MozillaZine

AOL Lays Off Netscape/Mozilla Transition Team

Wednesday October 1st, 2003

In an expected move, America Online yesterday laid off the last remaining Netscape employees paid to contribute to Mozilla. Although AOL sacked or reassigned most of the Netscape browser division back in July, they agreed to continue employing Asa Dotzler, Brendan Eich and David Baron for a couple of months as part of a transition team to keep things running smoothly as mozilla.org reduces its dependence on AOL. This transition has involved moves such as setting up the non-profit Mozilla Foundation and migrating mozilla.org servers from Netscape hosting to services provided by meer.net.

AOL has not completely ended its involvement with the Mozilla project yet — the transition is not entirely complete and the online giant has promised to give the Mozilla Foundation $1 million in addition to the $1 million donated so far. All the members of the transition team are expected to be hired by the Mozilla Foundation in the next few weeks.


#1 AOL won't completely give up

by chowychow

Wednesday October 1st, 2003 10:05 PM

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I don't know whether this was mentioned before, but AOL seems to be up to something when it comes to Mozilla Mail at least

<http://www.aolepk.com/communicator/>

Unfortunately I don't see any word of Mozilla mentioned anywhere. Weird.

#2 Re: AOL won't completely give up

by FattMattP

Wednesday October 1st, 2003 10:37 PM

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The aolepk.com domain isn't owned by AOL. This could just be a hoax. Anyone can make screenshots in photoshop.

#3 Re: Re: AOL won't completely give up

by Simplex

Wednesday October 1st, 2003 10:57 PM

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#23 Communicator Exists for ages...

by Celt

Sunday October 5th, 2003 7:05 AM

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I'm sorry to update you on things but the AOL Communicator client is a real AOL client, now released on the US and UK markets and supported by there call centers. So <http://www.aolepk.com/communicator/> is 100% real

#5 Check out MADBird

by GuruJ

Wednesday October 1st, 2003 11:36 PM

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Why should they? It's not like the people targeted by AOL are interested in underlying technologies. They just want to get things done.

I think it's great that AOL is still using Mozilla technologies. Regardless of whether AOL is funding Mozilla or not, I can't see how having a multi-billion dollar company using your product should be seen as a bad thing.

#7 I can't see how having a multi-billion dollar.....

by bugs4hj <bugs4hj@netscape.net>

Thursday October 2nd, 2003 12:01 AM

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What if they don't have to pay for it? Lets face it, what is $2 million compared with the $740 million AOL got from Microsoft? Btw, what did AOL pay for Netscape? After all, the MS deal is about Netscape, not about mozilla.

And, at the end, they still got a *free* browser suit, any day they want, without paying for it...isn't that a nice deal?

I wonder what happened to the AIM lawsuit, AOL promissed (well was forced by law) to open the source, so where is it?

And finally, isn't this bad for people that use a netscape.net e-mail account, like me for my projects? I guess we can't expect a mozilla version with support for Netscape's IMAP/AIM protocol. Yeah yeah, IMAP... I hear you, however, without AIM protocol it sucks for people like me, we're stuck with Netscape 7.1 for ever now.

Can we expect any tips/source from ex AOL employed people? Don't tell me you've got nothing left at home, you all worked at home also...but I guess they forced you to sign a contract for this, no? Great Open Source project and very smart people at AOL.

So there was no commitment from AOL in the last month, no wonder.

#8 Re: I can't see how having a multi-billion dollar.

by bandido

Thursday October 2nd, 2003 12:52 AM

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You seem to imply that AOL made money with Netscape lawsuit and settlement with MS ($450 million). AOL paid $4.2 billion for Nestcape in 1998 <http://news.com.com/2100-…3-218360.html?legacy=cnet>.

The AIM agreemenmt that resulted from the Time Warner merge did not require for AOL to release the source for AIM protocol. Their commitment was to work on interoperability with MS Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. <http://www.computerworld.…ory/0,10801,56259,00.html> and <http://archive.infoworld.…/010723hnaolmessanger.xml> If they wanted to develop advance features for AIM, like webcam/video integration, they were require to interoperate with the other IM providers. This condition was lifted a few weeks ago at AOL request <http://news.com.com/2100-1032-995595.html> and <http://www.instantmessagi…ublic/article.php/3065691> Interestingly, MS and Yahoo provedto be big time hyprocrites. Now that they have sizable marketshare, they have dropped their interoperability demands with AOL and they have started blocking the other services. <http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1104_2-5066412.html> and <http://itmanagement.earth…ntdev/article.php/3079191>.

#20 Incorrect

by bugs4hj <bugs4hj@netscape.net>

Thursday October 2nd, 2003 10:24 AM

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Thank you for the information, but:

"You seem to imply that AOL made money with Netscape lawsuit and settlement with MS ($450 million)."

No, I don't and that number is just incorrect: <http://www.wired.com/news…ness/0,1367,59039,00.html>

Also note this: <http://news.com.com/2100-…1-218403.html?legacy=cnet>

So they got $500 million worth of hardware for the listprice! Man, that is at least 25% off. Also note that Sun payed over $500 million, and not the $350 because that was the "at least deal" set for. Lets sum up: $1.35 billion dollars, right?

Now, the Netscape brand and Internet sites are still owned by AOL, and that is a huge number. Another issue is the 'stock-for-stock' trade they got in 1998. So tell me, who payed $4.2 billion, AOL? No sir, they didn't pay shit.

And finally, ever heared of the term tax deduction?

#16 They don't need to pay for it....

by duffbeer703

Thursday October 2nd, 2003 5:20 AM

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It's open source remember?

