EDIT: for anyone who doesn't think it wasn't about money, please explain why it is so difficult to remove, why I have to open about:config to "disable" (not remove) it, and why it wasn't just added as an add-on (which already existed)?
the integration does not collect personal data until the user opts in, and it does not consume memory beyond loading the image from disk until the user opts in.
meanwhile, that search bar up at the top is an integrated browser function (not even an add-on) that sends personal data to a 3rd party, closed source server.
> please explain why it is so difficult to remove
you remove it just like every other thing in your toolbar: click the menu button, drag it off of the toolbar.
> Mozilla has now begun changing the default
like when they added bookmarks, search, download menu, spaces, and countless other functions? that's literally what browser vendors do.
All of those features either work offline or use Mozilla's own services as opposed to third party services.
The only exception I can think of at the moment is search which should also be provided through add-ons in my opinion because I don't use it - I go directly to Google website and search there.
This is no different from the integration with Google or Yahoo. The Firefox-side code is not proprietary. It doesn't consume resources if you're not using it.
You can remove it via the customizeable UI feature too.
I've seen Firefox employees stating that there was no money involved.
Edit: Checking more closely, something like that:
So it does sound likely that Pocket was well known.
I think the integration is useful, and I've used it quite a bit. It's a lot better (faster, more reliable) than pocket's old extension.
Do we really want Mozilla to go that way though?
Just for comparison, Chrome has chunks of closed source code, including the binary blob that is downloaded on first run to enable listening for "OK Google". This add-on is pre-installed. And it's pre-installed to make Google more money.
And I think comparing Firefox to Chrome is just legitimizing the argument; Firefox markets itself essentially as the opposite of most of the things Google does. "It's okay because Chrome does it" doesn't make me feel very good about Firefox.
I only referenced Chrome because the post I responded to specifically mentioned Chrome for comparison.
Not very reassuring.
Do you suggest i make a daily reminder to check the Firefox source code to check whether the implemented privacy invading code still "isn't executed" ?
Yes it is. They have started to sell users just like everyone else.
> (4) Individuals’ security and privacy on the Internet are fundamental and must not be treated as optional.
Google, Pocket, etc. are arguably not compatible with this manifesto, because their business model is precisely to sell user data.
So Mozilla says it respects and defend your privacy but makes deals with companies that won't. I'll let you pick a name for that kind of behaviour.
The issue here is about the reason why it was included _as a default_ in the first place.
right-click, "Remove from toolbar". There you go.
In fact, visiting a website is considerably worse. The code may be quite large, and it's not vetted in any way (unlike the pocket plugin), so it might try to escape the sandbox.
If you're going to get fed up about this, at least have some reasonable basis for that. You might complain about the increased download size or disk usage (but the overhead is likely to be ridiculously small). You might complain about the attention pocket - a non free service - gets this way. Of course, this isn't too different from a default search engine. And did you know about https://activations.cdn.mozilla.net/en-US/?
At the end of the day, is your feeling based on anything other than a grumpy gut?
Mozilla has clearly positioned itself as (1) the independent browser-vendor who cares about (2) open source, (3) the open web and (4) your online privacy.
If they start bundling "free" proprietary third-party services, where the price is a piece of the user's privacy, to provide a more seamless experience at the cost of bypassing "normal" rules for web-application integration, they have effectively compromised themselves on all 4 of those criterias.
This one incident is not the end of the world to me, but I've had this feeling for quite a while that Mozilla is losing both direction and momentum, and stuff like this helps cement it.
Had it not been proposed as a joke, I would already be looking forward to those Emacs-patches incorporating Webkit as the new embedded browser.
 Embedding Webkit was proposed as a "solution" to the famous Emacs-quote "Eight Megabytes And Constantly Swapping" no longer being valid or relevant.
They were positioned that way, but ever since they gutted the security of Sync, it's really hard to take them seriously.
> Had it not been proposed as a joke, I would already be looking forward to those Emacs-patches incorporating Webkit as the new embedded browser.
I thought that there was a serious effort to do that. It'd be great IMHO.
Like search engines? Terrible reasoning. Browsers need these or they won't be competitive. There was a judgment call that a read later mode is needed to be competitive, too. We can argue whether it's the right call, but not about the above.
