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By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2004-07-26 Print this article Print

Luckily, Mozilla project developers remained dedicated to making the best browser possible and taking their time to do it right. And when Mozilla 1.0 was finally released in 2002, it immediately jumped to the top of the browser hill, thanks to its quality and features.

It also quickly became obvious that Mozilla was superior to the Netscape browser that was using its code base— the Netscape browser ignored many of the Mozilla features that users wanted while adding lots of annoying stuff that mainly served to push products from AOL (which had acquired Netscape during the height of this lunacy).

Now we can finally see what the Mozilla developers can do when working without the Netscape/AOL chains that bound them. Watching the major strides that the Mozilla Foundation has made with Mozilla, the Firefox browser and the Thunderbird mail client, Im left to wonder what would have happened if the developers had had this freedom for the last four years instead of one. The browser market might look a lot different than it does now.

So congratulations to Mozilla, which has proved that an open-source project can rise above lots of boneheaded moves. But if companies truly want their open-source projects to succeed, theyll have a lot easier time if they just let the developers do their jobs.

Labs Director Jim Rapoza can be reached at

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Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr RapozaÔÇÖs current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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