Friday, February 8, 2013

Mozilla's direction

Am I the only one who's disappointed with the route Mozilla's taking and left wondering what the direction is? First they killed off the development of Thunderbird because, as we all know, people mainly use webmail these days. Then they presented us their view that the big Certificate Authorities are too big to fail, as CAs gravely violated our trust (c.f. Trustwave and their MitM authority). And "now" they're also blocking the introduction of new formats into their browser because they cannot be the one who innovates. Instead Microsoft and Apple obviously need to take the lead in introducing a format into their browsers because otherwise it wouldn't be useful. Even though it's safe to say that Chrome and Firefox make up for more than half of the desktop browser market share. It might be that Chrome's nibbling from Firefox's, still IE seems to be in decline and Safari is rather a further mention than something many people would care strongly about.

There were of course some valid reasons for not supporting WebP yet. But most of them got fixed in the meantime and all we hear is the referal to proprietary vendors who need to move first. If I'd want to depend on such vendors I'd go with proprietary operating systems. (Having to deal with hardware products of proprietary vendors at $dayjob is enough.) So what's up Mozilla? The solution is to ignore your users and tag bugs with patches wontfix?

The only real advantage of Firefox over Chromium these days is the vast amount of plugins and extensions (e.g. Pentadactyl, for which there is no real equivalent available). Another sad fact is that you need to pull Firefox from a 3rd party repository (even though packages are coming from the 2nd party) to get a current version onto your Debian system to work with the web. But then it's not Mozilla who's to blame here. Maybe we should've introduced one Iceweasel version that's allowed to have reverse-dependencies and one that cannot.

(This post might contain hyberboles, which should be considered as such.)