MozillaZine

Non-Profit Mozilla Europe Group Launches

Tuesday February 17th, 2004

A new non-profit organisation founded to advance Mozilla within Europe launched today. Mozilla Europe aims to promote Mozilla, encourage contributions to project and provide services to stimulate enterprise adoption. The group plans to work with existing Mozilla communities throughout the continent and has the full backing of the Mozilla Foundation, which has designated the nascent organisation as its first international affiliate.

Based in Paris, Mozilla Europe has three main goals. The first of these is to promote Mozilla and derivative products throughout the World's most densely populated continent, building upon the work of local Mozilla groups. The second is to encourage developers, companies and organisations to support the project, either by contributing code or supplying funding. The third is to bolster adoption of Mozilla in enterprises by offering several services, including technical support, deployment assistance and development work.

Mozilla Europe was founded by former Netscape employees Tristan Nitot and Peter Van der Beken, with Pascal Chevrel, Axel Hecht, Olivier Meunier and Jan Varga also on its Board of Directors. The group will be funded by donations from individuals, corporations and educational institutions. Individuals may also become members of the organisation for a fee, though the online payment system is not up and running yet.

Further details about Mozilla Europe can be found on the group's website, which is available in English, French, German and Spanish. The Mozilla Europe Statutes set out its legal basis under French law and the FAQ contains more general information. A joint press release about the launch of Mozilla Europe has been issued by Mozilla Europe and the Mozilla Foundation.

Update: Tom Graham writes: "We at Neowin took time to speak to the group's leader, Tristan Nitot, and he told us about the plans."

Another Update: As several people have pointed out, Asia has a higher population density than Europe.


#1 Why?

by djst

Tuesday February 17th, 2004 10:37 AM

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I don't really understand the purpose of this foundation. Mozilla is already an organization with contributors worldwide. What will Mozilla Europe do that people in Europe couldn't already within the Mozilla Organization? I read the about page but couldn't really figure it out.

#3 Re: Why?

by corwin

Tuesday February 17th, 2004 11:14 AM

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Could you indicate me the French or German version of Mozilla.org ? The slovak version ? You do realize that English isn't the only language in the world don't you ? If I want to deploy Mozilla in my company, can I get support from Mozilla.org ? Answer : no. Will mozilla.org try and hire all the Netscape employees that worked on mozilla full-time in Europe ? no. Even if they would, do you think that these developpers would leave their lifes, houses, family and friends to go and work in the USA ? No, what they do is that they get hired by local companies to work on proprietary software. Can I get a Mozilla executive to come to my company/administration and make a public presentation of Mozilla next week in Paris ? no.

#6 Re: Re: Why?

by dave532

Tuesday February 17th, 2004 12:04 PM

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There's no reason why someone paid by the mozilla foundation to work on mozilla couldn't continue workng at home, however I do think this is worth trying if it'll help convince more companies to adopt Mozilla.

As for accusing djst of not understanding the importance of translations - look at the number of translations linked to on Firefox Help

#8 Re: Re: Re: Why?

by corwin

Tuesday February 17th, 2004 12:46 PM

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OK, let's clarify things :

Is Mozilla.org doing anything to promote Mozilla actively in Europe ? No. Do Mozilla.org answers all requests from Europe? No. Do Mozilla.org answers requests not written in English? No. Is Mozilla.org doing anything to protect their IP in Europe ? No. Do Mozilla.org provide official content in other languages ? No. Do they have the money/time/people to do it ? No. Are there talented unemployed mozilla developpers in Europe ? yes Is Mozilla going to hire them ? No.

Is mozilla-europe in a better situation to do all the things above than mozilla.org? yes

The 'point' is obvious to me and it all boils down to geography and language.

#10 Hnuh

by Asacarny

Tuesday February 17th, 2004 6:07 PM

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Why are you so angry?

#13 Re: Hnuh

by corwin

Tuesday February 17th, 2004 11:51 PM

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I am not angry, I am tired ;-)

#12 Re: What a prize!

by Gerv

Tuesday February 17th, 2004 10:34 PM

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> Is Mozilla.org doing anything to promote Mozilla actively in Europe ?

Yes. For example, we have a presence at FOSDEM (me.) And our website has worldwide reach. We do interviews with European publications if they ask for one.

