MozillaZine

The Future: The Mozilla Foundation and the End of Netscape

Thursday July 17th, 2003

There's a lot of confusion surrounding Tuesday's creation of the Mozilla Foundation and the disbanding of the Netscape browser development team.

While a major loss, the end of Netscape does not mean the end of Mozilla. There is no way that AOL can revoke the Netscape and Mozilla Public Licenses and make the code proprietary. The Mozilla code will continue to be available to all. AOL has also agreed to transfer the Mozilla trademark and other intellectual property (much of it dating back to when Mozilla was Netscape's mascot) to the new Mozilla Foundation. Netscape-owned hardware (such as the mozilla.org servers) will also be transferred to the new organisation. AOL will continue to employ some Netscape staffers, such as Asa Dotzler, for a couple of months to help with the transition.

The Mozilla Foundation marks the first time that the Mozilla project actually has a legal existence (mozilla.org was always just a more informal group). This new organisation, which is hoping to gain non-profit status under California law, will continue mozilla.org's work of guiding development. Teams such as mozilla.org staff, drivers, reviewers and module owners will continue to work as before. In addition, there will be a new Board of Directors, made up of Mitchell Baker, Brendan Eich, Christopher Blizzard and some new faces, including Open Source Applications Foundation head Mitch Kapor. The Mozilla Foundation will be funded by donations from individuals and companies, such as Sun Microsystems and Red Hat. AOL will provide $2,000,000 of funding over the next two years.

Up until this point, mozilla.org has produced builds of Mozilla for development and testing purposes only, with end-users encouraged to download distributions from vendors such as Netscape. However, the new Mozilla Foundation plans to target end-users directly. The beginnings of this strategy can be seen with the redesign of the mozilla.org front page.


#1 so now...

by bthater

Thursday July 17th, 2003 11:31 AM

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the question is, how do we help? me, i'm a database geek so what can i do to help? other than downloading nightlies and breaking them of course.;-)

#16 so now..

by onelists <onelists@hotmail.com>

Thursday July 17th, 2003 12:51 PM

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er... you've got it wrong. Download and /fix/ them please.

#27 Re: so now...

by thelem

Thursday July 17th, 2003 3:28 PM

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You might be able to help on bugzilla or other webtools. I think bugzilla is entirely perl and mysql.

#79 Re: so now...

by mykmelez <myk@zapogee.com>

Friday July 18th, 2003 5:31 PM

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Two things you can do are work on database-backed webtools like Bugzilla (<http://www.bugzilla.org/>) and Bonsai (<http://www.mozilla.org/projects/bonsai/>) and help test the Mozilla SQL component (<http://www.mozilla.org/projects/sql/>).

#2 NPL->MPL

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Thursday July 17th, 2003 11:31 AM

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In addition to the money, the hardware and the IP, AOL has agreed to license remaining NPL code to the Mozilla Foundation under the terms of the MPL. This basically means the elimination of the NPL in the Mozilla code tree which should assist in our efforts to get all the code under the MPL/GPL/LGPL tri-license.

--Asa

#4 Re: NPL->MPL

by flacco

Thursday July 17th, 2003 11:39 AM

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<i>In addition to the money, the hardware and the IP, AOL has agreed to license remaining NPL code to the Mozilla Foundation under the terms of the MPL.</i> <p> While I think AOL is making a mistake by jettisoning Mozilla support, it does seem that they're being gracious about it.

#26 Well, they do just enough

by tseelee

Thursday July 17th, 2003 3:26 PM

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There's no point in burning any bridges most of the time, and AOL has no need to do that to Mozilla.

#56 Re: NPL->MPL

by nathana <nathan@anderson-net.com>

Friday July 18th, 2003 2:22 AM

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Asa,

What code is left that is licensed under NPL?

-- Nathan

#64 Re: Re: NPL->MPL

by Gerv

Friday July 18th, 2003 5:19 AM

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> What code is left that is licensed under NPL?

Grep the tree :-) Basically, any file derived in any way from the original 1998 source code release. So, quite a few.

Gerv

#57 Re: NPL->MPL

by penrou

Friday July 18th, 2003 2:34 AM

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Would that include the AIM client and the Netscape Webmail support?

I know a few people who would be quite thankful if those were available for Mozilla/Firebird/Thunderbird =)

#85 Re: Re: NPL->MPL

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Saturday July 19th, 2003 4:36 PM

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"Would that include the AIM client and the Netscape Webmail support?"

No. The AIM client and Netscape and AOL mail support are not part of the Mozilla code base. The relicensing applies to code in the Mozilla CVS tree which is licensed as NPL or NPL/GPL (and I think there are some NPL/GPL/LGPL files too). Those will all become MPL/GPL/LGPL tri-licensed.

--Asa

#89 Should I still ask about NPL?

by GuruJ

Sunday July 20th, 2003 4:26 PM

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I grabbed some NPL code from the tree to modify as a Mozilla extension (hosted on MozDev). I didn't bother attempting to get code released under a tri-licensing agreement as it didn't affect what I wanted to do.

Could I/should I re-word the license headers at the top of my source file so they are MPL/GPL/LGPL now? Or should I still seek formal approval from the "Netscape" entity or listed Netscape programmers before I change the license over?

#3 new focus?

by flacco

Thursday July 17th, 2003 11:37 AM

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does this mean mozilla apps will gain more standing as "end-user" applications?

#5 Re: new focus?

by flacco

Thursday July 17th, 2003 11:42 AM

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Arrrgh.... note to self: read *all* of the article before posting a question.

Sorry.

#6 New Mozilla.Org Page

by anand

Thursday July 17th, 2003 12:01 PM

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I love the new Mozilla.org page. It's much easier to navigate, I could never find stuff on the old one. The old one, IIRC, didn't really have any mention of Phoenix/Firebird on it's front page and you had to dig around quite a bit to find a link to it's project page.

#7 Thanks Ben!

by jedbro

Thursday July 17th, 2003 12:05 PM

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To my understanding, Ben Goodger is responsable for the new Mozilla.org site!

Awesome work ben, we really appreciate your work on "Why Firebird" and the new Mozilla site design!

Thanks for your awesome work in the Moz community!