I don't get how that follows...like, at all. The same kind of weird reasoning can be used for setting a default search engine or sending back crash reports, telemetry or even update checks. We understand that some features of the browser have a privacy impact in return for user friendliness. It's not like they aren't upfront about that.
In all cases, you don't get the impact if you don't use the feature. The original post tried to say there was still some impact from having the JS sit unused on disk. That's just bullshit!
They've made a statement just last week following a developer summit. Sounds like Pocket et al might yet be repackaged as default addons afterall.
Folks said that Pocket should have been a bundled add-on that could
have been more easily removed entirely from the browser. We tend to
agree with that, and fixing that for Pocket and any future partner
integrations is one concrete piece of engineering work we need to
1/ its a source of revenue and get VP's bonuses for diversifying mozilla's revenues
2/ its a test to see how people like if mozilla starts incorporating 3rd party cloud services in the user-agent
(doesnt actually sound evil put like that does it?)
1/ some few people get paid a few hundred thousand/year
2/ mozilla alienates people, loses market share
3/ said vps will leave when mozilla can't pay them bonuses no more
(I think that's sadly close to the truth)
I cannot find the source but I think it was Rushkoff who used a wonderful phrase: extracting wealth by destroying value.
It highlights the underlying problem better than anything I can come up with.
(Also, not to be nit-picky but because I think it's an important distinction, I don't think the investigation here "proved its benefit", but rather showed only that those users tested liked it. I suspect every designer would agree that bundling everything a user wants leads, almost paradoxically, to an unuseable mess.)
Given the data available, Firefox is a better browser with Pocket than without, on average, for Firefox users. That's justification for bundling it. Perhaps more data will be collected and other addons might be considered later, but again, the bar gets higher and higher since the total number has to remain small.
I think that the wording here is important: Pocket is not an add-on, at least in the sense that I understand it: when I go to Tools > Add-ons, nothing there allows me to disable or remove it. (I can't find it now, but I thought that one used to be able to manage search providers in a similar window.) Add-ons are by their nature trivial to disable or remove, and a solution involving going into about:config, where the user is explicitly warned of the dangers—in language far more frightening to a non-techie than any opt-in could be—is not trivial at all.
You should let users have all the value from new useful features, instead of just keeping the balance barely positive after bundling some bad stuff.
Firefox users like to download videos. A lot. 15 of the top 40 add-ons downloaded this week are video downloaders
So they certainly know what users like... and then ignore that data.
> Pocket has been a popular Firefox add-on for a long time and we’ve seen that users love to save interesting Web content to easily revisit it later, so it was an easy choice to offer Pocket as a service in Firefox and we’ve gotten lots of positive feedback about the integration from users.
> Directly integrating Pocket into the browser was a choice we made to provide this feature to our users in the best way possible. To disable Pocket, you can remove it from your toolbar or menu. If Pocket is removed from the toolbar or menu, then the feature is effectively disabled, though you can still find it again by accessing it in the Customize Panel. You can find detailed instructions here.
That's sounds weird. Why wouldn't they just make it opt-in on the "you've been updated" page? Or just bundle the extension?
The Firefox design team did studies on this, seeing how real users interact with the feature. The results are that bundling it in the browser makes it useful to a lot of people, overall making the browser experience better for them. That's really all this comes down to - the data shows users are happier, overall, with it present by default.
Some users don't like it, like the author of this article, but more users do like it.
"Individuals’ security and privacy on the Internet are fundamental and must not be treated as optional."
"Free and open source software promotes the development of the Internet as a public resource"
So their speak and actions are very different, like shady politicians.
Actions speak louder than words.
This sounds like an excuse that could justify withholding just about any choice from users. Why not have a first-run splash page with something like "Pocket is a really cool service that runs best when it's part of your Firefox. May we turn it on? [yes] [no] Don't worry, you can always change your mind later! [Read more about what Pocket does.]"
Did you also consider if this "benefit" will conflict with the Mozilla Manifesto or not? What were the arguments pro or against of it?
If you did perform this analysis, then was it performed before the user study or after? If you did not, then why?
