Posts Tagged with “Manifesto”

Sometimes a phone call is the answer!

July 8th, 2008

I had a long talk with Dave Eaves today as a result of a couple of his recent posts which I didn’t quite understand. It’s fun to find someone explicitly interested in how Mozilla works as well as what we do. But I was confused, especially by the post on the Manifesto. It felt a bit to me like a post that said “let’s replace the Manifesto” in order to appeal to an undefined set of people for unknown reasons. That seemed odd.

I was pretty sure this wasn’t quite what was intended, but I couldn’t figure out what was intended. Sometimes it really is good to be able to talk to someone, “real-time,” voice to voice — rather than exchange comments back and forth through a blog or IM or email.

Dave’s focus as I understand it now, without putting too many words in Dave’s mouth — though he has read this post in draft form, so I know I’m close — is whether we can make it easier for people  to adopt the Mozilla Manifesto as their own, to figure out what they want to do to move the goals of the Mozilla Manifesto forward. In particular, for people outside the current Mozilla Communities of Practice and Action to do this. We can see there are a bunch of people who care about these goals (or goals similar to them, since the Manifesto isn’t perfect) but don’t see their main contribution as building software. There’s many interesting contributions this group could make to an open, transparent, participatory Internet. Is there some way we can be more welcoming to people wanting to do this? Dave was suggesting maybe making the Manifesto more approachable would be a way to do this. And the underlying question is: can we be more welcoming to people who want to move the Mozilla Manifesto forward through new types of activities?

That’s a great question. It’s something I want to see happen. However,my top priorities each day are still more  tightly focused on supporting our current communities. So it’s good to have new energy looking at this question.

Review of Summer ’08 Goals

May 14th, 2008

Here’s a review and evaluation of the “Summer 2008 Goals” that I described in my last post. Indented text is the material that was written two years ago.

Summer 2008 Goals

1. Make the Mozilla project a centerpiece of the Internet. Why? To make our values, our “meme” a fundamental piece of the Internet’s future

  • Contributors come to Mozilla to get involved
  • Developers come to Mozilla resources to build good web-related apps (akin to going to MS to build their type of app
  • Thought leaders come to Mozilla to see our technology and learn what we think
  • Security world comes to Mozilla to see how we do things
  • Users come to Mozilla because they trust us and our products
  • MoFo, MoCo, others well integrated for benefit of the project
  • Others follow our lead even if don’t support our values (e.g., IE7)

Background: If I were to have picked only one goal, this would have been it. We’re trying to move Internet life towards the views expressed in the Mozilla Manifesto. To do that we need to be a significant actor (not the significant actor, but one of the central actors) in Internet development. The more central we are the more we can promote an open, secure, distributed style of online life.

Evaluation: Wow. We’ve done this. I don’t mean that we’ve accomplished every example, the examples are just that, examples of indicators. Here’s where we are:

  • We’re a centerpiece of the user experience, with over 170 million people worldwide experiencing the Web through the Firefox ecosystem.
  • Mozilla’s development and testing communities have scaled along with our user growth.
  • Our outreach/adoption/marketing communities have expanded dramatically in both numbers and scope of activities undertaken.
  • Thought leaders, the press and the industry come to Mozilla both to see our technology and to learn what we think in areas as diverse as Firefox, Prism, Weave, mobile and even small projects such as our social project the “Coop” some time back.
  • People use Mozilla technologies to build products far beyond our focus; in fact people are positioning Mozilla technology as an entry into the “Rich Internet Application” realm even as we’re promoting the Web as the platform.
  • The “browser” is once again understood to be a fundamental piece of the Internet experience, rather than an esoteric piece of the operating system that people can safely forget about. As a result Microsoft has recreated a browser team and has made some improvements to its browser offering.
  • Technology thinkers, governments, developers and users are all interested in what Mozilla is doing.
  • Mozilla is a key voice in the development and adoption of web standards and is often used by website developers as a reference implementation for critical web standards. This is great for the Internet as it promotes compatibility for all browsers.
  • We’re a centerpiece in the awareness of open source and free software, where our consumer products are often the first open source/free software product that a consumer interacts with directly. Our increased contact with people in India, Brazil, Argentina and China reveal intense interest in Mozilla, and nascent communities eager for greater contact and involvement.

