Clearing Up Mozilla's Status

Friday July 2nd, 1999

David Polberger has some good news from people who were dismayed by comments from Alan Baratz of Sun regarding Mozilla's future.

David writes, "... just posted this news item to its main page [click the link to read the full text of the comment]:

"...Our contributors and staff are responsible for the management of all browser development. As a major contributor, AOL completely supports our efforts... We would like to stress that Sun was not speaking for or for AOL."

This is good news. I got the impression that Alan B. was speaking for himself more than any official position. Anyway, I thought that Sun was only responsible for Netscape's server efforts, not their client efforts...

#1 Re:Clearing Up Mozilla's Status

by BrerBear

Monday July 5th, 1999 3:07 PM

I've seen at least one posted email message from Alan Baratz, in response to someone inquiring to him directly about this article, in which he indicates that he was completely misinterpreted by the reporter.

Not surprising, though, since Alan Baratz has no say in Mozilla and is from Javasoft, not AOL, something the article conveniently downplayed. He was trying to publicize Javasoft's Java Community Process by comapring it to Mozilla's community process, that's all.

The folly of irresponsible reporting. We'll probably see this article quoted in the New York Times as another "proof" of Mozilla's failure, no doubt.

#2 Re:Clearing Up Mozilla's Status

by Ben_Goodger

Monday July 5th, 1999 5:08 PM

This is entirely unsurprising for CNet, a site which has been shouting Netscape's demise for as long as I can remember. I guess its just easier to report badly than to get one's facts straight.

#3 Has Berst heard of this yet?

by Cynic

Monday July 5th, 1999 5:12 PM

...and we can probably expect to see Jesse Berst send out a "Berst Alert" proclaiming doom and gloom for Mozilla.Org, kind of like a monkey with electrodes in his brain. You provide the stimulus, and Chimp-boy reacts with arrogant assumptions.

But enough of that. The *good* thing here is that we all did a reality check, went over the NPL and MozPL and saw that there is no way in hell that the source can be retracted. And THAT is a good thing, that this issue has been gotten out of the way before even version 1.0 of Mozilla (5.0 of Netscape).

-=Yusuf=-, drinking from the half-full glass.

#4 Re:Clearing Up Mozilla's Status

by BehrQattz

Monday July 5th, 1999 5:18 PM

You can't blame only C|Net. I find C|Net as good as any. It's the media's over-reaction to stories and their need for a hot story to generate revenue. If there isn't a hot story, they create one. And what better place than in the extremely volatile computing industry? Unfortunately, people's ignorance and willingness to believe anything in text is as much as fault. Why do you suppose the National Enquirer sells so much? With this in mind, members and supporters of the Mozilla (and Open Source) project should be the first to look skeptically upon any information of its demise.

#5 Re:Clearing Up Mozilla's Status

by Waldo

Tuesday July 6th, 1999 12:31 AM

I read that story and it REALLY seemed like the headline didn't match the story and there was another agenda. Yeah, that's probably paranoid, but I was just reading the quote and I'm like "that doesn't seem to be what the headline said..."

It was amazing the way the slashdot followup consisted of "yeah, mozilla is a failure..." Just goes to show how momentum and perception makes all the difference.


#6 Re:Clearing Up Mozilla's Status

by locka

Tuesday July 6th, 1999 6:35 AM

The thing to ask anyone who says Mozilla is a failure, is how many people do you think contributed to Gnome/Gimp/Linux/KDE/Emacs/Gcc while they were in the alpha phase?

The answer of course is a handful of people at most. But things change.

As Mozilla becomes more stable, more useful and more feature complete, so the number of developers and testers increases.

In other words, it is a snowball effect.

Even at this early stage, I have heard it said that there are already 35 external developers actively contributing to Mozilla (myself included). By late beta this is likely to increase to several hundred with tens of thousands others building the source and running Mozilla for themselves.

