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Google's Shadow Over Firefox

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the first-hit-is-free dept.

Mozilla 385

eldavojohn writes "The Mozilla Foundation's chief executive now earns roughly half a million in pay and benefits. With $70 million in assets, the Foundation gave out less than $300,000 in grants to open source projects in 2006. And in 2006 85% of their $66 million in revenue came from Google. When these figures first came to light, people worried whether Firefox was becoming a pawn in Google's cold war with Microsoft. The Foundation addressed these fears and largely laid them to rest; but now the worry is that, even though it's clear that the community's code is what makes Firefox successful, Mozilla may be becoming dangerously reliant on Google's cash."

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385 comments

Google has influenced Opera, also. (0, Flamebait)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316795)

Google has influenced Opera, also. Note that none of the add-ons for Opera allow blocking of ads.

If an organization accepts money from advertising, it will be corrupted by advertising.

Eventually the Google influence may mean that Firefox no longer has add-ons that block ads.

Re:Google has influenced Opera, also. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316837)

That's because adblocking is built into Opera, doofus.

Opera doesn't need add-ons to do everything useful. For some reason they figured they might as well integrate them.

Re:Google has influenced Opera, also. (4, Informative)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316977)

You are modded flamebait, but I'm not sure I disagree. The GP says that nothing in Opera blocks Google ads, but all you need to do is add *.googlesyndication.com/* to the blocker and they're gone for good. If anything, it's the GP who's wrong..

Opera allows those ugly Flash ads. (0)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317045)

"That's because adblocking is built into Opera"

Opera does not block the most abusive of ads, those made with Flash.

Re:Opera allows those ugly Flash ads. (3, Informative)

zsouthboy (1136757) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317083)

Uh, wrong.

Rightclick on page with annoying flash ad -> Block Content..
Click the offending ad -> it disappears with "Content Blocked" across it
(Opera 9+)

Re:Opera allows those ugly Flash ads. (2, Informative)

Fweeky (41046) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317477)

Or configure Preferences -> Advanced -> Content -> JavaScript Options -> User JavaScript files [opera] (or the appropriate opera:config page I hopefully just linked to; opera:config#UserPrefs|UserJavaScriptFile), and drop hide-objects.js [userjs.org] in the folder you configured; flash will then be blocked until you double-click to load them.

Re:Opera allows those ugly Flash ads. (5, Informative)

kennygraham (894697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317559)

Or use firefox and get the filterset-g extension, and it takes care of everything for you, including automatic updates to the ad server list. Blocks ads, flash or not. And doesn't block the flash that you want.

Re:Google has influenced Opera, also. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21317319)

Parent could have avoided the "doofus" bit, but the Parent is right. Not sure why it got marked Flamebait. If anything, the Grandparent could probably use a Score:-1, TinFoilHat.

The "Block Content" feature in Opera works well enough. Heck, the first thing I do with Firefox is get down a whole lot of mods that mimic Opera inbuilt features. ABP and NoScript are indeed better than what is there in Opera, but the base features in Opera tend to be good enough for most part.

Re:Google has influenced Opera, also. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316847)

You don't understand how open source stuff works. They cannot fuck with it. Nobody can. The code is free.

If they start to fuck with it, people will fork. Simple as that.

Volunteers tend not to work on commercial products (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317087)

Volunteers tend not to work on commercially supported products, partly because those who are paid don't want to risk losing their income, or making their work harder, so they don't treat volunteers well.

Re:Google has influenced Opera, also. (4, Informative)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316853)

Although if the Firefox code base remains open, and as long as extensions can be written, there is nothing to stop anyone from creating ad-blocking extensions, after all it is something that many people seem to like, moreover if there is (however unlikely it may be) a concerted effort to prevent ad-blocking technology within Firefox there is always the option of creating a fork with those countermeasures removed.

Don't get me wrong, I don't like the idea that the Mozilla Foundation *appears* to be dependent on Google's advertising revenue, and I can see how that *could* impact decision making, but I dont see a whole lot of alternative funding streams, nor a threat that could not be overcome, that is after all why we like open standards and open code, no one person or group truly has 100% control and it is nearly impossible to take something that is free and open and turn it into something proprietary and closed..

Re:Google has influenced Opera, also. (2, Informative)

sodul (833177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316931)

I've stopped using extensions a while ago and just use Privoxy [privoxy.org] .

