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Mozilla Reponds - We Call the Shots, Not Google.

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the two-great-tastes-fight-it-out dept.

Mozilla 222

An anonymous reader writes "Recent articles in the New York Times and at CNET have highlighted the growing concern that Google holds significant power and influence over Firefox's development. In an interview published today, Mozilla's technology strategist Mike Shaver did his best to proclaim Mozilla's independence. Yes, Google pays Mozilla $56 million per year, Google is the default search engine, and supplier of many of the browser's features (anti-phishing, anti-malware, incorrect URL resolution). Shaver insists that in spite of these ties, Mozilla still calls the shots over Firefox's development."

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222 comments

Do they? (0, Flamebait)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355183)

The mozilla foundation didn't want firefox in the first place. But I guess since firefox has gotten bigger, slower, and more bloated over time, mozilla is calling the shots. too bad.

Re:Do they? (3, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355291)

> The mozilla foundation didn't want firefox in the first place. But I guess since firefox has gotten bigger, slower, and more bloated over time...

I didn't want, initially, to use shitty non-standards compliant (ie Netscape) software, but it's got more compliant over time. Presumably Google are in favour of standards as Google users won't only be using Firefox, so frankly Mozilla can either 1) do what Google want, or 2) risk Google going alone with their own browser based on Firefox code.

Re:Do they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21355323)

The mozilla foundation didn't want firefox in the first place. But I guess since firefox has gotten bigger, slower, and more bloated over time, mozilla is calling the shots. too bad.
Firefox is already slower and more bloated than Mozilla ever was and only has a fraction of the functionality. Give Seamonkey a try. It feels blazing fast by comparison to Bloatfox. Damn I wish there was a good, Open Source, cross platform browser based on WebKit.

Clean, fast code FTW!

Re:Do they? (1)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355575)

Damn I wish there was a good, Open Source, cross platform browser based on WebKit.

Presto! [konqueror.org]

Re:Do they? (2, Informative)

Cecil (37810) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355649)

From the download instructions:

Konqueror is part of KDE's "kdebase" package. The HTML rendering engine khtml is together with all other needed KDE libraries contained in KDE's "kdelibs" package.

To install Konqueror please refer to the pages on how to install KDE.

That's not cross-platform.

Re:Do they? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21356009)

From the download instructions:

Konqueror is part of KDE's "kdebase" package. The HTML rendering engine khtml is together with all other needed KDE libraries contained in KDE's "kdelibs" package.

To install Konqueror please refer to the pages on how to install KDE.

That's not cross-platform.
Konqueror is somewhat cross platform as it will work on any Unix-like OS, including OS X (but only under X11 and X11 on OS X is awful, imho). Suposedly, when KDE4 is released native OS X and Windows versions are going to be available. Still, that would be rather heavy just to get a web browser, and khtml differs (at least in 3.5.x) from WebKit. Try the Safari in Leopard. It's awesome, it even does :hover on just about everything and does css opacity well. Gecko's done that for a while, new versions of Opera do that, and now WebKit does it, but khtml still does not. KHTML also has issues with "overflow: auto" and "<object>" tags, which Gecko, Opera, and WebKit do not.

Re:Do they? (1)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356151)

Dude, that's like saying Kate (my all-time fav Unix editor) is cross-platform.

Just because it runs on multiple chipsets doesn't mean it's compatible with multiple OS platforms.

Sure - you can run it anywhere that X11 runs... but that requires quite a lot of 'other' stuff :)

Mozilla Reponds (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21356047)

Thank god for re ponding. I have always worried what Global Warming was going to do to the water supply, Good to know that Mozilla is on top of it!!!

I was like that too (5, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355217)

I used to say the same thing when I was a teenager and generally feeling rebellious. Unfortunately my dad had all the money at the time, so for anything that had to do with money he ended up calling the shots.

I'm not saying this is bad, and frankly I don't buy the "OMG Google will subvert Firefox" or whatever the conspiracy theory du jour is, but when 99% (or close to that) of your income comes from a single place, "I call the shots" comes across a little weak. He might be right in his claim that Mozilla is independent with or without Google's $56 million, but without the $56M Mozilla is a very different company, probably one that cannot support 120 million users or pay developers or CEOs.

When it comes to money, it's always worse to have it and then lose it than to never have it to begin with.

AKA "The Golden Rule" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21355335)

Those with the Gold make the rules. And while we're toying with metaphors, if a pictures is worth a thousand words, how many rules are worth $56,000,000?

Re:I was like that too (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355507)

I'm thinking that maybe having someone else control Firefox would be a good thing. I used to really love it but the little bugs here and there are starting to bother me. The Mac version becomes unusable after a couple days and I have to restart it so it will render pages at least semi-properly again. So I've started switching to other programs on the Mac, and I'll probably begin switching my program on Windows too.

