The Truth about Mozilla

Mozilla ♥ Bugzilla, SeaMonkey, Camino, and Accessibility… Because it has to

Posted in Mozilla by The Lizard on December 22, 2007

In the previous post, the Lizard stated (emphasis added):

In case that wasn’t clear enough to some of you morons, Mozilla needs people to give money to it or it loses it’s “public charity” status. The law says so. Let’s analyze that a bit more. Mozilla’s revenue mostly consists of revenue from their Google, nay, search bar. Since that infamous deal was made, what fools would possibly decide to give Mozilla more money? Don’t they get enough as it is? Internally, Mozilla must be working on a way to generate more donations from individual users. If they aren’t, they need to get into gear. Losing their public charity status is the first step down a rocky slope to losing non-profit status.

Since the Lizard was an immense moron (not unlike my readers) and didn’t publish that post until after a visit to Bermuda, that paragraph doesn’t have near the effect it should.

Mozilla fulfilled that paragraph by starting the “directed giving” program. Does anyone at Mozilla really give a flying fuck what happens to Bugzilla, SeaMonkey, Camino, or Mozilla accessibility? Hell fucking no! The only of those four Mozilla has ever cared about is accessibility and only insomuch as is required to comply with government standards. Hear that deaf man? Mozilla doesn’t really care about you.

(How many accessibility engineers work for Mozilla? Hint: 0; Aaron Leventhal works for IBM. How many are on the quality assurance team, focusing on accessibility? Hint: 1; the only recently hired Marco Zehe.)

Does Mozilla care about Bugzilla? How many employees work on Bugzilla, the oh-my-god-this-bug-tracker-sucks-so-much premier bug tracker Mozilla itself uses? 0.

Does Mozilla care about SeaMonkey? Given the initial support it received (none) where the community took over the then-named “Suite”, one can’t possibly believe that Mozilla cares about SeaMonkey.

Does Mozilla care about Camino? Most believe the Camino team is wasting its time and should contribute to Firefox for Mac. As a result, they commonly joke about breaking Camino’s tinderbox.

There may be a few individuals who care about one or all of the projects above, but as a whole, as a company, and, specifically, as a group of leaders guiding the future of open source, they don’t care and likely never will.

Given the above, why in Lord Jesus, Almighty’s name would they “support” these projects with a donations program and 2 for 1 matching? Because Mozilla had to find a way to grow the amount of donations they received. Becoming a private foundation isn’t an option. Losing their non-profit status is even less an option. The war-chest of money Mozilla, nay, Ms Baker has built up would be damaged if Mozilla had to start paying taxes at the Foundation level as well.

The Lizard has no doubt that Frank Hecker and others within the Mozilla community wanted this change, personally. Taking three years to set it up is a direct result of the board at the Mozilla Foundation and, specifically, the chair of that board, not wanting to support anything beyond Firefox. The change took place only to supplement the income Mozilla already receives and give it some ability to generate donations, which have been incredibly lacking.

Does this mean you shouldn’t donate to Mozilla? Not at all. If you support any one of those four projects, the Lizard encourages you to donate to them. But I’ll be damned if you have any illusions as to why this program exists.

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