On 11/19/2014 09:11 AM, Benjamin Kerensa wrote:
Hello Free Software Friends,
I want to encourage the Fedora Community to think carefully about making
to another browser as the default in Fedora. I would not get hung up on
(Ads) too much and remember they are necessary in order for Mozilla to
building Firefox, Thunderbird, Seamonkey, Firefox OS and supporting the
hundreds of movements and thousands of events it does each year.
But that all aside I hope you will weigh whether the alternatives will
provider your users
any better of an experience in terms of Stability, Performance, Privacy
I think it will be difficult to find an alternative that offers what
Firefox does to your
users and frankly I think you will have a fair amount of users that will
be upset that
you switched the default on them. Sure they can still install Firefox
but the fact is
Fedora users come to expect Firefox to be the default much like they
to be the default. (Also remember there are very likely thousands of
Mozilla Contributors that use Fedora)
In other words: you have achieved have vendor lock-in.
Congratulations! Good for you. Not so good for me.
Whatever your decision have a good release cycle and keep on building
awesome free software!
Free software is, and always has been, about users. If something does
not benefit the users should be able to switch away – where "something"
is not whole applications, but individual *features* of applications.
Compare, for example, to the ad-ridden, spy-heavy, vendor-locked-in
Android ecosystem, where users can't turn off unwanted features. Most
software there is written to benefit the *developers*, not the *users*.
Sure, it is more profitable for them that way, and the terms of some of
those apps are even acceptable. But the fact that this model is finding
its way into free software is worrying at best.
I think the line we should not cross is: including features that don't
benefit the user and may be considered harmful. If I opt-in to ads – if
you politely ask, and I, with mutual respect and understanding, agree to
help your cause – then it's perfectly fine. (See vim's "Help kids in
Uganda" message.) If you just quietly make money off me, or distract and
annoy me until I have paid, then I can't and will not respect you.
It's not about tracking per se – I'm fine with e.g. opt-in usage reports
that feed into research for making a better browser – that benefits me
(in a very indirect and miniscule way, but in the end the purpose is for
the *user's* benefit).
Ads are a feature that only benefits the upstream and the companies that
pay for the ads. From my (user's) perspective, there is no reason to
have them on my system. There is no benefit to me from this feature.
None at all. This is a major difference from Gnome search providers,
which I personally don't like either, but I can see how they might be
good for someone.
If I wanted software that works and is adequately funded, I'd use
Chrome. If Mozilla slides into forcing ads on people, the difference
between Chrome and Firefox becomes quantitative, not qualitative –
Google does the same bad stuff, but worse.
Personally, I sadly no longer trust Mozilla to do what's best for me.
(Please don't become the next Google. Yes, I'm aware Google makes lots
of money and can easily fund development and thousands of events each
year. That does not make them an example I think Mozilla should follow.)
If Fedora starts including, as soldiers in a Trojan horse of default
software, upstreams' features that don't benefit me and may be
considered harmful, then Fedora will lose my trust as well.
tl;dr: I think the line we should not cross is: including features that
don't benefit the user and may be considered harmful.