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Open Letter to Microsoft’s CEO: Don’t Roll Back the Clock on Choice and Control (blog.mozilla.org)
497 points by ndesaulniers on July 30, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 290 comments



This is not rolling back the clock. Here are some important points to the debate:

1. Windows 10 users are upgrading from 7 and 8.1, these versions were heavily shipped with bloatware. If it took away default browsing from Firefox, it also took away volume control from OEM Volumizer 2010.

2. Your browsers like IE, Mozilla and Chrome might have Malware toolbars installed. Nobody can deny that it is far too common on Windows PCs. If it opened the infected browser the first thing after update, how secure is your PC now?

3. Microsoft has taken deliberate steps to make Firefox the default browser easier. The is an entire section now in Settings that lists 8-10 typical apps like browsers and one can easily set Firefox to default from there. It is not like old days when you had to go fidget with individual settings of each browser.

4. If you were savvy enough to put FF as default on Win 7, you are savvy enough to change it on Win 10. People not as savvy need a robust unbreakable solution.

5. The XYZ browser you were using might not be fully Windows 10 compatible. It is absolutely weird to expect default apps to remain same after a major upgrade. The cannot give individual vendors like Mozilla or Google special treatment here, nor can they take responsibility for their development cycles.

6. It's not bad for users. They aren't defaulting on IE7. Edge is fantastic.

7. In 2015, browsing should be considered a core OS feature that cannot be broken for upgrading users.

8. Microsoft had a weird history of over preserving user settings. It didn't leave them any place good. They still remain the most backwards compliant in any aspect.

9. Windows 10 does preserve old settings for extensions it doesn't support out of the box.

But the biggest point left out in this debate is that Microsoft has made it as easy as mobile to change default apps. I fail to see how this will not help Mozilla.


> They aren't defaulting on IE7. Edge is fantastic.

I really don't know where to start. I tried out edge for a few days and although the browser itself is pretty and functional it completely falls flat compared to existing players, including IE.

I don't care what features they've announced for the future that may never happen. As the browser currently stands it's a toy and isn't the "browser for doing." I had hoped that that tagline would mean it would be a browser for power users but what we got was a gimped "mobile" browser.

No add-ons, no real settings, gimmicky features that you'll use twice and then never touch again, no customization, and designed with touch given priority over mouse and keyboard.

Any browser, as long as it has sane defaults, would be fine for causal users but it's like they don't understand what people who care about such things actually do with a browser.


> isn't the "browser for doing."

Is that a bad point? If you want a "browser for doing" install Firefox and 2147483647 extensions until it explodes.

The fact that the default browser is extremely minimalistic is something good, users just need a "browser for browsing".


I'd have to agree that having a minimalistic browser that prevents users from getting into too much trouble is a good thing.

If Microsoft decided to make Edge a purely minimal browser then expected you to get more sophisticated ones later if you needed more features, I'd actually be in favor of it.

They're not going to do that. I think we all know that.


Considering their "Universal Windows Apps" strategy, and the history of how Chrome went from a minimalistic browser to a bloated resource hog, keeping the browser with only the essential features makes more sense in the long term.


While I disagree with some of your sentiment, I can't help but scratch my head at some of their decisions. Extensions are coming later, but the OneNote drawing thing is shipped first? Huh? It just doesn't make sense (nor does it work all the time, but that's more of a bug issue and not a decisions issue).


Disagree on point 6 - Edge has a long way to go and this change would be easier to stomach if it was better. Having said that, point 4 convinced me that this change is probably good for most users.

I still disagree strongly on Microsoft's default privacy settings, which are god awful. But on the issue of browser choice, its not so bad.


Microsoft wants to gain some browser market share, that's the only reason they changed the functionality to make it more complicated to change the default browser.


Mozilla hasn't made me very happy lately with their "choice" tactics. Resetting people's default search engine to Yahoo of all things on update was very opaque. Also the AMO signing fiasco, Pocket and Hello. Feels like an "It's only okay when we do it" kind of thing.


Yeah, this is the most "pot calling the kettle black" article I've seen all month. Let's see:

* no opt-out for Australis

* removal of tabs on bottom

* forced signed extensions

* removing option to not retain download history (unless you give up browsing history too)

* bundling of Hello

* bundling of Pocket (requires a lot of effort to disable)

* bundling of DRM web extensions

* bundling ads out of the box (can be disabled fairly easily)

* on and on ... I can't even keep track of it all anymore


I think reasonable criticisms were made regarding some of those, like Pocket.

However, Australis for example was a large redesign of the UI. I'm not sure how you can support an opt-out, as that would mean supporting two codebases - two different and separate UIs, at once.

Regarding bundling of DRM, it isn't bundled, but it is downloaded on demand. This is a sad thing even so, but Google, Microsoft and Netflix just left other browsers no choice when they invented, standardized and shipped EME DRM. Mozilla fought DRM, but lost.


Australis wasn't necessary at all, though. It broke my ability to keep tabs on the bottom, it forced the refresh button into my URL bar (the opposite end of my other navigation buttons ... making it much more annoying to use), it killed my stop button, it took the bookmark icon out of my URL bar, and it broke my ability to see full page titles.

None of this enhanced anyone's productivity: it was change for the sake of change. That sort of thing is fine, but you should always offer a simulation of the behavior people are used to when you have millions of users. And if you don't have the manpower, then maybe reconsider making unnecessary changes in the first place ... nobody was abandoning Firefox because its UI stayed the same. Microsoft understood this at least until Windows 7, which you could easily make look and feel very much like Windows 95. But sadly the new trend in tech is to constantly force superfluous UI redesigns on users all the time with no opt-out. You see it with Google Mail, Skype, Windows, iOS, Android, Firefox, Gnome 3, on and on.

It's not just people hating change: there are people with disabilities that learn how to use this software, and changing things because some designer decided the UI "needed a refresh" can really destroy someone's entire workflow.

It would have even been okay if they had made it a bit more flexible in configuration, but they didn't. We lost a lot of control over how the UI operates. And so now I have to use yet another extension (Classic Theme Restorer), which is a bit buggy and might be discontinued at any point in the future.

And thanks for the correction on the DRM. But I wouldn't say they lost, I'd say they caved in. They weren't forced to support it, they chose to for the sake of their market share.


It's really a matter of taste. I understand that you feel it wasn't necessary, and so the change was annoying.

But other people felt the look was dated, and well over-due for a refresh. I guess the Firefox developers were in that group.


"But other people felt the look was dated, and well over-due for a refresh. I guess the Firefox developers were in that group."

Is the UI of a piece of software actually a fashion statement?

Should these decisions not be evidence based in some way?

(I use Firefox 39 on Linux and have no strong opinions either way - just interested in the process)


I don't know if you're willing to consider it evidence, but I think Apple's success is in large part due to their software and their UI's. iOs in particular.

Also, user interfaces might be closer to fashion than you would think! If you consider Windows XP's look. Imagine Windows 10 looking like that. Or consider Windows 8's different looks compared to Windows 7's. Or Google "material design" on Android Lollipop. Dang, this is exactly like fashion! :D


cargo culting. Apple's software takes usability into account though and then polishes the look. Mozilla skipped the usability step.


By evidence I meant something more along these lines...

http://design.canonical.com/2013/08/usability-testing-how-do...


Yep, this is what I think too. The Pocket and Hello case could at least have a disable option, even Google allows you to disable the new features that it brings in Chrome like Google Now and more recently the "Ok Google" hotword detection.

However, the Australis case is much more complicated. An UI is tons of code, if Mozilla opted too maintain two different codebases they would need to update both everytime they added a new feature. This would be a maintenance nightmare, to say at least. I think it's ok to have this feature as a separate extension, maintained by people that actually care about the older interface.


> The Pocket and Hello case could at least have a disable option

I really don't think burying an opt-out option justifies these things.

This is the same tactic used to push malware in installers, Ubuntu's farming your search results to Amazon, and many of the new Windows 10 privacy intrusions. "You can opt-out (if you know you need to (and you know where to look (and you know about the gotchas like it only applying to enterprise customers)))"

If they were honest, these things would be opt-in. But they're not, because that wouldn't make them their money. (and if you really believe someone at Mozilla isn't getting paid for Pocket integration, then I have a bridge to sell you.)


If you don't want to use it, don't. You can't compare a feature you don't use to malware, which actively causes things to happen that you didn't want to happen. Nothing happens if you don't use the Pocket button.


For some reason, everybody feels like they should have a say in the direction of large Free SW projects, even if they have never contributed.

Some criticisms of Mozilla are fair (even if blown out of proportion, like the Pocket issue), but one can not expect a project to make development even more complex by adding a "revert it because this one guy doesn't like it" button for each change or feature.


I haven't contributed directly to Mozilla, no.

As a software dev that's received plenty of criticism as well, I'll just say that when I post detailed complaints about things I don't like, it's not because I want to harm or destroy their software. If I truly hated their software, I wouldn't be using it or talking about it at all. For all of Mozilla's faults, the only real cross-platform alternative (Chrome) is even worse. That one forces silent updates, won't let me download and run older versions, won't let me disable WebRTC, was the inspiration for the new Mozilla UI I dislike, sends a lot of data back to Google, etc.

The problem with not complaining is that when everyone does it, the developers have no idea why 30% of their market share is gone, yet everyone who remained is still happy with the changes.

Further, I think really major software projects like Firefox and Gnome are in a different category. People's livelihoods depend on these software programs. Totally changing things around can have serious effects on people, not just those who hate change.

It's one thing to be a single developer working on a solitaire game and deciding to redesign everything; it's quite another to be a multi-million dollar company with hundreds of employees and tens of millions of users and deciding to redesign everything.

When you care about your market share, have employees that depend upon your success, and so forth ... you really should make the effort to listen to your community of users.

And let's not forget the whole reason we're having this discussion is because Mozilla just berated Microsoft for removing user choice. If you're going to criticize someone for their faults that you're every bit as guilty of, you should expect to be called out on your hypocrisy.


As I said, some of the criticisms are fair. At the same time, the kind of issues that we techies tend to complain about are largely not behind that drop in market share: the majority of those users have moved on to browsers that are worse in terms of privacy and security.

It is a tricky issue and the comparison with GNOME is apt. At the end of the day, the last word belongs to the companies and individuals actually doing the work. We on the outside can still try to convince them, of course.


Technically, everyone has a say in the direction of a large, free software project. It's called a fork.