We’re not perfect of course and there’s plenty of room for improvement. The Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation (and now Mozilla Messaging) are still confusing to many people and need to be more understandable. Our security record is outstanding, and yet we still find our transparency leads to inaccurate press reports and analyses. Our planning processes are radically transparent and yet sometimes there is so much publicly available information that it’s hard to determine what is important.

We can’t lose focus and we can’t stand still, we need to keep moving forward. We start today from a different place than we did two years ago, and that is a tremendous achievement.

2. Increase Firefox usage to 30% of global browser usage. Why? To embed our values deep in the Internet and make the other goals far more likely.

  • Increase use in many locales
  • Increase use in current high-use locales through creative distribution
  • Must be done in ways that further our product vision, not at its expense
  • 30% not intended as absolutist or maximum target

Background: In this goal we set out one of the key drivers in making us a centerpiece of the Internet — Firefox usage. Mozilla is much more than Firefox, but it is the Firefox userbase that gives us such great mindshare and that causes the Internet industry to respond. There wasn’t any science in picking 30%. We thought other numbers (20%, 25%) might be plenty, but we felt comfortable that there would be no doubt at 30%. We also knew that we’re not done at 30%. There are plenty more people who would enjoy their online experience more with Firefox. We picked a number — and an extremely aggressive one at that — to have something concrete in our minds.

Evaluation: We set an audacious goal –something between doubling and tripling our then-current market share — and we’re well on the way to achieving it. We’re making great progress but can’t check off the 30% marker as done yet. Current third party reports show us at 29 or 30% in Europe and something like 22% worldwide. We have achieved the underlying goal, which is growing marketshare, mindshare and significance in the marketplace. Firefox adoption is growing constantly, and quite dramatically in specific locales. Our momentum has not slowed, despite the introduction of new browsers.

To be clear, I’d feel even better if we are at 30% worldwide. I’d feel ecstatic in fact. And ecstatic is where I want to be. 🙂 There’s still nothing magical that I know of about a 30% number, but it still feels like a number where we can be confident we can influence the quality of Internet life. We’re doing this today as we work our way to and beyond 30% — I’m eager to do more.

Some may see this in a different way, along the lines of: they set a number, they may not reach it by summer ’08, and that means failure. That’s an easy, black-and-white view, and it makes for great headlines. But it’s simplistic. That type of interpretation could be correct IF we had ever believed that the 30% number was special — that for some reason 28 or 29% meant one thing and 30% or 31% meant another. In some settings a number like 30% may well be the switch, where yes turns to no, or no turns to yes. That’s not our world. We knew 30% wasn’t magic; we said so in the goal itself: “30% not intended as absolutist or maximum target”.

3. Diversify browsing focus beyond Firefox today. Why? To increase innovation, improve user experience for new activities people do through the browser (e.g., creating and sharing content)

  • New add-ons, new types of add-ons, “official” extension packs, etc.
  • “.moz” services integration idea to improve the Firefox experience
  • Innovation and experimentation through the Mozilla Labs program
  • Increasing participation (making it easy to engage in)
  • “Expanded” browsing activities such as generating (standards-based) content, sharing content, and collaborating
  • This is not limited to “front-end” work; it includes the platform as well

Background: This was our marker to make sure we’re looking to the future. Internet life is changing as new capabilities appear online. We need to be relevant in these new areas to continue moving the Internet towards our goals.

