Archive for November 7th, 2006

Welcome Tamarin

November 7th, 2006

Today we welcome the Tamarin project to the Mozilla world. Tamarin is the JavaScript virtual machine created by Adobe for use with the Adobe Flash Player. JavaScript — the language of the web — and the Mozilla project have always been intimately tied. JavaScript was originally created by Brendan Eich in 1995. A few years later Brendan was one of the founders of the Mozilla Organization. The Mozilla project has hosted the development of key JavaScript technologies since its founding in 1998. (Originally known as JavaScript, the technology was given the name ECMAScript when submitted to the ECMA standards body.)

More specifically, the Tamarin project means:

  • Adobe has contributed Tamarin to the Mozilla project
  • The source code is now open source (MPL, with the tri-license option) and available from Mozilla source code repository
  • The Mozilla Foundation now hosts the development of Tamarin as part of the Mozilla project and development process
  • Adobe and Mozilla developers will work together to create a version of Tamarin that will be used both in Adobe’s products and in Mozilla’s products, including Firefox.
  • Mozilla contributors will be able to participate in development of Tamarin as they do in all other aspects of Mozilla open-source development.

This is an exciting development. It represents many years of work, and highlights several important developments.

  1. Convergence on a key technology. We will be sharing resources to build a single community working on a single version. That’s good news. Web developers will be able to focus on a single, more robust technology. That’s great news.
  2. The Mozilla project is about creating a vibrant, open Internet. We are best known for Mozilla Firefox, but our goal is much broader — to promote development of an open, standards-based Internet, with low barriers to participation and useful innovation. Firefox is one tool in this effort. Technologies such as JavaScript are another. JavaScript provides a low barrier to entry, uncountable people and websites use JavaScript quite separately from any focus on Firefox, and improving JavaScript improves the capabilities of the Internet itself.
  3. Vitality of the Mozilla project. The Mozilla project is undoubtedly the correct home for Tamarin. The Mozilla project has demonstrated a long-term ability to host and lead JavaScript development. We have the community, the infrastructure, the will and the experience to welcome a new project like Tamarin, and to help a company like Adobe make a transition into our project. We’ve been around for a good while and we demonstrate both staying power and leadership in innovation.
  4. Resources. The Mozilla Firefox web browser generates revenue. This revenue has allowed the Mozilla Corporation to fund an increasing number of developers. This in turn has allowed us to devote more of time to forward-looking ECMAscript design and development. Brendan is the convenor for the ECMAscript working group on ECMAscript Edition 4, in which Adobe is also playing an active role. Improvements in ECMAscript are a significant part of our Mozilla 2 technology roadmap. Brendan is leading work on both the specification of the language itself and on Mozilla’s future implementation. The ability to do so and simultaneously deliver high quality JavaScript capabilities in Firefox is a demonstration of the degree to which the Mozilla project has been able to scale our efforts.

The Internet is still new. Our Mozilla 2 roadmap lays out areas where we can help improve the overall usefulness of the Internet. It’s a challenging roadmap with a lot of great work to be done. The challenge matches the benefit -– an Internet where user experience is improving, where key technologies are both open standards and open source, and where increasing numbers of people can participate. It’s exciting, it’s fun and it’s worthwhile.

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