Mozilla has been working tirelessly since about 2011 to make Firefox into Chrome. They’ve added numerous useless social media features, increased the major version exponentially, stripped the interface down to the bone, increased memory usage, and made other pointless changes, all while alienating their existing user base and managing to drive their market share down to around 8%.
The latest nail in the coffin is the trends I’m seeing with the architecture, and when I attempted to point it out on Reddit I was down-voted into oblivion. I think that Firefox is moving towards switching to the Blink/V8 engine in their browser and downsizing the existing staff that work on it. I believe they first plan to make everything nearly 1:1 compatible with Chrome, and then plan to swap the engine out and dump Servo. My other reasoning behind this belief is that with shrinking funding and market share, they will soon run out of funding to maintain their own rendering engine.
The first piece of evidence that makes me believe they’re going to swap it out is the move towards making their extensions framework nearly 1:1 compatible with Chromium.
Potentially the most impactful aspect of WebExtensions is that it adopts the extension architecture used by browsers built on top of Chromium, notably Chrome and Opera. Mozilla is committed to implementing a large number of the individual APIs presently available to Chrome extensions. This means that it’s possible to have one codebase for an extension that will work in Firefox, Chrome, and Opera with a minimal amount of browser-specific code.
The second piece of evidence is their new experimental rendering engine Servo, which also claims it will be able to be dropped in as a replacement for Blink.
Servo provides a consistent API for hosting the engine within other software. It is designed to be compatible with Chromium Embedded Framework, an API used by Adobe and Valve Corporation to incorporate the Blink rendering engine within their own products, allowing Servo to be dropped in as a replacement engine simplifies real-world testing.
I think once they get Servo integrated into Firefox, they will finally have all the pieces needed to dump their own engine (Servo) and drop in Blink; finally becoming the Chrome they always wanted to be. This will also save on development costs because they won’t have to maintain their own engine anymore.