Practically, it's impossible to maintain one without a proportionally large team that can spend proportionally big amount of time.

As one of most obvious examples (unrelated to Mozilla or Microsoft): there are uncountably many custom Android ROMs out there, left abandoned. And most were merely cosmetic changes or even packaging (like inclusion or removal of certain pieces by default). Usually, unless luck is that there's a large social momentum and a lot of advertising among same-minded people, fork maintainer struggles for a few versions then gives up and surrenders to the upstream way of thinking. Sad but true.


Forking usually happens when a group or individual is unable to steer the direction a project. Having to go on your own is pretty much the opposite of "having a say".


However, Australis for example was a large redesign of the UI. I'm not sure how you can support an opt-out, as that would mean supporting two codebases - two different and separate UIs, at once.

Isn't it frustrating when a major software vendor takes a product you rely on, updates the whole UI in a way that makes the product worse for you and many other people using the desktop version primarily in order to try to make it better for the tiny number of people using the mobile version, and then makes clear that if you don't go for their new version you'll also miss out on critical bug fixes and security updates for the old one within a few months?


> you'll also miss out on critical bug fixes and security updates for the old one within a few months?

I'm not disagreeing with your point, but can't you use the Firefox LTS releases for that exact reason?


Nope, I used Firefox LTS 24 as long as I could. But by LTS 31 (which wasn't very long), we were back to Australis.

And Firefox 24 is missing a whole lot of really critical functionality.

You really have no choice but to trust the random third-party developer of Classic Theme Restorer not to do anything malicious, and pray that he doesn't ever quit.


Sadly, I have discovered that Mozilla and I have very different ideas of what "long term" means.

The irony of my previous post is that both Microsoft and Mozilla seem to be playing the same game now, right down to sub-year "long term" support. You can't really choose whether to have those updates any more, only to defer them for a short while. Anything more than that, and you just have to give up on updating altogether, security updates included, and for a new OS that is even more dangerous than it is for a browser.


Honestly with everything becoming web apps these days, I'm starting to feel it's more dangerous for the browser than for the OS. So many zero-day exploits like the recent Microsoft OpenType bug. And of course, Flash. Enough said there.

I'm already to the point where I don't web surf on my primary development box, outside of localhost (site dev work.)

As long as your firewall seals off all unrequested external traffic (easy with pf), and you don't run untrusted desktop applications, then the only real attack vector is through your browser.


I'm not quite that strict with my main work machine, but I am very careful about what I install on it, and typically my browsing is all work related or the occasional site likely to be very safe (BBC News at lunchtime, say).

I do want to point out that the OpenType issue you mentioned is really an OS bug rather than a browser one, though. It's a good demonstration that ultimately any OS facility that is used by browsers is a potential vulnerability, and crucially it's a cross-browser vulnerability and therefore more attractive to attackers.

What I'd really like is for all my platform software -- OS, browsers, language runtimes and the like -- to focus on stability and quality, with new features taking a secondary role. But I guess that doesn't sell new and shiny to customers^Wconsumers with an Internet-era attention span. :-(


I'm not going to defend Mozilla's hypocrisy.

Microsoft is in a different league with Windows 10, however. This was what they dreamed of 15 years ago. Once you install Windows 10, it's no longer your PC, it is Microsoft's.

  You can't choose to avoid an update.
Think about that. This means Microsoft can do anything it wants to with your computer:

* change your settings

* farm your compute cycles

* put in advertising

* install a pay gate to charge you per logon

* read your files

* add key loggers

* change your settings at their whim

They'll be able to do any of this whenever they want because YOU, the former owner of the machine, will not be allowed to circumvent or opt-out of "updates."

You haven't upgraded to the latest version of Office? Too bad, we're turning the one you have off.

We just signed a deal with a third party, so that video editing software that used to come with Windows... gone, but feel free to pay for that third party package in the app store.

We noticed you have some MP3 files that we didn't put on your machine. They'll have to go, or you can license them through us.

We're enhancing your security by removing Google Chrome... you see they didn't comply with our updated code signing policies. Sorry.

The last few hiccups with Mozilla are them being the Diet Coke of Evil in comparison.


No, they can't legally do any of the negative things you've listed, and they aren't an organization with a history of criminal action against customers. This brings the OS in line with the behavior of many applications (Chrome for example) in keeping things always up-to-date & secured, and it's done because most users are incredibly lazy and ignorant.


> they aren't an organization with a history of criminal action against customers

Technically correct I guess. However: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_litigation

Until recently, Microsoft wasn't really dealing with their users' data. This requires that you trust them. Personally I trust them just enough to use their OS (or rather, I rely on the fact that they know people watch closely what Windows does), but I definitely don't trust them to keep my data.

More precisely I don't trust them (or any other company) when they say they won't sell my data, or spy on me, or use my data against me. Because, when you think about it, there is absolutely no way to verify that they keep their word.


> it's done because most users are incredibly lazy and ignorant.

I don't know why it's acceptable for software to treat all of its users as lazy and ignorant, even if most actually are. All that's going to do is encourage them to find ever new and amazing ways to be even more lazy and ignorant.

Sure, botnets suck, but it's not worth giving up control over our desktops to stop them.


> All that's going to do is encourage them to find ever new and amazing ways to be even more lazy and ignorant.

A lazy person won't do anything more difficult or time consuming than the easiest choice available, and an ignorant person might not even realize there are other choices. So make the easiest and default choice do the thing that is "best" for everyone.

> Sure, botnets suck, but it's not worth giving up control over our desktops to stop them.

I used to agree, but am no longer convinced of this, at least personally. I use Windows and OSX daily, and feel a hell of a lot more secure about my OSX machine. I'd give up some control of my Windows machine to not always assume everything is or will likely be infected at some point, by a known or unknown cause, detected or not detected.

Not to say that OSX cannot be attacked, it definitely can, but overall.. there's little comparison. the relative ease of updates & upgrades, high adoption rates, a very nice app store full of sandboxed apps; it's just a much safer place.


While your point may be valid. Some of the things slowmovintarget mentions are still a problem for you: https://edri.org/microsofts-new-small-print-how-your-persona...


Changing search engine for existing users was a very unfortunate bug, which got fixed (https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1041571#answer-6...). Of course, changing the default for new users is nothing to be ashamed of.


I mean, it should be but it seems as though most people have accepted it.


I agree. And I extend that sentiment to their approach to Web Standards a few years ago too, like WebSQL [0] and NaCl [1], Dart [2]. That felt like NIH [3] or some other non-collaborative or ultra-competitive motivation on their part. Not a place of "speak for the Web". IMO, the choice of IndexedDB over WebSQL set the Web back 20 years.

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

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Native_Client

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dart_(programming_language)

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_invented_here


About WebSQL Firefox already had (and still has) Sqlite dependency (it is uses for bookmarks, history, ...) it is not the issue. The problem is that the Web SQL standard states "User agents must implement the SQL dialect supported by Sqlite 3.6.19." [0] which made agents rely on a outdated dependency and non standard (sqlite is not SQL ansible compatible) SQL. A nightmare for Web standards. They made the right (and hard) choice.

NaCl isn't portable (Mozilla is working on Web Assembly)

Dart excerpt taken from Dart FAQ; question: "Will the Dart VM get into Chrome?" response: "No. Dart is designed to compile to JavaScript to run across the modern web, and the dart2js compiler is a top priority for the team." [1]

[0] http://www.w3.org/TR/webdatabase/#web-sql

[1] https://www.dartlang.org/support/faq.html#q-will-the-dart-vm...


Just wanted to note that all of Apple, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla are working on WebAssembly, see https://github.com/WebAssembly/design.


Google has the Dart VM running in Chrome and it's called Dartium. If Mozilla had not been so vigorously negative towards Dart the story of Dart and Blink may have turned out differently.


No, Google Chrome people rebelled against the overhead of a cross-language-engine garbage cycle collector. Are you aware of the technical details?

Before this, before Blink forked WebKit, Apple rejected naive DartVM pre-integration changes for the same reason:

https://lists.webkit.org/pipermail/webkit-dev/2011-December/...

Whining for the poor Google-Goliath, blaming little Mozilla-David, is rich. No comment on the Pocket deal or other recent Mozilla changes. On this tangent about Dart, I'm happy that Chrome people prevailed.


The Dart team is not a large team and not an arrogant team. Led by Lars Bak, they thought to try and make something that ran faster than JavaScript by doing away with 'monkey patching.' Lars and Kasper Lund took all their experience working with V8 to make something that avoided the bottlenecks. Gilad Bracha designed a good working language and it works without many "gotchas" along the way. It's a pleasure to use. The Google Chrome team was not enthusiastic about it even before Blink, as you correctly state, but what I was trying to say is that if the industry hadn't reacted so negatively to Dart because of some percieved ulterior motive by Google, the Chrome team may have been persuaded to put some more thought into it and make it happen. Lars Bak, Kaser Lund, Gilad Bracha and the rest of the team did something cool and don't get any props for it because they work for Google. Such is life. I recall Mozilla disliked it the most, which I assume was driven by you, the creator of JavaScript. Dart was never going to replace JavaScript you know, because even then they were saying that anything that can be written in JavaScript, will be written in JavaScript. JavaScript is unstoppable, but people should look at Dart for what it is, another tool in the toolkit.


tl;dr -- "Dart is good". A fine view, I agree on parts.

Your words do nothing to address the very real technical problems that kept DartVM out of Chrome.

Stop personalizing everything and study the link I cited.


It's hard not to personalize things like what Oliver Hunt said in [0],

"The issue here isn't "can we make multiple vms live in webkit" it's "can we expose multiple languages to the web", to the former i say obviously as we already do, to the latter I say that we don't want to."

The general tone Oliver had was akin to saying only little-endian machines should be supported on the Web. Not because of some technically proven deficiency in the idea of allowing big-endian machines, but because "we don't want to." I can only imagine if such logic had been applied to other parts of the Web. Technical problems always have a solution.

[0] https://lists.webkit.org/pipermail/webkit-dev/2011-December/...


Oliver is not me, nor has he ever worked for Mozilla. But you are not the OP, so this is all just more mistargeted drive-by and taking-it-too-personally complaining.

There are not multiple GC'ed VMs in Safari sharing the DOM, so I bet Oliver was talking about things like JSC as another way to script Apple stuff than Obj-C (now Swift). But that's not material to the DartVM/OilPan vs. Chrome issue.


