Posts Tagged with “values”

More On 7 Years of Mozilla Releases

June 7th, 2009

Two artifacts from the Mozilla 1.0 release have got my mind spinning. They are the Mozilla press release for Mozilla 1.0, thoughtfully reprinted in part in an article by Glyn Moody at ComputerWorld, and the T-shirt Tristan posted.

First I noticed how consistent how core message has been. Here’s a couple of excerpts: is excited about releasing the Mozilla 1.0 code and development tools to the open source community, and providing developers with the resources they need to freely create and view the presentation of their content and data on the Web,” said Mitchell Baker, Chief Lizard Wrangler at “As the browser has become the main interface between users and the Web over the past several years, the goal of the Mozilla project is to innovate and enable the creation of standards-compliant technology to keep content on the Web open.”


Mozilla 1.0 will be available in the following languages (with more to follow): Asturian, Chinese, Dutch, Estonian, Galician, German,Georgian, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Malay, Polish, Slovak, Sorbian and Ukrainian.

The message from 7 years ago was focused at developers and not so much on consumers, but it’s the same message. Open content and data, standards, Mozilla as a platform enabling many people to innovate, the importance of the browser to the general state of the Web, and the importance of a multi-language Web — these are key themes today as then.

Second, I’m struck by how we have expanded our reach by reaching out to consumers as well as developers. In the early days, the idea was that Mozilla would build technology, and others (such as Netscape) would build products. In fact, in the the very early days some people felt that Mozilla would release only source code, that even releasing an executable version was beyond the scope of the project. Clearly we’ve come a long way.

Tristan’s shirt shows the developer focus. How does one announce the release of a product? By closing a bug, of course. How does one represent this on a t-shirt? By printing the URL of the bug-tracking system. Today we complement the developer focus with a consumer focus as well. That’s a big change.

Finally, I must have worked on that press release in the cold and funky downstairs computer zone in my house — 2002 was during the period in which I was a volunteer at Mozilla after being “laid off” by Netscape / AOL in the fall of 2001. Next week I’ll move to a new Mozilla office. It’s a long way from 2002.

Mozilla Foundation Statement of Direction

March 6th, 2007

One major set of goals for the Mozilla Foundation Board of Directors is to articulate a crisp Statement of Direction for the Mozilla Foundation, to engage in a dialog with the Mozilla community about direction, and to define the overall scope and increase the visibility of Mozilla Foundation activities.

The first iteration of the Statement of Direction is below. It is intended to be one step more specifically focused on the Mozilla Foundation than the Mozilla Manifesto. I expect to end up with (a) a statement of principles regarding the Internet we hope to see that many groups can use to verify our activities are on the right path — the Mozilla Manifesto; and (b) a Statement of Direction from the Mozilla Foundation as to how the Foundation itself will advance the Manifesto. And then we can turn to the specific actions to be undertaken.

1. The mission of the Mozilla Foundation is to create and promote the Internet as an open platform that supports the principles set out in the Mozilla Manifesto.

2. As described in more detail in the Mozilla Manifesto, an open Internet is one where:

  • People can participate at all levels, with low barriers and without the need to “buy into” a centralized agenda, data source, hardware or software system
  • Open standards are the basis of key technologies
  • Open source software is available for key activities
  • Open alternatives for key Internet activities are competitive with closed, proprietary offerings and with desktop-centric offerings
  • Heterogeneous environments are possible – we don’t all need to use the same hardware, software or data sources
  • People can make and implement decisions about their online experience and their data

3. Building an open Internet requires many actors. The Mozilla Foundation will focus on the areas of our particular strength and expertise.

  • The Mozilla Foundation’s DNA is in building software and building communities; in essence we are building part of the Internet itself.
  • We build (software, communities, the Internet we dream of) by empowering people to help themselves and to work together in a loosely coupled way with maximum transparency.
  • We work primarily in areas that touch individual people. We can think of this as the “user experience” aspect of the Internet.

4. The Mozilla Foundation seeks to effectuate these goals both by building broadly-used products that impact Internet development as a whole, and by empowering people to act in highly decentralized, experimental ways. The work of creating general consumer products that influence broad aspects of Internet development is currently handled through the Mozilla Corporation. The Foundation plans to increase its direct involvement in other activities which enable people to participate in the development and enjoyment of the Internet in a decentralized, self-directed manner.

5. The Mozilla Foundation can do this through any number of programs: grant making, supporting other projects, being the “voice” for users, increasing its operational activities, etc. We’re not yet sure which of these is the right thing, though there is a very strong interest in grant-making, prizes, etc.

