I was working on Cranelift, the WebAssembly compiler that is also a plausible future backend for Rust debug mode. Before that, I worked on the SpiderMonkey JITs for 9 years. If anyone has need for a senior compiler engineer with 10 years of experience writing fast, parallel code, please do let me know.
As someone who has been using Netscape before even Internet Explorer exists, and followed all of its development through to Firefox till recent few years. I am not surprised.
At first you give them benefits of doubt, because their ideal were good. Then it happened again, again, and again.
>Mozilla Corporation (as opposed to the much smaller Mozilla Foundation) said it had about 1,000 employees worldwide.
Yes, you do need lots of people for making something as complex as browser, But 1000? Out of the 70 employees, they decided to lay off more than a few senior engineers with a decade of experience.
I dont know if this will change HN's perspective on Firefox and Mozilla. Every time I pointed something negative on Mozilla there are someone quick to defend it. As someone who used to religiously defend Netscape and Mozilla when I was much younger. I get it. I could understand the appeal, the ideal. Until you grow older and realise, You didn't have that ideal, the ideal had you.
Even if it did, what can we do?
Giving Chrome more market share gives Google more power to shape the future of web technologies, controversial stuff like Manifest v3 and AMP that HN loves to hate.
Personally I'm rooting for Firefox and Mozilla, not out of being a fan of them, but because I'm afraid of the alternative.
A field that should be an ideal, inherently good space for knowledge and humanity to expand is in fact a cesspool of greedy assholes chasing grants and prestige, reflected in the circumstances around journal publishing.
Egos first, then comes science. If your priorities are the other way around, then sincerely good luck to you.
The only reason you are even able to fight this battle is because of the existance of Firefox. All of the Chrome based browsers are toothless tigers without Mozilla.
But Google is a monopoly now and has tied its browser to its other products to take over adjacent markets, or buy other companies that pioneered such markets. Mozilla depends on Google for most of its revenue, and on a declining (traffic) basis. Reality requires acknowledging my and others work on Mozilla but not dying on that nostalgic hill. Especially not with such arrant mismanagement as is going on there now.
PS, thanks for saving the Web when you did. It seems genuinely heroic to me.
If you want to boil the ocean before helping people in an important segment of the population, good luck. Or were you just being defeatist?
It seems that keeping Gecko up to date with the web standards is the only way to have an concurrent implementation for mid-term. This will get more and more difficult to do the more marketshare Blink gets, since it gets easier for Google to shoehorn whatever they want in the web standards by first making it a "de-facto" standard by implementing it in Blink.
Production-quality browser engines are not basement projects. Even Google waited until they were the big kid on the block to undertake the project. Per Wired at :
> "The browser matters," CEO Eric Schmidt says. He should know, because he was CTO of Sun Microsystems during the great browser wars of the 1990s. Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin know it, too. "When I joined Google in 2001, Larry and Sergey immediately said, 'We should build our own browser,'" Schmidt says. "And I said no."
> It wasn't the right time, Schmidt told them. "I did not believe that the company was strong enough to withstand a browser war," he says.
Piggy-backing on Google's engine for the time being is effectively turning the Goliath's momentum against itself. If Brave gets a sustainable revenue model and good-enough market penetration, I'd have every expectation that they'd feel liberated to take more direct control over the platform.
My theory: browser of the future will need to support wasm and webgl (well, not webgl, but something similar, providing fast and safe interface for GPU). Of course along with smaller standards like fetch api, but that's manageable.
Most of the useful websites will utilize those tech to build their UI from scratch without using of HTML, CSS or JS.
And HTML, CSS and JS engines could be just another wasm blob. For example parts of chromium engine adapted and compiled for wasm. So it's like jQuery.
I would have given Brave a more serious try if it weren't for that.
(although I very much dislike the payment system, presented as an alternative to the tracking privacy nightmare the web has become. I'm not paying for the difference, that's ridiculous. I saw what they did to the web, I'm not paying to keep them away)
You have “who pays” exactly backwards about optional Brave Rewards in your closing parenthetical. We pay you, we do not make you pay.
For the sake of internal consistency you should accuse GP of stupidity, not malice.
