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Mozilla Lifeboat (mozillalifeboat.com)
1518 points by gkoberger 11 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 308 comments

Element (the company from the Matrix.org core team) is super interested in providing refuge to Mozilla folks - we share the same goals of building the open web, albeit with a focus on open communication. (We'd put ourselves on the mozillalifeboat.com page, but I somehow doubt our Mozilla alumni uses FB... :D)

Particular areas that may be of interest include developer documentation (making https://matrix.org/docs/spec and https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-doc not suck), Safety engineering (subjective decentralised reputation, anti-abuse and anti-spam), Rust (https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-rust-sdk is in the ascendant), and even possibly VR (we are on a mission to ensure Matrix is the comms protocol of the multiverse) - although Safety & Spec (and generally hacking on Element and Matrix itself) are the most important domains right now. https://element.io/careers has more details.

Man, I’d really love to see Matrix to become a standard. I’d love to use it as a major goto chat/communication tool but i get frustrated with UX. Pls pls, don’t screw it.

I've been trying to get people to join "element" but it just makes the whole chat sound awkward "Hey, want to join me on element? compared to "hey, want to join me on riot". Element just doesn't have the same ring and sounds less exciting and dull.

It's not even listed in search engines, especially DDG, so I then have to give them the URL which adds to the awkwardness. It was a bad move in my opinion. Sure sure, the old name had an conversational stance but it at least it had a flow. riot.im still sounds much better then element.io

Anyway, with that aside. Thank you guys for creating something that works. It needs some polishing but I had my first voice call and to my surprised it just worked for both of us.

I still get a few confused moments with the UX from my mother like where's the enter button, and why do I need to enter so many passwords but other than that it is a charm.

Every time 'Element' (The Matrix chat app) gets a mention, it resorts into questioning the name or a disambiguation.

The technology, product and pricing with the deals they are making with multiple governments and businesses is an excellent source of revenue and is very competitive at striking those deals. However the genericness of the name will be a problem with non-technical users and will always be an issue with Element which is a problem the parent has highlighted.

The SEO on the name is terrible and doesn't come up on Google, Bing or DDG. The fustrating part? They were so close on deciding to rebrand everything and have ruined it on the name (for now).

It's not too late though. I guess they will have rename Element again in order to expand into becoming a true WhatsApp alternative mindshare-wise. Right now the name is quite frankly unappealing, but everything else is the gold standard.

Folks, it's been like 3 weeks since we renamed Riot as Element, and (picking DDG) it's already the 18th hit from the top. Riot was 4th at the point we renamed it (second only to RG). Meanwhile it's already the top hit on the Play Store. So give it a few more weeks :) In terms of the name itself, I personally think "Let's talk on Element" is at least as catchy as "Let's talk on Riot", although it's touching to see folks missing the name Riot.

You've got my vote. This is the first time I've heard of either product and to me Element sounds closer to something I would check out than Riot.

I really like the philosophy behind the project and I will check it out. I would, however, recommend maybe marketing it in a different way. Let's say Slack added every single one of these features on the Element home page. My guess is they wouldn't market any of these same features on the home page because they really aren't what you use the app for (which I take it is messaging). While I agree that Element seems much better than Slack in what makes it unique there's nothing telling me that's it's easier to use than Slack. There's really even nothing telling me it's even easy to use, or fun to use, or will help me communicate better with my team.

Generally I like the new name a lot. The turning point that took me from lukewarm to positive was when the phrase, "in my element" popped into my head, which I think is a pretty fitting theme for a messenger app using a decentralized protocol like matrix (almost (but not quite) enough for me to wish matrix were branded something like "bond" -- that which connects elements).

However, there's one major way it's lacking: brevity. "Element" will never be a verb like Slack, WhatsApp, Snap, Signal, etc. Telegram has the same problem -- "Send me a Telegram" is the closest you can naturally get; "Telegram me" is too much of a mouthful. Element is even worse in this respect, since I can't think of a phrase like "Send me an Element".

Now to turn this criticism upside down: I think you can spin this downside onto an amazing upside, by making the protocol the verb. People don't say "gmail me" or "aol me". They don't say "handcent me" or "textra me" (or at least, not until iMessage came along). If your goal is to encourage an open ecosystem rather than monopolize the market, not having your flagship client take up too much of the verbiage is a good thing. So it's not "Element me, it's "Matrix me".

..which, is still subpar. Two syllables with ending in x is a mouthful. I'm kind of loathe to suggest a rebrand of the protocol, too, but.. It might be worth considering.

Total aside: The single biggest improvement you could make to Element, for me, would be to stop giving mentions special treatment in the composer. I want to be able to put my cursor in the middle of someone's name, press backspace, and delete one letter, not their entire name. Using a pill as a distinct visual style to indicate that the person I'm mentioning will see it as a mention is a good thing. Making it function differently than the plain letters would is an exercise in frustration. I've nothing against WYSIWYG composers, although I prefer plain text (since I'm used to it), but if you're going to allow text-based formatting, then the composer window needs to act as (but not necessarily look like) 100% text. Polari is the absolute gold standard here, and Discord is alright (at least, if you keep their godawful "preview as you type" beta feature, which messes up mentions the same way Riot does, turned off). I spend most of my time in the composer; it's the biggest bang-free-buck area for QoL improvements.

Surely it’s just “message me”

Don’t try to make “matrix me” a thing, that’s the exact sort of thing that makes nerd decentralisation projects on the web fail outside of needing your own personal sysadmin to replace Twitter. It sounds dumb and matrix is known as a pain in the arse to use by people that have come across it, 1999 film otherwise

We have a word, it’s message.

My circles use Telegram a lot and I have no problem saying “Telegram me”.

I went through the exact same thing on a smaller scale when I decided to rename an independent project I was working on. The existing community suddenly became really attached to the old name, and I had a number of people tell me that the new name was a mistake.

Even people who agreed that the old name was a problem were still telling me that they just didn't like the shift in tone, that they felt doubtful about everything. It was a very surreal experience, because I knew the old name was a problem and I knew the newer name better invoked the feeling I wanted, but all of a sudden I was seeing so much pushback from so many people that I wasn't confident any more.

The solution was to take the project to a big conference with a bunch of brand new users and ask them about it while I demoed. Across the board, pretty much everyone liked the new name better, it immediately got across what I wanted. It was a complete 180 in reactions. So after that, I stuck to my guns and in a month or two everyone in the existing community was used to it and a lot of them had come around to saying they now preferred the new name.

My take is people are familiar with 'Riot', it has a sense of nostalgia for them, and even if they don't like the name Riot, that's just what pops into their head when they think about the project. If it's something you feel confident about, then you should ignore the people complaining. Or maybe not ignore, but at least filter their complaints a bit and don't treat them like gospel.

When thinking about branding changes, there's danger in listening too closely to the existing community, because it's going to be hard for them not to have a familiarity bias towards the things they're used to.