Re:Google has influenced Opera, also. (3, Insightful)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317081)

Whatever works I suppose,

Personally I don't mind advertising too much, if I'm looking at a site that is helpful or one I like, then I certainly don't mind, the only times where I can actually say I find it intrusive is on sites that are there purely for ad revenue, usually with content scraped from other sites, and those I can detect almost entirely (using a manual process no less) by the fact that they are infested with advertising, so in a sense gratuitous and inappropriate advertising is a deterrent all on its own, sure I am giving whoever is responsible for those sites revenue on that one instance where I come across the site, but then that's it, surely advertisers must realise that sites like that are not generally going to generate revenue anyway.

So I guess you could say I do most of my ad-blocking mentally, with an added bonus of blacklisting useless sites at the same time.

As a side note, I find it quite interesting when you compare the web in general (and the advertising therein), second life (and the commercial mess that particular sim already is and appears to be aspiring to become) and real life (I spent a moderate period of my life in Hong Kong, a place where the adverts and neon certainly add to the atmosphere) and try and figure out which advertising actually works. I seem to find that I buy things that I hear about from others, much more than what I see advertised. maybe its time for people to be able to get cash for real life referrals for any type of product (you could fill out a form to say who recommended what when you pay for your shopping....). Advertising only really seems to work when the advertiser has a novel product, that is useful or attractive *and* it is not already well known.

Oh and cold calling (telephone or in person) and junk mail (whether email or real mail) never work, If I want a credit card, I'll talk to my bank and then shop around, if I want double glazing, I'll find someone to do it.

Funny, maybe I should take my own views into account when I organise my own advertising.

The MozFo CEO is incompetent. (0, Flamebait)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316875)

Someone with no technical knowledge cannot run a technically oriented company. A CEO cannot be the leader of something she or he doesn't understand.

Winifred Mitchell Baker [wikipedia.org] , the CEO [mozilla.com] of Mozilla is an extremely socially uncomfortable lawyer with no technical knowledge who became CEO when no one thought there was an opportunity. Now that Mozilla Foundation is making millions from making Google the default browser, Winifred can afford to hire people to make herself look good.

There are many, many quirks in Firefox, not just Thunderbird, that should be fixed, but no technically oriented manager to organize that. For example, the CPU hogging bug has been there for at least 5 years. Winifred has insufficient control over those who work for her, because she doesn't understand what they do. The Firefox CPU hogging and memory gobbling bug would take some serious troubleshooting to find, and no one wants to do the work, apparently. See Firefox development sometimes resembles playing. [slashdot.org]

Don't let ignorant managers destroy your programming efforts. Find some way to have them removed.

Re:The MozFo CEO is incompetent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316915)

Now that Mozilla Foundation is making millions from making Google the default browser, Winifred can afford to hire people to make herself look good.
That's exactly what a CEO should be doing. If she's got in the right people and lets them get on with doing their work, and they get right then she should look good.

Re:The MozFo CEO is incompetent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316919)

Do you have a javascript bookmarklet set up to paste that comment automatically whenever a Mozilla-related story appears on /.?

File bug reports rather than whine on Slashdot (5, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316921)

The Firefox CPU hogging and memory gobbling bug would take some serious troubleshooting to find, and no one wants to do the work, apparently.

First, the Firefox CPU bug you've been complaining about (Firefox consumers lots of CPU after the computer wakes up from standby or hibernate) was fixed in Firefox 2.0.0.8 [mozillazine.org] . If you're still having any problems with the latest release of Firefox, let developers know by filing a proper bug report, including steps to reproduce the problem.

Second, there is no sign of any "memory gobbling bug" that I can see, just a few little leaks here and there and some memory fragmentation [pavlov.net] . If you're still having any problems with the latest release of Firefox, let developers know by filing a proper bug report, including steps to reproduce the problem.

Re:File bug reports rather than whine on Slashdot (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21317025)

If you're still having any problems with the latest release of Firefox, let developers know by filing a proper bug report, including steps to reproduce the problem.

Oh, please. That's nowhere near as fun as bitching on random websites.

Re:File bug reports rather than whine on Slashdot (2, Insightful)

CTho9305 (264265) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317051)

Oh, please. That's nowhere near as fun as bitching on random websites.

Yeah, if he actually filed usable bugs, they'd get fixed, and then he'd have nothing to whine about any more.

File bug reports and get work-avoidance excuses. (0, Flamebait)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317219)

"Yeah, if he actually filed usable bugs, they'd get fixed..."

No, when you file bug reports, you get 20 different kinds of abuse, unless the bug is extremely easy to find: Mozilla Foundation Top 20 Excuses for Not Fixing Firefox Bugs [slashdot.org] .