#6 Re: AOL won't completely give up

by dave532

Wednesday October 1st, 2003 11:56 PM

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Just to let you know the only component of Mozilla AOL communicator uses is the Gecko rendering engine (unless they've changed it in the final release to IE to keep Bill Gates happy).

It might look similar to Mozilla mail and have a similar feature set, but it's all native widgets not an XUL app like Mozilla mail or Thunderbird.

#9 Re: Re: AOL won't completely give up

by vramdal <vramdal@gmail.com>

Thursday October 2nd, 2003 1:42 AM

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*Might* look similar to Thunderbird? It looks almost identical to me. They've even included the quick search feature, which I haven't seen in any other email clients. So I find it pretty incredible if they haven't used any Thunderbird code in Communicator.

And what's that "Mail views" node in the tree menu? Sure would be nice to have in Thunderbird ...

#11 AOL Communicator

by ed_welch

Thursday October 2nd, 2003 2:23 AM

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Uses wxWindows, so that they could port it to the Mac. Probably they can't use IE to render as IE is no longer supported on the Mac.

#13 Re: I can't see how having a multi-billion dollar.

by bandido

Thursday October 2nd, 2003 5:04 AM

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As a stand alone application, AOL Communicator was released, at least in beta form, way ahead of Thunderbird

#15 Re: Re: Re: AOL won't completely give up

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Thursday October 2nd, 2003 5:14 AM

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"They've even included the quick search feature, which I haven't seen in any other email clients."

It's been in Mozilla Mail & Newsgroups and Netscape 7 for over a year now.

"So I find it pretty incredible if they haven't used any Thunderbird code in Communicator."

They used Gecko but that's about it. And some ex-Netscapers have been reassigned to work on it.

Alex

#21 Re: AOL won't completely give up

by beastie

Thursday October 2nd, 2003 8:24 PM

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"'They've even included the quick search feature, which I haven't seen in any other email clients.'

It's been in Mozilla Mail & Newsgroups and Netscape 7 for over a year now."

And Outlook.

#12 Re: Re: AOL won't completely give up

by erik <erik@eae.net>

Thursday October 2nd, 2003 3:53 AM

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AOL Communicator use XUL and wxWindow. It is also based on Mail and News. Why would they reinvent the wheel?

#17 Re: Re: Re: AOL won't completely give up

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Thursday October 2nd, 2003 5:24 AM

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"AOL Communicator use XUL and wxWindow."

It uses wxWindows but not XUL.

"It is also based on Mail and News."

The appearance is strikingly similar to Mozilla Mail & Newsgroups (or, more specifically, Netscape 7 Mail & Newsgroups). In one of the early betas, it even used the Modern theme icons. Netscape Communicator also appears to have had an influence (note the widgets for selecting the columns to display in the thread pane), particularly on the name. But that does not mean that AOL Communicator is based on Mozilla (with the exception of Gecko). It is possible to copy a design with copying code.

"Why would they reinvent the wheel?"

The answer to that question is one of the reasons why AOL Communicator is unspeakably evil.

Alex

#4 re:

by auburn

Wednesday October 1st, 2003 11:08 PM

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I'm assuming the AOL communicator is for people that don't actually have aol? Who would want to download that piece of crap?

#14 Re: I can't see how having a multi-billion dollar.

by bandido

Thursday October 2nd, 2003 5:07 AM

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Can you tell us, what makes AOL Communicator a crap? Netscape Mail, Thunderbird, Mozilla Mail are all almost the same.

#19 re:

by auburn

Thursday October 2nd, 2003 6:13 AM

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"Can you tell us, what makes AOL Communicator a crap? Netscape Mail, Thunderbird, Mozilla Mail are all almost the same."

That was my point. If it were for people that weren't AOL users, I don't know who would want to download all of the AOL junk that comes along with it. They could just get Mozilla Mail. However, since Alex said that it is for AOL users, that makes a little more sense.

#18 Re: re:

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Thursday October 2nd, 2003 5:26 AM

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"I'm assuming the AOL communicator is for people that don't actually have aol?"

No, it's only available to AOL members. Even if you do manage to get hold of a copy, it won't let you do anything before setting up an AOL mail account.

"Who would want to download that piece of crap?"

It's designed for more advanced users who find the AOL clinet's own mail facilities to be lacking.

Alex

#10 last of the mohicans

by glazou <daniel@glazman.org>

Thursday October 2nd, 2003 1:50 AM

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A few European CPD people are still on the AOL payroll... The last of the mohicans will be, in chronological order Jan Varga, Peter Van der Beken, myself (Daniel Glazman) and the last of the last of the mohicans will be Tristan Nitot at the end of november.

#22 AOL communicator

by Ascaris <ascaris1@att.net>

Friday October 3rd, 2003 4:51 AM

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AOL Communicator has one important thing that Thunderbird still lacks. I use Thunderbird as my email client, and there is only ONE huge bug that still annoys the heck out of me. That's bug 91608. That old bug is STILL in Thunderbird... and it mangles the line wrapping whenever you enter two spaces, such as after a period, in the plain text editor.

I tried AOL communicator when it first came out, and blissfully, this bug was not there. I hope that the development of Thunderbird causes this to be fixed soon... it did not seem it would ever be fixed as part of the Seamonkey suite. This is IMO the one thing that makes Thunderbird look rough and ragged-- the only really bad bug I see in my daily use of TB. Believe me, if I had the first clue about how to fix this, I would do it. I don't, though, unfortunately.

Frank

#24 line-wrapping?

by jogar <greg@supersilly.com>

Wednesday October 8th, 2003 8:59 AM

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Is it *only* in TB? Because I just tried it in Moz 1.6a and I can't duplicate the error.