Archive for November, 2004

Firefox 1.0 Now Available

November 8th, 2004

Firefox represents something new for us — a release that is squarely aimed at the end-user. A great browser where power features don’t get in the way of the general user. It’s sleek, innovative, accessible to mere mortals and also packs enough punch for the most sophisticated power user. If you’ve been waiting to try Firefox or to recommend it to others until it has the official stamp of approval, now’s the time.

This release also marks a new era in our international focus. I’m not sure one can imagine how much work is involved in the localization effort until one has tried it. In addition, our localization teams are all volunteers. That’s right, volunteers. People volunteer in order to have Firefox available in the language they care about. This involves not only the actual localization, but reviewing and verifying all aspects of the localizations, waiting for our build cycles to complete, working at odd times to hook up with everyone else and helping the Mozilla Foundation figure out how best to manage such a massive task. And of course, all this needs to be done on a very tight timeframe. I am regularly astonished by the outpouring of support for the Mozilla project, and the localization effort is a perfect example.

In addition to improved localization, Firefox 1.0 also has integrated search capabilities, both in the Search Box and in the startpage. We know that search is a critically important feature of the web, and we’ve worked to make Firefox’s search functionality as useful as possible. Firefox ships with a set of search plug-ins, allowing the user to select the search engine which works best for his or her needs. In addition, one can choose to add a broad range of additional search engines quite simply.

In keeping with our emphasis on the end-user, we have redesigned the Firefox startpage. We wanted a startpage that reflected the Mozilla project and provided a good access point to the web. Given the importance of search, we decided to add search functionality to the start page itself. Google has long been recognized as a leader in search experience and so we chose Google.

We provide access to search services from a range of sources including Google, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay and others you can see in Firefox. We expect to see some funds come to the Foundation as a result of our integrated search. We’ll use any funds that result to help support the Mozilla Foundation’s non-profit operations. When finances are involved questions often arise about their influence on an organization and we’ll spend some time talking about this as we go forward.

For now, I want to express my admiration for the vitality and commitment of the Mozilla community. The Firefox 1.0 release builds on the work of hundreds of programmers and QA contributors and thousands of participants. It also highlights the efforts of new groups of participants, including:

  • the Visual Identity team — a new group of volunteers that has brought great polish to Firefox, our new mail client Thunderbird, and our website;
  • Spread Firefox — the admins who spearhead community marketing campaigns, and the thousands using their creative energy to let others know about Firefox;
  • Mozilla Europe and Mozilla Japan — our international affiliates who assist with all manner of activities for users outside of the United States;
  • an increasing number of people employed to work on Mozilla technology, some within the Mozilla Foundation and many funded by other entities; and
  • the millions of people who have downloaded the Firefox preview releases.

The breadth and depth and innovation of the Mozilla community continues to bring unprecedented results. Mozilla Firefox is a great browser, and a testament to the thousands of people who have contributed their energies to bring innovation, creativity and choice to the web.

Rediscover the Web — Get Firefox

Firefox End User License Agreement

November 8th, 2004

The source code of Mozilla’s browsing and email clients is available under the Mozilla Public License (the “MPL”), an open source license certified by the Open Source Initiative. Until now we’ve used the MPL for our executable releases as well. It hasn’t been a perfect match, as the MPL is aimed at source code. And even if we change the MPL to clearly apply to executables it’s still an odd fit. One might have the right under the MPL to modify the code of the executable, but source code is the natural way to make most modifications.

The MPL is not designed for the average consumer who isn’t interested in the complexity of a license aimed at development methodologies. (That’s assuming the average End User is really interested in any End User License Agreement. Even with all my background in this area I find it tedious to read through End User License Agreements, so I can only imagine that someone who’s not trained in this and only interested in getting something done may not pay much attention to the license.)

Periodically people have suggested that our executables should ship with a EULA rather than the MPL. This is particularly true with Mozilla Firefox, which is aimed at end-users as well as our traditional developer community. So we’ve done this with the 1.0 release. I had hoped to get the EULA included much earlier, but my to-do list is longer than my capacity to execute.