Because “Let’s talk on zoom” is any better? :)

zoom has already become a verb.

honestly, i was aok with riot as a name being a barrier to entry, i’m fully convinced at this point that barriers to entry somewhat mitigate against eternal september and the toxicity which follows with it. take irc, while it certainly has toxicity issues, the esoteric nature kept the worst away.

so even if element, as a name, adds to keeping it low enough profile to keep it from becoming a verb–i know many will disagree (particularly the devs (sorry Arathorn))–im fine with that.

i hope we can find that magic balance where it’s a fundamental project which will bring in funding and people power, but not so fundamental that everyone’s toxic aunt and uncle uses it as a verb.

I don't quite understand this need to make everything into a verb that americans seem to have. "Let's zoom", really? In germany it's just "let's write in WhatsApp/Telegram/Facebook/Signal/etc.".

it has fewer syllables going for it

I'm sure if it becomes popular, people would just call it "Ellie" but spell it "Ele".

Element sounds cool, relaxed Riot sounds hot, aggressive

Curious if just buying ads in search engines would help raise the rankings? Not sure if Google eventually raises your rankings when your link is clicked on more due to ads but I assume the more people visit specific search results the higher up it goes.

It’s a terrible name. I have forgotten it three times already since they’ve changed it and I was actually trying to pay attention to their project. And just now reading about it, it took me a minute to remember what Element was referring to. It’s not too late, change it again! Pick any element that’s easy to spell off the periodic table and go with that: Vanadium, Thorium, Boron, hell even Helium. Or go with a conductive one since it’s about communication: Copper!

Or try something random: Gregarious, Rune, Radio Moskva, Ricochet, Lore, Franko, Mayham, Rockodial. Whatever, just not Element.

I think I'd like Cloak for a secure messenger. Or Cape. I don't know, I find Element very generic.


Those are really good names, not just for Riot/Element but for other products or features.

Feel free to use them. If you do, I’d love to know about it but not required.

Isn’t it more appropriate to say “join me on matrix”? Element is just one of the clients.

But for non-tech users you have to mention an app they can install to message you. Then we're back to Element.

From the perspective of a person that has never used Riot nor Element, and didn't mention any name in any conversation ever, I'd say that the excitement and non-dullness come from your preference, not from the name itself.

Do any of these names have excitement? WhatsApp, WeChat, Jabber, Signal? I think not ;)

We're doing our best to improve UX (it should be noticeably improved over the last year, unless we're kidding ourselves) - and we're doing our best not to screw it up :) But we need help! (hence looking for more folk to hire!)

This is definitely true. The primary remaining issue I think is "perceived stability". The apps feel very finnicky, and oftentimes things work in unexpected and unexplained ways (especially around E2E encryption!) and it makes it pretty hard to onboard friends.

Do you run UI/UX tests on these flows? Also under non-ideal conditions and potential semi-broken states? I'd love to see Element become a more stable application--it's definitely more important to convincing friends to use it than an extensive feature set.

The UI is finally getting usable. Thanks a lot of all the peoples involved in making it better. I switched a few weeks ago most of my communication from Telegram to Matrix and I hope I will be able to move my family to Element by the end of the year.

The UI is constantly getting better and its way better than where it was a few years ago. Its at the point where I find its usable but not as nice as things like telegram.

For me, Telegram is almost perfect when it comes to usability. Gifs, stickers, being able to send videos (as opposed to WhatsApp), setting a background for chats, etc.

It's still barely usable. 2 days I ago I tried to text my friend who was flying and the encryption failed, said the old "unable to decrypt". It's a good thing our conversation wasn't important. Had to switch to text messaging once again.

> Man, I’d really love to see Matrix to become a standard.

I thought the same about XMPP 15 years ago.

I think chat protocols are much like languages, it's almost inherent that in communication between people different standards and different communities form.

Different groups of people use different messengers to (often unknowingly) express an identity.

I've giving up on the hope that there will be one universal language / protocol to unite everyone.

Not just the UX. It's dog slow. I've never had a good experience using it, no matter how much I want to like it.

Have you tried it with a different homeserver (either hosted or some other community server)? Matrix.org has a fucktonne of users (~5 million from memory), and given how little funding they have it's shocking that they can afford to run a homeserver at all. I've run my own homeserver for the past few years and I haven't ever had any issues with performance (even when talking to people on Matrix.org).

I can attest to that. I run a Matrix homeserver for a small community, and it's blazingly fast all the time.

Everyone should migrate off matrix.org sooner rather than later. I fully expect seeing regional public Matrix homeservers popping up here and there eventually, just like regional public Jabber servers did back in the day.

Or, indeed like public e-mail providers did.

That's not my experience at all. It got better when I left some large rooms. But I still regularly get things like messages that the server is offline, taking a minute before the UI shows that my message was sent, after my laptop was suspended, it takes minutes before element becomes usable again. I run my own IRC bridge, and if they send more than 5 messages a minute I start losing messages and they get out of order.

Yep ux is a huge problem for getting even tech-savvy people onto element. Would love to see it become a viable alternative to discord but its still far off.

Try fluffychat. It offers a more polished experience

The links on that page for the names appear go to github, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, so I think as long as the alumni use some online service that can serve as identity you would be able to post on the website itself. Obviously that is at your prerogative, just wanted to indicate it is not only Facebook.

Feel free to email me and I can send you the form :) I just didn't have a better way to verify ex-Mozillians than the FB group!

Arathorn, just curious who chose the name 'Element'? Do you think it's too late to change it?

Did you do user research studies on the name, if so what was the results from those studies?

> Arathorn, just curious who chose the name 'Element'?

I did, alongside a few others from the team.

> Do you think it's too late to change it?

Yup :)

> Did you do user research studies on the name


> if so what was the results from those studies?

Broadly positive.

Hey all, I built this last night as a resource for connecting Mozilla Alumni during this rough time. Mozilla laid off some truly amazing people this past year.... many of whom I worked with 10 years ago when I was there.

As for why there's a red panda in the boat... despite the logo distinctly picturing a fox on fire, a "firefox" is actually the name for a red panda!

The animated boat is immensely cute. I have a lot of respect that you cooked this up in one night, it humbles me.

Props to even come up with the idea.

Between us, 80% of the reason I started this was a cute little red panda in a boat seemed fun to draw!

You must be the one who built Pawnee’s website too


I really like the boat/panda; how did you create that SVG? Source code says it was generated by Sketchapp, which I am not too familiar with.

Overall great job, its super slick.

Hey! The initial SVG was made in Sketch (looks like this: https://p195.p4.n0.cdn.getcloudapp.com/items/OAuqBqvx/boat.s...), and I animated it with CSS.

Normally, I'd use a combo of Sketch (for making the assets) and GSAP (for animating)!

Wonderful job. Great illusion of depth with just SVG and CSS. Reminds me a bit of Wind Waker.

I second that. Great job!

Thanks for making this, I had the horrifying idea that Mozilla had their engineers make this prior to the layoffs.

