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maxdevjs
maxdevjs

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Changing World, Changing Mozilla

What are your thoughts? Do you have any insight that can help to guide ourselves among those events and nuances? Is it exclusively a catastrophe or are new horizons opening up? Please, share your point of view.

Top comments (8)

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gregorywitek profile image
Gregory Witek

I have a couple of thoughts, but by no means I am an expert in this area, so treat it with a grain of salt.
Firstly, this is a bad and sad news. Don't let the corpo language in the press release cover the truth. Organizations that are doing well do not let 25% of their people go. It certainly means that Mozilla is in trouble and it might have a lot of negative consequences for the balance in the web space:

  1. it means that 250 people, who were working for an organization with great mission and goals, now will have to find another employer, and it's impossible that they all will work on something as important and vital for the internet as Mozilla's products.

  2. it means that great tools that people use everyday, now won't be kept up to date. MDN documentation is of top-notch quality, and apparently the entire team behind it was laid off. The same with Firefox Dev Tools - those developers who use Firefox will move to Chrome and might stop supporting Firefox on their sites. This will further strengthen Google's position in web browsers market. Then there are other affected projects like Servo (browser engine written in Rust, parts of which were merged into current Firefox engine) - will Mozilla continue investing in Rust following the recent news? It is doubtful.

  3. it's very hard to say what the future brings. Mozilla is a not-for-profit organization which has been strongly relying on a single source of income (search engine deal, with Yahoo until 2017 and Google since then). They've been trying to become less dependent on this one source, but as of 2018 (2019 data not available yet), around 90% of the revenue comes from the deal with Google. What's more, the search engine deal might not be renewed (I think it expires next year), and what other search engine will pay Mozilla if all of Google's competitors have no more than 10% of market altogether?

Is there some bright side to that? Not immediately, things will certainly get worse first.
In longer perspective, I see 2 scenarios:

  • Mozilla as we know it might be gone: if the new search engine deal is not nearly as good as the current one, and if Mozilla does not find other sources of revenue, they will have to further scale down. This would have a lot of consequences, one of them being a total dominance of Chromium as browser engine (similar to dominance of Internet Explorer in early 2000s)
  • the more positive scenario is that Mozilla finds more sources of revenue and they won't have troubles if some company stops supporting them. They have started introducing paid products (VPN, Pocket Premium) and who knows, maybe together with a few more they'll provide steady income that's enough to be the leading power in fight for users' privacy. It certainly won't be easy though.
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maxdevjs profile image
maxdevjs • Edited on

@gregorywitek , thank you for sharing your thoughts and making fair points. Over time, I recognize a few trends and I don't think Mozilla troubles are recent (obviously, I can be wrong about it all). Summarizing...

  1. this isn't the first time Mozilla operates substantial layoff in "recent" years. I do not have statistics about how previous ex employees managed their careers afterwords. As an aside, something looked weird since before Rob Hawkes left.

  2. it seems to me that the (attempt to) switch from a team managed to a somewhat "community"/other entities managed MDN has been going on for some time now. It is interesting how I moved from Chrome to Firefox and happily lived with its idiosyncrasies.

  3. the search engine deal has been a recurrent Achilles heel for ages now. And, for what I can remember, Mozilla never hid concerns about such situation (and chances of many layoffs).

Points I wonder about is how currently "healthy" is Firefox (vast topic) and the future of Rust (will be Go the new I.E.?). I am also not sure if people is akin to access Mozilla products...

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern • Edited on

For anyone out of the loop... blog.mozilla.org/blog/2020/08/11/c...

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functional_js profile image
Functional Javascript • Edited on

I've tried to like Firefox for years but the UX is just not there.

  • It's slow to load.
  • No key-binding customization
  • The bookmark manager is effectively unusable
  • Upgrades have wiped out my tabs and bookmarks multiple times
  • Weird layouts β€” it's like they out-innovate themselves, so the whole software experience is mostly disorienting
  • Google must not like them, because the youtube experience is substandard

Vivaldi

I've been quite happy using Vivaldi.
Pros and Cons listed here:
dev.to/functional_js/my-choice-of-...

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maxdevjs profile image
maxdevjs • Edited on

@functional_js , do you refer to Firefox slowness on MacOS or...?

This is interesting... One thing that made me switch from Chrome to Firefox has been the bookmark manager: not that marvel, but much better.

But yes, YouTube experience became somewhat "funny" especially in the last weeks.

It is a while that I do not check Vivaldi, going to give it another try :)

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functional_js profile image
Functional Javascript • Edited on

I've been running Firefox since yesterday afternoon, to check how well it works on its latest version.

It's been pretty good. Pretty performant.
I've been writing down the pros and cons as I use it.

I notice the bookmarks list is now similar to Vivaldi's (like a File Explorer) but the Vivaldi bookmark manager still is much better.

Here are some Firefox cons I've written down:

  • a black transition screen when switching to fullscreen of a vid
  • invasive popover message each time you fullscreen a video
  • bookmark leftpane doesn't have count of bookmarks in each folder, and doesn't seem to have shortcut keys for moving bookmarks around
  • the ctrl-f or F3 find feature opens a UI widget that resizes the viewport
  • in youtube, the caption keep moving back to the default position on the bottom after the end of each sentence refresh
  • no separate search engine search bar, allowing a dropdown to select the default search engine, though I was able to assign letters to each search engine, like "g" for google, to prefix each search with. UPDATE: I found in the settings you can add a dedicated search bar to the toolbar. You can set focus in it with ctrl-E, just like in Vivaldi.
  • nearly no customization
  • no custom keybindings

Update

After 24 hours of having the Firefox browser open, playing videos (whether youtube or bitchute or others) is getting VERY sluggish and really sucking up CPU. Non-video tabs are running fine.

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maxdevjs profile image
maxdevjs • Edited on

Interesting... I did not stress test Vivaldi yet, just set it up partially (and found it has a white transition screen when switching to fullscreen of a video :) ).

Some times a few FF extensions get crazy, eating a lot of RAM. I had to quit and relaunch the browser a couple times after a few weeks of uninterrupted use, otherwise I restart it only after an update.

Do you mind to repost your comment here?

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perpetual_education profile image
perpetual . education

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