Fred Langa Newsletter Features Mozilla Thunderbird
Monday September 8th, 2003
Fabiano Guilherme de Souza (from Brazil) wrote in to tell us that the latest edition of The LangaList, the email newsletter from freelance tech journalist Fred Langa, features a piece about Mozilla Thunderbird. Acting on a tip from a reader, Langa explains Thunderbird's goals and briefly discusses the history of the Mozilla project (though he gets a few details wrong).
It's not the first time I'm reading that "someone got a few details wrong". In this piece, one is obvious to me (AOL bought Netscape after the source code was released), but some others aren't (is the Mosaic+Gozilla legend true or is that also a detail he got wrong?)
It would be nice to set up a page somewhere with common mistakes about Mozilla, so that one can refer to it whenever he/she finds that kind of mistakes. Of course, it should be hosted on mozilla.org, in order to confer the official character that kind of "errata" would need.
Nice idea with the errata page--sounds good to me. :) I was actually kind of shocked this morning when I read the column from Fred, of all people, but at least he got the important stuff right. I suppose not everyone has followed Mozilla as closely as us.
Another thing that seems to get confused a lot is the relationship between Mozilla and Netscape--which various other factors (Netscape used to actually be called Mozilla, etc.) cause to be even more confusing. And then we move into the *Birds... :)
When you do something, do it right. If you lie about Mozilla, people may switch to M$... Thus, an errata page would be a great idea!
> In this piece, one is obvious to me (AOL bought > Netscape after the source code was released)
He never said that. What he said was "'Mozilla' eventually became Netscape, which later got eaten by AOL, which then released the Netscape browser source code to the Open Source community, which used it to produce a new, reborn Mozilla browser."
That statement is 100% correct. "Mozilla" was the internal working name for browser at Mosaic Comminications Corporation. MCC later renamed itself Netscape and released the browser under the name Netscape Communicator. AOL bought Netscape and then released the source code. It was decided to call the project and the browser Mozilla.
All of that was clearly explained in his article.
Hey... these confusing articles only make assimilated people ven more skeptical about Mozilla... 1) Mozilla always was Netscape´s Codename, even when the end-user product was renamed to Netscape (only in the 0.7x versions it was called Mozilla). 2) It refers to M$IE as Mosaic/Mozilla!!... In the worst case, M$IE is an illegal and deform copy of the original Mosaic, but it has nothing to do with our loved NS, whose spirit must not be insulted 3) That of putting Mozilla to it wasn´t because of any marketing reason, as the article suggests 4) The source code was released before AOL boutght NS 5) The only thing that changed after the release of the source code was that now it was OpenSourcem but Mozilla continued to be something like Netscape´s codename during beta releases (say what you want, but, at least for the NS point of view, this is real) 6) It talks of Firebird as if it were SeaMonkey!!, or the codename of the next SeaMonkey release (as it refers to it as non-standalone apps)
He does need to clarify that Mosaic is not Netscape.. he lumped the Mosaic-->Mozilla/other competitors together.
and that's really what it was in the beginning. Mosaic was a codebase from which many browsers came from, including Netscape, Spyglass's Mosaic version, and IE.
But the way in which he said it was extremely confusing.
Just to clarify, Netscape is based on Mosaic. So is IE. Mozilla.org's products are the "new" code. They are only very loosely related.
Due to a trademark dispute, we are calling "firebird" Mozilla Firebird, and after a unknown time, it will be the "Mozilla Browser" and no longer referred to by its previous names.
But the article wasn't as bad as the ones that say, "Mozilla uses the Netscape source code as the base of its browser.." No, Netscape uses Mozilla.org source. Most proper journalists say we "share" code, which is perfect :-)