Firefox + KDE integration: Getting FF to use Dolphin reliably. 12+ years and counting.

Richard Newman rnewman at
Tue Jul 8 01:49:15 UTC 2014

> (2) It's proving challenging for me to not have it come across as 'Linux is insignificant, why should we bother'.  I'm trying, but …

Just chiming in briefly to speak to this point, because it's easy to get the wrong end of this particular stick.

It's not as simple as "this platform doesn't have many users, so we explicitly won't make efforts to support it".

Mozilla is a community, and a collection of communities. Parts of this huge piece of software that don't have an active community around them -- testers, developers, folks who care -- tend to rust. We actively reject "code bomb" features, because those features inevitably become a disproportionate maintenance burden.

The only sane standpoints to take are:

* Putting in time to this thing will significantly help to achieve our mission. This is why we still support Windows XP, even if few people in the developer community are active XP users. This is a small set with a high bar to entry, and the math doesn't work in KDE's case.

* There are enough folks who are invested in this thing that it will be self-supporting.

The latter is what Justin is suggesting: if the KDE-using part of the Mozilla community -- which I assume includes you -- considers KDE integration to be important, it needs to step up and own it by investing time. That means a long-term commitment to fixing bugs, maintaining tests, contributing to the integration points in Firefox, etc.

If there are enough developers who are interested, starting the process should be straightforward: good patches (with tests!) on bugs, and a commitment to owning that work going forward. The bugs you mention aren't good evidence for this yet, but you can change that.

> We'd use Mozilla products much more widely if issues like this languishing bug that causes all sorts of confusion for our users, and is easily fixed by siwtching to Chrome across the company, didn't exist.  (We won't talk at all about the abandonment of unfinished Thunderbird ... that stung us badly, and still does; guessing we're not alone).

Mozilla isn't a company that's trying to win the market. It's a community that's trying to change the world. That MoCo doesn't fund the salaries for development of Thunderbird doesn't mean it's abandoned, and that people use Chrome doesn't mean we've failed -- quite the opposite! Chrome is a great browser. A rising tide lifts all ships.

>> That said, there should probably be a discussion ...
> If that's an invitation to the outside world -- Linux & KDE to enter into discussion, great.  Provide the name of a point person @ Mozilla and a willingness to have 'this' talk, and I'll do my part to see if I can make some connections.

firefox-dev and bugs are as good a place as any to start. But remember: people who care need to own solving the problem. It's not enough to spend time advocating for someone else to fix it.


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