Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
The Sad Story of Mozilla Keeps Getting Sadder (techrights.org)
38 points by URfejk 8 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 20 comments

This is the long-term consequence when you force out a CEO that has an engineering background and replace him with a lawyer over perceived social juatice reasons. The market is now more fragmented (see Brave) and nobody is better off for it.

For Mozilla and its mission, it's over. Why project a mission for supporting privacy when you sign a contract with your closest competitor who goes directly against your own mission? Especially as the default search engine? I don't think they're quite serious about your privacy, more like they are focused on the 'social justice' than generating their own revenue.

It seems that they either ruin their own credibility by being a hypocrite or they risk going bankrupt trying to fight for your privacy with products failing generating any sustainable revenue for themselves. Either way, it's in Google's hands.

As for the 'social justice reasons' it's a classic side example of going woke will make you and your business broke.

Eich headed the company for like a week and people pronounce his firing as the sole mistake that took the company down. If Eich is such a god of leadership why aren't we all using Brave? Sure in hindsight maybe it would be nice if there was as much outrage over the CEO driving Mozilla into the ground as there was over Eich's donations.

What I saw was Mozilla getting beat when it comes to marketing, product quality, and ecosystem level for years and deciding to stick with a bad CEO for years.

I like the Pocket recommendations, and the various campaigns aren't that annoying so long as they remain focused on tech freedom, not other causes.

I generally agree with the choice of killing off XUL, since WebExtensions has clearly won and they needed to move to it, and help participate in its development so they can steer it towards user freedom.

I think the Multi-Account Containers idea is fantastic, and the Facebook Container in particular was nice. That is a recent development, but I feel like it is an essential privacy feature now.

But Mozilla is failing, that much is true. And they just killed off their most promising blue sky initiatives like Servo, so I no longer see a future for them at the moment. If they moved to foster a type of open cloud ecosystem, along the lines of OwnCloud, that would be an interesting direction, but I don't see that happening either since I don't see much vision at the top... even though it would dovetail with Firefox Sync, Lockwise, VPN, and other Mozilla initiatives.

I am passively looking for other browsers now, however, since I have lost faith in Mozilla.

Multi-Account Containers is what is keeping me on Firefox at this point.

That and tree style tabs. I don't think I could go back to the mess of tabs in the top bar

They should convert to a Worker-owned Cooperative https://ourworld.unu.edu/en/how-to-convert-a-business-into-a...

Mozilla doesn't owe you anything. You think you can do better? Go build a better browser that's free yourself.

Oh, not so though now, are you?

The moment every complexity imaginable were shoved into the web "because user experience", it became impossible to develop and maintain a competitive browser project by a non-profit company. More and more websites simply do not work correctly with FF, because companies don't give a shit anymore. "Just use Chrome". And if you install any anti-tracking software, they just break and you can't get any stuff done.

So now bend over and get used to Googlenet, where in just couple of years you're only going to be allowed to visit content "fact-checked" by Google's Ministry of Truth, and you need to sign an EULA that require you to wear an anal probe at all times when browsing the web, and half the screen is always an ad.

Good job everyone! You destroyed the WWW, and turned it into oppression tool, because what we needed was SPAs, dynamic content, 4 versions of CSS, 4 versions of HTML, and so on. Google & other corps embraced, extended and extinguished web and we were cheering.

The correct answer here is accelerationism. Let the web get bad. Let everyone hate FAANG. Good. That makes things ripe for disruption. We need a technology that replaces web browsers, period; they're terrible, slow, inefficient, bloated, and it's not because of the browser, it's because of what it's trying to do.

A new open remote application system is what is called for here. Something that truly learns from what the Web lacked and builds these things in as part of the platform from day 1.

- Form, table widgets that don't suck - Sane layout engine - Fast, optionall-type-safe language that doesn't need a million build tools that always break - Easy ways to host your own content without any central authority beyond the DNS

I sincerely believe this can and will be done at some point and a decent group of people will get back an Internet experience that died in the early 00s - and I don't mean from a UX standpoint, I mean from a personal standpoint. We need to be able to create and host our own content without middlemen but without a barrier to entry that causes people to need to be a programmer to use it.

Some of the issues you raise are important. But I am questioning the social dynamics of what you are suggesting.

You could have copied your comment from sometime in the late 90s. Because the same argument could have been made by replacing FAANG with Internet Explorer. A bunch of decent folks did come together and fix things. It was called the Mozilla foundation.

