[Call for input] Open Letter to Mozilla Leadership

I do not propose to continue with Firefox. The community seems to have lost all input to that outfit. Rather I am suggesting getting access to an un-copyrighted version of Firefox, changing the name, and let the community develop that browser indepedently. Let Mozila do whatever they please with Firefox (which they are already doing), while the communitiy continues to develop an alternatiive.

(I d o not know how to broadcast this; I would appreciate it if you would do it for me.)

Feel free to do that. This thread is more about improving how we work with Mozilla, not without or next to the official organization (and believe me, I have enough beef with MoCo, but I prefer to stay constructive).

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It is my impression that MoCo has largely if not completely cut off communications with the community, that they no longer care what the community might prefer. It is from this perspective that I have written. If the communiity can still influence MoCo, please correct my misunderstanding.

Also, please broadcast my last two, and maybe tell me how to do it myself.


@mkohler Is there still any meaning of writing in this thread? Will there still be an open letter?

Then i will write. Else no point considering how this thread hs been going

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We are currently in the process of drafting it. There were also some actions identified that we will follow up on. In terms of feedback, I think it’s always valuable to have it, and maybe this is worth incorporating. So I’d say go for it!

I do not think Mozilla is heading towards a specific direction. Not a single direction anyway. What it appears to me is Mozilla is still exploring, weighing waters and evaluating which battles are worthy to be fought with less collateral damage and still can turn the tide of the war. And make no mistake there is a war going on now in open web.
What this meant to me is that apart from Firefox a lot of other technologies Mozilla, we will be investing into, might not just pan out. And I accept that. I will not answer to any other posts in this thread because that is just counter productive, but like many I too have bonds with many projects which are not there anymore. My first serious contribution to any kind of code in Mozilla started with Firefox OS (like many others). I just recently happened to pen that down.
Then among other things I was interested in Connected Devices and started walking that path. Then that path also dissolved to oblivion.

Am I sad? Yes.
Do I feel cheated? NO.

When Connected Device team was announced, it was also announced that there will be a lot of experimentation, exploration in that space to see what ideas stick and what doesn’t. A lot of it was reserach AND development. And like all things research, it maynot pan out. **So in short it always had an expiration date.**And I understand that, even as a voluntary contributor, I get that.
None of the time I had invested in experimentation, those projects are wasted. I learned, improved myself. tried to contribute with a team(or from sidelines cheered). And am happy we did it,so now we know what does not work or what works. It was not a waste. FirefoxOS was not either. Which created the path for CD.

But that is where my empathy stops. Firefox alone might not be enough to keep us alive or relevant. We need to pick the right battles and win them to actually win the war. And the war is already upon us. And we also need to find the true north soon.

cc: @flaki

There will always be tradeoff, between legacy,security and things we probably haven’t yet thought off.

As long as I can relate to what we are doing, and am capable enough to contribute. I will keep doing it.
When i cannot. Oh well.

But that is my decision to make.

Apart from picking right battles (translates to where we concentrate our energy first). I personally think, we should keep on experimenting, any by experimenting not just brainstorming but actual prototype implementation, experiment and decide. This takes time, manpower. But any research does. We already know some of the problems. And they are hard problems to solve. I think Mozilla should keep on reseraching and experimenting to achieve that goal. Sometimes we will be successful, and lead others. Sometimes we might fail, to learn from our mistakes.

PS: Unless you actually click the hyperlinks, the rant maynot be readily understandable.

Edit on 04.05.2017: Those who thought mozilla made a mistake in lot of things. Does this bring a DejaVu? https://insights.ubuntu.com/2017/04/05/growing-ubuntu-for-cloud-and-iot-rather-than-phone-and-convergence/

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Has there been an outcome of this thread? Specifically, was there a response?

Yes we know as Council that we have a huge delay for this.
Also for that reason in the last week we done a new sprint (I am the new owner of this task).
Why we are so slow? Because the document required a long work on rewrite and read all the answer to create a simple document and a discussion with the all council and the open innovation team to improve the letter itself.
Now we are working on a new version that include a rewrite of some parts to be updated about what happen in the meantime and I hope to public ASAP that can be mean few weeks because the document is ready. We have only to review it and check the content but is ready.
We not forget this important action of the community but we was busy with many things in the last months like Activate, Firefox Quantum and the new Reps evolution that acted after the Reps Next momentum.
So no worry we are working on it!

I’m a bit confused by this.

This is a bit disheartening. This issue has been lingering for years now and basically, your answer is that it’s going to linger longer because of Mozilla internal projects.

Like I mentioned in my original post, I had to be convinced to reiterate my points after giving them at appropriate places already. One of my main complaints is how things take very long to even be brought up to speed and that there’s no ability to follow progress. This has become another instance of this.

I’m confused by this. What specifically has changed that needs to be taken into account in the context of above answers? If there was a draft, can it be found somewhere?

I don’t know of the Reps evolution and I don’t feel I should care until it impacts my projects. I’m happy that you have you internal stuff and I am convinced it’s a good thing. But it isn’t helpful for me to hear of that as a defense for letting this here slide.

