Archive for January 24th, 2005

Ben and Mozilla Firefox

January 24th, 2005

Ben Goodger has just noted that his employer has switched from the Mozilla Foundation to Google. We expect Ben’s role within the Mozilla project to be just about the same as the role he’s played for the last 18 months — pushing Firefox and the Mozilla platform ahead, and focusing on improving people’s experience with the Web. Ben has been the lead engineer for Mozilla Firefox because of his talents and drive, not because of his employment status with the Mozilla Foundation. We expect this to remain true.

This is not unusual in the world of the Mozilla project. A number of people have moved from one employer to another within the Mozilla project. IBM, Novell, Sun, Red Hat, Oracle and now Google have employees contributing to the Mozilla project — some dedicated, some part time, and some as individual contributors. Having multiple companies offer jobs to key Mozilla figures has long been a part of our view of a successful project and we’ve traditionally worked closely with companies whose employees contribute to the Mozilla project. We’re looking forward to more great progress with Firefox and the Mozilla platform, and we don’t foresee changes in Ben’s role.

Some people have asked if this means that Google has a corporate voice in Mozilla Firefox. The answer is “no.” Ben is the Module Owner for Firefox, and as Module Owner he has responsibilities to the Mozilla community. These responsibilities are documented in our policy on Module Owners and Ownership. The key responsibility is that the Module Owner’s job is to act in the best interests of the community and the project at large, not in the interests of his or her employer. Ben has lived with these responsibilities as a volunteer, a Netscape employee, a Mozilla Foundation employee and now as a Google employee. We’re confident that Ben will continue to help us drive great innovations in the browsing world.

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