Disclaimer: Like usual, it’s just a little post from me (just some developer), not from Mozilla.
Mozilla is a unique force in the browser market whose primary goal is to keep the web available for everybody. Recently, we acted on our mission statement by taking a stand on the Ogg Theora video decoder. For HTML5 video, Mozilla chose to support Theora (and only Theora) for two reasons:
- Desire: We want (really, really want) an unencumbered video format for everyone.
- Ability: We think we can use our market share to make a difference.
Frankly, this isn’t about idealism or sophomoric zealotry, it’s about ensuring a healthy future for the web. We, after careful consideration, decided this was worth fighting for. I can’t tell you what the future holds for video formats, but Mozilla will ultimately do what’s best for consumers and publishers.
What’s more interesting to me is our ability to cause such a stir. Our stand loses its meaning without our market share, illuminating how important our user base is. In general, take a step back and recall where the web was just 4 years ago. Mozilla and our users played an (dare I say the?) important role in where the web is today. That’s actually pretty amazing for free software with grassroots origins.
I’ve come to see Mozilla in a different light from this video debate. As Firefox users, our choice is not only colored by features, or speed, or extensibility. It’s also about using a browser built by people whose vested interest is, well, everyone. You really are voting with your software, with every vote adding a discrete boost in volume to Mozilla’s voice. For us, it’s about the big picture. So let me gush a little here: thank you, our amazing users <3! For my part I will do my best to repay your choice with a better browser that gets out of the way and lets you get things done.