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So Long, Firefox

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So Long, Firefox

Yes, Mozilla’s actions never seem to quite match its stated purpose. Not-for-profits often face difficult decisions over funding, but where does all the Mozilla money actually go?

Yet – what’s the realistic alternative to using Firefox?

By Poorchop. Originally published 14/10/21.

Leon Paternoster

Leon Paternoster


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You were right on the money seven years ago. At the time, I was still trying to look past Mozilla’s poor decisions and I was hopeful about Firefox OS. My first smartphone ran Firefox OS and the existence of an open alternative to iOS and Android is what finally got me to stop clinging to feature phones. I kept trying to look for workarounds and alternative solutions as they chipped away at Firefox, removing useful features while adding ones that nobody wanted but there’s no good reason to defend Mozilla’s actions at this point.

I had never read the Mozilla Manifesto previously but you’re right that principle 9 pretty much undermines all of the others. It’s almost as laughable as their CEO claiming that not having a multi-million dollar income is unfair to her family while hundreds of skilled engineers are fired.

Yet – what’s the realistic alternative to using Firefox?

This is why I’ll begrudgingly continue to use it but Firefox 93 is finally making me more receptive to Gopher as a first-class publishing platform. Browsers like Otter, surf, Dillo, Lynx, and Nyxt are good for certain use cases but not all of them will work with banking or e-commerce sites for example. Moreover, the web has become nearly unusable without uBlock Origin. The fact that it’s nearly impossible for new players to enter the game highlights the broader issues with the Web in general, which goes beyond Mozilla’s terrible decisions.



The web needs a big, visible, independent, not-for-profit browser, and it’s almost impossible to imagine a new one emerging – Firefox’s roots go way back, I think, to Netscape Navigator. (As an aside, I can remember using Phoenix v 0.4, which might well have been in the last millenium!)

It’s depressing enough that its market share continues to plummet. I actually really like it as a browser and, like you say, seeing the web without uBlock Origin is terrifying. I even like Pocket (although I get your point about it being foisted on users).

What’ll happen to Firefox? This article is great on what Mozilla is and its future:

In the end it’s possible and perhaps most likely that the Mozilla Corporation will continue down its present path, trying a variety of new business opportunities without any of them being a runaway success, drawing upon a steadily declining revenue stream, and slowly contracting the organization over time. In ten years it’s possible that the Mozilla Corporation may be just a memory, with the Mozilla Foundation surviving as a modestly-funded advocacy organization.

In other words, those corporate mega salaries will no longer be affordable.


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