There are actually 22 Top Excuses, but I haven't had time to update the list.

Firefox 2.0.0.9 is WORSE. (0, Flamebait)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317141)

"If you're still having any problems with the latest release of Firefox, let developers know by filing a proper bug report, including steps to reproduce the problem."

Yes, I am still having problems with the CPU hogging bug in Firefox 2.0.0.9, very severe problems. With all previous versions, hibernation was possible. Now computers running many windows and tabs of Firefox 2.0.0.9 never return from hibernation.

In commercial product development with no adequate supervision, the programmers only fix the easy bugs. Why work harder? I suppose that is their rationale.

A CEO who has no technical knowledge cannot run a technically oriented company.

Re:Firefox 2.0.0.9 is WORSE. (1)

RattFink (93631) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317263)

Check your version of Flash. Some versions had some sleep problems that caused the lockup you describe after restore.

Re:Firefox 2.0.0.9 is WORSE. (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317523)

Sorry, I don't see anyone else complaining of the same problem. It must be quite rare. If you're one of the very few people that experience it, you'll need to give lots details so the problem can be found and fixed. You can start by finding the regression window [mozilla.org] if it's recently become worse. Include that information in your bug report.

Re:File bug reports rather than whine on Slashdot (1)

zaivala (887815) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317167)

That's great for Windoze users... I'm using Firefox 2 for Linux, and the longer I leave Firefox up, the slower it runs. Of course, the easy fix is to restart Firefox, but just telling you it's still noticeable on my system.

Re:File bug reports rather than whine on Slashdot (2, Informative)

Elfan (677935) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317247)

There are currently 290 open bugs with the mlk keyword. What gives you the expertise to judge that they are not significant? And that is for true leaks only, not other memory related bugs. There are critical crash bugs like #263160 that are memory related and have not been fixed in years.

Now that said things are improving, the developers are paying attention, and I look forward to improvements in FF3. But it has been people insisting that there aren't bugs are everything is fine for years while that was plainly not the case that made this situation so much more unpleasant than it had to be. FF works for you on your system with your habits (and I'm happy that's great!). For others it is barely functional between crashes and performance degradation. But like I said, now that the problems are being recognized they are starting to be fixed, and that is as it should be. Just stop pretending that because things are fine for you they must be for everyone.

Re:File bug reports rather than whine on Slashdot (2, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317551)

Things aren't fine just for me. I see very few people complaining about Firefox's memory usage. When I ask people who say they are experiencing memory problems how I can reproduce them, they cannot seem to find any demonstration of a memory problem at all. So, just what is this horrible memory problem people keep vaguely referring to? It seems to be quite rare and elusive. I wish developers would fix the more noticeable bugs, ones that can easily be demonstrated and are experienced by many.

Re:File bug reports rather than whine on Slashdot (2)

sxeraverx (962068) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317249)

No memory gobbling bug? Please explain to me why FF's using 300+ *MEGABYTES* of memory with only a single tab open? And despite using very little CPU, FF's response becomes incredibly slow. FF needs to go back to its roots of being a minimalist browser, with just addons to give you what you want. Instead of incorporating new features, devs should introduce official extensions, using them for what they were meant for.

Re:File bug reports rather than whine on Slashdot (3, Informative)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317509)

There are no "minimalist browser" roots. Firefox was always meant to be a web browser with 'right set' of features. Check the roadmap [mozilla.org] .

Re:File bug reports rather than whine on Slashdot (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317287)

Well, I certainly see both "memory gobbling" and CPU hogging with 2.0.0.9. In fact I've seen no change in behavior in that respect over any of the latest versions. But seeing as developers have mostly pretended the memory leaks aren't there for a couple of years now (because they are hard to reproduce for a lot of people), I'm not surprised.

Re:Google has influenced Opera, also. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316941)

Opera do not need ad-blocking add-ons since it has a very decent built in ad-blocker called "Block content" in it's context menu.

Re:Google has influenced Opera, also. (1)

emarkp (67813) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316945)

Note that none of the add-ons for Opera allow blocking of ads.

Perhaps because the built-in "block content" feature is excellent, so no add-on is necessary?

Re:Google has influenced Opera, also. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316985)

I really cannot see how the chief executive is worth $500,000 per year. Firefox is a great browser, but the actual developers deserve more of that pie.

Thunderbird? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21317093)

As an outsider, it seems to me that support for Thunderbird and calender (which was always weak) has dried up. Now that I know Mozilla Foundation is driven by Google the killing off of competition with Gmail seems a bit obvious.