#9 Re: Thanks Ben!

by Plutor

Thursday July 17th, 2003 12:29 PM

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<!-- New mozilla.org front page design by Ben Goodger <<ben@bengoodger.com>>. July 13, 2003. -->

To my understanding, you're correct! I had some weirdness on the site when I first installed Firebird 0.6 last night, but since then it's seemed to have cleared up. Using table-based layout and pt-sized fonts both kinda get on my nerves, though. Maybe a bug submission is in order..

#58 Lovely New Design

by quarsan

Friday July 18th, 2003 2:36 AM

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looks good and it brings different elements together.

much more friendly and good for the incoming hoards of new users

#81 Re: Thanks Ben!

by vgendler

Friday July 18th, 2003 7:38 PM

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Only one thing: where is the site icon?

#8 Is Netscape really dead?

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Thursday July 17th, 2003 12:28 PM

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I am confused about Netscape's "death". To me, it seems like Mozilla has now come far enough that Netscape doesn't "need" browser workers. The simultaneous release of NS 7.1 and Moz 1.4 seems to indicate that Netscape no longer needs a great deal of time to turn a "Mozilla" release into a "Netscape" release, and that a Netscape beta is no longer necessary either.

Now, I do know an AOL rep said there would be no new Netscape releases "for the foreseeable future", but to me that speaks to the fact that Mozilla Firebird is a long way yet from a 1.0 release. Thus, it could be implied that because Firebird is only at .6 that there won't be a new Netscape until Firebird goes 1.0.

I really don't see why AOL would not put out a Netscape Navigator based on Firebird at the very least. All they have to do is rebrand it, right?

#10 Re: using .net web services?

by doron

Thursday July 17th, 2003 12:30 PM

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There is no one working on mozilla at AOL. There is no Netscape Browser division anymore.

#19 But...

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Thursday July 17th, 2003 1:23 PM

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The question is: is a browser division necessary now that Mozilla is in such good shape? I mean, what is Netscape except Mozilla with an N logo slapped on it? How hard would it be to turn Firebird into Navigator? All they need to do is slap on the Netscape graphics...

#13 Re: Is Netscape really dead?

by bzbarsky

Thursday July 17th, 2003 12:45 PM

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> The simultaneous release of NS 7.1 and Moz 1.4 seems to indicate

It seems to indicate that everyone at Netscape knew the end was near and that if they did not release something NOW they would never release anything newer than 7.0.2. Combined with the fact that most of the QA groups had already been pulled off Mozilla before that, NS 7.1 was rushed out without quite as much testing as previous releases have gotten, as far as I can tell.

#11 Netscape 7.x

by Orion69

Thursday July 17th, 2003 12:44 PM

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I'm trying to figure out what to tell my company software decision folks. We just loaded Netscape 7 recently. 1) Does anyone know for sure if Netscape 7.x will be maintained (AOL says it will be)? 2) Will there ever be a Netscape 7.2? 3) Will Mozilla Browser (Firebird) will the Mozilla Foundations answer to an end user browser suitable for business use? Thanks.

#28 Show them Mozilla Firebird 6/11

by tseelee

Thursday July 17th, 2003 3:31 PM

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Tell them that'll be the future of Mozilla/ex-Netscape. If they're good enuf to load NS 7, they'll be blown away by Firebird 6/11.

#38 Transition documentation ?

by paulGI

Thursday July 17th, 2003 4:40 PM

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I'm a Netscape 7.X user (home) and a Mozilla 1.4 user (work). I'm probablly one of the few that likes the intergrated quite of components, but even I can see the writting on the wall.

Could somebody point me to some descirption of the process or moving from Mozilla/Netscape suites to the individual apps. Sorts of things I'm interested in are; can I use my existing profile or is there some migration to Firebird etc, what sort of things don't work yet (especilly interested in Venkman, DOMInspector, Composer ). Also, can profiles be shared between Mozilla/Netscape and the individual programs - a sort of try before you buy sort of scenario.

Cheers, Paul

#52 Well...

by tseelee

Thursday July 17th, 2003 11:20 PM

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> is there some migration to Firebird.

I'm not sure, but it's 4.9-6.7MB! They use nearly the same files, so you could try tricking it.

> what sort of things don't work yet (especilly interested in Venkman, DOMInspector, Composer).

Don't quote me on it, but I think all have been made extensions. This means installation is painless in Firebird.

> can profiles be shared between Mozilla/Netscape and the individual programs

Are you crazy? ;-) What if something goes wrong?

#65 Re: Netscape 7.x

by Gerv

Friday July 18th, 2003 5:24 AM

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All that's known about AOL's plans is what AOL says. Netscape 7.1 is a good product, IMHO, and will remain a decent browser for surfing the web for several years yet. There's certainly no need to rip out NS 7 installations and replace them with something else.

Gerv

#12 Netscape 7.x

by Orion69

Thursday July 17th, 2003 12:44 PM

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I'm trying to figure out what to tell my company software decision folks. We just loaded Netscape 7 recently. 1) Does anyone know for sure if Netscape 7.x will be maintained (AOL says it will be)? 2) Will there ever be a Netscape 7.2? 3) Will Mozilla Browser (Firebird) will the Mozilla Foundations answer to an end user browser suitable for business use? Thanks.

#32 Re: Netscape 7.x

by jesusX <jesus_x@mozillanews.org>

Thursday July 17th, 2003 3:57 PM

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The Netscape browser will be maintained as far as security holes go, as far as other bugs, it is unknown. The chances of their being another major release are slim to none. As far as business use, Mozilla 1.4 is an excellent choice already.

#69 answers

by leafdigital

Friday July 18th, 2003 6:51 AM

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1. Will netscape 7.x be maintained?

Doubt it. At best you'll get security fixes. There is no Netscape division any more so I don't know who would be doing those.

2. Will there ever be Netscape 7.2?

No.

3. Will Firebird be an end user browser suitable for business use?

Yes. Wait for 1.0 before business deployment as whatever anybody tells you and however good numerous people think it is, it's not yet finished. If you're using Netscape 7.1 (which is the same as Mozilla 1.4) now then you already have a state-of-the-art browser so I wouldn't worry about it.

--sam

#14 Netscape 7.x

by Orion69

Thursday July 17th, 2003 12:45 PM

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I'm trying to figure out what to tell my company software decision folks. We just loaded Netscape 7 recently. 1) Does anyone know for sure if Netscape 7.x will be maintained (AOL says it will be)? 2) Will there ever be a Netscape 7.2? 3) Will Mozilla Browser (Firebird) will the Mozilla Foundations answer to an end user browser suitable for business use? Thanks.