"For Mozilla folks looking for a landing spot, Safari and WebKit teams have a number of openings. DM if interested in any of the below: - HTTP stack - Web dev tools - 3D/AR/VR - Mac app - iOS app - Web Extensions - Any web platform area (layout, web APIs, ...) "


Looking at the Twitter responses, I don’t know why people assume that every single Mozilla employee would put “being part of the open web and contributing to open source” above people’s crazy obsession with having a job and being able to afford food and shelter.

Modern web browsers are among the most complex piece of software out there.

If you’re qualified to write that kind of code, basic needs are surely well taken care of and are the least of your concerns.

To put it simply, these people will not have a hard time finding high paying jobs. And since they are able to choose, “being part of the open web” makes a lot of sense.

Which company that cares about the “open web” pays well - instead of just paying lip service to openness [1].

Have you checked Mozilla’s salary? https://www.levels.fyi/company/Mozilla/salaries/Software-Eng...

I was making almost that much pre-Covid as a regular old SAAS CRUD developer in the south East US. It was comfortable but far from not needing to work for a few months and hold out because I was concerned about “open source values”.

I jumped at the chance to work remotely at BigTech three months ago. I’m sure many of them would too.

[1] https://mobile.twitter.com/arubin/status/27808662429?locale=...


Do you need to make 15k/month?

In my experience, finding fulfilling work is harder than well paying ones.

When you have kids, bills, trying to save for retirement, etc. I can’t afford to be out of work for an extended period of time. Even making $120K a year (just trying to make the math easy), means every month I am out of work I am losing $10K.

But I was replying to this...

If you’re qualified to write that kind of code, basic needs are surely well taken care of and are the least of your concerns.

The Mozilla developers aren’t getting paid minimum wage by any means, nor am I doubting their skills, but they definitely aren’t making the salaries of great engineers if levels.fyi is accurate.

That was my entire point. I wouldn’t get past the first technical screen for an entry level software engineer at $BigTech without “grinding leetCode ((tm) r/cscareerquestions) as a CRUD developer, but I made about that much even before I got a consulting job at $BigTech and I am living on the opposite coast from Silicon Valley.

Well, the key is that you trade your time for something and — if it is indeed harder to find a fulfilling work — you wish to maximize that something in a time you do work in order to be able to allocate more time towards more satisfactory ends.

I tried something like that. What happened was that the free time I had left was completely unproductive. Doing unfulfilling work is exhausting, turns out.

Not saying I have all the answers, just what happened to me. This fulfilling thing is hard.

Billions of people go to work everyday without doing it out of “passion”.

Sure, we’re extremely privileged.

I guess everyone expects their job to provide food and shelter, so it would be a bit hard to advertise with that as if it were a positive.

Which has done more to prevent Chrome’s complete dominance - Apple or Firefox? Besides, WebKit is open source.

Google could kill Firefox by just not renewing its search contract.

Mozilla would go with another partner and/or change their structure to accept donations for the browser.

If money wasn't a consideration perhaps ddg become a good partner. That combo could shift as much as 5% of google traffic away from search.

Because another partner would pay to be the default search engine of a browser with declining market share. Would you want to count on donations to fund a company the size of Mozilla?

Google pays Apple a reported $8 billion a year to be the default search engine for iOS. It pays Mozilla less than $600 million (https://www.cnet.com/news/google-firefox-search-deal-gives-m...).

Doesn’t that tell you how little Firefox traffic is worth?

How is $600mil/yr "little"? That's a metric f-ton of money by any standards except "companies that are larger than countries."

Googling around, a few sources tell me there are about 250 million Firefox users; Mozilla currently seems to say 210 million: https://data.firefox.com/dashboard/user-activity

As for iOS, this source says there were 900 million iPhone users (doesn't include iPads) as of Jan 2019: https://www.idownloadblog.com/2019/01/30/900-million-iphones... , and this one says 1.5 billion Apple devices (probably includes Macs) as of Q1 2020: https://9to5mac.com/2020/01/28/apple-hits-1-5-billion-active...

I'll arbitrarily guess 1.2 billion iOS users (the rest being Macs). In that case, there are maybe 6x as many iOS users as Firefox users. Therefore, if Google paid the same per Firefox user as they did per iOS user, they would have paid $1.3 billion for Firefox users. That's a difference of about 2x per user from what they actually paid.

iOS users have demonstrably paid for (or been gifted by people who paid for) premium electronic devices, which I would expect makes them more valuable advertising targets. I'm mildly surprised that the difference isn't larger, but I don't have a good feel for advertising expenditures.

There's also the part where iOS Safari is pretty much the only browser that people will want to use on the platform.

Right - most people just want to feed their kids first and worry about other things later.

I think the idea that most Mozilla employees were working there for morals rather than being able to buy their children shoes is doubtful.

Yes, while Mozilla does pay well, you can usually get a little more at a larger tech company. (Speaking from personal experience).

That said, is always a mix, and a balancing act. And a matter of finding something fun to work on :)

I actually don't get how it works working at a non-profit. Like everyone else I know working in tech, the vast majority of my compensation is in stock. If your company doesn't have stock... what do they do? I guess they don't pay you 4x the base rate to compensation?

First of all, you probably will get less total comp at Mozilla than you could elsewhere. You'll still be paid well compared to many developers working outside SF/NYC/etc, though.

Second, instead of stock you'll get a higher potential bonus. The bonus percentage increases based on your level.

Third, benefits are generous. Being able to work remotely was a particularly unique and valuable one for a long time.

Fourth, the class and scale of the problems Mozilla is solving are interesting and challenging, which is a motivation for some employees.

Fifth, the mission and the commitment to open source are a motivation to many employees as well.

(These are just my personal observations as a current employee)

Yeah, I mean, it sounds like the people you know are a relatively thin slice of the upper few % of people working in tech, compensation-wise.

Most of the people I know in tech work for governments, non-profits, small business, private companies, etc. that don't offer stock-based compensation. They just make much less in total comp than BigTech stock-heavy jobs.

> If your company doesn't have stock... what do they do?

As someone working at a private finance company - annual bonuses at a rate similar to big tech stock grants work just fine.

Why not? It’s all just compensation.

I don’t know why not. That’s what I’m asking. Is that what they do? If Google pay you $200k plus $500k stock do Mozilla pay you $700k cash instead. Maybe they do. Just seems doubtful somehow... seems like there must be a reason Google prefer to put it in stock.

Companies pay in stock because it's not an immediate cash cost like salary, and because the value is tied to the success of the company which encourages employees to drive progress/profit for the business.

Right... so is that what Mozilla do or not? Do they actually pay the same as their (literally over the road) competitors but entirely in cash?

No they pay less but slightly (20% or less) higher base with 20-40% bonus opportunity.

If I were to work there it wouldn’t be so much to be an open source contributor but to be at the core of modern web.

I don’t have kids so I don’t know what that part is like, though.

The modern web where less than 10% will use it? How is that “the core”?

That’s like saying that working at Apple and being on the macOS team you will be part of the core of PC operating systems.

