Firefox OS/Connected Devices Announcement

True. Thanks for bringing that up.

We’ll pay attention to comments/questions like this in the next couple of days and then get a communication out to existing foxfooders about their phones and the contracts they signed with Mozilla.

Thunderbird, Persona, FirefoxOS…

Mozilla is dying…

It’s true that I’m disabling and removing the desktop and Android web runtimes, but note that the decision to do so was my own, not Ari’s, and I made it as the module owner for the Desktop Runtime module (and a peer for the Fennec module). It is unrelated to this decision about Firefox OS.

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@agarzia Can you help me understand your perspective behind this statement better because it’s pretty foundational to the rest of your comments?

Right, thanks!

What’s the use of the whole foxfooding program at all? Why work hard, invest our free time for an ending project??

Foxfooding program will evolve, but in the meantime, there will be a new Firefox OS version and we want it to be the best one, so still we need to continue filling bugs on that. If Firefox OS 2.6 is great, they will more chances to continue working on that, outside or inside Mozilla :smile:

Thanks for jumping in here @mykmelez. Is there a place you can point people from here to learn more about this decision?!topic/firefox-dev/WV2XkVN3sWQ

I thought Mozilla was here to offer an alternative and defends the users. Looks like I was wrong and we don’t have the same definition of “win”. One user protected from Google, Apple or Microsoft is already a victory. Back to the fight, everyone.


Well, I am sure you had good reasons which I would really like to hear more since that was an important technology that properly marketed could become extremely popular with devs. Just cue how much work is going on Electron and similar tools. Without XULRunner and WebRT we have nothing on that front. Can you elaborate on why you decided for the removal?!topic/firefox-dev/WV2XkVN3sWQ

Thanks George,

Myk, I read the thread. Completely understand your pain there. WebRT could be soooo great. Isn’t it the case of fighting internally for more resources?

Can contributors that received Z3C phones flash custom Firefox OS builds and hack on Gaia now? It will be necessary anyways in order to transition to this connected devices future, so can we start with it right away?

I proposed to disable the runtimes, and then decided to do so, in this firefox-dev thread. And there was a bit more discussion about the decision afterward in this Mozillians thread.

I refrained from making such comments in public in the past because I still had hopes I could join Mozilla, a place that felt like home with so many old friends there, a place that felt like Netscape-2016 to me. Since that hope is now gone (for reasons I do not fully understand), maybe it’s time to say something important I have kept under the radar for too long : except for major corporate deals “à la” Google, Mozilla’s global strategy has been deeply sucking for years and its positive image in the community is now a fraction of what it used to be. Even its technical strategy (I really mean the lower-level technical details here) is not exempt of serious mistakes or missed opportunities.

I can list dozens of strategic decisions announced to the general public or “discussed” with the community that never made any sense. I can list so many technical choices (or sometimes even lacks of choices!), implemented, that were certainly not in line with the ecosystem’s expectations. Even better, the community members who expressed disagreement were too often bashed in public in return. I can also list so many decisions deeply impacting the ecosystem that were never really discussed with it. No wonder why embedders are fleeing…

I don’t exactly know why, but I suspect this is related to the fact Mozilla became an almost “normal” company, where people join and leave faster than inside an OSS community. “Managing” is one thing, having a vision is a very different one… I also suspect this is related to a dilution of strategic decisions into the technostructure and some games of thrones.

I read above the following: “we’re entering this exciting, fragmented space to ensure users have choice through interoperable, open solutions, and for us to act as their advocates for data privacy and security”. Could we please stop that corporate bullshit that has no dignity? You’re Mozilla, for God’s sake, and I wish you could stop speaking like a Coca-Cola executive announcing they’re closing a soda plant. Mozilla’s moving to IoT because FirefoxOS for phones seems to slow and buggy, keeping focus on it costs too much and can’t trigger both a revenue stream and market share gains for Gecko, period. FWIW, these are exactly the arguments I heard Jim Hamerly report when he came back from the infamous “Netscape 6.0” meeting in Dulles… And Gecko’s still here.
In december, we were told FirefoxOS for phones was staying around. I did not believe it at all but many around me did. A month and a half later, this is reversed. Superb.

Can we please have more strategy from people having a vision instead of letting people tell us on year Y that they’re going to change the world, and on year Y+3 that they failed because Mozilla started too late (does it ring a bell…) ?


There is no way the community alone could sustain FxOS. That’s all. Actually not after these last few years where the community shrank so much (Mozilla’s fault).

Actually @agarzia is so much right: we had everything before everyone. Think about node: we had xpcshell waaay before. Think about electron, we had gecko-based app a loooong time before them. Mozilla community had so much awesome idea that could have make it rule everything today, but management dropped them one after the other, changing strategy every 2-3 years… Sad.


I think like you. It’s very disappointing and SUSPICIOUS this ABSOLUTE CLOSING of resources for a project which just now is more mature than never… i can imagine who would feel happy to see dissapear FXOS.

If Mozilla weren’t be pressed for this, they would REDUCE the dedicated resources, leaving a minimum of people/resources dedicated to continue the project. But the written above clearly denotes a one paradoxically hopeful sadness… I really feel now someone USED me :frowning:

100% agree.

Yes, it’s possible for Mozilla employees like myself (and volunteers, for that matter) to “fight” for organization resources. And the runtimes have had a variety of supporters across the organization, not only the members of the original runtime engineering team, and engineers on other teams, but also product, project, and people managers, and business development folks.

Ultimately, however, that base of support was not enough to convince the organization to invest in the runtimes. And while I understand what you think about it, and I too think that the runtimes have significant untapped potential, are you absolutely sure that the organization made the wrong decision?

Mozilla is a small organization with huge ambitions and limited resources, both in engineering and in all the other disciplines that are required to successfully ship software products. And focus is one of its rarest and most precious resources of all.

I’m personally very disappointed to be disabling the runtimes, and I wish the organization had invested more effort in them, and sustained that effort for a longer period of time, to give us an opportunity to get market validation (i.e. to see if the runtimes were useful enough to enough users to be worth continuing to enhance and maintain).

But I still can’t be certain that the organization made the wrong decision, given all its other projects and priorities.