AOL Cuts Remaining Mozilla Hackers
Tuesday July 15th, 2003
It has been learned through public and private sources that AOL has cut or will cut the remaining team working on Mozilla in a mass firing and are dismantling what was left of Netscape (they've even pulled the logos off the buildings). Some will remain working on Mozilla during the transition, and will move to other jobs within AOL.
The news isn't all doom and gloom, folks. I've been informed that the number of volunteer Mozilla hackers started eclipsing the number of Netscape hackers last month, and that a number of folks have already been snatched up by other organizations.
Stay tuned for updates.
UPDATE: Looks like folks are starting to post to ex-mozilla.org.
UPDATE: I was told to stress that Mozilla will continue, and that many of the folks let go today will continue to devote time and energy to it. I'd like to wish all the best of luck, and I'd like to thank everyone for the amazing contributions that they have made over the past five years.
UPDATE #3: Some changes made to the main text above.
Wednesday July 16th, 2003 11:48 AM
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What is "the value of Mozilla"? Is the "value" that it is an "awesome project"? Is there any purely objective evaluation? Of course not. The value of Mozilla to AOL is entirely different than the value of Mozilla to you or me. I used to believe that the value of Mozilla to AOL was as follows: AOL's primary business interest is to push content to their subscribers, and having to force that content through the "pipes" of Internet Explorer was disadvantageous; therefore Mozilla was valuable in that it provided tighter control over how AOL members experience AOL's premium content. I also believed, to some extent, in the idealistic viewpoint that just having a browser out there that supports web standards forces page authors to conform to the standards, which might also have some value to AOL. However I just don't think those were compelling enough, when you consider the sheer cost of employing hundreds of high-paid engineers to build a piece of software over a drawn-out, five year timeframe.
I'm not saying at all that AOL didn't understand the value of Mozilla, I'm saying that Mozilla was not valuable enough to AOL.