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.
#46 Re: $2M
Tuesday July 15th, 2003 6:52 PM
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"For software, $2M over two years is very little. That basically employs five to (at the very most) ten people and gives them office space and hardware... very little else. I suspect the role of the Mozilla Foundation, with its funding, will not be to provide a core of hackers, but just to give the project either a slower death or -- at the very best -- a modicum of organization for the screaming masses of unwashed, would-be hackers."
It's already considerably more than $2M (plus all of the tinderbox, build machines and server hardware we're currently using and some that's new and will be set up soon) and other parties will be contributing to the Mozilla Foundation besides just AOL. Mitch Kapor has already contributed $300K. Other leading technology companies have expressed interest in supporting the foundation too.
For quite a while we've had many not-Netscape key code contributors working on Mozilla. The last few months have seen as many or more not-Netscape people contributing code to mozilla than Netscape people. People that were contributing for free or in the pay of other organizations haven't gone away. Many of the people that were being paid by AOL haven't gone away. We're still building and shipping great software.
Our open source community, paid (by companies like IBM and Sun) and volunteer, is strong and we continue to attract new contributors all of the time. With this initial money to launch the Mozilla Foundation and the contributions that other parties will make in the future, we should not only be able to sustain our momentum in developing award-winning applications but also improve existing products, create new products and reach out to new consumers with marketing and distribution efforts we've (for lack of resources) explicitely avoided in the past.