Evaluation: We’re doing this. The initial steps of launching, understanding, and funding a set of critical new initiatives are done. We don’t yet have new end user product offerings for these areas; that work is in progress. We can’t claim that our impact in these other areas is of the scope of that of Firefox, but that wasn’t the goal. As in the first goal, we’ve used the examples as precisely that — examples of the kinds of things that could move the goal forward. We’ve focused on some but not all of them, and added others. Here’s what we’ve done:

  • Created a new team, new focus, new organization, and revitalized community participation and development for Thunderbird and Internet communications
  • Launched a serious mobile effort, created a team for the mobile work, done the platform performance and memory work to make it feasible now, developed prototypes and become an active part of the mobile discussion
  • Created Mozilla Labs as the home for experimentation, giving us a place to design and prototype
  • Started to deal with data, and doing so in a Mozilla way through Mozilla Labs
  • Launched exploration of deep integration of the browser and online services through the Weave project


The last two years have been extraordinary. Two years ago we were looking at at giant opportunity created by years of hard work combined with some good fortune. Today that opportunity is much larger. The scope has grown. The scale has grown. The breadth and depth of Mozilla contributors has grown. The responsibilities have grown. We should celebrate and marvel and be proud and feel honored.

We shouldn’t get cocky or spend too much time patting ourselves on the back. The challenges before us are real. The allure of closed systems is not gone. Some create closed systems because of the economic advantages of controlling a part of the Internet; some are drawn by the desire to control, some drawn unconsciously by good tools and seemingly simple, safe choices.

In the next few years we need to push hard to make sure new capabilities are developed in and for the open web, not limited to proprietary parts of the web. We need to continue to create the products people need for accessing the Internet. We need to use our voice to make open, transparent and participation ever more deeply engrained in the fabric of the web.

It’s time to identify the next big multi-year milestones: what can we do with our products and technologies to move the Internet towards a more open, participation environment? I’ll make some suggestions soon. In the meantime, ideas, proposals, thoughts are more than welcome.

Mozilla Manifesto in Portuguese

April 30th, 2008

One of the results of my trip to FISL (9th Annual International Free Software Forum) in Brazil last week was a version of the Mozilla Manifesto in Portuguese. The Mozilla Manifesto sets out basic values and goals of the Mozilla project; it describes the driving force behind products like Firefox and Thunderbird and our other activities.

I’ve had a draft version of the Manifesto in Portuguese for some time now (many thanks, Carolina). As part of this trip a couple of law professors reviewed and made some changes (thanks Ronoldo, thanks Bruno). I’m excited because I’d like to see discussions of the Mozilla Manifesto in a few different languages before we move from the “0.9” to a “1.0” version. Each language has its own subtleties and its own ways of conveying distinctions and focus. I suspect that questions and critiques of the Manifesto that arise from the variations between languages could be very helpful in creating a stronger document.

The Portuguese version is below. (And here is the English version.) If there are Portuguese speakers who have questions or thoughts that come out of such a review please let me know, either by comment here or feedback in the mozilla.governance newsgroup.


O Manifesto Mozilla, v0.9


A internet está se tornando uma parte cada vez mais importante de nossas vidas.

O projeto Mozilla traduz-se numa comunidade global de pessoas que acreditam que a abertura da rede, inovação e oportunidade são elementos chave para a continuidade de uma Internet saudável. Nós temos trabalhado conjuntamente desde 1998 para assegurar que a Internet seja desenvolvida de forma a beneficiar a todos. Somos melhor conhecidos por ter criado o navegador Mozilla Firefox.

O projeto Mozilla baseia-se numa perspectiva que tem na comunidade a fonte de criação de software de código aberto e de desenvolvimento de novas formas de atividades colaborativas. Criamos comunidades de pessoas envolvidas em fazer a experiência de uso da Internet melhor para todos nós.

Como resultado destes esforços, destilamos uma série de princípios que acreditamos sejam críticos para que a Internet continue beneficiando tanto o bem público e comum, como os aspectos comerciais da vida. Estes princípios estão listados abaixo.

Os objetivos do Manifesto são:

  1. Articular uma visão sobre a Internet que reflita o que os participantes da Mozilla desejam que a Fundação Mozilla siga;
  2. Falar com as pessoas independentemente da profundidade de seu conhecimento técnico;
  3. Fazer com que os colaboradores do Mozilla sintam-se orgulhosos do que estamos fazendo e nos motivem a continuar;
  4. Fornecer um arcabouço para que outras pessoas propaguem esta visão sobre a Internet.

