mozilla tech

not-invented-here syndrome in Mozilla

(follow up to lilmatt’s blog post)

I want to write a bit on what Ian McKellar, my old fellow from Flock, and now a proud member of the Songbird team, called Not Invented Here attitude.

Actually, NIH syndrom is well known and described in the memoirs of Wikipedia. It’s a persistent sociological culture that prevents the organization from using existing knowledge, code or research because it has different origins.

While this topic has been widely discussed all around the globe, and even in open source world, it has never been a topic in a Mozilla ecosystem debate.

Pity, since there is an elephant in the room, I can swear.

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Heh, you know when you can say that the time is historical? When a lot things happens fast. (A. Sapkowski – Narrenturm)

So it is a historical time for me. I’ll let you know more very soon, but for now, I just want to catch up with my backlog of Interesting Things:

  • HTML5 draft is out! (Ptak translated it for Polish readers.) – it’s a very important moment. We can see that the web is progressing. And the direction is to meet the needs of the people, not the parsers (vide XHTML 2.0)
  • Mozilla turns 10! If for any reason you spent last years hidden under a rock, let me tell you that the web during last 4 years is regaining it’s speed after a long stagnation period provided to us all by a big M company from Redmond. And yes. It’s absolutely related to the things Mozilla did. You can send love-you postcards to Mountain View.
  • Microsoft still does not get what the web is about.The majority of negative feedback is related to this pure fact that the solution MS decided to go is simply wrong. It’s not malicious, it’s not horrible. It’s simply wrong. A company that spend so much time doing wrong things for the web should not repeat the same once more. The majority of positive feedback is related to the fact that MS is finally at least trying to fix something.(*) I’m really happy to see Microsoft using HTML markup to solve the problem (instead of ifie7 hacks), I really miss Microsoft discussing the ideas with others before choosing their approach.
  • I’m really happy to see that HTML5 will be supported by MSIE!I hope they’ll abandon the idea of META tag, and together with other vendors push HTML5 once it’s ready (and XHTML 1.0) leaving old web behind. It would really be a great achievement and a cooperative one ­čÖé
  • I spent lat two days in Paris, with Jane Finette, Anne-Julie Ligneau, Tristan Nitot, John Lilly, Paul Kim, Pascal Chevrel and Peter Van der Beken in the Mozilla Europe HQ ­čÖé (photos) It was a very important meeting for us all, and I believe we all perceive it as a huge success. 2008 will be the the most exciting year since 2004 (Fx 1.0 release), I think ­čÖé

That’s all for now. I’ll try to write more about the last meeting during the weekend.

*) There are factors in sociology/psychology that represents this. People either judge the results or the motives of other people deeds. Usually people with individualistic type of personality judge the results, while collectivists the motives. In western culture the individualistic type is promoted and because is often assumed correlation with strong personality, assertiveness, (Jung’s) extraversion┬á and internal locus of control (which often may not be truth). The problem with such case (and it may refer to people as well as to companies), is that individualists tend to look at the results, so when an individual who behaved badly in the past tries to change and fix things but fails to (on the first try) people who look at the results may tend to PUNISH the try preventing an individual from next tries. In this case I can imagine that such storm of negative feedback may result in Chris Willson and MSIE team getting used to it and building a habit of not trying to get feedback, because it gathers too much blaming. What’s even worse is that they may internally build an assumption that they are “different” than other browser vendors, their “needs” are different, nobody understands them and they need to focus on themselves because there’s no room for cooperation. If a person who’s approaching this direction is “weaker” than the rest, he’ll build a ghetto. If he’s stronger, he’ll build despotizm and ignorance toward other market players. Guess where Microsoft is…

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Central Europe marketshare situation – short analysis (part 5 / Ukraine)

The fifth part of this summary focuses on Ukraine. (part 1 – Poland, part 2 – Czech Republic, part 3 – Hungary, part 4 – Lithuania)


Flag of Ukraine



Population: 46.8 mln
Internet users: 5.3 mln (11.5%)

Ukraine, in contrast to previously described Lithuania, is the biggest of the countries from the group I’m describing now. It’s also the only country that is bilingual. Its situation is so different to other countries that I’ll spend more time describing it before we’ll skip to browsers. Feel free to ignore that part, but you may end up asking yourself why Firefox adoption is so low here.

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Central Europe marketshare situation – short analysis (part 4 / Lithuania)

The fourth part of this summary focuses on Lithuania. (part 1 – Poland, part 2 – Czech Republic, part 3 – Hungary, part 5 – Ukraine)


Flag of Lithuania



Population: 3.4 mln
Internet users: 1.3 mln (36%)

Lithuania is the smallest of the countries from the group. Just 3.4 mln people,┬á but the country has a very long history. Constituted as a kingdom in 13th century, for a few ages in union with Poland (of course the borders were in totally different places back then), later – it was behind the Iron Curtain, together with all other countries I’m writing about in this summary.

 centraleurope-graph24And here we have first differences.

