Before the millennium, Netscape was THE web browser to use. We’d laugh at Internet Explorer.
At 8am on January 22, 1998, Netscape put out a press release announcing that the source code to the web browser would be released to the public at the end of March.
Jamie Zawinski, one of the founders of Netscape (and of a whole bunch of neat stuff, often still used today) discusses how Mozilla came to be.
Lacking any coherent information or direction from management (spoiler alert, there was no plan! none!) a handful of us in the trenches had some impromptu meetings, which began something like:
“What the f*ck, I mean what the actual f*ck?”
“I thought you got fired? Someone told me you were fired.”
“I don’t think I’m fired, are you fired?” “I don’t think so?”
“Ok so are we doing this? I guess we’re doing this?”
“We’re doing what now?”
“I got this.”
So then I registered the domain mozilla.org. According to WHOIS, the registration went live on January 23rd at 9pm.
The rest, as they say, is cvs log. I mean history. The rest is history.
Jamie was the accidental impetus for Netscape’s decision to release the browser source code, and was one of the creators and curators of the Mozilla Organization during the first year of its life.
The organization coordinated the open source development of the browser, which eventually became Firefox.
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