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Mozilla Laying Off Around A Quarter Of Their Employees

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  • Originally posted by pal666 View Post
    i.e. even microscope isn't enough?
    well, i was never fond of your c++ skills
    rust is much better for user level apps. There are enough if (p!=null) stuff in C/C++ that now you can forget. It compiles then it runs, reliably.
    This is great boost for coding productivity once you ramp up the curve and become fluent in it.

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    • Originally posted by crystall View Post
      Since Mozilla's upper management role and compensation has been called into question multiple times in this thread I'd like to mention that there will be announcements soon about that too. The cuts affected all the organization and upper management wasn't spared.
      Much of the criticism seems to center around the fact that Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker and the people surrounding the CEO apparently got away unscathed so far.

      https://twitter.com/MichalPurzynski/...08596801413122

      That announcements which affect upper management were not made at the same time as the layoff announcements suggests they are used to placate the folks who are now angry, and will be implemented as token measure some time in the future when anger has subsided.

      Originally posted by Neraxa View Post
      Some people yearn for the bad old days of the sea of Flash when about 80% of web users installed the flash plugin just to use their favorite video website.

      Generally regarding multimedia and being "turing complete regarding multimedia, this is done to stave off the hideous flood of proprietary plugins like Flash, Java, Unity3D, Real Player, etc etc. If the browser does not have this, you WILL have these nasty plugins and almost everyone will install these nasty third party plugins, but which will be unavailable for smaller share OSs like the BSDs. So the BSD user wouldnt be able to access that video content such as Youtube.
      Sorry, but the complexity of a modern browser is now multiple times the complexity of the old browser and all those plugins and runtimes combined.

      On my system, the entire OpenJDK has an installed size of 97 MB, while Firefox is double that.

      Also not all plugins were nasty, and most plugins were only nasty because the browsers enabled them to be nasty (running in same process, the horrible NPAPI, etc.). Flash and Real Player were horrible, but the open source mplayerplugin was just fine for online video. I refused to install Flash on my Linux computer, but could still watch YouTube videos with a browser extension that would leverage this plugin.

      Originally posted by Neraxa View Post
      Probably 80% of web users use video, 3D game playing, even editing and writing documents, through their browser, If the browser does not include these features, you will have crappy 3rd party closed source plugins that only work on Windoze. Its better for the browser to build it on and support it on all OSs with open source code.
      But we have moved away from that pure concept, which has been sacrificed on the altar of DRM. Nowadays, Browsers will download proprietary code from content providers that is executed on the user system and ensures a "protected media path" (protected from the user of course).

      There used to be the UNIX philosophy, of having a tool that focuses on one job. Browsers however have seen a major departure from that and act more or less like operating systems now (what people joked about EMACS in the past).

      Originally posted by Neraxa View Post
      On the CVEs, that falls squarely on C and the lack of safety and the need to ban risky programming practices like pointer arithmatic, or move to another language. ANY application that uses that language, can end up with major security problems, and most of them have.
      That is a naïve position. You can create secure C applications, and you can create insecure JavaScript applications. The primary failure mode is different, while in C the attack surface is the application code itself, in JavaScript it is the runtime environment. If you write an Electron app, even a trivial one, it comes by default with millions of lines of code, that will never be secure and but rather see a constant flow of reported vulnerabilities.

      As security researcher Bruce Schneier once said, complexity is the enemy of security. Web browsers are now horribly complex and there is no limit to their growing complexity.

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      • Chrome/Blink market share is driven mainly by default installs and Android and Windows. Most people could care less and just use what is already installed. They'll only change if there is a compelling reason. It's no surprise at all that Chrome is the browser leader. What would be a shock if it weren't. As far as performance is concerned, it's close enough that the average person won't notice any real difference.

        Regarding use of the Blink engine, by and large that was chosen due to it's perceived friendliness toward "the user is the product" model - but that's a like a sword, it cuts both ways. People don't like being the product.

        The opportunity for Mozilla here is the avenue they are pursuing, which is building upon their reputation for privacy and security and crafting a narrative and offerings that leverage and exploit those differences. Many people don't like ads, but also want to compensate content providers... enter Firefox better web with scroll. Others want to save, organize and search web content ad free, enter Pocket Premium, others want a VPN provider they believe they can trust. Others simply distrust Google, and by extension Chrome clones.

        Mozilla's strength is their brand. It still has value. Nobody in their right mind wants Mozilla to get out of the browser business. Most of all probably Google - and they will keep their existing contract with Mozilla - despite the hand wringing negative hype by the media. It's good business for them to have Google search front and center on Fx, and just as important the monopoly considerations. Being able to point to Mozilla as a strong competitor is a big positive for them.

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        • Originally posted by chithanh View Post
          Much of the criticism seems to center around the fact that Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker and the people surrounding the CEO apparently got away unscathed so far.

          https://twitter.com/MichalPurzynski/...08596801413122

          That announcements which affect upper management were not made at the same time as the layoff announcements suggests they are used to placate the folks who are now angry, and will be implemented as token measure some time in the future when anger has subsided.
          It already happened.

