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    Mozilla has been around for around for 18 years, and they have continued to make innovative software through to today. I think that’s pretty successful. Other than Firefox, which basically led to a space-race for extremely fast browsers, they’ve been instrumental in several other important technologies. Importantly, they’ve led the way for javascript modernization. I think their contribution to HTTP/2 development is also often undersold. My understanding is that the IETF started taking SPDY3 seriously as an HTTP/2 candidate when Firefox implemented SPDY.

    The author shits all over Gecko, but we should also remember that Gecko was the first major open source rendering engine, and Chrome was able to learn from the mistakes of Gecko in a way that Gecko was not. We should also remember that Google prints money in a way that Mozilla cannot (and does not seem to want to), so they will inherently have an engineering advantage. At the same time, Mozilla is developing Servo, which is finally able to learn from the mistakes of Gecko (and now also Blink), and will also be free of several classes of bugs that no other rendering engine can claim to be free of.

    This leads us to Mozilla’s big new technology, rust, which may finally have the opportunity to dethrone C. Even if it doesn’t, it will certainly prove to be highly influential for the next generation of language developers–I wouldn’t be surprised to see other languages use a similar ownership model in the future.

    Mozilla is doing fine, and has an incredible record of significant, industry-altering innovation for such a large organization. I’m sorry that they have killed projects that the author likes, but the state of Mozilla appears to be strong, and they are still a trustworthy steward of the free web.

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      I think this post is pretty good at pointing out that Mozilla != Firefox.

      In isolation, though, how do you feel about the direction of Firefox? My impression is that there has been a pretty big shift away from “purely a web browser” (Pocket integration, the telefoncia stuff). All of this has been discussed over and over though….

      Personally I feel that FF being able to pay Mozilla’s bills is a Good Deal™, esp. given that people are able to take gecko and build their own cleaner browsers pretty easily if they so choose.

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        Personally I feel that FF being able to pay Mozilla’s bills is a Good Deal™, esp. given that people are able to take gecko and build their own cleaner browsers pretty easily if they so choose.

        I agree. I think it’s also important that Firefox has the resources to actually compete with Chrome in a serious way. It felt like browsers didn’t really get better until Firefox came into the scene, and when Chrome jumped in, Firefox and Chrome have been able to push each other to new heights. I think the browser ecosystem overall would suffer if Firefox development had to slow down.

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        FWIW, I know the author of this post. He was banned from several forums I used to frequent as a troll (he was about as bad as Yui was here). Since then it appears that he’s been spending a lot of his time picking a semi-controversial topic, and then writing troll posts about it. I don’t think he seriously believes what he writes, and that shows.

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        Oi vey. Assuming that this post is kind of tongue in cheek and using hyperbole to make its point, the point is still way off base. Your idea of Mozilla is not Mozilla. Mozilla is what it is. This guy sounds like the stalker boyfriend who says to the ex who wants nothing to do with him “You’re making a mistake! You still love me! I know it!” No, she’s moved on.

        Similarly, Mozilla has moved on from what they were. If you don’t like it, Firefox is open source. Fork it and make your version. See if it’s more popular.

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          I have to confess that this epilogue is what I was expecting when reading https://lobste.rs/s/ttol5r/save_firefox, yet the prior EFF article was a big surprise in failing to notice that the actual Firefox itself (and Mozilla as we knew it) has long as been gone. // Mozilla Contributor circa 2003/2004.

          P.S. Anyone still remembers how Mozilla stood against mp4 / H.264? https://lobste.rs/s/bdztta/video_freedom_mozilla_2010

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            Hm; all that and not even a mention of the plans to kill off the vibrant extension ecosystem that’s still the one distinguishing factor Firefox has over Chrome and replace it with a half-hearted copy of Chrome’s crippled extension system.

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              removes huge swaths of the original add-on API, includes a cryptographically walled garden for add-ons

              Does that not count as mentioning that they crippled extensions?

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                Oops; must have missed that.

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              It is not the death of Mozilla, but the idealized Mozilla in the author’s mind.

              Mozilla is ultimately just an institution, and the thing that institutions are really good at is making decisions to ensure they survive into the future despite whatever mission they espouse. In this light, Firefox OS actually makes a lick of sense, even if the engineering side was just hoping that the Power of the Open Web would transcend physics somehow.

              That’s not to say the author doesn’t have a point; I doubt the Mozilla of yore would recognize today’s Mozilla as much.

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                The main question should be the funding model. If FF continues to lose market share, what will the funding model be, and what will the investment priorities be for the revenue that does come in?