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What is Mozilla ?
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by Dwaraka Nath

What is Mozilla?

It was… August 2nd… Hell! No… Think its July 29. Oops. Nah! Damn those dates. Sorry, I don’t remember what exactly the date was. But sure, I was on cloud nine though. “Congratulations, on being selected as a Mozilla Rep”, email from my mentor Vineel had stated.

The very next day, at my college, I told all my friends at class about it. For them, it looked like no mean effort and I was seen with so much of surprise. The best part was that, I could hear the girls murmur, “Hey, that guy is so awesome!” Now, isn’t that what we call an achievement? : P

The point is, it was only that day, I had guessed what people had in mind about, Mozilla. Few of them, had come along, to me and told me, Oh… Yes… Mozilla the Firefox… Great man! I use it every day. Few others were, OMG! Mozilla. Cool. Congratulations and a very little number of them, “Dwaraka, what is it that you’re in recently? I heard people talking about it. Mozilla or Godzilla? What is it?

Mozilla! Yes!

Here I give the answer to the ones who gave me the third response. People who already know something about Mozilla may want to know a little more about it – Mozilla is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web, going as per Mozilla’s Manifesto.

Well, we now know about Open Source and Open Web ( a little enough at least, I guess). So, as time passed, as web grew, people were becoming increasingly aware of the need for open source and open web. There were independent, decentralized contributors here and there. But for the ones who had just the interest but no help, there was no guiding spirit! And Mozilla just turned out to be one. It has got quite a history to tell. Mozilla was the codename for the browser project of Netscape Navigator, the competitor of, the then only other browser ‘Mosaic’. And their mascot was Godzilla. So, Mozilla is ‘Mosaic killer’ + ‘Godzilla’.

One small step for Mozilla, one giant leap for mankind

In the year, 1998 came the big step forward. Netscape had created the Mozilla foundation, one of the first community efforts towards Open Source and Open Web, whose original intention was to create a browser. Mozilla grew to become more than just an ordinary company. Within a couple of years or so, many communities had started to pop up around the globe. Each of them had contributed to something of the browser. With them, came a deluge of ideas, content and creativity. But, each working towards an unified goal – Openness of the Web and software products.

And in 2001, Mozilla 1.0 was released. Three years after that, the browser project was renamed ‘Firefox’ and in 2004, Firefox 1.0 was released and was an instant hit reaching more than a million downloads quickly. And that was followed by an array of other software community projects like, Thunderbird – The Email Messenger and Seamonkey Application Suite.

Mozilla isn’t into just making Firefox! Its idea is to give the people an Open Web and Open Standards that goes beyond just giving people, a quality browsing experience! Internet has more or less become a resource commodity today. Web has now started to support more standards, user actions and a lot more platforms lately, that give it more power and potential. Ok. To make things clear, nowadays, apart from just images and text, we have websites and browsers, that support audio playback, photo and video editing and online document editors. Everything’s going cloud! (If it is getting too technical for you, have it to be, everything is going online)

Mozilla had realized this tendency of the Web and is constantly working on making the Web and its standards open for all. And in this regard, it has started to promote various other projects like Web Forward and Drumbeat.

In over ten years, Mozilla has shaped itself and has shown others what the power of Open Source could turn out to be in making great end user products - Enriching people’s lives through the power of Internet. It respects your contribution to open source. It makes your voice heard. It doesn’t work the way, others do—making proprietary software, because it isn’t the right thing to do. It provides opportunity for everyone, to contribute, customize and shape the Internet the way they wanted. It believes your potential, your passion and your creativity and more importantly, it believes in you than anyone or anything else and will continue to fight for the cause of Open Standards and Open Web. After all, it is not just a movement, it’s a revolution that’s happening with Mozilla !