Re:I was like that too (4, Insightful)

toleraen (831634) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355535)

Could that money come from another source though? Would Yahoo payout like Google does if they switched the default search engines, homepage, etc to yahoo's servers? Sure the cash is really flowing in, but it seems like other there would be other companies that would pay for that right. Maybe not as much as Google, but they'd pay something at least.

Re:I was like that too (4, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355627)

Perhaps Mozilla could give you the option to set the default search engine when you install it. Then Google would pay for Google installations, Yahoo for theirs, Microsoft for theirs, etc. Users win, the search engine company wins, Mozilla wins. More importantly, Mozilla becomes more independent.

And then maybe Microsoft could rent a clue about that. I for one would love to see Google pay Microsoft for the benefit of being the default search engine in Internet Explorer. People who pick Google as a SE mean no revenue to Microsoft in that sense, anyway. And that would also mean more choice for IE users.

Re:I was like that too (5, Informative)

asa (33102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356231)

> Could that money come from another source though? Would
> Yahoo payout like Google does if they switched the default
> search engines, homepage, etc to yahoo's servers?

We already do have a financial relationship with Yahoo and they pay Mozilla for the traffic Firefox sends them. It's just not as much because they're used by fewer Firefox users (both because they're not default, and because users prefer Google.)

> Sure the cash is really flowing in, but it seems like
> other there would be other companies that would pay for
> that right. Maybe not as much as Google, but they'd pay
> something at least.

Any company, including Microsoft, that depends on traffic would pay to have 130 million users visiting their services regularly. Google is the best right now so we chose them as the default. Yahoo is still a favorite of some people, and so it's included in Firefox as an alternative. Some countries have other popular search services and we include those -- even defaulting to them in some cases, when it makes sense for the users.

This isn't about money, really. Mozilla could get as much or more money by selling off search or other services to the highest bidder but that's not how we operate. Google is the default because it's the best. If some other search overtakes Google, then that will probably soon be the default.

- A

Re:I was like that too (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355541)

No company gives another $56 million and still lets them "call all the shots."

Re:I was like that too (3, Funny)

Scaba (183684) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355889)

Unless they're married.

Re:I was like that too (4, Interesting)

griffjon (14945) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355619)

This is all well and good; but look at Flock, which is Firefox + lots of web 2.0 integration, and very Yahoo-centric. No matter how much moolah Google pours into the Mozilla foundation, at the end of the day, it's still providing crunchy, wholesome GPL'ed software. If Google suddenly turns evil; the code still belongs to the community and if Mozilla won't cut the relationship, someone can fork a version out and cut out the Google-centric features.

A good bit of caution is wise, but let's not look a $56 million/year gift to the OSS community in the mouth overmuch.

Re:I was like that too (1)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356123)

> if Mozilla won't cut the relationship, someone can fork a version

We already have quite a lot of forks: Flock, GNU IceWeasel, Portable Edition, Netscape 9, Swiftfox, Swiftweasel, Miro, Songbird, XeroBank

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_IceWeasel [wikipedia.org]

Re:I was like that too (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356267)

Miro and Songbird aren't browsers, and XeroBank has a certain purpose (secure portable web browsing)

Re:I was like that too (-1, Flamebait)

Braino420 (896819) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356149)

No matter how much moolah Google pours into the Mozilla foundation, at the end of the day, it's still providing crunchy, wholesome GPL'ed software.
GPL? You should tell the Mozilla Foundation to update their site [mozilla.com]

Re:I was like that too (3, Informative)

asa (33102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356485)

Firefox is available under a tri-license. You can accept the Mozilla code under any of the MPL, the GPL, or the LGPL, depending on what best suits your needs. Mozilla only accepts contributions that have all three licenses to preserve our ability to continue offering it all under any of those three license terms.

- A

Not quite (3, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355859)

Mozilla only spends about $12M per year, and they have a lot in the bank ($70M?). If you do the math, they can survive for several years if the search engines pull the plug.

Re:I was like that too (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356095)

He might be right in his claim that Mozilla is independent with or without Google's $56 million, but without the $56M Mozilla is a very different company, probably one that cannot support 120 million users or pay developers or CEOs.

Well, a lot of the contributors to Firefox are already paid by someone else, but that aside I bet both Microsoft and Yahoo would happily bid for the default search position and a whole lot of companies/portals would bid on being the default home page. Aside from that source of income, a lot of companies have a vested interest in there being a full-featured Web browser not controlled by Microsoft. I bet Sun, Adobe, and IBM would all provide either funding or developers if the need arose.

My final point is, Firefox is not necessary. Webkit and Opera are both available to pick up the slack and keep up the competition. I just don't see Google's sponsorship as being a significant risk.

Support = Control (1)

Loganscomputer (1176841) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356185)

It is a simple fact that once an entity provides a majority of the support for an activity it controls it. I agree that at the moment Google is a very good master to be enslaved to. It is likely however, that if Google wanted Mozilla to grow in a different direction that Mozilla would be hard pressed to not follow the $56 million dollar carrot.

Re:Support = Control (2, Insightful)

asa (33102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356339)

>It is a simple fact that once an entity provides
>a majority of the support for an activity it
>controls it.

