Many Organisations Employing Mozilla Contributors
Sunday November 16th, 2003
For many years, Netscape provided several full-time employees to work on Mozilla. Since AOL pulled the plug on Netscape's contributions to the project in July, many have assumed that all the work is now done by volunteers. However, that is not the case and a variety of organisations have either expanded their Mozilla workforce or started hiring lizard-friendly employees for the first time.
The Mozilla Foundation now cuts the cheques for David Baron, Asa Dotzler, Brendan Eich, Ben Goodger, Chris Hofmann, Scott MacGregor, Myk Melez, Daniel "leaf" Nunes and Johnny Stenback, who are employed on a full-time basis, and Mitchell Baker, who works for the Foundation part-time. But the Mountain View non-profit is not the group that has been hiring recently.
Shortly after the layoffs, IBM quickly snapped up several ex-Netscape employees, including Darin Fisher, Brian Ryner and Doron Rosenberg, to add to their contingent working on Mozilla. Sun and Red Hat continue to employ Mozilla contributors and it's now well-known that Lindows.com is paying Daniel Glazman to work on Nvu, a new Composer-based Web publishing application.
Meanwhile, ex-Netscapers Kevin McCluskey, Rod Spears, Chris Karnaze, Peter Lubczynski and John Keiser have banded together to form Mozilla Consulting, a company that writes Mozilla enhancements to order. A similar, though older, venture comes in the form of the Mozdev Group, who offer Mozilla software development and technical consultation to small and medium-sized businesses.
Many predicted that Mozilla would not survive in a post-Netscape world. With just four months gone since AOL pulled out of the project, it's a little early to say what the long-term implications will be. However, it's clear right now that an amazing number of companies see Mozilla as something worth committing real cash to. And that can only be a positive sign.
Update: The Mozilla Consulting site no longer lists John Keiser as an employee, presumably due to his new job at Microsoft.
Monday November 17th, 2003 1:16 AM
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Let's be clear here : only a company like AOL could do what it did...
Mozilla and Gecko are the most promising cross-platform development framework. The constant increase of Linux in big companies and governmental organizations (at least here in Europe) opens a set of excellent opportunities for Mozilla. If Mozilla is gold, XUL is platinum. I bet that the number of Web Services applications built on the top of Gecko using a XUL front-end (like the Amazon browser) will increase a lot in 2004. When AOL saw XUL back in november 2000, they decided that the technology was not mature. And they never changed their mind, even if XUL evolved a lot. As we say in French, only imbeciles never change of opinion. Hey, have you seen Minimo ?
I have no doubt that Mozilla will succeed, even if I was a little bit worried about Gecko's core evolution. I think that's where the Mozilla Foundation can make the difference, since they hired people able to make the core keep moving while the largest number of "external" contributors focus on the application layer. IMHO, that's a good strategy.
So I also have no doubt that we are in front of a quickly emerging market, and that companies working with/on Mozilla will have to hire in 2004, that more and more Mozilla contributors will be payed for their time, that the Mozilla Foundation will get from those companies the financial support it needs.
Long life Mozilla!