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One thing that always frustrates me a bit whenever Mozilla comes up on HN or elsewhere is that we are always held to impossibly high standards. Yes, as a non-profit, we should be held to higher standards, but not impossible standards.
OTOH, sometimes it just seems unreasonable and absurd. Stuff like, to paraphrase, "Look at the corporate doublespeak in that press release. Fuck Mozilla, I'm switching to Chrome."
Really? That's what's got you bent out of shape?
Sure, Mozilla has made mistakes. Did we apologize? Did we learn anything? Did we work to prevent it happening again?
People want to continue flogging us for these things while giving other companies (who have made their own mistakes, often much more consequential than ours, would never be as open about it, and often learn nothing) a relatively free pass.
I'm certainly not the first person on the planet whose employer has been on the receiving end of vitriol. And if Mozilla doesn't make it through this next phase, I can always find another job. But what concerns me about this is that Mozilla is such an important voice in shaping the future of the internet. To see it wither away because of people angry with what are, in the grand scheme of things, minor mistakes, is a shame.
EDIT: And lest you think I am embellishing about trivial complaints, there was a rant last week on r/Firefox that Mozilla was allegedly conspiring to hide Gecko's source code because we self-host our primary repo and bug tracking instead of using GitHub, despite the fact that the Mozilla project predates GitHub by a decade.
When you're doing a layoff, just announce the layoff, show compassion to the affected employees, and if you want to announce other changes, do it in a separate announcement. Putting stuff about the fight against systemic racism in the opening paragraph of a layoff announcement is just inviting a tidal wave of eye rolls.
I think this opening was well-written and clearly communicated Mozilla's purpose. You can blame it for being populist, but don't hate the player, hate the game.
Watching Mozilla leadership drive Mozilla into the ground over the last 8-10 years has been like watching a bus accident in slow motion. FirefoxOS anyone?
The only benefit Mozilla now provides is a warning to companies that place how liked and popular employees are over how skilled and hard working they are.
Mozilla has collected such a large group of well behaved and well liked underperformers to an absurd level like no other company in history. This is no more obvious than the woefully under-qualified and perennially under-performing leadership.
Someone please explain to me how Mitchell Baker continues to have a job? How is Mozilla still paying this person millions, yes millions, of dollars?
Pocket?! You are going to save Mozilla with a glorified bookmarking app?
What a sad waste.
Yeah! They are cutting out key technical employees while not cutting top-level exec salaries.
Yes. Mozilla Corporation, The wholly owned subsidiary of Non-profit Mozilla Foundation, is a for-profit organization and taxable entity. 
For any for-profit organization, increasing profit is one of the major responsibility of the CEO.
And the worse your company is doing, the more important it is to find a good CEO and the harder it will be for you to attract a good one. So you can even make an argument for why CEOs that joined companies that are doing badly might be getting paid more on average.
Of course startups CEO will have different goals - company at different stages of their growth will have very different goals and tangentially they need different CEOs with different skill sets to achieve those different goals.
It doesn't change because upper management is all in the "cult", and there's no incentive to lower salaries. If all programmers (or any other profession) were in charge of their own salaries, I'd suspect something similar happening with people rewarding each other more and more compensation while pointing at other companies to justify it.
If the current CEO, whom from the outside is not doing a great job, is not willing to. You find a different CEO. I am not convinced that no one wants to do the job for $500k instead of $2.5m. Whether that person would be good/bad/worse is pure speculation, but it's not like organizations are taking the chance.
they'd probably have to have at least a negative $2m impact before it mattered right?
revenue on its own may not even be the best measure, if the revenue comes via methods that conflict with the larger ideology. I don't know if Mozilla has that conflict with itself or not.
Your point is accurate though, and I've held the same views for a while now. This sort of thinking would seem to dictate that the next Mozilla CEO will need to come in at around $2.5m - that's been defined as the floor now. Regardless of how well that person executes, they've got that base. And... you can't really judge them after 3 months. You'd need to give them a year to make a 'real' assessment... and you've just spent that money on someone, regardless of outcome.
How is that still an NGO?
FirefoxOS gets a lot of hate, but I honestly thought it was a pretty good idea. The problem was that it was terribly executed.
It’s a bit unclear to me wether that was your point or not.
I think what OP was saying is that Mozilla is so poorly managed that they took a great idea and made it crash and burn.
Firefox OS was abandoned pretty quick as I remember, 2 years tops?
I would not single that out as a failing.
Microsoft made a new OS where they needed developers to target their platform. Too few did, and the platform failed.
Mozilla tried to bypass this chicken-and-the-egg problem by being able to leverage PWAs which “everyone” is making anyway these days. It wasn’t a too crazy bet that it might have worked.
In a similar vein the Pinephone is trying something similar these days: not asking developers to target it, but instead leverage existing app eco-systems (Linux and web).
I don't expect a runaway mainstream success here, but I do wish them luck.
It never works.
Sometimes you need to plough your way through the field to get the bountiful harvest - Mozilla did that and then left the harvest to burn.
A thing can be good and successful without being the global leader, unless you want monopolies for everything.
Then hardware manufacturers started producing cheap hardware that could run Android with acceptable performance, thus eliminating the price advantage for FirefoxOS, before that OS could take off in third world nations.
> Watching Mozilla leadership drive Mozilla into the ground over the last 8-10 years has been like watching a bus accident in slow motion.
I honestly am not aware much of that.
> FirefoxOS anyone?
I can't tell if you're unhappy they started that project or unhappy they stopped it. I'm guessing you're unhappy, so I'm going to go along with the guys that were involved on that project for the rest of your post.
I am curious though, since you seem to know so much about Mozilla driving itself into the ground, do you know the resources that were spent on FirefoxOS?
> The only benefit Mozilla now provides is a warning to companies that place how liked and popular employees are over how skilled and hard working they are.
I know that Andreas Gal was disliked, but how was he unskilled and what did his position have to do with the nature you're speaking of?
> Mozilla has collected such a large group of well behaved and well liked underperformers to an absurd level like no other company in history. This is no more obvious than the woefully under-qualified and perennially under-performing leadership.
How did you asses that Andreas Gal was under qualified and under performing?
> Someone please explain to me how Mitchell Baker continues to have a job?
Mitchell Baker is one of the oldest closely related employees to Netscape, Mozilla etc. She is very much the original culture of company. Her particular focus is the overall business aspect of operating the organisation rather than the technical. The technical work would have been people like Andreas Gal.
> How is Mozilla still paying this person millions, yes millions, of dollars?
That's not her sallary, that comes from compensation. Compensation is based on looking at what other similarly sized companies, usually in the same sector are paying based on similarly skilled people. Companies do not want to lose their CEOs etc. What might suprise you is that she's being paid at the lower end of the scale, and this is because she's a CEO sourced internally.
If Mozilla were to replace her with an external CEO, they would likely end up needing to pay vastly more. The compenstion paid is usually pegged to performance. While the company might have not done well as a whole, there are likely things this person has navgiated the company through that you did not see? But, if you did, please share.
> Pocket?! You are going to save Mozilla with a glorified bookmarking app?
Mozilla is following a common technique to help bring stability to the company when one or more revenue stream starts struggling or drying up -- It is diversifying income. Mozilla appears to be a very R&D sort of company, so they seem to be doing what you see companies like Microsoft Garage or Alphabet do and try to create their own 'start ups' without the company bit to try to innovate new products. Hence where FirefoxOS came from.
Many people originally scoffed at the idea of Apple doing a phone.
You just don’t seem to get the obviousness in front of you, just like almost all of Mozilla while the rest of the world sees how absurd and sad things are.
Mozilla has zero chance of survival at its current size without the browser tech. Instead of working on creative ways to monetize that, back when Firefox still had enough market share for it to matter, precious time was wasted on a wide variety of valueless diversions.
Mozilla without Firefox is dead. Pocket or a VPN service has zero chance of bringing in similar revenue. Zero. It was and is a giant waste of time.
And so here we are. Years wasted on what could have been real honest and creative attempts at monetization from competent leadership. They had 10 years to figure it out. Instead they played with whatever new shiny toy fell in front of them.
It would be a hilarious joke if it wasn’t so sad.
I don't know, I feel like I have more context you do right now. But maybe that is just experience from working in organisations like this.
> Mozilla has zero chance of survival at its current size without the browser tech. Instead of working on creative ways to monetize that, back when Firefox still had enough market share for it to matter, precious time was wasted on a wide variety of valueless diversions.
That's not really true though, is it? FirefoxOS derivatives took off significantly and did very well, but, unfortunately, it turned out listening to the public saying to cut it was an awful idea.
> Pocket or a VPN service has zero chance of bringing in similar revenue.
It's not about bringing in similar revenue on a single project, it's about having many different income generators though.
> It was and is a giant waste of time
Did you actually check the development effort involved? They didn't have to spend much on resources to do so, to do these alternate revenue streams, the organisation spent relatively little rather than putting all their money behind a big project and then if it doesn't work out, collapsing -- which is likely to occur trying to pursue large projects like you're suggesting?
They could have said pretty much the same thing, but with a nod to the fact that it is hard to believe the corporate version. E.g. "Mozilla has laid off 250 employees today. Why? Well here are our reasons, let's start at the beginning...".
And then I'd be more interested to read.
I would love to know why - short on cash? Google's teet running dry? Or do they believe fewer people = more agility? or maybe the roles really were redundant.
There's no way to donate directly to Firefox development.
There is. It is called "restricted funds":
The more people use restricted funds designation, the less bloated non-profits with wishy-washy missions there would be and the less money there would be to pilfer by the parasite class that lives in the executive roles of the non-profits.
If so, there's a lot of people who would like to do this, I believe.
Write "Restricted funds - see attachment" on a check. On the attachment list check details and a restriction such as "Direct expenses for <blahblahblah> only." If you just do not want it to go to G&A fluff fund the execs use to live a large life, just exclude G&A: "<blah blah blah> purposes only. No G&A"
Regulations for non-profits aren't a joke. If they took your restricted funds, you bet they are going to follow the restrictions.
Non-profits may hate it but at the end it is money. So they take it. If they decline to cash the check, no skin off your back.
Source: lived in a non-profit land as a tech consultant. Heard constant bitching about big donors being smart and always restricting funds above a few hundred dollars. Execs of every non-profit that pretends it cannot deal with restrictions are taking the donor for suckers and are fleecing them.
If MoFo made Firefox, this would make sense. But they don’t.
It is their problem, not my. They want money. It is restricted. Money is fungible. If they figure out how to use the money that is restricted then they need to spend less unrestricted money.
Thanks for elaborating though! I didn't know about this feature of donations.
Here's a related discussion on exactly this topic, from 11 months ago. I see that it was you who mentioned restricted funds in that thread, too. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20874641
Supporting and directing Internet standards, resisting Google, etc, are a byproduct of developing an independent browser.
Mozilla has always been political. It was born so. Why do you think Jamie Zawinski got Shepard Fairey to design its logo?
The Mozilla manifesto is full of political statements.
Do you remember the fight against DRM? Net neutrality? SOPA?
Often, people that speak like you mean “speech favoring equal treatment” instead of “politics”.
Furthermore Mozilla has the expertise, connections and brand when it comes to the web they can use as leverage to solve web-related social/political issues, but might not have much leverage for unrelated issues so the risk/reward ratio will not be in their favor.
If I keep that in mind while listening/reading people complaining about "politics" it is often the smallest change to their stated message that would make it clear and internally consistent. So I ask clarifying questions to see if their complaint is poorly articulated rather than picking at their words to defend the thing they're criticizing.
I didn’t think it was well written at all. The sheer number of words is a red flag. There are five focus areas that are all extremely vague. Good writing is clear and concise.
I'd rather they kept politics and so-called fights against racism out of Software, because they were never problematic there to begin with.
The terms master and slave for example are only in bad taste because people make them to be.
Silicon Valley is polluted, all your hardware is made in China, algorithms shape what we see.
And they want to offer me leadership? For what? Seriously considering if Mozilla still has a place on the donation list.
This blog post is pretty bad. Doesn't mean I just drop my support, but I don't see how you cannot be disappointed here or who feels like this is a road to improvement.
I was a loyal Firefox user and can't even remember why I switched to Chrome. Sometimes shit happens. Kohler can be all ecited about making the next great toilet bowl. Just don't expect me to get excited every morning to go take a poop on that bowl. It's an impossibly high standard!
If the purpose of Mozilla is to fight systematic racism, then I'm sorry building a web browser and running a VPN is a terrible way to go about it and the leadership team should be removed.
"Corporate double-speak" is still far better than not saying anything and/or hoping that nothing leaks.
Public acknowledgement in difficult times is near impossible for most companies, especially those that are private, to accomplish.
As others have mentioned, layoffs should not be templatized, it is an indication that the company doesn't care much about the employees, the heart and soul of the company. I hope to God it was more than 5 minutes to draft a message to put 250 people out of a job in the middle of a Pandemic.