Activate and Quantum are Mozilla internal projects and if they push away other community initiatives, that’s not to be used as an excuse. Also, I find it weird that Activate (a project to improve community engagement) is mentioned in the context of this. If Activate means that there is no time to handle complaints of existing community contributors, it’s kind of missing its target.

Yeah I know, before join the Reps Council I had the same feelings but I saw now that there are too many things that us have to do as you can see on GitHub (http://github.com/mozilla/reps/) and we have to change priority during the year to work on the various projects that Mozilla asked our feedbacks like Activate or Firefox Quantum to mention two very active right now in the community or for the evolution of the program like Reps Resources or Reps Coaching and the various initiatives of the last/this year like Reps Mobilizer or Reps Regional Coaches.

This discussion started on the top of the year and I has already said many things are changed, so our draft required a new refresh because the context is a little bit old. I am working to rewrite and simplify and be more effective on the doc. Actually the draft is private because there is a discussion with OI about few specific things and I hope to release really ASAP. I don’t want that arrive after an year, after all myself joined this discussion before to be in the Council and I want answers.

This letter started by the Mozilla Reps Council so is in our tasks list, this huge delay doesn’t impact only your projects but all the community and all the people joined discussion.
As volunteer I have the same thoughts and we need to publish it to start the discussion and maybe do another one in a different way to speed up. In any case they are my personal thoughts.

As I said we are a group of volunteers inside the Reps Council and we have to work on different things and Activate required a lot of work by us but is not the only thing, we worked in many projects, documents etc and this one got a different priority but now that Firefox Quantum and many other things are started/launched (like Reps Coaching or new onboarding) I am personally working only on this task for the council because we need to move on.
This is a coincidence that I started working on that from the last week.

PS: I suggest to follow the ticket about it https://github.com/mozilla/Reps/issues/127 I will publish updates about it in the next days/weeks (I personally hope days and not weeks).

Just to be clear, I appreciate your work and don’t want to come off as ungrateful. As my main complaint is communication, though, I wanted to highlight where I see the problems even here. Thanks for the issue link, I subscribed and am looking forward to it. <3

Here are many worries and sorrows already written I see too. So I wont repeat everything said.

For all able to understand German I like to point to 2 boards of a big German tech site:

And just to make it clear: opening a “hipster”-bureau in Berlin for chatting does NOT HEAL this problem. One has to go to the boards to discuss or at least listen to the sorrows and concerns of people actually USING the browser.

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As one of the people with many complaints above, I find this one very uncalled for. Mozilla had an office in Berlin for a long time, which was bursting. The community space that they nicely offered was off-site and could only be accessed with Mozilla present.

The search for a new office long predates current issues with Firefox and it’s only at random that both fall together. The new office has a proper community space that can even be accessed by regulars. The employees of that office are extremely active and nice people. It’s better accessible with wheelchairs then the old one.

What would you have preferred? Mozilla closing their office in Berlin? Or just painting the walls white, to make sure its not “too hipster”? Is there a bar that Mozilla must be below for some notion of being “with the people”?

In short: in my eyes Mozilla should try harder to leave it’s own filter bubble and get more in contact to ‘normal’ users.

Do you think the people discussing here are out of the Mozilla bubble. NO, they’re all IN! Do you think people finding the way to the Mozilla office in Berlin or elsewhere are out of this bubble - mainly NOT!
So: having an office does NOT help to get in touch with normal users, cuz they DONT come to you. YOU have to go out (virtually) and try to get in touch in their place.
Probably you are German (dont you?) so have a look here - just for an impression:
…and see what’s green!
These people are tech-affine and therefore perfect multipliers. But they are OUT of Mozillas filter bubble. THIS are the people Mozilla should listen too!

That’s all I’ve tried to say.

Stevo, I’m outside of Mozilla. I’m neither employed or affiliated with Mozilla.

Yes, I’m from Germany, which means that I know what Heise and the style and reputation of their forums, especially how they give out red and green marks. You can also find my over there, collecting mine.

I can also assure you that people working in those offices are very well aware, too.

I still don’t understand why you are raising this as a negative point. Should Mozilla not have an office? What would that solve?

I’m outside of Mozilla. I’m neither employed or affiliated with Mozilla.


Maybe you are outside of Mozilla but you are still inside the Mozilla filter bubble!
That’s a small difference in wording but a huge in perception!
Discussing here in this board means you talk with people very close to your own behaviour. In compare to the general number of user that’s a tiny section in number as well as in tool usage and dev interest.

I dont argue against an office. I just like to point out that an office does not help to avoid bias or misleading perception. This office will not help to “understand Germans in their web usage”.

Thanks for placing me in some filter bubble just at whim.

This is about the only thread I’m active in.

You brought this up with slurry terms, so, yes, you have issues with the office.

We finally published the Open Conversation (yes we changed the name to be more open for discussions).
Check on Open Conversation to Mozilla Leadership