Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mozilla's loss of goodwill

Mozilla released an updated FAQ on Brendan Eich's departure from the organization. At this point, I'm not really sure if it does any good. Opinions are polarized in a way that the #dropdropbox crowd can't even begin to approximate.

Unfortunately, Mozilla's explanations come too little too late. At this point, it raises more questions (and not a few eyebrows) than it answers. At the end of their FAQ, Mozilla posts three items:

  • Do I need to support Mozilla’s marriage equality statement to be a Mozillian?
  • Is Mozilla becoming a social activist organization?
  • Do you need to support marriage equality to contribute to Mozilla as an employee, volunteer, or in a leadership role?

The answer in each of these three questions is, expectedly, "no." However, the protestations ring hollow in light of what has gone before.

To my mind, James Heany's blog post articulates everything that I would have wanted to say on the matter.

Will I go back to using and advocating Mozilla projects? Not in the foreseeable future. The Mozilla community has lost a lot of goodwill from me in their handling of the issue, before, during, and after. As I've come to realize from this debacle, an open source community requires goodwill from its members, even from ordinary users like me; this has been irrevocably lost in the current incarnation of the

Will bringing Brendan Eich restore my faith in the project? No. What would get me to support Mozilla projects in the future? I don't know, but it would have to be something extraordinary.