Product and design people who were involved in our blunder had the best of intentions, and I'm not saying they were stupid either, but they missed the mark and we corrected within a month.
To say "fraud" is to accuse us of a crime, deceiving for gain, which we did not do. We were the source of funds, we did not take anything due to anyone. But the product design was on edge of infringing rights to publicity, even if by scraping, and the appearance of donation fraud was bad. Sorry again for this error. The team learned from it.
What do you suppose will happen when the entire web runs on the Chrome engine? No good things.
Mozilla's FF was once a viable alternative to FAANG privacy monetization, but they're flailing around like their leadership doesn't know what to do but fire engineers and re-organize the deck chairs (org chart) on the Titanic.
All these senior leadership people seem to be straight from the management track. Doesn't seem like they showed their excellence in another discipline and were then misplaced as CEO.
But the Peter principle, doubtful if it even can be taken seriously, doesn't say anything about this specifically.
I don't know anything about Eich, but I don't really see how he would have been bad for Mozilla as a CEO. He had some controversial views as some have reported, but I don't really think that would have been very relevant, especially if so many people disagree.
All that aside, that the execs at Mozilla get millions and they still lay off 70 people is bad leadership. Really, really bad leadership. And the recent focus seem to underline that failure in my opinion.
Mozilla has done incredible things for the net and technology. Sadly, I think this is subject to change.
As far as I know, he never expressed what his “views” were. People just found he donated $1000 (which was .002% of the total funds raised) towards a proposition opposing same-sex marriage. There didn’t seem to be anyone who had worked with him, regardless of orientation, who felt uncomfortable with him, or were even aware of it. His contributions having an effect were gated by a democratic vote, and his financial contribution was so small that I can’t imagine it having a substantial effect on the outcome.
To me the fact that he had the maturity to restrict his political discourse to the same means available to any other voter, to his private life, and was discreet enough that nobody knew about it for years, made him look better. Mozilla is supposed to be making the internet accessible to everybody, even people who hold conflicting views.
The quote comes to mind:
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
I know Mozilla Corp/Org are technically split, but if one head of Cerberus ate all the food surely it doesn't still need feeding.
The money you donate only goes to the foundation, which does not pay the exec, so any donation does not actually go to exec. The donations are required for the foundation to function at all, regardless of how well the corporation does.
to be honest, the whole thing is a bit of a hack though, because really mozilla functions 100% like a corporation even if they had a real foundation inside. its just a way to ensure that the board is Mitchell Baker - not a bunch of people who want the company to profit. this has good and bad sides, and right now we're definitely seeing the bad sides: exec get paid 800k to 2500k (Mitchell), senior devs get fired for making - i bet, 100k to 300k.
foundations are made to be places where you make the world a better place without having the "i want to make money" motto and that's not what Mozilla does. Mozilla wants money to pay execs and keep on surviving. Many other foundations have similar hacks (or arguably, scams!). The other advantage is that the foundation side does not pay tax of course.
None of these people show some kind of original standout excellence in a different field that was lost in their transition to Mozilla leadership roles.
That said, I doubt the executives at Mozilla make north of 7M
When you pay yours executives a modest amount using such a method, it's often very feasible for this to be a massive windfall at the time of maturity (e.g. $1 options becoming $6, etc.).
By which I mean developers vs managers vs other assorted e.g. "tech evangelists" or whatever it's called.
Just curious, but could Cranelift (or rustc_codegen_cranelift, I'm not sure which would be the closest) also acquire a C-transpiling backend, making it a viable replacement for mrustc? There might be quite a few people willing to fund that sort of work, since it could suffice to bring Rust to a whole lot of platforms that people care about.
The CLIF format is low level but relatively architecture-independent.
I'm one of the founders. We are looking for senior compiler engineers (GraalVM) and senior WebGL developers (Rust ) in our team. We are doing a visual programming language for data science and we just got funding of $2.5M. We'd love to chat :)
At this point I don't know who was affected.
I'm guilty too having used such great tool but haven't directly contributed anything.
But from what I hear, it seem the layoffs are directed not by technical reasons, and amazing people were let go. In this case, I fear for the future of firefox, which are not well protected or funded like the open sourced titan Linux.
