Full Article Attached Discussion on the Future of Mozilla Tech Evangelism

Monday May 12th, 2003

Bob Clary has posted a newsgroup message to netscape.public.mozilla.general about the future of Mozilla's Technology Evangelism effort, which aims to increase support for Mozilla and other Gecko-based browsers on the Web and inside of corporations.

#1 Bad Site List

by sidesinger

Monday May 12th, 2003 9:17 AM

Someone should host a list of known offenders with contacts. Then if you would like or do visit the site you know who to complain to.

#2 Re: Bad Site List

by permanentE

Monday May 12th, 2003 9:32 AM

#3 This list is too long for Bugzilla's little mind..

by sidesinger

Monday May 12th, 2003 9:35 AM

I was thinking of something a little more user friendly.

#4 Re: Bad Site List

by tve

Monday May 12th, 2003 10:08 AM

There's Sites that make Mozilla sad:

no contacts though.

#23 Re: Bad Site List

by rdc

Wednesday May 14th, 2003 12:56 PM

This was a suggestion on npm.general. I will be writing up some ideas on how we might do this in a professional manner and attempt to get approval for it. I am thinking along the lines of a list of sites with known problems without any judgemental content. We will see. This will be difficult to do without potential downsides although the upside could help quite a bit.

#5 advocate mozilla or standards?

by sremick

Monday May 12th, 2003 1:01 PM

I discovered the evangelism resources page and checked out the form letter. The first thing that jumped out at me is the fact that it is so pro-Mozilla instead of pro-standards. Remember the whole argument for there being no "Best viewed in Mozilla" button available? My experience with webmasters and such has been that the last thing they want to do is be told they have to add special support for some new browser... they just barely got to the point where they felt they could ditch the old NS4 stuff and just support the one IE "standard". Not only that, but the form letter seems to encourage those who wish to continue to use browser-sniffing code.

Every place where it says " Mozilla and other Gecko-based browsers..." it should really say "in standards-compliant browsers, such as Mozilla..."

Really, I feel that the advocacy needs to be more promoting the fact that authors can code to just ONE SINGLE spec still, but what that spec is needs to change from the IE spec to the W3C spec, at which point it will work in IE6 as well as non-IE browsers.

#6 Re: advocate mozilla or standards?

by TheK

Monday May 12th, 2003 1:31 PM

This will also give us the possibility to add others browsers (safari, konqueror, opera) to the market share, that the page looses with this bug!

#24 Re: advocate mozilla or standards?

by rdc

Wednesday May 14th, 2003 1:11 PM

While standards is a big part of the picture especially in static content such as HTML, XML, and CSS it is not the only aspect.

It is still not possible to write full featured dynamic web content using only standards... at least easily. The DOM 0 and IE compatibility issues remain important for practical development. In addition, many aspects of supporting Mozilla and other Gecko browsers require knowledge of Gecko features.

The other aspect of this is we are Mozilla Evangelists and not pure Standards evangelists. There are other organizations that approach the task from a pure standards point of view. If the creators of the other browsers and their communities would like to get involved and help us promote their particular browsers as well as standards, I would be happy to welcome them.

With that said, I always promote cross browser solutions which support the widest range of browsers possible and try to make that message clear. One of the things I had hoped would come out of this effort were improvements to our process and content. Please join the thread on npm.general and provide your comments there so everyone can be involved.

#7 Cross-browser Menu Barrier

by xmlns

Monday May 12th, 2003 1:37 PM

One reason web developers may not support modern browsers is having to replace a dhtml menu that works in NN4/IE4+ with one that does that, plus works in Mozilla, Opera etc. That was certainly my problem! imho the evangelism struggle should evaluate and promote a couple of freely available menus to lower this barrier.

(fwiw after drowning in poor versions I used the one at

#8 Re: Cross-browser Menu Barrier

by TheK

Monday May 12th, 2003 6:13 PM

we also should create examples of MSIE4-Commands and their replacement in DOM...

#25 Re: Cross-browser Menu Barrier

by rdc

Wednesday May 14th, 2003 1:12 PM

Developing compatibility libraries to help with transitions from generation 4 browsers was one of the suggestions in the npm.general thread on this.

#9 V. Communist Propaganda in Mozilla Graphics

by superyooser

Tuesday May 13th, 2003 4:20 AM

Main point: I believe that the strong resemblance to official Communist propaganda in Mozilla's graphics is offensive to many people and an impediment to the evangelization of Mozilla.


Symbols mean different things to different people, and resemblance to a single symbol may be meaningless on its own. A star has no universal meaning. The significance of a particular color is subjective without a context.