#15 Hallelluyah!!

by pcabellor

Thursday July 17th, 2003 12:50 PM

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I am more than satisfied to see that Mozilla has cut its ties by becoming an independent organization.

Even more, to see that Mozilla at last recognizes that IT IS an end-user product, like it or not, as it has been since its inception. And this is no good news from a developer's point of view. As it is obviously, more challenging to care about non-technical, non-developer users.

As much as I prefer the new homepage (and am hopefully waiting for a full website makeup), I must agree with other posters, and say that it looks a little bit cluttered.

I would also like to see fast options for selecting language and operating system (in a typical couple of drop-down boxes). The whole world has its eyes on Mozilla (no, I don't mean all the people in the world but people from all the world, I am not that lunatic); and many of them expecting a mother tongue version, which very probably exists, but should be easily accessible.

I would also suggest to remove Mozilla Firebird 0.6 download and references from the home page. It's my browser of choice indeed, but it's not ready for prime time definitely lacking an installer/uninstaller; plugin/components uninstall features, and other core features for a consumer product.

I would also suggest (maybe already in bugzilla, check it later) to feature a Basic Preferences and Advanced Preferences like other applications (GetRight for example) so everybody will be happy. Of course the product should ship with the basic preferences interface by default. A single click setting should expand the interface and let set (almost) every preference in Mozilla Browser.

Also there should be several plugins and components already bundled with the installer and optionally installable/downloadable.

When is the merchandising coming? The new logos? the new themes? design contests? icons? Hope all this things start mattering now.

I know there are never enough resources to do everything evryone wants. where are the numbers? I think it would help a lot if people could easily know what taks groups exist, how many developers, documenters, etc. are there so people may be more conscious, I would like to see ads saying: help wanted for:.....; profile:.....

Maybe all this things or some other are already available, but does somebody really thinks people massively go to the tinderbox, bonsai, lxr, the trunk and all the other code names there exist?

I believe there are lots of resources in time and skills among the community being wasted because of miscommunication. Hope this website lifting take this in consideration. Of course without affecting developers and tech savvy Mozilla community members who in fact contribute the most and for sure prefer the old interface and structure.

Another key feature I think would be Mozilla supporting ActiveX controls by default (with a big warning). And being able to detect a browser identification and mimic IE user agent for those sites blocking Mozilla but serving Netscape. Listen.com Rhapsody incredibly support Netscape and even Mozilla 1.4 but rejects Mozilla Firebird 0.6... Believe it... or not!

I am sure with this consumer orientation more tasks will come to scene and hope I can help in some of those.

#29 Re: Hallelluyah!!

by tseelee

Thursday July 17th, 2003 3:36 PM

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You don't want GetRight, you want speedbit.com's Download Accelerator.

#46 UA faking...

by stoecker <stoecker@mindrevolution.de>

Thursday July 17th, 2003 6:02 PM

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well, we could write some nifty thing, that only fakes the useragent on the client side (for DHMTL things) while maintaining the UA withing the HTTP header? That would still pop Moz to the logs, but may help on some sites. Why not provide a window on some sites "this site aperantly requests a specific different browser for [foo feature]. would you like to emulate (yeah, yeah... i know it isn't emulating... *g*) as close a possible?" Y/N...

just a thought... :) //Marc

#33 Re: Hallelluyah!!

by Simplex

Thursday July 17th, 2003 3:58 PM

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"I would also suggest to remove Mozilla Firebird 0.6 download and references from the home page. It's my browser of choice indeed, but it's not ready for prime time definitely lacking an installer/uninstaller; plugin/components uninstall features, and other core features for a consumer product."

It's got an installer (<http://downloads.mozdev.o…llaFirebird-0.6-setup.exe>), and all they need to do is hook them up on the same page (it's all in Firebird Help). And it *is* ready for prime time. It's ready for my mom, and it's ready for your mom. Sure, it's got bugs, but Seamonkey had plenty of bugs too!

"I would also suggest (maybe already in bugzilla, check it later) to feature a Basic Preferences and Advanced Preferences like other applications (GetRight for example) so everybody will be happy. Of course the product should ship with the basic preferences interface by default. A single click setting should expand the interface and let set (almost) every preference in Mozilla Browser."

I can almost guarantee that this won't happen. This is feature creep, and is the #1 reason Seamonkey got so huge and fat. There is about:config, so if people really need to mess with internals (without altering code) they can. I've seen the Firebird team put down their foot down on this subject many times.

"Also there should be several plugins and components already bundled with the installer and optionally installable/downloadable."

This will happen when the Firebird project gets checked into the main trunk. Mozilla Firebird will ship how it is, blackdiamond (<http://blackdiamond.mozdev.org/>) will ship with "many of the popular extentions added", and Mozilla will ship with the standard mozilla featureset, only as plugins. It'll probably have a net installer that hooks up with the mozdev extension backend that will allow you to install whatever plugin you want.

"Maybe all this things or some other are already available, but does somebody really thinks people massively go to the tinderbox, bonsai, lxr, the trunk and all the other code names there exist?"

While the "Why don't you shutup and fix it yourself!" is shouted often to stop people from complaining, it is utopianly true. Advertising to for help wanted *is* something that should be on the front page. You even said that yourself.

" ... I would like to see ads saying: help wanted ... "

<http://bugzilla.mozilla.o…D&bug_status=REOPENED>

"Another key feature I think would be Mozilla supporting ActiveX controls by default (with a big warning). And being able to detect a browser identification and mimic IE user agent for those sites blocking Mozilla but serving Netscape."

Everybody has there "showstoppers" and "dealbreakers". That ActiveX plugin is in the works (<http://www.iol.ie/~locka/mozilla/plugin.htm>) and I'm sure it'll get put in there When It's Done(TM). Also, I think the Mozilla evangelists wouldn't like it if we hid our user agents as IE. One of their points they use is the growing number of gecko browsers in server logs. It's also a pride thing. But for those people who want it, we have an extension (<http://uabar.mozdev.org/>)! That's kind of the whole point of extensions.

I really think you are just over-reacting on some of these points.

#35 Re: Re: Hallelluyah!!

by YFan

Thursday July 17th, 2003 4:14 PM

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>>It's [firebird] got an installer (LINK) and all they need to do is hook them up on the same page (it's all in Firebird Help). And it *is* ready for prime time.<<

I get a 404 error when I try to click on that link.

