Ten Years Ago Today: Netscape Announces Free Communicator Source Code Release

Tuesday January 22nd, 2008

Today marks ten years since Netscape Communications Corporation announced its intention to release the source code of the then in-development Netscape Communicator 5.0, heralding the beginning of what would become the Mozilla project. At the same time, Netscape stopped charging for Netscape Navigator 4.0 and Netscape Communicator Standard Edition 4.0.

On Monday 23rd February 1998, was launched to coordinate development of the open-source code. The actual release of the Netscape Communicator 5.0 source code took place on Tuesday 31st March 1998.

Mitchell Baker, who has been involved with the Mozilla project from the outset, is asking for ideas of how to celebrate Mozilla's tenth anniversary year.

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by Racer

Wednesday January 23rd, 2008 2:54 PM

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I've always wondered if (after releasing the source) AOL had made the same browser decisions that were made by the Mozilla Foundation, could it have had the success that Firefox does now? In other words, could we have something like "Netscape Firefox", run by AOL, with a >= 15% world market share? Or was it the allure of an independent, totally nonprofit ownership that gave Firefox much of its luster? Alternatively, is it impossible for AOL to even have made similar browser decisions due to its corporate culture and for-profit nature?