User research isn't my field, but my understanding is that the study asked a random sample of people if they noticed the feature, if they found it useful, how they used it, and so forth.
This is absolutely not ok in a Hacker News comment. If you can't comment civilly, please don't comment here.
researcher at Mozilla
Firefox has always been the browser that, in contrast to the competition, doesn't try to decide what's best for me. I really appreciate that. Even with this change Firefox is still the best about that, but it is not a move in the right direction.
I thought that was well enough known from UX research that it shouldn't be a controversial decision?
With that said, much of the UX research you are talking about deals with a users first use of a program. The entire program not the addition of one additional feature over time. Also, the more relevant research is that many, many users just click "no" unless they are lead to believe they will lose functionality they currently have. If we were to actually follow the current UX trends from research pocket(or pretty much any features) would never get added to Firefox at all past it's core use of browsing the web.
Of course it is, if the question is why it was bundled by default, rather than leaving it in the add-on store.
Also, the more relevant research is that many, many users just click "no" unless they are lead to believe they will lose functionality they currently have.
That sounds like a strong argument in favor.
Either way, my issue(and I'm sure the issue to most people against it) is that Pocket is a closed platform. I was okay with the binary blobs since not having them would have significantly degraded the browsing experience for users, but including by default things like Pocket makes the moral distance between Mozilla and Google, Apple etc a small enough gap to me that I'm not sure I'm going to be sticking with Mozilla's products long term.
But the question is when the choice is asked, right? If you would have the time to explain the Pocket feature to a normal users, don't you think most would say "OK, saving articles might be useful, keep it in"?
The problem is that you don't usually get the time to explain the feature well enough, and if there's no time, the user will click it away ASAP (and be annoyed).
Why did you feel it necessary to ignore that issue completely over several comments directly addressing it?
I don't like patented codecs either but there's no argument that making Firefox actually work with pretty much any video website out there is making it better, especially as they fought tooth and nail and only caved in when it was a foregone conclusion that H264 won out.
It's easy to see why Mozilla doesn't listen to people like him.
(And the tl;dr doesn't seem to agree with what's actually in the documents either)
The issue, at least for me, is that the browser now downloads binary blobs behind my back. Therefore it is no longer an open-source browser, unless I patch it and build my own version to disable this stuff. Firefox being open-source was one of the big selling points originally.
Of course it's very convenient that video just works. User-experience wise it's just better. Noone is arguing that.
> It's easy to see why Mozilla doesn't listen to people like him.
Yes. It's completely understandable, the market for people who don't care about these issues is much larger. The reason many people are annoyed is because the free-software tech crowd used to be the target consumer for mozilla, that's the group that built the brand and the goodwill around it. Now they're turning around and using that goodwill to get new markets, while saying "screw you" to the people who built the brand for them.
All the power to them, it's just sad for us old users watching this ship burn. I'm hoping a new project will spring up that picks up the torch and focuses on being an open-source, privacy-preserving browser.
OpenH264 IS open source. Firefox downloads a pre-built binary (that happens to have a patent license included), just like it'll do if you update, for example, Debian Iceweasel.
The reason many people are annoyed is because the free-software tech crowd used to be the target consumer for mozilla
It still is, but only the people who are willing to be reasonable and listen to arguments. Demanding that a browser in 2015 does not support H264 is not realistic.
I mean, there's people arguing here that the current Sync system is a sell-out because it uses passwords instead of the old randomly generated keys.
If I see that, and the H264 argument, then I think there's two kinds of "open source communities": the ones that try to build usable products and a big circklejerk that is happy to have a solution only for themselves. If you follow the discussions about ANY kind of open source project that tries to help the mainstream, you'll often see the same pattern. (GNOME and systemd are some easy examples)
Sure, I can download the source. And I can patch firefox to restrict the auto-downloading and instead use a locally bundled version. But at that point I'm forking firefox to get a full-featured version built from source.
I can see arguments either way, but a lot of people, myself included, would not consider this fully open-source code.
Again, I am in no way claiming that the majority of people have a problem with this. But there is a group of tech people, who have historically been very pro-mozilla, who are now more on the fence or actively dislike moves like this.