If you’re developing browsers which deal with modern standards you’re absolutely at the core of the web. Far more so than a typical web dev job.

But it seems that you just wanna piss on Firefox for market share reasons.

Is there any support for XR on the open web in that team?

Genuinely interested if some of the spirit of Mozilla could be preserved in that transition.

Offering a Safari job to someone from Mozilla probably hurts them more then getting fired.

It's very weird that Mozilla is laying off 25% of its workforce while at the same time spending oodles of cash on its Fix The Internet incubator. I'm not a business major; maybe this is normal.

The Fix The Internet incubator doesn't look like very much money is involved. A $2500 stipend for participants, a top prize of $25,000, not that much money. Whereas layoffs of 250 people will save maybe $50 - $100 million a year.

Of course, perhaps they will also cut future funding to this incubator, and it's just a different timing that they announce it.

They're paying their devs 200-400 grand a year? Jesus.

I was laid off and had 10 years of tenure. Salary, bonus, and benefits amounted to a TC of around 300

Mozilla’s layoffs were to get rid of the highly paid engineers, IMO. We have new talent coming in fresh and loose for a bunch less.

We also have a lot of cash in the bank. Mozilla is wealthy. CFO was asked to increase runway.

That makes sense (as explanation, not necessarily justification). In general, this remote era is a "great" way to push dev salaries down, even for organizations that were already decently remote like Mozilla.

Salary, bonus, healthcare, dental, 401K, office space, taxes, equipment, ... employees are not cheap. That figure would be competitive in the Bay Area for quality dev work.

I think I found the solution, not basing yourself in one of the highest cost of living areas.

Mozilla hires devs all across the world, many in countries where developers are much cheaper than in the USA.

So then where does the 200k - 400k come from? That salary would be outrageous for software devs over here in .nl, let alone for a non-profit.

I'm an American who worked in Germany. I interviewed in the the Netherlands, but was horrified by how low pay was in the industry.

I meant to show that more as a benchmark. The claim was that Mozilla hires employees in low-cost countries.

I agree that the pay in The Netherlands is pretty bad for software devs compared to other countries with similar wealth (UK, Germany, US, etc), but I know that it’s much worse in e.g. Eastern European countries, which I also expect Mozilla to hire from.

Germany is not that much better than NL except for fintech and that pays well everywhere.

Why hire in eastern europe only? Mozilla hires the best from around the world.

It's more the American tech wages which are an outlier. Salaries in Europe are much lower but quite normal compared to the rest of the developed world.

Its speculation. Cost of benefits/rent/etc is expensive in the Bay Area, but no one is getting $25k worth of dental insurance or anything.

It's just an estimate for an based on my experience in the industry, but I think it's a reasonable one. I did estimate based on American costs though. For example, an entry-level software engineer at Google in the U.S. makes $188,000 according to https://www.levels.fyi/ . That's the amount of compensation that goes to the employee, though; that doesn't count employer taxes and the additional costs of overhead like office space. So I added a range of up to twice that much to account for overhead, to estimate what an employee costs to the employer.

There are a couple other factors - one extra factor is this is just for entry-level employees, another extra factor is that Mozilla probably doesn't pay quite as well as Google. I am not sure how large those factors are, but it's just an estimate and they work against each other, so I think the range is a reasonable guess. I would be surprised if it's very far off.

Tough when the best talent is in that high COL metropolitan area.

Silicon Valley is so far up its ass that they can't see the light of day. There is good talent in the high COL metro area, but that doesn't mean all of the best talent is there. And it's definitely not all cultivated there.

At most it's just brain drain from around the world (and around the U.S.) due to capital concentration NOT talent concentration.

There's this belief that anybody who isn't willing to move to high COL metro couldn't cut it there because having a worldview outside of living in SF or similar isn't something that can be fathomed.

"At most it's just brain drain from around the world (and around the U.S.) due to capital concentration NOT talent concentration."

Brain drain implies relative talent concentration - are you sure this is what you mean to say?

Look - I hate SV and don't live there. The reality is unavoidable: for software, the best talent lives in the Bay. It's not that deep.

Myth or reality? The world vs sf and the valley?

I'll go with the world.

history has been with the valley (so far ...)

Money has been with the valley.

Microsoft has brilliant engineers and is in Seattle, for example.

That's interesting topic

What about Tencent? and things like HK's HFT

What about competitive security? here's huge variety in countries e.g 2 very strong teams are Poland based

Depends highly on where they are, but Bay Area engineering compensation (salary, bonus, stock) is indeed 200-400k. As others have mentioned, there are other costs such as insurance, 401k, etc, but yeah software engineering salaries are very high and if you want top talent, you need to be competitive with FAANG.

Not in just salaries, but that estimate would include all the costs associated with an employee.

I find the crowdsourced data at levels.fyi to be a good reality check on what dev compensation is like at large tech companies.

Let's take three others that make well-known desktop browsers: https://www.levels.fyi/?compare=Apple,Google,Microsoft&track...

According to that data, senior developers at Apple (ICT4), Google (L5) and Microsoft (64) make on average $320k, $352k, and $225k. Their fully-loaded costs (benefits, payroll taxes, office space, etc) to the company will of course be even higher.

These are examples of peer companies Mozilla is competing against for employees. As I explained at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24138083 , Mozilla does not try to attract people solely via compensation. However, you can only offer so much less before you're no longer able to hire and retain the talent you need.

I don't know the details, but the Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation have different budgets and legally have to spend the money on different things (since the Foundation is a non-profit). They can't just move money around like a normal company can.

The corporation can spend money on whatever the hell. That's why they set it up.

You can infer from the foundation tax returns that most of the assets are held by the corporation: https://assets.mozilla.net/annualreport/2018/mozilla-2018-fo...

It's the assets held directly by the foundation that have implications for their tax status, and they only move assets to that status as necessary.

"The corporation can spend money on whatever the hell. That's why they set it up." oh that is not true at all ... fiduciary duty doesn't work like that.

There's no need to be so literal.

And conveniently, the people directing the Corp are the ones setting the agenda for the org (which that agenda is the thing the Corp has a fiduciary duty towards...).

Well... can they fix that? Please? At least for the future so this doesn't happen again?

I'm not opposed to nonprofits creating systems to make sure donor money is handled appropriately, but it seems to me there's something seriously wrong with the current structure. In hard times, organizations generally need to focus on their core initiatives, not branch out even more!

Probably would mean paying $$$ tax and/or returning money to whoever donated it.

As someone who's been involved in setting up a corporate incubator, this is a pretty common dilemma.

The way that we viewed it at my previous company was basically it's two different businesses, two different P&L's and two different sets of metrics and KPIs. You could see them as two different business units that can succeed or fail independently.

If one Business Unit is struggling, you can't just fill the holes by taking funds from another BU to fill the gap. You need to solve the inherent profitability problems in the struggling Business Unit in some other way, typically by selling more, increasing the price/mix or reducing the cost.

Don't know if this is how Mozilla reasons, but this was definitely the way we reasoned in the last two large corporations I worked for.