Putting it up to "well this is the standard of the industry" is bullshit, if you want more realistic examples, sexism in the work place is _not_ a hyperbole and is still very normal and very wrong.
Also, people who don't know anything about a task tend to underestimate its complexity. I can't remeber the name of the effect but it's a variant of the Dunning-Kruger effect.
I'm not quite sure who the intended audience of the release is. Releasing a statement announcing the layoff of many employees while trying to position the company as "a technical powerhouse of the internet activist movement" just screams insincerity.
This all sounds like a bunch of grasping at big picture straws, not announcing a new actual direction.
I'd be very wary of what we hear from Mozilla leadership in the next few months.
This is just my own opinion. There's also the consideration that merit and talent should exceed diversity as a goal. For developers, I find that those that I would hire are roughly 10-15% of those I've interviewed. I've always paid more attention to content and character, and that has shaken itself out to include quite a bit of diversity in the end without being a goal.
Maybe it's a side effect of coming from a generation online before cameras and even gui interfaces were really much of a thing. I never really cared much about someone's sexual or racial identities, only what their ideas and statements were. I almost wish we could return to those things. When I see a pull request on github, I don't go looking into the person, only the code.
Or that depends entirely on how the reader is used to seeing buzz words the whole time used in unrelated contexts. You know, not every mundane thing is life bears relation to high ideals.
this isn't reddit. Even if you have downvote priveledges, you can never downvote direct replies to your own comments. so it was not them.
(just a friendly heads up)
In my original post I stated that people would only eyeroll a reference to diversity based on how they view diversity. That's it.
I thought that was harmless and succinct. People have different points of view, and no person can anticipate how another person will react. Then people tried to explain to me that I was wrong, which means: people's views DON'T actually play into how they react, which is demonstrably false. See that? In order to argue me, you have to take the position that you know exactly how everyone will already react.
Rather, your comment strongly appeared to suggest that you were implying one would support Mozilla's statement if they supported diversity, and vice-versa. But if you were trying to imply that, it appears you missed the point of the parent's comment. And if you weren't trying to imply that, and weren't just stating a tautology, then it still isn't clear what point you are trying to make.
No, it means you communicated badly, and your edit and replies are doubling down on that.
it also means not immediately dismissing different perspectives.
It is self defeating to remove emotional bias when the statement in question is an emotional plea. That's likely the root of all the reservations you're getting in replies.
sometime corporate doublespeak is just trying to communicate a narrative or a vision for the future, which in terms of long term survival are often more important than clearly stated facts.
The CEO of Carta made a post about layoffs they had there a couple months back, and the contrast with this Mozilla post is night and day IMO: https://medium.com/@henrysward/cartas-covid-19-layoff-cbb80e...
People in this business always discover this stuff and then they're always like "Why do they hate me?". The answer is "they never wanted to love you. They want to watch you fall". Like DDG with their favicon service (which HN billed as some sort of nefarious tracker).
Vanta bypassed all this by not playing to the Security Puffery crowd. Usually a quick way to do that is to require money because the Security/Privacy Puffery crowd doesn't have any.
I'm a happy Firefox and Chrome user. Honestly, it's been working fine for me.
I'm just disappointed about what Mozilla has become over the years. It wasn't supposed to be an "agile" tech company, with slick marketing and UI/UX, making deals to try to get market share.
It was supposed to be a non-profit foundation, making an open-source cross-platform browser engine, pushing for open protocols and standards. It enabled a few niche open-source operating systems to have a viable browser, it put a big dent in IE's market share, I would say it paved the way for Safari on iOS to be viable way back in 2009, and that obviously changed the world.
It still could have done that. It was making 100s of millions of dollars per year from the default search provider deal, for over a decade. It could have saved most of that money, spending it only on 50 to 100 browser engineers. Branching out to MDN and websocket or webrtc libraries would also make sense. But the rest of the crap, the marketing, the rebranding, the Pocket purchase and integration, Firefox OS, the voice recognition and AI stuff (and notice the announcement, they're keeping the AI division, really need that part apparently), stuff that nobody remembers, that's all a waste of money that could be saved by the non-profit foundation to just support the low-level engine keeping the open web viable.
Being an as-good-as-the-competition web browser that's not the default on any major OS (yeah I use it, but the Linux desktop ain't major) and doesn't have something like Google's reach for massive promotion (like they did with Chrome) is gonna kill them as a viable product with broad appeal, at this rate. They need to find a way to make that so much better than the competition that people bother to install it (on others' computers, too, like how they got their start), and I'm not sure how they can do that, or they need to pick another crappy but super-popular web-related product and go for the throat.
[EDIT] for that matter, web chat/conferencing, and social. IMO the browser's a dead-end for them except as a supporting product, but they keep focusing on utterly dull, niche, or already well-served products. IE sucked, but everyone needed a browser. Firefox crushed it by thoroughly and entirely not sucking. Pick something else that sucks and do the same. Not... bookmarking or whatever Pocket does.
I pay about $12/month to be able to use these things, which I regret only slightly less than not having the time to establish suitable alternatives.
I assume they’ll get rid of it at some point and then I’ll move, but it’s surely handy (OneDrive is completely terrible UX wise and has a 5TB hard limit).
Just thinking about all the money they burned through, how great would it have been, to bring XML up to current standards, and to support it well in Firefox. I mention this, because it is important, that we have at least one browser in the market, that understands XML native.
Or what would be if "Ubiquity" would have become an integral part of Firefox? Wow, just wow! I hate these people. They totally ignored the desire of many folks for a WYSIWYG XUL IDE back in the day as well... Instead they made Firefoxy parties, sold T-Shirts and coffee-mugs, implemented 'Persona', 'Hello' and what not! Did you just say, they bought 'Pocket'? Holy moly! I thought it was just a strategic relationship.
There was some relationship between the creator of Pocket and one or more Mozilla executives and/or board members that made the whole purchase stink in more ways than one.
First thing i do on a new Firefox profile (for the one machine I have still running Firefox) is disable Pocket.
And when Phoenix/Firebird came out how it was very basic but a slimmed down version of Mozilla.
It seemed they lost their way and just became the old Mozilla browser but with lots of features nobody wanted (Pocket??) and a tonne of other things I have no idea why they got involved in. Perhaps they just employed developers who liked writing new things.
How do you have that much money for such a limited scoped mission and still get in over your head? And if so, what hope is there for anyone else?
Witness Firefox ran an Ad on the front page of newspaper with thousands of supporters names on it. It sure made us proud, the battle against IE. ( Which is why I get pissed when people say Safari is the new IE ) I dont know how long ago was that, early 2000? Must have been nearly two decade.
Pushed Firefox installation in a University Campus to thousands of PCs. Pushed through hundreds of installations in a few enterprise. Along with dozen of other things, communities, Mozillazine ( I think it is now in Read Only Mode) .
There are lots of help from others too. I am sure I am not the only one. I dont know and dont think Chrome ever got that much support.
If you are IBM or Intel, you can afford to do silly thing like acquiring McAfee. You can afford to waste money and inefficiency. The whole reason why Startup were able to compete with some of the big players is that they could get $10 out of $1 spend, while Enterprise could barely move even with $10. The inefficiency is real, the only exception to that is possibly Apple.
Mozilla has a large cooperate mentality, enterprise inefficiency, non-profits ideals and startup's moon-shot strategy. I dont know of any possible worst combination than that.
So after nearly three decades of Netscape / Mozilla, I moved on to a different browser. It was just too painful to watch.
Edit: I forgot to add, Google has yet to renew their contract with Mozilla. Given their new low in marketshare ( Judging from Apple, terms are likely paid per Active User basis ), I suspect the negotiation terms is substantially lower than previously. Hence the layoff.
If it wasn't clear, a user is directly supporting Mozilla by using their product.
If coca-cola did some re-organization I didn´t like or spent money like a mad person on ridiculous products, I´d still buy coke until the company went broke.
I think some of the more encompasing efforts haven't all been bad. Rust as a language has been a great thing to come from Moz. Firefox OS could have been interesting as well.
For that matter I'd have been happy to see broader adoption of Mozilla's identity efforts, and don't so much mind them trying to get VPN as a secondary funding source.
I do wish their structure was more geared towards keeping the technical and developer teams as a focus of the organization over the more commercial aspirations.
I will say I did switch to Chrome around 2010 mostly because I really do prefer it's UI/UX ... FF is getting closer to that, despite some really not liking it and I've considered switching back.
I also find it ironic how popular electron has become, when XULRunner was such a great platform well over a decade before. I do think there's opportunity to create the next npm in concert with deno and firefox for supporting a greater module approach. There's still some unanswered bits there. Similarly, still would like a way to do bundled application packages; similar to jar or silverlight that's just a zip file of assets with a manifest and modules.
If often feels like Mozilla is doing their own thing to try and gain market share instead of working with the broader community.
You can argue that Mozilla specifically shouldn’t do this, and you might be right. But no-one else has their profile. No-one else is doing it.
Chrome won me over as a developer with its developer console, and I noticed Firefox Devtools has become a lot better now.
There are still quirks in Chrome's devtools and Firefox really has a shot if it focuses properly. For example working with large JS files are painful and the networks tab can be way more better.
I have no reason to think that your assessment of what's "crap" is a good one, while the assessment of those who actually work at Mozilla is somehow worse.
Precisely this, and it's been apparent for a long, long time. The lesson that organizations should learn from watching Mozilla's reception in tech circles is this: never, ever, ever market to power users; casual users are more numerous and less demanding. Chrome won the war a decade ago when it decided to focus aggressively on casual users, leaving Mozilla to deal with the fractious dregs of the power user market.
Power users are certainly valuable for spreading the word but it's only one way, you can also actually advertise and market the thing like Google did. And even though power users can spread the word, you still need a superior product for casuals to actually win them over. How long has HN and other forums been beating the drum for Firefox now? Has it actually made a difference in their declining marketshare (at least for desktop, not sure about mobile)?
I don't think it has, and I don't think it ever will. If Firefox survives and resurges in popularity, it will be for a better, more polished, more optimized, slicker product for casuals. And many power users will hate them for it. Well, that's just my prediction.
None of this had to do with product quality.
This is quite mistaken, Chrome would not be the market leader without the best product quality. You can't force a worse browser into market leadership, as Microsoft can tell you. They've been aggressively forcing defaults and preinstalling their browsers at a far deeper level than Google was for years (and they're still doing it), yet they lost so badly they outright abandoned their own formerly dominant browser. Then even among techies and "power users" who know how to change defaults, Chrome gained incredible traction as the fastest and simplest browser.
Companies can push a browser all they want but getting the vast majority of people to actually use the browser that you've put in their face requires your browser to be legitimately better than the one they're used to. Everyone, including many "power users", could see how much further ahead Chrome was, especially in its early years.
I know some people prefer to think that Google has mind control abilities and can somehow trick users into using a product that provides a worse experience, but this is far from the reality. Effective marketing and delivery is only ever a fraction of the story. It's telling that even in the tech industry, full of professionals who know how to use computers, Chrome remains the dominant browser.
>who know how to use computers
That's not much, even monkeys know how to use computers.
Another fun fact, is that previously to Chrome, Google had been doing the same with the Google Toolbar for IE, which changed everyone's default search to Google as well. Chrome wasn't so much about "protecting the open web" as protecting Google: They were afraid (not inaccurately) that Microsoft was considering figuring out a way to prevent the Google Toolbar from hijacking the search settings in IE.
The nontechnical user flow at the time, was that they might have MSN Search or whatever on Internet Explorer 6, and then they'd hit a website that needed Adobe Flash Player. The Flash Player installer would have the "Also install the Google Toolbar" checkbox preselected, so it would install that browser toolbar and switch your search engine to Google.
The reason Sundar Pichai is the guy that ended up on top at Google is because the Google Toolbar (and then Chrome) was his baby, and that ushered in Google's monopoly much more than literally anything else at Google.
However, I switched from Firefox to Chrome when the former changed how DPI were calculated, told everyone that the new way is the right way and it's up to websites to deal with it, and everything looked wrong in the meantime. And then I noticed that on Chrome, not only did things look a bit nicer to me (quite apart from the DPI issue), but the same sites I often used rendered just a little bit faster - faster enough to be noticeable.
At the time, at least for me, Chrome was at least equal to Firefox in terms of product quality.
I think a lot of times more technically driven products resist change a bit too much. Some of the best examples are Gimp and Firefox. Gimp's UI is hideous and despite Gimpshop builds offering a better experience to users, they still resist. Similar for Firefox's overall ui/ux when so many preferred chrome (including myself).
Not all UI change is for the better, but when the vast majority of users prefer a different experience, it's helpful to listen sooner than later.
At enterprise prices (i.e. thousands of dollars per user per year) it makes sense to accept the cost of dealing with power users. But not for a product that you give away for free.