It may be ready for prime time, and it is a heck of a browser, but it won't be my choice until I see the complete sidebar including search and news, especially.

#48 Re: Hallelluyah!!

by Simplex

Thursday July 17th, 2003 8:23 PM

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(<http://mozdev.mirrors.nyp…llaFirebird-0.6-setup.exe>)

Sorry I didn't check my link. The mozdev download servers are probably not up yet after the attack.

#50 I'M STUPID

by Simplex

Thursday July 17th, 2003 8:30 PM

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Note to self, don't put links in parenthesis.

Mozilla 0.6 Installer: <http://mozdev.mirrors.nyp…llaFirebird-0.6-setup.exe>

#54 Re: Re: Re: Hallelluyah!!

by eiseli

Friday July 18th, 2003 1:42 AM

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The famous cdn <http://cdn.mozdev.org> has just stated that he wants to give a try to porting the search sidebar to mozilla firebird <http://forums.mozillanews…ction=display;threadid=32> Wonderful news if you ask me :)

#41 Re: Re: Hallelluyah!!

by bzbarsky

Thursday July 17th, 2003 5:05 PM

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> It's ready for my mom, and it's ready for your mom.

A product that has parts of the UI saying "XXX Ben, add this" is most emphatically NOT ready for my mom.

By the time it reaches 1.0, I hope it will be; right now it's not, and I don't see any of the firebird developers claiming that it is.

Enthusiasm is nice, but overenthusiasm is dangerous. It makes you like the boy who cried wolf -- by the time your product really _is_ ready, no one will believe you saying it, because of the number of times you said it when it was not ready.

#49 Re: Hallelluyah!!

by Simplex

Thursday July 17th, 2003 8:28 PM

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Maybe your mom is a bit more tech savy, but my mom doesn't

click on tools click on options click on privacy click the + next to "Download Manager History" read the comment

My mom uses her web browser to check her mail and to browse the web. It's got pretty buttons, it looks nice, it browses extremely fast, it blocks pop-ups and lots of advertisements. It's ready for my mom.

Don't get me wrong, the product is not DONE, but it's good enough for every day use, even by people who aren't fans.

I stand by my statement.

#51 Re: Re: Re: Hallelluyah!!

by tseelee

Thursday July 17th, 2003 11:15 PM

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If that's the only thing wrong (and I think it nearly is for the 6/11 build) then ship it as READY FOR PRIMETIME. It's an adage in the tech industry that the perfect product never gets its due. There's often a trade-off between getting to the market at the right time and fixing all the bugs.

#68 Re: Re: Re: Hallelluyah!!

by luserSPAZ

Friday July 18th, 2003 6:45 AM

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I must say, I shed a tear of joy last night when my completely non-technical girlfriend used a bookmark keyword to search google. She's taken to Firebird like a fish to water.

#70 Hallelluyah!!

by pcabellor

Friday July 18th, 2003 7:29 AM

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This kind of answers like "the installer is available at http:\\xxx is absolutely not acceptable for consumer products, because you can't expect a no tech user (to quit the moms and pops worn out example), and they are the big majority (we must keep this in focus), to have the time, the techy friend or whatever it takes to go to a different website to get it. Mozilla stuff must be at mozilla.org (or .com as someone correctly suggested).

Besides, I don't see how a browser that will refer you to the Netscape site the first time it encounters a Flash or Shockwave animation, or requires to reinstall RealPlayer to handle these ubiquous files, can be considered a final product or ready for prime time. End users are not going to take this pain, not even for the tab browsing and the popup blocking, I can bet on this because I've seen it.

As for the different preferences interfaces I suggest. Definitely it's not the main reason for Seamonkey going bloated, but the fact that it had to support Composer, Mail, Chatzilla and everything else at a higher (interface) level. Preferences is not about having more or less features but be in control of those. There are definitely basic preferences and advanced ones, and software like GetRight have found a way to handle it, although not perfectly, but is a nice approach to commit to simplicity without compromising control.

To the one who suggested speedbit, I can only say I have no problem with GetRight. Reversely I dislike having to reinstall the GetRight plugin for Mozilla each tme I reinstall Mozilla.

About:config is good. In the meantime just adding a expandable tree interface and a brief description of each preference would be excelent.

I won't bet on having the ActiveX support included in Mozilla by default. I think some statistical research on the use of ActiveX with no plugin or Java alternative, should be done to justify.

Also it would be great to bundle the Mozilla COM control, so apps like Musicmatch, Winamp and Kazaa could use it at will.

As for the user agent impersonation, the point is just that: how to do it without surrendering precious statistics.

As for extensions, they are fundamental for the corporate environment as they offer big flexibility, but for consumer people it just doesn't matter any extension that doesn't come with the installer.

Non tech people means people don't care about technology, they only see tools.

#82 Re: Hallelluyah!!

by zookqvalem

Friday July 18th, 2003 9:23 PM

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No! Mozilla is not a end-user product. Mozilaa is for development purpose. It is where end user products come from, like firebird or thunderbird, etc.

#86 Re: Re: Hallelluyah!!

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Sunday July 20th, 2003 12:03 PM

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"No! Mozilla is not a end-user product. Mozilaa is for development purpose."

Up until now, that was true. However, that's beginning to chnage.

"It is where end user products come from, like firebird or thunderbird, etc."

Firebird and Thunderbird were previously not end-user products, like all builds from mozilla.org (though, as I said above, this will change).

Alex

#17 Mozilla should get Netscape browser brand

by bandido

Thursday July 17th, 2003 1:17 PM

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It would be great if AOL would pass the Netscape browser name to Mozilla, that way Mozilla can still be the development version and Netscape the end-user brand. It wouldn't be the first time that difefrent companies own a name (AOl might want to keep the Netscape portal). When AOL bought Netscape, they sold the Netscape webserver software to Sun who kept the name for a while before rebranding it.

I think it will also help with the version number confusion among many Mozilla users. All Mozilla milestones could be released under the Netscape brand and own version number while the nightlies continue with the Mozilla/Mozilla Firebird/Thunderbird codenames.

#20 Re: Mozilla should get Netscape browser brand

by Racer

Thursday July 17th, 2003 1:41 PM

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I agree that development of Netscape should continue. As it is, when someone says that "your website doesn't work with Mozilla", they often don't have a clue what Mozilla is. At least with Netscape, there is name recognition which tends to get more people moving to fix their website which usually makes it work with all Gecko browsers.

