You can say what you want about Mozilla’s attempts at earning money but you can’t criticize it for lack of trying. In fact, the non-profit open source organization has a knack for throwing out ideas and experiments and getting users to be their guinea pigs. Or brave testers, if you will. Those experiments all came from the Firefox Test Pilot garage, which is sadly now closing up shop. Mozilla assures fans of the browser, however, that experiments will stop. In fact, it promises there will be even more.
The way most people live in web browsers these days, you’d think it’d be a playground for all sorts of fun things you can think of to do with web browsers. But alas the golden age of browser extensions seems to be over and browser makers seem to be more concerned about outdoing each other in battery life benchmarks.
Mozilla, however, dared to be different. Its Test Pilot program has given birth to not a few experimental features, some of which have graduated into final features. There’s the private and encrypted Send file sharing, data breach Firefox Monitor, Activity Stream, Screenshots, and more. Mozilla said that users have jumped on these test pilots with enthusiasm, helping provide feedback and causing a faster development cycle for those features.
So why is Mozilla shuttering Firefox Test Pilot then? Because Mozilla now believes that the “Culture of Experimentation” is something that the entire organization should embrace, not just those in the Test Pilot program. Curiously, it still has Mozilla Labs, it’s one-stop shop for cutting edge web technologies, including AR/VR and IoT. Whether those will become independent features, too, only time, and a lot of testing, will tell.