I say this as someone who has been using Firefox for years, and you'll need to pry it from my cold, dead hands. I'm impressed that Mozilla has survived for as long as it has, I was sure they'd be financially kaput by 2016; at this point I think Google only keeps their search deal up as an attempt to avoid antitrust action. I don't know what the future holds for Firfox, but I hope it remains competitive. We need alternative competing implementations for the health of the web.
How true. To paraphrase Henry Ford, if HTML5 developers asked instead what casual users wanted, we would now have a faster Flash.
It's history repeating itself over and over: developers and power users introduce or ask for something innovative, then casual users notice it, embrace it but also ask for it to be simpler to use ("50 knobs are too many, we want it to be usable with 3!"), therefore many functions are automated, other removed and interfaces are dumbed down to make the product palatable to the lowest denominator; however now the product has lost most of its "cool factor", not to mention some advanced functions, and doesn't attract power users anymore, many of them ending up migrating elsewhere. Rinse, repeat.
That is not going to happen to Firefox, since the war for conquering casual users has already been fought and won by Google thanks to their pervasive advertising telling everyone the lie that Chrome is better and safer. Mozilla should instead focus on giving power users the best possible product wrt security and privacy, two aspects where it would win hands down against Google, while at the same time try not to lose those among casual users who happen to be concerned about privacy and security and to whom Chrome would not be an option.
As for Mozilla's need to become profitable, why don't they attempt to use their widely known brand to sell personalized Pi-Hole-like boxes, hardware firewalls, VPN bricks that connect together from here to there, etc. Imagine two boxes with network plus audio ports: you connect mic, headphones, optional camera, a network cable, your laptop and the two boxes will establish an authentic E2E encrypted voice + video + data communication from anywhere to anywhere, no other operations required. Mozilla could surely provide the necessary services to get around NATted or filtered connections, and the shiny boxes with their logo would ease the association between the brand and the concept of private communications, security, privacy etc. helping as a consequence the adoption of Firefox as well. I think if they really want to focus on privacy and security they shouldn't ignore the hardware field where their brand can still make a difference.
Those early adopters would have been adopting Phoenix 0.2^ which was released in September 2002, that was later released as Firefox 1.0^ two years later — at a time when the only power users could have been those same "early adopters".
Those early adopters would have been as I describe: technical users with the capability to install and operate an unfamiliar browser for the sake of curiosity. (I was still using MSIE in 2002, so it's not like it was universal among technical users either, yet.)
Those early adopters do not represent the total set of power users today.
Android and ChromeOS pack a Linux kernel on their bottom layers, but nothing of it gets exposed to userspace neither for users nor for devs.
Android NDK explicitly doesn't have anything Linux related as part of the official stable APIs contract, and on ChromeOS Linux support is exposed via a container, WSL2 style.
That makes zero sense.
Why Mozilla seems to be axing the Servo division? The only part that actually catered to casual users? Also by introducing a VPN and Pocket Premium is for casual users how?
Basically, there's money in being an ecosystem like Apple's or Google's app store - you can take a 30% cut just for being the platform if you play it right - but Microsoft noticed with Windows phone and UWP that you can't just set up a store and rake in the cast unless you can attract developers to build things on your platform.
Then there's anchor products, a term from supermarkets for things like coke/pepsi (depending on the country you're in) - the idea being, if you don't stock these then your customers will shop somewhere else. If Facebook/Uber/Whatsapp/$COMPANY decides to develop their app for mobile OS 1 and 2 but not 3, then that's a strong disincentive for some people to buy OS 3, even if it's privacy-respecting and open-source and diverse and whatever. (The desktop counterpart to this is MS Office. For most companies, the choice is between Win and Mac, and will remain so unless Office ever becomes natively supported on Linux.)
Even the government has realised this, with their "clean app stores" plan - I read this part as "we won't outright ban US citizens from buying Huawei phones, but we'll make sure they only have access to a segregated app store and we'll lean on major companies not to develop a separate version for this store.
So if you ever want to launch a new platform, service or similar with a business plan that third parties will develop software for it, you'd better keep these third parties happy with decent developer tools.
But I know what you mean. In the Geeks, Mops, and Sociopaths text (which I don't necessarily fully subscribe to except for the naming conventions - which are useful), these people are the Mops. They aren't people who are actually concerned about security (Vanta is a successful product for those people) or privacy. They are the Mops of the Sec/Priv group.
They can't give you anything and you can't give them anything. So there's little point engaging with them. If you're interested, I have a friend working on something he calls overlay networks, to allow the Geeks to communicate with other Geeks while allowing Mops to provide the cultural mass.
I've met other people who were part of Firefox's big grassroots campaign that forever changed the web and won all of us the new standards-compliant web that Chrome has thrived in and a lot of them have remained Geeks. And I suppose almost all of them were Power Users. So I don't quite disagree with you, I just think the group is refinable and you definitely want the Geek Power User on your team - they become the fabled first adopter.
Non-nerds can no longer tell it's better, so I stopped doing that. No longer worth the effort, might even end up adding to my friends-and-family tech support burden rather than reducing it. I still use it myself anywhere Safari's not available, but yeah, it's a power-user-only product now.
Chrome only did better with regular users because 1) it was OS-bundled, and 2) they could shove "try Chrome!" banners at the top of every Google property. I don't think the product itself is significantly more focused on normal users. Google's just got a way, way better platform for promotion. They can snap their fingers and get a million installs of something in a day, if they really want to. But fact is FF doesn't have that. What they did have was power users doing all their marketing for them. Not so much, these days.
Firefox of course got much better eventually, but by then the damage was done, and Chrome's ability to sync with the rest of Google products (and Android devices) made the browser extremely sticky.
Chrome UI was (and is) total shit compared to Opera (Presto Opera, not the new Blink one). The tab bar was literally unusable for like 10 years if you had more than ~20 tabs open.
Last time I used Windows without an SSD, Chrome kept stalling on IO every couple minutes (for some profile or temp files bs), fixed by symlinking to a ramdisk.
Chrome still can't properly VSYNC, can't keep a stable framerate and has unnecessary frames of input lag.
When (if) they make ad blocking impossible, they will lose every single tech savvy user they have.
What OS bundles Chrome? Do you mean ChromeOS?
> and 2) they could shove "try Chrome!" banners at the top of every Google property.
That happened way later.
Maybe you have forgotten since it was so long ago, but the original wave of power users migrating to Chrome and bringing their non-power user friends along was exactly like the wave of folks who moved to Firefox. Chrome came out in 2008, had process-per-tab isolation and custom Chrome (i.e. window decorations, that's where the name comes from) that used less vertical space.
Your statement is revisionist history.
[EDIT] and Chrome was better enough that it got power users switching (this is before "Google has become very obviously evil" was common geek opinion yet, which helped), but I'm not sure it would have gotten them installing it on normal folks' computers with quite the fervor we did Firefox, back in the day. The banner ads are what got them on normal people's computers.
edit... I'm sort of amazed the whole thing is licensed as CC
> [Privacy/Security focused people] don't actually use [Firefox].
Is this what you mean? If so, I strongly disagree. I'd wager such 'power users' are the majority of Firefox users at this point. Casual users have all gone to Chrome, as well as many [but certainly not all] power users. I am still using Firefox and plan to continue doing so for as long as I can.
I'm concerned that Mozilla's mismanagement will make "for as long as I can" rather short. The only reason for this to concern me is because I use it. Writing off concerned commenters as non-users is a huge mistake.
People generally want privacy and security, as numerous polls show, but:
a) it's very hard to figure out if something is private/secure
b) the company can change the deal at any point
c) the market has stacked the deck against privacy and security.
Until there are laws with teeth which will punish transgressors, not much will change.
> b) the company can change the deal at any point
Yes! Don’t forget the time Firefox, bastion of privacy, forgot to update a critical cert that allowed addons to work, and then said, “don’t worry guys, the whole time we had the power to force our updates without your consent, under the guise of an analytics feature, and we used that to fix this!”
That was a pretty blatant exposure risk for something trivial, and the employee who responded on it was shockingly inept. At some point the amount of stupidity becomes so incredible that Hanlon's Razor breaks down.
I will happily critisize Mozilla, DDG, etc when they come up short, but I will also happily celebrate their successes and continue to use and recommend their products as long as they don't stray too far. I want them to aim for perfection, but I completely recognize they will fall short.
There is a huge difference between critisism and condemnation.
Advocating against security is you advocating against yourself for no purpose other than sticking it to others. That's incredibly poor reasoning, and you're generalizing all groups as if they're all outrage for bad reasons.
Because it was.
Anyone can do better than Google when it comes to privacy, especially if you define "privacy" as "don't do what Google is doing". It is almost a tautology: we first define Google as the opposite of privacy and then market yourself as private by not being Google. In order to drive the point, you add some kind of blocking feature and, yay, private!
In order to be relevant, you need to do more than that. Firefox used to be a great browser not because it was private, but because it was a great browser. It had great support for the latest web technologies, tabbed browsing before IE, it was fast, etc... And because of that it managed to make a dent in IE market share. But now, what does it have that Chrome doesn't besides not being from Google? Firefox even lost most of its identity by discontinuing XUL (for good reasons, I know) and updating its UI to look more like Chrome. I use both browsers on a day-to-day basis and Chrome tends to work better on average, though Firefox seems to be slowly catching up. I don't know what the situation is with Servo but it might be what Firefox needs.
Another example would be DuckDuckGo. Again, it caught the "privacy" virus. Please, no, "private" just means you are a proxy for inferior Bing results in this case. The worst part is that DDG has more to offer than "privacy", like instant answers and bangs. Why not market these instead?
But i still didn't buy DDG's privacy stuff
Instead of using DDG's !wiki or googling "wiki [topic]" you can configure a search keyword to send you to Wikipedia's search results page, cutting out the middleman. I have this done for a dozen or so sites I use frequently and this has cut my general purpose search engine usage down significantly.
This is the sort of privacy enhancing feature that Firefox should streamline and advertise. I wonder if they don't make it known to users because it might influence how much money Google is willing to give them for being the default general purpose search engine..
The Chrome UI is somewhat better and it also automatically creates these when you use a search somewhere, with a keyword equivalent to the site's domain.
I don't know why Mozilla doesn't just copy this old Opera UI: https://i.postimg.cc/1XCg1HG8/opera-search-edit.png
Firefox lost most of its identity by updating its UI to look more like Old Opera. And it has been copying Opera since it was called Phoenix.
This is also the reason I use Firefox. It is the browser that more closely resembles Old Opera.
The tragedy of Mozilla is a very human one, with special embellishments added by the prevailing culture in the US, its home...
It is more like people are willing to dismiss bad behavior when there is a clear profit motive, since it seems obvious that when someone is in it for the money they will ignore other considerations. Take the profit motive out of the picture and people start to imagine other motives or attribute bad behavior to negative character traits, even when the behavior is generally better than the for-profit counterparts'.
It might be the other way around in this case.
Mozilla rose to the top because of the promise of an open web and always making sure their users would come first, generating near endless goodwill and advocacy, and it was free software to boot.
Throughout the years when choices had to be made Mozilla didn't always side with the open web or the users, and whenever they were asked about it, the answer was always the same:
"Not our hill to die on. We need the clout we would lose, otherwise we won't be big enough to have any say when the next thing comes around."
and then the next thing came around, and the next...
The problem is that Mozilla seems to have revenue as an important goal. I imagine that's why people clamour for them to focus on the browser instead of pointlessly playing corporation with borrowed feathers.
They sold out.
Otherwise, yes, you've nailed it.
As John J. Chapman said in 1900:
> I have seen ten years of young men who rush out into the world with their messages, and when they find how deaf the world is, they think they must save their strength and wait. They believe that after a while they will be able to get up on some little eminence from which they can make themselves heard. "In a few years," reasons one of them, "I shall have gained a standing, and then I shall use my powers for good." Next year comes and with it a strange discovery. The man has lost his horizon of thought, his ambition has evaporated; he has nothing to say. I give you this one rule of conduct. Do what you will, but speak out always. Be shunned, be hated, be ridiculed, be scared, be in doubt, but don't be gagged. The time of trial is always. Now is the appointed time.
No, they had a free browser with tabs.
"MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – December 15th, 2004 – [..]The ad, coordinated by Spread Firefox, features the names of the thousands of people worldwide who contributed to the Mozilla Foundation’s fundraising campaign to support last month’s highly successful launch of the open source Mozilla Firefox 1.0 web browser.
Spread Firefox is the volunteer-run Mozilla advocacy site, with over 50,000 registered members, where community marketing activities are organized to raise awareness and to promote the adoption of Firefox."
I don't think Mozilla/Firefox is failing because no one will pay for it, but, because it won't take money for Firefox directly.
e.g. i would have never paid for the A/R stuff they distracted their Servo engineers with (plus the Magic Leap entanglement). i would have also withheld funding for the non-removable Pocket integration fiasco. and the jack-in-the-box Mr. Robot promotion - once my tools start to become Mozilla's agents rather then user's agents, they cease to be my tools.
i should add that people who choose to use firefox rather than the default are those who are most likely to pay. not listening to them is absolute nonsense.
