An "open summer of code" funded by Mozilla and other orgs themselves sounds like an interesting idea (one that's being informally bounced around on IRC in more than one place)
But yeah, I like that they're focusing on smaller projects.
(Btw Good to see OSM, XMPP, and Tox there.)
I also wish we could have an alternative SoC organized by a neutral foundation, but it probably won't have as much extra revenue to spend on as Google :)
If you're into maths and C++ and perhaps Matlab, look for us.
If my goal hasn't been met yet, it is me who should apologise. I'll keep working towards that goal.
Let's also not take for granted the massive benefits Google gets from open source. Free platforms on which customers use Google's services, including a free, massive software infrastructure (the Internet and all its protocols, the Web, email, etc.), and free technology for use by Google, such as Linux in their data centers and at the core of Android.
Arguably, without FOSS there would be no Internet, no Web, and no Google.
This is not a criticism of Google, who seem to appreciate these things and pay it back in many ways. My point is, it's not charity.
That said, Mozilla (and/or Yahoo!) might be in a good place to host something. A "Get Your Social On" sort of thing with Twitter/Facebook could be intriguing. And generally a non-company specific 'Coding Man' (think Burning Man but with more screens and less dust) sort of festival might be quite the event to attend some day.
But there are a bunch of exciting new organizations - I am hoping to mentor for the first time this year for Lowrisc, which is a new organization (in both senses, GSoC and just started), see the projects here 
Though it's less than 2013 too IIRC>
Perhaps they decided to promote orgs that were even more underserved?
Could YHOO jump in with a similar program?
Besides, so far I didn't get the impression that Google really sees FF as a competitor (at this point in time). Google is not in the business of making browsers, they make a browser because that happens to be the best way to steer the future of the web. Mozilla seems to have similar views for that future and together they are beating IE into submission.
And while Google and Mozilla agree on some aspects of the web's future, there are other parts (fingerprinting, tracking of users) on which there are pretty fundamental disagreements.
Lots of big-name projects were dropped.
In total, over 130 projects were dropped and over 80 new projects added.
They also sponsor Github and many others.
It's hard to see a business case for Google that includes supporting Mozilla. That Google has done it in the past may be more symptomatic of big dumb inertia than anything else.
Now that Chrome dominates and Mozilla is working on a competitor to android, well...
I'd be happy to see a business case put forward for Google helping Mozzilla develop a mobile operating system to compete with Android.
(That's a ball park estimate of how much it would cost to fund and administrate several projects)
Conversely, even the minimum business process of some VP looking at the list and saying, "We are not going to fund a competitor," Occam Razors this year's events.
If they weigh business cases at all, they might have considered the value of goodwill they generate for funding competitors to outweigh any loss(es).
Aside: how does Google benefit from sponsoring Blender3D, in your immediate-profit-driven opinion?
EDIT: If Google only wanted to fund things that directly benefit them, you'd've thought they'd do just that, none of this faffing about with an application process and only funding student work, no?
If giving $150,000 to Mozilla materially erodes Google's business, giving $150,000 to Mozilla isn't the actual problem.
"Every thing was going fine for us, but then the CEO didn't pick up a penny he saw on the street and the whole thing fell apart."
I'm pretty sure the bad press generated by Google singling Mozilla out would be far worse than any gain they would get.
Because Google doesn't care how people use the web and they want them to use it as much as possible, whether it's with FF, IE, or Safari.
Once they get to the web they will be using Google products, and that's what they care about.
What you say matches Google's marketing copy, but the aggressive marketing of Chrome (up to an including shady deals with other software to install Chrome in addition to itself) suggests to me that their marketing copy doesn't match their actual actions (though it may match what some of the engineering team on Chrome _thinks_ is going on).
Because nothing says "I'm for gender equality" quite like a "boys not allowed!" sign.
Boys are plenty allowed everywhere else. They're allowed in GSoC, just as the girls are. However, the gender inequality is already staggering in favour of boys. Having a tiny programme with 40 female students allowed instead of the hundreds (thousands?) of mostly boys in GSoC does not mean that the horrible women are out to destroy all manhood.
Or in the words of HN favourite Julia Evans, "women-only spaces are a hack":
>The gender inequality is already staggering in favour of boys.
Serious question: Do you think this is a conscious choice made by those in the tech field?
