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Mozilla's Vision of an 'Internet Life' Platform

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the wrapping-people-in-data dept.

Mozilla 105

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla chairperson Mitchell Baker has been saying the company may be changing and thinking beyond Firefox in the future. Her ideas have become clearer: she is formulating an 'Internet Life' platform (not based on Gecko) that would enable users to manage their identity on web. Mozilla believes this could be a way for the company reach new users. She wrote, 'Windows is a locked down operating system compared to Linux. One is proprietary, one is free software. In the early days some Mozilla contributors urged that we should care only about Linux. They felt our mission would be better served by limiting our offering to platforms that align well with the Mozilla mission. We choose a different path. We chose to take our values to where people live. People were living on Windows, so we went there. We made it easy for people to switch from Windows to Linux by providing key functionality across platforms. If we hadn’t, the web would be a very sorry place today. We should bring Mozilla values to where people are living today. We should do so at multiple layers of Internet life.'"

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105 comments

Mozilla has lost its way (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37000688)

All we want is a great browser! They've lost the ability to do that much.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000696)

It really is beginning to look like the same mad road Netscape went down, chasing ghosts into irrelevancy.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000830)

If you were to read the article (or even the summary), it'd be very clear that that's not what she's suggesting.

However, she does seem to be making a mistake that a lot of people with good ideas make. It's along the lines of thinking "hey, we have this good idea. We should work on it and everyone will see how great it is and universally adopt it!" Sure, sometimes this does work out, but not very often, and pretty much never in the way the person with the idea imagines it will work out.

And I don't really trust an organization like Mozilla to be able to create something that meets the needs of most people. Their staunch opposition to H.264 is a prime example of this. H.264 is an non-negotiable requirement for me. If you won't support it, I can't use your product. Period. I don't give a shit what your reasons are, if you won't make a product that meets my needs, I won't use it.

On the other hand, sanity does exist in Mozilla. Making Firefox for Windows is a counter-example to not support H.264. However, as she points out, this decision was highly controversial within Mozilla.

The idealism implied here makes me think more along the lines of things like the FSF's social network initiatives. A lot of idealism doomed to failure for lack of practicality.

If Mozilla tries to be too heavy handed, no one will use their "standards". If instead, they work on disparate formats and protocols, for example, a "social network file format" that services like Facebook and Google+ can use to export and import a user's profile, but without any moral or idealistic baggage that will make this sort of thing a non-starter with these companies, and also including full support for any proprietary standards the users and companies wish to use, then it could actually work.

But if they try to force companies and users into their moral boxes, they will fail. Firefox *never* succeeded due to the morals of free software. It succeeded because it was a great browser that did what people wanted.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000928)

Why do you need H.264 so badly?

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37000978)

Because H.264 is the de facto standard for most video production on the internet today, and the de facto standard for almost all consumer devices which can capture video?

Just a wild thought, but maybe that has something to do with it.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

arose (644256) | more than 2 years ago | (#37005446)

Internet video production? WTF does that even mean. What is used for capture is irrelevant to the final display format. E.g. just because any self respecting professional photographer shoots raw, any photo realistic renderer outputs lossless formats and audio mastering is done in up and beyond what even CDs support doesn't make them good formats for the Internet. Similarly the format pro-sumer and amateur equipment uses for video capture has no bearing on what format is best suited (and that includes licensing issues, like it or not) for display on the net.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 2 years ago | (#37001038)

Being a great browser and doing what people wanted wasn't enough to make it succeed. That's rarely enough for any product to succeed. It succeeded because it was a decent browser that was well marketed. And that marketing depended heavily on the org's stance on free software inspiring people to try it.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#37001060)

And that marketing depended heavily on the org's stance on free software inspiring people to try it.

No, most people tried it because a lot of users had used Netscape and Firefox was free to download. Most people didn't give a shit that it was FOSS outside of niche circles.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

arose (644256) | more than 2 years ago | (#37005472)

Large shifts are rarely started by big groups of average people. Just about all trends in IT come from various niche groups and Firefox got where it is in large part due to the "take back the web" campaign. Pragmatic users don't lock the most popular browser out of their sites or donate for ads.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | more than 2 years ago | (#37004140)

People tried it because it was a bare bones browser in the time of dialup and expensive RAM and memory. Paying for a browser at that time wasn't an issue saving memory and having a small footprint because of dialup was a big issue. Marketing because of it being FOSS was only an issue for the FOSS people

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

arose (644256) | more than 2 years ago | (#37005490)

Oh, yes. Of course it was the masses of early adopters who were surfing on dial-up in 2004 that made Firefox. Duh.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (2)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37003404)

Before commenting on open standards let me say something on this idealism-vs-practicality. All but the most abstract forms of idealist are essentially long term practicality.