> Do Mozilla.org answers all requests from Europe?

We don't assess requests based on country of origin.

> Do Mozilla.org answers requests not written in English?

Yes, where possible, otherwise we pass them to someone who can answer them. But most requests are written in English.

> Is Mozilla.org doing anything to protect their IP in Europe ?

Yes. For example, we made sure we had the rights to the Firefox mark in Europe before choosing it.

> Do Mozilla.org provide official content in other languages ?

No, but neither with Mozilla Europe, as far as I can make out from the FAQ.

> Are there talented unemployed mozilla developpers in Europe ? yes >Is Mozilla going to hire them ? No.

The Mozilla Foundation has hired at least one European (jst) and one New Zealander (bengoodger.)

Gerv

#18 Re: Re: What a prize!

by corwin

Wednesday February 18th, 2004 2:09 AM

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>> Is Mozilla.org doing anything to promote Mozilla actively in Europe ?

>Yes. For example, we have a presence at FOSDEM (me.) And our website has worldwide reach. We do interviews with >European publications if they ask for one.

Which is a very good thing, but real promotion goes much further, any web site has, by nature, worldwide reach :-) Can you provide interviews in French or German too ? After the announcement of mozilla europe yesterday, we got articles about mozilla in European online magazines which had never or barely spoken of mozilla before. Without Tristan volunteering for magazine interviews and demonstrations in computer universities, computer shows and administrations in France (all this on his free time !), we would have never had so much press articles here in France. I am regularly contacted by journalists or companies seeking for information in their language, logically, as a simple user, I shouldn't get these mails, they contact me because they don't know who to contact.

>> Do Mozilla.org answers all requests from Europe?

> We don't assess requests based on country of origin.

In December, a local mozilla group of enthousiasts was about to launch a site which design was an exact copy of the new mozilla.org site so as to promote mozilla by themselves, they contacted Mozilla.org repetedly to know if they could but never got any response. Finally they turned to Tristan who convinced them not to do so. I can tell you several other stories like that :-)

>> Is Mozilla.org doing anything to protect their IP in Europe ?

> Yes. For example, we made sure we had the rights to the Firefox mark in Europe before choosing it.

But until recently mozilla was still sold as a porn adword in yahoo.es and there isn't a week without somebody buying a mozilla.XX domain name (usually user groups which is fine for me).

>> Do Mozilla.org provide official content in other languages ? >No, but neither with Mozilla Europe, as far as I can make out from the FAQ.

Mozilla-Europe Being an official affiliate of mozilla.org with a contract, I guess that it is part of the agreement, you will probably tell us more at FOSDEM ;-)

>> Are there talented unemployed mozilla developpers in Europe ? yes >Is Mozilla going to hire them ? No. >The Mozilla Foundation has hired at least one European (jst) and one New Zealander (bengoodger.)

New Zealand is in Europe :-) ? One person hired isn't much...

Understand that I don't intend to start a flameware or something, but I have been reviewing mozilla feedback in 5 languages and most people in European communities are enthousiast with words like "finally", "great", "it was high time" or 'how can I help". Mozillazine was the only place with no or negative feedback from the start so it kind of pissed me off.

BTW, a European official body will also be good for Tech Evangelism, personnally I abandonned Tech Evangelism 6 months ago, I just can't manage any longer the Spanish component without at least an official site in Spanish I can show to responsibles who have no idea of what Mozilla is. :-(

#14 Re: Re: Why?

by djst

Wednesday February 18th, 2004 12:47 AM

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"Could you indicate me the French or German version of Mozilla.org ? The slovak version ? You do realize that English isn't the only language in the world don't you ?"

That has nothing to do with it. My site has lots of translations, and I myself am from Sweden.

"If I want to deploy Mozilla in my company, can I get support from Mozilla.org ? Answer : no. Will mozilla.org try and hire all the Netscape employees that worked on mozilla full-time in Europe ? no. Even if they would, do you think that these developpers would leave their lifes, houses, family and friends to go and work in the USA ? No, what they do is that they get hired by local companies to work on proprietary software. Can I get a Mozilla executive to come to my company/administration and make a public presentation of Mozilla next week in Paris ? no."