Thoughts?

Google wanted Thunderbird killed? (4, Interesting)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317161)

That seems right to me.

Mozilla Foundation stopped supporting Thunderbird development apparently because the organization got no money for it, and Google wants you to use web mail, so that you will see the ads.

Mozilla Foundation gave no adequate explanation for killing its support of Thunderbird.

Re:Google wanted Thunderbird killed? (3, Insightful)

beoba (867477) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317401)

If Google wanted to force users to go with webmail, why are they now supporting IMAP?

Re:Google wanted Thunderbird killed? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21317513)

If you use IMap with gmail, you're still handing your data over to google.

Re:Google wanted Thunderbird killed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21317553)

Because if you use IMAP to access GMail you'll still get ads inserted wont you?

For the same reason that Microsoft... (3, Insightful)

patio11 (857072) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317557)

... has a free webmail service, despite having a vested interest in desktop applications and not a whole lot of interest in cross-platform compabibility. "Better to own 100% of the customers 100% of the time than let someone else muscle in on our territory by offering a key feature which we do not."

Re:Google has influenced Opera, also. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317209)

Opera probably doesn't offer ads simply because people would block it, and people here doesn't mean Google at all...

Besides, Google basically ignores Opera (and Webkit) in their web apps...we don't have much better situation now than creating webpages for IE only.
Now people create for IE and Firefox (most of you don't see the problem of course...). I wonder when we'll have webpages that simply follow standards...

Re:Google has influenced Opera, also. (1)

SirJorgelOfBorgel (897488) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317483)

Yeah, because if you want to do something difficult, going the standards way works

Every decent webdeveloper knows there are lots of differences between Opera, WebKit and Gecko (leaving IE out here on purpose). Going 100% standard is not going to fix that. Not saying people shouldn't follow standard, they should, but it's not a one-stop solution. Browsers should support the standards as well, which is difficult, because even though the standards are _well_-defined, they are not _perfectly_-defined.

I for one, as a webdeveloper, test everything in at least Opera 9, Safari 3, FF1.5, FF2, IE6 and IE7. Only very minor issues with Opera and WebKit are being overlooked (some small things just cannot be fixed without insane JS based solutions). Seriously, how many browsers must I cope with as developer? Where is the line? I personally think everything should just work on anything, but such is not reality, now matter how much effort you put into it.

Re:Google has influenced Opera, also. (1)

pokerdad (1124121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317363)

Note that none of the add-ons for Opera allow blocking of ads.

Unless, of course, you count the many built in settings that together provide all the functionality of an ad-blocker even if they aren't labelled as such.

Would it make you feel better... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316809)

If they took Microsoft's cash instead? I'm sure MS would love to have more traffic pointed at their search, regardless of the source.

Re:Would it make you feel better... (4, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317203)

Actually it would make me feel better if they took Microsoft's cash as well. The more sources of income a company has, the more secure it is. With only one or two big sources, if they lose one they may well be screwed.

Not saying that the Mozilla Foundation is likely to lose Google's cash any time soon, but that's a general principle - don't put all your eggs in one basket, and all that.

Still alternatives like camino, opera, and safari (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21317289)

Still alternatives like camino, opera, and safari ... so even if mozilla became the other evil arch nemesis besides IE... oh yeah I know Camino was based on the mozilla code base... I dunno let's encrypt everything and just be friends okay?

Re:Would it make you feel better... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21317453)

Asshole. That's not addressing the question.

"Interesting" - what're you mods, on crack?!

No, but I'd like more individual donations (2, Interesting)

siddesu (698447) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317493)

That is why I donate to various software projects -- not much, but about as much as I would pay for an OS if I had to buy one -- that gives me more right to have an opinion on what they are doing.

If you (and I mean the general slashdot reader, not the GP) want to have more input on the decision-making process when necessary, participate in the funidng. Any software project will treat you better if you show more commitment than just downloading and using the software, and many sources of funding make the power of any one large donor smaller. Besides, it will be a better use of the slashdot community than just slashdotting websites.

Not to mention that when you have more of a stake, you can request and get things like more transparent reporting on funding and business models.

Other Revenue Sources? (4, Interesting)

TFGeditor (737839) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316815)

Okay, I admit ignorance. I have never understood how Mozilla, a purveyor of free-as-in-beer software, makes money, even if only operating capital (as opposed to profit).

What sources other than Google fund Mozilla? And why?

Re:Other Revenue Sources? (2, Insightful)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316859)

Hit the (default) home button. Or look at the search bar next to the address bar.