Over 70% of IE’s market share is pretty much if you compare it to the rest of Central/Eastern Europe. Also rather low adoption of Firefox is interesting.

The reason for this is that the first Firefox localized to Lithuanian has been released in June 2006 and it was Firefox For 1,5 year after the 1.0 release, Lithuania had no localized version and currently has approximately 1/3rd less market share than the other countries from the region.

You can also notice significant market share of Opera and I also believe that it’s the result of late entrance of Firefox to the Lithuanian market.

I’ll try to prove that later.


Now, let’s take a look at more detailed chart of browsers versions:

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Podszywanie si─Ö podczas logowania przy u┼╝yciu mechanizmu BasicAuth w Firefoksie

W zwi─ůzku z licznymi raportami dotycz─ůcymi Super Powa┼╝nego B┼é─Ödu w Firefoksie, pozwole sobie stre┼Ťci─ç po Polsku odpowied┼║ z Mozilla Security Blog.


Napastnik mo┼╝e oszuka─ç u┼╝ytkownika podczas wy┼Ťwietlania opisu zasobu do kt├│rego u┼╝ytownik si─Ö loguje i sprawi─ç, aby u┼╝ytkownik pomy┼Ťla┼é, ┼╝e loguje si─Ö do innej, zaufanej strony.


Podczas wy┼Ťwietlania okienka dialogowego prostej autentykacji, Firefox wy┼Ťwietla aktualne ┼║r├│d┼éo zapytania na samym ko┼äcu tekstu w okienku. Niekt├│re inne przegl─ůdarki wy┼Ťwietlaj─ů adres ┼║r├│d┼éa zapytania na samym pocz─ůtku tekstu dialogowego, lub jako fragment tytu┼éu wyskakuj─ůcego okna, co zmniejsza niebezpiecze┼ästwo pomy┼éki.

Taki spos├│b prezentowania informacji przez Mozill─Ö Firefox mo┼╝e umo┼╝liwi─ç napastnikowi spreparowa─ç okno dialogowe autentykacji, kt├│re b─Ödzie myl─ůce i w efekcie spowooduje wys┼éanie danych logowania do napastnika.


Mozilla jest w trakcie analizy problemu i wst─Öpnie okresli┼éa poziom zagro┼╝enia na niski. Mo┼╝na ┼Ťledzi─ç prace nad tym problemem tutaj:


Problem został zgłoszony publicznie oraz na listy mailingowe bugtraq przez Aviva Raffa.

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Central Europe marketshare situation – short analysis (part 3 / Hungary)

The third part of this summary focuses on Hungary. (part 1 – Poland, part 2 – Czech Republic, part 4 – Lithuania, part 5 – Ukraine)


Flag of Hungary



Population: 10 mln
Internet users: 3 mln (30%)

Hungary is similar in size to Czech Republic, but has fewer Internet users (ratio is similar to Poland – 30%). Usually in Eastern Europe, the lower level of the Internet connection saturation means that the market is yet waiting for it’s boom, and it’s about to begin. Hungary and Poland are both members of European Union, and in both cases the reason for such a low Internet penetration is connection price. In Poland for 512 Kb (Neostrada TP), I pay the price that in UK people pay for 8 Mb (BT Total Broadband). With the open market, we’re facing the prices to go down and I expect it’ll unblock the boom this year.

Hungary has it’s community HQ located at

centraleurope-graph19Back to numbers.

Hungary is yet another good news for Mozilla, with over 34% of the market share owned by Firefox and less than 2/3rd by IE.

Overall, Gecko has 34.9% and IE 62.9%, which places Hungary in between Poland and Czech Rep. in terms of Firefox adoption, which confirms the results from XiTi monitor.


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Central Europe marketshare situation – short analysis (part 2 / Czech Republic)

The second part of this summary focuses on Czech Republic. (part 1 – Poland, part 3 – Hungary, part 4 – Lithuania, part 5 – Ukraine)


Czech Republic flag

Czech Republic


Population: 10.3 mln
Internet users: 5.1 mln (50%)

Czech Republic is almost 5 times smaller than Poland, but has much better Internet penetration with 50% of its citizens connected to the Web.

Czech Republic has, similar to Poland, great and very strong Mozilla community (CZilla) founded in 2002. Group of project members with huge experience guarantees high quality and on-time releases with similar set of end-user oriented support features like we can see in Poland.

As I mentioned in part 0 of this article, Gemius has lower penetration here than for Poland. So while it still seems to be very representative, more data sources would be very useful.


Let’s start the graph show with current market situation.

IE has a strong position with 67.2% which is 7.7% more than in Poland and even more than in the Polish emigrants group. Firefox has 27.5% – 5.8% less thanin Poland.

Firefox with over 1/4th and IE with 2/3rd are shaping the whole market.



To answer the question about how fast the Czech market is adopting new technologies, we can take a look at the versions graph: