More From CNet

Thursday October 7th, 1999

CNet's Paul Festa can't seem to write an article that lacks a negative mention of Mozilla. His latest regards comments made by Linus Torvalds. Linus states, "Netscape is an example of one that did not get the interaction going between the outside world and the Mozilla project. Yes, it became open source, but to some degree it never took off like they hoped for."

I wish Linus would have discussed the state of the Linux development community after its first year. From accounts I have read Linux was not receiving as much outside help as Mozilla after a year of development. But somehow, Linux managed to thrive. Imagine that.

Between the newsgroups,, Bugzilla, LXR, Tinderbox, #mozilla and Bonsai, I think has covered all the bases. What interaction did Linus expect, exactly, that doesn't already provide?

And with MathML, the BeOS port, the OS/2 port, the QNX port, "Jabber" and the XML parser all done by non-Netscape coders, I'm curious to know where he got the impression that Mozilla lacked interested developers.

Maybe CNet?

Thanks to gerbil for the news.

#1 Lets be fair

by Anon

Friday October 8th, 1999 2:37 AM

There are a couple of things here, a) The opinion of Torvalds on the outside participation on Mozilla is probably based upon what he has been reading in the press, which again is based upon the view of Jamie Zawinski upon leaving.

b) The mozilla project did have problems with recruitement in the begining, much of the help recieved was porting to small plattforms such as OS/2, BeOs and Amiga. Which in itself probably led to general bugs being discovered and fixed, but did little to help improve the general progress of the project. The Linux hackers who had come aboard was also tied up with porting Mozilla from motif to Gtk.

c) Comparing the first year of Linux and the first year of Mozilla would be futile. Mozilla was a high-profile project launched into a large open-source community. Linux was a small student project, launched into a open-source community just starting to come into play.

I think what is important now is to focus on the positive trend that Mozilla is in. With the recent press releases from the mozilla project telling about the increased number of external developers, the increased co-operation and code-sharing between the mozilla and the GNOME project. And with the Linux developers having completed the move to Gtk, enabling them to work on other stuff. I think the public perception of the Mozilla project will change. And so will the view of Linus Torvalds.

That my opinion at least.

#2 What does he expect?

by locka

Friday October 8th, 1999 4:49 AM

To brand Mozilla a failure is a stupid statement by anyone, but especially Linus. Any open source project, be it the Linux kernel, Gnome, Gimp, or KDE has few external developers while in alpha development.

That's just a fact of life. Having said that, Mozilla already has a lot of external developers which is to its credit.

And as the project progresses and the product becomes more featureful and stable, new volunteers will literally jump out of the woodwork to assist.

Mark my words, when Mozilla hits beta, downloads will double or triple over night. By final release it will be tenfold or more.

"If you build it they will come."

#3 Linus down on big corporations

by xgray

Friday October 8th, 1999 8:37 AM

Linus did not limit his criticism to Netscape/Mozilla alone. He seems to be rather unhappy with the open or semi-open source projects being touted by other big corporations as well. Seems to be more of a philosophical problem on his part then a criticism based upon any actual personal knowledge of the Mozilla project.

#4 Open Source FUDDERs

by Anon

Friday October 8th, 1999 3:23 PM

I remember ERS said something similar not too long ago. Its a real shame too. Netscape really took a chance and no one seems to give them credit for all their success.

Its comments from Open Source leaders that make me wish Linux goes the way of the Dodo, or would OS/2 be more fitting.

#5 Congratulations

by Anon

Saturday October 9th, 1999 2:28 PM

Great job guys I think Linus needs to get off the soapbox before he falls keep it up