> It still is, but only the people who are willing to be reasonable and listen to arguments. Demanding that a browser in 2015 does not support H264 is not realistic.
I would prefer you respond to the arguments made rather than resorting to strawmen. Nowhere in my post did I demand that H264 not be supported. I voiced an objection to the way it was included. You are free to disagree. If H264 really needed to be supported, I would have preferred this be done through exposing the OS video codecs, leaving firefox out of the whole thing.
> I mean, there's people arguing here that the current Sync system is a sell-out because it uses passwords instead of the old randomly generated keys.
And were any of those people me? Please, stop with the strawmen. This has nothing to do with the H264 discussion.
> If I see that, and the H264 argument, then I think there's two kinds of "open source communities": the ones that try to build usable products and a big circklejerk that is happy to have a solution only for themselves. If you follow the discussions about ANY kind of open source project that tries to help the mainstream, you'll often see the same pattern. (GNOME and systemd are some easy examples)
Just like we have different makes of car, most of them targeting the average consumer and some of them targeting niches and people who enjoy driving for its own sake. What's the problem, exactly, with making a product for a niche market? Why can't we have a browser made for techies?
When did scratching ones own itch become a bad thing in the open source community? For the record, I have contributed to browser development in the past, both mozilla and other projects. All of those contributions were to solve issues for me. Others have benefited from that. That's how a large chunk of the open source code we use every day got started.
As to the H264 situation - how is using closed source and patented implementations better than using open-source but patented implementations?
I don't think anybody is happy with H264; but blaming mozilla is counterproductive. They clearly aren't calling the shots on this; and they tried their utmost to prevent it from happening by supporting numerous unencumbered alternatives. However, companies such as Apple and Microsoft refused to participate, and web developers chose to support H264 over the free alternatives. And lets be honest - there's no free alternative with comparable quality. And realizing that, mozilla supports the very interesting https://xiph.org/daala/ - but that's clearly far from ready.
What else could they have done to avoid H264 dominance? Failing to implement it would simply have hastened firefoxes decline, as despite FF's onetime significant market share, sites never adopted H264 alternatives to any large extent.
If you want to blame somebody, blame webdevs for that (but again... it's not like there was a good alternative).
By far most open source software, when built without changes, will produce a fully working binary that does not grab and run binary blobs at runtime. All that software would meet my criteria for acceptance.
> As to the H264 situation - how is using closed source and patented implementations better than using open-source but patented implementations?
If the work is deferred to the OS, it's not mozilla's problem. It is then up to the user to choose a platform with the desired codecs, which may be open or closed. People on platforms that already contain and expose closed-source codecs are unlikely to be concerned about these issues.
The rest of your comment, I agree with. I know mozilla fought hard to get a free codec included in the standard. That was very good, I'm certainly not trying to demonise mozilla here.
My problem here is only with the technical solution implemented after that fight was lost. And I worry about the precedent being set that mozilla is okay with the browser downloading and running precompiled binaries from the internet at runtime, without an explicit request from the user with a big, scary warning. That's mozilla's prerogative, they decide to go with the larger market and I totally understand that. It doesn't make it any less sad to watch, though.
Huh? We're not talking about whether the main part of firefox is open source. We're talking about whether the H264 plugin is open source.
Look at firefox as your apt-get and the H264 plugin as something that you can either download a compiled binary of or compile yourself.
Is the only objection that it does it at 'runtime'? If you consider first boot part of the install process then that problem solves itself.
I really don't understand what the problem is.
the day certain people with commit privileges decided that chasing Apple/MS's tail was a smart thing...
Why force it on people who don't want it AND withhold the ability to permanently remove it? What's wrong with them?
The old secure Sync was great, absolutely great. I could see all of my bookmarks and history from all of my machines, and it was all well-secured. There was nothing wrong with it.
This is a common problem with well-secured things (see encrypted email, signed email), unfortunately, which has proven very difficult to solve.
Exactly! There is already an extension, why isn't Pocket an extension then?
I miss the early 2000's of the web where everything was the wild west and was untouched by the advertising cancer.
