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 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 ( was always just a more informal group). This new organisation, which is hoping to gain non-profit status under California law, will continue's work of guiding development. Teams such as 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, 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 front page.

#33 Re: Hallelluyah!!

by Simplex

Thursday July 17th, 2003 3:58 PM

You are replying to this message

"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 (<>) 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 ... "


"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 (<>) 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 (<>)! That's kind of the whole point of extensions.

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