“It has been learned through public and private sources that AOL has cut or will cut the remaining team working on Mozilla in a mass firing and are dismantling what was left of Netscape (they’ve even pulled the logos off the buildings). Some will remain working on Mozilla during the transition, and will move to other jobs within AOL.” Read the article at MozillaZine. Elsewhere, the MozillaFoundation was created. In other browser news, Epiphany 0.8 was released, and OmniWeb 4.5 beta3 too.
AOL Cuts Remaining Mozilla Hackers
Submitted by Neo Gigs 2003-07-16 Mozilla, Gecko 39 Comments
The end of an era, no doubt. First used Netscape back in 1995, how times have changed. I’m a little sad.
Well guys, to all good things an ending. Thanks netscape for everything, loved every minute of it. Netscape was my first browser as well. I really do hate to see the lighthouse go out.
Joel Spolsky was one of the people who called it: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/news/20030601.html
Considering that AOL spent $4.2 billion to buy Netscape, you’d think somebody would have noticed that they already have a browser component. Aha, but they don’t. The Internet Explorer component is so much easier to embed in applications than Gecko that it probably comes down to the programmers on the AOL client team who just don’t want to undergo the pain to embed Gecko. Now, if you’re a programmer at AOL working on Mozilla, and you like your job, you might want to think about what it’s going to take to make your happy little division actually useful to AOL so you aren’t jettisonned. My highest priority would be to implement Mozilla as a COM control that supports the same embedding interfaces as IE, so that the AOL programmers can switch to Gecko. Oh, look! There is one Netscape employee, Adam Lock, working on this! And he says, “be advised that these ActiveX related projects are my own personal efforts and have absolutely nothing to do with my employer. I work on them when and if I have the time.” Yo, Netscape employees! This poor sod Adam Lock is working in his spare time to save all your jobs. Wake up.
Pretty strongly-worded. I wonder how true it is.
And to think the end of Netscape started way back with Win95 and the bundling of Spyglass Mosaic..oops, I mean Internet Explorer into the operating system.
And MSFT gave AOL $750 million more to put the final nail in it’s coffin.
Where can I can binaries for the latest Epiphany and Mozilla 1.4 for RH9?
When they can get people to work on Mozilla for free, on their spare time…
If Gecko is so hard to embed, why are there so many browsers that do it? Once again, Spolski is talking out of his backside.
Well, it’s too bad. I hope the Mozilla project remains strong. It has been an amazing story, and now I wonder where it will go next….
I don’t think that this will spell the end of Mozilla. The code is available, and I am sure that a lot of companies have a vested interest in seeing a worthy open-source competitor to IE on the market (think: IBM, RedHat, Sun, HP etc).
Besides, being open source, the code is available, and cannot be crushed.
Sorry to hear that the developers are going to lose their jobs though. There are some good programmers there.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Mozilla and it has been my main browser (99% of the time) over IE. And I feel sorry that so many developers have lost their jobs.
But right now the browser is being put back in its place… displaying static pages.
Browsers and HTML in general have not progressed very much in the past 5 years (tabbed browsing is the only exception I can think of). As a result companies like Macromedia have started to pitch the CENTRAL/RIA (Rich Internet Application) model to designers and programmers. The idea is to shed the browser and use flash as the smart-interface for everything.
Unless IE starts to heat things up and make web browsing a progressive experience again it won’t really matter that Mozilla builds will be churned out at a slower pace (or not at all). In other words we have a browser that does everything we need it to. I do hope Mozilla continues but will remain happy even if 1.4 is the last version I download.
I really hope this news is not happening AOL has as much as hjalf of all the people working on Mozilla/Netscape and full time too doing this will be a terrible thing for the communit yand IMO AOL, if they invested more time in netscape they could of made it the killer reason to use AOL and NEtscape 7/1 is definetely the best brwoser around.
I really hope things turn around for Mozilla at least and we will start seeing more marketshare.
In the research organisation I work for a lot of staff have solaris or linux boxes on their desks. Mozilla (1.3+) is the only Unix browser I know of to offer htmlarea like capabilities. This can be very useful if you a trying to implement a content management system with cross-platform support.
Netscape was also my first browser back in ’97. I remember how terrible IE was for a while…
Even given the current situation, gecko will definitely survive through other projects, i.e. safari, skipstone, etc.
IIRC Safari isn’t based on Gecko.
>>If Gecko is so hard to embed, why are there so many browsers that do it? Once again, Spolski is talking out of his backside.<<
How many of these are for Windows?
The point is that Visual Basic Developers, etc, won’t bother to learn how to embed it, because there is a learning curve, and it’s simply easier to drag and drop the IE Web Browser Control into the VB Form, and poof – the app renders html.