Mozilla is not served well by including h264 in it's browser. Firstly, it costs money, they make a free product, large part of the success of Mozilla comes from the fact that their product can be reproduced at virtually zero cost. Secondly, the license doesn't cover versions compiled by third parties, which means that their open source software can't be legally compiled from source legally, they become another tivo. This is specially means that distro-specific packages would need to be licensed again. This is specially ridiculous given that Linux is the only platform for which built-in h264 is necessary, MS made a h264 for Firefox anyway because they are promoting h264 so the platform who would benefit form the builtin codec is the one that can't inherit it. All of this to perpetuate a codec that can't be used to produce, reproduce or *even stream* without a license? Maybe you think escaping from h264 at this point is impossible, but I don't blame Mozilla for believing it could be done.

Now, to talk about open standards, you say that the thing that Mozilla needs is to stop being heavy handed and make a protocol G+ and facebook can use to import and export user profiles without the kind of moral restrictions these companies don't like.

Do you realise how awful that sounds?

So if Mozilla makes a protocol that requires the user's consent to reveal the users contact list and facebook doesn't like it, are you really suggesting that Mozilla you make it opt-out by default just to please the facebook God? What kinds of morals are you asking them to forgo? Hopefully is not "has much as required to make facebook adopt this standard".

Also, you must be delusional, even if Mozilla agreed to make it mandatory that all the users offline browsing history would be transferred to facebook in the background along with a UID and behavioural fingerprinting, facebook will only implement the half of the protocol that allows them to import user data.

The half required to export data will never be implemented because facebook has made it clear that they are against people scrapping their own profile to export your data to another network.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37004322)

Translation from whine:
Owning a space shuttle is a non-negotiable requirement for me. I don't care how unpractical it is, I must chase my irrational urges to be right about something on the internet, and the fact that there are multiple video codecs supported by multiple browsers.

I'm standing in solidarity with you brother. Let's all get angry about internet browsers and their choices of supported codecs and pretend like there aren't dozens and dozens of other browsers.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

theweatherelectric (2007596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37008548)

And I don't really trust an organization like Mozilla to be able to create something that meets the needs of most people. Their staunch opposition to H.264 is a prime example of this. H.264 is an non-negotiable requirement for me. If you won't support it, I can't use your product. Period.

Then the Web is not for you. It isn't some kind of Mozilla standard that Mozilla is worried about, it's Web standards. Most Web software developers disagree with the idea that closed, royalty bearing formats are an acceptable choice for the Web. Mozilla, as we know, disagrees with you [0xdeadbeef.com]. The W3C disagrees with you [w3.org]. Opera disagrees with you [opera.com]. Google disagrees with you [blogspot.com]. And Tim Berners-Lee, of course, disagrees with you [scientificamerican.com].

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000860)

It reminds me of realplayer. Remember when all it did was play videos - and do it moderately well? And then I installed an update and the next time I went for a piss it said "Would you like realplayer to hold your dick?"

In the unlikely event that this megalomaniacal scope creep isn't already somebody's law, you can name it after me or Bono.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (2)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37001000)

I totally remember that.

Realplayer went from simple to "omg what just happened" in a single version... and then just kept getting worse The new version was so bloated that my PC at the time (pentium 1 @ 200MHZ and like 90MHz of ram) couldn't run it... and trying to revert to the previous version (which worked just fine) was next to impossible.

Also it's impossible to mention realplayer without the obligatory: buffering.. buffering..

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

justthinkit (954982) | more than 2 years ago | (#37007640)

For me the biggest problem with Real player was that I could never jump to whatever part of the file I wanted. Whenever I tried it would "buffer" for what seemed like forever, even if you were trying to play a local file!

The second biggest problem, with the Real format in general, was that it was hard to save/archive content. RM files were just links to something somewhere and people often wanted more than that. At that time having a RM file of an interview was a pretty common usage. But when you tried to save that audio file...ah, the pain. Or try to play it and skip to some point in the file if you did manage to save it (problem #1).

[BTW, when did slashcode start converting <P> to <BR> but only on every other paragraph?]

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#37011048)

The worst of it is that every new feature either seems to be copied from Chrome or something that Facebook should be doing instead of the browser.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37000716)

They seem to have chrome and android envy and have forgotten about the whole "browser thing. *sigh* Oh well, it was great while it lasted. This is usually the place where a fork comes in and cleans up the mess. Any takers?

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (3, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000858)

They seem to have chrome and android envy

I don't blame them too much when Chrome is eating market share both from IE and Firefox. The problem is that Firefox's response is to copy Chrome. But why would I want to run a poor copy when I can just run the original?

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

gbl08ma (1904378) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000934)

The result of that is getting old Firefox users unsatisfied because they miss the old Firefox feeling (which was the reason they didn't use Chrome/IE/Opera/anything else), Chrome calling Firefox to be a copycat, more Firefox users switching to Chrome because at least it is original work, and little to no Chrome users switching to Firefox because it's just a badass copy of Chrome.
Conclusion: Firefox looses, Chrome wins. And remember, Chrome has the big advantage of being advertised by Google on its search homepage and soon probably (if not already, I don't know because I don't use Google+) on Google+ too.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000964)

Exactly. Firefox is doing themselves no service by playing catch up and being a "ME TOO!" copycat. It really is sad that something that really was a great and innovative piece of software is just now a poor mishmash of ideas cloned from everyone else and usually done less well than the other products.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000972)

"poor copy"?... They may have stayed with FF3.5 for too long, but FF5 is excellent. I run both on several computers, because they really do have different strengths and weaknesses (chrome is lighter on a netbook, for example), and currently firefox is the best option on a computer bought in the past ~3 years. It handles a huge amount of tabs (better than chrome), has better plugins, and NoScript is better than the chrome alternatives.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37001364)

3.6 is the last firefox. Everything beyond is a chromefox, a poor chrome copy. The only real difference is rendering engine - interface is essentially chasing chrome's.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37003178)

interface is essentially chasing chrome's.

