[Note: I was traveling and unexpectedly without Internet access last week, so this post is a few days late.]
Ten years ago Netscape planted a seed by launching an organization to create an open source development process for future generation browsers. At the time no one knew how that seed would grow, what kind of open source project would develop, how we would build the key aspects of open source and free software development — transparency, leadership through respect, peer review, participation — into the Mozilla project.
Today we know. We’ve built a vibrant open-source project. We’ve built phenomenal products in an extraordinarily competitive environment. We’ve built communities of people who know that their participation makes a difference in their Internet experience. We’ve built opportunities for people to participate in improving their digital lives. We’ve built an organization that no one could have predicted, that has defied all manner of difficulties and flourished.
We continue to build these things today.
Here is the beginning of that organization:
NETSCAPE ANNOUNCES MOZILLA.ORG, A DEDICATED TEAM AND WEB SITE SUPPORTING DEVELOPMENT OF FREE CLIENT SOURCE CODE
DEVELOPER COMMUNITY WILL GAIN ACCESS TO FREE CLIENT SOURCE CODE, INFORMATION AND OPEN DIALOGUE; INTERNET ADVOCATES CALL MOVE A WIN-WIN FOR CUSTOMERS AND DEVELOPER COMMUNITY ALIKE
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (February 23, 1998) – Netscape Communications Corporation (NASDAQ:NSCP) today announced the creation of mozilla.org, a dedicated team within Netscape with an associated Web site that will promote, foster and guide open dialog and development of Netscape’s client source code. As a follow-on to Netscape’s recent announcement to make the first developer release of Communicator 5.0 source code available for free, mozilla.org will act as a focal point for developers who are interested in modifying and redistributing Netscape client source.Accessible today by going to www.mozilla.org, the Web site will provide a central point of contact and community by encouraging developers to download the client source code, post their enhancements, take part in newsgroup discussions, and obtain and share Communicator-related information with Netscape and others in the Internet community. The mozilla.org site is also accessible through Netscape’s developer Web site at developer.netscape.com.”By making our source code available to the Internet community, Netscape can expand its client software leadership by integrating the best enhancements from a broad array of developers,” said Marc Andreessen, executive vice president of products for Netscape. “This Netscape team will be dedicated to assisting developers in the development of the source code, building a community that addresses markets and needs we can’t address on our own and allowing our customers to reap the benefits through access to superior products.”
“The popularity and success of Apache, the Linux operating system, the BSD version of UNIX and many other software applications prove the value and impact of open source development,” said Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux. “By introducing mozilla.org, Netscape has created an environment that will bring the best of the Internet to a common locale, encouraging developers to create quality products for end users.”
“Netscape is the first major company to exploit the power of the open source strategy,” said Eric S. Raymond, open-source developer and advocate. “Making their client software source code free to developers is a bold move that will do great things for their products.”
As previously announced, Netscape plans to make Netscape Communicator 5.0 source code available to developers and the Internet community beginning later this quarter with the first developer release of the product. More information is accessible today by going to www.mozilla.org or by accessing Netscape’s DevEdge site.