1. Mozilla's revenue from the Google search deal depends on users searching for things using Firefox. More searches through the Firefox search bar, more revenue for MoCo.
2. Marketshare == developer mindshare. Declining marketshare has created a positive feedback loop where devs (or their managers) become less concerned about supporting Firefox. This induces more web compat issues, which causes more people to switch away, cycle repeats.
Firefox used to have two major advantages, at least for me as a user rather than a developer: customisability and the respect for privacy. The former went under a bus with Quantum and has never recovered. The latter is still there, but the single biggest hole in it is the use of Google for search, so that's probably the first thing that many privacy-sensitive users are going to change.
I do still use Firefox as my primary browser, despite having reconsidered several times in recent years. However, as a dev I have all the others readily to hand, and I do find myself forced to use others because pages simply don't work in Firefox with noticeable frequency now. From the opposite angle, I also can't remember the last time a client specified Firefox compatibility for a new project. It's usually Chrome, iOS Safari if mobile is relevant, and maybe Edge in corporate settings now.
Unfortunately the vicious cycle of market share and compatibility has been established, and while I think we'll all end up worse off for it, I'm not sure there's much anyone can do about it at this point, at least not as long as most of the actual functionality in Firefox is (unsurprisingly) so similar to other browsers.
Mozilla is misaligned incentives all the way down.
This selfishness is expressed for lots of things, not just Mozilla, but things like Ubuntu and Homebrew too.
I wonder what HN startups must think when they read HN comments and so very often see "my needs aren't met, I quit you".
I know a couple of guys who posted their stuff here. They don't care about the complainers because the complainers don't have and don't offer to have skin in the game. They did the sensible thing, which is to be polite and respond noncommittally thanking them for the feedback or to ignore them.
Because you don't get information that will improve the product from them, they aren't potential customers, and they usually don't know what they're talking about anyway.
^ Thanks, password generator!
Yes, you have perfectly described what I want.
To be fair, I also want this from typical, corporate, for-profit entities ...
Now of course I'm particularly opinionated about Mozilla, since I donate regularly to the foundation, subscribe to their VPN, contribute to the Rust ecosystem, and use Firefox not only on desktop but mobile as well. So, perhaps I live in what might be called a bubble, but the idea that anybody would knock Mozilla because they are not profit-driven just doesn't make sense to me, and is actually the complete opposite of what I got from reading the comments in this thread, which, by the way, probably has decent international representation anyway.
I'm not sure how many there are that would pay for it, but I'm sure it's not zero.
I believe a browser is like an IDE, and I'm quite happy to pay for mine, as are plenty of other people apparently, JetBrains & Co are making good money. They are focused on their users though, which Firefox isn't.
I'm pretty sure that Firefox could get plenty of paying users at $100/yr even just by focusing on good developer experience. They don't though, and Chromium does.
I use FF (dev edition) as my primary dev browser, and it's made a lot of progress on DX. Chromium has a smoother experience overall, but FF is not too shabby nowadays.
But after seeing several years of repeated strategic blunders and bad management, and Firefox slip from being the most popular web browser by a comfortable margin to a single digit percentage market share, which is still sliding down, I think the available evidence shows that they have failed quite badly, and for the most part through problems of their own making. Now, I'd like to use Firefox again, but they have regain strong technical focus first. They are all over the place doing irrelevant stuff. I'm surprised they even have that many staff to lay off in the first place given their financial situation. There must be a large percentage of non-jobs amongst that thousand, because they certainly weren't all dedicated to making a good web browser.
Not that I disagree, but it's probably easy being a captain from the outside.
The second person does not say that they want mozilla to fail.
I would not be surprised if it was the same for other users. It results in implicitly giving less benefit of the doubt when another potential controversy comes up.
Other application developers are held to a lower standard because they have already come out the other side - people already simply assume the worst about them. The paradoxical anger comes from the fact that they don't want to do the same with Mozilla, but feel more and more that they'll have to.
In the enterprise world, Firefox lacked a few, small, but critical features:
1) MSI Installers
2) Group Policy Administrative Templates
3) Proxy configuration from Windows
4) Enterprise PKI integration
Some of these are supported now, but for about a decade there was at least one person in Mozilla with a philosophical opposition to doing anything that is seen as helping an enterprise Windows network deployment.
I'm pretty certain that Firefox still doesn't work properly in a large corporate environment. At any rate, I've given up trying, as have millions of other administrators. We installed Chrome, which "just worked", and moved on.
The result of this is that enterprise web applications were written for Chrome, not IE or Firefox. Chrome became mandated and automatically pushed to every machine. It has become the new IE6, for better or worse.
Firefox missed that boat.
Why was that important? I was under the impression that exe and msi installer had no real difference between them. Obviously I am incorrect but I am wondering why.
In Windows there are further nuances, such as installing per-user, per-machine, or both. Similarly, MSI support often implies support for transforms (MST files) and patches (MSP files) also, which is important on large networks. Back in the days of constrained bandwidths, MSPs were great for rolling out updates without killing the WAN, but few vendors would provide them.
Firefox tended to prefer the interactive install wizard installers and hence deploying it at scale was an enormous pain in the arse.
For example, the Enterprise CA thing actually interacted with the packaging. You had to crack open the Firefox files, download some obscure NSS command-line tool that they regularly moved around on their website to spite admins, and inject your corporate certificates into the Firefox-specific Root CA file. After this, everything had to be put back together in some way for deployment, typically by repackaging the files into an MSI.
There was just no way anyone in their right mind would do this every few weeks to keep up with the Firefox release schedule. IT admins have other things to do, not just babysitting Firefox, the one special and unique flower that refuses to play nice with Windows.
The only other obstinately anti-admin products I can think of that were this bad were the Java Runtime and the Adobe suite of products. Even Adobe provided an ADM template at least, even though they published it as a PDF.
I am sure there are other reasons, but these two are the important ones.
But you’re right: too little, too late.
Thinking it is a good idea to leave Windows users behind. You don't hurt Microsoft by doing that, you hurt yourself.
Yep, you can count me in this group as well. The Firefox team goes out of it's way to make so many changes that just seem useless or annoying; it's baffling to me. It really feels like a team with too many devs and designers sitting around needing to create work. I very much doubt that's actually the case, but that just means it's a widespread management issue.
That said, it doesn't make me want to stop using Firefox because the only other option is Chrome which has bigger issues.
This is how a lack of a vision manifests - if there was a vision, there would be meaningful work for everyone, instead of people inventing unwanted features to keep themselves busy.
And of course, vision needs user & customer research, it's not a thing a 'leader' could hallucinate with no external inputs.
The navigation bar on the bottom is an interesting expiriment but still I quickly moved it back up.
The new tab layout is worse. Each tab need much more space so you can display about half the number of tabs on the same space.
The top sites when you opened a new tab also disappeared. It seems you can put bookmark or something to replace them but the top site feature was really good. I'm likely to want to visit sites I visit the most and that used to be a touch away
They had it as a separate app, as it was (seemingly) a rewrite that uses GeckoView. So having less features and unstable features was somewhat expected for users that went out of their way to install it.
Naturally, a lot of the old features weren't supported, and some were likely feeling like unmaintainable legacy code in the old version (Fennec) to begin with. So a rewrite may have made sense, for where the products were at and where they wanted to go. At least, in my opinion.
But for whatever reason, they decided that they had reached an acceptable level of feature and usability parity as to replace the old version with the new one (Fenix) in the play store. Somewhat forcibly moving all of the current users onto the new browser, silently for auto-updaters and update-all-ers. The downgrade path for those who want or need the old version is... well, I didn't see any documentation when I googled, so presumably it's "install the old APK and hope things work".
It's a cynical and somewhat egotistical approach to software development, disappointing to see from Mozilla and yet another entry on the list.
At this point, I would not be surprised if they find the idea of the extension whitelist - rather than a more open platform as is the desktop and was Fennec - far too appealing to move away from in the future.
That's somewhat doom-and-glooming, but many months ago I had thought they wouldn't end up trying to shove Fennec users onto Fenix in this way, and yet... here we are.
More things the dropped in lates "stable" Firefox for Android:
- save as PDF
- print support (!!)
- downloade manager
- full URL display
- about:config (!!!)
- extensions (other than 9 extensions they carefully cherry-picked)
What annoys me with Mozilla, again as much as I love Firefox and the spirit of Mozilla, is that the corporate leadership seems to ignore the project that works. New focus my ass, Mozilla needs to refocus on Firefox. Maybe you do, but it certainly doesn't seem like it from the outside.
Firefox is the leading browser right now. Chrome isn't even close, yet corporate Mozilla seems to have forgotten about it, it's never a highlight in Mozilla Corp. communications, but it should be.
In what sense? Feature set, user experience, security, stability, performance, developer experience?
Genuinely curious. I switched from Chrome last year and have yet to find a single aspect in which I’d say Firefox would lead, with the exception of privacy.
Firefox, on the other hand, will simply always reopen your tabs and prompt you, in case the crash was its fault. In fact, losing ~50 open tabs in Chrome was what made me switch.
That kind of backs up what I was saying, doesn't it? The browsers are good enough for most of the users most of the time and the new features matter to fewer and fewer people.
I was doing automated image capture of some data sites and diffing them to see if they changed. Chrome would jitter. Firefox drew the same bits every time.
Source? Based on which criteria? If you have even the slightest belief in the wisdom of the crowds, you'll realize that there must be something really appealing in Chrome which has resulted in its 68% market share. Compare that to Firefox's 7%.
I have tried to switch back to FF (and even to Edge), but every time I realize Chrome - despite all its problems - is a much smoother experience. YMMV.
it's a shame, really.
They did have a different memory profile (might still have one in macos, I wouldn't know since I don't use mac), and the UI is each to ones own, but I few programs outside of AOL installers has been as pushy as chrome during the beginning.
All this from an organization with the audacity to solicit donations from end-users.
So no, I would not say Mozilla has learned anything or worked to prevent it happening again. What has changed since the January layoffs except for the scale of the layoffs? In no world is running a company such that you have to boot a quarter of your workforce 'minor mistakes.'
The silver lining is that Mozilla's race to receivership won't make much of a difference. They haven't done much for web standards beyond co-signing Google's railroading of the standards bodies, and they couldn't even stand up for video or DRM standards either. Every download of Firefox ships Google Analytics, installer stubs for Cisco and Google video blobs, and a configuration that shunts your DNS lookups to yet a third private corporation. With friends like Mozilla, who needs enemies?
In short, the organization is utterly rudderless (and has been for nearly a decade), incapable of supporting itself without search engine subsidies, and not achieving any of the ideological goals it espouses. What we're witnessing now is what happens when you can no longer coast on branding. What's down this road, after some deck-chair rearranging, will be cessation of operation of the for-profit arm and a new direction for the non-profit arm, which might survive that. Time will tell.
Aside: That linked salary reduction comment is also pretty damned tone deaf. oof. I imagine having to find a new job because of major systemic mismanagement is also a burden!
But hey, I'm sure that if Mozilla didn't ship DRM, video codecs, etc, the browser would have been more popular.
Firefox is actually useful.
DNS lookups are safer with a provider vetted by Mozilla. They were able to negotiate a contract you wouldn't have been able to get. Ensuring you more privacy.
But sure bash Mozilla for trying to be pragmatic, privacy and features is not a trivial thing to balance.
Actually, I was long since wondering how exactly that sandbox works, so if you have some more information about that, I'd appreciate it.
Henri Sivonen's general explanation of EME and CDMs tells the following:
> A CDM could be bundled with the browser, downloaded separately, bundled with the operating system, embedded in hardware as firmware running in a second domain of computing (such as ARM TrustZone) or wired into hardware. EME leaves this aspect implementation-dependent. [...]
EME does not specify the output abstraction for CDMs. It leaves open several options. The CDM could:
- Merely perform decryption and hand back the encoded media (e.g. H.264) to the browser.
- Perform decryption and decoding and then work together with the GPU so that not even the operating system gets the opportunity to read the pixels back from the GPU.
Meanwhile, Mozilla's implementation of EME seems to be substantially more restrictive:
> Firefox does not load [the CDM] directly. Instead, we wrap it into an open-source sandbox. In our implementation, the CDM will have no access to the user’s hard drive or the network. Instead, the sandbox will provide the CDM only with communication mechanism with Firefox for receiving encrypted data and for displaying the results.
in Firefox the sandbox prohibits the CDM from fingerprinting the user’s device. Instead, the CDM asks the sandbox to supply a per-device unique identifier.
However, if the sandbox works as explained, the DRM seems to be trivially defeatable: I can simply fork Firefox and modify the sandbox, so it lies to the CDM about the fingerprinting and/or captures the decrypted media stream and writes it to a file - so then, how did Mozilla get Hollywood to agree on this?
