No, it's not your imagination...
I really have updated the site! Check out our revised Questions and Answers page, as well as "Wrestling with Firefox:" Workaround solutions for the common frustrations and annoyances with newer versions of the software.
The latter point isn't new news. Prop 8 contributions have been a matter of public record since they happened, and the issue of Eich's involvement has simmered online before. If I avoided every single company and organization whose employees engaged in ethically-abhorrent behavior, I'd be a hermit. But there are several points to keep in mind...
- Mozilla is not a typical technology company. It is a non-profit foundation that maintains a corporation as a subsidiary purely for financial reasons, it maintains an open-source project, and it faces high accountability for its actions.
- Mozilla was created as a reaction against unethical, harmful tech practices in an era when Microsoft were pulling out every dirty trick in the book to cut off Netscape's air supply. Mozilla was just as much a social movement as it was a software project, and everything about it was steeped in community involvement, grassroots activism, and transparency from day one. When a leader makes a mockery out of this and engages in unethical, harmful actions against other human beings, people notice.
- The Chief Executive Officer is charged with total management of an organization, including nondiscrimination policies and employee benefits. If I were an LGBT Mozilla employee, I'd be feeling very anxious right now.
- Marriage equality is the leading civil rights issue of our time, with minds being changed and court decisions building up month after month with no sign of slowing down. You can't expurgate it from considerations of current events if you try.
- A $1,000 contribution is not a small amount of money. At minimum wage, it's more than a month's take-home pay. And that thousand dollars resulted in no practical, economic, or social benefits for anyone: Its sole contribution was to revoke equal civil rights from a minority group.
So far, there has been no public statement from Mozilla directly addressing this issue or its implications...even though it's burned up the news in the LGBT and tech spheres for the last two days, and developers such as Hampton Catlin and Michael Lintorn of Rarebit have responded by pulling their support from Mozilla's ventures entirely.
Proposition 8 was struck down in 2010, and marriage equality resumed in California three years later. If Eich were to legitimately and sincerely change his mind, verbally expound on his rationale for doing so, and offset the damage of his past actions with $1,000 donations to marriage-equality campaigns and pro-LGBT causes, I'd consider forgiving him.
But Eich's sole response is a blog post from two years ago. It could best be described as a collection of politely-phrased weasel words where he refuses to expound on his motivations and attempts to escape from the "bigot" label: "I challenge anyone to cite an incident where I displayed hatred, or ever treated someone less than respectfully because of group affinity or individual identity." My reaction to that is simple: You displayed hatred and disrespect the instant you intervened to deprive other people of the same secular, civil rights that you yourself enjoy. You are a bigot if you want to deny full civil equality to me or other citizens, it doesn't matter how politely you phrase yourself when expressing that, and your actions convey those expressions a lot louder than words.
Tim Chevalier has an excellent write-up on this, as does Tom Morris. (Tim also has several follow-up posts.) I have little involvement with the Mozilla community myself these days; aside from endorsing SeaMonkey (which is outside the Corporation's immediate scope) and using Firefox 3.6 and earlier versions when I can get away with it. How you choose to react is up to you.
- Part 1: Through Milestone 17 and Netscape 6.0 PR2 (1998-2000)
- Part 2: Milestone 18 to Mozilla 0.9.9 and Netscape 6.x (2000-02)
- Part 3: Mozilla 1.0-1.7.x, Netscape 7.x, and SeaMonkey (2002-06)
- Part 4: Phoenix, Mozilla Firebird, and Mozilla Firefox (2002-06)
- Solutions for usability problems with newer versions of the software.
- Looking into the past
- Platform availability and compatibility
- What are the system requirements for Firefox and other Mozilla software?
- Will Mozilla Firefox or Mozilla Thunderbird run on Windows 95 or other older versions of Windows?
- Are Mozilla Firefox or Mozilla Thunderbird available for Mac OS 9.2.2 and earlier versions? If not, what Netscape/Mozilla browsers are?
- Enough! Just tell me what the newest browser that works on my operating system is.
- Gecko Version Cross-Reference Chart
- Bon Echo & Firefox 2: Is it a step in the right direction? Reviews of alpha and beta releases of Mozilla Firefox 2.
- What's New in Firefox 1.5. Illustrated!
- A Look at Deer Park and Beyond: Reviews of alpha and beta releases of Mozilla Firefox 1.5.
- What are some reasons to use Mozilla Firefox?