After some four years in the making, the Mozilla 1.0 open-source Web browser suite was released on Wednesday.
The code for the browser can be downloaded from the Mozilla.org Web site, founded by Netscape Communications Corp. to develop its browser in an open-source environment.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the community said Mozilla 1.0 was not only a full-fledged browser suite based on the latest Internet standards but also a cross-platform toolkit that was targeted at the developer community.
Linux and open-source vendors and developers also welcomed the news of the release of the browser. Nat Friedman, the vice president of product development at Ximian Inc said its release represented a "huge milestone for the free software community.
"From browser technology to software development tools, the Mozilla project has had an enormous impact on open-source development. Mozilla 1.0 is a key part of an industrial-strength open-source desktop," he said.
Matthew Szulik, the CEO, president and chairman of Red Hat Inc. agreed, telling eWEEK that the browser was the key to the desktop. "We are very pleased with the progress of Mozilla and welcome its availability," he said.
Mozilla will be used as the default browser by Red Hat, which distributes the most popular Linux distribution. Red Hat Linux already ships with the Mozilla browser.
Mozilla 1.0 is built on the Gecko layout engine and integrates a core set of applications that allow users to access the capabilities of the Web, including a Web browser, an e-mail reader and a chat client.
Gecko is the core browser component in Mozilla 1.0 and delivers a standards-compliant browser across platforms, and the release of Mozilla 1.0 signals a new level of compatibility and maturity of the programming interfaces provided by Gecko. It also paved the way for the arrival of new Gecko-based products, the community said.
In addition, Mozilla 1.0 is a cross-platform toolkit for developing Internet-based applications that enables developers to build applications for a cross-platform, network-centric world.
Localized versions of Mozilla 1.0 will also be available in Asturian, Chinese, Dutch, Estonian, Galician, German, Georgian, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Malay, Polish, Slovak, Serbian and Ukrainian.
But Giga Information Group analyst Stacey Quandt has told eWEEK previously that the impact of the browsers release would probably be limited to people already using the Gnome desktop environment and other Netscape products, and who wanted the feature and functionality that version 1.0 brought.
"I doubt many of those people already using the Opera browser and the Konquerer browser found in KDE, which is the predominant open source desktop environment, will find anything compelling enough in Mozilla 1.0 to shift across," she said.