What is the Mozilla application suite?

The Mozilla application suite is a sophisticated set of Internet client software that integrates

The suite is designed to work consistently across many operating systems, a significant benefit for anyone who interacts with heterogeneous software and hardware environments. Supported platforms include: Win32 (Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000 and XP), MacOS (8.5, 8.6, 9.x and OS X), Linux, BSD/OS, FreeBSD, HPUX, Caldera OpenUNIX8 and Unixware 7.1.1, OpenVMS, OS/2, Solaris, and Tru64 Unix.

And the codebase is open source, giving users a vast set of rights and options not available when using proprietary software.

Who can use the Mozilla application suite?

The suite is intended to be used by distributors, but anyone can use the Mozilla application suite in their products under the MPL and NPL (Mozilla and Netscape Public Licenses).

The Mozilla product is freely redistributable as is or in modified form, and third parties are expected to repackage and rebrand as they see fit. These third parties may also choose to provide additional documentation and/or support to meet the needs of their audiences.

In addition, end users who want Internet browsing, an e-mail/news client and chat may also download the application suite directly from Our recent milestone releases have been downloaded between 300,000 and 400,000 times each, so a number of people are choosing to use Mozilla software as released by

However, releases from are targeted at distributors and developers. does not plan to market to the general public, nor are we able to provide general public end-user support; support is limited to several end-user self-support newsgroups.

Our hope is that most users will obtain Mozilla as part of a free or paid-for third-party redistribution, such as those of Netscape, Red Hat, IBM or Beonex. Other applications of Mozilla technology are also in development.

What is the Mozilla toolkit?

The Mozilla toolkit combines a set of components (such as the Gecko layout engine, JavaScript engine, networking libraries and portability layer) and programming tools (a JavaScript debugger, DOM inspector, etc.) with convenient means to program them using technologies such as XML, CSS and ECMAScript (JavaScript).

Within this single framework it is possible to create applications ranging from the trivial (such as web pages) to the sophisticated, such as the Mozilla browsing, e-mail and chat applications themselves.

What other products can be built from the Mozilla codebase?

Aside from the Mozilla product, OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) have mixed and matched parts from the modular Mozilla codebase to build a broad range of products. Some of these products are other browsers, such as Galeon and Chimera (a Gecko-based browser for Mac OS X).

Some products embed Mozilla’s rendering engine (known as “Gecko”) in other applications, allowing those applications to understand and display HTML. Examples include Intel’s Dot.Station and the soon-to-be-shipping set-top boxes from Worldgate.

Other products use components such as ECMAScript (JavaScript) and Mozilla’s cryptographic capabilities for products that have little to do with browsers. For example, ActiveState uses Mozilla technologies to build its Komodo IDE developer tool, while OEone uses Mozilla technologies to build a “hometop” operating environment for the home-based computer user.

Over 70 projects that use Mozilla technology can be found at

The Mozilla codebase is open source software, meaning that it can be used, modified and distributed without charge. The licensing terms for the code have been carefully developed to allow others to combine Mozilla code with proprietary code and create commercial products for which a fee is charged. Of course, it can also be used to build other non-proprietary software.

What is Mozilla 1.0?

Mozilla 1.0 is the first major-version release of:

Mozilla 1.0 also marks a level of API stability and maturity. A major effort in reaching Mozilla 1.0 has been the identification and finalization of a set of APIs (application programming interfaces) that will provide a stable base for those who will use Mozilla to build additional applications and functionality.

A select group of APIs have been marked “@FROZEN.” intends to maintain API compatibility for this set until Mozilla 2.0. A list of APIs that are frozen as of Mozilla 1.0 is also available.

Mozilla 1.0 also marks the first point at which will maintain both stable and developmental branches of the codebase.

Significant new development will occur on the trunk, leaving the branch to maintain its stability and performance characteristics. In this way, companies and projects wishing to build products using Mozilla code will have access to a long-lived, stable branch and need not concern themselves with the daily or weekly changes in the most recent development cycle.

What are the advantages of open source software?

The source code of open source software is available, free of charge, for any use. This provides many advantages:

The engineering and development advantages of open source software have been discussed at length in The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Open source software also offers many advantages to recipients.

For instance, there are often bugs in software that the vendor doesn’t find particularly important but are critically so for a user or OEM. With open source software, recipients are not limited to applying pressure on the vendor or paying the vendor to have bugs fixed. Recipients are free to fix bugs themselves.

If a recipient doesn’t have the expertise or prefers not to work with particular open source software, he or she can enter into support or contracting agreements with others – not just the original vendor – to have a bug fixed.

End-of-life concerns are also important, since users and OEMs are often negatively affected when a vendor chooses to end support for a product, which can force recipients to up-grade or switch products against their wills.

With open source software, no one can force the end of a product. People may stop working on the project, but others can decide to maintain and develop the code. Users and OEMs thus have options not available with proprietary software: they can choose to move to another product if that appears to be the best solution – but they can also choose to maintain the software in question or to join with others to do so.

The same is true if product development moves in a direction incompatible with a user’s or OEM’s needs: the recipient can choose to move to a different product, but can also choose to maintain the software (or to join with others to do so).

One consequence of this way of maintaining and developing software is the development of a distributed pool of expertise and leadership. With proprietary software, expertise is usually concentrated and limited to the vendor’s employees, but in an open source project anyone with skill and interest can join the project and develop expertise.

Companies using Mozilla code in their products can develop in-house expertise at many levels. They may choose to concentrate on specialized functionality of unique importance to their product or to develop expertise in Mozilla’s core components. With expertise and commitment comes leadership, and with leadership comes greater impact on future development of the software.