Since when is eliminating unnecessary clutter a bad thing? Who cares who did it first?

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37003250)

They are eliminating important interface elements to make it more small-screen worthy. That's not "unnecessary clutter", that's "optimizing for one scenario only used by a small portion of users, throwing everything else out of the window".

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#37005312)

One man's clutter is another man's really useful buttons and info boxes. Whenever I install a new Firefox these days, I have to spend 5 minutes trying to turn on all my favourite toolbars and info boxes that have gone mysteriously missing by default. It's a pain, but at least the options to do so are still there. If they ever start making it so these features are simply gone (which is more or less the Ubuntu approach) it'll be time to abandon ship.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37001106)

I can blame them, and I do. I'm sure there are counterexamples, but in general if you slavishly copy something you'll always be in 2nd place.

That's not to say you can't learn form others and improve on them. However you do this by properly analyzing what they're doing, what you want to do, what they're doing right, what they're doing wrong, and what you can do better.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#37001332)

Notice I said that the solution was NOT to just copy Chrome. But I completely understand why someone who is getting their market share eaten by someone else trying to play the catch up and copy game.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#37007248)

.. in general if you slavishly copy something you'll always be in 2nd place ...

That applies to firefox but your generalization is wrong. Slavishly (and fastly) copying the competitors is a well used strategy for proven software products. It is call Fast Follower tactics and is used by most leaders in the industry. Yes, by leaders I mean the ones that have the biggest market share; in no way am I hinting that they are the worthiest.

Good examples of this are MSM, Yahoo, Skype, MS Windows even google has done it with their web mail (2004?) and some other products if I recall correctly.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 2 years ago | (#37002320)

Actually, if you had looked at Opera. You would find FireFox looks more like Opera.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37005644)

Opera is also copying Firefox and Chrome. But at least you can still kinda edit the latest Opera, and make it look like it used to 5 years ago. But they seem to be hellbent on taking out the useful features. You can't drag tabs between windows any more, which was one of the most useful features for me. (You have to move them via the "window" panel)

I would stay with Opera 10 but it doesn't work with Gmail.

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37004366)

The "poor copy" has plugins that are several orders of magnitude more useful than the "original". I am honestly actually surprised when I install a chrome add-on and it actually works. I've been through FAR too many shitty chrome addons wanting to be firefox plugins, probably less than 20% achieve a somewhat acceptable result...

Re:Mozilla has lost its way (1)

JSombra (1849858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37002382)

For me and a growing amount of people Mozilla has become irrelevant anyway, too much creep and bloat in their core product, Firefox. Combined with a "we know better than you what you want/need" attitude (ala Apple, but getting it wrong more than Apple) .

And in the meantime most of the other browsers have caught up/surpassed them.

We should be always thankful to them for kick starting the web again after MS nearly stagnated it to death but it is time for Mozilla to go away while it still has some respect in the community

Uhh...riiiiight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37000752)

We choose a different path. We chose to take our values to where people live. People were living on Windows, so we went there.

Translation: We chose the OS that made up the vast, vast, vast majority of our users rather than the obscure OS that at the time had even dramatically less desktop market share than it does today.

Just show me what it does... (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000754)

If we hadn’t, the web would be a very sorry place today.

I respectfully completely disagree.

We should bring Mozilla values to where people are living today.

So it's about values? I'd like to think users care mostly about what something does, then maybe the price, before any moral baggage it could possibly bring with it. But while you're at it, if tax breaks by becoming a religion is where you're going with it, it's f'ing genius.

Why such a high horse? It's just software!! It's either useful or it sucks.

Re:Just show me what it does... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37000912)

Why such a high horse? It's just software!! It's either useful or it sucks.

I respectfully disagree. While software needs to be useful, just software is becoming more and more important to our way of life. How it's controlled matters to some. It doesn't have to matter to you but there are reasons to support software on 'moral' grounds.

Taken to an extreme analogy... clothes are just clothes, they protect us from the elements and cover our shame (ha). How many clothes are made matters more to some than others.

Re:Just show me what it does... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37001032)

To take your analogy a bit further, I would hope most people would care whether their clothes were produced in an ethical moral manner and not in a sweatshop.

Re:Just show me what it does... (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37017228)

Right, although I understand it isn't quite the same, if we were to talk purely of income levels, then free open software would be the sweatshops of software. Actually it's worse, because these contributors have NO INCOME stemming from their work. One could argue it is closer to many religions in how they get everyone to work for free, and even donate money on top of that. "If you believe, you shall follow, work, and support us financially."

