flights have a habit of freezing up.

Plus the non-native feel you mentioned. No pinch-to-zoom, moving tabs between windows feels clunky, and scrolling feels different than almost every other app.

I try Firefox for Android from time to time, and I also have a lot of issues with polish that make me stop using it every time. Tab management is extremely clunky, the address bar is inconsistent with virtually every other Android text input (e.g. there's a big X that I expect to clear the address bar, but in Firefox this escapes me from input mode). Even getting the toolbars to reappear by scrolling is troublesome - infuriating.

It sucks, because I care about privacy and web diversity, and have been a Firefox user since back in the Phoenix days.


Regardless of one's opinion of Apple products - Firefox does have big problems with macOS, with quite a few issues in their bugtracker that are being worked on.

On of them is fixed in v70 already.

I switched to Firefox on my iPhone and my screen time went dramatically down, which is both cool and good. In a world of highly optimized engagement hacking, a less smooth experience is actually good, arguably.

on windows I don't notice any performance difference, but on linux (which i use most of the time) in particular on my laptop firefox performance seems (at least subjectively) significantly worse than chrome if my fans are any indicator.

I don't know if this is site dependent or just a general issue but it bugs me too much to use firefox right now.

For Mac users that want to get away from chrome for privacy reasons, I’d look at safari & the chromium based edge browser. Firefox isn’t in the same league on Mac, it’s not a priority and it shows.

As a counterpoint, Chrome is also pretty far from a native experience, from a Mac user perspective. Material design is hijacking and homogenizing convention across all platforms.

This is odd, because I use it on both Linux (my laptop) and Android, and I never experience this.

I did that a year back though I do miss a few things. One major one is task manager. Being able to identify rogue tabs is useful. Also, in general Firefox uses a lot more resources compared to Chrome. Another is the ability to smoothly zoom in/out of pages. But overall, the privacy benefits are easily worth it.

One Tab is useful to collect all your tabs in a list instead of leaving them open.


Also, like someone else mentioned, you can visit this in the address bar:


Niether worked on Firefox for Android.

One Tab acted maliciously: If you open One Tab, it doesn't show any tabs, so as someone who never used it before, I clicked "bring all tabs to One Tab" think you had to click a button to activate it. Nope, it closed all the tabs instead with absolutely no warning or way to undo it.

That's an extremely bad design.

"Whenever you find yourself with too many tabs, click the OneTab icon to convert all of your tabs into a list. When you need to access the tabs again, you can either restore them individually or all at once."

Not sure what you were expecting. And on the OneTab page that gets generated, there's a link that says "Restore All" right at the top.

That's not applicable to Firefox for Android.

Ah, noted, sorry.

OneTab has been fantastic for killing and restarting Firefox to flush the memory usage without having to reopen the entire session all over again or taking the time to pore through open tabs to pick which to close.

I know about:performance but it isn't as easy to parse as Chrome's Task Manager.

Have you tried it recently? It used to be very hectic, but it isn't anymore (I'm using Beta, not sure if it landed in Stable). It's pretty much identical to Chrome's now.

You can also start it from Menu -> More -> Task Manager. The only thing I'm missing is a handy keyboard shortcut (Shift + Esc works in Chrome/ium).

A task manager was recently added to Firefox. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/task-manager-tabs-or-ex...

I don’t have data to back this up, more just a hunch, but I feel like Firefox uses less resources than Chrome. Less hard drive thrashing and deals with lots of tabs really well.

Yep, this hasn't been my experience at all (quite the opposite). I've been reading this FUD for as long as Chrome has been around (10 years?), and when you ask the person for concrete numbers, all you get back is "I don't know, it just feels like it". I stopped engaging at this point.

Edit: not to mention that you can configure the number of webrender processes Firefox uses to render web pages. If you have a fast enough processor, just set it to one or two and call it a day.

Chrome uses a more complicated algorithm based on the source domain and the tab "dependency" tree. You have pretty much zero control over this.

When I first used Chrome in the beta, it surpassed every browser in performance, from launch time to new tab performance etc. I don’t feel that’s the case anymore. Chrome is a lot more bloated and Firefox has made a lot of strides.

I don’t heavily use tabs like 50+ but people who do say Firefox uses less RAM.

Either way it’s fast enough now for me not to have any performance complaints.

They admitted it themselves, put out blog posts about it.

They've been putting out blog posts over the last 2 years specifically talking about the performance fixes they've put in.

Firefox themselves have admitted it's not FUD. They acknowledged it was a real problem.

It is pretty fast now, but a few years ago (at most 4), it was bloody awful.

I use both because my company is a Google shop and Google sites do work better on Chrome. e.g., for quite a while videos in Google Drive wouldn't play on Firefox. When having a similar number of open tabs and similar sites Firefox is always about 3-5x the CPU usage for Chrome.

> all you get back is "I don't know, it just feels like it". I stopped engaging at this point.

Good job you don't work in user experience design, then, because how things feel to people is a huge part of that. If software feels bad to use, people won't use it, simple as that.

