I am delighted that Brendan Eich has been named the new CEO of the Mozilla Corporation.
At this time of transition, I would like to encourage Mozilla community members to focus on, and to blog about, the future they’d like to see for the project. I’d love to read where others think we should be going, and I hope Brendan would too.
Here are my thoughts:
- We should make sure that our requirements on Firefox OS carriers and OEMs for openness, transparency and Mozilla-ness are stringent enough that least a few say “No, we can’t do that; we’ll go elsewhere”. If everyone agrees to your terms, you aren’t asking for enough.
- We should have a community conversation about what those requirements should be. (Some of what I think is outlined by implication in my recent post Mozilla and Proprietary Software.) To that end, I’m delighted that today there’s a brown bag on the Firefox OS Brand Requirements, which is the document which defines them. (It’s not currently clear who can come to this brown bag; I’m trying to get clarity.)
- We should get down to a price point for our lowest-end phone – say $25 – and then ride Moore’s Law up the hardware spec scale at that price point. That is to say, at some point we should stop trying to make Gecko smaller and focus on improving the capabilities without growing it faster than the hardware is growing at that price point. Let’s not bet against Moore’s Law.
- We shouldn’t try and compete at the high end, but we do need to move into the mid market, because that’s where there’s both global volume and money. (At the low end there’s volume but little money, and at the high end there’s money but less volume.) If we can’t make our ecosystem pay for developers and operators, it won’t grow.
- Brendan has talked about differentiating Firefox in the “trust” area. We should ship Collusion as part of Firefox for desktop, with surrounding explanation of what it means. We should build and ship Tor on Firefox OS (and find a way to extend the Tor network while doing so).
- The average network connection of the average customer is getting worse, because more people are coming online in places where the networks suck – both in bandwidth and latency. We need to make that less painful. HTTP/2 is one way; perhaps there are others, in collaboration with operators and sites. And our offline app support needs to be awesome.
- We’d probably need a consensus to do it, but we should try and build one, and make some new web features HTTPS-only.
Governance and Community
- We need to figure out how our project should be governed, and how those governance structures mesh with the org chart of the Mozilla Corporation. Having clear community governance is vital if we want to grow the community and allow non-employees to take on positions of responsibility. You can’t take a position which doesn’t exist.
- Our community governance structures need to cover all that we do, not just a portion as now, and they probably need to change to meet the needs of the Mozilla of 2014.
- We need to help our new mobile partners live in our world and become fully-fledged participants and contributors. If we end up just being an upstream code source, that’s a loss for us.