Mozilla Branding and Visual Identity Proposal

Thursday October 23rd, 2003

Steven Garrity has written a proposal for the branding and visual identity of the Mozilla Foundation and its products. The document, which does not necessarily reflect current thinking, recommends dropping the red Mozilla dragon head, clairifying the names of the various products, bumping the version number up to 2.0 when the switch to standalone applications takes place and making the icons more consistent. The Mozilla branding strategy and the Mozilla trademark policy give some insights into the Mozilla Foundation's plans for the Mozilla brand but note that both documents are currently under review and are likely to change in the future.

Thanks to Slashdot for alerting us to Steven's proposal.

#12 Re: Worth considering - esp. the plea for 2.0

by jgraham

Friday October 24th, 2003 5:58 AM

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> And I stronly agree on calling the suite 2.0 rather than 1.x.

Listen. People keep saying "bump the version number to 2.0 because the suite is (eventually) disappearing and we want people to know there's a new product". However, such a suggestion represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the way that version numbering should work in a post-seamonkey era. You can view the code output of as two seperate parts - the backend code that is common to all applications (i.e. the GRE plus a few other bits), and the front end code that is application specific (i.e. the Firebird frontend, the Thunderbird frontend, and so on). Traditionally (i.e. in seamonkey), these bits of code have always been developed and released concurrently and so the version number for the frontend and the backend was always the same, at least for the core components (note however that Seamonkey 1.5 comes with chatzilla 0.9.{something}). In a world where seamonkey is no longer being developed*, there is a much greater distinction between the backend code and the frontend products. In particular, they do not have simulatneous relaeses and have not been developed for the same length of time. The backend code retains the seamonkey version number e.g. 1.6a at present. Since the backend code is for developer use, it has developer naming conventions, in particular a major version number change occurs to indicate incompatible API changes. The frontend code can have version numbers that are totally independent of the backend code version numbers e.g. Firebird has reached 0.7 and Thunderbird has reached release 0.3. So saying that we should bump the backend version number to 2.0 to indidate the fact that the *birds have reached 1.0 seems perverse.

Now you could argue that when Mozilla browser and Mozilla mail** reach a stable status (i.e. they are no longer billed 'Technology previews'), they should have their version numbers bumped to 2.0 to distinguish them from the Seamonkey frontend which will still be at version 1.something (having the same version number as the backend for the historical reasons mentioned), or maybe bundled together and marketed as "Mozilla Internet Suite 2.0 (based on Gecko version 1.something)". However no one actually seems to be suggesting that - everyone is saying that the 1.something version of the backend should be changed, which makes no sense at all.

*This world seems increasingly unlikely to exist anytime in the near future, but lets assume that, even if Seamonkey is being developed, it is not being promoted to end users, which seems more likely.

**These names also look increasingly unlikely (although I don't have much evidence for that staement)