Mozilla collaboration
Open, Needs TriagePublic


The goal of this task is to explore our options for collaboration with the Mozilla project (both community and corporation).

After a discussion on the #kde-promo channel, we seemed to agree that:

  • Mozilla's work on the open web aligns strongly with KDE's goals. Their mission: "[Web] that truly puts people first, where individuals can shape their own experience and are empowered, safe and independent" — sounds very close to our own vision: "A world in which everyone has control over their digital life and enjoys freedom and privacy".
  • Ensuring that Chromium does not become monopolistic on the browser market is important from the freedom perspective
  • Mozilla's flagship product, Firefox, is a personal preference of many. It is pre-installed in Neon, Kubuntu, openSUSE and other distributions that ship KDE software by default.


Mozilla and KDE working side-by-side on an open platform that respects user privacy and freedom: a user-friendly feature-rich web browser and a powerful yet simple workspace.


Technical bits

It is important to ensure that our software works smoothly together, provides a consistent user experience.

Currently, Firefox is already in good shape on Plasma. We have plasma-browser-integration add-on that exposes many browser controls to the desktop environment. With Plasma 5.15, native file dialogs are now available as an experimental feature with xdg-desktop-portal-kde.

However, there are many aspects that still require work.
Some ideas:

  • Upcoming switch to CSD by default in Firefox — will make browser windows look out of place on Plasma. This should maybe be negotiated between the browser and the window manager. An idea mentioned is using xdg-toplevel-decoration on Wayland.
  • KWallet password storage: Unlike most Chromium-based browsers, Firefox does not have an option to use KWallet. A potential solution is using a portal (like with the file dialog now).
  • openSUSE ships kmozillahelper — probably worth looking what aspects missing from upstream Firefox it covers.

Firefox is not the only Mozilla's project we are interested in. KDE also develops Qt bindings and IDE support for Mozilla's programming language Rust. In the future, we might be interested in using Rust for our own applications — fox example, for stability-critical parts.

We need to check our existing communication points, explore opportunities to foster development collaboration (e.g. sprints).

Plasma Mobile

An interesting direction would be to ensure a proper user experience with Firefox on Plasma Mobile, including web applications. For KDE it means another worldwide recognized brand behind the project, and Mozilla gets a privacy-enabled platform to replace FirefoxOS and keep the web open if proprietary platforms play it dirty.

Some known issues:

  • UI scaling is broken, and the interface naturally does not adapt for mobile devices
  • Touch input does not work
  • Firefox is still not Wayland-ready, so on Plasma Mobile it can only be run as an XWayland client which makes it fall back to software rendering and does not provide decent browsing performance.

Promotional activities

Mozilla and KDE could collaborate on promotional campaigns. Mozilla has a big number of social media followers, local communities, many events and a conference. KDE has its annual summit Akademy, some sprints, a number of social network accounts and local communities. We likely have different audiences, though, so participating in each other's events and doing cross-promotion on the media should be effective.


Mozilla is successful in building a community and onboarding new members. For KDE onboarding is now also a goal, so we might be able to learn from Mozilla'a experience here.
Plasma Mobile uses a fork of Mozilla's website for the Find your way page.

Student programs

Both KDE and Mozilla participate in Google Summer of Code (KDE's ideas, Mozilla's projects). Could be used by both sides to get integrational projects completed by students.


KDE uses Mozilla's Bugzilla system to manage bug reports. It could be interesting for us to also look at deploying a web-based translation solution like Mozilla's Pontoon.
Mozilla uses Phabricator for code review and IRC for messaging. This is changing for KDE, and Mozilla might want to learn from our transition experience.


Mozilla has 177 translation teams with amazing completeness results. It might be worth looking at making a shared translation bank to not duplicate work and reuse application translations.

KDE Advisory Board

Suggest Mozilla join our Advisory Board to stay in contact with community representatives.

Device manufacturer relationships

With Mozilla's manufacturer relationships, KDE could get more chances to negotiate an end-user device with a hardware company.

Suggested steps

  1. Explore community interest for collaboration (preferably on both sides), identify existing collaboration channels
  2. Get in touch with relevant teams and people, discuss what we can do to increase mutual productivity
  3. Create a list of projects that are most effective at this point

I am interested


paulb added a subscriber: paulb.Mar 5 2019, 12:47 PM

Turn into a task with a clear goal, @IlyaBizyaev

ognarb added a subscriber: ognarb.Mar 8 2019, 9:36 AM
IlyaBizyaev renamed this task from Mozilla collaboration discussion to Mozilla collaboration.Mar 8 2019, 11:53 AM
IlyaBizyaev updated the task description. (Show Details)
IlyaBizyaev added a subscriber: hein.
IlyaBizyaev updated the task description. (Show Details)Mar 8 2019, 12:12 PM
IlyaBizyaev updated the task description. (Show Details)Mar 8 2019, 12:30 PM
IlyaBizyaev updated the task description. (Show Details)Mar 8 2019, 1:20 PM
IlyaBizyaev added a subscriber: vandenoever.


Mozilla is successful in building a community and onboarding new members. For KDE onboarding is now also a goal, so we might be able to learn from Mozilla'a experience here.
Plasma Mobile uses a fork of Mozilla's website for the Find your way page.

I have a contact working on onboarding for Mozilla, I will reach out on opportunities for collaboration and exchange of ideas/knowledge and report back.

hein added a comment.Mar 9 2019, 10:10 AM

Note: This is a very broad/community-sweeping intiative (the ideas here touch on many teams and even the e.V.), and as such it's important that it doesn't stay bottled up inside just Promo - please make sure this finds it way to the kde-community list well before concrete actions are taken on a global scale. Promotional work is just a small aspect of what's being proposed here.