Mozilla Senior VP Mark Mayo's latest blog post caused quite a shockwave as he basically revealed the company is experimenting with Chromium, the technology behind the Google Chrome browser. Mayo explained Mozilla is working on new browser prototypes that look and feel almost nothing like the current Firefox. One of these projects is Tofino, a browser that uses Electron, which is based on Chromium, and React.
Predicting the inevitable outcry, Mayo went into some depth about the seemingly endless amount of internal hand wringing.
He highlighted what he called the "textbook innovator's dilemma" – where the status quo prevents anyone from making new and innovative products. He said: "The reason new things at old shops is difficult, mostly, I think, isn't because people are bad, or stupid, or actively sabotage new projects or any nonsense like that. It's largely because doing anything that might conceivably impact the current product creates unavoidable tension."
Mozilla's CTO later published a post to clarify that this isn't the end of Gecko. The company has another project called Positron, which aims to take the Electron API and "wrap it around Gecko":
Just two days after Mayo broke ranks, Mozilla's CTO jumped up and announced another new project – this one called Positron (geddit?) – which will take the Electron API and "wrap it around Gecko." Or, in other words, make it possible to take Mayo's new, better browser and pull it off Chromium and back into the safe hands of Gecko. And so the status quo seeks to reassert itself.