So if I buy 85% of advertising from your newspaper, that means I have an editorial say in what you publish? Bogus.

There's a simple relationship here that may don't seem to (don't want to?) get. Google and Mozilla have a search relationship. Google pays Mozilla for Firefox users that use Google's search services. Other search services also pay Mozilla for Firefox users that use their services. Google is the default because it's the best available search service and the default gets most of the usage so it results in most of the revenue associated with usage. That's the extent of the relationship. They don't have any say outside of that nor do they seem to want any say outside of that (and wouldn't get it if they did). It's not like there aren't a handful of other search services that wouldn't gladly pay for more traffic from Firefox users.

- A

Re:I was like that too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21356307)

Agreed. It is similar to thinking that the United Nations is an autonomous body when it's major funding comes from the United States. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations#Financing [wikipedia.org]

Uh huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21355235)

Firefox 2.0.0.8. Search box in the upper right defaults to? Google. Default homepage? Google.

Really, the fact that they're trying to convince people that Google doesn't have influence over the development of Firefox is probably only going to make them look worse. It's perfectly obvious the Mozilla Foundation has been playing lapdog to Google since they started pouring money into it -- to try and state that the Foundation isn't thusly influenced by that influx of cash is absolutely ridiculous.

Re:Uh huh. (4, Insightful)

provigilman (1044114) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355553)

Oh my God, you're right!!! Google is the start page, that must mean that if in the next version of Firefox they want to add something that gives more functionality to the bookmarks, Google gets a say. It must also mean that when they hire a new dev team to work on the browser, Google does the interviews!!!

It could also just be that Google made a deal with them to have the most popular search engine in the world be the default. You can change it, it's not the end of the world, and it doesn't mean that Google has their hands in the day to day running of everything.

I mean, do we really think that Nissan is approving scripts for Heroes and other NBC shows that have the new Rogue in them? No! It's advertising, and I'm sure Nissan pays a hefty to price to ensure that the script for "Claire's dad gives her a new [insert car]" says "[Nissan Rogue]" instead.

Re:Uh huh. (1)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356475)

I mean, do we really think that Nissan is approving scripts for Heroes and other NBC shows that have the new Rogue in them?
No, but I guarantee you that NBC won't let a Nissan spontaneously explode on their show. NBC got sued for showing someone get injured by a garbage disposal last season, and part of the settlement had NBC agreeing to not show the disposal in a negative light again, and that disposal wasn't even a sponsor! In fact, Emerson is a competitor of the owner of NBC, General Electric.

If you buy the DVDs or HDDVDs, you're watching a version of the show censored by a non-sponsor, and you don't think sponsorship also plays a role in the creative process?

apologies to Mr. Manilow (3, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355239)

Mozilla still calls the shots over Firefox's development.

Not only that, they write the songs that make the whole world sing.

Re:apologies to Mr. Manilow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21355579)

Dude, Bruce Johnston wrote that. The big "BM" was just one of the acts that recorded it in 1975.

Google and Mozilla detest (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21355261)

Reponds is not a word. And I'd say that's a good direction to go in spell checking. Too bad /. disagrees.

Re:Google and Mozilla detest (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355403)

Reponds is not a word.
Nonsense.

Everyone knows the root of reponds is pond, which is a body of water, often man-made, smaller than a lake.

We also know that bodies of water reflect light off their surface, and further, we know that to reflect means to consider.

To pond is to consider.
A ponder is one who considers.
To repond is to reconsider.
Reponds means reconsiders.

Perhaps you'd like to repond your assumption that reponds is not a perfectly cromulent word?

Re:Google and Mozilla detest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21355737)

Actually, according to dictionary.com, to pond is to collect (esp. water) into a pond or large puddle. To repond, therefore, is to collect (esp. water) for a second time, forming a pond or large puddle. I will leave astute binge-drinkers to fill in the blanks.

Re:Google and Mozilla detest (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356467)

Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?

so who gets the money? (2, Interesting)

EllynGeek (824747) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355279)

They're still dodging the question of how to spend all those millions. Sure, the devs and people who support Firefox are all happy. But that happiness will evaporate if they don't think the money is being handled fairly. So as both a non-profit and a FOSS project, which are both accountable in different ways, what is going to happen to all that nice fluffy cash?

Re:so who gets the money? (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355363)

They could afford to pay for ads that put the FF site at the top of the list whenever anyone types "internet explorer" into google.

Re:so who gets the money? (2, Funny)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355473)

Yes the first thing I do after installing Linux is to search for "Internet Explorer" in Google to download and install it. Now because of your brilliant idea, people like me would install Firefox instead.

Re:so who gets the money? (5, Informative)

asa (33102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355741)

We most certainly have said where the money goes. Read the financial disclosure statement. In summary, the bulk of what we spend goes to personnel and infrastructure and what we don't spend goes into savings/investment.

- A

Re:so who gets the money? (1)

The Slashdolt (518657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356225)

Do you guys get to use the google jet?

