Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Mozilla to ban Firefox derivative browsers

Filed under

THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION used to be all about competition, about creating and implementing web standards and delivering code that could be re-used by anyone. In fact, during the 1998-2004 time frame when Netscape/AOL funded the project - including dozens of programmers on Netscape's payroll, the re-branding and use of the Gecko engine by third party applications was encouraged.

At one time, said that the browser package was primarily intended for tweaking, rebranding and distribution by third parties, rather than to be downloaded directly from by each individual web user. But things changed when AOL finally let go the project in mid 2003 and the Mozilla Foundation was born. Then, the Mozilla Foundation (now commonly referred to as MoFo in the mozillaspeak lingo) started pushing the separate e-mail and web browsers, instead of the integrated suite, and a whole marketing operation was created around MoFo's now separate components (Firefox and Thunderbird) targeting the end-user audience. Yet, at the same time, the open source nature of MoFo's code made one believe that re-distribution and re-branding was still welcome. That seems not to be the case anymore, if one reads MoFo's Ben Goodger's blog.

As we reported, Goodger said of Netscape's v8.0 browser: ""If security is important to you, this demonstration should show that browsers that are redistributions of the official Mozilla releases are never going to give you security updates as quickly as Mozilla will itself for its supported products". He was referring to the fact that Netscape initially made v8.0 available, which was based on Firefox 1.03.

Perhaps it's just me, but I see some irony in Ben Goodger complaining about the insecurity of the initial Netscape 8.0, which was in turn caused by the insecurity of the Mozilla Foundation's own Firefox 1.03 code. As some users put it in Goodger's own blog: "I think that it was bad form to go after Netscape that way just to make yourself look better. So when did you decide to become Microsoft?.

Another user said: "Shouldn't Mozilla work with other companies (such as Netscape) to try to resolve these problems? Rather then publicly slamming them. I expect Mozilla (a non profit organization that I have donated to) to cooperate with others that want to use their code. Not fight against them like any other for-profit company".

I think that Goodger's childish Netscape-bashing goes against the very spirit of the early's mission, and if the Foundation doesn't want any other redistribution than the official Firefox browser, then they should change the licence wording to reflect that.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Fedora 21 End Of Life

As of the 1st of December 2015, Fedora 21 has reached its end of life for updates and support. No further updates, including security updates, will be available for Fedora 21. A previous reminder was sent on 27th of May [0]. Read more

Open source Gov.UK is 'example of UK soft power'

In introducing Manzoni, Nefkens described the UK as a world leader in the “digital transformation of government”, a model even for similar schemes in the USA and Australia. Furthermore, New Zealand has used source code - it’s based on open standards and is open source - to help build out own digital services. Read more

New ELF Linker from the LLVM Project

We have been working hard for a few months now to rewrite the ELF support in lld, the LLVM linker. We are happy to announce that it has reached a significant milestone: it is now able to bootstrap LLVM, Clang, and itself and pass all tests on x86-64 Linux and FreeBSD with the speed expected of an LLVM project. Read more

Altair to Open Source PBS Professional HPC Technology in 2016

“Altair’s open source contribution is valuable and will help advance the work of the OpenHPC Collaborative Project,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “By working together to build and extend new technologies for the world’s most complex computing systems, Altair and other members of OpenHPC can accelerate exascale computing.” The open licensing system is scheduled to be released to the open source community in mid-2016. Read more