I could not be happier to see Brendan Eich become the new CEO of Mozilla
Brendan has a vision, a unique vision that made Mozilla what it is today,
and he is a great leader, respected all over the world, all over our
geek's world. Reliable, hyper-smart, friendly and knowing perfectly - of
course - the organization he co-founded.
But there is one thing I would like to come back to, because I read
something too disruptive to me on planet.mozilla.org: yes, Brendan donated
to the anti-marriage equality Prop. 8 campaign in California. I don't
like, I don't like at all seeing that pop up again in public
space because that's pointing an index at someone for his/her beliefs,
that's something that should not happen in a community like ours. When
Brendan was under attack, two years ago, I sent him my support. Not a
support to his opinion, but a support to his freedom of opinion and
freedom of expression of that opinion through all legal means. Including a
Seen from Europe with a European point of view, I do not understand how
one can complain about it. Mozilla promotes openness and freedom of
choice, that's its Manifesto, that's our core values, why most of us
contribute to Mozilla. I want that openness and freedom of choice to be a
deep, anchored value of the whole Mozilla community. With that in mind, I
entirely respect Brendan's personal choice, that was exposed only because
of the Californian law and was attached to the name of Mozilla only
because that law makes it mandatory to mention the affiliation of the
donator above a given level of donation IIRC. I trust - we all trust -
Brendan to be able to deal with the whole community - employees or
contributors - equally, whatever their own beliefs or personal choices. I
met Brendan 14 years ago and have never seen him behave in a different way.
The Mozilla community at large represents quite well the diversity of
thoughts on the globe. We have people who love fire weapons; I don't like
it but that's legal in their countries. We have people supporting death
penalty; I hate it but that's legal in their countries. We have people
from all political sides, including extremes; I don't understand it but I
accept it. We have people based in countries one could easily qualify as
antidemocratic and who support their regime; yes, diversity is a marker of
the human kind. And we have people who have diverging opinions about major
societal issues, within the limits of the law, absolutely. We even have
true nerds, barely social, who can't understand what's a private and
family life. So what? Again, seen from Europe and with a European point of
view, not a problem at all.
Pointing an index at someone of our community for his/her beliefs can
only have one side-effect: people will stop expressing their opinions
because they will be afraid of the kickback, people will be blamed in
public for legal behaviours and that's totally unacceptable to
me as a European. That's not the world I want to live in, that's not my
concept of democracy and freedom of opinion/speech. That's not the Mozilla
I want. Brendan, I value your opinion, and that does not say anything
about my agreement or disagreement with your opinion itself.
We, as a community, cannot promote openness and freedom of choice without
a deep respect for individual beliefs. A reminder of Brendan's personal
choices years ago is unfair and violates too much for me the core values
of the Mozilla community. I am writing this article because I want it to
be the very last time we read about it in public space.
FWIW, and given the long chats we had about it in Europe two years ago, I
think the above is a quite widely shared opinion in the European Mozilla
Welcome Brendan, and long life to Moz.
Update: following a private message, I want to say that, yes, I carefully read the message that triggered my response above. My take is that even in a positive message about Brendan, reminding the Prop8 story is putting, again, an index at him. And I feel it is just totally wrong because his opinion is not less respectable than others.
Update again: I did not intend to let the comments open here, my bad. What I feared did happen: hate messages. Closing comments then. My blog, my prerogative, and the French law makes me accountable for all comments on this blog. Period. Sorry for the people who left polite messages, agreeing or disagreeing; I hope you understand.