"Its main advantage is an ethical one: it is entirely free software. While the Firefox source code from the Mozilla project is free software, they distribute and recommend non-free software as plug-ins and addons."
KHTML became WebKit. I'm sure many of the original authors moved along with it. And WebKit is far more popular than Gecko.
If you're still concerned, then use IceWeasel or SeaMonkey.
If you want a programmatic way to modify the UI, probably a simple extension could do that using Fx's UI API.
Also, while this is from 2005, this is how I remember the early 2000's: http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/
Interesting that the page has lasted longer than a great many of it's links.
It used to be effectively "just a rebrand of the ESR releases", but as time goes on its diverged further and further from them.
> In addition to the methods described above, we may also collect information using cookies or other technologies. You may decline our cookies if your browser permits, although in that case you may not be able to use certain features, you may be required to enter your password more frequently during a session, and you may be unable to install or use certain Pocket Technologies. Cookies and other technologies make our Pocket Technologies easier to use and help us customize and personalize the services we provide based on your interests and activities.
> We may also use "pixel tags," "web beacons," "clear GIFs" or similar means (individually or collectively "Pixel Tags") in connection with emails that we send to our users in order to collect usage data. Our use of Pixel Tags allows us to count users who have visited certain pages on our Website, to deliver branded services and to help determine the effectiveness of promotional or advertising campaigns.
> We may also analyze and use aggregated information to improve the products and services that we offer, and to develop new products and services.
> In the event that we or certain of our assets are acquired, user information may be included among the transferred assets.
This part of this.
Note the first clause.
> Public API Documentation: http://getpocket.com/developer/
A Mozilla employee opened a ticket for this: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1179699
And as such are hit by the privacy implications.
I, too, don't care for it, but I'm not going to pretend that the inclusion of a new button that doesn't do anything if you don't use it is like injecting malware into my browser.
It starts as a useful product until the network-effects take over and raise the cost of leaving, de facto locking people in. After they are hooked, you introduce various types methods to make the product rely more on remote services instead so more data can be captured. As few people understand the difference between a product that runs locally and a service that necessarily gives your data over to a 3rd party, this usually works without anybody noticing and objecting.
If a few nerds object, they are usually countered with a few lies about why such a service is "necessary", even when it isn't. In this case, the lie is that a 3rd party service is necessary so you can share your bookma^H^H^H^H^H^Hreading list on different devices (which assumes you have multiple devices, and that you want to move bookmarks between them). In hard cases, it may require some vague, misleading, and hard-to-prove statistics ("our data says user's like $foo", "everybody uses $foo"), or simply browbeating anybody that complains ("Then submit your own patches", "stop being paranoid").
The worst part is that for many of the engineers involved, this is probably unintentional. The human mind has a very limited "working set" that is given full attention; everything else is filtered heavily with various shortcuts, heuristics, and assumptions, making it incredibly easy to be distracted by endless technical details.
TL;DR - watch  for a much better explanation
 aka "big data" and sometimes "analytics"
 most illusions and magic tricks are based on this - Apollo Robbin even bases his entire show on working just outside the focus-set of his audience ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0k2gja3ym4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d54ydsKUNGw )
The Firefox design team conducted user research experiments, and found that a significant amount of people like the feature (far more than dislike it). Most of those users are not techies, and would never even hear about an addon, so including it in the browser is the most realistic way to reach them.
"this has absolutely nothing to do with money. We're shipping Pocket because we love their product, and so do our users. Pocket is, by very far, the most popular reading-list add-on used with Firefox."
Apparently they went too far: it's the most popular extension of that kind among people that care about reading lists (hardly the majority I think) and it's being hated by everybody that don't tolerate imposed choices. No good can come for Firefox and Pocket from this. If I were Pocket I'd ask Mozilla to unbundle the code into an extension as soon as possible because this is starting to be a PR backslash.
And why Pocket? Maybe some Firefox users use Instapaper, and they had no say in the choice of Pocket.
Consider this argument: 80% like a feature 20% don't. You implement it, now 20% of the people aren't happy. Next feature is also 80%/20%, now between 36-20% aren't happy. Keep doing this and you will alienate most of your user base.
Did anybody actually want this feature? What percentage was that?