#21 Re: Re: Mozilla should get Netscape browser brand

by exotrip

Thursday July 17th, 2003 2:20 PM

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Yes, but when you mention Netscape, they usually get the image of Netscape 4, not a Mozilla release. And now that AOL has killed Netscape, I believe that websites will slowly start to drop any support for any Netscape browser. I think it would be better to work on evangelizing Mozilla so people will know what it is when you tell them "your website doesn't work with Mozilla".

#30 Count me in (n/t)

by rtvkuijk

Thursday July 17th, 2003 3:39 PM

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n/t

#45 Totally agreed!

by ezh <ezh@menelon.ee>

Thursday July 17th, 2003 5:24 PM

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I totally agree with this idea! I'm using Netscape on my notebook just people know the brand. So they have an idea sometime to try this out.

The foundation could ask AOL what are they plans with Netscape browser name. If they will rebrand any mozilla release by itselt looks good, if they give the Netscape brand to Mozilla foundation that's also great!

#22 A great idea, indeed.

by lazytiger

Thursday July 17th, 2003 2:56 PM

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I wholeheartedly agree with this idea. The major question is, of course, would AOL allow the Mozilla Foundation to do such a thing? Hell, so far AOL has graciously given the foundation everything it could possibly ask for. The second question would be whether the Mozilla Foundation has any interest in creating a Netscape-branded browser. I have my doubts. But I think the idea has great potential.

The Netscape name is much more well-known than Mozilla, and it will continue to be unless AOL lets it languish into obscurity. AOL can (and will) keep their Netscape Network portal, but at this point it's a little less than clear what will happen to the Netscape browser in the long term since there's no longer any internal developers. The Mozilla Foundation could take the Netscape brand name and apply it to what is now simply the flagship Mozilla product. This would essentially be a difference of labeling only; none of the advertising cruft that has been added to the Netscape browser would be included. Even AIM/ICQ and Netscape webmail support could be optional extensions. AOL has obviously already given up on Netscape as a revenue-generator, so I don't really see any reason why they should object to Netscape being distributed ad/nag-free. Its only remaining strength is simply brand recognition, and this could be capitalized on by continuing its branding through the Mozilla Foundation.

What would become of the Mozilla name? It would go back into the developer's corner. It would return to its original purpose of being a code name for Netscape. A tag that shows up in header information but is never really seen by end users. Is that so bad? I don't think so. The icon would live on; in fact it could be somewhat of an icon for geek-elitism. :) Only the "cool" people know what Mozilla really means (once again, the way it used to be prior to 1998). And we would be eliminating the confusion of what is Mozilla and what is Netscape. To the end user, there is only Netscape. I think everyone (even developers) would be very happy with that arrangement, as long as it remained cruft-free as I stated above.

It would continue to be distributed through the Netscape Network portal site (by an agreement with AOL or whoever ends up owning the portal in the future). Again, its confusing connection to Mozilla would be transparent to the end user. It would be available from mozilla.org too, of course, along with development versions (Mozilla!) and all the underlying components needed for creating other browsers and web platforms.

But one thing remains crystal clear: There is one and only one official release, and it is NETSCAPE. Period. There will still be optional components and the end user can choose what s/he wants. Whether you think it's annoying or whatever, it matters not - for the public to embrace something, it has to be easy to understand. Netscape is easy to understand. It's been around for a long time and everyone knows what it is, even if they've long since switched to IE. We need to bring them back to an old friend, not some new thing named "Mozilla" that they've never heard of. Whether you want just a browser or also a mail client, calendar, IRC client, etc., I believe is straightforward enough for even dumb-dumbs to understand. You just have to create a website that is crystal clear and well-designed. Lots of auto-detecting. A BIG, FAT, BLATANT LINK FROM THE NETSCAPE FRONT PAGE. Here you are. Here's what you appear to be running. Here's what you can download. Do you want: (checkboxes) Navigator (web browser). Messenger (mail client). Et Cetera. I'm sure someone can come up with snappy theme-fitting names for the IRC client, the calendar, etc. The advent of the Birds will be key to Netscape's success. End users will love it - download only what you want.

Now I know we're already headed in a confusing direction with the profusion of extensions with the Birds. That needs to be sorted out, regardless of whether it's called Mozilla or Netscape. I have faith that it will be.

It could all work so well. The cynic in me is telling me that's exactly why it will never happen. I hope I'm wrong about that.

#34 Re: A great idea, indeed.

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Thursday July 17th, 2003 4:05 PM

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"This would essentially be a difference of labeling only; none of the advertising cruft that has been added to the Netscape browser would be included."

That's pretty much all 7.1 is, aside from the AIM/ICQ/Radio and other optional features. This is what makes me think that when Firebird goes 1.0, AOL will at that point release Netscape Navigator 8. Rebranding Firebird to Netscape canNOT be THAT difficult.

As far as Mozilla getting the Netscape brand, it won't happen. That would be like spinning Netscape off as a new company. Besides, Mozilla is now part of an open source foundation, Netscape was really always a commercial company. There's a direct conflict between the two and that's why I honestly think this will never happen.

#37 Mozilla should get Netscape browser brand

by bandido

Thursday July 17th, 2003 4:37 PM

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"Mozilla is now part of an open source foundation, Netscape was really always a commercial company."

And why is that an impediment? The Unix name was transferred years ago from a commercial company (Novell) to a non-for profit organization called "The Open Group" <http://www.opengroup.org/>. For additional information read <http://www.opengroup.org/…m/press/who-owns-unix.htm> . This is also an example of a name being shared by different companies, the owner of the trademark and the owners of the code (SCO .. gasp!!!). In a similar way AOL can release the Netscape trademark to Mozilla and yet AOL can keep using it for the Netscape portal

#73 I wish

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Friday July 18th, 2003 12:09 PM

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Yeah, I wish this would happen, honestly. I just don't get the feeling that mozilla.org WANTS the Netscape brand. If you have indications otherwise, by all means let me know. Also, although AOL is taking a break from Netscape now, they're in a huge slump. I'll bet that they'll want to hedge their bets and keep the brand and trademarks just in case.