Re:so who gets the money? (1)

EllynGeek (824747) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356391)

What financial disclosure statement? You could provide a link. I doubt that personnel and infrastructure come close to making a dent in $74 million, so you're still not answering the question of what the remaining tens of millions are going to be used for. Are volunteer devs going to get paid? Are you going to fund other OSS projects? How do you decide which volunteers get money?

I doubt that the foundation is going to sit on all those funds.

Re:so who gets the money? (1)

asa (33102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356421)

Google for it. I've already wasted enough time responding to an obvious troll. Hell, just read the previous couple of /. articles and you'll find links.

- A

Remove the defaults (0)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355319)

Grey out the search box until the user chooses the search engine they want to use. Randomly choose the order of the search engines in the drop down box (once). Replace the home page with a selection page, and include a type-in box.

That way Mozilla won't be giving Google any special treatment and when the users choose Google to be the preferred search and home page anyway you can claim that you weren't doing anything wrong in the first place.

Re:Remove the defaults (5, Insightful)

asa (33102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355815)

> Grey out the search box until the user chooses the search
> engine they want to use. Randomly choose the order of the
> search engines in the drop down box (once). Replace the
> home page with a selection page, and include a type-in box.

Yeah. Everything should be an option. Sounds like you want SeaMonkey and not Firefox. Firefox ships with a set of defaults that we believe are best for the most users. Right now, and for the last five or six years, Google has been the best possible search for most of our users. Where it isn't, we'll change it (like we did for a year in Japan, China, and Korea with Yahoo as the default.)

You're suggesting we optimize for the minority case and that's a cop-out that all too many software programs opt for. Most users don't want to have to configure their browser before they start using it. They want it to "just work" and that's what we aim to deliver.

> That way Mozilla won't be giving Google any special treatment
> and when the users choose Google to be the preferred search
> and home page anyway you can claim that you weren't doing
> anything wrong in the first place.

That way, we can make all of our users suffer an extra flaming hoop to jump through to satisfy a few people who are already quite capable of switching to whatever services they want. Sounds like a great plan.

- A

Re:Remove the defaults (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21356407)

Yeah. Everything should be an option. Sounds like you want SeaMonkey and not Firefox. Firefox ships with a set of defaults that we believe are best for the most users. Right now, and for the last five or six years, Google has been the best possible search for most of our users. Where it isn't, we'll change it (like we did for a year in Japan, China, and Korea with Yahoo as the default.)
Yes. Everything should be an option. It should also be an option to use the superior WebKit engine instead of Gecko inside of Firefox (similar to IETab).

oil companies and politicians (5, Insightful)

facon12 (1128949) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355321)

Yes they do exactly what they want. Just the same way a politician will make all of their own decisions after getting millions from oil companies and other "pacs" with special interests.

Re:oil companies and politicians (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355485)

Mozilla: Don't Forget, I am the Decider.

Re:oil companies and politicians (0, Redundant)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355639)

Yes they do exactly what they want. Just the same way a politician will make all of their own decisions after getting millions from oil companies and other "pacs" with special interests.

Not if they want to stay in office. Then you have bow down to your financier.

Mozilla starts doing what they want, even if it runs against Google's wishes, you can bet the money spigot will be turned off.

One thing to consider (1)

GroundBounce (20126) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355325)

Yes, Mozilla gets a lot of money from Google, and it would be naive to assume that they don't have influence. But, some influence from Google may not necessarily be a bad thing, plus, where would mozilla/firefox be in terms of their competitive position if they were $56M/year poorer? Which is the lesser of evils?

Sometimes.. (2, Insightful)

Viewsonic (584922) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355589)

Throwing money at something doesn't automatically create something good. In fact, I think people do the really good work when they're starving artists. Those two guys working out of a garage usually have a hell of a lot more willpower and determination than most fat cats with more money than they know what to do with. They become lax and sterile.

Well, not always. And Firefox is still a damn good product. So long as it stays that way, I'll still be using it. But if they begin to rest on their laurels, the "next big thing" that will put them by the wayside will most likely be another side project out of nowhere from people who are living off Ramen.

Glad that's resolved (3, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355337)

OK, let's move on then.

Prove it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21355341)

Make Yahoo! the default search. I dare you.

Re:Prove it. (4, Informative)

asa (33102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355893)

>Make Yahoo! the default search. I dare you.

We did. And users didn't like it at all. We put Yahoo in for CJKT builds because they had a larger presence in those markets. Users were unhappy.

- A

Why doesn't Firefox delete cookies by default? (0, Troll)

rpp3po (641313) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355343)

Try this: Click "Tools" -> "Clear private data..." => Now notice that every removal option is checked but two: "Saved Passwords" and "Cookies".

With all this intimate data which can be collected by tracing cookies sent to your browser, why in the hell doesn't a browser default to delete cookies if you tell it to "clear PRIVATE data"??? Well, maybe because Mozilla's top sponsor is intensively relying on cookies?