On the other hand, if the CDM has some means to verify that Firefox has not been tampered with, then it can escape the sandbox - so then, what is the point of the sandbox?
You have some kind of doublethink going on there.
But they can collectively bargain on their users behalf.
Your CEO took home more than $2.3M and your treasurer (who only worked 6 months) $1.2M in 2017 .
Why don't you hold these people to very high standards?
A common pattern I see when companies are struggling is that the refocus back on the core product. They cut side projects, they move away from what ever broad vision plan that got them into the current mess and refocus narrowly back to a handful profit earning core products.
The reaction to Mozillas announcement would likely look very different if instead of talking about go beyond the browser into a different world they would had done the opposite and refocused efforts exclusively to the handful of products that bring the core of users to Mozilla. Such announcement would clam people and make them hopeful that firefox would gain a strong competitive edge in a time where chrome only get older, slower, more privacy invasive and heavier practitioner of dark patterns. Some would naturally complain that their pet side project would be discontinued, and there would likely be people lamenting the loss of the advocacy work, but users would understand that sometimes a company need to go back to the core product in hard times.
1) Make a good browser. Get market share. Use it to push the envelope for what can be done on the web.
2) Respect user privacy.
3) Don't spam me with push notifications, in-browser advertising, or any other marketing communications unless it helps goals 1 or 2.
4) Don't spend most of your money on projects that aren't your browser.
Mozilla keeps getting into partnerships that send data to third parties, advocating for things that have nothing to do with browsers or the internet, investing money into every new trend, and not focusing on their core selling point: a browser that's fast, safe, privacy-focused, extensible, standards-compliant, and stops Google from acquiring a total monopoly over browsers so they can remove adblockers.
This press release hints that they're going to continue tilting at windmills: their new direction is "diverse, representative, focused on people outside of our walls, solving problems, building new products, engaging with users and doing the magic of mixing tech with our values." They're "a technical powerhouse of the internet activist movement", and rather than donors who support their browser, there are "hundreds of thousands of people who donate to and participate in Mozilla Foundation’s advocacy work". I read this as "we're going to spend time and money on things that are not Firefox".
I haven't donated to them for years, because I'm sick of seeing their money go to projects that don't integrate with Firefox and won't ever reach a significant number of consumers while they bleed market share, or to American-centric policy advocacy that also doesn't relate to the internet. I don't think this is an unrealistic expectation, because there's no way in hell I'd donate to Google or any of their competitors in the first place. Hopefully their lay-offs are an opportunity to focus their efforts on providing a browser across all platforms and adding features to that browser.
 everything involving VR on https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/products
Web browsing is much more than a browser now, it's outside of browser tracking, like Facebook and Google pinging your ip address. It's hiding your email from spammers and email traders. Sharing links outside of browser and being able to read them offline. Controlling browser habits with voice.
Mozilla offers paid service that do such things. It all works towards your second goal - respecting your privacy.
The one thing that could save it, Servo, doesn't seem to be a priority. Instead, Mozilla seems to be focusing on offering cloud services that nobody wants or cares about, which also don't really respect privacy any more than other cloud services. The only significant revenue stream Mozilla has is through Firefox, which keeps steadily losing users and market share.
And even that is almost entirely dependent on people using Google search with the browser. Given that Google is Mozilla's primary competitor who has intentionally broken their apps on Firefox and is pushing them down in search results, and that Firefox is marketing itself to privacy-conscious people who wouldn't use Google anyway, it doesn't seem wise or sustainable at all.
Unless things seriously change, I have no faith that they'll be able to turn this situation around. We may just have to live with a Blink/WebKit web monoculture until we get some serious anti-trust legislation.
Citation needed. I've been using for a while and it is leaps and bounds better than what it was. I haven't fired up Chrome in months now.
The first two points haven’t been true for years and the second is debatable - Firefox’s tracking protection certainly seems to be more effective.
Browsers have been commodified and that’s the core of Mozilla’s business while Google has a ton of ad revenue to support Chrome no matter what happens.
It gets worse with every updated. More options are stripped back in favour of "simplicity".
Firefox made a name for itself by giving users control to make it their own browser; saying it has become a "clone of Chrome" is clichéd now, but that doesn't change the fact that it's true.
Firefox needs to stop chasing the Chrome user base and build back a user base of its own.
Would you care to elaborate?
Unfortunately, rather than doing that, it appears most of the money has been spent on various misadventures and expanding staff to consume the funds taken in which now apparently has to be scaled back. So now we get to read this blog post which reads like any number of VC-backed startups needing to pivot to find a business model. Mozilla has one, if it would just stop spending money going off on all these tangents and focus on what I suspect the vast majority of us want from it: the best possible browser. If we get to a point where browsers are no longer relevant, then frankly neither is Mozilla. It's shown minimal aptitude for things other than browsers, and supporting tech, which it unfortunately doesn't seem terribly interested in focusing on.
Sure, there is no shareholders so there is this freedom, but people working there were basically hired after working in other tech companies, and they just work as they did in other tech companies. The fact that Mozilla Corporation is owned by a non-profit seems to be completely lost. Basically people are paid to improve metrics, whether it's the number of users, the ARPU, the "engagement" on whatever features they decided was important...
Add to that the fact that Firefox lagged technically behind Chrome for many years (it only recently cought up with Quantum) and UX wise also Firefox was stuck on the "IE6 but with tabs" look and feel and waited many years before accepting that the UX introduced by Chrome when it was released was superior.
As a result, now that casual users are on Chrome and the Firefox user base is mostly made of users who choose Firefox not because of its technical merits but because it's Open Source, supported by a non-profit, etc. There is a disconnect between that user base and the Mozilla Corporation who just thinks like any other SV company.
Looks like we dont fit their badly selected metric. :P
Both UX are still below Old Opera. Firefox is closer but still falls short.
What I mind is that I can't take Mozilla seriously at all.
They keep trying new projects. I laugh every time because I know it will be gone in six to twelve months.
Right now Mozilla is offering VPN service. Theoretically, I am the ideal customer. I care about privacy and security and make good money and have been a devoted Firefox user for nearly 20 years -- ever since Phoenix 0.2! And I trust Mozilla 100x more than the competition.
But I've never even glanced at that service. Why? So I can have the rug pulled out from me in six months? lol.
For me to take any non-Firefox project from Mozilla seriously, I'd need to hear some kind of commitment from Mozilla to supporting it for the long haul.
This reasoning is silly and bizarre. What, exactly, is the massive risk you're taking when you use a VPN that could go away at some point? Not only is a VPN a commodity that many other service providers can easily fill if the worst was to happen, Mozilla's VPN is just a rebrand of Mullvad which would be a cinch to switch to.
So much for trusting Mozilla and caring about privacy and security. Evidently, the potential risk of losing a cheap & convenient VPN app is a far bigger issue! /s
I still disagree greatly with your conclusions.
What, exactly, is the massive risk you're
taking when you use a VPN that could go away at some point?
In reality, the cost to me would be "only" a few hours of research to find a suitable alternative if/when Mozilla folds their VPN service.
Still, like most people, I rely on a lot of software and a lot of services in my life. I work many hours per week. I don't like to spend my limited free time fixing crap and making lateral jumps to alternative things and services if I can help it, unless there's some sizable advantage. If I had to spend an hour or three on everything in my life every six months, it would add up to a lot and I choose to spend the finite hours of my life differently.
So much for trusting Mozilla and caring about privacy and security.
For whatever it's worth: I care deeply about Mozilla (and privacy and security) and I do support them financially via donations.
As someone else mentioned, apparently this goes to the Foundation which funds other social causes instead of the Corporation that develops Firefox. Donations won't actually help Firefox much at all. To support the Corporation directly, you'd need to pay for one of their paid products like Pocket or their new VPN.
> This doesn't follow. Mozilla has a history of introducing and subsequently shuttering many services, so therefore I don't care about "privacy and security?"
It follows like this: here's a great privacy & security product you claim is "ideal" for you, made by a company you "trust 100x more than the competition". But it's somehow not worth it to you as someone who cares about privacy & security?
The speculative risk of a couple of hours every year (but in practice, more like 20 mins to switch to Mullvad, which even if you didn't know about before, you know now) is more valuable than what appears to be - by your own words - one of the best privacy & security products to come along in a generation?
Empty praise. Deep concerns for privacy & security that are conveniently not reflected in product choices. Honestly, it's a mystery why Mozilla devs even try to cater to this crowd. They talk up a storm about caring about privacy & security yet when a great product comes around, there's always another reason not to use it. Always another reason why it doesn't measure up. With friends like these, who needs enemies.
you'd need to pay for one of their paid products
It follows like this: here's a great privacy &
security product you claim is "ideal" for you
appears to be - by your own words - one of the
best privacy & security products to come along
in a generation?
more like 20 mins to switch to Mullvad, which
even if you didn't know about before, you know now
Deep concerns for privacy & security that are conveniently
not reflected in product choices.
I do support them with product choices, and also with thousands of hours of my time as a web developer over the years, always fighting to support Firefox in the projects I worked on, even when the product owners could not have cared less or were openly hostile to the idea of spending any time whatsoever supporting something that wasn't IE6 or Chrome.
I will not ship web-facing code that doesn't support Firefox.
With friends like these, who needs enemies.
Hope someday I have "enemies" who spend a few thousand hours in the trenches for me over two decades and also throw money my way. Wouldn't mind an army of those.
If it makes you feel any better, I'll probably support their VPN product too eventually if it actually survives their terminal ADHD.
Good for you that you're really enthusiastic about Firefox usage, that's not my point. My point is that it's quite empty and valueless to dismiss a product like the VPN because you're afraid it might go away despite its apparent quality.
You did say you've never even glanced at the VPN for that reason, and given that Mozilla is apparently refocusing its efforts on paid products like those, an army of users who won't even glance at their products regardless of quality is increasingly useless. Especially if Mozilla experiments with potentially great products, which involves killing bad ones, quite frustrating to see a "will it be there in 6 months" attitude kill any apparent interest.
Edit: not sure it'd help, but an analogy might be: imagine I told you I care deeply about chicken dishes, chicken is my favorite, I choose what to eat based on whether they have chicken, I'm a chicken warrior! You make a high quality chicken dish, and then I say "it looks great, if I ate it I'll probably enjoy it, but I can't even try it. What if you drop it on the floor while serving it to me? What if the dog eats it while I'm digging in?". Would you think my complaint is sincere? I don't know, I've evidently spent too much time pointlessly arguing about this.
There are companies launching on HN and employing people on HN all the time. Those companies may or may not survive the long haul. I don’t see how I can sensibly demand more of a promise from the software and services that I buy, vs. what we (collectively) promise to our own users or customers.
The reason I use Firefox is I still trust Mozilla more than Google, but the more Mozilla erodes that, the less they have to offer - the browser is not improving technically at the same rate Mozilla is diminishing reputationally.
Standards for Mozilla do not come alone from being an NGO, but from the promises Mozilla makes and the history. Breaking promises and forgetting it's origin seems to be the main source of hate against mozilla, besides of course the fails themself.
> Did we apologize?
> Did we learn anything?
> Did we work to prevent it happening again?
But some were even repeated.
> Mozilla is such an important voice in shaping the future of the internet.
Is this still a thing? I get the impression that mozilla today has just become a small unimportant voice, mostly just following the choral. Even Microsoft seems to be now stronger in that regard.
When Brendan Eich was made CEO, Mozilla employees did everything possible to make sure that he wouldn’t stay; all due to a single political donation from six years beforehand.
While I don’t agree with his position, the whole fiasco tarnished Mozilla and the people in it, at least in my mind.
Far from being held to an impossible standard, I feel like it suffered from a form of monoculture.
I'm Jewish. If it came out that the new CEO of my company made white supremacist statements half a decade ago, without any indication they had changed their position since, you better believe I would refuse to continue working for that company until and unless they were no longer CEO.
This isn't a disagreement about the marginal tax rates to apply to millionaires, or a political difference about some minutiae of government regulation. Prop. 8 was directly opposed to the basic human rights of a segment of the population. Why would I, as a gay person, work for someone who seeks to deny me the basic right of an equal-under-the-law domestic partnership? Why would I, as a person with gay friends, overlook something like that, just because the CEO gives vague promises of being "supportive and welcoming" without actually disavowing any of their discriminatory viewpoints?
Human rights are not a political position, and opposing them is not simply a friendly disagreement. No one is obligated to tolerate your attempts to deny people basic human rights in the name of inclusiveness.
If you end someone's means of making a living or ostracize them from society, purely for moralistic reasons, just because you can, this is moral exclusion, a form of oppression. It's when your opinion of them is so poor that you no longer find the need to act ethically towards them. It's the same principle that enabled the oppression of the the Jews.
Holding this opinion is possible if you refuse to come to terms with the humanity of the person you disagree with. Our only real "obligation" in society is to follow the law. If you only live based on this obligation, you can easily become quite cruel and in some ways immoral. But instead of simply living by obligation, we can do better: we can seek to create more peace than strife. That means making inroads with your enemy, not ostracizing them just because you can.