There is an opinion that the old decent folks don't matter anymore, but I don't share it. I think what is happening is nothing short of sabotage within Mozilla. I am sad that this is happening.

100% agree with your sentiment. Maybe it's just the case that disruption is needed every decade or two to keep things fresh and interesting.

Anyone who has dipped a toe into modern frontend web development and hasn't stayed for long enough to drink the kool-aid knows that it's a shitshow. You need a toolchain a mile long just to get some basic stuff on the screen, a far cry from the easy learning curve (lol!) of Perl outputting HTML via cgi-bin in your home directory 20 years ago. Okay, sure, you have access to a lot of visually pretty things now, but ultimately a lot of that could have been implemented at the browser level by exposing primitives that were more useful right from the start, rather than downloading a few megs of Javascript to emulate a reasonable environment on top of an unreasonable one.

Remember the 1.44MB QNX magical floppy disk demo? Entire OS and a Javascript-capable web browser in less space than it takes to visit the average corporate homepage now. Something is wrong here. I don't think there has to be a tradeoff where the programming languages become insanely difficult for average developers in order to use less space, either; it's not like modern JS is particularly easy.

https://www.red-lang.org/ is something in the right direction. The language itself looks a little confusing still, but I love the idea of a small binary that can run it and produce decent GUIs out the other end. We need to revisit the basic assumptions and produce something that can still be extremely performant on hardware that is 15 years old, imo, so that our modern machines become extremely powerful again.

Could you please elaborate on what you find confusing about Red? Am genuinely interested as an active member of that project.

There were internal and external problems. Clearly the rapid pace and complexity of web standards development is nearly impossible to keep up with. The original things which gave Firefox and advantage for regular users have been universally adopted. Fast performance, tabbed browsing, cross-platform support, and open source code were the main advantages. These are all standard now.

The proprietary shims around the rendering engines invade privacy and limit user freedom, but clearly users don't care enough for it to influence their choices. They chose Firefox because it was convenient and worked better, and now that isn't true... Mainly because no amount of money they could throw at development could ever hope to compete with Big Tech.

On the internal problem side, the recent batch of layoffs seem like the most egregious, particularly since they say they are continuing with gecko.

If they decided that gecko is not worth maintaining anymore, that might be a wise strategic move, given external circumstances, albeit sad. But maintaining it while eliminating any hopeful future is the worst of all worlds.

The salary growth of their top executives alone over the past 10 years could pay for Servo development.

If they want to save money, that is where they should start.

But killing gecko would save more. They would need to rework their whole business model, though.

I think pioneering open cloud services would be great. No lock-in. Zero-knowledge. End-to-end encryption. Open source. They already have Firefox Accounts which tie in with Sync, Lockwise, VPN, Monitor, etc. If they add in OwnCloud, an Email service, and so on they could offer an attractive alternative to Google services.

CU on Urbit. :)

I already own a star, but it's been ages since I've fired it up. Should I spend the time to get up to speed? Last time I touched it was when Ethereum somehow got into the mix and made it even more confusing....

It's still early, but it is all better than it ever was. No need to fire stars yet, IMO. Just get a planet or even a hosting plan on https://tlon.io/ (as soon as they open).

Not sure what issue you're trying to argue here. I think there is agreement that a browser monoculture is bad. Unfortunately, as TFA says, Mozilla's mistakes have contributed significantly to killing Firefox/Gecko as an alternative, which is I think a fair claim.

>Mozilla doesn't owe you anything. You think you can do better? Go build a better browser that's free yourself.

So criticising an entity that claims to be creating a freer internet somehow requires us to do better than it has have?

Of course we have the right to challenge a public claim that is not accurately made. I can't use FF to group call using FB and Google Meet but I don't seem to mind that but when you remove choices (e.g. Requiring the user to change profile-specific about:config flags and subsequently forcing users to resort to a custom userCSS file which requires not only having a legacy feature manually enabled but also a bit of know-how to remove the new behaviour after introducing a new megabar that seemingly adds absolutely nothing useful to the UX and trying to prematurely push a complete redesign of the Android browser to the masses without even considering the number of things it is going to break) without a proportionate incentive to do so, I draw the line there. I'm still using FF (both on my PC and my Phone) but I'm nonetheless saddened by what seems to be happening there.

Sheesh, somebody has a chip on their shoulder...

When they stopped caring so much about the browser and became a social and Rust advocacy concern they signaled that it was pretty much over.

Thankfully there's still Seamonkey.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact