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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, 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%.

(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, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 26 2020, @10:36AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 26 2020, @10:36AM (#1057193)

    Mozilla has totally stopped caring about standards. In fact they have been implementing BUGS just to be compatible with Google Crumb.

    Noticed this the other day - the main login page on was not working in Palemoon and other slightly older mozilla based browsers. (The script for the Sign In button fails to run when you click the button). :

    Specifically, this code:
    function loginFormValidate() {

                    var isEmailFieldValid = validateEmailField();
                    var isPasswordFieldValid = validatePasswordField();

                    if (isEmailFieldValid && isPasswordFieldValid) {
                        return false;

    On proper browsers, the code doesn't execute because "event" isn't passed down correctly to login() from wherever it was declared initially, so the entire login button's code is invalidated and not run.
    On other browsers (chrome), their JS engines don't care and assume. That is wrong. Another instance of web-developers catering to Chrome and following its quirks (just like IE6!!!!). Forcing conventional Firefox to adopt that and follow suit just to stay relevant.
    And leaving users of browsers that don't adopt such insanity in the dust.

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bolek_b on Saturday September 26 2020, @11:34AM

    by bolek_b (1460) on Saturday September 26 2020, @11:34AM (#1057203)
    I believe the event refers to window.event [] property; see also here []. Quite self-explanatory: JS engines in other browsers don't have a reason to complain. But I think the rationale on the MDN is correct and developers should follow it, the code sample is stupid in more than one aspect.