Okay people, we've seen #Mozilla degrade more and more for years, and we've always hoped it will find its way and get better.

Now people working on Developer Tools, #MDN, and the Rust team - arguably some of the most useful and valuable teams at Mozilla - have been laid off, to make space for more profit making activities.

This is utter bullshit.

But perhaps this is also an opportunity. The FLOSS community forked OpenOffice, XFree86, and other huge projects.



OpenOffice -> LibreOffice fork and transition seems particularly instructive here:

A huge, user-facing organization? ✅
Managing a bunch of connected, complex software projects? ✅
With a huge amount of documentation (wiki, etc) for both developers and users? ✅
Deeply engaged in open standards debates that affect everyone? ✅

It's not about the individual software projects. It's about all of the above. LibreOffice came out stronger after the fork. So could a fork of Mozilla.


@rysiek It's a brilliant idea, I would donate to such project right away. :dudeeuphoric:
@ParadeGrotesque @rysiek So - what's the next step? What can we do to make it happen? I don't expect a newbie to fork Mozilla, it would have to be someone who already knows the code-base. Such people should be made aware of the fact, that people might want to support this kind of effort. Any ideas?

@pfm @ParadeGrotesque @raucao yeah, it would have to involve people who had already contributed substantially to these projects.

I hear there's a bunch of Mozillians available out there these days though...

The bigger problem is organization and funding. People need to eat and pay rent. And Yahoos and Googles of this world will not be interested in contributing, even if their contributions were to be accepted.

NLnet might be a good place to start looking for funding:

@rysiek @pfm @ParadeGrotesque I don't think funding is that much of an issue mid- to long term, with this much good will in the community. And to be honest, the people who were laid off weren't exactly paid a minimum wage.

@raucao @pfm @ParadeGrotesque they weren't, but after doing activism for more than a decade now I can tell you it's way more effective when people don't have to do side-gigs and are not as susceptible to poaching by Microzon Facegoopple...

But yeah, organization/logistics is the main thing. Managing this would be a lot of effort.

@rysiek @raucao @ParadeGrotesque So it would need to be a non-profit with stable funding, or at least with a big grant to sustain operations over a year or two. I wonder if NLnet or NGI would support it.

@pfm @raucao @ParadeGrotesque NLnet grants are tiny.

I am now pondering if it would not be a better idea if a large-ish established organization focusing on open standards and digital human rights took over. Think EDRi, EFF, or some such.

@rysiek @pfm @ParadeGrotesque @raucao #TorProject already depends on Firefox; maybe such a fork could leverage those existing efforts (and come out ahead on privacy as well ideally).

@rysiek Note that MDN apparently made a call for direct funding some time in late 2018, and "You will be MDN member number 45" does not sound like that was an overwhelming success:


@pfm @ParadeGrotesque @raucao

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