That doesn’t work in a non profit contexts . Most non profit missions are well, not profitable in the first place.

While the Mozilla corporation is for profit entity , the goals of the foundation and reason Mozilla foundation /corporation exists is not to make or maximise profit .

Non profits generally run on the principles of sustainability I.e are they spending more than endowments or they drawing on the principal amount etc.

In Mozilla case drop in revenue/ donations resulting in cancelled projects is per se not abnormal , but which projects are shelved depends on how the mission is interpreted.

It is perfectly within the foundation remit to infuse capital into the corporation if they had more money and they also believed the work of the corporation is more important than some foundation projects to the overall foundation’s mission.

Just like NASA cancels other projects when one project like JWST goes a lot overbudget , with approvals from congress if required .

Clearly the foundation did not think corporation projects were worth saying over others , we can debate that , but they did and do have that choice

Or spends 2.5m just for its CEO yearly (not to mention the other executives). I guess it is easier to fire the servo/rust people who did actual work rather than any of the designers or the higher ups.

This also turned up in the other Mozilla-related thread 12 hours ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24129926

Different people. Fire one side to fund the other. Many companies use COVID as an excuse to get rid of management mistakes too.

Too bad it's not "mistakes in management" getting fixed instead

Management can have high turnover too. Imagine trying to explain away being head of strategy at a company that drove into a ditch.

Doing layoffs doesn't necessarily mean you don't have the cash to pay everyone, or even that you're not cashflow positive. Sometimes orgs do big layoffs amidst big hiring pushes, meaning they don't feel like their resources are allocated correctly. Sometimes layoffs are a part of bigger organizational restructuring (this is Mozilla), saying they want to emphasize certain parts of the business and downsize others. If layoffs weren't evenly distributed around the company (ie every org loses 5% vs. we just laid off all of x department), it can mean different things.

> Doing layoffs doesn't necessarily mean you don't have the cash to pay everyone,

Sure but that's the case here.

Where did they say they couldn't afford to pay these people?

If revenue from Firefox isn't enough to pay the bills anymore, then not funding R&D is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

'revenue' from Firefox was never enough. It's only really just struck me that of course Google funding them made a dependency and 1) made the company grow beyond its needs, and 2) made it not seek self-sufficiency.

If Google are stopping the money then FF is like a person with no money taken in by Google and hooked on drugs; once they're kicked out they can't fund the habit and reliance on Google has meant they've not had to find ways to fund themselves.

I realised Google held the cards, but hadn't twigged on how the excessive nature of the funding made Firefox/Mozilla weaker.

Unless FF were aware of how that might go and put half of their Google money into investments?

>'revenue' from Firefox was never enough

I mean I'm looking at the leadership page and all I can ask myself is do you need to pay that many executives just to build a web browser?

I'd be fascinated to know how much it costs Apple to develop Safari, a browser multiple times more successful than Firefox judging by Wikipedia. Just a hunch but I'd bet money it's a fraction of the cost of running this bloated pseudo-charity.

Best thing for the internet is for current Mozilla to fade out fast and something more sustainable be built from the technology remains.

If Mozilla sold devices bundled with Firefox as the default browser, Firefox would also be "multiple times more successful".

They did do that; see the Alcatel Pixi 3. Firefox OS is regarded as one of Mozilla's failures.

yes. if there was someone like Stallman (for all its flaws he seemed to not have waste money on random capitalistic ventures) coming up and forking it, when it finally goes under, I'm happy to pitch in my 5$/month. If it's a charity for god knows what and includes a sizeable PR department: well....

It's not true that "'revenue' from Firefox was never enough", and it's bordering on misinformation to speculate that "Google are stopping the money".

edit: Really, could you please not do that? Asking "Is the search deal not expiring?" is even worse than the earlier comment...

Ok, cool I've found it hard to find financial details - could you perhaps list for an example period the main revenue not from Google and it's origins? Then maybe the top 3 lines of the expense report?

I mean unless we're going back to phoenix days it seems like Google's money both saved and potentially secured Firefox's demise.

Re the speculation that the Google money is stopping (AIUI its something of the order 90% of income) Mozilla seem to be hunting for all and any revenue streams and urgently cutting costs. They look like they're preparing for it to stop, and I get the impression they want to be self-sufficient. It strikes me (and recall I have little knowledge of their financials - perhaps they've put a lot of income aside) they need to be self-sufficient in order to not be scared to follow a privacy route that could readily [probably has already IMO] annoy Google. Google aren't giving them $X00 Million for fun, I feel. The less useable data, and sellable users, Mozilla directs their way the less useful Mozilla is to Google.

(Perhaps there's also a benefit in keeping FF to prevent the appearance of Chrome being a monopoly.)

Is the search deal not expiring?

e: to your edit.

I'm not sure what is wrong with the question. My understanding is that the search deal is expiring and is the source of most of the FF related revenue.

If that is not the case I'd like to know. It seems like a reasonable question.

The search deal is indeed expiring in a few months, but also neither party has said whether it'll be renewed or not, so it's not yet time to assume it won't be.

Ok, that's fair.

pbhjpbhj's comment did predicate the speculation with an "If". And Mozilla has already had two rounds of layoffs this year ostensibly because of declining revenue. I think speculation on what will happen if the search deal is not renewed is reasonable.

I do appreciate pointing out that we do not know this will expire.

Mozilla should have a pretty good idea, if they don't that's a serious problem. The ones made redundant now might be the lucky ones if Google haven't yet indicated their general intentions.

Used to be the case. But then, at some point, Mozilla decided grew from ~300 people to ~1200 people to both attempt to remain feature-competitive with Firefox and try new things.

Fixing the browser revenue is at best difficult (i.e. significantly increase market share, more hard work to do on the browser which will cost $$$ for labor) while the Fix The Internet initiative could result in a miracle that saves them. Management often opts for for the miracle.

Which then predictably doesn't happen and then we all get to buy Aeron chairs at a discount.

As a company, you know you're doing something wrong when websites such as this pop up on HN. I hope Mozilla is able to turn back to its origins.

What origins? Was Mozilla ever a focused, well-run organisation?

I remember reading another comment on HN somewhere that broke down how project costs are different from employee costs. Something to do with employees being recurring expenses vs projects being somewhat fixed....I'm not going to do it justice. If I find the comment I'll link to it.

I encourage you to learn more about business! I have found that process to be interesting for someone on the technical side. More tech people need to consider it and respect it, in my opinion.

Basically, part of situation analysis is that you have to evaluate the future potential of your projects and where your investment dollars go. Businesses are always thinking of the future, and that includes non-profits.

The Boston Consulting Group matrix is one tool that might fit this scenario: https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/st...

The scenario you describe might be analogous to this hypothetical example: let’s say Microsoft laid off its entire Microsoft Surface team, and simultaneously invested $10 billion into Microsoft Azure. You might think, what the heck, the Surface lineup are good products that seem to be profitable (I actually have no clue if they are).