I ask because my lived experience is different than that, and yes, it's a serious question even though my response may have been flippant above.
>Having a tiny programme with 40 students allowed instead of the hundreds (thousands?) of GSoC does not mean that the horrible women are out to destroy all manhood.
That's not what I said at all. I'm asking why champions of gender equality seem to favor the tactic of exclusion.
I don't think it's conscious, but I do think it's something that can be consciously averted and I don't think it's okay in 2015 to be ignorant of how aggressively people want to hire people like them. It's not just male/female, it's white/nonwhite, American/non-American. If you have a shop of white American dudes, then virtually everybody, under what I would call "pretty average" management, will be within one step of that.
I personally find it to be similar to racism:
- Some are willfully ignorant
- Some don't care and want to keep the status quo
- Some don't care but try to appear to care for social reasons
- Some care, but are quiet for social reasons
- Some would care if they understood
- plus many others, but I think the above are most popular.
> Serious question: Do you think this is a conscious choice made by those in the tech field?
I've always been more inclined to believe what Philip Greenspun wrote a long time ago:
He's talking about professors, but his point that 'men tend to lack perspective and are unable to step back and ask the question "is this peer group worth impressing?"' still applies. Women are a majority of undergrads now; they're more socially and emotionally mature in the critical late teenage years, and it's starting to show as discrimination fades.
In any case, complaining about a lack of women in tech is an easy way to appear to care about women's pay now, during the "dot-io bubble." Much harder would be looking at actually important fields that are majority-female, e.g. "Healthcare practitioner and technical occupations," "Education, training, and library occupations," and trying to get them to pay better:
The link the person you replied to posted seems to explain just that.
There are many in the hacker community with varying forms of social anxiety who are not comfortable around anybody of the opposite sex. Does that mean that segregation for the comfort of everybody is the solution, or the "hack" to get us to a better place? We'll never get to a better place if we exclude those things that make us uncomfortable. I dare you suggest a men-only hacker convention because women make some men feel uncomfortable. Let me know how that goes.
Before it's brought up, yes, we should exclude from our lives things that are dangerous, but just discomfort is a terrible reason to exclude something from your life.
Why does the fact of it being a conscious choice matter? Institutional discrimination is in fact a thing.
The idea isn't that we create a bunch of events so that women can program/hack without ever interacting with men. That should be obvious.
For the first time in my life, I was the visible minority at a tech event. And it was fucking intimidating. Even though everybody was perfectly nice and tried to be inclusive, I felt the odd person out.
But despite my personal discomfort, I could see how amazing this event was for the women involved. Suddenly they were in the majority. They felt safe: nobody was going to hit on them, stalk them, or stare awkwardly at their breasts. They were no longer women in tech, they were people in tech talking with other people in tech. From the Ada Initiative's reports and from talking with attendees later, it's clear the events make a huge difference.
After that experience, I am a huge supporter of events that are exclusively for minority groups. I think it's a great way to increase diversity in tech.
Oh, and as to your analogy to Jim Crow: you're trying to frame yourself as a virtuous anti-racist. But by trying to prevent minorities from meeting and organizing, you are replicating the behavior of the white people who helped build and maintain the Jim Crow regime. E.g., the slave patrols, a main job of which was keep blacks from revolting by breaking up meetings.
Yeah, your writing is unclear, but that's not why people are disagreeing with you.
Every time I see people on HN discussing feminism, my answer leans more and more towards, "Yes." Without HN, I would never have realized the sheer depths of the deliberate sexism in tech on top of the unintentional and unconscious bits.
Really, I mostly hope that HN is non-representative.
Anecdotally speaking I've found HN to be much better than say Reddit or other popular tech communities.
>I ask because my lived experience is different than that, and yes, it's a serious question even though my response may have been flippant above.
Your anecdote is not data.
b0rk addresses this in the post above.
In the case of GSoC, I expect it's not so much about harrassment but intimidation. When there's nothing but boys doing something, many girls think to themselves, "this is not something a girl like me should be doing."
Btw, why do you consider yourself such a patzer? I do hope it has nothing to do with your gender or skin tone, and that it's just a harmless joke.
And makes a completely sexist hash of it. Just suggest that because there are some male hackers that are uncomfortable around women that there should be man-only events. Let me know how that goes for you.
