Re: Another nail in the coffin...
Firefox started off with a great idea - a small core browser, which the user could then customise by using various Add-ons (Extensions, Plug-Ins, Dictionaries) that were important for what they wanted to do.So you ended up with exactly the browser that you wanted. That vision has long been lost :-(
I hate to point this out, but that was never Mozilla's vision" that was what people outside of Mozilla decided Firefox was good for. Mozilla primarily trumpeted the core features of Firefox - tabbed browsing, pop-up blocker, etc etc - things that were ground-breaking at the time. The minimalist, extensible browser idea didn't come from Mozilla. To quote the goals from the Firefox charter 1.0 from 2004, first line; Delivering the right set of features - not too many or too few (the goal is to create a useful browser, not a minimal browser) .
Yes, they aimed for a bloat free browser, but that mostly meant not shipping it with a suite of other applications in the way of the Netscape Suite. And yes, they promoted the hundreds of add-ons as a benefit, but those of us who've used Firefox since the pre-1.0 days, when add-ons were free to shit all over each other and all over the browser, will recall that the Mozilla devs attitude was that if a given add-on worked for you, great. If it didn't, don't use it. As far as they were concerned, add-ons were just a bonus, and a way to experiment with new features, and their job was the browser's core features. It took them literally years to engage with the fact that people were using Firefox primalrily because of the add-ons and extensions, and start working towards stable and secure add-on APIs. I quote another goal from the charter; Develop and maintain an extension system to allow for research into new areas without affecting the core and to allow for techies, early adopters, web developers and other specific communities to customize their browsers to suit their specific needs without affecting usability or download size for the mass market.. Extensions were not intended to be part of the mainstream Firefox experience. Which is probably a large part of the reason why we are where we are today.