I guess there are benefits from a local organization too. Thanks for the answer, although you could try to be more polite in the future.

#17 Re: Re: Re: Why?

by corwin

Wednesday February 18th, 2004 1:41 AM

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sorry If I sounded impolite, it was really not my intention.

#4 Reply

by Racer

Tuesday February 17th, 2004 11:26 AM

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Its worldwide, but some people still see it as a U.S. project, especially since until recently, it was primarily headed by AOL and Netscape (which are notable U.S. companies). This looks like an attempt to bridge the gap and provide a more "local" Mozilla support structure - something which fence-sitters tend to trust more. Also, it seems this organization is designed from the bottom up to better help non-English-speaking users.

#7 Re: Why?

by jgraham

Tuesday February 17th, 2004 12:36 PM

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<http://www.mozilla-europe.org/en/support/>

Read the bottom of the page. The 'point' of this seems to be getting proper support for Mozilla products in Europe, to the extent that a company upgrading to Mozilla can have a Mozilla engineer on-hand to help out if something goes wrong. One would also presume that the Mozilla-Europe people will oversee other European Mozilla activities like the forthcoming conference and the promotion of Mozilla technologies in European countries.

Even with the rise of the internet and globalisation, geography still counts for something.

#2 I like the design

by mqwtm

Tuesday February 17th, 2004 11:07 AM

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There's no chance of mozilla.org adopting the design, is there? I think it'd be a great improvement.

#5 Re: I like the design

by moixa

Tuesday February 17th, 2004 11:32 AM

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It's really a great design!

What I don't like though is the placement of the language links. They should be rather near the top than the bottom of the pages... Hey webmaster, can you hear me? *wave* (where's the webmaster contact stated anyway..)

#9 Re: I like the design

by thelem

Tuesday February 17th, 2004 3:19 PM

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The webmaster obviously saw you waving - there is now a "Site contact" link next to the language links.

#11 Most densely populated continent?

by davidfraser

Tuesday February 17th, 2004 8:28 PM

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Surely this is rubbish: Asia 152.1 Near East 38.9 Europe 29.7 Africa 25.9 Latin America 25.1 North America 14.6 Oceania 3.5 People per square kilometer in 1998... from <http://www.overpopulation…ation_density/europe.html> etc

#16 right

by leafdigital

Wednesday February 18th, 2004 1:19 AM

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Yes it's rubbish.

Perhaps they meant to say 'more densely populated than the US/North America' or 'larger population than the US/North America', both of which I believe are true.

(Also, it may depend what you count as Europe - for instance I think the current EU is more densely populated than some of those marginal states, but then again, I still don't think it averages higher than Asia...)

#19 Re: please correct the article

by davidfraser

Wednesday February 18th, 2004 2:16 AM

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So could someone correct the article so that it doesn't continue to say what's clearly untrue, or at least clarify the intention? Or should I email mozillazine?

#20 Re: Most densely populated continent?

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Wednesday February 18th, 2004 3:48 AM

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"Surely this is rubbish: Asia 152.1 Near East 38.9 Europe 29.7 Africa 25.9 Latin America 25.1 North America 14.6 Oceania 3.5 People per square kilometer in 1998... from <http://www.overpopulation>…ation_density/europe.html etc"

In need of a way of avoiding saying 'Europe' again, I remembered that I'd heard once that Europe had the highest population density of any continent. I did a Google search for "most densely populated continent" <http://www.google.com/sea…nsely+populated+continent> and the top match said Europe. So in it went. Oops.

On further searching, I've found several sources that claim Europe is the most densely populated continent, as well as several for Asia. The population densities for Europe and Asia (as well as the populations and areas) reported in various places vary wildly. The page you link to above includes several Asian countries in Europe and seems to have invented a new Near East continent.

So I consulted the UN <http://esa.un.org/unpp/> - they say Asia has a population density of 116 people per square kilometer and Europe of 32 people per square kilometer.

Alex

#23 Re: Re: Most densely populated continent?

by w_j_s

Wednesday February 18th, 2004 5:49 AM

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As I can see in your link to the UN, the UN definition of Europe includes Russia with Siberia. This means according to the UN Europe is not a peninsula of Eurasia, it is the nothern part of the eurasian continent with 24 million kmē (Eurasia: 54 million kmē).