Why does the Java VM run in a browser but the Dart VM is too hard?


Please read anything I've written on the topic over the years.

Java runs as a plugin, like Flash. It has no deep DOM integration.

Both Java and Flash have become security problems, so they're in various penalty boxes, beyond the plugin prison.

Back in 1995, when I did JS in the shadow of Java, as a sidekick Robin-the-boy-hostage language, I did the primordial DOM too. Java was in only applets then -- pretty much the same as a plugin. We did connect JS and Java via LiveConnect, which led to the JRI (Warren Harris at Netscape), which led to the JNI. To solve the GC problem, the JRI user had to manage handles for global and local roots.

This did not solve the inter-heap cycle problem, however. Netscape never implemented a cycle collector, but we did at Mozilla, based on [Bacon & Rajan, 2001]. It was required for C++ and JS cycle collection. Around that time, IE would still leak memory if you made a C++/JS cycle by capturing certain global object property references in closures. Their C++ side used COM reference counting, so once the cycle closed through JScript, there was no way to drop the cycle-internal refcount.

Mozilla's C++/JS cycle collector was originally meant to handle C-Python too (and possibly other languages with full XPCOM/DOM access), since we had an optional integration of that engine, courtesy Mark Hammond of Active State. But both the C-Python integration and the polyglot support in the CC got ripped out. Browsers cannot afford overhead, even mostly-dead (but still hazardous in the 0day sense) code.

(Updated to note that LiveConnect is long-gone too. Java is just a plugin.)

I suspect you still have not read Filip Pizlo's post at that lists.webkit.org link I left, or the paper it references. Please take more time to study problems before casting aspersions!


What aspersions? I've noted your opposition to Dart. You've explained that it has to do with memory management difficulties that seem intractable. I now understand this better, so I thank you. The world has moved on and now transpilers are coming into their own, so we do have real choice in the language we use in the browser, which as a programmer is all I want.


What aspersions? Let's start with your "Mozilla disliked Dart", full of personalizing words that obfuscate the objective arguments. Just the "dislike" usage is subjective and vague -- and inaccurate when applied to my comments on HN about Dart.

DartVM never had a chance, I told 'em so and gave concrete reasons why it didn't. Worse, the leaked DASH memo was arrogant and wrong in declaring that JS "cannot be fixed by evolving the language". Anders Hejlsberg gently pushed back against that bogus assertion in 2012:

https://channel9.msdn.com/Shows/Going+Deep/Anders-Hejlsberg-...

and events have proven him correct.

Read the leaked DASH memo if you haven't yet:

http://pastebin.com/NUMTTrKj

via

http://lambda-the-ultimate.org/node/4355

(Note that Mark Miller did not write this memo, he just accidentally posted it to a public Google Group thinking that group was private to Google employees.)

A lot of water under the bridge since 2010, and some of it had good effects for Dart users for sure, even with Dart now only a compile-to-JS language. But a lot was wasted. Dart could have used bignums (Dart `int` support) in ES6, for example, and this would have helped JS users too. The lack of it is a direct cost of focusing on DartVM at the expense of dart2js; see

https://github.com/dart-lang/sdk/issues/1533

You are right that I disliked the stinky politics and enormous question-begging on display in the DASH memo. (That's me disliking a set of bad arguments, not me disliking Dart.) It was a statement of intent, to fund a project because some people of note wanted to do that project, even if it wouldn't work cross-browser, and even if it imposed high opportunity cost to JS both in Chrome (the whole V8 team had to be reconstituted in Munich) and in Ecma TC39 (no one showed up to argue for better cross-compiling support in general).

WebAssembly should grow dynamic language support for Dart and languages like it, but that's years out. In the mean time, only JS as compile-from-Dart target is available. ES6 could have used the help.

It's fine for well-funded entities to waste money on boondoggles (well, not really, but I was not a shareholder, and Google is free to "experiment" for any reason it pleases). But I'm not obligated to praise a bogus justification when it leaks, or honor the two-faced way that JS was dealt with in the memo, and evident from the direct and opportunity costs of DartVM.


> That's me disliking a set of bad arguments, not me disliking Dart.

I stand corrected. Yes, I've read all the memos and watched all the videos, including this one when I knew Dart wasn't going to make it into Chrome for the first time. I knew it by Blink engineering lead Darin Fischer's reaction when asked about Dart [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlJob8K_OwE at 17:25] To me it looked like he laughed and sort of scoffed, then he and another member talked Dart down. Maybe it is a failing of mine to look at emotional content when considering issues, but doing so sometimes imparts useful information.

At one point I was passionate about Dart because I thought it hit the sweet spot between JavaScript and Java applets in the browser with optional typing and generics. It turns out TypeScript hit that spot well enough and Anders was right about that.

I understand your frustrations about opportunity costs and lost effort that could have gone into JavaScript, but there is another possibility -- and this is just my opinion, which I voiced at the time -- that the Dart team was more focused on Dart on the server as a Java replacement. This was at a time when Oracle's lawsuit with Google over the Java interfaces was a big question. I thought Dart might be a plan B on the server and why Dart2js was not getting the attention I thought it deserved.

The JavaScript output on the client was unreadable, very large and much of the disdain for Dart from JavaScript devs was for this reason (17000 lines for a "hello world" if I recall correctly - I am not a systems guy but isn't most of that the DartVM translated to JS. Couldn't it be compiled to asm.js and loaded ahead of time if so desired?)

I think we agree on most of this and I apologize. It wasn't my intention to offend you. Dart still has a chance if they can get the translator to ES6 to work, and I don't see why not, so I hope to use Dart when and where it makes sense.


Thanks for the reply and apols -- no hard feelings.

At least the new Dart compiler generates nice JS, and the future efforts on Dart and JS look more aligned. We still don't have a bignum champion in TC39, but we do have great SIMD championing from John McCutchan (who started it) and Daniel Ehrenberg of Google; Dan Gohman of Mozilla; Peter Jensen, et al., of Intel; and others at Microsoft whose names I'm not remembering. This leads to value types as an extension mechanism, so we should get bignums sooner or later.

On whether DartVM was justified as a hedge against Java going away on Google, I've heard that too, but both for Java on the Google server side and for Android Java, I have never seen any evidence to support this notion. I'd want to see an efficient AOT compiler from Java classfiles to Dart, for example. Another example: some convincing work on library/framework parity on the server side to go along with Dart's (very nice) DOM and client side libraries.

Perhaps such work was kept behind firewalls. If instead it was just a case of saying "oh, we may be able to use DartVM if things go south with Oracle", that velleity hardly counts as an intentional, operational Java replacement strategy.


>On this tangent about Dart, I'm happy that Chrome people prevailed

I'm not. We are sentenced for another 20+ yrs for lang with broken 'this' pointer


You might be interested in ES6’s arrow functions, which change the behaviour of this to something you might approve of (you didn’t specify how you thought it was broken):

http://tc39wiki.calculist.org/es6/arrow-functions/


yea there are many different tactics to tackle this issue - still default behaviour is confusing at best - bad design at worst.


Just because you don't understand the JavaScript this, doesn't mean it's broken. It behaves exactly the same way every time you use it... It refers to the object that called the function (unless, of course you or someone else overrode it).


just because I say 'this' is broken, it doesn't mean I don't understand how it works.

'this' in JS is misleading and confusing - IMHO it's broken design


Lots of languages, notably including Dart, compile to JS now. WebAssembly will support even more with high efficiency in the next year or two -- not in "20+ yrs".

Enough with pulling victim-faces! :-P.


> IMO, the choice of IndexedDB over WebSQL set the Web back 20 years.

Yep. I recognise that this may not have been a winnable fight, but I absolutely judge the people who were on the other side.

WebSQL was a much better tech than IndexedDB. Was the dependence on Sqlite problematic? Sure. But Mozilla had the resources to make a pretty good try at fixing it; instead they refused to even implement it and gave us the relatively terrible IndexedDB instead. Which, in turn, Apple has refused to implement[1], and now here we are. Thanks Moz[2].

(I'm less concerned about NaCL and Dart, because it's less clear to me that these were obviously superior technologies that obviously needed cross-browser adaption. You're certainly right that the pattern is suggestive though.)

[1]: Yeah, I know, they claim to have implemented it. Anyone who's tried to use their implementation will recognise this claim as a subtle joke. On us.

[2]: Their blog post justifying themselves[3] has not aged well. I especially love the bit where they say IndexedDB is better than WebSQL because it has better "developer aesthetics", as if anyone is actually casually coding against IndexedDB without using some sort of wrapper or compatibility layer. Or as if anyone actually likes the IndexedDB syntax and API.

[3]: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2010/06/beyond-html5-database-apis...


How would you fix WebSQL? Writing a from-scratch implementation of SQLite seems like the only option, and I don't think Mozilla had the resources for that at the time.

I agree the situation sucks, but I'm not sure how to fix it even today.


Like I said, I'm not sure this was a winnable fight. And yes, writing a good DB implementation from scratch is really, really hard. But...

First, keep in mind that lot of this decision was political; if Mozilla had lobbied for it a lot of fudging could have been done. Instead Mozilla made sure that a strict reading of the rules was used by which, yes, WebSQL clearly failed.

And no, Mozilla probably didn't have the resources to implement SQLite from scratch, but:

1. They could have worked with others. Apple, quite clearly, was much more invested in WebSQL than IndexedDB. Could they have contributed to a join effort? We'll never know.

2. In particular, the rule about needing two seperate implementations is good, but it could have been fudged here; a bigger problem was the lack of a spec beyond "whatever Sqlite does". Did Mozilla have the resources to clearly specify how a reference implementation should work, even if the only actual implementation remained Sqlite? Maybe. Would that have been enough? Arguably.

3. In the event, IndexedDB was not a real replacement for WebSQL; at most it was an important tool that could be used to build one, some day; a process that is still ongoing (eg, with PouchDB) and has no real end in site. Even if we lacked the resources to really bring WebSQL up to par and re-implement Sqlite from scratch, we apparently lack the resources to bring IndexedDB up to par too. If we're doomed to spend years struggling with broken implementations and poor browser support either way, what did we gain with IndexedDB?

Like I said, I don't know that there was a good solution to this. But I feel like Mozilla helped ensure we got a bad one.


I guess I just disagree that it would have been good for Mozilla to fudge the standardization rules.

The rule of having multiple implementations is an important one.