The Firefox EULA is pretty basic. That’s not to say it is as short as I would like — just including the standard clauses takes space. I thought about doing some things with the EULA that aren’t standard in the industry, like talking about distribution rights so that people wouldn’t need to look elsewhere. But it turns out that this adds complexity and I decided to leave this out, at least for now. I’ve written many EULAs in the past — almost every EULA that Netscape every used, in fact. But I haven’t focused on this in recent years, and now I rely on legal counsel to remain up to date and vet the content of the license. In this, as in so many other things, I want to thank Heather Meeker of Greenberg Traurig for her great help and unflagging positive nature in the face of time constraints and great demands.

Many people, especially programmers, ask me why there is so much “shouting” in EULAs. The answer is that consumer protection statutes often require notices to be “conspicuous” so that consumers see them. One way to make things conspicuous is to have them in all capital letters. That leaves the license pretty disturbing to programmers who associate all caps with yelling, but it is hard to change given the legal parameters within which a EULA operates.

We would also like to have translated versions of the Firefox EULA and we’re working on getting this done.

I suspect that the Firefox EULA is not perfect. If I had more time I would have distributed it for review and comment. Firefox 1.0 is only the beginning of great new releases from the Mozilla project, and the license can improve along with other aspects. The Firefox EULA can be found at the Mozilla website.

Erroneous Press Article

November 6th, 2004

I see that Red Herring has an article based on an interview with Bart Decrem. I am astonished at the content of this article. Let me give a few specifics.

The entity calling itself “” is not a for-profit spin-off of the Mozilla Foundation. I repeat, not. The Mozilla Foundation does not have a for-profit spin-off. The entity calling itself is not a spin-off of the Mozilla Foundation in any sense. It is an independent organization, not a part of the Mozilla Foundation. Whatever dreams the entity calling itself has for making money are not the dreams of the Mozilla Foundation. The entity calling itself cannot be an extension of the Mozilla Store.

I am deeply distressed by this article. It does not accurately represent either the actions or the dreams of the Mozilla Foundation.

Update: It looks like Red Herring has moved the article. And the website for “mozsource” describes the relationship between that entity and the Mozilla Foundation. So it looks like the chance of confusion has been alleviated.

People on the Move

November 5th, 2004

We have some additions and changes to the Mozilla Foundation employees, and I’d like to make some belated introductions.

First, we’d like to thank Leaf Nunes for his years of full time work and ongoing volunteer efforts as build engineer for the Mozilla project. Leaf filled this role full time for many years with panache, good humor and great skill. Leaf remains involved with the Mozilla project but is moving to a different challenge for his full time employment. Jonathan Granrose has been helping us temporarily on build issues and a giant thanks to Jon as well.

We’re thrilled to welcome Chase Phillips as our new build engineer. Chase comes to us from Champaign, Illinois, where he worked at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications — the birthplace of Mosaic! — and continues to volunteer for the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network. Chase has been with us for about a month now, learning his way around our massive build system, picking Jon’s brain and generally trying not to sink under the weight of things we keep throwing his way. For those of you you have noticed the recent expansion of our build systems to include localized builds (30 localizations so far) you’ll know why we think Chase is up to the challenge. You can reach Chase at

Second, Christopher Beard joined the Foundation about 3 weeks ago. Linux folks may remember Chris from his days as co-founder and CEO of The Puffin Group, where he launched the project to port Linux to HP’s PA-RISC architecture, helped organize the Ottawa Linux Symposium, and ultimately became Linuxcare’s General Manager for its Emerging Services business after Linuxcare acquired The Puffin Group. Chris later joined HP’s Linux Systems Division in a strategic, product management and general organizational role — a broad mixture that makes his experience invaluable for the Mozilla Foundation. Most recently, Chris has been honing his international and business expertise through a stint at business school in the UK and Spain.

Finally, Bart Decrem is moving to a new role. Bart has made enormous contributions to the Mozilla project, launching our marketing and PR efforts, generally bringing a consumer focus to the Foundation, driving the Spread Firefox effort and also working with business and enterprises interested in the project. This has been a big help in getting the Foundation off to the great start that we’ve had. After driving these efforts since the Foundation’s launch, Bart is now joining the company that operates the Mozilla Store to help develop their Mozilla and other opportunities. Bart plans to remain in the Mozilla world as one of the Spread Firefox leaders, a friend to the Foundation, and generally bringing the spark of his energy and creativity to the project.

Skip past the sidebar