Eich probably could've defused the situation if he just apologized. Instead he wouldn't even say he wouldn't do it again.
People didn't refuse to follow Eich just because they could. They didn't even refuse to follow him just because he hurt people. They refused to follow him because he still thought what he did was right 6 years later.
Jews were oppressed because of who they were. Eich faced a choice because of what he did.
Eich had a choice to save himself: renounce his views. Of course the Jews were not given a choice during the Holocaust. But as a different example, they were given a choice to renounce their faith during the Spanish Inquisition.
Clearly it's ridiculous for me to compare being burned alive to being corporately run out on a rail. Yet the choices offered, from a moral standpoint, were similar. Choose to renounce who you are and what you've done and you can stay a good member of society; stand your moral ground and be persecuted. In either case, the crime was not violating the Law of the State, but the moral law of a certain majority of society.
How do we judge if we are being treated justly? Is the law always just? Are actions outside the scope of law always just? In truth, this is often subject to the time and place. Even today, we sometimes treat people unjustly within the scope of the law. That's why I suggest ethics that do not hang it's treatment of people on the power to act from personal morality alone.
I think rather than say "repent or be shunned", other tactics could lead to changing the subject's mind or actions. Or even accepting that exiling the person does not change much materially about the world. They'll still be the same person in exile, doing the same things, so what was the benefit personally or to society of removing them from the group?
If the "harm done" was merely to the emotional peace of the part of the group that has to come to terms with the morality of people acting within the law, this seems like a reason to keep the person. Because again, even if working outside Mozilla, Eich may vote the same, so the "harm" from a legal standpoint against gay marriage is unmoved either way. The only effect of the backlash was purely to the emotional peace of either (and to the overall quality of life of Eich). Keeping them could at least allow a rapport to form and possibly change views, on either side, without causing further harm. But this is just one case, so this may not work in other examples.
Moreover, the Spanish Inquisition acted on the power of royal decrees, so they very much enforced laws of the state, which means your example falls flat even on its most basic premise.
You seem to either misunderstand or misrepresent the point of the protests against Brendan Eich. Mozilla employees weren't trying to abridge his rights to free speech or to vote according to his beliefs, they simply didn't want to follow a person actively working towards making their lives measurably worse for no good reason. Of course getting him to resign doesn't make him change his voting; that was never the point! Brendan Eich isn't a child, and people's main objective isn't to discipline him and make him understand what he did wrong- it's to limit his damage! Why allow someone to infect an organization you care about and depend on with their toxic beliefs? Again, a CEO's biases don't amount to a hurtful code comment; they are steering the entire company culture!
I agree with you that the leadership does set the culture and tone for the company. But I also believe that forcing leaders to transmute their personal lives into the moral symbol of an amorphous corporate entity is somewhat inhumane. Do we have to only have leaders who lead pious, uncontroversial personal lives? Isn't there a balance to strike between this person's personal and work life?
Famously, Steve Jobs was an asshole. Jeff Bezos is another asshole. There's undoubtedly been other asshole leaders of companies. As leaders, they set their company's cultures. But where is the moral outrage asking them to step down from causing harm to their employees? You read about them in many books and blogs - terrified employees, managers making bad decisions out of fear, difficult work/life balance. And yet, if you look at the actual moral outrage from the tech world, this is business as usual. But it's harmful! On the scales of moral justice, it would seem terrorizing your workforce can be okay, depending on the form it takes.
This is another stupid, poor comparison on my part, but I'm trying (in vain probably) to get at this: what is considered "beyond the pale" of harm probably is not based on some kind of measurable outcome, but rather what gets people more angry - specifically the anger rooted in moral exclusion. In addition I'm saying that it's possible that keeping people around, regardless of their questionable personal ethics, might not be a cultural catastrophe.
I've worked with many people over the years, some of them in positions of leadership with controversial views. But the company culture encouraged open and honest communication, and its strength helped people have the occasional difficult conversation in an open way without it becoming a toxic working environment. That's certainly not always possible. But it was proof enough to me that by sticking by these people, we could eventually explain and help open up the thoughts of someone who would go on to lead others.
Another argument could be made that even following someone who's making one's life worse may have, in the grand scheme, a greater-good impact. One example might be Mozilla fighting for Internet... whatever it fights for, and another might be the power of the supply chain to provide cheaper goods (Amazon, Wal-Mart) or an alternative platform for creative work (Apple). So there may be reasons (excuses?) for following a leader who is making your life hell. You'd have to ask those employees why they do it. I do it because one coal mine is as good as the next. I suppose if you want to keep the most coal miners doing the most work you need a mine boss that inspires them, so a mine boss that nobody likes and doesn't inspire great work is probably worth chucking. But if the workers can put the boss out of their mind and still get their work done, who really cares about the mine boss? At what point can/should we stop focusing on individual morality and instead focus on practicality? Maybe that's a dangerous direction in itself.
The opposition to Eich was not because of some unpopular opinion he held at some vague point in the past. He wanted to ban same-sex marriage in 2008, and all indications are he still wanted that in 2014. Eich had ample chance to easily diffuse the situation by clarifying his beliefs; instead, he provided vague platitudes about inclusiveness and leaving his personal opinions at the door.
I'm sure there's plenty of companies that wouldn't mind having an anti-gay-marriage CEO. Hell, most people could stomach working with someone with those views; remember Eich was chief technologist and a Mozilla board member from the start, and CTO from 2005, which Mozilla's LGBTQ employees obviously tolerated. But I'm sorry, I have very little trust that a company can maintain a certain set of values, when I know for a fact its Chief Executive Officer holds diametrically opposite views. Management shapes every aspect of a company, so the personal opinions of the person holding the highest position in that chain matter.
There is nothing unethical about acting this way. This is not denying Brendan Eich his humanity (unlike what his views do to others). Being CEO of Mozilla is not a basic human right that he is being denied.
Maybe you’re right that a CEO is different, but the ordeal left me with an uneasy feeling.
If I’m on the wrong side of the popular-opinion in the future, what’s to stop me from being ostracized and pushed out?
Because if it can happen up high, you better believe that it can happen to the rank and file.
Yea, there’s a tension and it’s almost contradictory to allow this but I think it’s important.
The other consequence of this is that anonymity (voting, for example) seems to be just as relevant today.
Again, this isn't just about an unpopular opinion or a difference of perspective. We're talking about literally denying human beings their civil rights. Where do you draw the line with this? Do I need to accept a person who works towards racial segregation? Is a Nazi acceptable, as long as they don't try to commit genocide on company time?
If you're ever on the wrong side of granting people basic human and civil rights, I hope you'll have the good sense to reconsider and change your position. I'm not sure why you believe anyone owes you acceptance of your views regardless of what they are.
It’s always the rank-and-file who get fired if (somehow) their viewpoints are made public and it’s embarrassing. whereas anyone in power get a free pass because they built up a network of influence.
When it was taboo to be gay, why did Alan Turing get screwed, while nobles like Vita Sackville West did not?
More recently, Christian Cooper did not and does not want Amy Cooper (the infamous Central Park Karen) fired for what she did, because who wants a racist as their employee? Don’t you wonder why Christian Cooper didn’t want that, even though by all rights he should have felt differently?
As for where I draw the line: If it’s legal and it doesn’t affect business/work, then it’s something to tolerate.
If the person becomes disruptive, or can’t separate their personal views from working well with their colleagues then it’s time to part ways.
But then again, I trust people to fight the good fight so that things work out for the best and conclusively.
Finally, I definitely don’t appreciate you making assumptions about my views just because I find what happened worrisome. Your insinuations are a very short step from an irrational witch hunt and exactly why I find what happened worrisome.
Like, not lying to users about data collection, not opting users into third-party products, not censoring add-ons for political reasons?
Gimme a break. The foundation is given a big break as it is, being tax-free. Then there is this huge greedy corporation bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars while resting its brand on the perceptions most users (outside of HN) have about Mozilla and Firefox being a non-profit thing in general.
While I find the corporate speech slightly annoying this is not even close to being my main issue with Mozilla. I am more concerned with the complete disregard for privacy that Mozilla has (even if we ignore telemetry and the normandy backdoor that you need to fiddle in about:config to disable and you make sure to check for new about:config options in every update [some of them are even hidden by default!], there have been privacy issues reported on bugzilla for years that have gone ignored), along with limiting the options that the user has (no option to ignore hsts, userChrome.css being killed, webextensions being limited, etc), making rushed decisions (such as the move to webextensions before the api was mature enough for the extensions to move over), the lack of openness (despite being promised years earlier the pocket server code is still closed), the general disregard about their main project (some bugzilla issues in firefox are old enough to vote), wasting money on designers (the ui is fine and it has been fine for quite a while, it is as if they want to find ways to mess it up just so that they can justify their wages), and the lack of care given to less popular platforms (such as linux).
> Did we learn anything? Did we work to prevent it happening again?
It does not seem that way after the mr robot and pocket scandals. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23947681
Yes, that is the name of the game. Isn't it? You are not a obscure project in GitHub. If you don't think so please move on. When you are a top Hollywood star you play the game of the stars. The same applies for sports or other high competitive activities. Chrome is here, show you deserve the place you are.
People openly post that they'll switch to Chrome or Chrome-derivatives, as if that fixes things, because Mozilla allegedly is throwing away money by not 100% focusing on the browser.
Mozilla is the last company other than Apple maintaining an independent browser engine. Microsoft has given up as well.
If Mozilla and by Proxy the Firefox Project dies, the internet will become a darker place. The only hope would be that Microsoft ruins the Chrome browser via EEE (and in thise case, one of the instances where I hope they do) before Mozilla has to shutter.
People give Google an excuse for the billionth time they are caught exporting your medical history from chrome but if Mozilla makes a mistake, they're chastized for it.
It's disgusting how people treat Mozilla.
One thing I've learned in my time as an engineer is that ultimately, the course and attitude of a company comes from the top. Thus, what upper management chooses to say is a great indicator of the health and direction of a company, especially to a non-employee or someone without other knowledge of the company. I can understand why people would react strongly to this latest missive from Mozilla - apparently, everything we like about Mozilla and Firefox is going to be dismantled to aid in the fight against systematic racism (and starting immediately with the mass layoff of the Servo team). Yes, this is enough to make me consider switching.
2. Sounds logical: no one wants to get stuck with abandonware (or semi-abandonware). Browsers are the #1 by importance piece of software. Competitors in this field just HAVE TO keep up with the current state of things and global expectations/demand. If you don't - goodbye, then.
4. No, Mozilla never apologized for its mistakes properly. It doesn't even admit most of them. And it clearly didn't learn anything as it still is deaf to peoples opinions/expectations/feedback. Just as an example: take a look at your issue tracker and the managerial approach at what should gain the focus of developers. Issues live there unsolved for more than a _decade_. Mozillians don't care what people want, they work on things THEY are interested in. Or maybe in what their nutjob of a manager tells them to work on.
5. I was a firefox user since it's quite early days and it's Mozilla's actions that made me switch to Chromium. With Google Chrome (being the base for Chromium) I at least know what evilcorp Google is. And they do. They don't claim to be the defenders of the weak.
I genuinely do not know if this is rhetorical. My guess would be "no" to all the questions but it doesn't suit the narrative.
Maybe you think it's "yes"? Do you mind clarifying why?
It's hard to escape news cycle, and when you apply what you see inside vs how it's presented publicly, you get angry. Understandably, as you twisted facts and cherry-picked details, just to support the narrative.
This is true about employees at many big companies. For - ask why people work at Google/Facebook, given all the horrible stuff you read about them? Reasons will be often similar - news cycle vs reality is very distorted and careful balances of tricky topics don't make catchy headlines.
Are those companies flawless? Hell no. Are they evil empires spending all their time figuring out how to steal candy from a baby? Also no.
Just wanted to let you know I appreciate what you and Mozilla are doing, regardless of these certain purity-zeolots. May Mozilla live long!
Why can't a platform simply be a platform?
DRM, DNS over HTTPS, VPN, Pocket... Just to name a few.
This is the primary reason why I choose Firefox over Chrome. Because Mozilla is the the world's Jon Snow against the world's white walkers (Google and co).
Mozilla needs to do whatever it needs to stay alive. We need more non-profit voices in the table not less
So long Firefox and thanks for all the fish!
People have only one standard: Build a good browser. Writing this from Firefox it is still a CPU and memory hog when you have 50+ tabs open.
I do so hope Mozilla survives for many more years.
History Lesson. Back in the early 00's we all used IE and Proxomitron to block undesirable web elements. Firefox, Safari, and Netscape all existed, but IE6 was constantly forcing companies to break them.
Then, Firefox came out with Tabbed browsing and plugins, something that took IE years to catch up on. You could use adblock with firefox as early as I believe version 2 or 3 and that was very effective at blocking web advertising and undesriable elements as well as making the web more convenient to work with.
