Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 17th Dec 2017 19:39 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones

For a long time, it was just setting the default search provider to Google in exchange for a beefy stipend. Later, paid links in your new tab page were added. Then, a proprietary service, Pocket, was bundled into the browser - not as an addon, but a hardcoded feature. In the past few days, we’ve discovered an advertisement in the form of browser extension was sideloaded into user browsers. Whoever is leading these decisions at Mozilla needs to be stopped.

Mozilla garnered a lot of fully deserved goodwill with the most recent Firefox release, and here they are, jeopardising all that hard work. People expect this kind of nonsense from Google, Apple, or Microsoft - not Mozilla. Is it unfair to judge Mozilla much more harshly than those others? Perhaps, but that's a consequence of appealing to more demanding users when it comes to privacy and open source.

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RE: you are free to contribute.
by Alfman on Mon 18th Dec 2017 09:18 UTC in reply to "you are free to contribute. "
Member since:


Mozilla is not an open source project carried on by volunteers in their free time, it's a foundation with paid employees and developers. For years they have made public their need for money to pay bills and salaries, that is why they also abandoned some projects (see Thunderbird) to concentrate only on Firefox. And to carry on a project like a modern web browser they need full time paid employees, it's unthinkable to develop such a projects using only volunteers in their free time.

"Unthinkable" is much too strong, but you are right even non-profits have employee salaries and bills to pay.

The problem for me is that I'm becoming less happy with their direction and their dismissal of user concerns over the years. It used to be the goto browser for developers everywhere, but I'm getting more annoyed by their opaque operations and bad policies. Like last year, when they decided to block addon sideloading and required developers to submit their own extensions to mozilla even when developers only want to install them on their own computers. Mozilla no longer allows me to take an open source extension and modify it for use on my computer, frankly this is bullshit. It's one of several things they've done to make me less inclined to support them.
You don't have to publish your extension on AMO. However, even if you are not intending to publish your extension on AMO, you do have to submit it to AMO so it can be reviewed and signed. Release versions of Firefox will refuse to install extensions that are not signed by AMO.

Also, while they're entitled to depreciate whatever they want in a particular release, they go further than that and use crypto to actively block developers from downgrading. I've come to expect this level of manipulation by large corporations, but for a non-profit it leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Note that once you have uploaded your extension to AMO, you can't then update the extension to use the Add-on SDK or legacy XUL/XPCOM techniques. If you do switch to one of these platforms, you must submit it as a completely new extension.

That is: porting from legacy extension systems to use WebExtension APIs is a one-way street.

At least there's a firefox fork called waterfox that addresses many of these concerns:

Reply Parent Score: 5

ssokolow Member since:

Developer Edition (formerly Aurora channel), unbranded builds, and ESR channel have an about:config key which lets you turn off signing enforcement, so I've made sure to stay on one of them (with it off) at all times as a matter of principle.

It's only the branded Stable and Beta channel builds which force it on.

Reply Parent Score: 2