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.
#54 It's not that bad...
Tuesday July 15th, 2003 7:33 PM
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AOL have done a lot more than they had to when effectively stopping work on Netscape, there was no need to give the Mozilla Foundation $2 million, there was no reason to continue hosting mozilla.org and there was no reason that they had to keep key mozilla.org staff like Asa in employment over the transition period. They didn't even have to give the mozilla trademarks away although this would have created very bad press.
It's a shame that AOL laid off a lot of staff, but they've set the foundations for Mozilla.org to continue successfully. There's a lot of open source projects that are very successful without the levels of cash already donated to the Mozilla foundation, and hopefully once they do need other donations people will respond in a positive manner like they did for mozdev.org
Other things to consider:
- Removing the connection between Netscape and Mozilla will stop people thinking of Netscape 6.0
- Some ISPs may have been wary using a product that was tied to a rival ISP in their eyes, when Fire/Thunderbird are ready and use the GRE then they'd make a great product to offer to ISPs, I believe there's good business model in selling customised browsers to isps that want to offer something a bit different.
- People pay for Opera (ok they have to, or suffer ads), but the reason they pay for it is because they consider it worth the money, so I can see people happily donating to mozilla development (particularly if it can be used as a tax write off in the US).