Of course it isn't quite the same because most programmers have a choice, and the choice usually is with how they spend their extracurricular resources and expendable income. With sweatshops it's about their livelihood.

Re:Just show me what it does... (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37001054)

They are indeed taking it a little far, but I will agree that having a web browser that works on both Windows and Linux was very significant in helping people transition.

To a lot of users, the web browser is the main application they use. Having a common one between Windows and Linux makes a huge difference for people switching over.

Re:Just show me what it does... (1)

robmv (855035) | more than 2 years ago | (#37001160)

Having a browser that works on both platform was not enough, It was needed that Mozilla reached a high number of users in order to start seeing website developers caring about it and allowing people to use, for example, their bank website on other platforms

Re:Just show me what it does... (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37017246)

Right. But Mozilla wasn't purely responsible for the cross platform browser, and if they didn't do it, someone else surely would have... actually, many others have, and there are others browsers that are cross platform.

Mozilla did a great job, and they made a great product, but they cannot claim they saved anyone from anything, let alone the industry from itself.

Re:Just show me what it does... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37001514)

So it's about values?

Yes, that's what the Mozilla foundation is about. Have you been living under a rock? The values come first, and that's good, that's how we took back the web (ring a bell?).

Re:Just show me what it does... (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37017290)

Ah, no. You took back the web with a great browser + got bumps from IE sucking so bad, and the delay of Chrome. Most users don't know or care about Mozilla's values. They are satisfied customers who are happy with their $0 purchase, as am I.

It is fine for people closer to the product or people directly involved with its development to be proud of their values, and the values of the organization. But to say values are what make the browser great, is precisely the high horse I am trying to shed light on here.

You as a fan are free to say whatever. Free speech, freedom of values, free tacos, its all good. But for the representative of Mozilla to come out like this is not all good. One of the main reasons of which is the divide it will create between believers and non-believers in the Mozilla doctrine, which is detrimental to their goal, unless they are a church.

If the rest of her speech is as baffling as that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37000758)

Then please, tell her not to engage in public speaking any more. That bit is a combination word salad and buzzword extravaganza.

Fuck sakes... (5, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000770)

Am I the only one who just wants a damn browser! I'm not even that old and yet every time firefox (or anyone) releases a new browser my first thought is "oh great, what new age approach are they going with this time".

Is it so much to want:
- My browser to look like every other application on my computer. Title bar where it's supposed to be.. toolbar that functions normally.. etc
- A URL bar where you enter.. a URL
- An area where the website is displayed

Extra features are nice (I have a fair number of extensions installed), as long as they don't hinder this basic functionality. I don't need a "paradigm shift" here. I use my web browser a lot, but it's not the central focus of my computer. More to the point, I like the way I browse the web.. stop trying to change it!

Re:Fuck sakes... (1)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000806)

You forgot to say we need to get off your lawn. (Though I do agree. Programs, such as a website browser, should have one main purpose, and do that well.)

Re:Fuck sakes... (4, Insightful)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000852)

I agree completely. I'm sick of having to choose between updating for security reasons and not updating so my UI doesn't get all tossed around.

They should just start it as a new project rather than crumming up Firefox even more. (Remember Firefox was suppose to be like Mozilla-lite, lean and fast?)

Re:Fuck sakes... (3, Insightful)

pseudonomous (1389971) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000950)

Despite massive code-churn, chrome's UI has been pretty much static, at least for as long as it's had a Linux port. I think they're on to something. Once people get used to using the browser (or any program, for that matter), they don't want to relearn the interface after every update, they just want the damn thing to work.

Re:Fuck sakes.. (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37001562)

Chrome 13 hides the URL bar; so much for static UI.

Re:Fuck sakes.. (1)

pseudonomous (1389971) | more than 2 years ago | (#37001594)

13.0.782.107 (Developer Build 0 Linux) doesn't do that, although this is "chromium" not the branded "chrome".

Re:Fuck sakes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37002118)

15.0.844.0 (Developer Build 95228 Windows) doesn't do that either. I assumed all the throat-warbler-mangrove elite were downloading nightly builds from

http://build.chromium.org/f/chromium/snapshots/

Re:Fuck sakes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37001864)

Chrome 13 makes that an option, but does not set it that way by default.

Re:Fuck sakes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37002806)

Not by default it doesn't...

Re:Fuck sakes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37002962)

Actually, it does not. If you're referring to Compact Nav (which was a hidden option in the first place), that experiment's been abandoned [google.com].

The CompactNav experiment has ended so we are closing off these bugs and will soon remove the feature from Chromium. Unfortunately we were not convinced enough by the current approach to warrant spending more time on bug fixes/polish and graduating it to a full time feature.

Re:Fuck sakes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37004188)

But the problem is Chrome's UI has always been crap, and continues to remain crap. Changing the UI is only a bad idea when the existing one is actually good.

