Mozilla celebrates 20 years!

I saw this in my feed earlier and I couldn’t believe that Mozilla has turned twenty years old already.

It’s the morning of March 31, 1998, and the Netscape campus is chock-full of engineers, hours earlier than on a normal day. It’s a Tuesday and it’s known universally in the Netscape browser world as “three thirty-one” and written as 3/31. It’s the day the Mozilla code is open-sourced to the world, and the day the Mozilla Project is formally launched.

It was a bold move which was announced through a press release in January of that year stating:

The company plans to post the source code beginning with the first Netscape Communicator 5.0 developer release, expected by the end of the first quarter of 1998. This aggressive move will enable Netscape to harness the creative power of thousands of programmers on the Internet by incorporating their best enhancements into future versions of Netscape’s software.

When you think about it what Netscape set out to do when they launched Mozilla has to have gone beyond their wildest dreams. What they did was risky at the time and could have ended up being a huge flop.

I’ve pretty much used all the iterations of browser software they have released over the years from the Netscape suite to Firefox and I don’t see myself ever leaving the platform.

You can actually still use the Mozilla suite if you desire to do so by using The SeaMonkey Project. The Seamonkey suite retains much of the original look and includes a web browser, e-mail and newsgroup client, IRC client, and an HTML editor.

Going forward

Mozilla has also used this special occasion to amend the Mozilla Manifesto with four additional topics to in order to commit to better experiences online.

The amendments are:

  • We are committed to an internet that includes all the peoples of the earth - where a person’s demographic characteristics do not determine their online access, opportunities, or quality of experience.
  • We are committed to an internet that promotes civil discourse, human dignity, and individual expression.
  • We are committed to an internet that elevates critical thinking, reasoned argument, shared knowledge, and verifiable facts.
  • We are committed to an internet that catalyzes collaboration among diverse communities working together for the common good.

I wish Mozilla a happy birthday and I can’t wait to see what is in store from them over the course of the next twenty years.

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