>When there's nothing but boys doing something, many girls think to themselves, "this is not something a girl like me should be doing."
It's not just boys and men in the tech community, as anybody who would expend five seconds looking at the subject would see. We champion people like Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper.
>Btw, why do you consider yourself such a patzer? I do hope it has nothing to do with your gender or skin tone, and that it's just a harmless joke.
Do me a favor next time you want to make a comment like this - Google the term you're referring to. A patzer is somebody who lacks skill at chess. It's not a racist or sexist term. I just happen to be awful at chess (and much better at Go).
Either you completely misunderstand the issue and/or this is a straw man. It has nothing to do with comfort. It is the case that, because of institutional discrimination, women have a much higher mountain to climb as it were, to achieve success in the tech field. (If you dispute this, then you'll have to revise your reply to my other comment in which you acknowledge the existence of institutional discrimination.) Outreach to women, in this case, simply works towards helping them up that mountain a bit. The justification for that help is that for women the mountain is in fact higher than for men.
So, yeah, a man-only event doesn't make any sense. If you can demonstrate that men are at a net disadvantage in some way and could use help compared to other groups, then you could justify a man-only event.
>Either you completely misunderstand the issue and/or this is a straw man.
It is neither me misunderstanding nor is it a strawman. For context, I'm responding to a post by @b0rk on medium that says, in part:
>If there are no men, nobody can get harassed by men. That’s it. That’s the entire hack. This has the unfortunate side effect of excluding all the delightful and wonderful men who would enrich an event. But it still makes people feel safer, and that’s what we’re trying to do.
>It has nothing to do with comfort. It is the case that, because of institutional discrimination, women have a much higher mountain to climb as it were, to achieve success in the tech field.
Except that this entire line of discussion does have to do with comfort...so I'm confused at to why you put it here (not that it's not worth discussing, mind you).
My apologies, I didn't express myself correctly. I know what the term means. It's the self-deprecating nature of it that got me curious. Have you ever felt unsuitable as a chess player because of your sex or skin tone? I didn't really expect you to say so, but I thought the possibility might exist; that you have somehow been excluded from chess by those factors, which could have made you internalise the term "patzer".
Of course, my armchair internet psychonanalysis was completely wrong, which makes me glad, and I feel humbled by you. :-)
No. I've never felt unsuitable as a chess player for any reason. I'm just not good at chess, but that's probably a function of not spending more of my time on it.
I have never seen myself as 'unsuitable' for any task due to who I am. Why would I? It's part of what makes exclusionary outreach programs infuriating to me. Yes, have a fund that tries to encourage engagement of an underrepresented crowd, but don't make it exclusionary to all others. Else the appearance (to me) is that you're saying that the only reason that the underrepresented group could ever make it is at the exclusion of all others.
a better judgment was to not bring up a controversial topic,not to bring it up and then not engage with those who are on the opposite side of the controversy.
It completely changed my opinion about positive discrimination.
Further, it's easy to model what society should look like and how it should act by reducing it to mathematical models, but human behavior is not strictly dominated by mathematics.
Since things are the way that they are its wonderful that you feel that way. Personally, it smacks as a bit sexist for organizations to say to me 'we created this program to get women into things' because it reads to me like them saying "we created this program to get women into things because they can't hack it any way else". That's how minority outreach programs read to me as a woman of color.
>I respect your stance and your viewpoint, but I think you're worrying about folks who don't need much worrying done on their behalf.
If you've read my posts as "but what about the menz?!" (as I hear often) then I'm afraid that it looks like you're being reductionist. My position on this issue is both a combination of my lived experience having never felt discrimination in the tech community while simultaneously watching several of my equally qualified colleagues be denied opportunity through no fault of their own because somebody thought I deserved a better shot so their percentages looked better.
While you might feel that way about it when you see it, it's neither the reason for nor the intent of the groups running the programs. There are a lot of real and ugly issues that exist that keep women (and minorities) out of the tech industry and push them out that have nothing to do with the qualifications or abilities of anyone.
Trying to increase opportunity to help balance the actual institutional sexism, racism, unconscious biases, hostile environments, and other factors that keep valid candidates out of tech isn't sexist or racist, they are an effort to counter the effects of sexism and racism and bring more people in who are just as qualified, capable, and talented but who despite those factors have added barriers to entry and added pressures to push them out. Those core problems can't really be addressed until there's enough diversity.
