vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

Mozilla dev wants Microsoft, Apple and Google to stop being evil

by Pete Mason on 2 December 2010, 10:28

Tags: Firefox, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Mozilla, RockMelt

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qa3en

Add to My Vault: x

Apparently, there are Firefox plugins lurking on your computer that you may not know about, and Asa Dotzler isn't happy about it.

The outspoken Firefox developer and director of community development for Mozilla recently discovered that a number of programs had installed plugins that he hadn't asked for. These included updaters from RockMelt and Google - which as far as we can tell is installed by Chrome - and helpers for iTunes, Microsoft Office and Windows Live Photo Gallery, none of which had asked the user for explicit permission prior to installation. Worse, it wasn't clear what these plugins actually did or what purpose they served for the end user.

Dotzler's objection wasn't just the fact that the plugins were there in the first place, but that the associated software hadn't asked for the user's consent. He was astounded that it had become common practice to slip these extra components onto a computer without any sort of permission in a way that he likened to a Trojan horse and called "sneaky, underhanded, and wrong".

He commented that, "these vendors should stop this behaviour and let Mozilla and other software organizations focus on more important usability issues than combating their evil behaviour."

"Microsoft, stop being evil. Apple, stop being evil. Google, stop being evil. And you upstarts like RockMelt, don't follow in those evil footsteps. It's not worth it. It's really simple. ASK first!"

Obviously these plugins can easily be disabled, and Dotzler admits that the Firefox team could do more to help users deal with these sorts of add-ons. However, his point is that the developers shouldn't have to, which would give them more time to work on making a better browser.



HEXUS Forums :: 10 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
I'm sure they'll stop being evil, right about the time Mozilla starts managing memory competently.
I paid good money for my ram so I am more than happy for firefox to use it, I never got this thing of people complaining about programs using ram, I would rather it all got used rather than sit empty.

I do agree that they should ask before installing these things, I have removed such add-ons myself but I don't think everybody looks.
aidanjt
I'm sure they'll stop being evil, right about the time Mozilla starts managing memory competently.

Nice use of a relevance :clapping:

Could Firefox themselves be partly to blame?
Is it possible they should have something on their side which gives you the option to be prompted in the event any third party plugs are trying to install themself?

Either way i am totally with him, we should be asked by these companies if we want the plug ins installed.
Percy1983
I paid good money for my ram so I am more than happy for firefox to use it, I never got this thing of people complaining about programs using ram, I would rather it all got used rather than sit empty.

I suspect you don't leave FF open for a few days at a time with large numbers of tabs being used?

It's not simply a matter of it using lots of RAM (although it often exceeds 1GB) - what annoys me is its involvement of CPU cycles - it freezes and maxes out a core for several seconds at a time, once it appears to be having memory management issues.
Percy1983
I paid good money for my ram so I am more than happy for firefox to use it, I never got this thing of people complaining about programs using ram, I would rather it all got used rather than sit empty.
And I'd rather unused RAM be managed by the OS for caches and buffers which work, than being filled with dereferenced objects (leaked mem) and extremely stale cache objects, because the application developer is too incompetent to manage memory.

My computer does more than just browse the tubes, so I expect there to be memory available for other actually productive tasks I perform.