And by the time 1.0 arrives, every Linux release, magazine CD and countless web and FTP sites will have Mozilla and/or Netscape Communicator 5.0 available for people to install. At that time _millions_ of people will be using it, with thousands of developers and web site authors writing code, skins or content for it.

So Mozilla is far from a failure. It is a success in the making.

#7 Re:Clearing Up Mozilla's Status

by xgray

Tuesday July 6th, 1999 9:00 AM

This was certainly a case of 'mainstream press gets it wrong again'. The same day the story broke last week, i saw ESR at a lecture in Autin, and he was very quick to dispell and doom and gloom rumors. He also made is clear that the Mozilla project has already had great success insuring that open standards on the Web remain open.

#8 Re:Clearing Up Mozilla's Status

by petejc

Tuesday July 6th, 1999 9:26 AM

last count was 53 outside developers.

yep when MOZ get more stable it will absolutely be a snowball effect.

#9 Re:Clearing Up Mozilla's Status

by beg

Tuesday July 6th, 1999 5:00 PM

Little off the topic, but i think AOL should add more programers it pays..

If you think about it, it just makes sense.

The more programers you have the more money it costs to hire all of them. The more programers the faster the product comes to market and the sooner you make money from that product. In the end, you will still spend the same amount of money and make the same amount of revenue from the product? Doesn't this just make sense. I am ready for Netscape5.0 as much as the next person and the sooner it comes out the happier i will be.

I would love to see AOL say, "we are going to hire 100 more programers to speed up the development of Netscape5.0"

so if anyone who reads this works for AOL, tell Steve Case to hire more people!! =)

#15 Re:Clearing Up Mozilla's Status

by Anon

Friday July 16th, 1999 9:11 AM

Brooke's Law would tend to discount your argument, assuming its still valid in this brave new world of open source...

#10 Re:Clearing Up Mozilla's Status

by Ben_Goodger

Tuesday July 6th, 1999 6:28 PM

Actually, hiring more people almost always slows things down unless they're already clued up about what needs to be done. If you did that, you'd have to teach 100 new people to understand the code - the time to do which would be less time working on code.

I think working on the Mozilla code an excellent job for someone to do, but independently of Netscape -- similar to what NeoPlanet is trying to do, where developers can be added without draining resources from Netscape.

thats just my $0.04 =)

#11 Re:Clearing Up Mozilla's Status

by Anon

Tuesday July 6th, 1999 9:15 PM

The issue here is not C/Net's reporting, it's Alan Baratz. He's constantly speaking on behalf of people and organizations for which he has no authority or responsibility. When the AOL/Netscape acquistion was announced, he claimed that the next Netscape browser would be written in Java, and that the AOL 5.0 client would be written in Java. Time and again he misrepresents someone else's facts. I'm not sure why he still has credibility with the decent folks over at C/Net and elsewhere.

#12 Re:Clearing Up Mozilla's Status

by locka

Wednesday July 7th, 1999 2:48 AM

I don't know about the AOL client being written in Java, but it could certainly be written using the Mozilla technology.

Since AOL 5.0 has already been announced, this sort of thing would probably have to wait until AOL 6.0 (if it ever happened at all).

#13 Re:Clearing Up Mozilla's Status

by SomeSmartAss

Wednesday July 7th, 1999 1:46 PM

"Since AOL 5.0 has already been announced, this sort of thing would probably have to wait until AOL 6.0 "

They'll have to wait untill their contract with Microsoft is over.. But i think I remember reading somewhere that the wantted to base their TV-Top boxes on Mozilla, as well as some chat doo-hickey...

#14 Re:Clearing Up Mozilla's Status

by locka

Thursday July 8th, 1999 10:24 AM

Even if AOL had a contract with MS, they could still make their client work unofficially with the Mozilla control :)

Seriously though, the client software is just half of the problem. I expect most of their server side stuff needs updating too to serve out non-IE specific HTML.