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.

#3 Re: Comparison

by roseman

Wednesday January 23rd, 2008 3:45 PM

You are replying to this message

For my own experience, I used to use Netscape 7.0x when it came out, because i had LOVED the (Mosaic, then) 2.x, 3.x and 4.x series. Netscape 7 had TABS! Themes! (i miss Toy Factory *sniff*).

Then i found when there was a memory bug affecting W98SE users like me... It got fixed in Mozilla (the "suite") LONG before Netscape released a patched version of Netscape 7. *GRUMBLE*

I finally "went to the source" and started using Mozilla suite instead of netscape proper, and found it was faster (less "bloat") and was FIXED SOONER whenever there was a problem that surfaced.

Never went back.

Not sure how it would have played out if AOL had released an FF-like browser-only, but my guess is i would have followed a similar path as i did, and for the same reasons. I can only speak for what i myself would have done, and even that is just an educated guess.

Predicting alternate timelines is such a tricky business :)