Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Mozilla to ban Firefox derivative browsers

Filed under
Moz/FF

THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION used to be all about competition, about creating and implementing web standards and delivering code that could be re-used by anyone. In fact, during the 1998-2004 time frame when Netscape/AOL funded the Mozilla.org project - including dozens of programmers on Netscape's payroll, the re-branding and use of the Gecko engine by third party applications was encouraged.

At one time, Mozilla.org said that the browser package was primarily intended for tweaking, rebranding and distribution by third parties, rather than to be downloaded directly from Mozilla.org by each individual web user. But things changed when AOL finally let go the Mozilla.org project in mid 2003 and the Mozilla Foundation was born. Then, the Mozilla Foundation (now commonly referred to as MoFo in the mozillaspeak lingo) started pushing the separate e-mail and web browsers, instead of the integrated suite, and a whole marketing operation was created around MoFo's now separate components (Firefox and Thunderbird) targeting the end-user audience. Yet, at the same time, the open source nature of MoFo's code made one believe that re-distribution and re-branding was still welcome. That seems not to be the case anymore, if one reads MoFo's Ben Goodger's blog.

As we reported, Goodger said of Netscape's v8.0 browser: ""If security is important to you, this demonstration should show that browsers that are redistributions of the official Mozilla releases are never going to give you security updates as quickly as Mozilla will itself for its supported products". He was referring to the fact that Netscape initially made v8.0 available, which was based on Firefox 1.03.

Perhaps it's just me, but I see some irony in Ben Goodger complaining about the insecurity of the initial Netscape 8.0, which was in turn caused by the insecurity of the Mozilla Foundation's own Firefox 1.03 code. As some users put it in Goodger's own blog: "I think that it was bad form to go after Netscape that way just to make yourself look better. So when did you decide to become Microsoft?.

Another user said: "Shouldn't Mozilla work with other companies (such as Netscape) to try to resolve these problems? Rather then publicly slamming them. I expect Mozilla (a non profit organization that I have donated to) to cooperate with others that want to use their code. Not fight against them like any other for-profit company".

I think that Goodger's childish Netscape-bashing goes against the very spirit of the early Mozilla.org's mission, and if the Foundation doesn't want any other redistribution than the official Firefox browser, then they should change the licence wording to reflect that.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Linux 4.7

So, after a slight delay due to my travels, I'm back, and 4.7 is out. Despite it being two weeks since rc7, the final patch wasn't all that big, and much of it is trivial one- and few-liners. There's a couple of network drivers that got a bit more loving. Appended is the shortlog since rc7 for people who care: it's fairly spread out, with networking and some intel Kabylake GPU fixes being the most noticeable ones. But there's random small noise spread all over. Read more Also: Linux 4.7 Kernel Officially Released

today's leftovers

Leftovers: More Software

  • PSPP 0.10.2 has been released
    I'm very pleased to announce the release of a new version of GNU PSPP. PSPP is a program for statistical analysis of sampled data. It is a free replacement for the proprietary program SPSS.
  • Skype For Linux Alpha Update Adds ‘Close to Tray’, Call Settings, More
  • Hamster-GTK 0.10.0 Released
    Just a few seconds ago the initial release of Hamster-GTK, version 0.10.0, has been uploaded to the cheese shop. That means that after the rewritten backend codebase hamster-lib has been out in the wild for a few days by now you can now have a first look at a reimplementation of the original hamster 2.0 GUI. It will come as no surprise that this current early version is rather unpolished and leaves a lot to be desired. However, if you are familiar with legacy hamster 2.0 aka hamster-time-tracker you will surely see some major resemblance.
  • Core improvements in digiKam 5.0
    Version 5.0.0 of the digiKam image-management application was released on July 5. In many respects, the road from the 4.x series to the new 5.0 release consisted of patches and rewrites to internal components that users are not likely to notice at first glance. But the effort places digiKam in a better position for future development, and despite the lack of glamorous new features, some of the changes will make users' lives easier as well. For context, digiKam 4.0 was released in May of 2014, meaning it has been over two full years since the last major version-number bump. While every free-software project is different, it was a long development cycle for digiKam, which (for example) had released 4.0 just one year after 3.0. The big hurdle for the 5.0 development cycle was porting the code to Qt5. While migrating to a new release of a toolkit always poses challenges, the digiKam team decided to take the opportunity to move away from dependencies on KDE libraries. In many cases, that effort meant refactoring the code or changing internal APIs to directly use Qt interfaces rather than their KDE equivalents. But, in a few instances, it meant reimplementing functionality directly in digiKam.
  • MATE Dock Applet 0.73 Released With Redesigned Window List, Drag And Drop Support
    MATE Dock Applet was updated to version 0.73 recently, getting support for rearranging dock icons via drag and drop (only for the GTK3 version), updated window list design and more.
  • Minimalist Web Browser ‘Min’ Sees New Release
    The Min browser project has picked up a new update. Version 1.4 of the open-source, cross-platform web browser adds browser actions and full-text search.
  • Docker adds orchestration and more at DockerCon 2016
    DockerCon 2016, held in Seattle in June, included many new feature and product announcements from Docker Inc. and the Docker project. The main keynote of DockerCon [YouTube] featured Docker Inc. staff announcing and demonstrating the features of Docker 1.12, currently in its release-candidate phase. As with the prior 1.11 release, the new version includes major changes in the Docker architecture and tooling. Among the new features are an integrated orchestration stack, new encryption support, integrated cluster networking, and better Mac support. The conference hosted 4000 attendees, including vendors like Microsoft, CoreOS, HashiCorp, and Red Hat, as well as staff from Docker-using companies like Capital One, ADP, and Cisco. While there were many technical and marketing sessions at DockerCon, the main feature announcements were given in the keynotes. As with other articles on Docker, the project and product are referred to as "Docker," while the company is "Docker Inc."