Mismanagement of funds/personnel not withstanding.
the current model really is: Google needs Mozilla to survive so that they have less chances to get split due to monopoly in the browser market
Good luck with your next adventure and thanks for your work with Firefox!
An appreciative Firefox user.
Mozilla was captured by career executives and people with an ageneda - and money for years was not spend on engineering but squandered. I've been using FF since Mosaic days on and off (lately on again as Brave doesn't block more and more ads) and I'm said there is no alternative (FF hangs Twitch for me for which I need to use Chrome, WHY?)
Now they lay of senior engineers.
I doubt if this is just with Mozilla. Things like these are come as job perks when you enter management. And this one of the reasons why you must aspire to be a manager and not a programmer on the longer run.
>>The execs flew first class, stayed in fancy hotels, and had very expensive dinners and retreats - sometimes in the high five-figures.
They will always come up with reasons why they need to do this. The most common one is they need to be fresh with brains in clouds so that they can to talk to clients etc well. And they are doing this for the employees good.
“Comrades!' he cried. 'You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat those apples.”
- George Orwell.
>>This is not even included in comp.
Things like this generally go in some top level budget and the are approvals are not even audited at item level spending. Like no asks if you had a $100 dinner. It just goes into a group by statement in some dashboard. This is also why so many managers spend lavishly. It's almost anonymous spending. And money once given is never asked back.
If you think this is saying something. Wait till you discover how comp works in those roles. Pretty much anything given is never audited and its given fairly unchecked. Big bonuses and stock grants are just every day activities.
As in Indian who worked in the US for a while, I've even seen Green cards handed to manager's pets like candies. Again no asks questions, no audits done. Its just how awesome managerial jobs are.
>>The rule in the military is that men eat first, officers last.
I doubt if military or any people structure works this way.
Don't fall for these pep talk like speeches.
Similarly, Big 4 and MBB tend to have healthy expense accounts and fringe benefits.
PS: One of my coworkers kept a counter for all-hands meetings because previous said entitled boss'es boss tended to go full mission statement by overusing a particular "motivational" word during their carefully-choreographed, dog-and-pony PowerPoint. Dilbert and Dogbert would've both doubled hand/pawpalmed.
As you go up, its hard to say no to your friends. Because you might need a bailout from them someday, so you don't go cheap on them. Some one asks for money they don't say no.
>>They're not really big on accountability so much as expanding prestige and pyramids on their sides of the org charts.
There is also this thing that if you look rich and affluent you tend to command respect. That is from where the "Dress for the job" kind of saying comes from.
I wasn't aware greencards were something managers could hand out.
In many ways test automation tooling has become much easier to use, develop, and manage.
But I suspect the larger driving force is that it’s (arguably) a cost center for an org. The burden of ensuring software quality can be shifted to devs and PMs, though usually with mixed results.
For Mozilla, axing quality and security first is a bad look when those are crucial aspects of a privacy-first company value.
There is a lot of "shift-left" emphasis out there, but ultimate their is a conflict of interest problem. I think there's no need to go beyond the "we are losing money" explanation and QA is considered more of a cost center.
Heck, the burden can be shifted to users! But then you might not have so many users in the future. :(
Very low engagement out of QA. I'm not sure if they just have a way they like to work, or they think that if they exist then no bugs make it to prod (don't laugh, plenty of our twitter adverts get comments from folks thinking you don't need any monitoring if you have a tester on the team or if a dev writes unit tests).
Understand how the end user experiences your software. That's the actual source of the truth.
This in itself is a not a problem, coming from an oncall minded company. You take care of code you write and you're given time budget to KTFLO.
It was a point of nerd pride on Usenet how well your operating system could handle a Netscape crash back in the day.
"...de-emphasizing QA departments..."
I feel like we (the industry) have forfeited. I did a stint as a SQA manager. Coming from a dev background, I took it very seriously, totally immersed myself in the domain, transmuted from skeptical to true believer.
I honestly don't know what to make of today's state of affairs.
For example, today's business analysts often do many of the tasks we used to associate with the QA role. Testing, verification, liaison with customers. Did we just rename the role?
Did "Agile" smother QA? Until very recently, I've never heard an Agile explanation for how to do QA/Test. I mean really do it, not just wave your arms. The "Test Into Prod" thesis, strategy, whatever, is the first intellectually honest, actionable, constructive (criticizable) methodology I've seen which is tailored for our new market realties.