#74 it's a long shot, no doubt

by lazytiger

Friday July 18th, 2003 2:17 PM

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There are definitely a lot of pro and cons attached to the Netscape moniker. Here's a breakdown:

The word Netscape simply sounds better than Mozilla. This is no accident. "Netscape" was created because it sounds good and is related to the internet. Mozilla always was and still is (up until 2 days ago, at least) an insider's code name not intended for a mass audience, and has seemingly no connection at all to the function of the software.

As I stated in my original post, Netscape is a very familiar brand name to everyone. Unfortunately, it was dragged through the mud with the stagnation of the 4.x releases and with the premature release of 6.x. Marketing 101 can tell you though that establishing a wide public recognition of a brand name is EXTEREMELY, EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. No matter what bad connotations may have come to be associated with a brand name, it is almost always easier to revive the old brand than to start a new one. When the public already knows what the brand is, you have a huge advantage. All you have to do then is convince them that the brand has come back with a vengence.

Netscape itself, and then AOL after they purchased it, totally dropped the ball as far as effective marketing. Back to marketing 101, the presentation of the product is often more important than the quality of the product itself. Microsoft has done their homework; they are masters of this principle and they've kicked the shit out of everyone as a result. Mozilla/Netscape is a great product, but it just doesn't matter. It's all about the marketing. Like I was saying in my original post, the ease of how Joe Public can FIND, understand, and download Netscape is essential. AOL's presentation of Netscape is absolutely horrible. It's like they're not even trying. The FUD (finding, understanding, downloading) process on Netscape's homepage (and now Mozilla's less-than-clear new site) has to be completely revamped. That process is completely separate from the product(s) themselves. Mozilla/Netscape has done pretty well with the process of creating the products, but they've been asleep at the wheel when it comes to the FUD for Joe Public.

I am adamant about this point: The process of finding, understanding, and downloading is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE PRODUCT ITSELF. I'm going to repeat that.

The process of finding, understanding, and downloading is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE PRODUCT ITSELF. We need a website that absolutely sets the standard for clarity and ease of use.

Unfortunately, we're also dealing with another force here that may make even the best marketing completely futile: Joe Public's laziness and ignorance. As we're all painfully aware, IE is on EVERY Windows user's desktop right out of the box. And it works. Joe doesn't want to bother with downloading a few megs worth of stuff and deal with installing it. IE works, doesn't it? What's the difference? That's where effectively marketing Netscape could at least make a difference - showing Joe how there is life beyond IE, and making it easy as pie to find, understand, and download. But of course we can't make it any quicker to download several megs of bits.

If Netscape was on every desktop like IE, we could blow it away easily. But it's not and it won't ever be. THAT's the central issue that we simply cannot get around. But we need to make every effort to make it seem easy and worthwhile to the average user. We have to eliminate every possible confusion.

And that process starts with using a name they already recognize: Netscape.

#92 Re: Re: A great idea, indeed.

by jweb_guru

Saturday September 24th, 2005 8:09 AM

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What with all the predictions you made in the past, Kovu (since basically the beginning of MozillaZine), it's nice to see you that made one that wasn't ridiculously optimistic and came true.

I suppose Netscape's death cleared your mind... you were a bit of a fanatic about the company prior to its demise.

#31 Re: Mozilla should get Netscape browser brand

by kepardue

Thursday July 17th, 2003 3:49 PM

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Why not start a new brand of browser, with a completely different name? Not Netscape, not Mozilla, but something sharp and clean, attractive and sexy (and no I'm not talking about the *bird philosophy). Netscape is a very attractive name, but has labeled with it the crud of being an AOL-owned piece of crap left over from the 6.x days. I know people who won't try Netscape simply for the fact that it was AOL's wh*** and, well, it's just Netscape. Mozilla is a big ugly name from the get go and not very appealing. The non-tech community as well as the tech community should be used to choose a new name, nothing that will be too techie for the masses, nor too obscure for the developers. Get away frome the cheesy marketing code words and choose something appealing, that rolls off the tongue. Like Netscape, only better... That way, the project will get away from the negative connotations that have been nailed to it over the past several years. This could potentially be an amazing birth of an amazing, well, not only product, but philosophy. A religious experience, even... okay maybe not. But it could be a very, very good thing.

just MHO of course.

#36 Mozilla should get Netscape browser brand

by bandido

Thursday July 17th, 2003 4:23 PM

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Because and brand name is something extremelly valuable and creating brand recognition is an immensely slow and usually expensive task. Mozilla Foundation can use their funds for the development process and not for basically creating brand awareness from scratch.

All Linux distros will be able to restart distributing Netscape 8 as their default browser (Mozilla should go back to it's roots .. the development brand, not the end user brand) I can already see the headlines when a new Mozilla Firebird based Netscape 8 is released: 1. Netscape lives. 2. Netscape 8 coming back from the dead. 3. Netscape 8 beats all other browsers in terms of overall speed, reliability and standards compliance. 4. Netscape 8: the browser to beat 5. Nestcape 8 leaves antiquated IE in the dust. 6. Netscape 8: The revenge of the nerds 7. Press release: AOL 10 now uses Netscape 9 technology (wouldn't that be ironic?)

Am glad many readers support my idea. Lets hope Moz Foundation is listening.

#39 Re: Mozilla should get Netscape browser brand

by dave532

Thursday July 17th, 2003 4:56 PM

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I'd also like to see the Netscape brand to goto the Mozilla Foundation as AOL don't plan on releasing any more Netscape builds.

However, people suggest that AOL should maintain the portal and just allow Mozilla to licence the name for the browser product. One of the failings of Netscape 7.1 was poor advertising on the most obvious place to obtain it (Netscape.com). So if AOL still owned the portal, the Netscape brand would never rise to its full potential again.

#43 Re: Re: Mozilla should get Netscape browser brand

by cgonyea

Thursday July 17th, 2003 5:11 PM

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The problem with licensing "Netscape" from AOL is this: everyone who knows about Netscape will go to <http://www.netscape.com/> and what do they see? A portal with a little tiny link to Browser Central buried in the page. Even if Mozilla got Firebird ready and talk to AOL saying "all we have to do is slap Netscape throbbers, startup screen, etc. and you have a browser", the question still will be will AOL promote it by putting it in visible place on that portal. I frankly don't see that happening unfortunately.