And it might have been possible - surely Google and Microsoft, who supported IndexedDB, had the resource to write an alternative implementation. I don't know the history enough to know why they didn't.


I think I'm more cynical about the process than you are. From my point of view, the process has been intensely political from day one, with rules honoured mainly in the breach.

The best retelling of events, I think, is this one: http://nolanlawson.com/2014/04/26/web-sql-database-in-memori...

Has some very good details. And it's certainly funny to see what was said during the discussion with how things turned out in practice.

Edit: I'd sum it up as "Google and Apple argue for a solution that will work on mobile; Mozilla and Oracle don't care about mobile, are weirdly obsessed with the idea that developers hate SQL, and use political manoeuvring to win the fight". (Oracle's role in this seems especially odd, but perhaps they had some longer term strategy in mind.) In any case, in retrospect ignoring mobile was a bad idea, and ditching SQL seems to have had no real benefit.


That's a very misleading summary. Mozilla is rather clear that they don't want to spec on a specific version of SQLite. The one thing that is weird is Mozilla saying that developers want "anything but SQL", which sounds like BS. But even if they were in agreement that SQL was great, the simple fact that there's no independent implementations of SQLite 3.6.whatever's SQL dialect is good enough reason to not make it a standard.

It does show the total need for a fast, JITable intermediate language, and the silliness in not having one from the start, or at least long, long ago.


> Mozilla is rather clear that they don't want to spec on a specific version of SQLite

Not entirely true either. From the link:

> Hixie has said before he’s willing to fully spec the SQL dialect used by [WebSQL]. But since Mozilla categorically refuses to implement the spec (apparently regardless of whether the SQL dialect is specified), he doesn’t want to put in the work since it would be a comparatively poor use of time.


It's clear in the email thread that the "spec" world just be codifying exactly what that version of SQLite did. It's not likely they'd pick an existing SQL dialect that's compatible with SQLite, or they'd be essentially limited to that version of SQLite. Result is that you'd end up with the same problem and things would not really be compatible.

Even in that article, the a dev says he's queried the SQLite version in order to detect which exact FT options are available.

The argument for it is basically "eh but it's handy", ignoring the idea of the Web.


You didn't quote Jonas' or roc's responses to that specific claim.


I didn't feel the need; it just brings the discussion back to my earlier comment upthread.

If you don't want to just use Sqlite (understandable), and you don't want to write something that is as good as Sqlite (also understandable), then you're going to have a crap database implementation. There's just not a lot of other options there. Jonas' comment just reiterates the lack of choices.

But given the three bad choices, the question does arise: Was IndexedDB really the best of a bad lot? In 2009, a lot of very optimistic things were said about IndexedDB performance, adoption, usage on mobile, developer acceptance. It's been 6 years, and I think it's safe to say that IndexedDB hasn't lived up to anyone's hopes.


Clearly it was dumb for people at Mozilla to take a bullet for Microsoft. But no matter -- I'm curious why you can't see past that and (also) hold Microsoft to account for rejecting WebSQL.


One thing I never understood is why there needed to be a second implementation of WebSQL. SQLite is public domain, any browser vendor can choose to embed it in what they ship.


It's a standards process requirement. A standard must have a well-written spec, well-written enough that multiple implementations are possible. Showing multiple implementations that are compatible is enough to prove that.

When there is just a single codebase, even if it is open source, it isn't a standard. Now, not everything needs to be a standard, but on the web standardization is a big part of why it is so successful.

One example of why a single codebase is bad: Imagine that SQLite version X is the implementation of WebSQL, which all browsers must use. SQLite development is of course continuing, fixing security issues and making it faster, etc. Will browsers just keep using SQLite past version X? What if the SQLite community takes SQLite in a direction that isn't optimal for web browsers? Perhaps web browsers will fork it. What if browsers end up not agreeing on the fork, and some use the original project, and others use the fork - or there are multiple forks?

All of that makes it very risky that compatibility issues will appear between browsers. Having a properly specced standard, with multiple compatible implementations, is so far the best way that we have found that can prevent such things.


More succinctly: SQLite version whatever is specified only by its C source code, and C is woefully underspecified. Lots of Undefind Behavior on top of the memory-unsafe codebase itself. This is not a specification from which two independently implemented interoperable implementations could be written. Ergo, not a standard.


NaCl and Dart aren't Web standards.


I agree. And neither is WebSQL. I was speaking to the "approach to Web Standards", not actual Web Standards. My point being that Moz used (IMO) conjecture and FUD to roadblock those technologies. No attempt on their part to experiment with those technologies and prove their value. In return, we've got instead IndexedDB over WebSQL (which many devs choose to wrap), asm.js over NaCl (which v8 team as shown doesn't require a special compiler mode to optimize for), and ES5/ES5.1/ES6/ES7 language bloat over Your-Choice-Of-JS-Successor language or actually fixing the issues with JS.


I don't think it's FUD at all. asm.js is legitimately a more practical approach to the problem than NaCl, which is tied to the Pepper API. You can go back to the conversations on the plugin-futures mailing list in which everybody except Google was in agreement as to what should have been done instead of PPAPI; Google went with PPAPI anyway, sealing NaCl's fate with regards to adoption. Nowadays, we have Web Assembly, which Google and Mozilla are both working on, and which combines the best of both worlds. As for ES language improvements, I don't see at all how extending the existing language constitutes "bloat" over having two incompatible VMs. It's strictly less bloat, because you don't throw more VMs into the browser.


"we've got instead IndexedDB over WebSQL (which many devs choose to wrap)"

It doesn't matter how developers choose to use IndexedDB, what does is for a Web standard to be sane and WebSQL never was. See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9978713

"asm.js over NaCl (which v8 team as shown doesn't require a special compiler mode to optimize for)"

I don't see how not requiring a special compiler is an argument against it.

"ES5/ES5.1/ES6/ES7 language bloat over Your-Choice-Of-JS-Successor language or actually fixing the issues with JS"

ES5/ES5.1/ES6/ES7 ARE efforts to fix issues with JS and mostly driven by Mozilla.


To add another example, I normally do JS using Node and there (and also in IE) you have a very useful function: setImmediate.

A few days ago, when doing some client-side JS I wanted to use it and I saw that it is not part of a standard, not only that, it has actually been REJECTED. It's really sad to see the development of the language crippled for a reason that basically boils down to "No, because it was proposed by Microsoft".


It's also disingenuous to call Mozilla a non-profit, given its wholly-owned for-profit subsidiary: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/about/governance/organizations. Used to be that mozilla.com was the homepage for the for-profit wing, but I see now that it just redirects to mozilla.org. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozilla doesn't mention the for-profit subsidiary either.

(I'm still a happy user of firefox. I just care about keeping them accountable.)


Technically for profit, but with no external shareholders to bow to, no stock options for employees, etc.

Don't be misguided by the administrative setup. Mozilla is earning money from partnerships, but the company goals are driven by the not-for-profit mission statement. It takes resources to stay in the game...


Exactly. It's a non-profit that owns a company. All proceeds go into the non-profit.


Agreed. The only time I've used Firefox's customize mode is to remove crap they keep insisting on putting in my toolbar. I think it's pretty clear that the only reason Mozilla is complaining about this is because they think it will hurt their bottom line.


It's absurd that you have to press on a button called 'Customize' (which is really scary sounding for non-experts) to get any privacy in Windows 10. If users are brave enough to press this button they get a list of nondescript options that barely explain what kind of data is sent to Microsoft.

Microsoft should show always show all the privacy options to users and they should explain the pros and cons for each setting. Explain them that Cortana won't work anymore if they don't enable something, but also explain them that the NSA will be getting all their keystrokes if they do enable it.

Here in Europe we are not protected by US law against the NSA (although there seem to be all sorts of loop holes in the US too), so we should expect here that all the data that Microsoft collects is directly sent to the NSA. It's unacceptable that they offer a one click 'share everything with the NSA'-button when there is no matching 'keep all my data private'-button.

But the absolute worst thing ever is that they seem to throw away old settings after some updates. So even when I make sure that my parents computers are properly protected against Microsoft or even the NSA spying on them, I still can't expect that they will stay that way in the future.


To be fair if your attacker is the NSA you're fucked no matter what MS does.

Most people need better security to protect them from the US companies slurping all their data.


If the NSA is a targeted attacker, then yes, the James Mickens "Mossad / Not Mossad Duality" applies. To paraphrase, "either your attacker is or is not the Mossad. If your attacker is not the Mossad, you can use strong passwords and avoid shady websites and you should be okay. If your attacker is the Mossad, there's nothing you can do and you are definitely going to die".

However, the average citizen is not a target of the NSA. They can tap all sorts of public infrastructure and record it, etc. But much of my activity is spread out over many networks, and is encrypted in ways that may still not be super-convenient for the NSA to constantly crack. The problem with these privacy settings is they're causing WAY more stuff to go over infrastructure easily targeted by the NSA than before.


>However, the average citizen is not a target of the NSA.

The average citizen is exactly the target of the NSA. Their goal is to own everybody and then figure out what to do afterwards.


Owning everyone is the very opposite of the definition of a targeted attack. My point is not allowing your data to be collected en masse is a reasonable precaution against mass surveillance.


NSA attacks most people. It's just selective about who it targets for special treatment after going through everyone's stuff.


I seriously doubt that even when people are protected by US law against the NSA, it doesn't have a significant effect on the NSA's behaviour. Because they're a government agency, they can pull the 'terrorism' / 'national security' / 'children' card pretty easily, and any serious challenge can be tied up in court for a long time while they continue doing what they're doing.


They already get all the data they want.


Meh.

Is this an ideal thing for MS to have done? Fuck, I dunno. Probably not, I guess?

But this isn't that bad; the hyperbolic title ("don't roll back the clock on choice!") makes this sound like something actually serious. Or major. Or permanent. It would be the right headline to protest MS making it impossible to use a third party browser, or at least impossible to change the default browser. Instead it's being used to protest...some options being reset when you upgrade your OS? Because heaven knows I've never lost any settings upgrading my OS before...

Plus, Mozilla is...mmm. Not my first choice for an organisation to be leading this charge; they've done too much shady shit lately. I have a feeling that Mozilla may be badly overestimating how much goodwill they have among developers right now.


Right. So if you want to be worried about something --serious-- be worried about this https://edri.org/microsofts-new-small-print-how-your-persona...


This sounds like paranoid cherry picking, at best. Nearly all of these "worrying issues" are the default behavior of every mobile Android and iOS device on the market.

