Mozilla, Gecko Archive
Despite our dislike of DRM, we have come to believe Firefox needs to provide a mechanism for people to watch DRM-controlled content. We will do so in a way that protects the interests of individual users as much as possible, given what the rest of the industry has already put into place. We have selected Adobe to provide the key functionality. Adobe has been doing this in Flash for some time, and Adobe has been building the necessary relationships with the content owners. We believe that Adobe is uniquely able to bring new value to the setting.
Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. Don't include DRM, and see your userbase erode further. Do include DRM, and you go against your organisation's core values. If you go for the former, and your userbase erodes, you run the risk of not being able to express your core values at all.
Firefox 29 has been released, and the most prominent new feature is an entirely new user interface. It's smoother and less angular, and has clearly been designed to somewhat resemble Google Chrome. Hence, I personally think it's a major step forward - except for Firefox' version of the Chrome menu, which uses a grid of icons instead of a list (?!) - but I'm nearly 100% convinced many Firefox users will not like it. It's change, after all.
Luckily, Firefox is customisable to the point of insanity, so I'm pretty sure you can revert to the old look with the right themes and extensions.
Fortunately though, Mozilla keeps on trucking, and Firefox OS appears to be constantly improving. The latest version available is 1.3.0, with the latest preview being 1.4. Now, sources from China have gotten their hands on a ton of screenshots and new information regarding Firefox OS 2.0, and we must say, the UI looks quite pretty.
This looks quite good indeed.
Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn't live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it's because we haven't stayed true to ourselves.
We didn’t act like you'd expect Mozilla to act. We didn't move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We're sorry. We must do better.
Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He's made this decision for Mozilla and our community.
The only sensible move.
For the Internet community, the principles of free speech and equal rights are foundational. But in recent days, those issues are clashing at Mozilla, the nonprofit foundation and tech company behind the Firefox browser.
Opposing same-sex marriage is no different than opposing interracial marriage. As a Dutchman, it baffles me that an organisation like Mozilla appointed a man with such medieval ideas.
In late 2012, when I started up the Firefox for Metro team (I know that's not what Microsoft calls it anymore, but it remains how we talk about it in Mozilla), it looked like the next battleground for the Web. Windows is a massive ecosystem and Microsoft pushes its new platforms hard. At first, it looked like we would be locked out completely. We eventually broke open Metro (though never the RT line of ARM-based products) and we got to work.
In the months since, as the team built and tested and refined the product, we've been watching Metro's adoption. From what we can see, it's pretty flat. On any given day we have, for instance, millions of people testing pre-release versions of Firefox desktop, but we've never seen more than 1000 active daily users in the Metro environment.
Mozilla plans to establish an automated process which would verify that binaries contain only the code found in the official source repositories, and not spyware secretly added during the build process at the behest of government intelligence agencies. In a blog post entitled Trust but Verify, CTO Brendan Eich and R&D VP Andreas Gal note that governments "may force service operators to enable surveillance (something that seems to have happened in the Lavabit case)" and pledge to develop systems which will make Firefox resistant to this form of tampering.
Whether or not the Open fits your needs, one thing is clear: Mozilla needs more capable hardware to demonstrate Firefox OS' potential. The Open is good for someone whose alternative would be a basic flip phone, but the camera quality, connectivity, display and performance don't do full justice to the software.
A promising start, but clearly better hardware is needed. I'm really hoping Firefox OS gets a fair shot.