Then late 00's Google decided it wanted to be an advertising company, and its interest in Firefox changed and firefox was was pulled down the path of becoming an company selling advertising.
Today, they do things like quietly implimenting DNS in HTTPS, which we all know is aimed at ads and ad targeting. All while putting up cutsie pages with animated animals in them about their product with undertones about sticking it to the man.
The reason people flog you and your organization on the internet is they have very, very long memories and know what bullshit looks like.
Try forking firefox into a ruthlessly ad-removing, DRM abusing, secure, privacy protecting, enterprise quality version of what it is today with vastly simplified configuration options and sell it for $25 a year. Then you'll get some attention, otherwise, you're being paid to not compete.
Chrome is the technically better product, despite privacy issues (sorry). Many techies want to switch to Chrome. But it's against their self-described ideology. So they find some fault with Mozilla - there always will be - and that's the excuse they need, regardless of what Chrome does. Mozilla should focus about making a better product and ignoring minor complaints.
That said, Mozilla is mismanaged. Always was. I remember back before Firefox when Mozilla was the example of a mismanaged open source effect. It didn't change that much. It's just that IE stagnated and Opera was barely known (despite being by far better), so a trimmed Firefox could surge. Once actual competition got going, it was obvious FF would be a small minority. Linux prospered by getting community contributions from interested companies. Mozilla never managed to get to that stage.
First, the plague of Debian and the logjam breakers. Mozilla, like Debian, has many technical users with loud opinions and struggles to reach consensus. Debian suffers from this problem because it comes to consensus oh so very slowly - multiple competing packaging formats exist and hurt the community for decades. But, Mozilla has the worst result - "logjam breaker" executives come in, and, rather than pushing the technical leadership to make a reasonable technical decision based on the weighed factors, they break the logjam by encouraging the technical leaders to blindly imitate the competition. This problem is intractable - giving in to the Debianers means being mired in debate forever and making no or extremely slow progress; giving in to the suits means failing to innovate, becoming a clone of your competition, and eventually being forgotten. A true solution requires real technical leadership, something that's sorely lacking at Mozilla, or a different user base, which is not a possibility at Mozilla.
Second, the plague of Wikimedia. Non-technical leadership comes to dominate decisions about how to spending incoming donations from successful technical projects. Such leadership is often interested in hoping from the board of one non-profit to another. Much like Googlers are always interested in content for their next promotion form, such non profit executives are interested in bragging about the great projects they kicked off the ground. The results is a slew of failed and cancelled projects while the core project languishes.
Finally, the plague of social justice run amok. Most companies right now are on social justice kick and for the last few years. That's good; racism is bad, and tech could be a bit more welcoming. However, most companies understand where the lines are drawn. For example, Google executives don't release statements after employees die trashing the employee because of an underlying difference in personality and/or political views. Google also doesn't fire executives because of their political views or previous donations, when held privately, particularly when those political views are relatively common. Such actions have a chilling effect on recruitment and leads to technical talent that might otherwise have been interested in Mozilla (like myself) to permanently write it off.
I don't hold Mozilla to higher standards and I'm not mad about double speak. I'm mad that Mozilla is nasty, that is breaks well established liberal norms regarding political freedom, that it's executives waste my donations on resume lines for their next gig, and that it's technical leadership seems incapable of making balanced decisions other than imitation Google. But most of all, I'm mad that nobody at Mozilla can even see the problem (yourself included). Mozilla is deeply sick and needs to diagnose its own problems correctly, in order to begin remediating them. Until then, I'll regard it as a dying corporation and I'll look forward to the day when Mozilla finally dies and we can get started on the project of building a free web again by forking Chromium.
> For example, Google executives don't release statements after employees die trashing the employee because of an underlying difference in personality and/or political views.
While I agree that it was probably a mistake for Mitchell to have made that post, I think that it also says something about Mozilla's culture that a lot of people outside of Mozilla do not quite grasp.
Mozilla throughout its history has been mostly "open by default." IMHO there was an attempt to change that in MoCo during the latter couple years of Chris Beard's tenure as CEO, but traditionally (and Mitchell, as a co-founder of Mozilla, very much comes from the traditional side) Mozilla has been very open.
As a consequence of this openness, sometimes things come out that, from the outside, look like airing of dirty laundry, because in just about any other organization, they would be. But notwithstanding a few NDA exceptions and the Community Participation Guidelines, Mozilla employees can identify themselves as such and blog about whatever they want without having to filter it through PR.
As you can see, this also raises a tension between "Mozilla should be more mindful about what its executives are saying online," vs "Mozilla is too corporate and should not be silencing its employees." There are people on both sides of that who will be upset, and again, no matter which side they're on, seem to always conclude, "Fuck Mozilla, I'm switching to Chrome!"
A more expansive NDA would obviously mitigate that, but Mozilla doesn't do things quite like Google or any of its other competitors.
> Google also doesn't fire executives because of their political views or previous donations, when held privately, particularly when those political views are relatively common.
There was a lot of poor reporting during the Brendan Eich affair. Personally I think that the stuff written by the WSJ was a hitpiece that contained multiple falsehoods, but those falsehoods stuck around and built up this narrative that still lives today. Having been there when it happened, the least inaccurate account of what happened was written by CNet's Stephen Shankland , IMHO. I suggest you read it.
Finally, the Brendan Eich thing happened over six years ago. Is this really something for which Mozilla should be repeatedly be attacked, ad infinitum? Personally I think that it is increasingly off-topic, yet any time Mozilla comes up on HN or elsewhere, I can pretty much guarantee that `Ctrl-F` `Brendan Eich` will turn something up. People just don't seem to be able to move on from that. I don't think that Mozilla's cause and the vast majority of the people who work there deserve to be punished because of that.
And since you mentioned Google, keep in mind that they are not saints without their own controversies. eg Andy Rubin.
Your defenses... aren't.
It's not airing the letter to the general public that was problematic. It's thinking that those are appropriate things to say out loud that's a problem. One of my coworkers passed from cancer a few years back. Frankly, a lot of people thought he was a real jerk before he passed. Nobody said bad things about him to people who knew him after he passed. Not internally, not publicly, not part of the carpool, not anonymously on blind, not even as a little joke after having a few drinks at the bar. Speaking ill of the dead is nasty. And it's mean. People who liked the deceased will overhear you and they'll go home later and cry and think about what people would say about them if they died and then cry more. Mitchell (? I don't remember who tbh) kicked a puppy and put it on YouTube and you're here with "Yes, Mozilla has a long history of putting the things it does on YouTube." It's not the publicity that's the problem - it's kicking the puppy in the first place!
I'm not sure what I'm supposed to take from the CNET article. It wasn't really about gay marriage, it's because the board was indecisive and make a decision and then doubted themselves? So, it was just incompetent management? If you aren't sure about promoting somebody, don't promote them. Promoting somebody and then having them resign because you weren't sure is terrible. Mature corporations with competent leadership recognize that personnel decisions matter - that peoples' feeling are impacted when titles are granted and taken away - and make these decisions deliberately and carefully.
The Eich affair was the cause, but it's not the underlying problem. Mozilla lacks competent technical leadership. Managers with ten years experience in the product area who can make broad-lens decisions. You can see this everywhere. I participate in the web ecosystem in my day job. I'm always struck by the lack of professionalism in the emails from Mozilla employees on github issues. Most Mozilla employees mail like employees 1-2 years out of college. At my company, that fades - managers speak to employees who get too heated in emails and give them pointers with regard to staying on topic and staying technical. But you can also see them in product - Apple's Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) feature - one of the most important strides for privacy on the web in decades - was produced by somebody with a 10 year lens - somebody who saw the security blog post in 2012 about being able to track Twitter users based on their image caches and who had dealt with a decade of the gigantic mess of incompatibility that is cookies for just as long. For their tracking prevention solution, Mozilla copied what some existing plugins did. And it all goes back to Eich. Because managers with 10 years of experience are closer to 40 than 20. They're substantially more likely to have seen political fashions swing - they've seen somebody (perhaps the Dixie Chicks) have their career ruined for reasons that seem incomprehensible a decade later. And they've accumulated at least one "unpopular" political view. And they've come to realize that some organizations are simply too interested in political fashion to be an appropriate home for them.
The point is - what happened to Brendan Eich doesn't prevent me from using Firefox. I don't use Firefox because it sucks. And it sucks because Mozilla can't hire good people with decades of experience. And Mozilla can't hire good people with decades of experience because of what happened to Brendan Eich (and the attitudes that led to it).
Why do you think it sucks? It's been absolutely epic the last couple years in my opinion. They're making some awesome technical choices. They've repeatedly gotten themselves into trouble on the social level, but frankly I don't see how you could say they're not doing well technically. I'm pretty sure Firefox is outperforming Chrome on multiple aspects, and they're positioning themselves to become the best browser period.
I don't really care for its "smart" features like the anti-tracking or other services they offer, so unfortunately I won't be paying them any money any time soon, but to me it's incredible that there's a company out there paying people to rewrite their rendering engine in rust, while also having to pay/support people to actually make that same language suitable enough to become a critical part of an app with such a large user base.
I also see privacy issues sit in the Firefox bugtracker. I read about fuzz tests from project zero and elsewhere and realize Firefox is under-fuzzed, both DOM and JS. I finally stopped using Firefox because, as somebody who writes native code for a living and reads about bytecode VMs for fun in my spare time, I could no longer convince myself that it was satisfactorily secure.
What awesome technical choices do you think Mozilla has made recently? I'd love to hear an example. Throwing away the plug-in model to catch up for performance was an necessary technical choice (perhaps), but it was largely solving a self-made problem and catching up with the competition rather than bona fide innovation, so it falls short of "awesome" to me.
I haven't been following exact features between browsers too closely recently, but Firefox's Tracking Protection has been around for a while and improving for years; and of course, Firefox is where AdBlock/uBlock originated. What does Safari provide that Firefox does not? How does it affect web compat?
This feature has been a long time coming in Firefox, and it's still not all the way there.
But Firefox did just release an opt-in process isolation feature for Firefox, which applies stricter cross-origin controls for a variety of content, and in exchange gives web developers access to SharedArrayBuffer, the feature that needed to be disabled to mitigate Spectre attacks.
So site isolation is progressing, and the first iteration of it has been released.
> What awesome technical choices do you think Mozilla has made recently?
The development of Rust. Servo, which acted as an experimental testbed for a parallel browser engine and has led to its CSS parser, WebRender, and a number of other components being used by Firefox. Asm.js as an alternative to NaCl, which led to the joint development of WASM.
> I haven't been following exact features between browsers too closely recently, but Firefox's Tracking Protection has been around for a while and improving for years; and of course, Firefox is where AdBlock/uBlock originated. What does Safari provide that Firefox does not? How does it affect web compat?
Firefox, like uBlock and AdBlock is list based - it forbids known bad actors. Safari is changing web standards to make tracking impossible, regardless of whether or not you are a known actor, and doing it gradually and carefully enough enough where breakage is minor enough that users don't complain. And Safari has less market share than Firefox. Look at e.g. https://webkit.org/tracking-prevention-policy/ for the principles and the other posts on the blog for details about the implementation. It's an industry wide change that a non-advertising funded browser company needed to push, and it just needed a real leader to push it. And that person turned out to be John Wilander (https://twitter.com/johnwilander). For whatever reason (I've given my thoughts above), I think Mozilla struggles to attract these sort of talented experienced mid-career people.
Rust is pretty cool, but Servo is pretty immature, and it seems like Mozilla just fired all those people. I dunno. I don't see a bright future there.
Well, yeah, that's the problem.
Until now, I felt like despite its issues, Mozilla was mostly on the right track. There have been a few mistakes here and there, but it was fundamentally doing good work.
However, cutting Servo, and it looks like maybe Cranelift as well (not sure about that, but Dan Gohmen aka sunfishcode, who seemed to be one of the lead contributors, has been laid off) is a huge blow.
While Servo as a whole browser is pretty immature, a number of components of it were adopted by Firefox, such as its CSS parser, Webrender, its GPU accelerated parallel rendering engine, and more.
You had asked about what Mozilla had done recently, and I listed a few things. But it looks like they are cutting a lot of that. They mentioned focusing on wasmtime and the Bytecode alliance, but I don't see how cutting one of their lead contributors helps out with that.
And they seem to be slowly cutting the head count on Rust; it's less apparent because there are enough people not at Mozilla contributing, and some of the core contributors have been moved onto other projects which use Rust at Mozilla so while they're not contributing directly they are still somewhat involved; and some folks have left of their own accord.
But now it looks like some of those other teams are being cut, like Servo and at least some of the wasmtime team, so I really hope that more companies can put some more investment directly in Rust, as well as the WASM ecosystem.
I don't know about web features lagging, I feel that's also just chrome pushing web features before they're fully ratified, but maybe there's some where firefox really lags. It was a bit painful for my project that they've held back on the shared buffers thing, but I think that's going to be turned on soon again.