I've never understood Agile. My teams were way more "nimble" (to use a different adjective) using PMI, critical path, iterative, lightest weight decision making, front loading work, managing risk, and so forth. All the battle hardened time proven stuff people untrained in project management pejoratively call "waterfall".
One correct criticism of all failing methodologists, including Agile, is lack of feedback loops. The "throwing over the wall" of work downstream. We designed feedback loops into our processes, some of what today would be called CI/CD. We were definitely not waterfall. (Another is managing transaction costs, something Agile has manifestly failed to do.)
Rant over. Sorry. Now get off my lawn.
The person asking for a features should absolutely be the one signing off on the feature.
A fuzzer is not going to replace unit tests or good SDLC, which often involves QA.
If there's anything they're going to be in the history books for, it's going to say Rust, not Firefox.
Mozilla is very good at making browsers. Making browsers is incredibly hard and it's amazing that Firefox is competitive with Chrome given a fraction of the development resources Chrome has.
Mozilla has made some big mistakes, but so have the other browser vendors. It's easier to brush over your mistakes when you have an ocean of resources and market power.
Given that the embedding API would have had to change dramatically due to e10s pretty soon after 2010 (and maybe again due to Fission), I think 2010 was probably a bad time to promote a stable embedding API.
Embedding doesn't rank high on my list of Mozilla's mistakes.
Elsewhere in these comments people have estimated that Google pays at least 1000 people to work on Chrome. That's about the size of all of Mozilla, and a lot of those Mozilla staff are necessarily not working directly on Firefox --- you need HR, accountants, marketing, etc. Also, Google pays its developers significantly more than Mozilla does, on average; Mozilla developers tend to get big raises when they move to Google.
And that's just direct spending. Historically Google has done a lot of Chrome marketing on its Web sites, which is prime advertising real estate that would cost astronomical amounts of money if it was for sale. And historically Google has paid hardware and software vendors to preinstall Chrome, which is also expensive, though I'm not sure how much that happens these days.
One contribution we can always use is people writing and talking about rr. One of the biggest things holding rr back is so many people just don't know it exists (or they know it exists but they don't appreciate what it could do for them).
Quality and popularity are rarely correlated, but such metrics are even further confounded when you have monopolistic factions like Google and MS pumping huge money into user acquisition for their competing platforms. It's ridiculous to imply that Firefox is being rejected by users just because Google has been dumping millions into getting people switched to Chrome (and doing so not only with marketing dollars, but increasingly with bully tactics).
I would love someone to estimate an actual figure for total Chrome marketing spend including in-kind. I'm guessing it would be well over $10B.
I tried to use Firefox recently. It leaked 28 GiB of RAM on x86_64 GNU/Linux with no extensions except uBlock Origin. Happened a few times over the month whenever I visited JS-heavy websites. Never had that happen with Chromium, which runs through megs of JS like butter.
Wouldn't it be nice if an experienced browser dev team maintained a privacy-oriented libre version of Chrome (without manifest v3, sync, and all that trash). Or should they keep doing what they've doing and make the best pro-privacy browser that no one ever uses except indirectly through Tor Browser.
And further contribute to the browser monoculture?
> I tried to use Firefox recently. It leaked 28 GiB of RAM on x86_64 GNU/Linux with no extensions except uBlock Origin. Happened a few times over the month whenever I visited JS-heavy websites.
And you've reported this, I assume?
> Never had that happen with Chromium, which runs through megs of JS like butter.
Really? I explicitly avoid Chrome on my computer because it can't handle the web without chewing through my RAM.
> Wouldn't it be nice if an experienced browser dev team maintained a privacy-oriented libre version of Chrome (without manifest v3, sync, and all that trash). Or should they keep doing what they've doing and make the best pro-privacy browser that no one ever uses except indirectly through Tor Browser.
I would like the experienced Mozilla team to continue to work on their pro-privacy browser than a decent number of people use.
This is a total non-response. They're not actually under an obligation to report a bug and use their time - Mozilla, however, is obliged to make their browser work properly, and to ensure the team that's working on it is properly staffed/resourced/competent.
