Strategy

Ben Bucksch ben.bucksch at beonex.com
Sun Jul 8 19:16:47 PDT 2012


This decision is a clear loss, if not even violation, of most principles 
in the manifesto (which happen to capture the Mozilla spirit fairly well):
http://www.mozilla.org/about/manifesto.en.html

>  1. The Internet is an integral part of modern life--a key component
>     in education, communication, collaboration, business,
>     entertainment and society as a whole.
>

All true for "Email is an ...", and email is a core part of "Internet"

>  1. The Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and
>     accessible.
>

Webmail is definitely not open. You're totally dependent on the features 
and limitations the provider offers.

>  1. The Internet should enrich the lives of individual human beings.
>

Being reduced to webmail as choice surely isn't an enrichment for 
individuals, only an enrichment for Google.

>  1. Individuals' security on the Internet is fundamental and cannot be
>     treated as optional.
>

Privacy goes out the door with webmail.
Even integrity: The ISP can even alter the message contents years after 
the fact, and I have no way to verify or prove this. (see e.g. scandals)

If everybody has webmail, there's not even a reason for the ISP to offer 
IMAP or POP3.

>  1. Individuals must have the ability to shape their own experiences
>     on the Internet.
>

Most definitely a loss here. This is one of the reasons that get at me 
most with this decision.

>  1. The effectiveness of the Internet as a public resource depends
>     upon interoperability (protocols, data formats, content),
>     innovation and decentralized participation worldwide.
>

~20% of the world's users (and raising quickly) all being on gmail is a 
scary centralization. With centralization, no need for interoperability 
- old story.

Where do you think Thunderbird users will go now? Eudora? No, Gmail. 
Definitely loss here.

>  1. Free and open source software promotes the development of the
>     Internet as a public resource.
>

I can't modify gmail webmail.

Even in the remote chance that we would build the world leading webmail 
software, it would still be the ISP rolling out and controlling it, and 
probably modifying it.

Loss.

>  1. Transparent community-based processes promote participation,
>     accountability, and trust.
>

Transparency in this decision? Participation? None. We were merely 
*informed* many months after this has been decided, a week before the 
public release. Perfect way to destroy all remaining trust I had.

(As for the press leakage, I think that was Mozillians, not one of the 
contributors.)

This isn't HP here.

>  1. Commercial involvement in the development of the Internet brings
>     many benefits; a balance between commercial goals and public
>     benefit is critical.
>

Gain. This decision surely helps commerce.

>  1. Magnifying the public benefit aspects of the Internet is an
>     important goal, worthy of time, attention and commitment.
>

-
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