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Embedding Gecko Basics

Why Gecko

Gecko is the smart embedding choice. It is quick, robust, and highly standards compliant. In its Mozilla and Netscape incarnations, it has been widely distributed and very well reviewed.

It is Open Source. Unlike other embedding choices, all of Gecko's source code is freely available and fully customizable. You can tinker and tweak as much as you need. Yet, depending on the license chosen, it is quite possible to use Gecko as a component in what is otherwise a fully proprietary commercial product.

And because Gecko is associated with the Mozilla project, there are many resources available to assist the embedding effort. The Mozilla web site,, has an embedding project area at There is a newsgroup, netscape.public.mozilla.embedding, focussed on exchanging information among embedders, as well as a number of other related newsgroups. A complete cross-reference for the codebase is available at And filing, following the progress of, and helping to fix any bugs is made simple through the Bugzilla bug database,

Gecko is also architected from the ground up to be cross-platform. Directly from, it runs on Wintel, Mac OS 9.0 and OS X, and Linux, and there are third-party ports to a number of other platforms.

Finally, licensing Gecko is royalty-free, even if the final application is an otherwise proprietary commercial product. Very generally, any modifications of the original Mozilla-supplied source code (but not the code in which it is embedded) must be returned to the community, that same original code must be made available to the application's users (often by a link to the website), and the application must indicate in some obvious way (for example, a logo on the box or on the About: page) that the product embeds Gecko. Exact descriptions of the possible licensing arrangements are presented at, which is the only legally complete source for licensing information.

Written by: Ellen Evans | Comments, questions, complaints? Bug 141350