Friday July 18, 2003 (Status Update #208)
This status update page is updated approximately once a week. To get news in between these updates, you are invited to check out MozillaZine, a site devoted to Mozilla news and advocacy.
A new non-profit Mozilla Foundation has been created to serve as the home of mozilla.org. Unlike mozilla.org, the Mozilla Foundation exists as a legal entity. Three members of firstname.lastname@example.org will sit on the Board of Directors — Mitchell Baker (who will serve as President), Brendan Eich and Christopher Blizzard — with Lotus 1-2-3 designer and Open Source Applications Foundation head Mitch Kapor acting as Chair.The work of mozilla.org staff, drivers, reviewers and the module owners will continue as before.
The Mozilla Foundation will be funded by donations from companies such as IBM, Sun Microsystems and Red Hat. America Online has pledged $2,000,000 over the next two years. As before, the Mozilla Foundation will guide the development of Mozilla. While vendors will continue to be encouraged to include Mozilla technology in their products, stable Mozilla builds will now also be marketed to end-users directly for the first time. In addition, the Mozilla Foundation will employ salaried staff (up until now, all full-time Mozilla contributors have been sponsored by other companies).
On Tuesday, AOL Time Warner closed the Netscape browser division and laid off or reassigned most of the development team. AOL has agreed to donate Mozilla-related trademarks, the mozilla.org domain name and equipment (such as the mozilla.org servers) to the Mozilla Foundation. Some staff will be kept on for a couple of months to help with the transition.
While some Netscape developers will continue to contribute to Mozilla as volunteers, the team as a whole will be missed. Netscape made commercial browser development a reality and later showed the world that a major proprietary product could be successfully turned into an open-source project. Messages from ex-Netscape employees can be found at ex-mozilla.org.
A project to create a standalone version of Mozilla Calendar, dubbed Mozilla Sunbird, has been started. Files can be found in the calendar/sunbird directory of the CVS repository.
The trunk is currently open (but check tinderbox for the latest status).