Okay people, we've seen #Mozilla degrade more and more for years, and we've always hoped it will find its way and get better.
Now people working on Developer Tools, #MDN, and the Rust team - arguably some of the most useful and valuable teams at Mozilla - have been laid off, to make space for more profit making activities.
This is utter bullshit.
But perhaps this is also an opportunity. The FLOSS community forked OpenOffice, XFree86, and other huge projects.
OpenOffice -> LibreOffice fork and transition seems particularly instructive here:
A huge, user-facing organization? ✅
Managing a bunch of connected, complex software projects? ✅
With a huge amount of documentation (wiki, etc) for both developers and users? ✅
Deeply engaged in open standards debates that affect everyone? ✅
It's not about the individual software projects. It's about all of the above. LibreOffice came out stronger after the fork. So could a fork of Mozilla.
@wolf480pl @rysiek why forking when you can just contributing right now? https://github.com/servo/servo/blob/master/docs/HACKING_QUICKSTART.md
I hear there's a bunch of Mozillians available out there these days though...
The bigger problem is organization and funding. People need to eat and pay rent. And Yahoos and Googles of this world will not be interested in contributing, even if their contributions were to be accepted.
NLnet might be a good place to start looking for funding:
@raucao @pfm @ParadeGrotesque they weren't, but after doing activism for more than a decade now I can tell you it's way more effective when people don't have to do side-gigs and are not as susceptible to poaching by Microzon Facegoopple...
But yeah, organization/logistics is the main thing. Managing this would be a lot of effort.
@rysiek Was thinking exactly the same this morning. What if this is actually a good thing in the long term?
@raucao yeah, that depends on whether somebody steps up and sets up a post-Mozilla org to continue their work.
@rysiek Definitely takes some serious effort.
since it comes up the 90% of the income is from G i also thought fork Firefox would be a great thing. No dev here, but would love to see this happen
@rysiek there is already GNU IceCat, probably the one we should help
@rysiek I have also seen Mozilla's fall from grace, but I am worried that forking it will just add to the fragmentation of the open source ecosystem:
@AgreeableLandscape that didn't happen with OpenOffice, and Mozilla doesn't seem to be interested that much in developing parts of Firefox that kind of matter for this community. So I wouldn't worry about that.
It's been done already, many times, Waterfox, Pale Moon ... it's a laudable goal, but this can't just be a branch started/managed by a dozen disgruntled ex-Firefox users.
The amount of work that goes into keeping FF in the game against Chrome is huge.
@nattiegoogie @rysiek Well uh, those all work fine though, except on sites that use fingerprinting then deliberately sabatoge themselves when they detect one of those browsers running. I call it the Chase test: whether you can fool the Chase company into thinking you’re using a browser they allow you to use.
@nattiegoogie you're not wrong. But again, keeping LibreOffice developed and in the running against MSOffice is also a gigantic task.
And before LibreOffice there were some OOo forks and patchsets (ooo-build, Go-oo). It all fell into place the moment there was an organization to manage it -- The Document Foundation.
Exactly. I guess my point was just that a properly maintained FF fork — that is (ultimately) accepted by the web developers of the world — will require more than just a couple of motivated privacy advocates.
Have any #MozillaLifeboat ex-Mozilla employees joined this thread?
Is this idea being discussed anywhere else? (Website forum, Discord, IRC, etc)?
@nattiegoogie totally, this is a big thing.
Not that I know of, and no.
@rysiek They laid off the Rust developers? That must surely have been one of the more commercializabe aspects of Mozilla. Corporate training courses, etc.
@bob I know, right?
Interesting and kind of exciting prospect. That's my concern: that Firefox is my absolute go-to. Other than Ungoogled Chromium there's no other browser I use for everyday browsing. If needed, I'd probably fall back to GNU IceCat.
@syntax I wonder what's the status of GNU IceCat these days?
Is it actively developed? Is there enough developer clout around it to start developing it as an independent project if/when Firefox stops being a viable upstream?
@rysiek how do you know the composition of the layoffs? you've talked to Mozilla devs?
@2ck mostly from toots around Fedi. I would love a first-hand source though.
Seems to somewhat confirm developer tools team, MDN, and Rust team are affected:
"we are reducing investment in some areas such as developer tools, internal tooling, and platform feature development"
@2ck there, this confirms the Rust team being axed completely, and that MDN was gutted:
@jeremiahlee @rmdes I have not seen a lot of leadership from Mozilla-the-opensource-entity lately though. They had their chance on EME, they have plenty of chances to do things with privacy that Chrome would never be allowed to do, but don't.
I need a first-hand source on who got laid off, but my understanding is that it's mostly Rust team, MDN people, and Developer Tools people. If that's the case, that doesn't leave me hopeful.
Finally, do we have any info on what is the business strategy?
@shine @rmdes @jeremiahlee I linked to it in another thread. here you go:
now that they don't have the funding issues anymore, they should call all of those laid off mozillians back. they probably used the lack of funding to lay them off and then once the deed was done, went and signed the contract. 🤦♂️ 😡
@rysiek @rmdes I have a strong feeling that this was a deliberate effort to oust a lot of things that are clearly good for the non-profit organization, but not "profitable" for the for-profit organization. 😠
They did a similar stint approximately 3-5 years ago when they slowly killed off a lot the community-run projects like #FirefoxOS to "focus" on other projects that were run by "staff". That was also the time that I lost my interest in #volunteering for the community.🤦♂️ 🤷♂️
Server run by the main developers of the project It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!