There are certain symbols and images that *do* have a widespread common meaning even in isolation, such as a swastika, a fish drawn with two curved lines (ichthus), and a jolly, old, fat, white-bearded man wearing a certain red and white outfit. Some graphical elements help to *shape*, to some degree, what the total picture should convey: clenched fist (defiance), raised arm (allegiance), globe (worldwide), star (revolution, accomplishment). Color schemes can conjure associations if they fit with other symbols. Here are some examples true more often than not when used in propaganda: red/white/blue (USA), red/yellow/green (pan-African), red/yellow (Communist).

First, let's examine context. The elements of Mozilla's graphics have a *social* context, which we must take into consideration, because it is more fundamental than any graphical context. The social context I refer to is the Free Software movement, which began as Richard Stallman's campaign against the restrictions of commercial software. The word "free", as the philosophy is put into *practice*, essentially refers to freedom from capitalism. Its objective is not to eradicate capitalism per se, but the movement is very attractive to people who believe in communism, socialism, or subversive, anti-establishment, or anti-Western ideas. It is clearly seen as a way to kick Bill Gates, Steve Forbes, or Uncle Sam in the teeth. It's no coincidence that the People's Republic of China has its own distribution of GNU/Linux: Red Flag Linux. Linux is virtually synonomous with Free Software.

As you know, many people in online forums and newsgroups have been raising objections to Mozilla's Communist symbolism for a number of years. Mozilla was featured in an article called "Socialist art in IT marketing" , which was picked up by Kuro5hin .

A Stalinist fan of Mozilla has enhanced the Communist symbolism in Mozilla graphics. He has made some splash screens commemorating the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the former Evil Empire. Lest you need to be reminded, this is the empire that threatened Europe and North America for decades with its huge arsenals of weapons of mass nuclear destruction. (U.N. weapons inspectors were not necessary.) This comrade writes of Mozilla and his splash screen saying, "The splash is a sign of my true gratitude: notwithstanding that the great Leader [Stalin] is dead (and all his achievements are ruined in Russia), there is now a new browser which brings ideals of Freedom and Communism to the masses of wired people."

Now, let's move on to particular Mozilla graphics.

EXHIBIT A -- The main graphic here has been used in all Mozilla party announcements since 1999. First, notice the red star. A red star usually symbolizes a revolution. Since Mozilla, you might say, is an open source revolution, the red star might seem appropriate. But what kind of revolution does a red star usually pertain to? Search Google, and you will see. Communist revolutions.

Some top Google results -- Red Red Star:, USU Special Collections: Red Star of Communism, Red Star: Platform for Communist Revolutionaries (publication of Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Red Flag), The Red Star - a comic with this character Indeed, the red star appears on almost every USSR military hat and badge.

Given the anti-capitalist movement in which Mozilla exists, the symbolism is already risqué. There are Communist overtones, but no smoking gun yet. However, exhibit A doesn't have just any red star. Its star has a yellow border, just like the Soviet star. The Communist symbolism is all but certain at this point, but there is yet another clue: the glorified workers hailing the Red Star. They are wearing uniforms and most appear to have hard hats. They represent the proletariat in the class struggle. The message is like that of the Soviet banner here which reads "Working people of all countries unite." Mozilla's dinosaur -- a tyrannosaurus rex, which is believed to be the most aggressive of dinosaurs -- is framed by the Red Star and fits well with the Reds' glorification of muscle, might, and physical prowess which is often depicted in Communist artwork (but not pictures *of* dinosaurs).

The five points on the Soviet red star represent the five fingers of the hand working together. It also represents the five known/recognized (in the 1910s) continents of the earth, meaning that Communism was meant to have representation and influence worldwide. It may be the intention of Mozilla to effect a worldwide "revolution", but Mozilla should avoid at all costs the appearance of, in *any* respect, whether in symbol or in substance, showing signs of sympathy, support, or desire to restore elements of regimes that have slaughtered over 100 million people and are still persecuting people to this day. Yes, the Red Star is still over Russia (the red star is rising again:, China, North Korea, and Cuba.

EXHIBIT B -- The Mozilla banner. Here you see twin smokestacks and the silhouette of big buildings. This symbolizes the zealous industrial ambitions that the Soviets had for their country. A rising Red Star is characterized by industrialism, military might, and technology. (That's how the USSR came to be a superpower comparable to the USA. Red China is following in USSR's footsteps.) It is the peasants and workers (like in Exhibit A) who often fall for the scheme of communism. Again, you see the Communist color motif in this graphic. It also includes stylistic features of Communist propagandist posters. See the link above.