Your response is downplaying someone's actual concern by acting like it's wrong that they don't spend their spare time participating in open source software development.
Furthermore, this "browser monoculture" argument is ridiculous. WebKit and Blink are both open source, and Mozilla is increasingly becoming what Opera was back with Presto: a lone engine with quirks that nobody wants to waste their time working around.
If Mozilla gave up Gecko tomorrow and forked WebKit (a la what Blink is) I don't think I'd bat an eye. This is like what junior programmers wind up learning at some point - nobody cares what the code looks like, just that it does what it's expected to.
I say this all as someone who's contributed to some Mozilla repos, has a massive personal investment in Rust (and has read a good chunk of Servo, and liked it), and has been a fan since the Mozilla Suite days.
Anything that broken would be fixed, almost instantly, had they reported it. I am not very amenable to people who discuss their very extreme personal anecdotes that they have failed to even put even the basic (some may even say courteous) amount of help and instead talk about their experience like it's typical.
> Furthermore, this "browser monoculture" argument is ridiculous. WebKit and Blink are both open source, and Mozilla is increasingly becoming what Opera was back with Presto: a lone engine with quirks that nobody wants to waste their time working around.
Open source does not ensure that a monoculture will not develop; both WebKit and Blink are financed by billion (trillion?) dollar corporations that have almost complete control over what will or will not be worked on or merged in. Every engine has its own quirks and slant on how it interprets the web standard: if WebKit was the dominant browser today we'd all be even more hesitant to roll out WebM or WebGL 2.
> If Mozilla gave up Gecko tomorrow and forked WebKit (a la what Blink is) I don't think I'd bat an eye. This is like what junior programmers wind up learning at some point - nobody cares what the code looks like, just that it does what it's expected to.
Who exactly are you likening to "junior programmers"?
> I say this all as someone who's contributed to some Mozilla repos, has a massive personal investment in Rust (and has read a good chunk of Servo, and liked it), and has been a fan since the Mozilla Suite days.
And you know my personal history on this pretty well too, but you'll notice I'm advocating for Mozilla in this case.
Doesn't mean much since Google controls what features are planned, implemented and included in Chromium.
There just aren't enough users out there to stick to a bad browser for religious reasons. It has to actually be better.
The browser market is as free of a market as you can get. Chromium has won. It had an advantage of being written mostly from scratch with lessons from the failures of Firefox and IE. It's basically too late to catch up. While trying to catch up, they will lose what little market share they have left, and the result will be an undisputable browser monoculture. What Mozilla can offer is a different frontend (or "userspace" if you will) to Chromium. That is the realistic approach.
> I would like the experienced Mozilla team to continue to work on their pro-privacy browser than a decent number of people use.
desktop user agents: 8% and dropping, about to be overtaken by Internet Explorer (lmao)
4.9% with mobile included
<1% mobile only
Given all the UA-sniffing and purposefully sending broken or degraded sites to various browsers going on nowadays (including on Google properties), no, it's not.
Chrome's main advantage was/is the limitless ocean of resources of one of the biggest three companies in the world, and incessantly being featured on the front page of the biggest (90%+) search machine in the world.
> Chrome's main advantage was/is the limitless ocean of resources of one of the biggest three companies in the world
Yes, this is the reason why it became the best. It had loads of talented developers deployed on it for years and years. You can either complain about it or be happy that it happened and you have access to the fruits of this labor for free.
Of course this is not the experience of the vast majority of Firefox users, so it's pointless to suggest that this means something about Firefox's overall quality. You can easily find people making the same sorts of complaints about Chrome.
Sadly, one of the drawbacks of opensource is that people can take your code and butcher it, and users will blame you.
Some mornings I'm beachballing for my whole first coffee. Eventually I just wind up power cycling the mac if I can't open a shell prompt with which to `pkill -9 plugin-container`....
> pkill -9 plugin-container
Ahhh, ok - that's not FF, that's a crap plugin (likely Flash). It's the browser equivalent of blaming Windows when a crap taiwanese driver gets it stuck. You could try uninstalling all that crap.
Firefox often appears to use large amounts of memory in top / htop, but I believe that's just reported address space allocations. The RES column gives a more accurate depiction of memory usage.