Re:Fuck sakes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37005532)

Chrome still shows advert pop-unders within a few seconds of browsing, even with its best adblock extension installed. It's not NEARLY secure enough yet.

Re:Fuck sakes... (1)

gbl08ma (1904378) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000888)

they = web browser developers
"My browser to look like every other application on my computer." - they think a browser is a special application with special privileges just because hey, it lets you browse the web!
"A URL bar where you enter.. a URL" - they started calling it "navigation bar" long ago. You aren't supposed to input URLs there anymore, even because the "average user" searches Google for "facebook" instead of typing facebook.com in the navigation bar.
"An area where the website is displayed" - I wonder how much time is left until they find a way to drastically change this and announce it as the latest big hit in web browser news. (that time, I'm sure I get back to kernel 2.6 with Firefox 3.6 and Gnome 2).

"Extra features are nice" but they managed to almost give them an higher priority than the web pages you're browsing.

Sigh...

Re:Fuck sakes... (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#37001472)

(that time, I'm sure I get back to kernel 2.6 with Firefox 3.6 and Gnome 2)

Surely you meant kernel 2.6.38, Gnome 2.32, and Firefox 2.0.
It's somehow strange you have to go that far back to get a decent Firefox version on Linux.

Re:Fuck sakes... (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37001440)

No, you're not. But between being google funded and being "developers have these GREAT ideas, and public not using them is WRONG, we will FORCE you to use these ideas by simply REMOVING old stuff and replacing it with this WONDERFUL new stuff" - idealistic bullshit, firefox is not the browser that unseated IE from #1 slot in so many countries.
The newest version of firefox already is just a copy of chrome on a different engine. Chrome fans love it, rest avoid it like plague or tolerate it hoping for someone at mozilla foundation to regain enough sanity to hit the brakes. And by the way article talks, pedal is pressed to the metal and and the "wrong engine" part will be remedied shortly. New platform will be android I guess?

I'm really starting to wonder just how mozilla foundation is not just a corporate shell for google's second browser arm. Well, between noscript and adblock, 3.6 is bound to carry me for a couple of years until a reasonable replacement shows up.

Re:Fuck sakes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37009058)

I'm really starting to wonder just how mozilla foundation is not just a corporate shell for google's second browser arm. Well, between noscript and adblock, 3.6 is bound to carry me for a couple of years until a reasonable replacement shows up.

Why would Google need a second browser? They wrote Chrome because Firefox (and the others) wasn't good enough, at least with respect to its Javascript performance.

Personally, I for one, am happy with the changes Mozilla have made to Firefox, I sortof like the Chrome UI, but not quite, it never fits in with the UI f the other programs because of the custom way they implemented it, whereas Firefox does (at least on Ubuntu). But I do worry about what changes they'll make in the future though. And the rapid release schedule is a little too rapid and copying Chrome's "every release is a major version" numbering system is just dumb.

Re:Fuck sakes... (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37011068)

The reason, at least logically would be the fact that firefox+chrome have a much higher user base.

Remember, google's bread and butter is selling ads. Everything else is essentially slaved to that part of their business, which is why they support FF - they get a large portion of web users who get a google default search engine as well as google search hit every time they type something in the address bar that can't be translated into a proper DNS query or an ip address.

Re:Fuck sakes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37001822)

I'm pretty sure the article wasn't about replacing your browser. It's a separate product, like Thunderbird.

Re:Fuck sakes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37002960)

We got to that point a long, long, long time ago. The fact that people aren't jumping ship for much simpler browsers (and they DO exist, just so you know) shows that there are many, many, many, many people who like the way browsers today are headed (me included). If it fails for them, big whoop. If all you want is a simple browser, then go out and find one and keep your opinion to yourself. If the people at Mozilla and their users want changes like this, they'll do so; they don't have to and cannot possibly please everybody, you included.

Re:Fuck sakes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37009458)

It's "For fuck's sake"!
*twitch*

*twitch*

Wow. (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000782)

Usually when someone has their head shoved that far up their own ass, the most you can hear is a bit of muffled shouting.

This is even sillier than chasing after Chrome's UI and release naming structure. As someone else pointed out, it really is much like what happened to Netscape at the end: browser development became second to running a web portal (which this buzzword layer cake sounds like) and they became also-rans almost overnight.

Re:Wow. (1)

discord5 (798235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000952)

As someone else pointed out, it really is much like what happened to Netscape at the end: browser development became second to running a web portal

Hey, look on the bright side. When firefox dies, at least they'll open the source up so that a new team can build something from that source code and then fork it so that they have a lean and mean browser that supports the HTML standards properly...

Oh, wait...

UGH. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37000834)

God that headline sounds so awful I can't really even put into words how much I hate it.

But the summary does not really match the headline.

The summary is about their strategy for supporting windows, and how it harmed the browser in general.

Anyway, this whole idea of having an "internet life" sheds light on the way some people think, when all they do is develop things like browsers. It implys that there is no life worth leading, beyond the one we depict in text and images and movies on "the internet".

She needs to get out more. ...and probably the rest of the internet should too.