#44 Re: Re: Re: Mozilla should get Netscape browser br

by bandido

Thursday July 17th, 2003 5:23 PM

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Actually, the scenario you describe is another positive for transfering Netscape browser name rights to Mozilla. If Mozilla keeps producing an end-user browser called Netscape, people who do searches for the Netscape browser might end up in the Netscape portal, increasing the number of hits for that portal. It will be advantageous to an AOL ran Netscape.com portal to have a download link to lets say, Netscape 8.

#75 Re: Mozilla should get Netscape browser brand

by Dobbins

Friday July 18th, 2003 2:44 PM

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AOL/TW isn't about to give away the Netscape brand name. The Mozilla trademarks had little or no commerical value, nobody but computer geeks have a clue what Mozilla is. "Netscape" is different, it remains one of the most widely recognized brandnames in the industry and therefore has a commerical value. If AOL/TW management gave away an asset like the Netscape brandname the company shareholders would have grounds for a civil suit.

#77 Re: Mozilla should get Netscape browser brand

by lazytiger

Friday July 18th, 2003 3:54 PM

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That makes sense. But in the case of Mozilla & Netscape, I think AOL has everything to gain and nothing to loose by allowing the Mozilla Foundation to use the Netscape brand as I've explained in other threads under this subject. AOL wouldn't be giving the Mozilla Foundation the right to do whatever it wants with the Netscape brand. It would be an arrangement very similar to what already exists: Mozilla makes the code, and then it's given to AOL to slap the Netscape name on it along with some extras (AIM/ICQ, etc.). The only differences would be now that AOL has gotten rid of its in-house Mozilla/Netscape developers, the Mozilla Foundation itself would execute the simple task of developing a Netscape skin for it and hopefully we could rid it of all the annoying ad tie-ins. Hopefully, AOL would continue to create extensions for AIM/ICQ that could be added. AOL would still have control of how the Netscape brand is used and hopefully would help market it, as I've also explained in other threads (although I realize that getting rid of the annoying ad tie-ins and AOL's marketing strategies are inextricably linked... we can only hope for a change).

Well, this post is full of hope. That's all I can ask for.

#83 Re: Re: Mozilla should get Netscape browser brand

by Dobbins

Saturday July 19th, 2003 8:03 AM

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AOL/TW is a different company than the premerger AOL was, and it has a very different management team than it had a year ago. TW bought a lot of smoke and mirrors in that merger, AOL's value was far less than TW thought. Once that became apparent the AOL people were forced out of top management postions. AOL had reasons to look on Microsoft as a competitor. TW (who are running things now) have reasons to establish good relations with Microsoft. TW has a lot of IP in the form of Movies, TV shows, and music, and rightly or wrongly feels the value of those assets is comprimised by file sharing. They want DRM in windows, and they want a say in how it's implemented. That is why the lawsuit with Microsoft was settled. After that settlement supporting Mozilla.org no longer made a lot of sense to the TW people who are running AOL nowadays. I Think the Mozilla foundation was lucky to get as much as they did. TW could have simply pulled the plug leaving them without the 2 million bucks, without the mozilla.org domain, without the trademarks, and without the hardware they have been using. The foundatation could have been left with the same thing I have, a copy of the code, and nothing else, so I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth and try to get more out of TW. I do however think that the Mozilla foundation needs to look at marketing and come up with a new trademark that gives joe sixpack a clue about what the software does. Netscape and Internet Explorer obvisouly have something to do with the internet. Mozilla and the bird names offer no clues.

#88 Re: Re: Re: Mozilla should get Netscape browser br

by lazytiger

Sunday July 20th, 2003 3:56 PM

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Everything you say makes sense... that's why I can only hope and dream of Netscape rising to prominence again through the efforts of the Mozilla Foundation.

No matter how good the FUD (finding, understanding, downloading) for Mozilla/Netscape is, I can't see it getting very far into double-digit market share. So it seems like AOL/TW has little to fear as far as being on good terms with Microsoft and having their say with the implementation of DRM. But as you said, they don't have to do anything, so why would they help even a little? (They've helped out a lot already.) You never know... I guess it's like taking a knee at the end of a football game when you have the lead - why risk an interception run back for a touchdown?

#90 Re: Re: Re: Re: Mozilla should get Netscape browse

by Dobbins

Monday July 21st, 2003 5:41 AM

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You aren't looking at the problem from the perspective of the average enduser. When the average enduser signs up for internet service it's bacause he got an unsolicited CD in the mail (AOL isn't the only one who does this) or he recived a CD after contacting the ISP. If Mozilla is the ISP's default internet client, with the ISP's icon setting on the desktop, then Mozilla will be used instead of IE. If you want market share you'll get a lot more by having Mozilla on those CDs than you'll get by going after the enduser.

#18 Green Mozilla Lizard?

by SomeGuy

Thursday July 17th, 2003 1:19 PM

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Does this mean The Mozilla Foundation gets the rights to the green Mozilla dragon mascot? :)

#62 Re: Green Mozilla Lizard?

by briank

Friday July 18th, 2003 3:39 AM

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As far as I know these rights still remain (at least partiially) with Dave Titus. <<http://www.davetitus.com/>> and <<http://www.ex-mozilla.org/teeshirtart/>>

#66 Re: Green Mozilla Lizard?

by Gerv

Friday July 18th, 2003 5:26 AM

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In a word... no :-)

Gerv

#72 Hallelluyah!!

by pcabellor

Friday July 18th, 2003 9:10 AM

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I hope Dave is free now or soon to license it to the Mozilla Foundation, and provide a good contribution for Mozilla merchandise. I see this as a good source of revenue for Mozilla Foundation, Dave and of cool stuff for Mozilla users.

As a starting point, CafePress, the provider of MozillaZine merchandise could be the provider for Mozilla.

Wouldn't it be great if he could also lead a design team for Mozilla?

#87 Re: Green Mozilla Lizard?

by thelem

Sunday July 20th, 2003 12:58 PM

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<http://www.davetitus.com/…ages/mozilla/moz_six.html>

Why was the mascot a problem in the first place? Dave obviously still supports mozilla/netscape.

#23 Netscape: revenue generation for Mozilla?

by flacco

Thursday July 17th, 2003 3:04 PM

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Anyone know if netscape.com generate(s/d) positive cashflow via advertising and vendor tie-ins?

If so, and if Mozilla gets the Netscape brand, maybe it could generate some revenue to cover expenses for running the non-profit.

