Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 11th May 2016 22:21 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones

We need competition; we also need diversity. We need the possibility that young, game-changing market entrants might come along. We need that idea to be kept alive, to make sure that all the browsers don't shift from keeping users happy to just keeping a few giant corporations that dominate the Web happy. Because there's always pressure to do that, and if all the browsers end up playing that same old game, the users will always lose.

We need more Firefoxes.

We need more browsers that treat their users, rather than publishers, as their customers. It's the natural cycle of concentration-disruption-renewal that has kept the Web vibrant for nearly 20 years (eons, in web-years).

We may never get another one, though.

Sometimes, I feel a little dirty for using Chrome just about anywhere, instead of Firefox. The problem is that switching browsers is not something I just do willy-nilly; you build up certain ways of using a browser, and with it being by far the most-used and most important application on my PC, even the tiniest of things become ingrained, and the tiniest of differences between browsers will annoy the crap out of me. I do give other browsers a chance every now and then, just to keep up with the times - but I always end up back at Chrome.

That being said, Doctorow's article paints a very bleak picture of the future of browsers, because according to him, the W3C has basically become a tool for the few big tech companies to dictate the direction of browsers and therefore the web with it, with disastrous consequences.

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RE: Puppet?
by laffer1 on Thu 12th May 2016 14:53 UTC in reply to "Puppet?"
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Regarding Firefox OS, that was a good move at a very bad time. At this point, I don't think it's possible for a third OS to get significant marketshare in the smartphone or tablet space. Even Microsoft and Amazon has failed miserably there.

With PCs there was always a chance because you could get people to switch platforms fairly easily on their computers. It's not easy to flash an iPhone to Android or run Windows phone on a Nexus. The nature of ARM SoC having random differences between devices isn't helping either.

In fact, I actually applied to work on Firefox OS with Mozilla and was rejected in an unpleasant way. That's not why I'm grumpy with them now, but it was one of many interactions that went badly over the years.

I think there are some great people involved with Mozilla but there are some bad eggs that give everyone a bad name. This can happen with companies and open source projects and most people defending them have only used their browser or email client and never actually dealt with the people.

When you run an open source project and you need to get things upstreamed and vendors dick with you or have ridiculous rules to deal with, over time you just get a list of good and bad projects. Mozilla is on the slightly bad side whereas the maintainer of GNU config.sub and config.guess is on the permanent asshole list. He went so far as to delete my bug report to hide any evidence of what he did.

Back to my original point, when you're taking large amounts of money from someone, you're not going to do anything to piss them off too much. I doubt google was threatened by FirefoxOS. Firefox's losing marketshare caused the Yahoo deal. Google has so much marketshare now with Chrome they don't need Firefox anymore. IE is dead. Edge hasn't taken off yet. Google is now #1.

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