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 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.

#9 a lot will depend on results

by jilles

Monday November 17th, 2003 3:51 AM

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While it is good that these people have jobs and can continue to work on Mozilla I think it is a little early to claim that industrial support is well under way. It is certainly very positive that some companies are willing to put their money where their mouth is but I think a lot will depend on the return of this current investment. If nvu doesn't materialize or if other key mozilla components do not deliver on their promises (e.g. calendar is so far mostly vapor ware in terms of interoperability), I think mozilla adoption by industry will not become much better.

Certainly there are some great opportunities: - There is an enormous trend in the public sector (especially outside the US) to adopt open source. Mozilla is part of this trend for non MS platforms. - Internet explorer does not seem to have evolved in the past few years and is unlikely to do so in the coming few years: market share can be gained. - Apple seems to be moving away from MS products, this will stimulate adoption of alternative browsers by both users and developers. Alternative heere does not necessarily mean Mozilla but other than IE.