Pocket Source Code

I invite all others reading to contribute your questions, answers, comments, anything to get this more attention.

Hello all,

The last time this was posted, when Pocket was acquired by Mozilla, there was very little information that anyone could give regarding whether Pocket source code would be published and on what timeline that might transpire. I’d like to re-open the conversation around it as I want to use Pocket, but will not considering that there is a sufficient alternative in Wallabag.

So I will pose some questions here:

  1. Will the Pocket server’s source code be published?
    1a. Will it be self-hostable like Firefox Sync?
  2. Will the Pocket clients’ source be published?
  3. What kind of timeline can we expect for these?
  4. Why has Mozilla been extremely quiet since the purchase regarding this matter?
  5. What roadblocks keep Mozilla from publishing such source code, if the plans are to release the source code at some point?

I just have to say that is not a new question on the forum and there aren’t updates yet.
I know only they released some components of the infrastructure and website on github.

I saw some of that too but it seems that they released those things only because they interface with the Firefox web browser. Perhaps that’s a good reason to do those “first” but what about the clients, the server?

If they’re not going to take care of it then why not just say “we’re not publishing the source code for X thing” in public.


Why not to say that source code will not be released? Just because noone really cares for community…

I’m dismayed by the lack of commentary from the relevant teams, but I’m still holding out for an answer.

Time after time, Mozilla is proving to its user base that they don’t actually stand for the things they say they do. When it comes to control and freedom over the way that users browse the internet, Pocket can help enable that.

However, with almost the entire ecosystem of application and server being programmed behind closed doors, it’s easy to assume that Mozilla doesn’t really care about helping the end-user but rather helping themselves by lining their pockets.

Pocket was doing just fine before Mozilla bought them, and they’re doing pretty well right now, too. Not that not happy for the success that they’ve brought each other, but when you’re a company that champions freedom, it’s not a good look when one of your revenue streams is almost entirely based on proprietary software.

I hope that none of this is close to the reality of the situation, but I have a hard time continuing to believe in Mozilla’s efforts.

A previous version of this comment left little room, after the fact, for Mozilla to comment. I’ve removed/changed those sections.

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Please, have some patience until the relevant people who can comment on this topic see it, we have been in typical vacation season and most people have or are still off.


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Thank you for the update, I hadn’t taken that into account. I’ll update my comment accordingly.

It’s been several months with no response. It’s quite disappointing that Mozilla is not willing to release a full decision either way, leaving many users with the hope that the source code will be released.

This is a commercial product, but there’s a clear trail of commercially viable products that have successfully been open sourced and the benefits of publishing the source code for things like the article parser would be innumerable.

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Hey, sorry this is on me for not following up.

I’ve pinged again internally to get a statement about the current status, even if it’s “we don’t know yet”.


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Thank you for the follow up! It’s greatly appreciated. I hope there’s at least some movement that can be reported

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Brandon, thanks for keeping up with this. I know I’ve been pretty interested in Pocket’s source code, as it would make a great self-hosted service.

Hello - this is Matt, I am Pocket’s General Manager. @nukeador recently made me aware of this thread and I thought I’d chime in directly.

Pocket and our code existed before Mozilla and was not open source. Now that are a part of Mozilla we’ve been taking steps to open source. We’ve made some progress, but completely appreciate that the speed is not what some would like to see.

We’re still a small team and we do not have the bandwidth to spend full time effort on open sourcing our historical server code, but as we’ve developed new services we’ve been working on open sourcing. With the code we are open sourcing it’s more complicated than just adding a license and making the Github repo public. We need to conduct security audits, legal/IP audits, we need to review 10 years of code history, etc.

Last fall, we open sourced the Pocket proxy server code that we use to deliver sponsored content to Firefox New Tab.

Our progress this year has been slowed due to COVID-19 and the need to adjust our priorities.

That is the update for now, we will continue to release at github.com/Pocket as we go.


Thanks, Matt. Brandon and I have been interested in this since the inclusion of Pocket into Mozilla’s ecosystem. I appreciate the response.

I can certainly understand the situation. I hope that, moving forward, we could get some official communication through the Mozilla channels (newsletter, blog, etc) about the work being done, or insight into the progress. Pocket is a great tool and service, one I’m sure more people would like to hear about.

Thanks, again, Matt!


@ndegruchy Thanks for the kind words and appreciate the feedback. Definitely a continued work in progress in terms of how we communicate about Pocket!

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Hi Matt,

I really appreciate the update. I’m glad that you folks are staying safe during these times. I’m about on the same page as @ndegruchy as it’s been radio silence on official communication mediums regarding the progress.

Is there any interest to release only the article parser? I know that’s a pretty pointed question but I think a lot of folks kinda had their eye on that when the news was announced that Pocket was acquired by Mozilla. I understand that there’s a lot of baggage to clear up and audit but even just an interest to release that as a separate component I think would pretty much quell the qualms.

Again, thank you for the update :slight_smile:

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Hi Matt, appreciate you are taking the time to chime in this thread! I have a question regarding the “readability” component in Pocket. It works slightly differently than FF Readability. Any plans to open source the Pocket’s readability version or at least unify its implementation with FF’s?


I stumbled upon this thread. Three years down the line, I hope you’re (still) well @mkoidin. Would be cool if you could share another status update!

All the best

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