Five Years Ago Today: Netscape Source Code Released

Sunday March 30th, 2003

On this day in 1998, Netscape made good on its historic announcement to release the Communicator source code. At 10:00am Pacific Time, an early development snapshot of Netscape Communicator 5.0 — which included Navigator and Composer but not Messenger — was posted to, together with a note thanking those who had made it happen. Netscape also published a document describing how the open source development process would work after the code release. Contemporary news coverage came from sites such as CNET, whose article featured quotes from both Netscape and Microsoft, and Wired News, who filed reports both shortly before the release and on the day after.

#1 Happy Birthday!

by Waldo

Sunday March 30th, 2003 11:23 PM

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I remember that day well. It was pretty amazing-- it was like a race to see who could get 5.0 to compile first on the different platforms. The amazing thing is-- if you look at the announcement and their expectation for what would become of Netscape 5.0... it pretty much worked! The original code was chucked and we started from scratch, but after 3 1/2 years and countless discussions and input from around the world, Mozilla 1.0 finally rolled out--- along with the Netscape, Phoenix, Chimera, Galeon and other Mozilla-based browsers and software. So yeah, today IE owns 95% of the browser market (<…ticle/2003/02/03.12.shtml>) but if Netscape hadn't lead the way in promoting open-source and giving it publicity and support, the Internet and computing in general would be in much worse shape.