Maybe it's poor Linux support, I have a distressingly high 4 digit number of tabs open on a Windows box and I don't think I've seen it go past 8gb with multiple weeks of runtime.
Edit: Win10 Pro on a Xeon with 48gb ram available
I hardly ever have more than 10 tabs open, and aggressively close everything I am not working with. I also shut down my browser twice a day (2 working locations) and never restore the previous session. I do bookmark some pages, but as a matter of fact I notice that I hardly ever refer to my bookmarks. I don't have the feeling that I am missing out on anything.
Fail to go back and clear them out, mostly. Most were left open because of something relevant at the time, so I mostly need to spend a little time going through and nuking or nothing. There's been little friction due to leaving them open so it hasn't been a priority.
Pretty much the same thing that leaves some people with tens of thousands of messages in their inboxes (I deal with someone who does that and it makes my teeth itch, so my inbox isn't so bad).
As a programmer who has spent significant time with performance work, having useless tabs in a browser would hurt me. But that Google has to search through a bit longer list of messages I can accept as the typical wastefulness of computing these days. (I am old enough to have done time-sharing on 4 MB with 11 other students on their VT100)
Type '%' (no quotes) followed by parts of the URL or title or both in the URL bar. Searches only your open tabs. I can usually find exactly what I want quite quickly.
I must be quite an outlier, because even 10 tabs open at once sounds like a distressingly high number to me.
It has a fantastic FF extension.
Sadly, the sites out there have changed far more than any of the browsers have, and not for the better. They load a ton of crap that does not contribute to the value delivered to the user, but instead contribute value to the site owner and the dozen layers of intermediaries in between user and site owner.
FF -- fix text sizing. As an example, old-style Reddit renders wonderfully on Brave and terribly terribly small on FF mobile. Another tester site is BOFH.
1) Not using the recommended performance settings. Setting 'Content Process Limit' to 2 removed more than half the memory usage IIRC. There are other settings that you will need to go to about:config to change like what size images are cached to memory etc.
2) Use the 'Auto Tab Discard' extension. You will have to configure this to not discard tabs on certain sites or you may lose info you have typed into a webpage. Fortunately this is easily configured by right clicking a tab.
At the moment Firefox is using 700MB to display 5 tabs. 4 HN and on Reddit tab. Given that these sites are close to just text I find 700MB absurd, but that is just the web these days.
Not sure what was going on with your experience, but I use Firefox on x86_64 machines with far less than 28 GiB of RAM daily and several extensions (including uBlock Origin), and I've never had anything like that happen. I'm not sure how JS-heavy the sites I visit are though, as I don't have any issues, so I don't really pay attention to that.
This is about 7% of all their employees.
People report that a lot of QA, security, and release management folks were sacked.
A lot more details in the TechCrunch article:
> In an internal memo, Mozilla chairwoman and interim CEO Mitchell Baker specifically mentions the slow rollout of the organization’s new revenue-generating products as the reason for why it needed to take this decision
edit: fixed the numbers, added some more details.
I'm also surprised they haven't tried to create commercial mail and communications products. Thunderbird used to be one of the best options out there, and they could easily spin this off into a SaaS and self-host product on the server component. As much as I hated Lotus Notes, something between Lotus Notes, Outlook and MS Teams could be something great and that the Mozilla org would be in a good position to create.
I know they may have good reach with the VPN service as well... I'm unsure how they can reduce security, qa and release management people when orchestration, automation and verification are such huge needs.
They get enough income from search (for now) that they could concentrate on best of breed tech, build mindshare from that, then re-introduce marketing for critical mass.
Where Mozilla could have the upper hand, is the idealistic community.
They would do the marketing, if FF would align with their goals ... which seems to be more and more a problem.
I was really alienated when FF tried to sell me advertisement as a feature some time ago. Those moves destroy trust. "Ah, so just another bullshit company. No thanks. Why should I support them?"
But the community and people who actually love open technology, privacy and the internet and don't want to hand it all over to google, facebook and co. are still there.
If Mozilla were throwing resources at a legal battle against Google, I'd be skeptical but interested. But marketing? I've never seen a paid advertisement for Firefox. Where the hell is that money even going? They should have purged their entire marketing staff after that "Mr Robot" advertisement debacle, but instead there was little other than half-hearted apologies.
