Once upon a time Mozilla

How we went from Netscape to Firefox and the creation of Mozilla.

Logo of a (green) dragon spitting fire

The Mozilla name is a shortcut of Mosaic Killer (Killa), and was the code name of the Netscape browser in the development team. Mosaic, an early Web browser, was the most used when Netscape was released and has been made obsolete.
This code name was used to identify the user agent of Netscape in HTTP message exchanges.
The word Mozilla is also the origin of Dmoz (Directory Mozilla), the directory acquired by Netscape and now owned by AOL. Its logo is a green lizard. To differentiate from it, Mozilla later chose the image of a red dinosaur. There is a paleontologist trend who believes that dinosaurs were red, but that's another topic.

Netscape was the most used browser until 1998 when Internet Explorer has replaced it. The latter was then closer to web standards, things have changed...
In 1998, Netscape becomes open source. Then a new version was built from scratch based on the Gecko rendering engine and the XUL interface language, it will become Firefox further.

Netscape was bought by AOL in November 1998. The foundation was established previously the same year to develop a different version of the browser. In 2003 it became a nonprofit organization, the Mozilla Foundation. In August 2005 was created next to the foundation a company, Mozilla Corporation designed to create profits with products from Mozilla, including Firefox.
AOL finally buried Netscape by closing the site and selling its patents to his opponent of always: Microsoft!

The open source version of Netscape was first named Phoenix. But the name was already used by a manufacturer of motherboards, so it is renamed Firebird in 2003 and that in turn conflicted with the name of a database. It then becomes Mozilla Firebird, and then Mozilla Firefox in 2004.
The first perfectly stable version of Firefox dates from 2005.
In 2010, the Firefox browser is the second most popular with 25% market share worldwide after Internet Explorer.

In 2013, we go from the browser to the operating system. Firefox OS is an alternative to Android and iOS on which all applications are in HTML 5 and JavaScript. This system has a big hit with manufacturers, unlike Meego and webOS, and Mozilla sees it like the dominant mobile system of the future...

The broken dream of Brendan Eich

Who would have thought that one of the founders of Mozilla, who made it an inclusive community, would be pushed away by the very people he welcomed without discrimination?
Brendan Eich was the architect for the construction of Mozilla, the foundation and the associate enterprise. He guided the main strategic choices that have defined its products. (Ref CNET).
Mitchell Baker, co-founder, about Brendan Eich:

"Brendan can make amazing things happen when nobody else thinks it's possible or when it's late in the game. It's been part of the history of Mozilla."

March 24, 2014, the creator of JavaScript was appointed CEO of Mozilla where he was working for 15 years, and that he helped to fund. This is the time that some activists employees of the foundation choose to remember that in 2008, six years earlier, he had made a donation to support Proposition 8, a text which prohibits gay marriage in California.
A company under California law has no right to dismiss an employee (let alone the CEO) for the donations he made, and it is also prohibited by Mozilla regulations to criticize an employee's personal opinions. This did not deter them apparently to stir the press and ask for the resignation of the new CEO. Some sites even saw it as an opportunity to promote themselves, and posted a banner calling for the boycott of Firefox! It was displayed by a JavaScript script, but this was hidden from the reader.
All the fuss made ​​by activists and profiteers on which the media feasted, was seen as a threat to the Mozilla Foundation, whose income depends solely on donations and sponsors. Then blackmail paid, Brendan Eich resigned April 3, 2014 to spare Mozilla this disastrous publicity, and preserve the foundation, under the pressure of those who did not care.

Message of support on medium.com:

Brendan Eich désolé

Another support, from Dave Winer, creator of RSS 2.0:

Brendan Eich Winer

Brendan Eich has decided to go on a trip with his family, and is replaced by the marketing manager. What Mozilla needs the most at this time because this is not the Rust language that will improve its image.

See also ...