6. The next steps are refinement of this statement, and putting the relevant resources in place to develop more specific plans and then to execute well.

The Mozilla Manifesto

February 13th, 2007

Here is the Mozilla Manifesto I described in my last post. I invite you to provide input through the Mozilla “governance” newsgroup.

You can also read a set of past comments and participate through the “mozilla.governance” Google Group.

The Mozilla Manifesto


The Internet is becoming an increasingly important part of our lives.

The Mozilla project is a global community of people who believe that openness, innovation and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet. We have worked together since 1998 to ensure that the Internet is developed in a way that benefits everyone. We are best known for creating the Mozilla Firefox web browser.

The Mozilla project uses a community-based approach to create world-class, open source software, and to develop new types of collaborative activities. We create communities of people involved in making the Internet experience better for all of us.

As a result of these efforts, we have distilled a set of principles that we believe are critical for the Internet to continue to benefit the public good as well as commercial aspects of life. We set out these principles in the Mozilla Manifesto presented below.

These principles will not come to life on their own. People are needed to make the Internet open and participatory — people acting as individuals, working together in groups, and leading others. The Mozilla Foundation is committed to advancing the principles set out in the Mozilla Manifesto. We invite others to join us and make the Internet an ever better place for everyone.


  1. The Internet is an integral part of modern life — a key component in education, communication, collaboration, business, entertainment and society as a whole.
  2. The Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible.
  3. The Internet should enrich the lives of individual human beings.
  4. Individuals’ security on the Internet is fundamental and cannot be treated as optional.
  5. Individuals must have the ability to shape their own experiences on the Internet.
  6. The effectiveness of the Internet as a public resource depends upon interoperability (protocols, data formats, content), innovation and decentralized participation worldwide.
  7. Free and open source software promotes the development of the Internet as a public resource.
  8. Transparent community-based processes promote participation, accountability, and trust.
  9. Commercial involvement in the development of the Internet brings many benefits; a balance between commercial goals and public benefit is critical.
  10. Magnifying the public benefit aspects of the Internet is an important goal, worthy of time, attention and commitment.

Advancing the Mozilla Manifesto

There are many different ways of advancing the principles of the Mozilla Manifesto. We welcome a broad range of activities, and anticipate the same creativity that Mozilla participants have shown in other areas of the project. For individuals not deeply involved in the Mozilla project, one basic and very effective way to support the Manifesto is to use Mozilla Firefox and other products that embody the principles of the Manifesto.

Mozilla Foundation Pledge

The Mozilla Foundation pledges to support the Mozilla Manifesto in its activities. Specifically, we will:

  • build and enable open-source technologies and communities that support the Manifesto’s principles;
  • build and deliver great consumer products that support the Manifesto’s principles;
  • use the Mozilla assets (intellectual property such as copyrights and trademarks, infrastructure, funds and reputation) to keep the Internet an open platform;
  • promote models for creating economic value for the public benefit; and
  • promote the Mozilla Manifesto principles in public discourse and within the Internet industry.

Some Foundation activities — currently the creation, delivery and promotion of consumer products — are conducted primarily through the Mozilla Foundation’s wholly owned subsidiary; the Mozilla Corporation.


The Mozilla Foundation invites all others who support the principles of the Mozilla Manifesto to join with us, and to find new ways to make this vision of the Internet a reality.


Introducing the Mozilla Manifesto

February 13th, 2007

The Mozilla project is about more than simply producing new versions of Firefox. Firefox is important, of course, and our major focus right now. However, Firefox is also important to achieving a broader goal, and it’s important for the project to articulate that goal.

With the help of a number of Mozilla contributors, I have created a draft document called the Mozilla Manifesto. The Manifesto sets out a vision of the Internet as a piece of infrastructure that is open, accessible and enriches the lives of individual human beings. It includes a pledge from the Mozilla Foundation about taking action in support of the principles of the Mozilla Manifesto. It extends an invitation to others to join us, either by working directly with the Foundation or through other activities that support the Mozilla Manifesto.

The goals for the Manifesto are to:

  1. articulate a vision for the Internet that Mozilla participants want the Mozilla Foundation to pursue;
  2. speak to people whether or not they have a technical background;

  3. make Mozilla contributors proud of what we’re doing and motivate us to continue; and
  4. provide a framework for other people to advance this vision of the Internet.

The Mozilla Manifesto has been been presented to a set of several hundred contributors, resulting comments have been reviewed and incorporated where possible. I’ll post the current draft of the Mozilla Manifesto in a separate blog post; I invite you to provide input.

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