For one thing an ActiveX control exists for embedding Gecko and it exactly mimics the IE ActiveX control… http://www.iol.ie/~locka/mozilla/mozilla.htm
Besides VB programmers aren’t real programmers anyways… jump on the Mono/.NET bandwagon… VB is dead!!
Oops, my bad, I was convinced it was ;o)
I’m not giving up on Mozilla yet. I still know a few companies who are using it and even working on it for customized browsers for business use. It will continue on. I will continue using this browser for a long time.
Isn’t it symbolic that new Mozilla browser and mail called Firebird and Thunderbird? I’m sure they will resurrect from Netscape/Mozilla ashes
“jump on the Mono/.NET bandwagon… VB is dead!!”
You do realize that VB is a major language for the .NET framework…right?
Isn’t it symbolic that new Mozilla browser and mail called Firebird and Thunderbird
I don’t know what meaning Firebird has, but the original name of the project was Phoenix. Perhaps that’s what you meant?
Isn’t it symbolic that new Mozilla browser and mail called Firebird and Thunderbird? I’m sure they will resurrect from Netscape/Mozilla ashes
… and don’t forget that the original name was… Phoenix!
I remember how exciting it was the first time I used Netscape Navigator back in 1996 or so. Shame on AOL for caving buying Netscape, only to bend over for Gates and kill it. I hate Microsoft so much.
>>For one thing an ActiveX control exists for embedding Gecko and it exactly mimics the IE ActiveX control… <<
Yeah but this is a one man project. My hard drive is littered with one-man projects that I’ve lost interest in. The internet is littered with one-man projects that the creator has lost interest in (Atheos anyone?) How long before he loses interest in continuing to develop a Mozilla Active X control?
Just one more reason for people to not use AOL.
Internet Explorer. Sure, lots of the web is
optimized for IE but it sure lacks a lot of
useful features like popup blocking and causes
lots of people to get infected with virii and
spyware. Everytime I talk to people who use IE
they’ve got some virus or spyware doing crazy
stuff to their PC. I tell them again and again
to use Mozilla or Netscape or anything but IE.
But do they listen? A few but most just continue
using it. Well, I tried…
This is capitalism. This is the system I live in, I grew up in, and I observer every day. But nobody listens to people like me who say that capitalism doesn’t offer choices, it isn’t all its cracked up to be, etc. Instead they go on making excuses for the injustice and corruption.
Its sad that it takes a world of people willing to do their work for free to tip the scales enough against these corporate assholes so I can make an arguement against capitalism. Without so many people who love eachother enough to share who would believe that its possible to have a world without capitalism or money.
But I bet it will take China or India or Russia using OSS software and building their own information economy to prove that American capitalism is not the best form of economy. Besides that the amount of labor and intellectual capacity in any one of those countries alone dwarfs the USA. When you get money out of the picture you begin to realize that it is us people with our consciousness and ability to create that is the economic driving force of the world. People are worth more than all the property they’ve built.
Its only us Americans who think IE is worth more than those Mozilla developers. We’ll see what kind of effect this decision will have on AOLTW stock.
Using IE has nothing to do with being infected with a virus, or spyware, or anything. It has to do with idiot users downloading applications and installing them all the time, reguardless of who made it.
Yes, let’s all hate Microsoft because they saw the future and created a highly embedable browser, after which having their pants sued off, only to find later that Microsoft had a great idea.
Get over your hatred for Microsoft, it’s just a software company like any other, they are all out there to make a buck, plain and simple.
The article missed to point out that the Mozilla Foundation was also created in the same day to make sure that Mozilla development will continue. For what Gervase Markham said (I’m rephrasing) in the newsgroups, this is a stablished organization that will work as a company dedicated to Mozilla development.
Actually I think these are good news. Now with the strings cut, Mozilla no longer has to suffer the influence of any other parent company on its development. An example of this is that in part, the interface problems of Seamonkey are due to this influence, and this is what eventually started Phoenix/Firebird. Mozilla can now promote their own product (see new mozilla.org home), and can now be free on taking decitions that are the best for Mozilla.
As of resources, AOL, IBM and RedHat are backing up the Mozilla Foundation. Sure, they are not the cash sources that Microsoft is, but there are interest in favor of Mozilla to succeed.
Nobody, or very few people, will begrudge any company wanting to make money, it is the methods employed to make the buck that comes into question.
The tactic used which I take exception to is the use of
OEM licenses to discourage legitimate competition.
umm….firebird….pheonix…..they are the same thing.
IE has everything to do with it, for example:
“# A buffer overrun vulnerability that occurs because Internet Explorer does not properly determine an object type returned from a web server. It could be possible for an attacker who exploited this vulnerability to run arbitrary code on a user’s system. If a user visited an attacker’s website, it would be possible for the attacker to exploit this vulnerability without any other user action. An attacker could also craft an HTML email that attempted to exploit this vulnerability.”