"because they (Women)" can't hack it any way else" puts the blame on the wrong party.
The fault is that of society, not of Women.
It reminds me of how a family member blamed me for the problems that arose my current relationship with a black woman.
"Didn't you think of how getting in a relationship with a black girl would affect your family?"
At first I wondered if this was a valid viewpoint, but I quickly realized that the blame was pushed to the wrong party. It wasn't my fault that the family member had a network of (consciously and unconsciously) racist people they called their friends.
So all fault is that of the sexist, racist, homgeneous reality of the tech community that exists now.
Women (even moreso Women of Color) "can't hack it like a white male would".
Technically speaking, any woman can "hack it" just as much as any man could or more. Sadly I've found that getting jobs is very little to do with technical aptitude these days however. It's more about people thinking they'll communicate well with you (looking like them makes them think this), that you'll share their ideals to some extent (they think looking like them means this), you'll be technically adept (looking like them is of course a plus), and get along well with the other colleagues (looking like them is a plus).
I'm sure you've heard the term "work twice as hard to get half as far before". Well these events exist to try and redefine that to "work twice as hard to get just as far", then maybe even eventually "work 1.5x as hard to get just as far".
> My position on this issue is both a combination of my lived experience having never felt discrimination in the tech community
There is possibly colorism at play here too, at least anecdotally speaking my Biracial friends seem to corroborate your viewpoint of "never felt discrimination".
I've personally witnessed discrimination and racism in most of the places I've worked, but just as much I've seen sexism.
So something that just happened, I was looking through local meetups and the second picture was a white dude with a HUGE oversized afro and headphones on... if you came upon this wouldn't you find it a little unwelcoming?
I know I personally do.
I am 100% hearing you, and I understand how you get to that position. Here's where my head's at: if, as a culture, we think that diversity of self, thought, and action matter, then we have two options. One, which I think is relying on the better angels of natures that haven't proven to have them, is a sea change of culture where the usual bullshit is not tolerated, the casual sexism that I've heard (and objected to, and become the No Fun Guy for) amongst just-us-guys is stamped out. The other is to facilitate a demographic shift, to offer early, supportive services (I mean, even internship programs are fairly introductory). I tend to see these programs as doing the latter towards a goal I find to be a net positive and, additionally, beneficial to me, in the long run. I understand the potentially problematic nature of such programs and I think it's important for folks to keep those potential issues in mind, but I disagree with you in calling these programs, the ones that I am personally aware of, problematic in that way.
> If you've read my posts as "but what about the menz?!" (as I hear often) then I'm afraid that it looks like you're being reductionist.
That wasn't my read, and "worrying" was flip, I apologize. Let me try again: I come at solving social issues from an economic point of view; while it's not zero-sum, something's got to give to get things moving and to make the multipliers work. In the aggregate, I find it very unlikely that white dudes are going to have problems finding opportunities. And so, I, personally, am okay with making that trade and theoretically (but, I continue to think, probably not really) causing low-level harm to a few folks in a privileged position in the pursuit of a better end state for everyone.
And I respect that you haven't felt discrimination in the tech community. I'm glad you've had better experiences than the folks I know, and whose experiences have soured me on a lot of what I see as the insular nature of tech. In particular I am thinking of two of my dearest friends, two of the most level-headed people I know, who exited stage right because the trouble of being a visible member of outgroups wasn't worth the benefits of working in tech. That irks the shit out of me, and I want it to stop. (It's with this in mind that I try to put into practice what I say, and a major red flag for me is a homogeneous development group. I want to work with people unlike me, because in the long run it's better for me, too.)
> several of my equally qualified colleagues be denied opportunity through no fault of their own because somebody thought I deserved a better shot so their percentages looked better
Can I flip this around for a second? Because I don't think these feelings are restricted to a single "side" of anything. I've seen candidates lose out because they're not enough like the pack of white dudes doing the hiring decisions, too, and I'm certain I've benefitted from those same things too. You don't want to benefit unduly, and I respect that. But neither do I, you know?
Way back when, I'd applied for a position at a local university's geek-kids summer programme (I'm keeping this as non-specific as possible). I never heard back from them with an acceptance or rejection, until days before the programme started. 'You're in,' they said, and so my folks had to scramble to readjust our summer plans, arrange their finances to cover the program and so forth. Not really a big deal, but a bit of a nuisance.