Specifically, the sync and Cortana portions are complete non-issues. For example, you need to provide all of that information for a service like Cortana, or Google Now, or Siri to even function properly. And you will find nearly identical verbiage in the Android and iOS user agreements, allowing them to access, transfer, and use your data.

Yet, I don't see any of this righteous indignation about the non-Microsoft services.


I was pretty surprised when I installed Windows 10 and it changed to another default for my web browser. Even worse was it didn't reset the "do you want me as the default" in all of the other web browsers so I had to go and manually change settings.

Microsoft Edge is pretty nice especially compared to IE but this default to Edge should have only occurred if your current default is IE.


To be fair, they reset all defaults. For images, video, everything.

Google Chrome pops up a bar that takes you directly to the settings. It's literally two clicks to change it back.

Microsoft should have preserved the defaults, but I think Google's solution is preferable to a complaint letter.


How is that fair? Note that this isn't a technical choice (you can preserve the previous defaults, that's just a well-hidden non-default option during the upgrade process) - it's using your monopoly position to make life hard on other software manufacturers.

How reasonable would it be if a chrome install had a light-grey disabled-looking customize word hidden amongst a wall of text that if you didn't find and click it would replace windows with chrome os?

This sounds like a power-grab.


> To be fair, they reset all defaults. For images, video, everything.

For what it's worth I'm not a fan of upgrades working that way. Granted I could see where that is ideal but web browsers not so much.

> Google Chrome pops up a bar that takes you directly to the settings. It's literally two clicks to change it back.

See, Google Chrome never popped up a bar for me. I had to go into the Chrome settings which took me into the Windows 10 settings where I could then change the default app. I wonder why I didn't get that bar.


> To be fair, they reset all defaults. For images, video, everything.

Oh god. Kubuntu's KDE4->KDE5 transition did that to me. I really don't want to go through that again on my video game machine. :(

I guess I'll wait a month or so to see if MSFT changes their mind about the value of their "Replace the user's preferences with our defaults." position.


It asked me. You just have to choose to customise your settings.


I actually think Microsoft's change is better in regards to user choice. Either way, it still seems simple to me to change the default web browser in Windows 10. Here's a gif I made showing another way to change the default web browser to Firefox: http://i.imgur.com/FbdcfL3.gif (In the gif, both Cortana and Bing search is disabled, only standard Windows Search is used)

Also, it's kind of embarrassing that Mozilla's official video for this shows an unactivated version of Windows 10.


> Also, it's kind of embarrassing that Mozilla's official video for this shows an unactivated version of Windows 10.

All pre-release builds of Windows 10 have that watermark. Why is that embarrassing?

Edit: I stand corrected; there is an "Activate Windows" watermark distinct from the build identifier, which was added in the later preview builds. There was a window of time where new VMs couldn't be activated, since the Preview keys had been killed but the final release was not yet available. Looks like we recorded this on a fresh VM running a preview build, which can't be activated. Oh well.

Cite: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider/forum/insider_win...


Um, no. Not all pre-release builds of Windows 10 have that watermark. I'm talking about the "Activate Windows" message. Also, the final version of Windows 10 has been released (and the video was recorded after the final version was released), so no reason to use a pre-release version of Windows in the video.


I don't get why you got downvoted, it's indeed not looking really serious to realese a video with this kind of watermark. Sure, well, whatever. I think the whatever has became the new moto at Mozilla.


Is the anti-trust monitoring still ongoing at Microsoft? This seems like something they'd be interested in.


No, the oversight seems to have ceased in 2012.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft_Cor....


Microsoft has a new browser they'd like people to load up and try out. I don't see the problem with making it the default browser in a free major upgrade of the OS. Small price to pay. I'm not suprised Microsoft ignored his complaints.


Total aside -- Interesting how Satya Nadella doesn't seem to have the recognition yet to stand alone, but calling him "Microsoft's CEO" is the most descriptive way to identify him for the purposes of this writing.


Probably because this is directed at Microsoft in general instead of saying Satya Nadella was directly responsible for the changes.


What if that default browser was IE and they're obviously trying to get people off of that because it's now legacy?

Should they only change the default browser to edge if it was IE before?

Doesn't seem fair to them...


> Should they only change the default browser to edge if it was IE before?

There is a plausible argument for doing so in that case if Edge is a same-vendor, intended-replacement for IE.

> Doesn't seem fair to them...

How is it not fair to them that they should only their own bundled software as a replacement for bundled software from earlier versions of Windows, and not for third-party software that the user had to deliberately choose to replace their bundled software with? What possible conception of fairness could their be where this claim even makes sense?


It would be fair to them because it would switch the customer from one Microsoft browser to another Microsoft browser which benefits both Microsoft and the customer. Rather than switching the customer from the browser of their choice to one of Microsoft's choice, which only benefits Microsoft.


One of the forced updates in W10 disabled overclocking of g3258 on chipsets not blessed by Intel.

http://forum.asrock.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=441&title=kb3064...

You have a choice of bios that lets you overclock but W10 will only work on one core, or bios that takes away overclocking and works with forced patch. At least with W7/8 you can block this particular update.


The core of this all is defaults. If somebody makes an experience with defaults that benefit themselves, that feels like America to be for better or worse. The important part, the crucial part is that they remain choices. While we could and do fight for a web with defaults that don't mean profits to big companies, shouldn't we also work to ensure that we have choices in the first place? When picking a platform are there choices you don't get to make?


[deleted]


I'm not sure you completely understand what all this is about. It's not about whether Windows 10 is any good, its about the default privacy and browser settings.

I really (really) like Windows 10, but it really annoyed me that the same privacy settings that Windows 8 defaulted to "off" were suddenly defaulted to "on" in Windows 10.


Overriding browser choices, ridiculous privacy defaults...

I see a nine-digit fine by the EU in Microsoft's not so distant future.


Love the hubris in using the CEO's first name.


It's quite common in US to refer to people by their first name perhaps an attribute of low context culture. I particularly like it having come from a high context culture as it reduces friction and gives people the confidence to voice their opinions irrespective of their social strata.


I'm guessing Chris knows Satya on some personal level.


Maybe. And I get that as CEO's they can be regarded as peers, but if you're going to call this a "letter", I think it would have been better to use either full name (which is how it's signed BTW), or Mr.


This is not some random guy but another CEO.


Who used HIS full name in the signature. At the very least he should have use MS CEO's full name.


Usually people use their full name in signatures. Still don't see what the issue is.


I confess that I use this same pattern frequently for work emails outside the company. Inside the company, I only sign with my given name.

[GivenName],

[Body]

[Closing],

[FullName]


The article mentions the difficulty of preserving or changing the privacy settings in Windows.

Ironically if you want to prevent Firefox to "phone home", you will have performs many obscure tasks:

https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/privacy/firefox/

Some of those require changing the internals of Firefox: about:config.

I wish Firefox would just have a big red button, Disable All, instead or requiring me to preform all the tasks listed in the link, when I install Firefox. Or even better, make those choices opt-in, instead of opt-out.


I just installed IE, I clicked on a URL in an email, I was asked which browser I wanted to use.

IE was on top, but I do not remember what my previous default was. I was however asked to choose.

I am not sure what other user experiences exist around this.


When I upgraded my default changed from Chrome to Edge. When I clicked on my first URL, also in an email, it did not give me any choices which was kinda frustrating. Opening Chrome also didn't give me the whole "Chrome is not your default; do you want it to be?" dialog.


When I upgraded it gave me a page showing me the new defaults it was about to apply, and gave me the option to skip it and keep what I was using before.

Went with the latter option and indeed, it's still all MPC-HC, foobar2000 and Opera.

Maybe it's because I was upgrading from 8 you were upgrading from 7? I recall some changes to how defaults were handled between them.


> Maybe it's because I was upgrading from 8 you were upgrading from 7? I recall some changes to how defaults were handled between them.

Nope, upgraded from Windows 8.1. Not sure why I had a difference experience than you. I even went through the customize screens.


Which edition do you have? Windows 8, Pro, Enterprise, or RT?

I did the upgrade with Win 8.1 Pro and the choice to reset default program options was pretty clear.


Windows 8.1...home? I forget what they called non-pro.


Hmm, interesting, I was doing an upgrade from 8.

I wonder if Windows 10 doesn't support reading off whatever structure is used for defaults in Win7.


Go to settings. There is an entire section to set all your default apps.


Oh I'm aware as that's where I had to change it (chrome didn't give me a "make default" button which makes me wonder if that's not possible in Windows 10).


It's not possible. Microsoft intentionally removed the API that allowed web browsers to offer that option in Windows 10.


Out of interest, how does Win 10 compare with Mac OSX in terms of being able to install and change default browser? Given Apple's penchant for lock down, I'd expect it's much the same as Windows?


OSX has always worked as Windows 8.1 and below did with browsers - the browser pops up and asks if it can be the default and you say either "yes" or "leave me alone."

Windows 10 has made that a multi-step process, where the browser now bounces you to the control panel where you have to find the default browser section and make your choice.


Doesn't Firefox make a dozen HTTP requests the first time you open it? And have ads on the start page? And have the only modern browser without a sandbox? This emperor has no clothes.


Wow, I learned nothing from reading this letter. Note to CEO, if you want people to read your letters, actually have some content, not just your feelings on something vague.


Mozilla Firefox ships as the default browser with almost every Linux distro. Why is this not a problem? Is that hypocrisy really lost on everyone but me?


I can't use Firefox on my Chromebook unless i switch to dev mode and use crouton. That said, i enjoy Firefox and the Windows 7 PC at work


"Before you start pointing fingers, make sure you hands are clean!"


TL;DR Mozilla is complaining because MS is changing default browser to EDGE


No, that's not what they're complaining about. For people on computers that have had the default actively and specifically changed to some other browser, e.g. Lynx (for a blind person maybe), upgrading that computer to Windows 10 will reset it back to a Microsoft browser, with no regard for your existing choices.


linux, problem solved.


I am writing to you about a very disturbing aspect of Firefox 38.0.5. Specifically, that the update experience appears to have been designed to throw away the choice your customers have made about the Internet experience they want, and replace it with the Internet experience Mozilla wants them to have.

When we first saw the Firefox upgrade experience that strips users of their choice by effectively overriding existing user preferences for the search engine and other apps, and forces the integration of Pocket and Sync, we reached out to your team to discuss this issue. Unfortunately, it didn’t result in any meaningful progress, hence this letter.