Re:UGH. (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014764)

The summary is about their strategy for supporting windows, and how it harmed the browser in general.

Wow, fail at reading comprehension.

The summary is pretty clearly stating that had they not supported Windows, they would be irrelevant. Supporting Windows did nothing to harm Firefox, the very thought that it did just shows your a Linux fanboy rather than a logical person. It blows my mind how completely blind you fanboys can be.

Oh my god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37000886)

Oh my god, why won't this person stop talking?

brainwashed! (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000944)

it seems like Mozilla has been brainwashed into the Google mentality of "everything online" as well as mimicking the stranger and stranger GUI choices. i think we can safely conclude what's been going on in Google's R&D department.

Re:brainwashed! (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37001486)

This may sound like a troll, but brainwashed or paid? Google is the one footing most of the mozilla foundation's bill with their priority placement in search, so they're bound to have a lot of say within the organisation and the direction it will take.

Re:brainwashed! (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014790)

No, Google isn't commanding Firefox. They did the right thing and instead of trying to influence Firefox, someone at Google saw the writing on the wall and said "We better make our own browser since Mozilla is about to pull a Netscape and repeat its last mistake". Its not like you haven't seen this shit coming from Mozilla for the last several years, we all just didn't want to admit it.

Google just realized Firefox was going to shit earlier on and came up with a viable alternative for people before someone like Microsoft started taking back ground from Firefox. From Googles perspective, its far better for them to take away from Firefox's marketshare than it is for MS to do so. MS doing so would almost certainly be bad long term if Mozilla ends up going belly up like netscape. We don't need another 5 years of nothing while someone else catches up to IE and starts winning back users.

Re:brainwashed! (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37015340)

Sad thing is, now that I think back there's quite a bit of evidence to support your hypotesis. From adding random crap and defaulting to it (awesomebar, personas, etc) to weird mixing around with settings and front-end, I spent quite a bit of time from 2.x up undoing the crap mozilla kept adding into FF, or adding back stuff that got axed.

It's just that post 4.x, there are things that can no longer be added back at their former full functionality anymore like status bar.

Mitchell Baker (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37000954)

What did you expect of a female with an androgynous name?? This is some kind of Eat Pray Love crap of the software world.

Deja Vu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37000990)

Hasn't Mozilla been down this path already? Didn't Firefox start life as a simple web browser when Mozilla decided to become some sort of development platform?

I did it all for the values (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37001256)

I remember when I first chose to use Mozilla. What a day that was. I printed off all everything I could find about Mozilla's values and went off to a small pond in a green field to and reflected on them for several days. There I watched the butterflies frolicking and listened to the birds sing and like Thoreau, I pondered what it meant to really use an Internet browser with integrity, and what and important statement I was making to the world (and myself!) about who I am and what I stand for.

Oh, I feel so good about myself now that I use Firefox. Thank you! Thank you Mozilla for giving me a reason to feel good about myself! I now know that I'm not just using an Internet browser, but I'm helping make the world a better place. I know that with Mozilla that I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and dog-gone it, people like me!

The nub of it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37001268)

>Mozilla believes this could be a way for the company reach new users

More data collection and marketing. Thanks, I have all that I need. I have switched to Bing as my default search engine since Google seems bent on tracking my movements and I'm usually logged in to Gmail. I disabled web search history and I still see obscure suggestions show up in the left hand column on Google that can ONLY be based on shit I searched for once upon a time, weeks ago.

There is entirely too much "guided" bullshit on the internet. Sometimes I just want to wander the aisles and see what I happen in to. But Google, et al, seem determined to send stockboys ahead of me, filling the shelves with things I've already seen.

Leave me the fuck alone and let me wander around the store, exploring. Who knows, maybe I'll find something NEW that piques my interest. Tragically, in order to do that, I have to search somewhere that I'm not logged in and then use Noscript, Ghostery and Better Privacy just to have a chance at being un-monetized.

Re:The nub of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37004418)

I have switched to Bing as my default search engine since Google seems bent on tracking my movements and I'm usually logged in to Gmail. I disabled web search history and I still see obscure suggestions show up in the left hand column on Google that can ONLY be based on shit I searched for once upon a time, weeks ago.

Seeing as Bing directly uses Google's search result, it's kinda cute that you pretend you aren't using Google :)

Re:The nub of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37011058)

If you don't want to be tracked you shouldn't be using Gmail in the same browser as the rest of your browsing. You could run a seperate Firefox profile for it, use Chrome, or use a standalone email client.

Fuck sakes part 2... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37001386)

Am I the only one tired of this constant push for Internet "identity."

Why does every damn site now have to collect so much superfluous information not necessary for providing a basic service?

I don't want a single point of information easily harvested by marketers. I'm tired of creating throwaway email addresses and running `rig` every time I need to do something which has absolutely no need for either.

An "Internet life platform" sounds like new marketing gobbledygook for why I should fork over even more personal information in an even more opaque manner.

I don't want an (singular) Internet identity.

Build a browser which creates one-touch disposable pseudonyms and then get back to me.

