I Grieve for Mozilla

I don’t know how many of my readers have been following this, but it’s been a big thing in the tech world this past fortnight: Mozilla appointed Brendan Eich as CEO; three board members stepped down; there was outrage on the internet over the appointment and many people claimed they would stop using Firefox; Brendan Eich stepped down; there was outrage on the internet over Eich being “forced out” and many other people claimed they would stop using Firefox.

As far as I can see, the end result is that Mozilla has lost a skilled and respected chief technical officer, and it has lost a lot of goodwill.

I am neither a Mozilla employee nor contributor, but as far as I can see, Mozilla was the only major internet company that clearly stood for something other than their own selfish ambitions. Mozilla cared about their users in a way that Google, Microsoft and Apple do not seem to. Mozilla stood for putting control of the web in the hands of users. It was Mozilla that really introduced competition and innovation into the web browser market. Now they are trying to do the same with the smart phone market. They do this because as a community Mozilla believes that giving people access to better, open technology will lead to better access to information and therefore a better standard of living for people all over the world.

Whatever you think of Mozilla’s choices and responses in the past few weeks, Mozilla seems to have suffered a huge blow. This grieves me. As long as Mozilla still stands for what it stands for, I want to support them as much as I can; as far as I can see no-one else is standing up for these values.

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One Response to I Grieve for Mozilla

  1. Homer says:

    “Mozilla was the only major Internet company that clearly stood for something other than their own selfish ambition.”

    Which sadly had a lot to do with with this incident. By wrapping the message up in a bunch of activist friendly nonsense, Mozilla ended up attracting a bunch of activists. And we grow a particularly toxic breed of activist here in the Bay Area.

    Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

    At a place where everyone is working with a goal that ends “… And we all make a bunch of money”, it’s a lot easier to summon the courage to tell some group who wants you dump a key contributor to “take a long walk on a short wharf”.