We appreciate that it’s still technically possible to preserve people’s previous settings and defaults, but the design of the whole upgrade experience and the default settings APIs have been changed to make this less obvious and more difficult. It now takes more than twice the number of mouse clicks, scrolling through content and some technical sophistication for people to reassert the choices they had previously made in earlier versions of Firefox. It’s confusing, hard to navigate and easy to get lost.

Sometimes we see great progress, where consumer products respect individuals and their choices. However, with the launch of Firefox 38.0.5 we are deeply disappointed to see Mozilla take such a dramatic step backwards.

These changes are unsettling because there are millions of users who love Firefox and who are having their choices ignored, and because of the increased complexity put into everyone’s way if and when they choose to make a choice different than what Mozilla prefers.

We strongly urge you to reconsider your business tactic here and again respect people’s right to choice and control of their online experience by making it easier, more obvious and intuitive for people to maintain the choices they have already made through the upgrade experience. It should be easier for people to assert new choices and preferences, not just for other Mozilla products, through the default settings APIs and user interfaces.

Please give your users the choice and control they deserve in Firefox.


It's sad how true this is.

I still fondly remeber the days of Firefox 2.5. IMO the best browser ever. It feels like Mozilla is trying to shove more shit down my throat with every update.

I'm by no means trying to defend Microsoft here. I installed Win10 yesterday, and they replaced my FF default with Microsoft Edge (which is arguably better than IE, but still not something I'd use voluntarily).

Why can't Mozilla ship their bloat as default-addons so I can at least easily remove all code associated with them. Revisiting about:config after every update gets really annoying. At this point the only thing mozilla has going for them is that all alternatives are worse.


Mozilla did agree, following the criticism on Pocket, that shipping new things like Pocket should be done as addons, and would do the work to fix that.


Hmm, I posted a "Citation needed" and got downvoted, but I really would be interested to read if this is true. I kept up with the threads on the mailing list for a long time and never saw any such promise (there was talk about "future integrations" but nothing about changing their stance on Pocket, or anything concrete about genericizing the interface Pocket uses other than it would be nice at some point).

Most of those things also came with the caveat that the person posting was not involved, so if you have a link to someone authoritatively saying this, I'd like to read it.

edit: courtesy of zz1: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Go_Faster


Pocket is not only piece shoved down user's throats - just one of the most obvious ones. There are also at least Hello and Sync, and then lots of less noticeable stuff.


Citation needed.



Ah, an actual response. Much appreciated. That does seem to address the concerns and at first glance seems to me like a better solution than any of the ones I had seen proposed.



Reacting to backlash isn't an argument.

Why would you (or anyone) downvote me for criticising things like integrating a social API[0] into the browser?

If you feel like downvoting opinions you don't like, by all means go ahead, I'm just not sure if that's the way to have a meaningful discussion. Pocket never bothered me because, honestly, I never saw it. But yes I dislike it's integration. Still no reason to reduce this to the "Pocket indicent" I never realized was a thing until I've read about it.

I still use Firefox.

[0] https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/Projects/So...


"Reacting to backlash," a.k.a. admitting they made a mistake and agreeing to roll it back, is normally exactly what you want people to do when you criticize them.

Otherwise, what's the point of the criticism? Just to make yourself feel good?


The problem is judging between an honest misstep and someone constantly pushing the boundaries to see where they can go without people yelling. A lot of it has to do with the difference between crossing the boundary in that particular case and crossing the boundary in general. To further complicate matters, much innovation results from crossing certain boundaries, meaning that pushing on the wrong boundaries may be the result of an incorrect direction for innovation, and thus resulting criticism may be directed not just at the misstep but as at the direction of innovation.


Wait, they make a pretty bad move, people complain (rightly so), they go back on said move in response to that feedback and "Reacting to backlash isn't an argument"? Or am I reading your point incorrectly?


The point is that Mozilla ignored their published principles ( 'The Manifesto' ), and also their stated testing and release processes, in order to shove Pocket out the door and into peoples' faces.

Basically they trampled on everything for which Mozilla stood.

In those circumstances merely reacting to backlash is insufficient. Heads should have rolled and assurances been given that they would alway uphold their principles regardless of 'brand benefit' or 'user acquisition'.

Was anyone demoted, reassigned or dismissed? No, just some PR lacquer slapped over the issue.


IIRC they were testing a new API, and didn't want add-on developers to start writing against said API until they'd finalised it, so they didn't expose it. Pocket was the test-case, and once they were done testing they'd expose the API and pocket would be easily removable.

Not that that changes the fact that pocket is stuck there right now, and we have no easy way to remove it.


> The point is that Mozilla ignored their published principles ( 'The Manifesto' ), and also their stated testing and release processes, in order to shove Pocket out the door and into peoples' faces.

> Basically they trampled on everything for which Mozilla stood.

What on Earth are you talking about? It's a few kB of code that provided a feature that users were asking for. If you don't want to use it, don't.


I didn't downvote you.

I agree that downvotes are not conducive to a discussion.


Sorry, I guess I was just frustrated, didn't mean to jump to conclusions. Leaving my original comment for reference.


Can you give some concrete examples?

> Why can't Mozilla ship their bloat

If you mean pocket/hello/etc, none of that actually loads unless you click the button. The only "bloat" is taking up a few extra kB of disk space and a few seconds of your time clearing out the toolbar. Yes, it was a mistake. Yes, they should be add-ons. But many users like and want the features, and it's a balancing act between the minimalists and the feature-users.

I fall on the minimalist side, and I removed those toolbar items immediately. But I'm not angry at Mozilla for trying to provide what many of their users said they wanted.


Your sarcasm is entertaining, but the big difference is that while neither company/product is perfect, Microsoft still essentially owns the desktop with Windows. While Mozilla's Firefox is just one among several choices of web browser, currently #3 in the rankings.

It is extremely easy to switch web browser. It is not easy to switch OS. On a Windows machine, if you are savvy enough, you can install Linux, but otherwise, you need to buy a Mac in order to avoid Windows. And you need to learn a lot in order to drop Windows (easy for us here on HN, hard for 99% of people).

It's fine if you dislike some of Mozilla's decisions with Firefox. People have complained and in fact Mozilla has changed some decisions following that criticism. But the situation is just not comparable to Microsoft with Windows.

For that reason, I don't see a point to diverting the conversation. The topic here is Windows 10.


>Microsoft still essentially owns the desktop with Windows

So what? That doesn't mean they are obliged to comply with whatever you think is "the right thing"®.

I'm gonna highlight another another big difference that you seemed to overlook.

Microsoft is a company, their mission is to generate profits for their shareholders and they are the owners of Windows 10, because they developed it. Mozilla is a non-profit corporation whose main product, Firefox, is software that has been developed and tested (to a big extent) by people who do not get paid a single cent, because they have faith in the project and the overall mission that Mozilla attempts to portrait.

Now, I really want to understand your side, please explain, how come what Microsoft did with Windows was wrong but what Mozilla did with Firefox was ok?

Edit: Downvotes, but no arguments, as expected.


I actually didn't say that what Microsoft did was wrong. It's a complex issue, and you can see multiple points of view in the HN discussion here.

I am not convinced that what Microsoft did was wrong, or that it wasn't wrong.

I am just sad to see people try to divert the conversation from the topic of Microsoft and Windows 10.


So what? That doesn't mean they are obliged to comply with whatever you think is "the right thing"®.

Yes they are. Those who own one or another monopoly-type chokepoints are required to do the right thing in the sense of not abusing their monopolies. ISP are required to connect you to the real internet rather than a walled-garden simulation, Airline are required to not to hold their passengers ransom for more at intermediate point in travel, Healthcare companies are required to provide real health care etc.


Yes, and is Apple required to open their platform to porn apps ?

This is USA where private property rights are supposedly important despite government's attempts in other direction.


The "they can do what ever they want with their private property" argument doesn't matter. This isn't about what they can do, it's about what should be done.

No nothing should be required of these organisations. But their products serve humanity. They SHOULD have a sense of moral obligation to do the right thing. As should we the people have the responsibility to hold private monopolies to high standards so as that they help most people (not just shareholders).


Apple controls a negligible portion of the desktop market. Microsoft absolutely dominates. Anti-trust is about protecting the free market from natural monopolies, and Apple is by no means a monopoly. A walled garden? Absolutely. But not a monopoly.


> is Apple required to open their platform to porn apps ?

If they reached the same percentage numbers on mobile that Microsoft has on desktop, yes they would be.


How about this: It was wrong for Microsoft, and it was wrong for Mozilla. But it's worse when it's Microsoft, because it's easier to move to a different browser than to move to a different OS, and so it's harder to escape Microsoft's attempts to force you to do what they want you to.

Also, Microsoft has much more of a history of deliberately doing this to people, and so the suspicion is higher with Microsoft. Mozilla might get the benefit of the doubt; Microsoft does not.


Is it harder to move to a different browser in Windows 10? I feel like you keep emphasizing how easy it is to change your browser and yet are still registering a complaint. I'm not sure what you are complaining about.


I think it is much more difficult to switch to a different default browser in Windows 10.

With Chrome at least, you used be be able to set it to your default browser when is asked on first launch, with only a click or two.

Now that API is deprecated and removed, and users have to click 11 times through the settings to set the default browser. Much worse. And this is after it sneakily sets Edge as the default browser when upgrading, with only a small blue on blue "customize" link to a unlabeled setting to opt out.


First, you may be confusing me with another poster; I don't feel like your comment reflects my other posts on this article. I don't "keep emphasizing" how easy it is to change your browser.

I don't know if it's harder or easier to move to a different browser in Windows 10. I presume it's about the same, but it may be harder. I don't think that alters my point whatsoever.

My complaint is that Microsoft is making it difficult for users to do what the users want, if that's different from what Microsoft wants them to do. My position is that it's significantly worse when the OS does that to you than when an application - any application - does that, because it's much harder to switch OS than to switch an application. (If you're a large business, your ERP or, worse, database, may be the exception to this, but those aren't really the topic of this thread.)


It's quite a bit more difficult. Last week I set a Windows 8 PC to use Chrome as the default; this was simple, two clicks and you're done. Now, it dumps you to a settings page which is a significant increase in steps required to set Chrome as the default. Those are the facts of this, however one can certainly make arguments as to why this is a better way of doing things for Windows.


According to Mozilla's video, it seems to take three clicks now, instead of two...