Poor writing (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37002132)

Is it just me, or does it sound like the linked mini-essay was written by high schooler who isn't particularly good at English? For instance, it uses lots of too-short sentences like

We should bring Mozilla values to where people are living today. We should do so at multiple layers of Internet life. Some of these will be Gecko and Firefox based. Others may be available across browsers.

It's overly general to the point of saying almost nothing. I have almost no idea what an "open source, standards-based platform for universally accessible, decentralized, customized identity on the web" is, or what an "open source, standards-based engine for universally accessible, decentralized, customized, user-controlled management of personal information I create about myself" is. The numbered list rambles on almost to the point of incoherence. In the first item, I think the point is "maybe we can get this new stuff on the iOS, even if we haven't been able to get Gecko there". It takes 7 sentences to forget to actually make this point. The essay's grammar could also be improved in a couple of places, but I suppose the grammar checker caught most of those issues.

Don't get me wrong. Sometimes poor writers have great content hidden underneath the garbage they spew. I don't think that's the case here. Don't bother reading it.

Re:Poor writing (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37002592)

Haha.. this. I read the article twice but I still couldn't understand what the whole point of it was. Are they going to add a new im and social messaging client to their suite? Are they going to create a Mozilla account that all the other websites and platforms can use? Or are they going to create their own platform? I wish she had been a little more clear instead of writing vague adjectives.

The End Game For Mozilla? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37002992)

Mozilla's only significant source of funding is the add-click.

According to the statement, a whopping 97% of Mozilla's income comes from the search deals. Unfortunately, [the] company did not disclose the percentage of searches it sends to each search provider.

Mozilla's 2009 Financial Statement [favbrowser.com] [Nov 19, 2010]

The Corporation has a contract with a search engine provider which expires November 2011. Aproximately 86% and 91% of royalty revenue for 2009 and 2008, respectively was derived from this contract.

Mozilla Foundation and Susidiaries: Consolidated Financial Statements : Notes: Note 9: Concentration of Risk [mozilla.org] [August 23, 2010]

When your only source of funding is the "add-supported" browser, the Windows OS is the air you breathe and the water you drink.
You cannot survive without it.

Windows 88%
OSX 6%
iOS 3%
Linux 1%
Android 1%

Operating System Market Share [hitslink.com] [August 5, 2011] [Rounded] [Global]

Desktop: 95%

Mobile vs Desktop [statcounter.com] [July 10 to July 11] [Rounded] [Global]

Windows XP 50%
Win 7 28%
Vista 15%
OSX 6%
Linux 1%
Other 1%

Top 5 Operating Systems [statcounter.com] [July 10 to July 11] [Rounded] [Global]

Windows is a commercial, proprietary and closed source OS. That is in many ways extraordinarly open to the user, the recreational programmer and the professional developer.

I have over 200 programs on this Win 7 system. I am not bound to any single repository or app store. I am not hectored by RMS. Steve Jobs or Bill Gates when I install a program which they would not approve.

Microsoft began with the stand-alone PC for the school, the home and small business. It began with the user. It began with a market.

The producer Samuel Goldwyn is usually credited for the line "If you've got a message, send a telegram."

Good advice for anyone whose Grand Design is about to collide head-on with a world that is skeptical, pragmatic and more than a little weary of those Who Think They Know What Is Best For Me.

Re:The End Game For Mozilla? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37003892)

I have over 200 programs on this Win 7 system. I am not bound to any single repository or app store. I am not hectored by RMS. Steve Jobs or Bill Gates when I install a program which they would not approve.

Sounds like you're shilling pretty hard there. Let's address these chunks of nonsense one by one:
1) "I am not bound to any single repository or app store." — Name a platform other than the iPhone/iPad that DOES have that limitation. Since you've used the phrase "repository" I'm going to assume this is some sort of jab at Linux/BSD and point out that there are lots of distros which all have their own repositories, that the package manager software usually allows 3rd party repositories to be added and you can bypass the package manager and just compile code using "./configure && make && make install" although the burden of keeping the software patched is on you instead of the distro.

2) "I am not hectored by RMS. Steve Jobs or Bill Gates when I install a program which they would not approve." — Firstly, RMS is heckling you right now for using Windows so I fail to see your point, if having people express disapproval upsets you then it's possible that what they are saying is true but you don't want to admit it. Personally, I don't agree with RMS on a few big points so I don't give a shit. Secondly, Bill Gates might not be heckling you but Steve "Linux is a cancer" Balmer does display exactly this towards people who don't use Windows/Mac. Steve "app store" Jobs with his approval process is also making headway on this front.

Microsoft began with the stand-alone PC for the school, the home and small business. It began with the user. It began with a market.

The producer Samuel Goldwyn is usually credited for the line "If you've got a message, send a telegram."

Good advice for anyone whose Grand Design is about to collide head-on with a world that is skeptical, pragmatic and more than a little weary of those Who Think They Know What Is Best For Me.