But, perhaps the Surface product line is a dog. It’s a low-market share product in a low-growth market. Azure might be a star: it has a large portion of a fast-growing market, and deserves more investment.

Even though Mozilla is a non-profit, I think it’s clear that they are looking to diversify their income stream. The “fix the internet” incubator can probably come up with services in high-growth markets that are less costly to implement and more easily monetized than a web browser (and fit their organizational goal of improving the Internet).

Thank you to the MDN and Servo teams for all their hard work.

I wish you well for the future and hope you find a new gig soon.

Thank you to the MDN and Servo teams for all their hard work.

Gutting the Servo team makes me wonder if management is going to move the rendering engine from Gecko to Blink.

Perhaps the "Foxium" browser is "coming soon."

Had the same thought and it felt terrible. Couldn't they at least try what almost all other advanced open source organisations seem to do? Branch out a consultancy in their field of expertise that maintains an incredibly famous piece of open source code on the side to show off?

There does appear to be a market for specialized embedded browsers. They could’ve likely taken Servo into that space. Add custom dev for pay.

I think that's mostly WebKit these days.

The Servo team, the Dev tools team and the security response team got cut. I hadn't put two and two together but this makes a lot of sense, if they are switching to Chromium, they would not need any of these.

As a gecko tester since the very first day Netscape was open sourced and Mozilla M1 was released, this hurts.

Why would it hurt? Those people will easily find well-paid jobs on Chrome's own security and devtools teams, where they can work on improving Chrome both in terms of security and developer-focused features, all the while bringing their own values and ideas. Win-win.

I'll go back to Lynx if that happens. We need FF and the Gecko engine.

> Gutting the Servo team makes me wonder if management is going to move the rendering engine from Gecko to Blink.

Not happening.

I'm sure as an insider you have a better and more realistic view of things.

Here on the outside, it's hard not to imagine the 2022 blog post that carefully explains that the huge cost and burden of maintaining a modern independent browser engine just isn't the most efficient way of furthering Mozilla's goal of an open internet.

Not an insider although I have some contacts at Mozilla who talk freely over beers.

Mozilla is definitely moving away from Firefox over the next few years, this is but one of the first steps to that end. They have decided to renew Google's partnership so Google will remain the default search engine for the foreseeable future (next 3+ years), once again talking the talk instead of walking the walk and switch to a privacy-first engine.

The security and devtools teams getting axed is not only a clear signal but also the physical implementation of de-emphasizing Firefox and pushing for new standalone subscription services that don't need to be integrated (as tightly) into any browser to be used by actual people.

A few years down the line of such a "strategy", all things remaining equal, I can't see the browser being even used by developers/FOSS advocates because even these kinds of people need to see at least some progress over time and get at least some increasing value over time from a piece of software they use as heavily as they are, every single day of their professional as well as personal lives.

Last but not least, with all due respect to Aaron, I can't see such strategic decisions to be taken with the assent of his team at all. In effect, the GeckoView team could get axed overnight and implementations would immediately turn to using Android's WebView instead. It's actually a bit ironic that GeckoView's own wiki lists itself as "not a dropin replacement of Android's WebView" in that regard, as most differences between the two are due to GeckoView's rejection of existing, native APIs, leading the team to do much rework. And teams that base themselves on doing unnecessary rework and following NIH instead of building on existing libraries and APIs often get canned first during such strategic shifts.

That's the death of Firefox.

What would "Foxium" offer that Brave, Vivaldi, Edge, Chromium, or Chrome don't already offer?

I don't think your speculation is unfounded though.

> What would "Foxium" offer that Brave, Vivaldi, Edge, Chromium, or Chrome don't already offer?

More ability, at any given cost, to innovate on candidate new web technologies maintaining Mozilla’s objectives to promote the open internet, acheived through lower cost to implement and maintain consensus technologies.

Which is similar to what other Chromium-descended third-party browsers offer their sponsoring entities, but each sponsoring entity has different objectives. Everyone benefits from the ability a common open-source core provided to distribute (or just outsource) the cost of maintaining the features that are shared, leaving more bang for engineering buck on each entity’s investment in not-yet shared features.

Which isn't to say that diversity in implementation of the shared features doesn't have its own benefits to the ecosystem, particularly in terms of preventing future development from being adversely constrained by what is practical to bolt on to one particular implementation without rewriting big parts of the core. But, for that to really bear fruit, you'd need more diversity than the existing Blink + WebKit + Firefox ecosystem provides anyway, and it's not like Mozilla can conjure that out of thin air.

Those are all fair points, but if Firefox has a hard time driving adoption now, I think being on Chromium they'll find it even harder, unless they have some real killer, must-have features lined up. But I doubt they have those features planned because if they would use them to drive adoption in Firefox now.

If this is true about MDN then it is more awful than we thought. MDN is one of the go to resources for anyone building anything on the Web. I hope the community can pick it up like the ArchWiki...

How do you know which teams were laid off? I haven’t been able to find that information.

Mostly from tweets from (former) members

An employee tweeted that the whole servo and security teams were axed.

This animated SVG is dope! Really cute, seems to be done only with SVGs and CSS animations as far as I can tell.

Yup, had to get it out quick so I went simple! Just a single SVG that I shift elements back and forth on, and rotated so it looks like it's floating!

So it's not actually 3-D, you shift, scale, and rotate the 2-D elements so it appears 3-D? Or are you rotating it along Z in some way. It's a really good effect. That's some skill!

Yup! Here's the base SVG I started with: https://p195.p4.n0.cdn.getcloudapp.com/items/OAuqBqvx/boat.s...

Everything else is just CSS!

ok for those who were as obsessed with this as i was... I took the base SVG and cleaned up the CSS to try to understand what was going on with the animations

minimal repro: https://svelte.dev/repl/7eea2eba3707414aa62c9ea53b92ad2d?ver...

quick youtube discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wKnZNjdpp8&feature=youtu.be

I didn't get everything bc you can only get so far looking at the output CSS - he used Stylus here to generate most of these https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24138573

Nice breakdown, thank you.

This had me in splits:

>> “ Yup, had to get it out quick so I went simple!“

> “What the actual fuck?!”

i mean... am i wrong? lol


This is a great breakdown

thanks for the breakdown! Now we're all a little bit smarter.

Very cool, indeed!

>So it's not actually 3-D, you shift, scale, and rotate the 2-D elements so it appears 3-D?

You just described 3d projection, aka how most 3d games display a 3d world on a flat monitor.

Yes, yes. The interesting part is performing the transformations manually without tooling.

This is honestly really impressive on such a short deadline! Looks really great.

Curious what tool/tools you used for that if any.

I made the SVG in Sketch and then did CSS transforms (by hand).