I'm pretty sure that was Mozilla's experience until they switched to rapid release.
Firefox is, has always been, and always will be, open source. The Mozilla server side is similarly also open source. But Mozilla is quite small compared to Google and Microsoft, and so must partner with external parties for things like Search and Pocket.
This is precisely why I don't use Chrome! I like Google search but I don't like how Chrome keeps me logged into their services.
What are you asking for, exactly? That the browser should force you to login twice?
I want to be logged in in Chrome so that my bookmarks sync between devices. But I want to be logged out of my Google session so that my searches aren't tied to my Google account.
On Mobile Chrome, if you log into Chrome, you log into your Google account. There's no way to separate the two.
It's nowhere near my only problem with Chrome, but it's one of the big ones.
There is no expectation of an integrated closed source "cloud reader" and attempts to paint this like "aww gee shucks it would be great it we could do something about this but thats just the way they world is" come off as extremely disingenious, especially as the mobile version of firefox had this feature baked in with no reliance on any third party at all.
"Online advertisements with active content aren't shady, almost all networks use them!"
Except for course, what you said it's identical are a notoriously shady group of activities, which has led to much abuse my market leaders at various times (Google, Microsoft), and we see no difference here. For that matter, neither do you.
I get that Firefox benefits from shipping the integration, but you haven't provided any good technical reasons for it not being fundamentally a shift in the way you do business and kind of exploitative.
Holding up a bunch of famous exploitations as "me too!"ing is tonedeafly missing the complaint.
So yes, the market is fundamentally shady for "browser integrations".
I do think, however, that to compete with other browsers, such integration is necessary. If Firefox doesn't integrate with search, users will not find it useful, because they are so used to using google.com and so forth.
So I agree browsers would be better with no such integrations. It's a necessary, sometimes painful compromise.
This is a particularly weak case, because what's really needed for this feature at the browser level is an API for search providers, backed by several plugins which take advantage of the feature and offer various providers.
However, that's not what Firefox did here, as far as anyone can tell. Why not? No technical reason has been provided, and the replies have been so completely off topic as to cause a long debate thread over that very reasonable concern.
Firefox tightly coupled a technology to their platform rather than providing a service API and plugins, and we have no understanding of why a group committed to openness would make such a fundamentally close source move.
Historically speaking, the reasons groups do that is malice.
It's true that this seems perhaps a little silly to people like us. We might prefer this to be opt-in. But we are a rare type of user. Studies show the best decision here is to bundle it by default.
I believe that there are meanings of 'best' for which this is true, but they aren't, I think, necessarily the right ones. In this case, it seems like 'best' is "best for widespread adoption of Pocket".
OK, so let's buy that widespread adoption of Pocket is a good goal because more users like it than don't. I'm sure there are lots of add-ons with this property, but we don't add them all on—so what is so special about this one, beyond just that it tested well, and moreover what is so fundamental about it that it has to be integrated at the browser, rather than extension, level?
The Firefox design team needs to test these things out. If y'all don't like it stick to Iceweasel or some other fork. Just don't expect much innovation from the forks.
There's actually a tour of it if you do a fresh update on a release build, IIRC.
Either way, it's a shitty thing for Mozilla to do, just as it was a shitty thing for Google to sneak in code in Chromium that downloads and installs proprietary blobs after compilation and packaging.
The list of truly open web browsers keeps getting smaller.
> The list of truly open web browsers keeps getting smaller.
What are you talking about?
I'm talking about what the author of the article pointed out. Did you read the article?
"Non-free software-powered. You want to host your own instance? You can't. Also, you can't modify, translate, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, or create any derivative works based on the Pocket Technologies, including any of its files, tables or documentation, or any portion thereof, or determine or attempt to determine any source code, algorithms, methods or techniques embodied in the Pocket application or any portion thereof. Yes, this service is integrated in your favourite Open-source web browser."
What I mean is, it's not so much about open source (I used closed source technology every day), it's about the overall openness of the project. Mozilla has chosen to integrate a proprietary service in what is supposed to be an open browser, and that bothers me enough to not use their product anymore.