I think this says all about who is" calling the shots" at Mozilla. It's cleary NOT the end user's interests.

Re:Why doesn't Firefox delete cookies by default? (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355425)

Or maybe it's because of the exact same reason that "saved passwords" are not cleared.. so people don't have to log back into websites that have given them a cookie to cache their login.

Re:Why doesn't Firefox delete cookies by default? (1)

rpp3po (641313) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356065)

Clearing private data primarily means clearing traces you leave publicly. Traces which can and are being used to collect very intimate profiles about many internet users. That's a much bigger privacy concern than traces on your local computer, especially since "Clear private data" just deletes filesystem references without wiping data. For anybody curious enough it won't be hard to undelete cleared local traces.

So Firefox defaults don't clear your public traces at all and your local traces can either be seen by "show cookies" (preferences) or undeleted for an even better picture. I don't understand how my initial post could be moderated 'Troll'. That's just ignorant.

Re:Why doesn't Firefox delete cookies by default? (2, Funny)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355431)

No, it's because most of the time people just want their browsing history cleared (so people don't see what naughty perverts they are), yet don't want their logins/preferences to be lost. Choice is good, checkboxes are good.

Try this: Click "Tools" -> "Remove tin foil hat"

Re:Why doesn't Firefox delete cookies by default? (1)

rpp3po (641313) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355897)

No, it's because most of the time people just want their browsing history cleared (so people don't see what naughty perverts they are), yet don't want their logins/preferences to be lost. Choice is good, checkboxes are good.
I recommend to any wife, whose husband is trusting Firefox' defaults for covering his porn traces, to just use Firefox' builtin "Show cookies". Caches get cleared, cookies are still there. About every porn page he had visited will be listed. And that after he has trusted Firefox' "Clear private data" defaults. Firefox targets an audience where large shares of users wouldn't know what cookies really are. Setting such loose defaults for such an audience just isn't right, especially if your largest sponsor is profiting from this.

Re:Why doesn't Firefox delete cookies by default? (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355461)

Well, maybe because Mozilla's top sponsor is intensively relying on cookies?
So do Yahoo, eBay, M$ Live, etc.

Re:Why doesn't Firefox delete cookies by default? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21355503)

Two words: Google Analytics.

Forget cookies. They are for chumps.

You need NoScript to get the google monkey off your back.

Re:Why doesn't Firefox delete cookies by default? (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355641)

Because clearing cookies logs you out of those sites that you've saved the password for. Occam's Razor is a really good tool for use with most things, you should try it.

Re:Why doesn't Firefox delete cookies by default? (1)

asa (33102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355955)

> With all this intimate data which can be collected
> by tracing cookies sent to your browser, why in the
> hell doesn't a browser default to delete cookies if
> you tell it to "clear PRIVATE data"???

Because users freak out when they say "clear cookies" and all their username logins disappear. For those of you who want to also clear that, it's right there with the tick of a box. I, for one, would rather manually manage my cookies so I can keep all my logins saved.

- A

OK, then make MSN the default search (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355381)

Let the dissembling begin...

Re:OK, then make MSN the default search (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355537)

OK, then make MSN the default search
No, if they really want to prove it, they'll make the Opera download page their default.

Re:OK, then make MSN the default search (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356325)

Opera also gets cash for making Google the default.

56 MILLION?!?!?! For what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21355391)

What exactly is that money for? Where does it go? Developers? Advertising?

I can't imagine paying for advertising at this point. Hell, people tend to use what works best or addresses the current issues, apart from advertising (at least in the FOSS world).

Does it REALLY take 56 Million to develop a web browser? Starting from scratch, I'm sure I could do it for about 250-500k. And that's with salaries, rent and benefits.

I'm not the smartest business guy out there, but I do know Google has a very large role in the alternative browser market. If you don't think the threat of pulling funding (whatever that money is being spent on) is going to have an impact on the development, you've got to be kidding yourself.

Re:56 MILLION?!?!?! For what? (3, Insightful)

asa (33102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356049)

> What exactly is that money for? Where does it
> go? Developers? Advertising?

If you read the financial statements that all this is based on, you'd see exactly and precisely where it goes. the bulk of it goes to paying about 100 full-time people and maintaining one of the largest and most capable infrastructures on the planet. Lots also goes into savings/investments for the future.

> Does it REALLY take 56 Million to develop a web
> browser? Starting from scratch, I'm sure I could
> do it for about 250-500k. And that's with salaries,
> rent and benefits.

You go ahead and do that. I'm sure it'll be a huge success. Send me an email with a link when it's shipping to 130 million users.

- A

Re:56 MILLION?!?!?! For what? (2, Insightful)

Dirk Pitt (90561) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356127)

Does it REALLY take 56 Million to develop a web browser?


No. [mozillazine.org]

Roughly $20 million a year in operating cost - 70% of which paid 90 employees. That's 155k (salary and benes) an employee - pretty average for a tech operation I'd imagine.

The rest they've accrued into $70+ million in assets.