Normally, however, I'd use GSAP for SVG animations: https://greensock.com/gsap/

by hand? did you use some sort of post processor? because the output css shows some weird repeats:

``` @keyframes sea-Top-Deck-Inside {

  from {transform: translateX(0);}

  from {transform: translateX(0);}

  to {transform: translateX(-3px);}

@keyframes sea-Top-Deck-Shadow {

  from {transform: translateX(0);}

  from {transform: translateX(0);}

  to {transform: translateX(-3px);}
} ```

sorry if it seems like im doubting you, i am just really super impressed by this animation and wanted to understand how you put this together!

also: readme is really cool! love your podcast interviews!

Oh hey Shawn!

Yup, I used Stylus mixins for this. I just mean I didn't use something like Framer or an animation library :)

Here's the code (I don't expect it to make any sense to anyone other than me!)


(There's a bug in that code causing two `from`s! Seems it's moot since it works, but I fixed it on my end. Here's the updated code: https://pastebin.com/Y6JwkZi4)

That's incredible. Very well done!

Do you mind estimating exactly how quickly something like that could be produced? Great job!

The whole site took about 4 hours last night, and the SVG animation took about 2.5 of those hours :)

I know what I will spend my evening on, I never thought that would be that simple :)

The 'M' in Mozilla slowly drifting away is a great touch as well :)

I know it's almost a meme at this point, but maybe Apple should buy Mozilla (or financially support them in some way)? The enemy of my enemy is my friend sort of way. Surely Apple don't want to cede more control over web standards to Google? They both promote valuing user privacy, so it's not like they don't have some common ground.

If Apple really wants to stick it to Google, they could make an iOS App Store policy exception for Firefox / Gecko engine. Heck, that alone may be enough to buoy Mozilla, w/o paying a cent.

This is how we got into this mess in the first place. Google was the "good guy", up against Microsoft and Apple, and funded Mozilla. After all, Google didn't care about web standards or building a browser! They were a search engine.

So Mozilla became dependent on Google, and here we are.

If Mozilla could stand alone and compete with the other big players, that'd be best. If they couldn't, then forming alliances with others, even former "enemies", would be 2nd best, and work towards independence.

Even Apple took MS money back in the day: seems to have worked out for Apple.

Other buyouts I have been thinking about is Microsoft buying Canonical. Although Canonical buying out Firefox sounds interesting as well but Canonical seems to have gone through a similarish phase where they shut off certain projects.

One other thing that would interest me is Mozilla buying out Fastmail but I am not too sure that would drive the sort of revenue Mozilla needs. There are a few mergers out there that could occur. I mostly mention this one cause it Mozilla had an email service I would pay for it. Especially if its pay only. I want someone who isnt crawling my emails beyond spam detection to manage my email situation.

Heck whats stopping GitHub from buying out Mozilla with its new fatter wallet?

Interesting though with Github. Maintaining the MDN docs certainly aligns well with Github's mission.

Hard to see MS/Github maintaining a browser after Microsoft just adopted Chromium for Edge, but it would be cool to see Firefox given the VS Code treatment. Github had Atom which is where Electron came from, then VS Code is an evolution on top of Electron. Would be nice if Edge was built on Firefox instead of Chromium.

How would that help Mozilla financially?

I'd guess most of the FF iOS users don't even realize it's not Gecko under the hood, and don't even know/care what Gecko is.

Users don't care about browser engines, but they may care about better ad blocking, and YouTube playback in the background (w/o paying for Premium). A "true" iOS FF port could do both, and more. Hopefully this would increase FF's market share, and give Mozilla better bargaining powers.

It is privacy Vs "privacy". Not really comparable. One works actively to help people have privacy, one is using the word to sell devices. An Apple owned FF would be a FF I would leave after many many years.

This reminds me of a scenario described by Alfie Kohn in "No Contest: The Case Against Competition". If I recall correctly, he describes how people looking for jobs actually are more successful if they work for mutual success within the context of a network like this one. It makes me curious: are there other job-searching networks that exist where people can work for each others' benefit? Is there a general one for any job-seeker?

> Is there a general one for any job-seeker?

Use your network. Make sure your friends know you are looking. Especially friends that are also looking. I've had conversations like this with old friends: "Hey, I'm looking for something new. Do you guys need an EE?" them: "No, sorry. Sure could use an ME, though, do you know anyone?" Give intros for friends, and they will give intros for you.

Props to Gregory for building this.

Giving up on Firefox OS too early was a such a terrible mistake- look at the success of KaiOS in emerging markets. That should have been Mozilla's success.

Mozilla needs to find someone other than Mitchell to lead the organization. I realize how difficult that is, but she is clearly not the right CEO, even if she was the founder. The organization needs someone new at the helm.

(I was at Mozilla for 10 years- left on my own accord in 2016.)

This is what I'm seeing:

/app/views/index.pug:40:173 38| .add-company 39| h3 #MozillaLifeboat > 40| p Mozilla has done two rounds of layoffs (#[a(href="https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/15/mozilla-lays-off-70-as-it-...] and #[a(href="https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/11/21363424/mozilla-layoffs-...) second]). Mozilla has one of the most vibrant alumni networks, and Lifeboat helps connect Mozillians looking for jobs with people hiring. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------^ 41| h3 Other Resources 42| p A great place to find more people hiring and looking is the #[a(href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23mozillalifeboat") #mozillalifeboat] hashtag on Twitter. 43| h3 Add Your Company Unexpected token `tag` expected `text`, `interpolated-code`, `code`, `:`, `slash`, `newline` or `eos`

It's fixed now! Try refreshing.

Not fixed :(

      /app/views/index.pug:84:1 82| footer An unofficial directory by ex-Mozillian #[a(href="https://gkoberger.com") Gregory Koberger] 83| > 84| --------^ The end of the string reached with no closing bracket ) found.

Refresh, fixed now

Thank you. Nice resource.

I’m the EM on the Docs Product team at Stripe. We own the infra and user experience for Stripe Docs. If any MDN or dev tools folks are reading and interested in Stripe, please reach out: ianm@stripe.com

FYI the official talent directory is now online at https://talentdirectory.mozilla.org/ and I expect people will be adding themselves to it over the coming days.

So they have implemented that to copy https://mozillalifeboat.com/? That's sad. There is no reason to take away attention from mozillalifeboat.com.

Just because something is hosted by mozilla doesn't make it better. Instead of copying VPNs, Bookmark directories and such, they should focus on the browser and offer the other services as some form of cooperation.

But maybe I am wrong and uniting everything under the mozilla brand is the way to go.

They announced theirs in the internal layoff letter, so that was planned even before the layoffs were public.

Given how different their missions are, I'm surprised to see Facebook on this list.

This comment really demonstrates the divide between those with a casual working understanding of Mozilla due to peripheral awareness vs those who are or were once heavily involved with the project. (Side note: it's hard to read discussions about Mozilla on HN for this reason.)

Mozillians at Facebook is not new or novel. There was a time when it seemed like everyone was leaving Mozilla for Facebook. If someone collected the data, tallying every subsequent company worked at for every employee departed, it would be would be pretty unsurprising if the results showed Facebook as the biggest employer of former Mozillians.

I thought that people working at Mozilla were passionate about privacy, open-source, trust, and were working at Mozilla for the values.

But you say many of them would work to the company with opposite values.

IIRC Facebook has more than 100 privacy engineers (it's been a few years since I spoke to recruiters there). Facebook has challenges, but it also presents an opportunity to work on security and privacy challenges in way that doesn't exist in many places in the world.