Estes princípios não se tornarão realidade por si próprios. Pessoas são necessárias para fazer com que a Internet mantenha-se aberta e participativa – pessoas atuando como indivíduos, trabalhando em grupos e liderando outras pessoas. A Fundação Mozilla tem um compromisso com o avanço dos princípios estabelecidos neste Manifesto Mozilla. Convidamos a todos para nos acompanhar na tarefa de tornar a Internet um lugar cada vez melhor para todo mundo.


  1. A Internet é parte integral da vida moderna – sendo um componente chave para a educação, comunicação, colaboração, negócios, entretenimento e para a sociedade como um todo;
  2. A Internet é um recurso publico global que deve permanecer aberto e acessível;
  3. A Internet deve enriquecer a vida dos seres humanos como indivíduos;
  4. A segurança dos indivíduos na Internet é fundamental e não pode ser tratada como opcional;
  5. Os indivíduos devem ter a habilidade de moldar suas próprias experiências na Internet.
  6. A efetividade da Internet como um recurso público depende de interoperabilidade (protocolos, formato de dados e conteúdo), inovação e participação descentralizada mundialmente.
  7. Software livre e aberto promovem o desenvolvimento da Internet como um bem público.
  8. Processos transparentes e baseados em comunidades promovem participação, responsabilidade e confiança.
  9. Envolvimento comercial com o desenvolvimento da Internet traz vários benefícios; um equilíbrio entre os objetivos comerciais e os benefícios ao público é essencial.
  10. Ampliar o benefício público promovido pela Internet é um importante objetivo ao qual vale dedicar tempo, atenção e compromisso.

Implementando o Manifesto Mozilla

Existem diversas formas de implementar os princípios do Manifesto Mozilla. Consideramos bem-vinda uma ampla gama de atividades e prevemos o mesmo tipo de criatividade que os participantes do Mozilla apresentaram em outras áreas do projeto. Para indivíduos não profundamente envolvidos com o projeto Mozilla, uma forma básica e muito efetiva de apoiar o Manifesto é usar o Mozilla Firefox e outros produtos que incorporam os princípios do Manifesto.

Compromisso da Fundação Mozilla

A Fundação Mozilla compromete-se a manter e empregar o Manifesto Mozilla em suas atividades. Especificamente, comprometemo-nos a:

  • construir e permitir o desenvolvimento de tecnologias abertas e comunidades que apóiam os princípios do Manifesto;
  • construir e distribuir aos consumidores bons produtos que apóiem os princípios do Manifesto;
  • utilizar os bens gerados pelo Mozilla (propriedade intelectual como por exemplo direitos autorais e marcas; infra-estrutura, recursos financeiros e reputação) para manter a Internet como uma plataforma livre;
  • promover modelos que criem valor econômico para o benefício público, e
  • promover os princípios do Manifesto Mozilla em nosso discurso público e com a indústria da Internet.

Algumas atividades da Fundação – atualmente vinculadas à criação, distribuição e promoção de produtos ao consumidor – são conduzidas, primordialmente, por meio da Corporação Mozilla, subsidiária controlada pela Fundação Mozilla.


A Fundação Mozilla convida a todos que concordam e suportam os princípios do Manifesto Mozilla a juntarem-se a nós e encontrar novas formas para tornar esta visão sobre a Internet uma realidade.

The Mozilla Manifesto

February 13th, 2007

Here is the Mozilla Manifesto I described in my last post. I invite you to provide input through the Mozilla “governance” newsgroup.

You can also read a set of past comments and participate through the “mozilla.governance” Google Group.

The Mozilla Manifesto


The Internet is becoming an increasingly important part of our lives.

The Mozilla project is a global community of people who believe that openness, innovation and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet. We have worked together since 1998 to ensure that the Internet is developed in a way that benefits everyone. We are best known for creating the Mozilla Firefox web browser.

