Firefox Fading, Ditching OpenOffice, and Containers
Dissatisfaction with Mozilla's recent announcement to change its extension core code is being expressed across the Internet. Folks aren't happy. Elsewhere, Chris Hoffman explains why you should switch from OpenOffice to LibreOffice and the Canonical IP fight continues. In other news, several container headlines caught my eye recently.
Firefox has been making announcements for a while about changing this and doing that. A week ago Kev Needham announced "major changes to Firefox add-ons." The "foundational changes" include:
* Taking advantage of new technologies like Electrolysis and Servo
* Protecting users from spyware and adware
* Shortening the time it takes to review add-ons
Folks are not happy. Blogger Dedoimedo said, "I cannot even begin to express my total and utter disdain for this collective happy-go-lucky new-age masturbation in the technology world to which Mozilla has so blithely subscribed, and I'm d*mn good with words. This has nothing to do with change. It's about stupidity.
Firefox needs to revitalize itself. I don't have all the YES answers, but I know all the NO answers. I know for certain that it will not succeed by monkeying Chrome. It will not succeed by changing itself into some bastard mutation that no one needs. It will not flourish by throwing away its loyal base of users."
Softpedia.com's Catalin Cimpanu said, "Sit back and watch Firefox go through its mid-life crisis, hope for the best, and then prepare for our own." Cimpanu explains the actual changes a bit more calmly than Dedoimedo and even drew some different conclusions along the way, like Mozilla isn't stupid, but the end point is the same. This is a colossal mistake. "Please God, Don't Let Mozilla Ruin Firefox," he began.
Jack Wallen weighed in as well saying, "Firefox is doing something very right that could wind up very wrong. They are embracing Chrome." Wallen thinks this will wipe out a lot of extension because the developers just won't feel like rewriting them. He concludes similarly, "In an effort to be more uniquely Firefox, Firefox is looking more and more like Chrome every day. Is this a good move forward? Honestly, I can't say it is."
James Chesters noted "mixed feelings." He quoted one developer saying he will absolutely "abandon ship" once XUL-based add-ons are banished. Martin Brinkmann gathered some opinions too and quoted the developer of NoScript saying, "Mozilla is investing a lot of resources to ensure that complex and innovative extensions can prosper also in the new Web-centric ecosystem," but another said he 'worries that developers won't just "jump at the opportunity" to use the new API, and that the only developers who will actually benefit from this are Chrome.'
The Canonical IP fight must still be brewing because a couple key players posted today. Jono Bacon, former Ubuntu Community Manager, today said, "Canonical is trying to find the right balance of revenue and software freedom, but I also sympathize with the critics that this IP approach feels like a pretty weak way to accomplish that balance." Jonathan Riddell quoted Micheal Hall saying, "If a derivative distro uses PPAs it needs an additional license," not specifying what need an additional license since, Riddell submits, "the packages already have copyright licenses, all of them free software." He concludes, "There is nothing which restricts people making derivatives of Ubuntu except the trademark, and removing branding is easy." He thinks they are being vague on purpose to get folks to remove the branding so as not to capitalize on Ubuntu's name.
In other news: