Pale Moon Rising

So if you're paying any attention at all to recent events on the internet, you're aware of the controversy surrounding Brendan Eich, former CEO (and CTO) of Mozilla, the company that makes the Firefox web browser. You've probably heard all manner of things by now about what an evil man he is, about how he's a bigot, a homophobe, and an all around terrible person who should be shunned from civilized society. Then what's the problem? The problem is Mozilla itself holding hypocritical viewpoints on freedom, free speech, tolerance, acceptance, and diversity.

A little background first. Brendan Eich is a co-founder of the Mozilla Corporation, and the inventor of Javascript. Yes, he is THAT important to the web. His company singlehandedly took back the internet from the strangling hold of Microsoft and gave us back what we have today. So the guy knows his stuff. He rose through the ranks at Mozilla, and became their CTO when they incorporated as the Mozilla Corporation.

Six years ago, like the majority of Californians, President Obama, and the majority of Americans, Brendan Eich was (and still is - bless him) in favor of defending traditional marriage as being between one man and one woman. As I'm sure I don't need to rehash, it was a long fight full of back and forth ballot initiatives, failed legislation, a state constitutional amendment, activist judges on the State Supreme Court, and a lack of will on the part of SCOTUS which eventually ended in Proposition 8 being defeated. Not because it was a hate filled bigoted law, but because SCOTUS claimed that those who appealed the California Supreme Court's decision did not have standing to do so. The issue was thus never settled properly here.

Eich donated $1000 to support the campaign to pass Proposition 8. 54% of the voters in the state of California, including myself, voted to pass it. This despite the liberal spin on the proposition's title on the state ballot forms, phrased in such a way as to try to make people think a right that never existed was being removed. Eich never participated in any rallies, never attended any speeches, went to any public events, or did anything more than donate money (and presumably also voted for) to the proposition's campaign. That's it. That's the man's heinous crime. He held a belief that the majority of the country held then, and STILL HOLDS TODAY.

So what's all this got to do with Firefox you may ask? Simple. Two weeks ago, after serving 9 years as Mozilla's CTO, Brendan Eich was promoted to the CEO position. This is kind of an oddity even among tech companies and many hailed it as a wonderful thing for a tech oriented guy in a tech oriented company.

Then the hatemongers showed up. Someone leaked a database containing names of various people in positions of corporate power who donated to the Proposition 8 campaign. Eich's name was on this list. Incoming shitstorm of epic proportions. Liberal bloggers went bananas and posted article after article about how horrible this was and how this man HAD to go and right fucking now! All the while spewing their hollow platitudes about inclusiveness, diversity, and tolerance. No less than 4 articles calling for Eich's head showed up on one of the tech sites I frequent. Something I'm seriously considering ceasing given their increasingly hateful left wing propaganda articles. Folks tried in vane to explain it to these guys that Eich has a First Amendment right to engage in political speech, and that in California you CAN get sued as a company for discriminating against someone who holds a differing viewpoint than your own. They would have none of it, trotting out the tired old "intolerance of intolerance and bigotry is acceptable" routine. Eich simply had to go.

At first, Mozilla did the dance and tried to defend the guy - badly. Their PR people suck, so that didn't end well. Then people decided to call for a boycott of Firefox. In case people are not aware, Firefox is effectively the only "product" the company has. Everything else they were managing got wrecked along the way because the Board of Directors are all a bunch of clueless asshats. First a small time app nobody has ever heard of posted something about how they were pulling their app from the Mozilla Marketplace unless Eich was either fired or apologized. Nice. So you want the man to apologize for his sincerely held beliefs that the majority of Americans still hold. Should zebras apologize for having stripes?

Then some backwater online dating service nobody in their right mind uses anyway chimed in. OKCupid. Well, ok, cupid, at least I've heard of you. What they did was truly disgusting and alarming for supporters of free speech. They actively blocked anyone using Firefox from accessing their website. This got Mozilla's attention, and apparently scared the crap out of their weak willed board members. One might note though, OKCupid heavily relies on Javascript and they mentioned nothing about boycotting THAT, despite it being the very same person who brought this on.

It didn't take long for Mozilla to turn on Eich. He was forced to resign his post as CEO on April 3rd. Mozilla spewed forth a whole bunch of hollow crap they don't really believe when it happened.

And so it came to be that Mozilla reveals they've been co-opted by the extreme left, that they are beholden to 1% of the population at large, and that they do not in fact support free speech, openness, inclusiveness, tolerance, and diversity. For if they did, Brendan Eich would still have a job today. Part of being tolerant is tolerating people who don't toe the liberal party line guys.

Right. If you're still reading after all this, you must be asking yourself why did I just post all of this, of all topics I could be discussing? Well, because I am joining a much larger movement as of right now. I am uninstalling Firefox, boycotting Mozilla, and ridding my PC of all things Mozilla in protest of the corporation's decision to fire their CEO for exercising his First Amendment right to free speech. Well, ok, I will admit, Thunderbird will be staying but ONLY because no other viable mail client exists for the PC. If anyone out there has any ideas, I'd love to hear them. Please don't tell me to just use Gmail. I already do, but it sucks too much to use as a regular thing.