The Mozilla project uses a community-based approach to create world-class, open source software, and to develop new types of collaborative activities. We create communities of people involved in making the Internet experience better for all of us.

As a result of these efforts, we have distilled a set of principles that we believe are critical for the Internet to continue to benefit the public good as well as commercial aspects of life. We set out these principles in the Mozilla Manifesto presented below.

These principles will not come to life on their own. People are needed to make the Internet open and participatory — people acting as individuals, working together in groups, and leading others. The Mozilla Foundation is committed to advancing the principles set out in the Mozilla Manifesto. We invite others to join us and make the Internet an ever better place for everyone.


  1. The Internet is an integral part of modern life — a key component in education, communication, collaboration, business, entertainment and society as a whole.
  2. The Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible.
  3. The Internet should enrich the lives of individual human beings.
  4. Individuals’ security on the Internet is fundamental and cannot be treated as optional.
  5. Individuals must have the ability to shape their own experiences on the Internet.
  6. The effectiveness of the Internet as a public resource depends upon interoperability (protocols, data formats, content), innovation and decentralized participation worldwide.
  7. Free and open source software promotes the development of the Internet as a public resource.
  8. Transparent community-based processes promote participation, accountability, and trust.
  9. Commercial involvement in the development of the Internet brings many benefits; a balance between commercial goals and public benefit is critical.
  10. Magnifying the public benefit aspects of the Internet is an important goal, worthy of time, attention and commitment.

Advancing the Mozilla Manifesto

There are many different ways of advancing the principles of the Mozilla Manifesto. We welcome a broad range of activities, and anticipate the same creativity that Mozilla participants have shown in other areas of the project. For individuals not deeply involved in the Mozilla project, one basic and very effective way to support the Manifesto is to use Mozilla Firefox and other products that embody the principles of the Manifesto.

Mozilla Foundation Pledge

The Mozilla Foundation pledges to support the Mozilla Manifesto in its activities. Specifically, we will:

  • build and enable open-source technologies and communities that support the Manifesto’s principles;
  • build and deliver great consumer products that support the Manifesto’s principles;
  • use the Mozilla assets (intellectual property such as copyrights and trademarks, infrastructure, funds and reputation) to keep the Internet an open platform;
  • promote models for creating economic value for the public benefit; and
  • promote the Mozilla Manifesto principles in public discourse and within the Internet industry.

Some Foundation activities — currently the creation, delivery and promotion of consumer products — are conducted primarily through the Mozilla Foundation’s wholly owned subsidiary; the Mozilla Corporation.


The Mozilla Foundation invites all others who support the principles of the Mozilla Manifesto to join with us, and to find new ways to make this vision of the Internet a reality.


Introducing the Mozilla Manifesto

February 13th, 2007

The Mozilla project is about more than simply producing new versions of Firefox. Firefox is important, of course, and our major focus right now. However, Firefox is also important to achieving a broader goal, and it’s important for the project to articulate that goal.

With the help of a number of Mozilla contributors, I have created a draft document called the Mozilla Manifesto. The Manifesto sets out a vision of the Internet as a piece of infrastructure that is open, accessible and enriches the lives of individual human beings. It includes a pledge from the Mozilla Foundation about taking action in support of the principles of the Mozilla Manifesto. It extends an invitation to others to join us, either by working directly with the Foundation or through other activities that support the Mozilla Manifesto.

The goals for the Manifesto are to:

  1. articulate a vision for the Internet that Mozilla participants want the Mozilla Foundation to pursue;
  2. speak to people whether or not they have a technical background;

  3. make Mozilla contributors proud of what we’re doing and motivate us to continue; and
  4. provide a framework for other people to advance this vision of the Internet.

The Mozilla Manifesto has been been presented to a set of several hundred contributors, resulting comments have been reviewed and incorporated where possible. I’ll post the current draft of the Mozilla Manifesto in a separate blog post; I invite you to provide input.

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