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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday September 26 2020, @08:41AM   Printer-friendly
from the state-of-the-art dept.

Co-founder of Netscape (formerly Mosaic Communications Corporation) and of Mozilla.org, Jamie Zawinski, has some brief comments about the current situation with Mozilla and its browser.

Back to Mozilla -- in my humble but correct opinion, Mozilla should be doing two things and two things only:

  1. Building THE reference implementation web browser, and
  2. Being a jugular-snapping attack dog on standards committees.
  3. There is no 3.

And they just completely threw in the towel on standards when they grabbed their ankles and allowed W3C to add DRM. At this point, I assume Mozilla's voice on the standards committees has all the world-trembling gravitas of "EFF writes amicus brief."

By the way, one dynamic that the cited article missed is that a huge part of the reason for Google's "investment" in Mozilla was not just to drive search traffic -- it was antitrust insurance. Mozilla continuing to exist made Chrome not be the only remaining web browser, and that kept certain wolves at bay.

Google has decided that they don't need to buy antitrust insurance any more. Wonder why.

Jamie is responding to the summary of the current situation with Mozilla outlined by software engineer Cal Paterson who points out that Firefox usage is down 85% despite Mozilla's top exec pay having gone up 400%.

One of the most popular and most intuitive ways to evaluate an NGO is to judge how much of their spending is on their programme of works (or "mission") and how much is on other things, like administration and fundraising. If you give money to a charity for feeding people in the third world you hope that most of the money you give them goes on food - and not, for example, on company cars for head office staff.

Mozilla looks bad when considered in this light. Fully 30% of all expenditure goes on administration. Charity Navigator, an organisation that measures NGO effectiveness, would give them zero out of ten on the relevant metric. For context, to achieve 5/10 on that measure Mozilla admin would need to be under 25% of spending and, for 10/10, under 15%.

Previously:
(2020) Mozilla Lays Off 250, Including Entire Threat Management Team
(2020) Firefox Browser Use Drops as Mozilla's Worst Microsoft Edge Fears Come True
(2020) The Web Is Now Too Complex To Allow The Creation of New Browsers
(2019) The Future of Browsers


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  • (Score: 1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 26 2020, @08:48AM (16 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 26 2020, @08:48AM (#1057162)

    Mozilla Needs Your Help to Expose YouTube’s Recommendation Algorithm, because they have nothing better to do and how dare you suggest their priorities are skewed.

    Starting Score:    0  points
    Moderation   +1  
       Offtopic=1, Troll=2, Insightful=1, Underrated=2, Touché=1, Total=7
    Extra 'Troll' Modifier   0  

    Total Score:   1  
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 26 2020, @09:33AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 26 2020, @09:33AM (#1057181)

    Their priorities are just fine. If they get plenty of evidence the YouTube algorithm is bad, they might get a bit more leverage over Google to keep that money flowing. That's the whole point of being at the top of a multimillion dollar organization like this: Making tons of money for themselves and their friends, right? That and keeping their name in the public consciousness by announcing things like this all the time, so as to allow more opportunities for the former.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27 2020, @08:43AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27 2020, @08:43AM (#1057575)

      If they get plenty of evidence the YouTube algorithm is bad, they might get a bit more leverage over Google to keep that money flowing.

      Or how about instead, they never find any real evidence, or any evidence they 'find' isn't really bad, but just acceptable behaviour to the powers at be?

      If anything, they've *already* been paid off. An investigation by Mozilla into Google? That's like expecting a dog to attack someone who feeds it more than anyone else!! How can people think it's a real investigation?!

  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Saturday September 26 2020, @09:40AM (1 child)

    by c0lo (156) on Saturday September 26 2020, @09:40AM (#1057184) Journal

    Actually, it's a smart move. If they manage to reverse engineer Google's algo, they have Google by the balls. Squeeze them a bit, milk Google of some money.
    Iff they gather enough crowd participation, the may pull it ou... off, I mean.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 26 2020, @10:31AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 26 2020, @10:31AM (#1057192)

      Everyone already knows how the algo works. What they want is to pressure Google to change the algo to hide more wrongthink. Google already does that to appease advertisers so Mozilla is just pissing in the ocean. Which is the best way to describe all of Mozilla's activities.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by EEMac on Saturday September 26 2020, @01:42PM (11 children)

    by EEMac (6423) on Saturday September 26 2020, @01:42PM (#1057239)