No amount of haughtiness from your high horse will change that.

https://www.hillelwayne.com/post/performance-matters/ was a good article that I'm sure came up in HN about two weeks ago that covers this very point. It pays not to be dismissive about peoples' feelings when it comes to software, particularly around speed; they do matter.

>task manager


It's even easier now:

Hamburger->More->Task Manager

This is me as well, but the one issue I have noticed is that windows updates have started screwing around with my ability to watch videos (netflix, youtube, even things on twitter) and I can't figure out why.

Firefox works perfectly on my linux and macos machines but on windows it seems to crumble after most Windows updates which is a shame. I imagine this is mostly due to Windows rather than Firefox but it's meant I've had to start using Chrome for a lot of things at home on my game / leisure machine.

What about Chrome's F12 debugging? I miss that when I use Firefox.

Depends what you’re doing. Firefox’s dev tools are definitely better at CSS debugging for example.

Indeed. I always wondered why folks praise Chrome devtools which are pretty meh at CSS.

As a non-webdev to me they look pretty much identical. I only ever need them for a one off static site or some jQuery, or when trying to figure out why some page looks broken.

I find the FF Dev tools to be much better but they don't have a way to inspect web sockets which I don't use but if you do.

Nightly can inspect WebSockets now.

Ok I might be suffering from bias due to familiarity. I'll give FF more of a fair shot for debugging.

Try debugging CORS, CSP or SRI failures in FF. Much much more painful.

A minor quibble I have with Firefox's Dev Tools is that in Responsive Design Mode, there's no way to simply select "Fit to screen" as a Zoom level. If you're on a laptop, you'll have to scroll to see the full emulated viewport.

I think touch recognition is better on Chrome too, as sliders and other touch-sensitive UI elements feel a bit more laggy in FF.

On mobile, I'm happy using Brave, which is Chromium but allows you turn off scripts if you want to (goodbye autoplaying videos). On desktop, FF all the way. Except when I need to use Dev Tools.

Things I miss after having switched a couple machines at home:

Stored credit card / payment information.

Chromecast because of the ecosystem devices in my house that use it. There are extensions to do this but they're not great. (Disclaimer: I work @ Google on Chromecast platform stuff.)

Other than that, it's great.

Firefox supports stored payment information...

You may have to turn it on manually, though.

I work at Google, but use Firefox for all my private things... Except when I run into a page that's broken in Firefox. And except when I need developer tools. And except when I need the browser to translate sites for me. And except when I'm shopping, as Google does a good enough job with payment details. And except Google properties, because who knows what weird HTTP 3.7 will Chrome use to save some ocean boiling?

I have developed another strategy. If the site doesnt work in firefox I will just leave. Most of the content is available elsewhere and it is internet way of "voting with my wallet".

That's what I do too. I believe that the more the people who don't tolerate this nonsense (and tell others to do likewise when possible), the quicker we can achieve positive change for everyone. And by "positive change" I mean challengers to Chrome and Google's attitude of bulldozing things (including invading privacy).

That doesn't convey to site owners /why/ you left. You need to tell them. From their perspective they'll just see an even lower percentage of Firefox users and maybe make even less effort to support it.

As an ex-customer why would I care? Do you know how many sites there are on the internet? I'm sure browser support will come up in a meeting at some point if they ever consider increasing sales. I left an online bank because it was too slow on Firefox, and some of the pages didn't render properly. It's trivial moving between banks (you get a cash reward in some cases). I don't want the bad sites fixed; our interests aren't aligned in any way. It would be like trying to tell the manager of a pizza restaurant that you're not going to eat there any more because the service was terrible. I'd leave a bad review on google maps but I don't care if they go bust or whatever. These things all work themselves out in the end, and if they don't, they don't.

The GP comment in this thread specifically calls out doing something as the only way to effect "positive change". It's a little bizarre to respond to someone pointing out that that action won't have the intended effect with "what do I care about changing anything?" It's a valid opinion, but not the conversation anyone on this subthread is having.

Like most internet conversation, I was responding to the person I was responding to, not the person they were responding to. Different people have different opinions, surprisingly.

It's cute that you're pretending like you understood the conversation all along, but you started your comment with "why would I care?", in response to a conversation where two goal-aligned people were discussing tactics for reaching that goal.

Thank you for your help in how to have a conversation online. It's been very useful.

Delighted to have been of service

They should be able to tell from logs and analytics. "Users with a user agent of firefox hit our page but bounce out immediately".

Might be mean but tying up their support costs with browser compatibility complaints would make it obvious to them.

Unrelated but this is why Facebook sucks, you can't meaningfully vote with your wallet if your friends are on Facebook because then you have to stay on Facebook because that's where everything is

(Yes, cue the comments saying "just delete it" or "I deleted mine" but for a lot of people it's not practical and FB knows this and continues to act like complete fucking cunts)

But you can't always do this if you need to use the site for your company (like hangouts for meetings, or other services used like managing expenses).