The competition (chrome) is just enjoying the runaway success of being the household name for over 10 years, simply by being a better product than firefox was 10 years ago when the market shares were much closer.
If firefox wants to enjoy this runaway success that chrome has, mozilla should steal the playbook of being the contrarian option for tech minded people just like how chrome was the foil to IE and Safari a decade ago before it became the dominant web browser. The focus should therefore be on dev tooling, not marketing, and the rest of the user base will follow the devs.
(I use Firefox now)
But let me second-guess the marketing team: wouldn't all that money be better spent marketing to potential customers rather than things like SXSW?
Lone gone are the days where SXSW was a bunch of grubby hippies listening to a bunch of crappy bands. Now it's a bunch of hipster drones listening to a bunch of crappy mainstream pop artists.
Why does that sound like a good demographic? Sure, cover that group, but not at the expense of the much, much larger demographic of "ordinary people".
"Ordinary people" earn you nothing unless you vacuum up their personal information.
Nothing changed. People are the same.
I can see them succeeding with an open-core enterprise e-mail & calendar solution where the base features are free to use and an enterprise version with extra features, like the Gitlab model with self-hosting as the key selling point.
IBM can't even be bothered to try anymore - they sold off the carcass of Lotus a while back.
Which worked because IE 6 was a dumpster fire for both users and developers. Developers were looking for any excuse to jump ship off it.
The browser market in 2020 is 'good enough' for users and developers. It's like gasoline - nobody cares which refinery the gas in their tank comes from.
Sadly, I agree.
I find it sad because I haven't personally found any modern browser that I'm happy using.
Personally I'd like to see them roll out paid privacy products. Like Cloudflare's 18.104.22.168. I currently pay for that, and if Mozilla rolled out a similar service across the Firefox ecosystem I'd gladly pay for that too.
Unless e.g. Lin Clark was among those who were laid off, they've been doing some excellent developer-side community outreach through the Mozilla Hacks blog in the past couple of years.
See https://wiki.mozilla.org/Oxidation#Rust_Components .
This sort of ruthless management is a way to destabilise the workforce and disrupt the team. What I've often found is management might cull the worst performing people but the best people follow them voluntarily because of the toxic culture, and then there's the fact that the worst performing person in the best performing team might be better than the best performing person in the worst performing team.
Also people just game the system and only do what will get them a good review.
I know some on at a big UK company who was bucking for a promotion and they blew through 1 Mill and 15 Man years for no good reason.
Wouldn't doing a good job earn a good review? This reminds me of the xkcd comic about the bots starting to have constructive messages to avoid spam filters. Mission fucking accomplished.
But what tends to happen with stack ranking is that people only do what their direct manager values and rewards in the short term, and avoid other work that really needs to be done, or what the actual customer wants. Your boss becomes your only customer. You invent redundant new shit because that's more impressive than fixing your existing shit that's broken. This can be incredibly damaging to the quality of the product, and also to the careers of anyone the boss just doesn't personally like for whatever reason. It creates a monoculture of like-minded, demographically similar people who suck up and shit down.
You even can see pathological behaviors like managers purposefully recruiting low performers as sacrificial lambs to offer up at the next review time.
Companies got rid of the rank-and-yank system in the last decade or so for a very good reason.
Nope, because incentives are not aligned to that extent. The whole point of a company is that it's not a pure market where incentives are everything by definition; it's a rather more complex organization and these often rely on "soft" constraints as better sources of drive, guidance, cooperation/coordination etc. If you're relying on "hard" incentives (like firing the 'worst' 5% no matter what) you'll invariably distort behaviors in ways that are hard to even predict, and are almost never what you really want.
If only life were that simple.
If you’re going to lay off the bottom x% every n period of time, it might be fine. But you’d better be damn sure your metrics are good (sales comes to mind though even then there’s a lot of ambiguity). If you’re dropping the weakest performer in groups you’re not only going to create the most toxic environment ever, you’re going to lay off plenty who are probably middle of the bell curve.
Microsoft’s plan was, in addition to being unwise, just poorly reasoned statistically.