Re:Other Revenue Sources? (4, Interesting)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316865)

Search engines.
For placement of their search engines.
Read more here [mozillazine.org] .

Re:Other Revenue Sources? (1)

adamclarke77 (843213) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316879)

donations? consultancy?

Re:Other Revenue Sources? (1)

savala (874118) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316957)

The Mozilla Corporation also makes some money by developing "official" Firefox add-ons (titled "Companion"), such as the Firefox Companion for eBay [mozilla.com] , and the Joga Companion [mozilla.com] back during the football worldcup.

Re:Other Revenue Sources? (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317171)

Clearly, if Google is giving all this money to Mozilla and there is danger of Google getting all the say, Microsoft ought to chuck Mozilla a billion or two to stay in the race...

The lesser of two evils (4, Insightful)

Hemogoblin (982564) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316827)

Better to be reliant on Google's cash, than not having any cash at all.

they're not limited to two evils (3, Interesting)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317099)

Actually, maybe the problem is the theory that top-notch computing work can be done for free, without paying the people who do it, because they just love the fame. This was a reasonable proposition once upon a time, when programming up a Web browser was an amazing trick and could get you widely recognized, leading perhaps to an interesting (and well-paying) job. But is that true any more? Are top-quality programmers willing to work on Mozilla -- and by "work" I don't mean just program, but also manage the beast, do market research to see what the users want, fix bugs, yadda yadda -- for free, just for the glory of it? I'm thinking maybe not so much any more.

Which means Mozilla could consider a third evil and join the nasty capitalist system by figuring out exactly what value they are providing to their customers, and charging for it. Instead of trying to figure out for which rich aristrocrat (e.g. Google or MS) they want to be the bought mistress.

Re:they're not limited to two evils (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317137)

> "Which means Mozilla could consider a third evil and join the nasty capitalist system by figuring out exactly what value they are providing to their customers, and charging for it. Instead of trying to figure out for which rich aristrocrat (e.g. Google or MS) they want to be the bought mistress."

When the competition is giving their browser away for free, and its the default in the near-monopoly OS, charging for it isn't a realistic option.

Besides, better to be "owned" for $50 million a year, than p0wned by the competition, which is what would happen if they went to a pay-for model.

Re:they're not limited to two evils (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317463)

No, but having a supported browser is a model that I would love to have. If I could pay $30/seat/year for Mozilla and have technical support available, I'd pay it in a heartbeat. Our entire systems rely on quality browsers (internal use), which is currently limited to Firefox. . Sure, we can donate cash to the foundation, but that doesn't give us anything directly in return, and doesn't satisfy questions like "Why not use Internet Explorer? At least it has a huge corporation behind it...".

(Opera works, but users don't like Opera rendering. Safari works, but doesn't give enough control for our needs (about:config has a lot of useful options for the enterprise). Firefox is currently our only choice, obscure things like printer.save_print_settings which block users from accidentally changing printer margins.)

Re:The lesser of two evils (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317101)

The real question is if having your hands tied by revenue concerns makes the product technically worse.

Mozilla is highly successful, but this success seems to have more to do with paying for advertising in places such as the NY Times than actual technical excellence.

Anybody who's looked into the guts of XPCOM and XUL knows that the code base is way messed up. It's so messed up that it took about five years of (paid) work from the time Netscape provided the initial open source code to the time that Mozilla 1.0 was finally ready to merely browse the web.

If that's what tons of cash brings to the table, no wonder NASA hasn't sent anybody to the moon in over thirty years.

Re:The lesser of two evils (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317109)

better to rape a girl than to not get laid at all?

Re:The lesser of two evils (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317415)

Did you seriously just compare getting money from Google to rape?

Re:The lesser of two evils (1)

slyn (1111419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317323)

Or is it?...

DUN DUN DUN!

NO messing with firefox will be tolerated (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316855)

im no zealot, but, if any misconduct happens to come in the way of firefox from google, no amount of publicity stunt, good deeds can make it up. heed the words of a developer.

Re:NO messing with firefox will be tolerated (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317305)

Haha. If that's not zealotry, what is? The kind of guy that walks over to Larry and Sergei's homes to decapitate them?

Re:NO messing with firefox will be tolerated (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317413)

this is how zealots are created.

Re:NO messing with firefox will be tolerated (5, Funny)

FasterthanaWatch (778779) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317489)

this is how zealots are created.
No, Zealots are created by warping them in through a gateway.