And if it's not already apparent, no, I won't be using Pocket either. :)
This is the actual license of the Pocket code in Firefox:
It's a fucking BSD license. With an added remark that they own trademarks on the name.
In other words, my decision isn't based on whether the API is open source. Mozilla chose a proprietary platform instead of an open platform; whether out of laziness or due to a kickback from Pocket, I simply don't like it. I like choice, and I choose to stop using Firefox.
Which quite obviously don't apply to Firefox in their entirety. The quoted section specifically doesn't apply, and I hope it's obvious to see why.
You can decide whatever you want, but given that you specifically quoted that section as the reason earlier, it's obviously not based on sane reasoning but on self-justification.
Mozilla chose to use a service provider that is not only proprietary, but (as the terms I quoted indicate) aggressively anti open-source/open standards. This, combined with the fact that we can't choose a different "read later" provider, makes me wary of using Firefox from here on out. As I indicated in another comment, I also don't care for search engine integration, but that's a battle that was lost a long time ago. At least with most browsers (including Firefox) the user can change the search provider to one she prefers; with the Pocket integration, it's Pocket period because it's hardcoded with their API only. I would have preferred Mozilla either bundle Pocket as an add-on, or if they are going to integrate a "read later" function, do it using an open (as in open to any provider) API and publish the specs so any provider can then offer their services.
I hope that clears up any confusion on your part.
Actually, it's got very less footprint until you click it.
A comment on the post said to restart FF to get the change working. After I did that, the icon left my FF toolbar.
> Directly integrating Pocket into the browser was a choice we made to provide this feature to our users in the best way possible.
I don't know why (or whether) this direct integration makes such a difference compared to providing it as an extension, or even what is 'best' about it (fastest? Easiest? Most consistent?), but that's what they said.
EDIT: On the other hand, mburns (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9876467) quotes another reply where Mozilla seem to agree with you.
Mozilla reality: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
And that Mozilla refuses to merge many of Mike Perry's privacy and security-enhancing patches for Tor Browser Bundle because they make advertisers' lives more difficult.
I could trivially list at least a dozen default Firefox preferences that could readily be explained by conflicts of interest, rather than common sense or Mozilla's commitment to user privacy or their increasingly-touted (and I'm guessing, unpublished) user studies.
It would be interesting to study which Firefox 'features' get prioritized or broken or fixed via paid staff time on a given time horizon and plot that against deals Mozilla makes with 3rd parties.
Source? I'd like to read more about this
I don't think Mozilla should be in the business of deciding what content is appropriate for users to view. Users can install extensions to do that if they wish.
Tor is willing to break webpages and website features if that keeps the user untracked. That isn't viable for a general purpose browser.
Mozilla had a reader mode, and instead of implementing their own service for saving things to a cloud, they used an existing, popular one after lots of user research.
A browser shouldn't have access to your accounts. That opens up a big attack surface.
Note that it's only enabled in Nightlies with no plans to ship.
Doesn't list that permission. I see no reason why Pocket or Sync would require that permission, although Hello likely does.
Mozilla is not exactly light-weight anymore and they have major expenses these days, which means they either need to go cap-in-hat and beg YaGoogFace or tell users that user-interest is still core, whilst integrating "sponsored" plugins deep into the browser.
This is no different to getting "free" software on MS back in the 2000s, at the expense of having to install that shitty ask.com toolbar.
Privacy and security really seems to be becoming more of a fallacy on the internet now.
There's some lag in those appearing, though.
Probably because people find it useful.
Including those has provided most of Firefox's revenue, so they're the worst possible examples.
To get to free/open source sometimes you have to start with proprietary software and progressively move over.
Pocket does not immediately gain any info about the user until the user explicitly opts in.
Mozilla certainly needs to be more transparent about how these companies are selected, and the way this information is first presented to the user. And they have acknowledged they did it poorly with both Telefonica and Pocket, and are looking to improve. But it is in no way an abandonment of their core principles by any stretch of the imagination.
Firefox for Android actually had its own 'reading list' for a while too. Won't be long until Pocket will be on Firefox for Android by default if this is their direction.
I'll start the API.
which is .. basically pocket on top of firefox sync... also has a nicer integration and its pretty simple.. i dont even..