Mozilla Foundation does much more than just develop Firefox - RTFA.
 
 

I'm sure I could do it for about 250-500k


Wow, you could develop, test, and host downloads for a software product with a multi-million user-base for 250k? You, sir, are fresh out of college or full of shit.

I dont mind google funding Mozilla (1, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355427)

If you dont like then use IE.

Dont like IE? Then use Saffari? Dont like and your using unix then use Konsqueror.

Anything is better than a convicted monopolist running the show with one browser. Even if Google starts another monopoly we still have 4 free browsers which means more competition. The more browsers the better as it forces webmasters to use more standards and cross test their sites on multiple browsers.

To me it seems some of the more free software zealots are terrified about anything that is being funded and not done by hobbiests on their own spare time. Sorry but captitalism is the most efficient system today and Firefox needs funding. Who is going to debug, run the servers, run the projects, develop code, and run extensive QA for free? Google doesn't want the browser market. It only wants the information.

Re:I dont mind google funding Mozilla (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355667)

The more browsers the better as it forces webmasters to use more standards and cross test their sites on multiple browsers.
You're obviously not a webmaster, and as a webmaster I'd just like to say "fuck you." When you spend the better part of a day getting a site to work in one browser and then find out that another browser doesn't work in it, come back to me and say that more is better.

Re:I dont mind google funding Mozilla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21356129)

You're obviously not a good webmaster. Generally if you are writing standards compliant code if it works in firefox it will work in khtml/webkit based, gecko based and opera. If it works in firefox it usually only doesn't work in IE and IE 7 has solved a lot of that. The point is the more browsers there are the better standards compliance has to become. By the next release of IE you will probably find that every browser passes acid 2 at least (firefox 3 beta's do) If IE 8 doesn't, it just underlines more and more how shitty the browser is and the best thing you can do is leave the site broken, do an if ie and place a javascript alert or html message nice and big saying "you are using defunct technology, click here to learn about standards compliant browsers" You can even sign up to adsense and do the firefox referral on this page and make some money. Personally I am making around $600 a month just from firefox referrals through adsense with a site that only gets 2000 unique visitors per day.

Can the users demand fixes now? (5, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355439)

Firefox does not look like a very typical FOSS program anymore in which developers don't get any money back from the masses of users. The developers working at Mozilla are getting paid directly from the money that the users are contributing with their clicks. Hence, I think the mantra of 'if you don't like it, fork it" is not really valid in this scenario. Note this is opposed to projects with paid developers like Apache and the Linux kernel which is supported by corporate entities and not end users.

Also, I remember that Mozilla wanted contributions for the NYT ad a few years ago and many of my friends who were students barely scraping by, contributed some of their much needed money to the project. Apart from that I guess a ton of people donated money to Mozilla in the past few years thinking that they needed funding badly. Did Mozilla really need it or were they getting enough money from Google to run that ad by themselves? The fact that the CEO of Mozilla gets a compensation of half a million dollars makes it worse.

Does this also mean the users(who are contributing to the coffers with their use of Firefox) can demand fixes to the nagging bugs and not get a 'if you don't like it fork it' reply? Take a look at this very annoying image captions wrapping bug that plagued users and web developers and was unfixed for seven years despite even stalwarts like XKCD's Randall Munroe complaining in this bugzilla thread. Note that you need to copy paste because bugzilla doesn't allow links from Slashdot https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=45375 [mozilla.org]

It makes for very entertaining reading. I personally use Opera(I used to be a big supporter of Firefox back in the day) for it's leanness and speed. I would switch over to Firefox in a flash if they fix the bloatness.

Re:Can the users demand fixes now? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355763)

Sure, if you don't like it, don't use it.

Then they don't get any money from you.

Re:Can the users demand fixes now? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355783)

Does this also mean the users(who are contributing to the coffers with their use of Firefox) can demand fixes to the nagging bugs and not get a 'if you don't like it fork it' reply?


No, no more than individual users of large commercial software packages that are contributing by actually paying licensing fees can "demand" changes and compel a positive response. They can, of course, request changes, and they can, if they aren't satisfied with the response, stop supporting Mozilla with their use of Firefox or otherwise.

If you want the power to demand changes, run your own project. Otherwise, you'll have to convince the people that are running the project that your requests ought to be a priority. Licensing model and payment schemes are largely irrelevant to this fact.

Re:Can the users demand fixes now? (2, Informative)

asa (33102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356159)

>I remember that Mozilla wanted contributions for the
>NYT ad a few years ago and many of my friends who were
>students barely scraping by, contributed some of their
>much needed money to the project. Apart from that I
>guess a ton of people donated money to Mozilla in the
>past few years thinking that they needed funding badly.
>Did Mozilla really need it or were they getting enough
>money from Google to run that ad by themselves?

Donations to this program happened before there was any serious money coming in from Google. Remember, back then we only had a few users and it's users and traffic that generate revenue. Without contributions from our community, Firefox wouldn't be where it is today -- especially early contributions like with the NYT ad project.