But in Siberia the population density is very low (about 1 people/kmē) and there live more people in the Thrace part of Turkey - which is counted as a part of Asia by the UN - than in Siberia). The population density of Europe without Siberia ist therefore much higher: 10 million kmē, 770 Million people = 77 p/kmē (population density in central and western Europe, especially in England, Belgium, the Netherlands, western Germany and northern Italy is much higher).

On the other hand, India, Bangla Desh, Pakistan or China have high population densities, too. China: 1,3 billion people, living on 4 million square kilometers. (the other 5,5 million square kilometers of China are the Tibet Region, the Gobi desert and other regions with a very low population density).

#22 Europe meets Alaska!

by durbacher

Wednesday February 18th, 2004 5:30 AM

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Yeah! Your link (or rather the same page about Asia at <http://www.overpopulation…ulation_density/asia.html>) finally proves that Europe is only 3 miles from Alaska at its easternmost point! So ok, if you count all russia all the way to the Bering Strait being Europe (as this page does), its low population density is understandable (Russia only has 8.6 people/sq. km).

However, only counting the more central (and more _really_) european countries, I guess it's clearer what the article wants to say: There are *really* many people in a small region and most of them are using the Internet. Look at the "core" countries like UK, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium,... (not excluding not mentioned ones): they have a density up to 336 people/sq. km (and all greater than 100) - so compare this to 29.5 people/sq. km in the US or only 3.3 in Canada. It's true India and China have Europe-like densities and are *much* larger than european countries, but you also have to take into account that not everybody is using the Internet in those countries.

So I'd bet Central Europe does have the highest "Internet density" (browsers/sq. km) and that's what counts.

#15 Thoughts

by prometeo

Wednesday February 18th, 2004 1:16 AM

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Good: more Mozilla exposure in Europe, more end user support (believe it or not, many don't speak/understand English), a "tangible" presence for local companies, good mirror :) and (like it or not) a non-American company. Bad: no clear connection (if Gerv knew nothing about this, I wonder what else... not even the web design/content is the same), no clear decision role on mozilla's products, no real diversification. Unresolved: what about local websites supporting mozilla (country-wide)? Can they use logos, images, translate docs using moz.org (or mozeu.org) web design and stuff? Just my E. .02! :) Cheers, prometeo.

#21 Answers to your thoughts.

by tristouille

Wednesday February 18th, 2004 5:04 AM

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Prometeo wrote:

> Gerv knew nothing about this, I wonder what else

Gerv did knew about Mozilla Europe. I have personnaly contacted him via email a few months back to cover this topic.

We also have frequent conference calls with the Mozilla Foundation as we have been working closely together to create the concept of "International affiliate".

The choice of a different Web design was made on purpose, as Mozilla Europe and Mozilla Foundation are different entities.

Mozilla products are made by Mozilla.org. Mozilla Europe is here to help these products be widely used in Europe by promoting them and providing services to help enterprises adopt Mozilla products.

About local websites supporting Mozilla, the answer is on the site, in the FAQ. See <http://www.mozilla-europe…ut/faq/#local-communities>

--Tristan Nitot

#24 But still...

by prometeo

Wednesday February 18th, 2004 9:17 PM

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>Gerv did knew about Mozilla Europe. I have personnaly contacted him via email a few months back to cover this topic.

That doesn't show from messages above, or perhaps he knew but he never liked the idea. Same goes for Asa, which was updated by me (!) about moz-eu.org over IRC...

>Mozilla products are made by Mozilla.org. Mozilla Europe is here to help these products be widely used in Europe by promoting them and providing services to help enterprises adopt Mozilla products.

So basically you are saying that you won't hire developers and work for a contractor, since mozilla.org is where all technical decision are sorted out.

>About local websites supporting Mozilla, the answer is on the site, in the FAQ. See <<http://www.mozilla-europe>…ut/faq/#local-communities>

That doesn't answer my question: can local sites use m.o or meu.o website design (read copy theirs css files and their graphics) to have a similar appearence (maybe just for a few pages, ie the localized start pages)? Cheers, prometeo.

