Mozilla has also been pushing hard to ensure its platforms are suitable for gaming and has built partnerships with game development vendor Epic Games. In a 2013 interview I did with Eich about the partnership with Epic, he said, "We're out to support the Web for the user."
While Eich was a strong figure in Mozilla's gaming initiatives, Vladimir Vukicevic, engineering director at Firefox and inventor of WebGL, is also a key figure, and I expect he'll continue to push it forward.
Eich was also working on a new programming language called Rust that could eventually serve as the basis for a new browser known as Servo. Both Rust and Servo are continuing on in Eich's absence.
Then, of course, there is Firefox itself. While Eich has had a hand in Firefox development and direction, others within Mozilla have long been the driving force, including the incomparable Jonathan Nightingale, vice president of Firefox at Mozilla.
While there are many other Mozilla developers that work on the various technologies that Eich helped lead during his tenure, that's not to say that any are a replacement for his guidance or overall technical vision. While Mozilla has the staff and the community to continue on its mission of openness, it is very ironic that a key human component of its openness will no longer be making the journey forward with Mozilla to make the Web a better, more open place for us all.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.