Re:NO messing with firefox will be tolerated (3, Funny)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317535)

My wife for hire!

More money... (3, Interesting)

alexborges (313924) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316869)

MoFo publishes everything, they have to. Im not sure im worried about what they do with all the cash. Its their cash. What is GOOD is that they are prooving how can opensource software interact with the new advertising-financed platforms like google.

There is a growing market for google-talking apps out ther, not just the browser. Integrating stuff from google to your collaboration infrastructure comes to mind, to your intranet portals... i dunno, a bunch of stuff could be developed for the google "platform".

I think differently from those that look at SAAS as a potential danger to software/data freedom. Sure, theyll be able to offer a great deal of services that will force you to upload data and then you will only be able to do what they expose in their apis, but thats okay, if you dont want it, then dont use it.

The fact that google has been able to mostly provide open apis so that one can work with them opens a wealth of posibilities like the one mozilla is exploiting. How about gnome integrating google stuff as a first option for several things like the remote gmail drive perhaps-- which we do have, just not "on gnome" as it is, and letting google plaster some advertising somewhere in exchange (and youd be able to opt-in for that if you want it, granma could opt-out if SHE wanted. And then some google money could flow into gnome, or kde, or both.

Good, good thing for the future.

Re:More money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21317013)

but thats okay, if you dont want it, then dont use it.

Two answers:

1) When a company dominates a platform, then everyone practically has to use (or go out of their way not to), if only because everyone in their office is using it, their boss and clients expect them to use it, etc. See Microsoft Windows and Office.

Therefore a fork of the code is not something Google should be worried about - certainly it can be done, and probably will, but most likely it will have negligible impact.

2) Google search has caused an amazing loss of privacy in people's lives. Think how much information prospective employers, business associates, dates, and social acquaintances can find out about you just by doing a simple Google search on your name. They can even easily get video of the outside of your house, possibly capturing you stepping out the front door. IIRC, Google's CEO once blew a gasket when someone decided to turn the tables and post some "public" information such as his home address, salary, where his kids went to school, and the like. What happened to the debate? With control of one of the two market-leading browsers, Google can effectively co-opt any debate on the loss of privacy in favor of "freedom to search whatever is public, or could be public", which they can probably add to Sir Richard's Four Freedoms.

Money spent on R&D (4, Insightful)

unixmaster (573907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316877)

Shouldn't a technology company spend more than $300,000 on Research & Development? There many bugs in Firefox, even some security bugs stay unfixed for years. And equally important memory leak bugs. I think more money could be spend on better timely responses to security bugs and also fix speed/memory problems plaguing Firefox.

Re:Money spent on R&D (1)

Derek Loev (1050412) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316967)

They do! Their chief executive just spent a whole month "researching" new yachts. And believe me, it's going to be fast!

Re:Money spent on R&D (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317033)

They're spending far, far more than $300,000 on their software developers. Do you really think they have just three developers?

BTW, what "important memory leak bugs" do you think need fixing? I'm seeing almost no signs of memory leaks. I'd rather they focus on bugs that I actually see, such as not remembering the scroll position [mozilla.org] or not importing IE favorites in the correct order [mozilla.org] .

Re:Money spent on R&D (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317365)

You can keep hiding your head in the sand if you like, and ignore the fact that for lots of people Firefox gets unusable within hours of browsing due to memory usage. It won't make the bugs go away though. Firefox behavior is so bad that I currently have my Mac's system activity monitor permanently open so I can regularly see how much memory Firefox uses to know whether it's getting close to the level where I need to restart before my system will start trashing. Currently it's thankfully taking "only" 660MB after a couple of hours of browsing.

Re:Money spent on R&D (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317481)

I'm not hiding my head in the sand. I'm asking which important memory leak bugs you think need fixing. Why don't you simply say which ones specifically you think need fixing rather than try to start an argument? How would a Mac user reproduce the memory problems you see? If you can explain, someone can file a bug report and the problem can be fixed. On the other hand, if you keep trying to fight about it nothing productive will result.

Re:Money spent on R&D (4, Informative)

jesser (77961) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317233)

According to the financial statement [mozilla.org] , Mozilla spent $11,775,516 on "software development" in 2006. I'm guessing that mostly means salaries and benefits for employees who work on Gecko and Firefox. So the bulk of Mozilla's spending is on developing (specific) open-source software.

I don't know what the "less than $300,000" thing refers to. Maybe it refers to monetary grants to other open-source projects, or maybe it refers to things like buying laptops for volunteers so they can contribute more effectively.