How to Change Your Default Browser in Windows 10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEUekKqLJ-E

However, the benefit for the user is that there's a consistent process and all the defaults are in one place.


I read a summary of the results of a user research team checking whether end-users managed to actually set a different default browser on Windows 10.

Outside of the "power users" group, I seem to remember that not a single user succeeded.


Ah .. well there's that related Antitrust Lawsuit Microsoft lost in 2001.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft_Cor....


Finally someone who talks sense.

Microsoft could as well ban Firefox on their OS if they want to. Reality is that with Google Chrome, Mozilla has become completely irrelevant and will eventually die out.

They can innovate but they chose to fire their CEO over some petty reasons and they are building some phone which has not seen light of the day for years.


Mozilla is becoming irrelevant in modern market and their response seems to be to blame others. I had guessed it when they fired their CEO over some ridiculous issue.

Windows is bigger does not mean they have any obligation to give space to others. Does Apple let you install YouPorn App on your iphone ? Does Google let you replace default search with Bing if you want ?

Both Android and iOS are immensely successful and both are on tight leash of Apple and Google. The reality is that, that tight leash has made user experience much much better. My father likes to surf net on his Android phone because his laptop is full of Ask and Conduit toolbars and he has no idea how they go there.

The world of Internet is now enough complex that it pays to let one company keep everything on tight leash and Microsoft's move in that direction makes a lot of sense.


> Does Google let you replace default search with Bing if you want ?

Why yes, they do. If you want, you can even replace Google Now with Firefox search (using Yahoo by default, unless you change it).


Apple is very far from a market leader, they have something like 20% of the smartphone market, it's maybe the most profitable 20% chunk but it's still 20%. When you have a near-monopoly on a market, you have some obligations regarding the competition that you would not have normally.


I'm a Firefox dev (but speaking only for myself). I believe that most people inside Mozilla agree that a number of choices made recently by Mozilla were pretty bad. And these "most people" includes the team who is now in charge of product development at Mozilla, and wasn't in that position at the time of, say, Hello or Pocket.

We are making changes. I hope that the community will see the changes soon. Now, as usual, not everybody will be happy. Part of it is that we're a relatively small team trying to fight giants. Part of it is that yes, we will keep experimenting, and that means making mistakes. And part of it is because Firefox lives in the world of https://xkcd.com/1172/, which exacerbates the previous two points.

But still, I hope that most people will appreciate the stuff we're working on – and I'm not just talking of code.

Caveat: Again, I'm speaking only for myself.


Your reply inspired me to make another donation to Mozilla.

EDIT: The donation page fooled me. After putting in a credit card, there is a step called 'personal.' It is not. It is the billing address for the card. I put in personal info and was rejected. I put in billing address and it went through. (Company card)

The rule for us little guys applies to big guys too: Re-inventing UI makes it harder for your customer, at least initially. Please don't do it unless there is a very good reason.



yes, thank you.



confessed ^^


How about adding features back to customize the browing experience? Mozilla was always about built inside customizations.

Stop copying Chrome! Because of your actions i am using now Vivaldi! But... If you ever decide to support power users again with something which does NOT require add-on installation and includes more advanced UI customization, i MAY be perhaps reconsidering my decision.

But not one single minute earlier!

Btw. I even know some professionals who are running PC shops who have abandoned Firefox and are refusing to install it on client's computers! Because of Australis, because of Pocket, Chat, Social Media, DRM, handling of the Brendan Eich case!

Please.... bring at least back the option to combine address bar and tabs! or an optional add-on bar.

But most important, stop copying Chrome and stop only serving the simple users. Because in the end it has been the advertising and support of Power users which did push you to the heights during Firefox versions 20-24! This group earns to get back a certain respect from you, and right now you are constantly asskicking that user group for no real sense making reason!

Time to abandon your recent minimalist and design centered way of thinking and time to go back to your roots... to a more customizable and unique experience which you served the user base in the past.

Mozilla right now is on a very terrible road. If you do not want it to become even more terrible, you really have to go back a big part of the way!


Cute, but Firefox doesn't revert you to defaults and having a button that does nothing but offer a signup is not 'forced integration'. You may not be able to delete it but it doesn't do anything whatsoever by default.


> Firefox doesn't revert you to defaults

You mean besides that time Firefox reverted everyone's search engine to Yahoo?


It only switched your search engine if you'd never changed from the original default (Google). If you had ever switched the search box to use a different engine, FF continued to respect that.


But why would I change it if I wanted Google, which incidentally is, I'm sure, what most people want? Leaving the default can be as much a choice as changing it.

(I'm on Mozilla's side in this discussion, but that particular move was terrible, even if not too consequential, in my opinion.)


Not changing from the default is as much a choice as changing to something else. They shouldn't have changed it for updates, but for new installs.


Unless you do the "refresh firefox" thing that shows up every time you have 5 addons installed.

The above experience is on the developer edition of firefox, as I haven't tried it on the normal stable release.


I had to deal with friends that were suddenly on yahoo and they didn't know why. So for a lot of people it was swapped out even if it was an accident.


I think Firefox sets itself as the default when you upgrade it and choose default settings.


I meant the search engine thing.

It's pretty normal for a program installer to set itself to handle files.


So then what's wrong when an OS does it?


The OS does set itself to do OS things.

OS shouldn't set your browser.


It's one of the option during the first experience configuration of Windows 10. If you had another browser installed, one of the toggle is : do you want to use Edge as default browser. Hopefully, people that feel that strongly about their browser choice don't just use "Express settings" when installing a whole operating system.


The OS update installs a new browser, which then sets itself as default.


When it's installed automatically it doesn't have the same intent behind it that justifies changing the setting.


Windows isn't installed automatically.

Let me lay out the analogy more explicitly. I install Firefox, and specifically choose for it not to be my default. I later download an updated version and choose default settings in the installation. Firefox then sets itself as the default browser; it overwrites my previous choice in favor of the default.

I install Windows. I specifically don't set explorer as the default. I install an updated version of Windows and choose default settings. Windows overrides my previous choice.


Right, neither should be doing that in the case of an update. Firefox when updated in the normal manner doesn't make itself the primary browser. Windows 10 is behaving badly.

Firefox will only change things if you specifically get a Firefox installer, where it thinking that's your intent is understandable.


I don't care about Mozilla or Firefox. I used to, but not anymore. Two reasons why.

First, copying Chrome's UI.

Second, forcing Brendan Eich out.

These days Mozilla comes across as a bunch of whiners and activists rather than a technology company. Maybe Rust will be successful but I don't want to be part of an ecosystem where straight talking and free thought is banned. Do you want to submit a pull request and be told not to use gendered pronouns or avoid using certain words because it makes people feel unsafe? That's the kind of world Mozilla occupies.


> Do you want to submit a pull request and be told not to use gendered pronouns or avoid using certain words because it makes people feel unsafe?

Is that really true? Can you give an example of that?


    > avoid using certain words because it makes people feel
    > unsafe
Which words do you think should be appropriate for a non-profit software organization which Mozilla don't think are?


Referring to Node.js pronoun drama which led to one key developer being virtually "fired" by Joyent and forced out of a project.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6845286


Of course he can't, because he's talking out his ass.


Let's see how you feel about your boss when he donates $10,000 to declare that you are inhuman scum, then refuses to apologize when called on it.


How do you get from a personal donation to a state-wide proposition, to "inhuman scum"?


Did you pay attention to the Prop 8 campaigners? They were and remain jaw-droppingly disgusting people.

> Early on, Prop 8’s supporters decided to focus their campaign primarily on children, stoking parents’ fears about gay people brainwashing their kids with pro-gay messages or, implicitly, turning their children gay.

> Another notorious commercial shows an earnest school administrator fretting that a “new health curriculum” that mentions gay marriage will “mess up” children with reference to “gay attraction.”

> In perhaps the most insulting ad, two gay fathers are quizzed about marriage and reproduction by their daughter; the takeaway, of course, is that this faux-family is twisting the mind and morals of their child with perverse ideas about marriage and love.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/04/04/brendan_eich_s...

(Also it appears I got the donation amount wrong, it was $1,000, not $10,000.)


You got a lot wrong.


Go on.


You seem to like comics that summarize one side of the story. Here's the other side:

http://adam4d.com/whos-the-bigot


Don't try to pretend the Prop 8 campaign was some reasonable, thoughtful discussion of the impacts of gay marriage on society. Prop 8 was a campaign of hate directed against a historically maligned minority, designed to prevent that group from gaining acceptance. The ads implied crazy off-the-wall shit like recruitment of children (read between the lines: homosexuals are pedophiles) and that somehow children being told that homosexuality is OK is a horrible thing.


No one implied any such thing, but you will read that into any ad defending parental rights to educate small children. There's no point in arguing if your premise is anyone who does not agree with you is a hateful bigot. Hence the comic, hope you enjoyed it!


So, I was right to begin with: Eich unapologetically contributed material support to a campaign of hate against many of his own employees, and it's entirely justified for such a person to be ousted from a leadership position in a company that doesn't wish to lose many of its gay and gay-friendly employees.


Your circular argument did not move my LGBT supporters at Mozilla, or negate my record of good conduct and relations over the years with all non-Jacobins.

And of course Mozilla did not fire me because of anything like your bigoted imputation of "hate". Such noise amounted to a non-issue.

Being in an echo chamber is not good for one's hearing. Step outside and listen.


(If you are Eich, I apologize for the awkward third-person conversation. I don't have any proof of your identity and I don't want to attribute anything said here to him without it.)

A non-issue? Literally every article I can find about the resignation is backed by a discussion about Eich's anti-gay stance. The position at CEO lasted roughly a week before the resignation. OKCupid put up a big anti-Mozilla notice as a result of the appointment; I have a hard time describing that as "good relations." Unless you're willing to put forward some new insider information, it's really hard to believe that such noise was not a factor, if not THE factor, in the resignation.

Why did Eich resign after a week if not for the outrage at his anti-gay stance?

> your bigoted imputation of "hate"

Lol


As has been mentioned elsewhere, only about 10 or so people in entire Mozilla organisation opposed Eich. He was near-universally supported. Nobody on the Mozilla board cited Eich's politics as an issue. (This didn't stop false news stories about how board members had stepped down in protest of Eich's politics.)


Read my HN comments to authenticate my id.

You're doing it again: equating pro-traditional-marriage with anti-gay with hate. The last bogus inference is the one that I called a non-issue.


