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.
First, all the best to those of you who have been caught up in the AOL reorganisation. You've done a sterling job in the 5+ years that Mozilla has been an active project. MozFans such as myself owe you an enormous debt for producing the best damn browser this side of the International Date Line. Hopefully, the transition works out and you all go on to bigger and better things!
With a bit of luck, some of the former AOL employees will get a chance to take up residence with other Mozilla advocates like Red Hat or IBM. Maybe all that will really happen with this announcement is that the Mozilla pay packet gets spread around a little more. Linux, in particular, has a lot to lose if a cross-platform browser like Moz goes the way of the dodo.
One big thought occurs to me, however:
The creation of the Mozilla Foundation removes one of the largest schizophrenic aspects of the Mozilla project -- namely, that despite having clear benefits over the 'commercial' Netscape browser (eg. for non-AIM users), Mozilla.org was presumably "advised" by AOL not to position itself as an end-user browser.
Now that the Mozilla Foundation is independent, Mozilla can (and Gerv says will) advertise itself *exactly* as countless people are using it already -- as a stable, feature-rich, customizable Open Source browser. How good is that?!?
I might also point out that even though AOL is putting Mozilla at arms-length, this doesn't automatically mean that Mozilla is off the cards ... AOL can become a Mozilla brander/embedder just like any other third-party developer.
In fact, the project with most to lose from this announcement appears to be Beonex. I wonder what they plan to do?