Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months

Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub

Mozilla has quietly shuttered its Labs, folding people and projects into the main organisation.

The closure came to light through a blog post by former Labs staffer Ian Bicking, here.

Labs was a separate organisation from Mozilla Reseach, as made clear here.

The browser maker confirmed the change to The Register, saying the move was designed to align the team and their work with Mozilla’s main product groups.

In a statement attributed to Andreas Gal, Mozilla chief technology officer, Mozilla said: “This allows each team to better sponsor research and innovation for their products. Within those teams, staff are creating faster, reacting more quickly to change and doing their best work.”

Mozilla quietly closed Labs in February with its chief David Ascher becoming Mozilla’s vice president of products. Ascher blogged in March that he had a new position at Mozilla, but he made no reference to Labs’ closure.

Ascher wrote at the time: “My new focus is to help the Mozilla Foundation make our products as adoptable as possible.”

Projects listed by Mozilla Labs include TogetherJS, the organisation’s free, open-source Javascript library launched in October 2013; and PDF.js, a document-rendering project using HTML5.

According to Moz, projects started in Labs are living in GitHub repositories.

However in his blog this week, Bicking reckoned TogetherJS has been left “in a bit of a limbo”. The plan is to make extensive use of TogetherJS next year “hopefully spurring another stage of development and use." Apparently. ®

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