#59 Re: Netscape: revenue generation for Mozilla?

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Friday July 18th, 2003 2:38 AM

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I think, if Netscape was generating revenue, AOL would not be trying to get rid of it.

#24 Netscape: revenue generation for Mozilla?

by flacco

Thursday July 17th, 2003 3:04 PM

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Anyone know if netscape.com generate(s/d) positive cashflow via advertising and vendor tie-ins?

If so, and if Mozilla gets the Netscape brand, maybe it could generate some revenue to cover expenses for running the non-profit.

#25 Future of Gecko?

by DHiester

Thursday July 17th, 2003 3:13 PM

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By changing the emphasis of Mozilla to an end-user application, what does this mean for the portability of Gecko? Will it be more difficult for developers of other applications to use Gecko in their projects or will it make little to no difference?

#40 Re: Future of Gecko?

by dave532

Thursday July 17th, 2003 4:57 PM

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It won't change a thing in that respect, the Mozilla Foundation is non profit and therefore have no reason to make life difficult for developers of other applications, in fact it's quite the opposite.

#42 Re: Re: Future of Gecko?

by bzbarsky

Thursday July 17th, 2003 5:09 PM

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While the gecko developers will certainly be trying to make this true, one issue I see with the standalone apps is that, when the back end fails to do something they need, they sometimes check in some "not part of build" crap in ifdefs to make it work for them (instead of filing a bug on the back end to get the issue addressed in a reasonable way).... This does not help embeddors who want the same functionality, and does not help make the back end more maintainable.

#47 *a little tear*

by admiraljusti

Thursday July 17th, 2003 7:53 PM

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I don't know if I should be happy or sad... but in either case... it may get rough, but mozilla's strength in the market should rise, now that it is targeting the end-user...

Not that I minded the old page all that much...

#53 Fan Stuff!

by Bibbl

Friday July 18th, 2003 1:37 AM

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I still want Mozilla T-Shits, Soft Toys, etc. :)

#60 Re: Fan Stuff!

by djst

Friday July 18th, 2003 2:57 AM

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Sure, let's start selling Mozilla related stuff at mozilla.org to raise funds! I'd definitely be willing to buy some cool Mozilla stuff.

#55 W3C?

by vramdal <vramdal@gmail.com>

Friday July 18th, 2003 1:53 AM

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Is the Mozilla Foundation a W3C member? How will the new organization be able to influence on W3C work?

#61 Whatever

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Friday July 18th, 2003 3:21 AM

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I wonder what will happen to dmoz.org now.

#63 congratulations on common sense

by jilles

Friday July 18th, 2003 4:37 AM

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I have been flamed quite a bit a few months ago when I questioned AOLs role in mozilla and the business plan behind Netscape. Im glad that Im not crazy and that AOL obviously reached the same conclusions as I did a few months back.

I am sorry for all those netscape employees who are currently facing unemployment though. They have done a great job on mozilla and I think all of us are gratefull of their work. I hope the mozilla project will continue to thrive as it has in the past year. I really like the new direction the development team has taken with the firebird, thunderbird and sunbird subprojects. Getting rid of the Netscape burden IMHO is a good thing. The Netscape brand was damaged by the browserwars and the netscape 6 and 7 products offered little advantage over the corresponding mozilla versions (aside from convenient packaging.

#67 What about the talkback crash client?

by durbacher

Friday July 18th, 2003 6:09 AM

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That one is closed source (sort of bought from another company) and added to the nightlies and releases by copying an already compiled file (if you build it yourself you only get a dummy). It was developed internally by netscape and the crash data was processed by Netscape people.

I think the crash results were _very_ importand for tracking down crash bugs, but now I fear that this nice thing might be unavailable in the future...

The talkback data page on <ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub…ta/Trunk-topcrashers.html> has - again - been "broken" for more than two weeks and might well stay like it is forever... :-(

#71 but how do they *feel*?

by mschurter

Friday July 18th, 2003 8:20 AM

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ok we're all huge nerds and love to hear the gritty details of the split and the reorganization. but i can't help but think about the ex-netscape employees. how do they feel about the split? are they happy to be rid of aol? are they grateful to aol? are they worried about finding jobs or has the foundation taken care of that? personally i feel mozilla's in a better position now than ever before, but that could all change if the key people aren't well taken care of.

#78 Re: but how do they *feel*?

by tseelee

Friday July 18th, 2003 4:09 PM

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I don't see any gains from this development. The resources and financial stability of the project have been hurt significantly, while the work hasn't changed.

#84 Re: Re: but how do they *feel*?

by Dobbins

Saturday July 19th, 2003 8:42 AM

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The biggest loss is there is no longer a team where people can be ordered to fix bugs that stand in the way of a goal. Before a Netscape staffer could be ordered to work on Bug X. Now the foundation has to hope that someone will take the time to fix Bug X. Even if the foundation hires people to work on the code full time I see no posibility of them hiring a staff as large as Netscape provided, so at best there will be far fewer people who can be given a hard assignment to fix certain bugs. This will show up in even less ability to meet goals like those set up in the roadmaps. The second biggest loss is controlled enduser testing. Netscape was capable of setting 50 average users in a room and tracking how they used the product. That can't be replaced with reports from people who downloaded the software and may or may not file a bug report.

#76 Will AOL give Moz Org rights to Netscape name?

by saidiadude

Friday July 18th, 2003 3:11 PM

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If Mozilla is going to aim for the end user, it may help to rename/rebrand the browser to Netscape Mozilla. Is AOL willing to donate the Netscape name?

#80 Well Netscape outlived IE atleast.

by MacGecko4evr

Friday July 18th, 2003 5:46 PM

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I mean I know IE is still developed but only as an intergration into the OS. So as a commercial product Netscape outlived IE. I suppose thats the best thing I can come to to chear myself up. I used NS1-7.1 and had so many ups and downs- Its like losing a good friend. Oh well farewell Netscape maybe I will see you again! Same goes to all those Netscape employees. Best of luck!

#91 Switch from Netscape to Mozilla

by joelnelson

Tuesday July 22nd, 2003 10:35 AM

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I would switch back to Mozilla from Netscape 7.1 (which I began using instead of Mozilla about a month ago) if Mozilla had a spellchecker. That is the only thing keeping me on Netscape 7.1. Spellchecker.mozdev.org seems to have dropped their Mac OS X spellchecker program.