-A

Re:Can the users demand fixes now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21356397)

I remember that Mozilla wanted contributions for the
>NYT ad a few years ago and many of my friends who were
>students barely scraping by, contributed some of their
>much needed money to the project.
Your friends are idiots.

Now I undestand what happened to Thunderbird. (3, Interesting)

baldusi (139651) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355477)

I know I'll be tagged as paranoid. But it might explain why Mozilla separated Thunderbird. Google doesn't want you to use POP3 or IMAP. They want you to use the web. It just might just have been one of the reasons that were considered when making the decision.

Re:Now I undestand what happened to Thunderbird. (4, Insightful)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355617)

Google doesn't want you to use POP3 or IMAP
But doesn't GMail support both of those, now?

Re:Now I undestand what happened to Thunderbird. (1)

indil (911425) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356387)

Sure, as a convenience. But they don't get to display ads in the same way, if at all, if your mail is being displayed in an app they don't control.

Re:Now I undestand what happened to Thunderbird. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21356165)

I'm starting to think the same thing myself. Not that it matters. It's OSS, you can't kill it. It'll only die if there's no one who wants to keep working on it. Look at the old Mozilla Suite. Mozilla killed it over three years ago, yet it's still alive and well as SeaMonkey.

So as long as there's a community willing to keep Thunderbird alive, it'll keep flying! ;)

Re:Now I undestand what happened to Thunderbird. (2, Informative)

bahwi (43111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356175)

Well, except about a month ago or so they opened up free IMAP for gmail.

Free IMAP on Gmail [slashdot.org] slashdot article. And I believe they already have POP3 support(I could be wrong, or maybe it's inwards only).

Re:Now I undestand what happened to Thunderbird. (3, Informative)

asa (33102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356201)

>I know I'll be tagged as paranoid. But it might
>explain why Mozilla separated Thunderbird. Google
>doesn't want you to use POP3 or IMAP. They want
>you to use the web. It just might just have been
>one of the reasons that were considered when
>making the decision.

It wasn't. Google doesn't have any say in what we do beyond the code and services they contribute. They absolutely don't have any involvement or influence in Thunderbird where they don't contribute anything at all.

- A

Re:Now I undestand what happened to Thunderbird. (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356471)

Google doesn't want you to use POP3 or IMAP
Not sure I buy that. If they really didn't want you to use it, they'd either not allow it, or do what their competitors Hotmail and Yahoo do -- allow it for a price. My guess is they they do want you not to need to use it, but through good design and features.

I pop my gmail into Thunderbird -- mainly because in the early part of beta gmail wasn't always accessible, there were more glitches than there have been for a few years.

No, sorry, but I suspect the reason Thunderbird was cut out -- and I say this as a long term Thunderbird user -- is because Thunderbird pretty much sucks. I would like that not to be the case -- however, it is. For all the great innovation Firefox has brought, Thunderbird is just a slightly secure version of Outlook Express. It would be better to simply keep Thunderbird maintained and focus development on a real email application, a new one from the ground up completely, an innovative one.

Of course Mozilla calls the shots... (2, Interesting)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355487)

It's open source. If Google wanted to be in control, they would just release their own version.

I RTFA'd, and the whole issue reads like tin-foil hat paranoia or just plain old FUD. Where are the examples of Mozilla bowing to Google's wishes (outside of making them the default search, which they're paying for)?

watch the pretty birdie (3, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355583)

Google is the default search engine, and supplier of many of the browser's features (anti-phishing, anti-malware, incorrect URL resolution)

...which is the real issue here, to me...though absurd compensation for the CEO and very lopsided revenue from google are others (NO organization should rely on ONE source for its money. Diversification is the name of the game.) Google's services are heavily bundled AND set as the default where there is choice. Does this sound familiar, anyone?

Now, the question is: if Yahoo, Altavisa, Microsoft, Excite, or Ask (was Teoma), or anyone else for that matter, offers similar services to Firefox for free- will they be allowed to get their foot in the door (via a GOOD user interface to allow selection- modifying about:config params doesn't count) or bundled in (ie, included in the official distribution)?

Re:watch the pretty birdie (4, Interesting)

asa (33102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356383)

> Now, the question is: if Yahoo, Altavisa, Microsoft, Excite,
> or Ask (was Teoma), or anyone else for that matter, offers
> similar services to Firefox for free- will they be allowed
> to get their foot in the door (via a GOOD user interface to
> allow selection- modifying about:config params doesn't count)
> or bundled in (ie, included in the official distribution)?

I take it you've never used Firefox. We include other search services. We've even defaulted to other search services in some geographic locales. The interface for switching among the included services is super easy and even adding services that are not included are easy to add with a click or two (and there are over 13,000 of them available at mycroft.mozdev.org)

Not only that, any of these companies could (and some do) distribute a custom version of Firefox with their features as the default.

