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.
@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.🤦♂️ 🤷♂️
@shine @rysiek @rmdes @jeremiahlee They can't run on air... Which means stuff that are investments may or may not be worth it. Sadly I think there are no open source model that would work reliably. All the other browser has a parent company that earn their revenue in other areas.
I don't think it is possible to be sustainable with only a browser as a product. Ubuntu had a similar problem until they found the solution. Mozilla has to do the same.
So tell me how you think they should earn money. How should they be able to get "food" on the table?
Personally I think they need to offer some kind of service.. like hosting or similar. Like a merge of DO and Mozilla...
Demanding such projects to be at the same time principled and profitable is disingenuous.
So the question is not can Mozilla become "profitable", but how to support important projects and communities in a sustainable way. And that's a completely different question.
We live in a culture/society that is not ready for something like this just right now. Just look at the struggle of WikiMedia..
If we push for a shift in culture as our only mean for change.. nothing will be left staying alive. A fork would die just as fast or simply be left behind.
@shellkr @shine @rmdes @jeremiahlee Mastodon is a good example of donation economy working in a rather sustainable way. Wikipedia is another. The Document Foundation, developing LibreOffice, is yet another -- and perhaps the most on-topic here.
For-profit companies also struggle with revenues. So regardless of the model, finances will always be a struggle.
But with no profit motive, the advocacy and principled approach are easier (or indeed at all possible) to do.
Mastodon receives €43.45/week https://en.liberapay.com/Mastodon/donate
QubesOS gets about $1200/week
I completely agree that there is a need for open source projects to be sustainable, but I don't see evidence we are there yet.
The Linux Foundation is funded by large companies, and that seems to work for them. Could that model be replicated?
again, #mastodon is an exceptional case where it has grown, but still hasn't needed to scale in terms of resources. Maybe, that's because of many voluntary contributors.
#mozilla had the same kind of resources 5 years ago, but they instead decided to focus on "enterprise" contributors which was a mistake IMO.
It's possible to be both principled and profitable. If we consider Dead Cells, they're still delivering many free DLCs with both new contents, a smoother gameplay, and so on; because the money isn't going into luxury homes but in attractive wages and in the development of products.
Considering forking Mozilla software in a new cooperative entity would be a starting point.
@redbookworm I would like to respectfully disagree. #mozilla already has 2 entities - a non-profit foundaton and a for-profit corporation. I don't know exactly, but I think the reasoning behind the corporation was to be able to pay developers or something of that sort. That good intention evolved into this greed for profit.
What I think should happen is for the corporation to shed this greed for profit and acting like all the other corporations of the world.
If they knew how to make good use of the money they got, they wouldn't have to "re"-focus their strategies. They should instead "focus" on paying those good developers who are doing a good job in maintaining their products.
@rysiek agreed! I recently worked with a person who had very ambitious goals around #privacy and #identity. The problem? They were also #capitalist-minded. I had my doubts around their business logic; but if you think hard enough - there really isn't a way out.
Other people, well, they just embrace the reality.
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