What's the affirmative-action angle? Well, it turns out that I'd been on the alternates list because I'm a white guy, and the programme wanted more girls and non-whites. One of the accepted folks had cancelled, and so I got a spot after all.
It's not too much of an exaggeration to say that this programme changed my life. It opened my eyes to what eventually became my career. It exposed me to other high-schoolers like me. It made me friends I still have today. It still stands as one of my most formative experiences.
Now, in this programme there were some students who clearly didn't belong. They were fundamentally unprepared (i.e., they had never been taught the fundamentals of the material). They didn't understand the material. They cried because they were failing what was for everyone else and easy pass (literally, as in not even bothering to worry). They held the entire class back because the professors had to spend so much time trying—and, mostly, failing—to explain basic concepts to them. The programme was a waste of their time: they learned little, if anything, and had an utterly miserable experience.
They were, of course, uniformly non-white, non-Asian girls.
I'll pause here to note that none of this is an attack on those students qua people. I'm sure that they were perfectly good people, but they had no business at a university geek-kid programme.
I'll also note that there were plenty of young women in the programme who were quite capable and intelligent and did just as well as the young men. The poor students weren't poor students because they were female, or because they were non-white, but because they were unintelligent and/or uneducated.
Now, each spot once of those poor students occupied was a spot which could have been occupied by an excellent student. Each of those spots represented a young life which wasn't changed like mine was. Which of those students, unaccepted because of their gender or colour, dropped out of high school, never applied to college, committed suicide or majored in some non-technical field? How dare anyone think that's right?
So no, I don't think 'we dudes will be just fine.'
> The poor students weren't poor students because they were female, or because they were non-white, but because they were unintelligent and/or uneducated.
And why is that? If you reject the absurd notion that there's some causative relationship between technical ability/intellect and gender/race, what's the explanation, other than the possibility that those people didn't have the same exposure to the subjects that you did? And that's not even including the confidence factor: Of course a white dude can do this stuff, they do it all the time. Your story seems to suggest we should actually be doing this long before university. I would agree with that.
This part will probably be unpopular, but I'll say it anyway: What makes you so special, that your life is the one that gets to be changed? If we were all on equal footing, who says you're even good enough for your university geek-kid program anyway? Or me, for that matter - I was part of a similar program in high school. What if we could be fifty years ahead of where we are now, if only we had an environment that was actually competitive across the whole breadth of our society, rather than jokers like you and me running the ship?
For purposes of admitting students to special programmes, who cares? The only thing the admissions staff should have considered was admitting the most qualified applicants to the programme.
And anyway, you're ignoring the fact that intelligence is in part hereditary. It's not those students' fault that they had poor intelligence any more than it's my fault that I make a poor athlete; admitting them to a competitive academic programme was as foolish as admitting me to the Olympics.
> What makes you so special, that your life is the one that gets to be changed?
I was better-suited to that program that the ill-suited students admitted ahead of me were.
> If we were all on equal footing, who says you're even good enough for your university geek-kid program anyway?
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Maybe some of those ill-suited students were more innately intelligent than those who were unfairly rejected, and had simply had poor upbringings, but that doesn't matter: they were, at the point of admission, profoundly less-qualified than the rejectees.
And what was the point of admitting them in the first place? They were not helped by it: they had a horrible experience of unmitigated humiliation and failure. They didn't benefit, and others suffered.
All you can do is take everyone on his own merits, as he is. It doesn't matter what sex or colour someone is: if he's the best candidate, take him for the job or the codeathon or whatever; if not, don't.
> What if we could be fifty years ahead of where we are now, if only we had an environment that was actually competitive across the whole breadth of our society, rather than jokers like you and me running the ship?
The difference being that even if you had missed out on this one, you would have most likely had quite a few more as a white guy.
> Now, each spot once of those poor students occupied was a spot which could have been occupied by an excellent student.
Excellent student? Someone could be an excellent student that's never done simple addition before and look horrible in an algebra class because of that fundamental education not being there.
I find it interesting that you put unintelligent before uneducated, you might want to self-examine and see if you hold some prejudices. I've found that it's almost always lack of education and/or lack of opportunity creating the environment you've described.