- A

Sounds like more Microsoft FUD ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21355601)

... to try to sink the main threat to IE and Exchange (ie Mozilla's Firefox and Thunderbird).

Which makes me wonder why on earth this story keeps getting posted on sites favorable to F/OSS.

If you want to help Microsoft and hurt F/OSS, keep making an issue of this and posting stories like this.

If you want to help F/OSS, then it'd be smart to find any links that exist between whoever planted (wrote, published) these anti-Mozilla stories and Microsoft.

Prove it. Strike a deal with Yahoo. (1, Interesting)

melted (227442) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355605)

And then rotate through three major search engines every quarter. This quarter it'll be Yahoo, next - Microsoft, then Google again. I'm sure both Yahoo and Microsoft will be delighted to participate.

Yahoo supports open source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21355701)

I'm sure they have a hand in, but let me know when then donate $50M.

Re:Prove it. Strike a deal with Yahoo. (3, Insightful)

luserSPAZ (104081) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355865)

Yeah, except most people *want* to use Google, which is why it wound up as the default in the first place. The money came later. It's nice that it now pays good money, but it started out as the default because it's just the most useful tool. Maybe we can have this discussion again when there's a more useful search engine out there, when it's actually a concern.

so what? (1)

jobst (955157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355659)

Even if google is in partial control of Mozilla, so what? you cannot compete against M$ without some BIG $dollars ... having google support mozilla is good!

Oh, certainly! (4, Insightful)

rholland356 (466635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355719)

Men serving two masters always say this, and we know it's rubbish.

The truth will be known as soon as conflicting interests have to be resolved.

Finally! (1)

masterv (173870) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355743)

I've been waiting for Mozilla to repond for a long time. I always felt their original pond could not attract the top quality ducks...

Google simply is best. (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355899)

Google is simply best, its not because Mozilla and Google somehow are the same, Google just happens to be one of the few search engines that loads fast and doesn't display banner ads all over the place, also, most web users use Google as their homepage, so why not set that as the default? Its simply for practical reasons. Because Firefox on Ubuntu has the Free Software Foundation in the bookmarks does that mean that somehow the FSF is giving Ubuntu tons of money? No it is simply practical same thing with Firefox.

Duh, Google is smart... (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21355927)

Google's support of Firefox helps the company strategically hedge its bets against Microsoft. If Google had to write a browser from scratch, they could do it, but, it would raise up too many weird signals. However, if Google supports Firefox, and gradually gets its arms around it, they get a browser that is free, a strategic stake in controlling something that can help their business. All the way around its just a smart move for them.

Microsoft owns IE, and would love to screw Google up - imagine the patch to IE that breaks Google... and yet works for whatever MS does on line. FireFox is Google's ace-in-the-hole. If a Windows upgrade comes out and that breaks Google, they tell the users that like Google to just switch browsers, and it will all be ok, and suddenly, Microsoft would be facing a very problem of having its Windows franchise kicked off the internet.

Gates and Co were right about one thing when they set out to destroy Netscape - whoever owns the browser owns the desktop, and, if MS missteps and blows IE's lead over Firefox, then, whatever OS can run Firefox is suddenly a potential operating system rival, and from there, development tool chain, and, after that, everything else.

I cant see what the big deal is. (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356097)

Many charities and famous personalities get corporate assistance and no one complains when they wear that companies logo or do some other form of viral promotion. Yes I can understand people worrying about Google having sway over the code but lets be honest every corporate sponsorship comes with strings attached. if you can figure out how to pay "everyones" rent based on wishful thinking go for it otherwise we have to go with what we have. It could be worse, Mozilla could have been sponsored by a pro-closed source "Evil"(tm) [microsoft.com] company

interesting (2, Interesting)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356357)

its interesting how the most comments defend mozilla just cause of google's "do no evil" image

now imagine the outcry if firefox came with live.com as default search and microsoft paud mozilla oh i dunno 120 big ones?

Re:interesting (1, Flamebait)

asa (33102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356447)

Mozilla wouldn't ship live.com as the default because it's a poorer service than Google and sending 130 million Firefox users to a less good service that uses its profits to attack the very mission of Mozilla -- to promote choice and innovation and be an advocate for the non-commercial aspects of the Web and the people using the Web, is just stupid.

- A

Wait until there is someting to haggle about. (1, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356393)

I really do not understand the constant need some people have to paint Google in a bad manner. Up until this very day Google has been a good netizen and last i checked they wasnt involved in any criminal acts like some other unnamed company. Mozilla does a great job on Firefox and nothing is really worth complaining about. If Google is twisting Mozilla.orgs arm they dont get much for all that money thats for sure. The damn browser is free, both as in beer and freedom. Just fork it or shut up. I do have a fealing that much of the complaints against Google are coordinated attempts to blacken its very good reputation. Maybe from some other company that do not have a, should we say, excellent track record in behaiving nicely. As a very satisfied Firefox "customer" i want to say, thanks Google and Mozilla!

Firefox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21356481)

Firefox?

What's that?

All the cool people are using Opera these days.
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