Besides webrender, they've been really working at performance the last couple years, there's performance improvements in nearly every release.
If they're not fuzzing their interpreters that is worrying. If they really are doing bad, surely someone's gonna come and do it for them right? Or do you think Firefox is so small right now hackers aren't even bothering?
I think the future is a rebase on Chromium. With so many companies (Brave, Google, Microsoft) each shipping their own integrations in Chromium, integrations will naturally become plug-in based (or at least, have a fairly stable API), allowing each vendor to opt in or out of each customization. Then, projects like Tor will move the TorBrowser to Chromium with their own implementations that are tracker free and one of them will eventually take the place of Firefox as the rallying point for the free software ideologues.
Which is a shame because I have a lot of sympathy for the free software ideologues. I'd like to win the browser fight for user-first free software ideology, not just corporate directed free software. But I no longer see Mozilla or Firefox as a banner under which that can be done. At the same time, I'm not sure how next free banner gets started.
- many addons are still broken/unsupported after Quantum
- addons have been blocked from Firefox for questionab,e reasons
- Firefox often ships proprietary third party software & DRM
- telemtry enabled by default
- the total fiasco that is the totally incomplere Fenix that was released to the stable channel on Android
There have been epic things, but the list of bad things has been growing a lot.
It is notable that in your summary you refer to this as political fashion swings, and "unpopular" political views, and an overreaction. Would you characterize the civil right movement in the same fashion?
You also seem to correlate competent technical leadership with someone who sympathizes with Eich's views. That in my experience doesn't follow at all. If anything competent leadership means you have worked with many people of all different backgrounds and have excelled at leading and empowering them. Mozilla likely has many LGBTQ employees, and if your personal prejudices stifle their contributions, then you are not competent by definition of leadership.
Just to answer your question explicitly: yes. If somebody had a political opinion that was popular with 40% of the population and had not brought it into the workplace, I would not support firing the person for holding that opinion, even if the opinion were, for example, that schools should be segregated by race. While I personally don't support segregation by race, I don't find firing people for political views kept outside of work to be in the long term interest of liberal societies. I find the notion of segregated but equal schools unworkable (because those with power will always ensure their schools are better) but not inherently evil. And, in some situations (e.g. gender), I do not oppose "separate but equal" schooling. While I personally attended a public school, I have several friends who attended single-sex private schools, and they turned out OK.
With all this in mind, your language around "denying a human right" makes it clear that you aren't giving Eich's views a fair hearing. California had domestic partnerships for same sex couples that ensured comparable protections around spousal visitation, etc. While I also disagree with the notion of "separate but equal" for partnerships and support granting gay couples the right to marriage, international organizations (like the United Nations) do not generally consider "separate but equal" to be human rights violations. To be a human rights violation, the separation must be coupled with a disparity in treatment (as in segregated schooling in the United States), which Eich is explicitly opposed to.
But we are talking about Mozilla specifically, which states in their manifesto: "We are committed to an internet that includes all the peoples of the earth — where a person’s demographic characteristics do not determine their online access, opportunities, or quality of experience." If we put aside any value judgement on that statement, I can see how a CEO publicly supporting exclusion can raise concerns about their performance with respect to the company's mission.
Even so, Eich wasn't fired, he resigned and moved on.
Far more interesting to me is that 6 years later, you and others on this forums go to such effort to justify why any problem with the company is a consequence of that resignation. Eich doesn't need your support. I'm curious as to what drives the justifications and the splitting hairs as to what is the approved meaning of human rights as defined by international organizations. The language about denying human rights should have been the least controversial part of what I wrote.
I think you may be observing something about yourself and attributing to others. Mozilla's problems aren't a consequence of Eich's resignation. Mozilla has several problems - I described three of them that are particularly prominent to me - 1) Debian / power users 2) wikimedia executives 3) and social justice amok. Eich resignation was one of two symptoms I gave as examples of the third problem. I could also have given this blog post as an example, as it bizarrely tries to describe a layoff in the context of fighting racism (were the laid off employees racist?).
I find it interesting that you ignored all the other problems I mentioned and the other symptoms of the same problem and focused in on attacking Eich to such an extent.
The history of civil rights didn't end with Brown v. Board of Education. The Civil Rights Act and Loving v. Virginia also repudiated separate but equal. Voluntary single sex education and certain environments where women might feel vulnerable are specific exceptions. The California Supreme Court gave separate but equal for same sex unions a fair hearing in 2008 and found it was discriminatory and unconstitutional. The US Supreme Court agreed in 2015.
Eich didn't apologize or even say he wouldn't do it again. He actually pointedly refused to explain his views except to say he supported civil unions.
At companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple, you can work on a browser regardless of your political views. At Mozilla, you need to think a certain way first. A smaller pool of technical talent to choose from leads to worse technical leadership. Recall that Eich only became the CEO (over the opposition of a portion of the board) after months where Mozilla was searching and couldn't find anybody better. It's not that the people who have particular political views are particularly talented, it's just that some of them are talented, just like the people who disagree with them. If you can include talented people of all stripes, you can do better than if you restrict yourself to talented people from a single ideological group.
Unless by "everything" you mean the government of the United State of America (the country where Mozilla has its headquarters), in which case, it's OK again (Obama opposed same sex marriage at the time when Eich made his donation). You can dress it up like Eich's views were some big sin that demands banishment from society, but of America's 45 presidents, 44 of them agreed with Eich, and the one who disagreed initially agreed with Eich before disagreeing with him. So, I'm pretty sure you can be in charge of everything with those views.
Marriage is certainly part of UDHR ("according to national laws governing the exercise of this right" which allows said human right to not apply to certain groups of people. UDHR also considers it a human right for someone to be kidnapped and forcefully re-educated so I do not understand why anyone takes it seriously) but that does not make it a human right. Marriage is nothing more than the government acknowledging that two people love each other, I personally fail to see why this should be a human right (or why the government is meddling in it at all).
its the right of inheriting when your spouse dies
its the right to be covered by your spouse's insurance
its the right to share joint custody of children
its the right of spousal privilege in court
its that you can file taxes jointly
its the rights to benefits as a spouse of a veteran
and dozens more of trivial and important legal rights most couples take for granted. These are trivially denied in many social interactions and used to make others feel like second class citizens, and deny them their pursuit of happiness. This was all debated and settled by the Supreme Court in 2015.
If the government would stop meddling in all the other legal affairs then I would see the reason for your confusion why they are meddling in marriage.
> its the right of inheriting when your spouse dies
You can designate your own heir.
> its the right to be covered by your spouse's insurance
> its the right to share joint custody of children
> its the right of spousal privilege in court
> its that you can file taxes jointly
> its the rights to benefits as a spouse of a veteran
> and dozens more of trivial and important legal rights most couples take for granted
And I am arguing that these are not things that should come with marriage - people who decide to not get married and people who are not legally allowed to get married (such as people in polyamorous relationships) should have the ability to enjoy the same rights as married people. Regardless though, not all of these are part of the universal definition of marriage (nor are a necessary part of it), the UDHR says that marriage as an abstract concept is a human right (and only for certain people at certain times as the law allows) - it does not designate any specific privilege between married people as a human right.
> If the government would stop meddling in all the other legal affairs ...
There is a difference between the government attempting to catch someone who violated the rights of someone else and the government recognizing (or not) the love between people.
Obviously you're referring to Brendan Eich. But you're wrong: Eich was not fired, and he was not forced to resign. In fact just the opposite: the board tried to get him to stay. This should not be news to you: it was in the FAQ on CEO resignation, from April 2014 when it happened:
Q: Was Brendan Eich fired?
A: No, Brendan Eich resigned. Brendan himself said:
“I have decided to resign as CEO effective April 3rd, and leave Mozilla. Our mission is bigger than any one of us, and under the present circumstances, I cannot be an effective leader. I will be taking time before I decide what to do next.”
Brendan Eich also blogged on this topic.
Q: Was Brendan Eich asked to resign by the Board?
A: No. It was Brendan’s idea to resign, and in fact, once he submitted his resignation, Board members tried to get Brendan to stay at Mozilla in another C-level role.
I've heard that argumentation tactic many times, from people who had nothing better than: "I don't believe in something that we both agree is false, but I'm mad at you, so I'm going to punish you by changing my belief system and believing in it."
That's absolutely childish, and I don't believe you're going to punish me by renouncing your atheism and becoming a Christian just to spite me (that wouldn't be very Christian, would it?), and I really don't care what false things you profess to believe in in order to punish me. Come up with a better argument, or admit defeat, since you've already humiliated yourself by admitting that you'll sell out your beliefs out of spite.
Also, you made it perfectly clear that you're homophobic by writing a sentence that begins with "I have absolutely nothing against homosexuals, but ..." You can stop right there. You already gave away the game.
Edit: it appears I cannot make an edit. I do think the correction is immaterial to the larger point. Eich was not able to function as CEO given his donation. The wide publicity of this event, the other event I mentioned in my post, and even the FAQ you shared and the blog post that is OP are symptoms of an organization that is more interested in being seen positively from outside than in treating its people well. Given the wide publicity of these events, Mozilla struggles to extract experienced and high quality talent from the industry.
What about https://www.theverge.com/2014/3/28/5559284/half-of-mozillas-... then?
>Update 2: A Mozilla spokesperson says "the three board members ended their terms last week for a variety of reasons," adding "two had been planning to leave for some time, one since January and one explicitly at the end of the CEO search, regardless of the person selected."
Do you have any evidence that the official Mozilla FAQ about the matter is lying, and that they actually fired him, or did not ask him to stay? Has Eich himself ever made the claim that he was fired, or forced out, or denied the board tried to get him to stay? Or are you just spreading conspiracy theories that contradict the known facts?
They don't fire executives but they are fine with firing normal employees instead.
They didn't apologize.
They didn't learn anything.
And yea, they sometimes even did it again.
> OTOH, sometimes it just seems unreasonable and absurd. Stuff like, to paraphrase, "Look at the corporate doublespeak in that press release. Fuck Mozilla, I'm switching to Chrome."
If you think that Mozilla not using "corporate doublespeak" is an impossible standard, I am left speechless.
If you think that is a reason to abandon Mozilla, you've just proved my point.
> Excited to share the launch of @mozilla @firefox Tiles program, the first of our user-enhancing programs
To call advertisements "user-enhancing" is an affront and betrays values like privacy that Mozilla claims to espouse. There's no reason to believe, after missteps like embedding cliqz tracking or using update channels to push booking.com ads, Mozilla actually appreciates those values. At that point, it's no better on a privacy front than Chrome.
I have made no statement about abandoning or not abandoning Mozilla for corporate doublespeak. You're the second Mozilla employee that is putting words in my mouth in this thread. I think that is suggestive of what Mozilla has become.
I will never donate a penny anymore. I won't even test end products in FF!
This is what you get when you use a supposedly race neutral tech NGO as a guise to do race politics! I am not giving an inch to an organisation that seeks to stiffle public debate in any way what so ever "hate" or not.
These days, being against demographic replacement, against globalism and corporatism is considered hate-speech. Racial, political and religious critique is selectively considered hate speech regardless of the format and tone.
I agree that there is a need for browser alternatives, mostly so one company doesn't have all power over the future and shape of the web. Secondly because I would PREFER a political neutral organization to do my critical software, and Google has shown time and time again to have party affiliations. The US software landscape is so dystopian that it makes the chinese vendors look good and fair! If a US vendor isn't in cahoots with intelligence agencies, then its corporate and elite sponsored NGOs with even more sinister end goals;
Like the ADL who spent almost a century to get a child rapist and murderer exonerated post-humorously, because he didn't manage to walk free from his crime by blaming his black employee (For once a major community effort didn't turn out with a poor BLACK man hanging from a tree, but a rich kid). ADL who wants us all to talk about US slavery, but not about who owned the slave ships, and who managed the supply chain.
Are people no longer allowed to criticise?
> If you think that is a reason to abandon Mozilla, you've just proved my point.
@hu3's misunderstanding is entirely understandable.
You're implying OP intends to abandon Mozilla based on their criticism towards corporate doublespeak.
If not then your comment makes even less sense.
Let me phrase it clearly to anyone reading this: It is perfectly fine to criticize corporate double speak and people should not be confronted for that.
> If you think that Mozilla not using "corporate doublespeak" is an impossible standard, I am left speechless.
Therefore, given that other people may think that, it is reasonable to bring it up.
Not all parts of a comment are directes literally only at the person that one is responding to..
People talk as if Mozilla and others could exist in their magic bubble outside of a world where all comes down to money.
Being a non-profit means they still have to pay rent, loans etc. so there has to be enough money to do that. While many use Mozilla products without donating it is strange for me that the same people wonder about Mozilla not having enough money to keep all their employees and infrastructure.
Focusing on other actions that promise an increase in revenue is necessary if people just take without giving back.