I could go on by explaining the symbolism of the red and yellow or by analyzing other Mozilla graphics, but hopefully this is sufficient for now.

The combination of the Communist red/yellow theme, the Soviet star, the industrial imagery, and the uniformed workers with raised fists or outstretched arms hailing the Red Dinosaur (which replaces the hammer and sickle, the symbol of their blood in united work), put into the social context of an anti-capitalist Free Software movement, all together help to paint an undeniably Communist picture within

I am *NOT* saying that is a Communist organization. I am *NOT* claiming that a majority of Mozilla developers or fans is Communist. I *AM* claiming that there is definite Communist symbolism in's graphics. I take this as evidence that there are at least a few Communist sympathizers (or worse) among Mozilla decision-makers.

My sole request is the removal of the Communist graphics.

At the very least, you should have a disclaimer like the one of a company called All Red Star. At the bottom of their site, they have this disclaimer: "Communism: Lousy Politics - Excellent Airplanes! All Red Star does not support the Communist Ideology, or the French Government, in any way. Thank you."

There is no room for the discussion of any perceived merits of communism. It is a philosophy that made the 20th century the bloodiest in human history. The horrors of Hitler's fascism are dwarfed by the horrors of Stalin et al's communism. Never forget! The blood of Communism's victims is still flowing across Asia as we speak. Communism in every real-world form is evil and deadly! You should avoid Communistic symbols like the plague! It is to be ABHORED and SCORNED and HATED forever more.

Don't point me to red stars of harmless products or associations. I've explained to you the *context* and the *collective association* of Mozilla's multiple symbols and images.

These images are extraordinarily offensive and even frightening. The Red Star is as repulsive and terrorizing to many people as a swastika is to Holocaust survivors and most of the world or a poster of Saddam Hussein is to formerly oppressed Iraqis.

They are damaging to Mozilla's image (no pun intended). It will repel many potential users rather than attracting them. Would a Jew use software applications with swastikas on the developers' web sites? How do you think African-Americans would feel if Exhibit A depicted men uniformed in white sheets with pointed head coverings and had raised fists and hands outstretched toward a burning cross? It would be intolerable. Why not extend your sensitivity to other oppressed groups?

PLEASE remove all of the Communist-inspired graphics from the Mozilla software suite and web site. Thank you for reading and considering my request.

P.S. However... *IF* really is a Communist organization, then I think you should leave the images where they are. Make them bolder and more extreme. It is helpful that wolves remain in wolves' clothing. The world needs to know where evil lurks -- where the Red Star is rising.

#11 thanks

by tve

Tuesday May 13th, 2003 6:24 AM

thanks for the good laugh.

dont forget to always take your medicine.

#18 you have to much tim eon your hand

by kunta

Wednesday May 14th, 2003 3:42 AM

#12 hmmm...

by bmacfarland

Tuesday May 13th, 2003 2:57 PM

Hilarious. I suppose when I made red stars with my crayola crayons at age 4 I was really a communist. Had Barney been around when I was little I probably would have watched him. Children are fascinated with dinosaurs. Perhaps Mozilla is a group of pediphiles.

Never did I accidentally draw a swastika or white pointy hatted men with burning crosses. I think it was probably because the star is a basic shape and red is a primary color. I probably drew some yellow triangles, but I don't think I was trying to caution people in my artwork.

It comes down to being able to see anything you want in something.

#13 gosh, this kids *sharp* ;)

by joschi

Tuesday May 13th, 2003 5:24 PM

he really picked up on those *subtle* communist undertones to the mozilla propaganda... someone call the press!! (too bad he can't detect irony)

(this guy has been saying this for years, i cnat find his website link right this second, its a pretty funny read though :)

#14 Re: V. Communist Propaganda in Mozilla Graphics

by GAThrawn

Tuesday May 13th, 2003 5:38 PM

Take a step back, read your message again, now think how much of what you talk about actually also pertains to your own country (and I'm assuming that you're American by your knee-jerk anti-communism reaction that's been drummed into you as part of your country's cold-war anti-USSR propaganda).

Have a look at posters and imagery from the US Government (and most Western European governaments) from the 20s and 30s, notice how similar it is? Notice the silhouetted, industrial buildings? The idealised image of the worker as the power house of the country (there are an awful lot of American government posters throught the 40s, 50s and 60s showing jolly, hard working constructions workers and farmers building America's skyscrapers and ploughing America's fields just like this)?

"A rising Red Star is characterized by industrialism, military might, and technology. (That's how the USSR came to be a superpower comparable to the USA"

And how exactly did the USA come to be a super power? It was through massive industrialism, technology and military might. And the fact that you still have a lot of all three is why you are currently the only real super power left in the world.