Exactly, welcome back the good old Internet Explorer days!

Microsoft bad, Google good.

This is a habit that I also picked up over the past couple of years. It has lead to me clicking away a lot of websites, but I'm still equally happy.

Clicking away happens even more so if the site I'm trying to view is "user hostile". Bad readability, banners, popups, those cookie preferences that really don't work, just clicking Yes to hide them works.

That's great that you come out and openly say you're using FF for privacy!

> page that's broken in FF

I don't know any, and have used FF for as long as it exists. Could you give an example (or better yet, tell Mozilla via FF's built-in feedback)?

> developer tools

FF's devtools are far superior to Chrome's IMO for core web tech such as CSS debugging (Chrome is better for JavaScript debugging and profiling, that I'll give you)

> shopping

Y'know, not everybody is ok with Google knowing everything about us, including card details and purchases

> Google properties

That Google pushes GMail and YouTube users to use Chrome and boycots other browsers is hardly an argument (except for an antitrust case).

Similarly I rarely found sites that didn't work in Firefox, Google sites included (given they're tested more than the vast majority of sites I should hope so).

That said I moved to Vivaldi since most of the useful addons I had became incompatible with FF post-Quantum (nor, last I checked, is there any longer a way to save webpages as MHTML which I use frequently and exclusively to save web page content). Though I sorely miss the ability to disable DirectWrite in Blink browsers, which allowed MacType to affect the font rendering for far better text legibility.

Where have I said it's for privacy? Google is actually pretty good for privacy, as seen from the inside. I'm using it for private things at work to not entangle between corp and private and at home for consistency. I also have been using Firefox way longer than Chrome.

I think Google has all these things because they have access to vastly more money and top tier developers than Mozilla.

When you think about it, it's incredible that Firefox is as good as it is (same re Linux.)

But obviously if Google wants to stay better than Firefox, whether it takes a year or a decade, they'll always be able to because they have an absurd amount of resources.

So I wonder, what are Firefox's competitive advantages?

1. Privacy: They can do things like this, blocking trackers, things that benefit the user over the platforms. Because Google can pay lip service to this but at the end of the day their customers are advertisers.

2. What else?

Also, Google has advantages, in that they have synergetic (is that the right way to put it?) products. Like Android and Chrome OS that promote Chrome over the competition.

Can Mozilla compete by adopting a similar approach?

Linux kind of fulfills the role of the OS with Firefox by default, usually. It certainly should, at least.

Of course, Linux suffers from the same lack of resources compared to the competition.

Ideology: as a tech person, I don't want the protocols to be defined by a single entity. Many Googlers agree, even if we also know this could result in faster progress.

Less constraints: Firefox does not need to block release of a new feature because an Android API it depends on got blocked by legal due to regulations in Namibia.

Organisational stability: Firefox has a good revenue stream and stable leadership, with pretty constant direction.

Main competency: Firefox is the thing for Mozilla. For Google, Chrome is an insurance policy against Apple.

But how do these things see it succeeding against Chrome, or even regaining significant market share?

I can't see how it could ever happen. No matter what they do they can't beat the developer and monetary resources of Google.

If Google was rich, they would fix their mistakes, but they don't have money for that.

> So I wonder, what are Firefox's competitive advantages?

Acting in the interest of the user.

Chrome has a history of adding or removing features, to align more to Google's business strategy, than to what really matters to the users.

Firefox's killer feature remains what it always has been. It is a user agent that works for you the user not a third party.

I think the main benefit is that they are closely aligned with user desire and value. Another is that they aren’t trying to run an App Store that makes revenue and profit.

While Chrome is open source, there’s not a true community making decisions. It’s just google doing stuff and releasing code. That is really nice, but not as nice as a community and foundation developing and making decisions based on community desires rather than what fits into Google’s corporate plan.

Google does a lot of stuff that I like and I use many of their services and software. But Google’s direct interests are not my own. Google wants to sell ads. I don’t care about selling ads so everything with them is a trade off between what I want and what I’m willing to pay.

For translation, you can set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine and then type !translate at the beginning (or end) of the URL bar. If you don't want to change your search engine, make a bookmark with the URL "https://translate.google.com/#view=home&op=translate&sl=auto... and the keyword "translate". Then you can just type "translate" before the URL and it will send you there.

>a page that's broken in Firefox

I honestly don't think I've seen this in years, and I load thousands of pages weekly. My adblockers break sites sometimes, but not FF. What kind of weird-ass sites are you visiting?

What pages are people running into that are broken in FF? I _never_ encounter this.

I literally just found one without looking. Short gifs don't animate on Android Firefox but work fine on Chrome on the same phone. Actually, I'm having the same problem on desktop Firefox too, again fine in Chrome on the same pc:


I would like that as well but I am watching youtube and debbuging angular applications. So I still have to use chrome for those things. I do my gmail via thunderbird.

I switched on mobile a few months ago and I'm finding FF much slower/less reactive than Chrome. But I think I'll keep using it.

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