          That is a naïve position. You can create secure C applications, and you can create insecure JavaScript applications. The primary failure mode is different, while in C the attack surface is the application code itself, in JavaScript it is the runtime environment. If you write an Electron app, even a trivial one, it comes by default with millions of lines of code, that will never be secure and but rather see a constant flow of reported vulnerabilities.
          Rust code has significantly less defects than C/C++ code. We have crash statistics spanning multiple years and multiple codebases proving it. That's why Rust has become the default choice for most new network-facing code and seen wide adoption even in closed code bases.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by crystall View Post
            It already happened.
            Something happened, but that was a token measure as I said it would be. If you compare the current version of https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/about/leadership/ with its archived version from 5 days ago then the following has changed in Mozilla Corporation:
            • Some VPs/SVPs are gone, along with Chief R&D and Chief Open Innovation Officers
            • One VP got promoted to Chief Marketing Officer (a position that didn't exist before)
            • One new person is there as Chief of Staff (a position that didn't exist before, too)
            • All other CxOs (CEO, COO, CFO, CTO, ...) are still there
            So it is apparent that the people at the helm sacrificed their lieutenants as scapegoats, but are otherwise still very much in charge.

            Originally posted by crystall View Post
            Rust code has significantly less defects than C/C++ code. We have crash statistics spanning multiple years and multiple codebases proving it. That's why Rust has become the default choice for most new network-facing code and seen wide adoption even in closed code bases.
            Indeed you can improve security by moving away from C/C++ to something more safe. But what I am saying is (1) not necessarily, and (2) you can end up worse especially if you rely on a web browser executing your code in the end, as the post I was replying to seemed to envision.

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            • Originally posted by chithanh View Post
              Something happened, but that was a token measure as I said it would be. If you compare the current version of https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/about/leadership/ with its archived version from 5 days ago then the following has changed in Mozilla Corporation:
              • Some VPs/SVPs are gone, along with Chief R&D and Chief Open Innovation Officers
              • One VP got promoted to Chief Marketing Officer (a position that didn't exist before)
              • One new person is there as Chief of Staff (a position that didn't exist before, too)
              • All other CxOs (CEO, COO, CFO, CTO, ...) are still there
              So it is apparent that the people at the helm sacrificed their lieutenants as scapegoats, but are otherwise still very much in charge.
              That page was outdated and contained both people that haven't been in Mozilla for a while and didn't have people that were already there. Also that page obviously doesn't contain information about their compensation (or reduction thereof).

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              • Browsers are too complicated. If any of the browsers today can give me options to disable the bloated features at runtime, I am all for it.
                Javascript, Flash, HTML5, they are all just optional to me. I want a browser that renders plain HTML and pictures. Anything else should be optional and can be enabled at runtime by tick a checkbox and refresh.

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                • Originally posted by goTouch View Post
                  If any of the browsers today can give me options to disable the bloated features at runtime, I am all for it.
                  Javascript, Flash, HTML5, they are all just optional to me.
                  • JavaScript: there are extensions that let you disable it.
                  • Flash: most modern browsers either don't support it at all or have it disabled by default.
                  • HTML5: if you want to disable HTML, use a Gopher client instead of a web browser, I guess?

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                  • Originally posted by crystall View Post
                    That page was outdated and contained both people that haven't been in Mozilla for a while and didn't have people that were already there.
                    How outdated the page was before doesn't make a difference (ok maybe they did not sacrifice their veeps), because almost all the CxOs are still there, which is the problem here.
                    A strange coincidence though that this page got updated just days ago after being outdated for so long, and only the Mozilla Corp leadership section was changed, not the Foundation or other parts.

                    Originally posted by crystall View Post
                    Also that page obviously doesn't contain information about their compensation (or reduction thereof).
                    I did not complain about the compensation, and neither did the tweet. I actually think that paying staff based on performance is a bad idea because this generally leads to measurement dysfunction[1,2]. A reduction in compensation would placate the public outrage about how much money the CEO makes, but not be the actual change that Mozilla needs.

                    [1] Alfie Kohn, Why Incentive Plans Cannot Work, Harvard Business Review Sep/Oct 1993, https://hbr.org/1993/09/why-incentive-plans-cannot-work
                    [2] Robert D. Austin, Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations, Dorset House Publishing 1962

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                    • Originally posted by gbcox View Post
                      The opportunity for Mozilla here is the avenue they are pursuing, which is building upon their reputation for privacy and security and crafting a narrative and offerings that leverage and exploit those differences. Many people don't like ads, but also want to compensate content providers...
                      I'd say Brave already captures that market much better than Mozilla. Which could be a contributing factor in Mozilla's current difficulty.

                      Most of all probably Google - and they will keep their existing contract with Mozilla - despite the hand wringing negative hype by the media. It's good business for them to have Google search front and center on Fx, and just as important the monopoly considerations. Being able to point to Mozilla as a strong competitor is a big positive for them.
                      Jedi hand waving... This trick of providing the funding for Google's "strong competitor" in order to claim that Google isn't a monopoly worked during the Obama administration, but eventually someone is going to see right through this BS. It's still "Ads by Google," whether you're reading them under Firefox or Chrome.

                      Nobody was fooled by Microsoft selling "PC-DOS" under the IBM front company and "MS-DOS" under their own name, even after changing the names and front end GUI to OS/2 Warp under IBM and Microsoft Windows under their own name.

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