    When a FireFox update announced FireFox was "more than a browser" and I was part of a social movement for using it, I knew it was time to consider Chrome.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 26 2020, @05:44PM (9 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 26 2020, @05:44PM (#1057325)

      Sorry you got modded down. I'm a woke hippie leftie, all in on many modern social/ist movements.
      But that's no place for a browser project. I'm with Cal Peterson (who wrote the article that JWZ commented on) and JWZ. Mozilla Foundation should have focused on financial sustainability without spending their entire budget each year, and their goal should have been making the best browser in the world and defending web standards. All these digressions are killing them.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 26 2020, @10:49PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 26 2020, @10:49PM (#1057401)

        Mozilla Foundation should have focused on financial sustainability without spending their entire budget each year, and their goal should have been making the best browser in the world and defending web standards.

        I'll let someone else downmod you. How dare you absolve Mozilla from their societal responsibility to right the wrongs White Patriarchy has wreaked upon the intersectionally oppressed in the world? By the way, where is *your* commitment to hand over all the ill gotten gains your privilege has afforded you to outreach efforts, getting poor females with no interest in a four-year CS course a chance to take your job, which you only got via your privilege?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27 2020, @04:46PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27 2020, @04:46PM (#1057669)

          Oh, so our industry never had a problem with sexism and sexual harrassment in education or the workplace. Gotcha.

          And no white man ever got a psychological benefit from existing in classrooms dominated by white men, teaching staff almost all white men, and managers almost all white men. Gotcha again.

          I'm in my 40s, and I had women classmates get told by professors and managers in the field that technology was a man's job and being a woman made them inherently incapable of doing it well. It's easy for me to say that if I was born a woman, I would have fought past that - but I wasn't, so we'll never know. And I haven't even touched on racism.

          In summary, go fuck yourself.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27 2020, @05:17PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27 2020, @05:17PM (#1057686)

            So what? That's called a Birthright. If anything, we have been way too nice, and have been giving it all away. We should have shipped the Africans back home after the civil war and only ever accepted immigration from White countries. Women should be at home having White children, not whoring themselves for fake Jew money.

          • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Sunday September 27 2020, @06:12PM

            by hendrikboom (1125) on Sunday September 27 2020, @06:12PM (#1057716) Homepage Journal

            My wife entered medical school in Manitoba the year that the informal quotas on female admissions were made slightly more permissive. That was back in the 60's.
            On her first class a professor surveyed the classroom and remarked on the waste of money being spent on women who were just looking for their Mrs. degree.

            Female doctors were rare in those days; and they tended to be among the best doctors available because the selection criteria were far more stringent than those for men.

            -- hendrik

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27 2020, @03:40AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27 2020, @03:40AM (#1057505)

        [...] I'm a woke hippie leftie, all in on many modern social/ist movements. [...]

        I discovered that as soon as I turn off my television, all of the latest & greatest social movements vanish.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27 2020, @05:50AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27 2020, @05:50AM (#1057534)

        One thing I've long wondered is where all of that money is actually going. The Gnome Foundation crippled itself in much the same way years ago and I have to wonder if it is the same outreach programs involved with Mozilla, and just how exactly are the respective CEOs related to them.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27 2020, @04:39PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27 2020, @04:39PM (#1057664)

          I wrote the parent comment. I don't know how much GNOME Foundation spent, but Outreachy at Mozilla covered 20 interns for six months each year, when they had 1,000 employees. 75% of their staff is male and 75% is white, and less than 7% total is a combination of black, Latino, or Native American. So Mozilla's diversity initiatives and their impact on company demographics and company budget are irrelevant to their implosion. The CEO cost more in a single year than their entire diversity program over its life.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27 2020, @05:22PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27 2020, @05:22PM (#1057690)

            The numbers don't matter. Racial discrimination is "wrong" remember? Or is racism OK, as long as it's used against Whitey? Also, if everyone is equal, then what the fuck does race have to do with programming? All cultural Marxist BS.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27 2020, @07:13PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27 2020, @07:13PM (#1057745)

            It's harder to quantify the damage caused by injecting woke dangerhair activists into the organization.

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday September 28 2020, @04:47PM

      by Freeman (732) on Monday September 28 2020, @04:47PM (#1058189) Journal

      The problem with Chrome is that it's owned by Google. The problem with Edge is that it may as well be owned by Google, except now your data is likely going straight to Microsoft or maybe to Google and Microsoft.

      At least Firefox is still a Third Party program. They don't have built-in incentives to funnel all your data to the parent company or to monetize you (at least not as much).

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"