"Don't point me to red stars of harmless products or associations. I've explained to you the *context* and the *collective association* of Mozilla's multiple symbols and images."

But you're forgetting the context that the original soviet imagery came from, and that was the fact that whole style of art was actually quite fashionable all around the whole developed world at the time. That is why so many governments picked up on it, and used it to try to get messages to their people. That is why it was used in the USSR, the USA, Britain, France etc

'Free' may mean freedom from capitalism, it also means 'free speech', something I believe that many of you hold quite highly.

Now I'm British, we've always been a partner with you through the cold war, we would definitelly have been one of the first countries that the USSR would have attacked in the event of the war escalating (mainly because an awful lot of the US planes full of bombs bound for Russia used airfields in Britain to get themselves within striking distance). Yet we haven't been subjected to the massive, hysteric anti-Communism brain washing (think McCarthy-era communist witch hunts etc) that you have had. We can openly discuss it, we can see that it is actually a far better idea than capitalism (although it has never been properly put into practice anywhere) and above all...

...we can see that all this argument has nothing to do with Mozilla!

The symbols are distinctive, eye catching and symbolise the might and power within Mozilla. They are perfectly welcome here.

#21 Mozilla is Communism

by Mithgol

Wednesday May 14th, 2003 8:04 AM

That's right, Thrawn, the ideas of Communism have never been properly put into practice in any state. That's because we yet can't copy objects of material world. Equal distibution is nothing compared to creation, and only creation (by copying) may fulfill everyone's needs.

But things differ in the wired world - especially when you consider open source projects. They are truly Communist: everyone can get the product for free, and also everyone can donate his time, ideas, anywhat - to make the following version better. And the older version is easy to delete, since it's just a bunch of magnetic domains properly organised to bit and byte microstructures on your hard drives.

When nanotechnological robotechnics will make it possible to create (assemble), copy, delete, reconstruct and recompile objects of real world as easy as it is now in wired world of software (as easy as one click to copy, or several thousand clicks to change code), then the Communism will naturally be the best way of production. Even now you don't actually need money in wired world, all that ads and software sale is just because you can't dwell in wired world, every day you're back in the desert of the real.

I think of Open Source as of some form of Communism determined to exist in modern world of limited resources of creation, the world where copyright is used for selling ideas, not only having them signed by author's name.

Ideas of Communism has nothing to do with military might, making centuries bloody, terrorizing people and so on. They are as simple as "When you pirate MP3, you're downloading Communism". But it's not necessary to be a pirate. Every free copy of open source software is truly Communist, whether you like it or not. Every patch proposed in Bugzilla is Communist.

Means of production are not necessary to be controlled by the state, and hence by the people. It could be controlled by individuals as well. Anyone has enough means of production to make a copy of file - and we call it "downloading".

The Lizard is Red.

That's why I made all those communist splashes at ;-)

#20 Re: V. Communist Propaganda in Mozilla Graphics

by bandido

Wednesday May 14th, 2003 7:44 AM

"It is a philosophy that made the 20th century the bloodiest in human history" Wow, you must revisit your history lessons before you make this kind of claims. I bet native americans from North, Central and South America will rightfully say that European colonization was the bloodiest even in history. If that is true or not, am mnot sure, b ut I can tell you that the spread of empires all over the world and through history have been significantly bloodier than most events (if not all) of the 20th century put together. It is silly the ridiculuous anti-communist rethoric of some people here in the USA.

" really is a Communist organization"

Communism is not only an economic system where the means of production are owen and controlled by the state, hence by the "people" (at least in theory). It is also a social system that in theory where the will ofthe whole prevails over the indiviual as opposed to the individualistic philosophy of a capitalist system. So in a general social context, Mozilla is a communist system (notice am not using a capital C in communism.) What is wrong with that? If you don't like Mozilla graphics and still have interest in using a Mozilla based browser, you have other options (Netscape 7.02, Galeon, K-meleon, Epiphany, Mozilla Firebird)

You must have a lot of time on your hands to waste with this silly argument that has been debated a zillion times. Have a sense of humor and move on.

#27 Re: V. Communist Propaganda in Mozilla Graphics

by trotskybeat

Tuesday April 24th, 2007 1:28 AM

I am a communist, and mozilla makes me feel right at home. And no, I am not joking.

I'd rather be a freedom loving communist than an anal retentive, dogmatic fool like you. That you are bothered by the fact that "communist sympathizers OR WORSE" use mozilla offends me. And that you could even compare any decent human being who is a communist to a fascist is beyond offensive.

Pull your head out of your ass.