Re:Money spent on R&D (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317465)

And there are a whole bunch of developers not on Mozilla.org payroll.

But how much (1)

crowbarsarefornerdyg (1021537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316889)

Of that comes from the fact that when you start up Firefox for the first time, you are not only taken to Google as your homepage, but Google is also the default search engine in the integrated search box?

Not only that. (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317021)

I'll tell you whats really annoying... Yes, they "force" on you google as the default engine and home page. Not a big deal, change it, someone may say. The problem is , as a consultant, I meet people DAILY that not only have an idea that it can be done. They really THINK that the internet = Google, because of this: this is the fromt page they ever get.

And to make things more annoying: there are more and more free software these days that install Googlr Toolbar AND google desktop with it's annoying (bad) indexing on it. yes, you can unselect (often) the damn things when you install, but those same people never do. The result? Poogle Desktop slowing down their already blaoted computers even more? Hell, it's not only freeware. Last time I checked, even Adobe reader was bunded with G. Toolbar...

And to make things MORE annoying. More ans more sites are pushing on you some activeX control to install the toolbar as well. Thanks god for the new IE that stops those ActiveX by default.

I tell you, they are becoming the next Alexa. They ARE a plague, just now.

Re:But how much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21317039)

Of that comes from the fact that when you start up Firefox for the first time, you are not only taken to Google as your homepage, but Google is also the default search engine in the integrated search box?
I can forgive the fact that you didn't even read the summary ("And in 2006 85% of their $66 million in revenue came from Google." i.e. the answer to your question is 85%.)

However, I can NEVER forgive the fact that you started your question in the subject field and continued it in the body. What is wrong with you? Can't it be treated?

and what exactly.. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317335)

is wrong with that?

Re:But how much (1)

crowbarsarefornerdyg (1021537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317405)

Dumbass. I meant how much of the $66 million is from the default homepage and search box. Who couldn't figure that out?

I can't forgive the fact that you truly ARE a coward who can't talk shit without hiding your nick.

Beyond FUD (5, Informative)

savala (874118) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316903)

Mitchell (Mozilla's "chief lizard wrangler") wrote a fairly large blog post [mozillazine.org] , not only about the numbers as published, but also saying some things on the directions Mozilla is moving.

Far more interesting reading than the fluff news.com article, let alone the random FUD spouting by the submitter.

What is REALLY bothersome (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316913)

is that they only gave out 300K to opensource? It is FAR less than what they are paying their CEO? Something is WAY wrong. As it is, most of Firefox WAS done as OSS, and the foundation would not exist with it. They should be spending a LOAD of money on OSS.

They DO spend a LOAD of money on OSS (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316949)

Every dime they are spending on employees and infrastructure goes to OSS. Or do they produce or distribute any software that isn't open source?

Support of non MS (0, Flamebait)

fozzmeister (160968) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316965)

Google are just supporting Moz, because they don't want the web controlled by MS.

Damn you, FF... (4, Insightful)

Aminion (896851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316969)

... why don't you grow your own monies like everyone else!!

Seriously, people: capital is good, that's how you pay for stuff and people, and fund projects. And it's not like Google is bribing the Firefox Foundation, the money comes from search engine integration in Firefox. Also, I can't recall Firefox being involved in any shady business where they have sided with Google against Microsoft. Furthermore, The Firefox Foundation did negotiate with Yahoo before sealing the deal with Google, so they clearly have other options than just Google. Who knows, when the contract with Google expires in 2008, maybe even MS will try to make a deal with The Firefox Foundation.

From the summary:

but now the worry is that, even though it's clear that the community's code is what makes Firefox successful, Mozilla may be becoming dangerously reliant on Google's cash.
Nowhere is this fear expresses besides in the summary. Less editorializing, please.

Re:Damn you, FF... (3, Funny)

Aminion (896851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317047)

Who knows, when the contract with Google expires in 2008, maybe even MS will try to make a deal with The Firefox Foundation.
Only thing preventing this deal would be if, say, Microsoft developed its own BROWSER CALLED INTERNET EXPLORER!
/me is getting senile

Re:Damn you, FF... (1)

trawg (308495) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317497)

And it's not like Google is bribing the Firefox Foundation, the money comes from search engine integration in Firefox.
I seem to recall many people considering this 'adware' or 'spyware' when other companies attempted to bundle their advertising products with free/shareware :)

The Bigger Point (5, Insightful)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317069)

I don't think the main issue is Google supporting Firefox, as people have already commented it's generally a plus to have a steady stream of income. The real issue here is in regards to the CEO's pay. Half a million dollars compared to $300,000 for R&D? Something's skewed there.