You're right, I am equating those, because they are all equal. Whatever label you put on it, opposition to same-sex marriage makes the statement that you believe that love between same-sex couples is inferior to that between opposite-sex couples; that you need to ensure your children grow up to have that same belief; that homosexuals are something to disapprove of, something to fear; that you have a deep fear of your child turning out to be homosexual. Whether or not you come out and say those statements (and many of your "traditionalist" colleagues are not afraid to say them outright), all of those statements are clearly implied and wildly hurtful to homosexual individuals, and their friends and family.

This is why you saw such a violent reaction to your being placed as CEO. The fact that you didn't last a week means that you and the Mozilla board are so blind to the harm that your positions inflict on your own employees and their friends and family that the appointment itself was taken as an insult, and this is ignoring your continued refusal to see the harm that you are doing. And I say this as a huge Mozilla fan (see my comments elsewhere in this thread).

You made it clear that you will use a position of power, in this case money, to put down and insult those who work under you. Why should anyone have to put up with that? Mozilla employees are lucky to live in a time and industry when they could express their disapproval and have it acted upon in a positive way. I feel for others who are in less fortunate positions.


I find the arguments made on this page to be skeevy and dehumanizing to those that fall outside gender norms, but I'm posting it so to save you from wasting anymore electrons back and forth:

http://discussingmarriage.org/

Those are the "best" and least bigoted arguments that the "con-" side can muster.


Mozilla Corporation employees did not express disapproval while I was still CEO, and nothing from employees resulted in me leaving. When I had to tell key LGBT supporters I was resigning, they were aghast and asked me not to step down (from CEO; this was before it was clear that I was resigning from Mozilla).

You're still in that echo chamber. I can get some sounds in, but they're distorted and attenuated. Here's one loud clue: marriage as a legally regulated institution has nothing to do with "love", or (contra Kennedy for the majority) "self expression". If that were all that's involved in marriage, it should not be subject to state coercion at all.

I'll leave it at that, and thank rmxt for dropping a link.


All right. Keep hurting people for no reason, I guess. I hope it at least makes you happy, so someone is benefitting from the needless harm.


Who was hurt by law?

Remember, CA had its equivalent version of statutory marriage, called civil unions in other jurisdictions and called Domestic Partner law in CA.

Mark Leno among others said D.P. law was good enough, both when it passed and as amended. I agreed eventually, and stood firm. Fat lot of good that did me.


LGBT youth are twice as likely as hetero students to attempt suicide. http://www.cdc.gov/lgbthealth/youth.htm

Members of the LGBT community are about 150% as likely as heteros to smoke. http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/groups/lgbt.html

Without access to marriage and the rights it brings, children of same-sex couples had to go through legal ordeals, facing orphanage, if their biological parent dies despite another (now single) parent being available.

Other marriage benefits, especially hospital visitation and rights after a partner's death, weren't conferred to partners as they weren't legally recognized.

Civil unions were obviously at best a stepping stone. "Separate but equal" does not have a good history in this country.

You've heard these arguments before,

> Fat lot of good that did me.

so tell us. How have you been harmed by gay marriage's legalization?

In what way does your objection to your employees' having rights not disqualify you from the CEO position?


Way to mix up unrelated issues there!

I agree on empirical suicide risks for people outside various norms. Prop 8 and marriage as regulated by law had ~zero to do with that. Canada and The Netherlands provide a decade+ data showing how little correlation. Look into it before spouting off to me.

Other marriage benefits, indeed all the ones also granted by the state of California to Domestic Partners, are not material. There are non-sexual relationships among long-term (grand-) mother/daughter and friendship-based dyads who deserved those positive rights. Shame on the majority in past decades for yoking these to marriage, but they also do not argue in the least for redefining marriage from its heteronormative (cis- or trans-, note well) basis.

You like to argue post-hoc about "a stepping stone", but that's not forthright. At the time, from Mark Leno et al., there was no such talk. It was a bait and switch as @JVLast wrote (http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/you-will-be-assimilat...).

How am I harmed? The pretext for my leaving Mozilla was the outrage/status-display campaign, even if that can't possibly explain all the facts. In your view, I was harmed, and justly so -- but people disagree on justice, so in general, by your own rubriks, I was harmed.

(In case you are unaware, google CA 1101-1102 statutes. These were based on case law starting from "Gay Law Students v. Pacific Telephone & Telegraph".)

Beyond me, you already have telegraphed that it's un-PC, and possibly punishable by the full (lethal) force of the state, for someone like a creative/discretionary small business owner (baker, florist, printer, etc.) to demur from your point of view. And you've said it's hateful for parents to want to protect their children from propaganda.

Go on, prove me wrong: do you think there should be no legal sanction against bakers, florists, printers, restaurants, private schools, small businesses, and parents? Note the case law on side of printers, e.g., who need not be compelled to print materials to which they object. Note well this protects LGBT-owned print-shops.


> How am I harmed? The pretext for my leaving Mozilla was the outrage/status-display campaign, even if that can't possibly explain all the facts. In your view, I was harmed, and justly so -- but people disagree on justice, so in general, by your own rubriks, I was harmed.

Wait, what? You lost your job because of your homophobia. I demonstrated how homosexual individuals were harmed by lacking the right to marry. I asked how you were harmed by SSM becoming legal.


This is actually the common thing in tech now, you need to step carefully on eggshells everywhere to avoid someone being butthurt.

I miss the Internet around year 2000.


Yes, I remember when we could sling racist, misogynistic, and homophobic slurs around without a thought for the feelings of non-whites, minorities, or an entire half of the world's population. Thanks to those slurs, the world was a better place because, uh... because... er, uh, hm...


So, free speech is great as long as you don't strongly disagree with it.


"Free speech" does not mean "free from all consequence," and never has.


What do yo really mean by that?

Personally I worry that mere attaching some empty labels to an argument is reason enough justify censoring it.


I mean that if you choose to use slurs or donate money to hate groups, and are ostracized from a community as a result, then invoking "free speech" is not sufficient defense to be allowed back into that community.

Or, in popular comic form: https://xkcd.com/1357/


So "you are free to say whatever you want, but if I don't like it I will destroy your life".


I'm not sure whose life was destroyed or how we jumped to that point, but yes, if you choose that slurs and hate groups are more important to you than your community's acceptance, then you get to deal with those consequences. At no point is this an infringement on your right to free speech.


Well, that's horrifying. I'll shut up now.


Stop trying to rewrite history. Brendan Eich decided to leave on his own, in spite of the fact that they tried to get him to stay.


Nonsense. He was forced out. Forced to resign. How hard is that to understand?


But thanks for the opportunity to correct the misinformation you were spreading. Now please stop repeating things you now know are not true.

I doubt Brendan intended for you to stop using Mozilla Firefox to avenge his resignation, which he did voluntarily against the wishes of the board.

In fact, I suspect Brendan voluntarily resigned in order to LIMIT the damage he was causing to Mozilla's reputation and user base, which he cares about.

So I'd guess he's probably not happy about social injustice warriors boycotting Mozilla on his behalf.

Again, I encourage you to seek clarity instead of spreading misinformation: Why don't you ask him?


Please learn about "constructive dismissal".

> In employment law, constructive dismissal, also called constructive discharge or constructive termination, occurs when an employee resigns as a result of the employer creating a hostile work environment. Since the resignation was not truly voluntary, it is in effect a termination.


This isn't the first time you've made that claim, or failed to back up your claim with any evidence.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9535977

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9536210

If you can't provide any proof of your accusation that Brendan Eich and the Mozilla board are liars when they said "It was Brendan’s idea to resign", then I think it's safe to dismiss you as just another angry Social Injustice Warrior.

So tell us your evidence supporting your accusation that this is a lie:

https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/04/05/faq-on-ceo-resignat...

Q: Was Brendan Eich asked to resign by the Board?

A: No. It was Brendan’s idea to resign, and in fact, once he submitted his resignation, Board members tried to get Brendan to stay at Mozilla in another C-level role.


So you're calling Brendan Eich and the Mozilla board liars.

What's your evidence? Have you asked them yourself? What did they say? Have any of them made any statements that support your accusations that they lied, or are you just making up those accusations yourself, or parroting someone else's accusations that Brendan Eich and the Mozilla board are liars? Who said that?

Hey Brendan Eich: this guy "notsony" just called you and the Mozilla board liars, and claimed that Mozilla forced you out by "creating a hostile work environment" -- care to chime in to support or deny his accusation?


That's not what Brendan or Mozilla said. Why don't you ask him? Has Brendan Eich or anyone else ever contradicted this:

https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/04/05/faq-on-ceo-resignat...

Q: Was Brendan Eich asked to resign by the Board?

A: No. It was Brendan’s idea to resign, and in fact, once he submitted his resignation, Board members tried to get Brendan to stay at Mozilla in another C-level role.


pot meet kettle


I never ever enable automatic updates however Firefox updated itself through my Earthlink dialup. So that's why The Tubes have been slow to drain lately.

I did not realize until quite a long time after the invisible install, and only then because a very subtly UI element appeared. I was overcome with rage:

I download all updates by hand then neatly archive them on a server:

   Installers/Windows/
   Installers/Windows/Security_Updates
   Installers/Windows/Security_Updates/Win2k
   Installers/Windows/Security_Updates/WinXP
   Installers/Windows/Service_Packs
   ...
   Installers/Mac_OS_X/
   Installers/Mac_OS_X/TenFourFox
TenFourFox is a build for Tiger and PowerPC. I use it on my Mom's G4 iMac,mwhich is mint condition. Mom doesn't see the point of buying a new Mac, and frankly I agree with her.

I downloaded all her patches at Starbucks until Apple stopped issuing them. Now I have multiple offsite backups of thousands of installers and patches for many different platforms - even BeOS DR8!

My most-serious gripe with Firefox's unwanted, uh, "upgrade" is that I required for solid hours of struggle to figure out where the UI for a business-critical Add-On was.

It turns out that Mozilla "deprecated" what I regard as the "status bar". Silly Wabbit! Usability Testing is for kids!

It's actually called the Add-On Bar. Once I manger to turn that fact up under some cobblestone, I quickly found a thread in which many, many Add-Onmusers also desperately struggled but a Mozilla employee set them straight. Much like AT&T with the cell signal they eliminated from my neighborhood one fine July night in 2010:

    We Don't Care.

    We Don't Have To.

    We're The Phone Company.


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