Interpretations of other peoples values is largely skewed by their perception, and rarely takes into account the practical realities of working on privacy and security in tech.

Considering Facebook's business model, I would guess that these engineers are there for privacywashing (like greenwashing).

That's one interpretation, and I am by no means trying to defend Facebok, or their privacy team, but it is an extremely uncharitable interpretation.

There are many, many, many folks who work in positions that allow them to provide for themselves, their families, and their communities while working for objectionable organizations.

Look at all of the public servants who are keeping the lights on and trying to keep the US government running. I guarantee you there are folks who absolutely abhor how the system is run, and despise the leadership and politicians (regardless of which leader is in power), but they show up every day and do their job, and try to help people.

It's not ideal, but when you get a burger it wasn't made from a spherical cow of uniform density either...

Are you under the impression that Facebook doesn't have privacy guidelines and strategies for its users just because its privacy goals don't align with yours? Just because they aren't the bastion of privacy doesn't mean they disregard privacy completely. Simple example: If I set my profile to be viewable by friends-only, that is a privacy feature. There are 800 more examples like that pertaining to protecting user data.

Facebook is the opposite of a privacy bastion. If you have such privacy features, it's only to stay relevant in the market and maintain some degree of trust so users continue to publish their data. Facebook do not care about privacy, they track people everywhere they can. They accumulate data and sell the knowledge they collected.

Engineers who really care about privacy do not work for Facebook like engineers who really cares about peace do not work for the army.

That's great and all, but I was responding to your message that all the engineers focused on privacy at Facebook are just there for privacywashing. You don't seem to get that privacy is not a binary. I totally get that facebook "doesn't care about privacy" from the perspective of someone who actually cares a lot about privacy. But that's not the argument here, and it's strange for you to bring it up in your response. Nothing you've said actually supports the idea that Facebook doesn't need to have engineers who legitimately work on privacy.

Like any company's employees: they're all different people! They each have their own reasons for where they work and their own goals and ambitions.

Any job you take is going to be a blend and balance across your personal passions, values, talents, desire for impact, financial goals and responsibilities, risk tolerance, and alternative available opportunities.

Is it so surprising that one of the largest employers in the bay has attractive opportunities across a range of reasons?

Employee motivations have zero relevance when discussing corporate actions where those actions are contrary to those motivations.

The reverse is not true.

The reality is that most people like working with smart peers and cool technology. Being paid is also nice.

Any moral or ethical values is somewhere in the middle of the pyramid of needs.

The CTO of FB is an ex-Mozillian. There are quite a few ex-Mozillians here, including myself. Despite Mozilla's public posture that FB is enemy #1, the internal technical culture is more similar than different.

They'll probably work with the same customers too, except instead of helping them fight Facebook tracking they will help Facebook track them better.

Enemy #1? I hear more about Facebook in the Firefox default startpage than _everywhere else I look_.

Today, in fact, there is a huge pseudo-advertisiment (at least in fr_FR) about "how I should not feel guilty about browsing Facebook [through Firefox]" , which almost made me puke.

As a person who doesn't care about Facebook whatsoever, I didn't get the impression that FB was enemy #1, but rather I assumed FB was paying them money like Google is...

I can actually see FB being happy to just give money away to Mozilla, just to influence them away from Google.

I believe what you saw was a promotion of https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/facebook-cont...

That extension is described as:

"Prevent Facebook from tracking you around the web. The Facebook Container extension for Firefox helps you take control and isolate your web activity from Facebook."

That full page ad was advertising the Mozilla made Facebook container. Based on absence of Mozilla made Google container, I think that ad was paid by Google.

What about the ethics culture?

I was a bit surprised too, but presumably the priority right now is helping their former employees.

I think this confirms that at least Mozilla PR team was very effective in their job

Eh, they need to hire, Mozillians need jobs, typically people who make what a Mozillian made will have a lifestyle that demands they find a new job pretty quickly, so they may not get to be that picky.

Capitalism 101.

Ethics is great and all until the money stops flowing

A job is a job.


I am critical of some fb practices, but if it was a choice between having a job and not having one, the decision is not hard

It's a big company, with multiple areas. Find a less contentious area and go for that

It’s easier to make change from the inside than out. I imagine more Mozillians probably means a stronger push towards E2E encryption, more data controls, stronger auditing, etc.

Facebook is not a democracy. There can be no change from the inside.

Even a dictatorship has middle managers

That have to do what upper management does or get fired.

Why was this one approved? https://i.imgur.com/knkH44b.png

I really doubt Assmunchio is a real name...

There wasn't an approval process initially because I didn't expect this to be so public/popular, but I've switched and now there's an approval process!

“my family built this country by the way”

I hope the formerly Mozilla employees all find roles quickly, but I suspect that well more than 250 employees have been laid off since the beginning of the pandemic. Is there a particular reason why these layoffs need exceptional response?

I think there's two parts here:

1. These layoffs specifically get a lot of time on HN because people have strong feelings about Firefox, Mozilla's mission and the teams in particular (ie Servo, MDN).

2. Specific efforts like this site are a function of Mozilla's alumni community, which is a function of Mozilla/Firefox's culture. (Or, maybe, past culture?)

So it isn't so much that the engineers laid off from Mozilla need more help than anyone else, but that the environment around Mozilla naturally creates help and attention for them.

Specifically, "once a Mozillian, always a Mozillian."

I was thinking the same thing. In addition, there have been a ton of tech/startup related layoffs, its odd that this one is getting so much attention and support from the community.

Edit: Perhaps I'm a bit bitter, as I was laid off because of the pandemic after 4+ years at my previous employer, and left on my own to figure things out. I imagine the experience was the same for others in a similar situation.

tech/startup culture loves the "making the world a better place" is such a crock, but i believe that Mozilla actually does. i do have more sympathy from a Mozilla layoff than somewhere like FB/Twitter/Uber/etc.

They were warned about taking money and relying on Google for several years, now the money has dried up and the curtain has been pulled back from them, they only have a bookmark manager and a VPN as paid services to show for it.

Sad indeed.

I don't work in HR so I don't know the answers. But if I had to guess, I'd guess it'd be related to the WARN act [0] which talks about mass layoffs and how they must be handled.

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worker_Adjustment_and_Retraini...

Some funny guy added Mitchell Baker (CEO of Mozilla), with a text a long the lines of "Working to grow Firefox".

Dope website and inspiring personal website: https://gkoberger.com/

Now I gotta work on my personal website.


> Try this on a computer! This site is way more interactive on a bigger screen… so check it out next time you're on your desktop!

In Chrome: Menu > check "Desktop Site"

Stop using chrome. Use Firefox, https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/developer/.

site gives me some nostalgia of the family room in microsoft bob :)

Thanks :)

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