Re:The Bigger Point (5, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317469)

They spent around $19 million in 2006. Some big chunk of that was paying people to work on Firefox. The $300,000 was money given to *outside* projects.

It's really hard to say if the CEOs pay was worth it. Really, really hard. If the foundation knew it wasn't, I bet they would find a different CEO. Apparently, they have less than perfect information yet still find the arrangement acceptable.

Community support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21317221)

My enthusiasm towards making addons for Firefox has been dampened by the fact that the MoFo has made no effort at all to share at least some of the money with the community which makes Firefox so much more useful. It's their money, they can do whatever they want with it, but I for one will stop giving for free while they reap the benefits.

Re:Community support (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317505)

It is a bit like the managers at large charities that make sh!t loads of money. It is probably right for the job they do but it just seems so wrong.

Money for Google well Spent (5, Insightful)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317243)

With operating revenues in the billions, Google is getting a huge benefit for a very small outlay with the money flowing into the Mozilla Foundation. These days, it is less common to have a hotlink lingering around for your search engine of choice because they are so ubiquitous that they are expected to just "be there".

And if you run Firefox, the default search engine at the top corner of the screen is none-other-than Google. It is a beautiful interface that has been embraced by users (me and you), the vendor (Google), and the merchant (Mozilla). A rare win-win-win for all. You and I get easy access to search online for anything with the click of a button. Google gets a way to funnel us into their site so they can show us their advertisements. Mozilla gets money to pay their engineers to improve a world class software application.

Given this information, it is silly to think that Google would terminate their beneficial relationship with Mozilla because it would significantly hurt them where it matters most (getting users to their site).

Bullshit! (4, Insightful)

MCSEBear (907831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317337)

There is no way that the head of an open source project should be taking half a mil in compensation. Donate the freaking money to other open source projects that have done important work for the open source community.

I'm sure the Samba and Apache crews can use a little of the love. Hell, the people who created Adblock are the reason I use Firefox... Give them some of the damn cash! Which other open source projects do you think have done the community a lot of good and deserve some of the bank?

Re:Bullshit! (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317447)

Wladimir Palant, the driving force behind Adblock and Adblock Plus, doesn't want to get any cash for it [adblockplus.org] .

I am sorry but ... (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317373)

with that amount of money you could BUY the teams responsible for Open Office, Gimp and any other OS software projects you wanted. Then they might just start making some advances on M$ territory.

Every time this comes up... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317389)

...the answer is simple, if push comes to shove you can always fork it. For the foreseeable future, there's no reason google would want anything else but for Firefox to succeed. Firefox are the standardizers, the commoditizers forcing Internet Explorer to follow that lets google provide services without dealing with ActiveX, MSHTML and crippled old IE browsers. It's the only market share for a default search engine they can buy (except Macs), since Microsoft would never sell IE's default engine spot. And I think you'll find that crippling a specific feature in a browser that's trying to be a) very extensible and b) open-source, is like trying to make water not wet. Roughly 98% of the time, having a corporate backer helps development because of the investment they make. Take Sun and OpenOffice... ok, it might not be great but I'd rather that that "Hey guys, we're pulling out and wlll only release StarOffice from now on... you're on your own."

Re:Every time this comes up... (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317561)

Firefox are the standardizers, the commoditizers forcing Internet Explorer to follow that lets google provide services without dealing with ActiveX, MSHTML and crippled old IE browsers.

Funny but this AJAX thing that powers many of Googles sites was originally powered by an ActiveX control.

Conflict of interest between Firefox/Google (4, Interesting)

cortana (588495) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317525)

lwn.net had a story about this a while back. Worth reading at http://lwn.net/Articles/256904/ [lwn.net] . One of the comments in particular:

Actually, I really think he has a point. Not only does Google have enough employees working on Firefox to ram through whatever change they desire, they also control enough members of the self-appointed WHAT-WG "HTML 5" group to do whatever they want there as well. So an idea can be "standardized" instantly solely by Google employees, then implemented, reviewed, super-reviewed, and committed entirely by Google employees.

This is not theoretical, it already happened with the "ping" attribute in HTML 5, which benefits nobody except advertising companies (read: Google).

Google Pullout (2, Interesting)

WebmasterNeal (1163683) | more than 6 years ago | (#21317571)

So what would happen if Google pulled out from the Mozilla deal. Would FireFox be as useful as it it now? It seems a bit dangerous to have 90% of your income coming from a single source.
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