> Each of those spots represented a young life which wasn't changed like mine was. Which of those students, unaccepted because of their gender or colour, dropped out of high school, never applied to college, committed suicide or majored in some non-technical field? How dare anyone think that's right?
You're right. See the thing is, for every white male/female that this happened to it happens disproportionately more to women, people of color , and women of color increasingly in that order.
What are you going on about? They didn't understand the material: either they were intelligent enough to understand it, but had been insufficiently educated, or they were unintelligent enough to understand it, and no amount of education would have helped. Regardless, they had no business being there.
> I've found that it's almost always lack of education and/or lack of opportunity creating the environment you've described.
Sure, but that's irrelevant: they should never have been admitted to the programme. They slowed down the rest of the class; they took places which could have been taken by others; they had a miserable time and hated the experience. Others were worse off; they were worse off. It was a lose-lose situation for everyone.
> See the thing is, for every white male/female that this happened to it happens disproportionately more to women, people of color , and women of color increasingly in that order.
So? The only fair thing is to do one's best to take everyone on his own merits. Those poor students should have been taken on their own merits, and not admitted; the students who were unfairly rejected should have been taken on their merits, and admitted.
Only an idiot would give me a slot on a professional football team in order to make up for my lack of sports privilege; only an idiot would admit an unqualified student to make up for his lack of privilege.
See how that sounds.
EDIT: Please, kindly, don't speak for the entirety of your gender. Nor for the opposite gender. Don't speak in absolutes, just speak for yourself, thanks.
And y'know? You can disagree with that all you want. I think you're wrong, and I think spinning up a new account to say something you fear is unpopular (but, let's not front, is so openly accepted here that I've exchanged some disappointed emails with dang) is real shitty, but you can disagree and I never said I spoke for you. You can hang yourself by your own words without my help.
I think we all know why I made a throwaway account and why unpopular opinions are hard to express on a non-throwaway one.
I'm all for helping unprivileged classes and people, however there have been a lot of very dangerous thinking where privileged classes end up being discriminated in the first place. As the grandparent was stating, exclusion and segregation is not a solution for the 'privilege wars', we should be working towards inclusion and acceptance and not by forcing it by banning specific classes of privileged people. The privileged of today will be the unprivileged of tomorrow and nothing would have been solved, and I see this line of reasoning way too much to be comfortable.
Speaking as a so-called privileged person myself, I am all for acceptance and inclusion of those less fortunate than me, but let's not turn this into an unnecessary war of the least privileged.
Wait didn't you say you were a black woman? Why do you call yourself a "so-called privileged person"?
And I've never, not once, had a problem with expressing unpopular opinions without a green username. See? Look elsewhere in this thread. Oh no. Somebody downvoted me for having the temerity to think bias exists. My life is now so hard.
Thanks for the link. I'll spend some time with it later. I did not understand their thesis from skimming the page.
E.g. Do you think institutional discrimination exists? Do you think it affects some but not others? Do you think these types of programs help minorities? Do you think they actually hurt minorities? Do you think these programs don't have any effect except to offend minorities? Do you think these programs help some and hurt others? If institutional discrimination exists, should we encourage minorities to integrate with the rest rather than segregate? Should we fight the subconscious component with awareness rather than affirmative action? Should we do nothing?
(I'm not trying to be combative.)
"We announced a new communications product, Hangouts, in May 2013. Hangouts will replace Google Talk and does not support XMPP."
You can still connect to Google Talk (not Hangouts) with a third-party client, but Google has not kept up with developments in the standard (particularly the requirement for server-to-server encryption) and is no longer interoperable with most other providers.
But on the other hand, this might quite exciting. More companies will now compete in the "don't be evil" space. And Mozilla can pick up the baton.
We're really letting the definition of that word slip, yknow? It used to be you had to actually hurt people some way before that label could apply, now I'm seeing it applied to the layout of UI elements on a screen.
I never knew that google funded summer interns to work on other's projects. Now that I know, it shines a different light.
I always thought that SoC program was a platform to encourage young coders of great feats to apply. Isolating any one company from providing work to young engineers on such a platform is not exactly fair, especially once it has been established and continues to be a center of attention.
But if it is a paid program from Google, I have mixed feelings at Mozilla being eliminated.