#10 Pre-installed

by ed_welch

Tuesday May 13th, 2003 4:34 AM

The problem is that too many people use IE for webmasters to bother testing on other browsers. The reason why most people use IE is becuase it is pre-installed on their PC and they don't even know of any alternative. However, once you get used to using nice features like the tabbed interface it's very hard to go back to IE. Maybe some one should make an effort to get OEMs to pre-install Mozilla?

#26 Re: Pre-installed

by rdc

Wednesday May 14th, 2003 1:13 PM

That is a *very* good idea!

#15 Produce a document

by pkb351

Tuesday May 13th, 2003 7:23 PM

First I have only limited experience with web development. Is there a forum, mail list, or web site, etc. which many professional web developers regularly visit. If so, is there someone willing to write up a short document/tutorial lisiting several of the most common issues web site have which do not work with Mozilla/standards complient browsers. Then can suggestions be given to rework these issues so that the code will now work with Mozilla/Standards complient browsers.

If the article describing ways to rework your web site to work with Mozilla/Standards complient browsers can be written and posted at a site frequented by web developers maybe some will see that it is not all that hard to make their site work beyond IE and begin reworking their site.

Another suggestion, although not specifically an evengelism solution is for Mozilla to work at improving Composer. Composer may never compete with Dreamweaver, but it is possible for Composer to be a serious contender to FrontPage. If Composer improves significantly, more pages will be produced which are complient. I hope Composer will be marketed to semi-professional web developers as a WYSISWYG development tool which produces standards complient code which will display in any standards complient browser. Let them know about the Mozilla Dom Inspector, Javascript debugger, and Javascript Console. Get people using tools which help them insure their code works in Mozilla?standards browsers. Composer still requires more work. I feel that working to improve composer may do as much as all the evangelism. Our goal can be to get as many developers to write good code which works in all (or most) browsers. There will always be a need for evangelism :/( . I hope within a year Composer will be at a point its development were it can be strongly marketed as a better alternative to FrontPage. If Mozilla lets Composer lanquish (marketing wise), FrontPage may remain without any competition in its category and this would be a shame.

Composer is an issue for evangelism. If there is a viable alternative/competitor to FrontPage the number of sites requiring evangelism should drop. You may say Dreamweaver already competes with FrontPage. It does, but not really. DreamWeaver is not free and the last I heard it does not always produce complient code.

#16 Evangelize tEvangelize the devs. of WYSIWYG Apps.

by pkb351

Tuesday May 13th, 2003 7:30 PM

Could there be some evangelism to the producers of WYSIWYG web development applications. This may be a futile effort, since for these applications to produce standards code may involve considerable rewrite of their applications. Still evangelism is needed to let these application developers know where these applications fail to produce code which works in mozilla. Hopefully the applications such as Dreamweaver will rework their code to better work with Mozilla.

#19 Re: Evangelize tEvangelize the devs. of WYSIWYG Ap

by jgraham

Wednesday May 14th, 2003 5:13 AM

The Web Standards project already did some work with Macromedia, so the output from Dreamweaver is pretty good as of MX. On the other hand, it still encourages a table based layout, but I guess the CSS support might be revamped in the next version.

#17 Re: Produce a document

by AlexBishop

Tuesday May 13th, 2003 8:18 PM

"If so, is there someone willing to write up a short document/tutorial lisiting several of the most common issues web site have which do not work with Mozilla/standards complient browsers. Then can suggestions be given to rework these issues so that the code will now work with Mozilla/Standards complient browsers."

Netscape DevEdge has quite a few articles like that.


#22 About some Stalinist fan ;-)

by Mithgol

Wednesday May 14th, 2003 8:26 AM

I am more than just Stalinist - I am Communist, that's why I am Mozilla fan (see "Mozilla is Communism" letter above). I was born in USSR - the counry you just called Evil Empire. Lest you need to be reminded, that empire was in turn threatened by United States with your own huge arsenals of weapons of mass nuclear destruction (it was USA where idea of mass nuclear destruction was first planned, and necessary weapons invented and built; now USSR is gone, and some old plans may come into living, I heard some rumours about plans which involved using nuclear weapons in Iraq war...) Yes, I am from Evil Empire, you may call me Sith as well (Darth Mithgol), but you Americans just gave supreme power to you own variation of Palpatine.

Anyway, I'm not going to continue this offtopic thread unless being asked. Two letters seem to be enough to make my point of view clear. The "superyooser" example of States' strong anti-Communist brainwashing made me reconsider becoming a member of the Communist Party of Russian Federation myself. Thought I am not a member yet - I'll vote for them on next elections, I promise.