As many of you know, I have supported Firefox since the days when it was still known as Phoenix. So this is not a decision I've come to lightly. I have been shopping the net for a new browser since Eich was canned. I've looked at Chrome, and unfortunately Google still doesn't get it. Plus their font rendering is still total crap. I've looked at Opera, and given that they're using Google's Webkit engine to power it, they don't get it either. Their font rendering is also total crap. I even looked at Safari. It's crude, actually reminds me of Netscape to some extent. It renders fonts properly even. It has absolutely zero UI customization though. Yes, I even surfed the web on IE for about 2 hours and remembered why I said no to IE the last time. Talk about atrocious font rendering.

So while I was poking around through some of the other sites sponsoring and advancing the boycott, someone on one of them suggested Pale Moon. Yeah, I know what you're going to say. "But that's a Mozilla product!" No. Not quite. While it does use the open source code that Firefox itself is built from, it is NOT a Mozilla product. The guy in charge of the project is very emphatic about that even. While I do not agree with his views on gay marriage, we DO agree on the much larger issue of freedom of speech, tolerance, and choice. So there you have it. I am now a Pale Moon user. As a huge bonus, it's properly optimized for modern CPUs and 64 bit systems. Something else Mozilla thinks is bad.

Judging by the backlash, retaining the 1% of the population they just caved to is about to cost them a much larger chunk in response to it.

Support free speech? Don't like Mozilla's intolerance of conservative viewpoints? Think Eich got screwed? Spread the word! #SupportEich #BoycottMozilla #BoycottFirefox
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Apr 6, 2014 12:28 am by Samson in: , | 5 comment(s) [Closed]
As a further help - anyone who feels as I do and decides to switch to Pale Moon should do the following in their about:config:

1. Find general.useragent.compatMode.firefox
2. Double click so it changes to FALSE.

This will change your user agent string from this:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:24.0) Gecko/20140329 Firefox/24.0 PaleMoon/24.4.2

To this:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:24.0) Gecko/20140329 PaleMoon/24.4.2

That way you will be able to bypass any sites boycotting Firefox by blocking access in the same way OKCupid did. You will also no longer register on various web stat collectors as being a Firefox user. For a boycott like this to truly count, the useragents need to do their jobs.

Edited by Samson on Apr 6, 2014 2:58 am
I confess to having followed this entire affair with a fairly large amount of unease.

I mean, look. I find Prop 8 to be a particularly odious thing, and support of it to be, at best, misguided where not also odious and/or bigoted. I dislike heartily the prospect of discriminating against any group of Americans, which is at its heart what Prop 8 is all about.

But, if I, and by extension people like Mozilla, are going to be about not discriminating against our fellow citizens, it seems to me that we ought to hold to the principle that part of that includes not depriving people of employment for their political views or how they choose to apply themselves when not on the company dime. Many of my fellow liberals, who would (rightly) pitch a fit if some company was firing its employees for, say, marching in a gay pride parade, seem to have no particular problem with coming down on Eich because, as best I can tell, CEOs don't enjoy the same privileges regarding free speech as their employees.

Apparently discrimination is ok if it's CEOs. I dunno.

It might be one thing if Eich was using his CEO position or company resources to discriminate against his LGBT employees, of which Mozilla apparently has some number. That would be an action taken while on the company dime and in the purview of the company's code of ethics. But what seems to have happened is that Mozilla canned Eich for what he did on his own time, and despite Eich stating he would uphold the company's views on non-discrimination. That wouldn't be ok if it happened to you or me, and it's not ok to can Eich for it, no matter how wrongheaded I or anyone else might find his politics.

Keyser Söze [Anon] said:
Comment #3 Apr 22, 2014 8:22 pm
At first, I thought it was good that people were boycotting firefox and stuff because I'm an avid supporter of gay rights. But then I realized that this is all a pile of crap and it's really no big deal what the guy supports as long as he doesn't force it on the company itself. I'm kind of sad he resigned now, especially after learning about the good things he did.

(Also, you get a scold from me for supporting Prop 8, but I love your mods, so no shuns :))

Indeed, and that's the problem with a lot of the kneejerk reactionary things people do in the heat of the moment - and which the internet allows us to magnify by several orders of magnitude. Cooler heads should have been able to prevail, but the damage was done.

That said, what started as a largely political statement on my part, and on the parts of those who have done the same, has turned out to be one of the best decisions I've made in awhile based purely on the merits of the software.

With Firefox, I was getting an awful lot of crashes out of nowhere with no real pattern or explanation. Which would oddly be worse and cluster around version updates, but never really went away.

So far over the last 3 weeks, Pale Moon has been rock solid, never done anything weird, and despite being supplemented by an unproven 64 bit Flash plugin, has NEVER crashed. Not once. It's also way faster. Enough so that I can tell the difference without the need to benchmark it.

So even if you're not looking to make some kind of statement, switching might just be one of the best choices you could make.

Keyser Söze [Anon] said:
Comment #5 Apr 26, 2014 4:36 pm
Yeah, I switched recently after some virus got into my Chrome. It's not bad, but it takes getting used to.

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