#25 Re: But still...

by Pike2

Thursday February 19th, 2004 1:55 AM

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I'm just speaking for Mozilla Europe, as is Tristan. The Mozilla Foundation knew that we're coming, they knew when and how. Anything else or about individuals is beyond our control and beyond my knowledge.

Mozilla Europe will work on the products. See <http://www.mozilla-europe.org/en/services/> But this will happen under the project lead of the Mozilla Foundation. So, we can say what we would like to do, that we have money to do so, and the manpower. But whether that gets stuff into the tree remains a Mozilla Foundation decision, just like today. The main point here is, just because we have a name with mozilla in it, doesn't take any power of project leadership from the Mozilla Foundation.

As far as copying m.o or meu.o websites goes, the graphics on m.o are still under Mozilla Foundation rule. I bet nobody claims to own CSS or "the design", but that does not mean that you can use the graphics or names unless otherwise indicated. Note that these issues are currently worked on again, as part of the branding stuff. Like, you can use firefox graphics to do banners on your webpage, but you must not use them for your own builds. (IANAL)

Localized start pages are an interesting thing. It might be nice to have them next to the localized product pages, so meu.o would be one possible place to host them. Mozilla Europe will most likely deal with these issues on a page-per-page basis, on request of the author of the corresponding build.

#26 what about mozilla-africa.org?

by coda

Thursday February 19th, 2004 1:59 AM

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I don't think geograpically splitting the Mozilla Organization's efforts is doing it any good, imho. If there are language issues they should be dealt with at a primary level, and by that I mean at Mozilla.org itself - possibly by using subdomains or taking a similar approach: europe.mozilla.org, asia.mozilla.org, africa.mozilla.org... europe.mozilla.org/de/ europe.mozilla.org/fr/ ... etc

Don't get me wrong, I think the idea of localized Mozilla efforts is excellent but the excecution thereof will surely confuse potential customers in the future? There are already so many mozilla community sites each with inconsistent branding - I still don't feel Mozilla.org is consistently branded itself. Now again there's this new Mozilla-Europe.org, looking completely different. There is zero standardisation. I even wonder how well the two sites are integrated in terms of content?

I'd like to see africa.mozilla.org - since South Africa alone has 11 official languages, for which six translations have already been made - see <http://www.translate.za.org> - "open source software translation project".

#27 Re: what about mozilla-africa.org?

by coda

Thursday February 19th, 2004 2:01 AM

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Sorry, correct URL: <http://www.translate.org.za>

#28 re: what about mozilla-africa.org?

by tristouille

Thursday February 19th, 2004 2:19 PM

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Coda,

Let me try to answer your questions. The Mozilla Foundation does an amazing job at doing Mozilla 1.x and other products. I mean, really. But Mozilla Foundation has limited resources, and cannot afford to pay someone to work in Europe. At the same time, Europe is really a place where one can find users, contributors and eventually contracts for the Mozilla browser. Should we leave this territory untapped because the Foundation is lacking resources? When the European Netscape guys were laid off last July, they thought that they could help the Mozilla product to find new users and new contributors in Europe. The idea of Mozilla Europe was born. I was among the three guys that had this idea (two others being Peterv and Daniel Glazman).

We approached the Foundation and discussed how what we needed, and we eventually had a deal. We wanted to have the right to use the name, but still be slightly different. Now Mozilla Europe has launched, it has the brand, the expertise, the mission and a clearly defined territory. I personnally think we are on the right track. No IT manager would deploy a "free" product without local support, expertise. Also, we do help significantly on localization (for product, documentation and Website). This is very important, more for Europe than the Foundation, who has a lot on its plate. But be assured that Mozilla-Europe's participation to the core Mozilla product will land to the Foundation's CVS. Regarding inconsistent branding, we hope to help local communities in Europe in offering their localized builds in a single place on the Web.

Also, it is important to have local persons, in the same timezone, sharing the same concerns (same law, same environment, same concern for local language). Being closer means being more efficient in helping the Mozilla deployment.

Also, to respond on the Mozilla-Africa.org topic, now that Mozilla Europe has worked with Mozilla Foundation to create the notion of "international affiliate", it will be much easier for other countries or continents to become affiliates. So Mozilla Africa is significantly closer to reality than is was just one week ago.

--Tristan Nitot Mozilla Europe.