“sn’t it symbolic that new Mozilla browser and mail called Firebird and Thunderbird
I don’t know what meaning Firebird has, but the original name of the project was Phoenix. Perhaps that’s what you meant? ”
I think he meant in relation to their car counter parts. The firebird was recently killed with it’s camaro brother and probably will come back someday, though currently it’s been replaced with the SSR pickup. The thunderbird was breifly killed by ford with the intent of bringing it back which they did. As is with many names of cars, they might die but they always seam to come back at somepoint. Maybe naming Phoenix a name like Mustang or F-series would have made it last forever.
I wonder what the big tie and hair gel ‘executive’ who authorised the absurd purchase of Netscape by AOL in the first place is doing now. I bet he never lost his job today.
“…Without so many people who love eachother enough to share who would believe that its possible to have a world without capitalism or money.”
I won’t get into debunking the illogical political statements here, because this forum is about technology. But, I will mention that, hmm… this horrible capitalist economy is exactly where all the great open source software got its start. And in fact much of that open source software is subsidized by private businesses, making their own free choices.
Everyone here seems to think AOL/Time-Warner has somehow “wronged” the world by no longer subsidizing the Mozilla project. I personally think they are making a stupid choice (why give up now, when the software is just getting good?), but who have they hurt, exactly? Instead, we should be thanking AOL for spending millions of dollars to help turn Mozilla into a mature project. Mozilla has gathered enough steam–and is being used by enough businesses–that it will not disappear now, and AOL helped it get to that point. Horrible capitalists…
So, please allow me this moment of total uncool ungeekness:
(but please reconsider in the future)
Good Points Rycamor.
Now Shrug or Hmmm or whatever your name is, I’ll tell you what’s wrong with American Capitalism: Theres too much regulation. Don’t blame capitalism. Blame people who are trying to make us into the Unites Socialist States of America.
However, that can’t stop the American Spirit. Capitalism isn’t a deity to worship, but it is to respected. AOL is acting counter productive, hell, I’ll go one more it’s piss poor judgement to fire mozilla workers. However, don’t go berating an entire Nation of people because of that. You’re insulting immigrants, tourists, yourself, and everybody who died fighting for our country. Capitalism and America are not perfect, but everytime somebody tries to make a perfect “system” you end up destroying the rights of people.
But let’s end with this: Microsoft paid AOL for killing netscape and AOL in turn finishes it off. Is it me or is something wrong here? I know my wording is bad, but I’m sure Dennis Miller could make a funny line about.
Having been an OEM, that is completely false. There are three OEM levels:
1) Single/multi pack sales via distributor. This is the method of purchase I used when I purchased Windows XP Pro OEM CD’s for installation onto newly assembled workstations.
2) OEM Volume which is similar to hardware OEM volume in which you sign a contract and agree to buy x number of units per-month at a given price. Great for large businesses, crap for small companies like mine. The benefit is that the business obtains it at a cheaper per-unit price than (1)
3) Exclusive OEM in which the OEM agrees to exclusively sell the product and in return recieve an even deeper discount on the OEM pricing.
When we heard Compaq and the likes come out of the wood work screaming and cursing, whom may I asked sat down, negotiated the OEM exclusive contract? they did. Instead of blaming Microsoft or some other company, the only company they have to blame is themselves.
I think the problem with Capitalism over all is the complete lack of people (esp management) to have morals and ethics.
Christianity, Judaism and Islam all preach features of the freemarket BUT they also preach the need for honesty, integrity and morality.
Enron is the prime example of when capitalism “loses” its soul and instead of thinking about the bigger picture, the only consideration is money.
What there needs to be is “Capitalism with a face”, similar to that of “Socialism with a face”. There is nothing wrong with the freedoms that the freemarket brings, however, people in high places need to realise that with this freedom comes responsibility. Responsibility to not only the share holders of the company but the society in which the business operates. A business is not some stand alone entity, it is a piece with inside society and as such must play is part in it. This can be either through a number of avenues, including, paying taxs rather than avoiding them, charitable donations, interships to students etc etc.
Enron is being prosecuted by the same party that everybody claims is “Pro-Big Business”. This is not to say that it is not pro-big Business, nor is it bad to be pro-big business or pro-business. But the point is that there are still rules that govern business practices. In some ways businesses are over regulated; however, Enron clearly broke laws and should be punished. I am not against all regulations, just ones that hurt business and cost people their jobs.
You are dead on when you say freedom comes responsibility. If you look at how much businesses spend on charity you’d probably be overwhelmed. Capitalism isn’t perfect: it wasn’t meant to be. Socialism was made to be perfect, that’s how I know it won’t work. It takes away freedom to craete the perfect system. Sound familiar (cough cough windows, cough cough)? I’ll take my freedom (which people are dying to protect) over perfection. Let me live my life and make my mistakes. As humans, we need to be challenged, not given a perfect life.