Okay, now I KNOW you're shilling. That's straight Marketing 201, tell the customer how great your product is, why they should buy it then attach hipster/special-snowflake points to it with abstract feel-goodisms. It's interesting how you propose Windows as the perfect solution to all problems and simultaneously call it pragmatism — no one ever got fired for choosing IBM, right?

All consoles are bound to one app store (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37035634)

I am not bound to any single repository or app store.

Name a platform other than the iPhone/iPad that DOES have that limitation.

All current set-top devices for playing video games.

the package manager software usually allows 3rd party repositories to be added

But do they maintain up-to-date HOWTOs on running a repository for your own software? Or do they stress distributing your software as free software (which isn't always practical [pineight.com]) and trying to get it into the official repository?

Re:The End Game For Mozilla? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37003990)

Right on man!

"not bound"? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37006764)

"I have over 200 programs on this Win 7 system. I am not bound to any single repository or app store."

However, any chance you are bound to at least some of these "200 programs on this Win 7 system"?

I moved to Linux from Windows XP because I got sick of the bloat and all the countless software out there eating your CPU/memory real-estate, forever leaving their bits in the registry, background tasks, file systems, etc., and yet I found myself bound to MS Money because the over 10 years data file is a proprietary format which is documented nowhere, so I can't easily transfer all data to another software, meaning I am still bound to MS Money, even though MS stopped selling the software a while ago now. You can't really call this "extraordinarly open to the user" now, can you? Had the data format been documented, for sure by now there would be converters provided by the community so that users can move on from a software which is no longer sold by MS.

And as for the "single repository," I don't see how you see this as a negative: this is just plain awesome, I find all I need in it, and I can trust that whatever I install doesn't come with strings attached, is properly removed when I ask, and the source code is open to public scrutiny. This reminds me when I tried to find a simple utility to shuffle/delete pages of a PDF file on Windows, ended up in dark corner of the internet, finally found something (clunky), had to pay a fee to unlock the software to do all I needed, and had to trust that it would not do anything nefarious to my computer or privacy (even when I uninstall), since sources are not open to public scrutiny. On my Linux distro I quickly found such utility in seconds in the Software Center (no need to search in the browser), worked like a charm, and I am free of this nagging worry whether the app came with nefarious hidden load.

Games and other apps that aren't in the repository (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37035660)

And as for the "single repository," I don't see how you see this as a negative

Because an application that you want to use might not be in the distribution's central repository, nor is a close substitute. For example, the game that your friends are telling you about probably isn't there.

Re:The End Game For Mozilla? (0)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37008286)

I have over 200 programs on this Win 7 system.

Are we supposed to be impressed by this proclamation that you had to hand-scavenge the internet and download "over 200" shady, unsigned executables to create a windows system with one-quarter the utility an average Linux distro provides on the install CD. Not to mention the ten thousand pieces of software the default repository provides. For free.

You're a grade-A moron.

Re:The End Game For Mozilla? (0)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37015052)

You an sign ELF executables? Or aout format? When did that happen? (Seriously curious, wasn't at all aware of it).

On a separate note, you can sign ACTUAL binaries on Windows, not just the packages that contain them.

You could also just get all your apps from the Windows marketplace, one stop shopping. The majority of your software isn't going to come from there, but Windows has far more software packages available, so its not real surprising. Windows users typically get their software directly from the source, not from an intermediate third party that has modified the software with their own special sauce (which could be good or bad, but its not like you actually have a clue as to which way it is for all of crap you install). You make the assumption that the repositories modifications are 'good'

You should also slow your roll on talking about how much software your Linux box has available since pretty much all of it will also run on Windows.

So Windows has pretty much of the apps you have, and its own much larger collection that you can't have. It has signed binaries AND packages, where as you just have signed packages. The signing is done by the actual developers who make the product, not some other third party who's fucked with the code like your case.

Man, you basically just pointed out a bunch of reasons Windows is better than your precious Linux due to your own ignorance.

You're a grade-A ignorant fanboy. Hows that arrogant douche bag attitude of yours doing right now? I'm sure your face is beat red and you're just going to tear me a new asshole in your response filled with more ignorance and incorrect statements.

How does an individual afford a code signing cert? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37035700)

The signing is done by the actual developers who make the product

Which means each developer has to have his own certificate, not just people who run repositories. They also have to pay hundreds of dollars per year to keep the certificates up to date with a commercial CA, as opposed to getting a GPG key signed at a meeting organized on biglumber or something.

Code signing for low-volume device drivers (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37035780)

[On my PC running Windows 7,] I am not hectored by RMS. Steve Jobs or Bill Gates when I install a program which they would not approve.

Unless that program is a device driver, and the device is a low-volume piece of hardware made by a hobbyist who can't afford hundreds of dollars a year for a digital signature so that the "kernel mode code signing" in Windows Vista 64 and Windows 7 64 won't reject it.

If you've got a message, send a telegram

So that's why SMS and Twitter took off.

They just want to be Facebook... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37003916)

so why not just sell out to Suckberg and the corporate overlords? It seems every ISP and browser is trying to emulate FB. Why? At least Opera hasn't been drawn to the dark side...yet...

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