from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The term Mozilla [ moʊzɪlɐ ] stands for Internet - Software and project organizations that are associated with the creation of this software. The program collection Mozilla Application Suite emerged from the web browser Netscape Navigator , which was developed under the code name Mozilla . The company Netscape Communications Corporation , in which the software was developed, temporarily had a colored lizard , which had received the name Mozilla , as its company logo.

The central component of the software associated with Mozilla , the Gecko Rendering Engine , is named after a lizard species ( gecko-like ). This module, which takes on the display of Internet documents, is part of the Mozilla Firefox browser and the SeaMonkey program collection , for example .

Mozilla project organizations

Mozilla project

The Mozilla project is under the umbrella of the Mozilla Foundation . It was originally launched by Netscape.

Mozilla Foundation

Mozilla Foundation logo
Old Mozilla Foundation logo

The Mozilla Organization ( for short ) was founded in 1998 to develop the next generation Internet program collection for Netscape . On July 15, 2003, the organization was officially registered as a non-profit organization under the name Mozilla Foundation . This foundation is primarily responsible for the development and maintenance of the Mozilla Firefox browser, the Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail program and the Gecko rendering engine on which both applications are based . But it also hosts some other projects such as Bugzilla , Tinderbox, Sunbird and Camino . Mozilla has been registered as a trademark by the foundation .

Mozilla Corporation

Mozilla Corporation logo

On August 3, 2005, the Mozilla Foundation announced the creation of a commercial , taxable company called Mozilla Corporation , dedicated to the development, marketing , commercial support, and sponsorship of Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird . According to Mitchell Baker , President of the Mozilla Foundation, 36 of the 40 or so employees of the Foundation were to change employers in favor of the Mozilla Corporation .

Mozilla messaging

On February 19, 2008, the establishment of Mozilla Messaging was announced, which like the Mozilla Corporation is a commercial and taxable company and is 100% owned by the Mozilla Foundation . The company's goal was software development in the field of Internet communication, in particular the further development of the Mozilla Thunderbird email client . In April 2011, Mozilla Messaging was reintegrated in order to better coordinate the development of Thunderbird 5.0 with Firefox 5.0. Former managing director David Ascher is moving from Mozilla Messaging to Mozilla Labs.


The most important end-user applications for the desktop are the Firefox web browser and the Thunderbird e-mail program . There is also a calendar application that is offered either as a single application or as an extension for Thunderbird, but is not yet intended for productive use due to the early stage of development. In the mobile sector, Mozilla offers Firefox for Android, a mobile web browser for the Android platform, and Firefox OS, an HTML-based mobile operating system for smartphones.

In the future, the Mozilla Foundation plans to operate the current individual applications on the common basis, the XULRunner .

In addition to this software, Bugzilla , an error management system, an IRC client (up to Firefox 56 ChatZilla as a Firefox extension, now as a chat component of Thunderbird) and other less common applications are offered. In June 2012, Mozilla presented a browser for the Apple iPad with a new type of user interface. This is called Junior . The redesigned user interface stands out from Safari in that it does not contain an address line and only offers two buttons with which the user can switch to the previous page or view the history of his online activity plus the familiar URL bar.

Mozilla Application Suite

In March 1998, Netscape Communications released almost all of the source code of its popular suite of programs known as Netscape Communicator for the Internet under a free license . The name chosen for the new application, which was further developed from this released source code, was Mozilla, the earlier in-house code name of the original Netscape Navigator . In November 1998, however, it was decided to develop a newly developed rendering engine called Gecko . After a relatively long period of pre-1.0 versions, Mozilla 1.0 was introduced on June 5, 2002.

The source code of the Mozilla program collection also served as the open source foundation for the Netscape suite from version 6.0 up to and including Netscape 7.2; The source code of the Gecko rendering engine as part of the Mozilla Application Suite also formed the basis for further independent applications, including the current flagships of the Mozilla Foundation: Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird . In order to better distinguish the Mozilla program collection from the individual applications, it was marketed as the Mozilla Suite or Mozilla Application Suite .

In the meantime, however, the foundation has stopped developing the program collection in favor of Firefox and Thunderbird . A further development of the program collection is now taking place within the framework of a largely independent project under the name SeaMonkey , which in turn uses a term originally used as a code name in the Mozilla project for a program collection.

Mozilla Application Framework

The Mozilla Application Framework is a platform- independent framework for the development of applications that are to run on multiple operating systems. It mainly consists of the Gecko rendering engine , but also the XUL - GUI toolkit , the Necko network program library and some other components. This is the program core from which all Mozilla-based applications are built. The Mozilla Application Framework also includes the cross-platform component collection XPCOM made available by it , through which the framework can be accessed uniformly across platforms from different environments and with different languages.

Mozilla Codebase

The Mozilla codebase , consisting of the source code of the Mozilla software projects such as Firefox , Thunderbird , XULRunner , etc., is separated for projects in Mercurial - repositories managed. This large source code base is also referred to simply as Mozilla source code or even more simply as Mozilla .

The Mozilla Codebase was originally published under the Netscape Public License. When the license was updated to version 1.1, the name was also changed to Mozilla Public License (MPL). The Free Software Foundation and other free software advocates advised that a component licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and an MPL licensed component could not be legally linked together in a software project, and they recommended For this reason, developers should not use the MPL . To take this into account, the Mozilla Foundation licensed the codebase three times in 2003 under the GNU General Public License , the GNU Lesser General Public License and the Mozilla Public License .

Since the registration of the product names and logos as trademarks and the simultaneous licensing of the logos under a non- free license, the Debian project, due to its principles, has not been able to use the official names of the products in question, which are based on the Mozilla Codebase , despite the free source code record its distributions . So it came to the name dispute between Debian and Mozilla with the result that Debian offers the affected Mozilla products under different names with different logos. Mozilla Firefox was named Iceweasel . Originally another project called GNUzilla chose the same name IceWeasel for its Firefox variant in advance, except for capitalization . This project was initiated by a small team as part of the GNU project . The goal of Gnuzilla is also to offer the Mozilla products without proprietary components or as free software under other names. However, after confusion due to the similarity of names, the Gnuzilla team later decided on a different name, IceCat .

Part of the identification of many web browsers

When someone visits a website with an application , a character string is generally transmitted which identifies the user program used (in this case called the user agent ) to the web server . This string is called the user agent string . The Netscape browser identified itself as " Mozilla / <version> " followed by information about the operating system .

Because the leading browser at the time, Netscape, had many functions that other browsers did not have, soon some websites only worked if they found a desired version of Mozilla in the user agent string. Because of this, other browsers began to imitate the Netscape Navigator in order to be able to display these pages as well, in that their user agent string also began with Mozilla . The best-known example is Internet Explorer , which was Netscape's main competitor. He identified himself with “ Mozilla / <version> (compatible; MSIE <version>… ”) This format was copied from other browsers and still exists today.

In some older browser statistics applications, the term Netscape 5.0 is incorrectly used to refer to these browsers because their user-agent strings begin with Mozilla / 5.0 .

Origin of the name

Originally Mozilla was only used as an internal company name for the web browser Netscape Navigator. There are several explanations for the exact origin of the name, which refers to the first popular web browser, Mosaic . One says that it is composed of Mosaic Killer (English slang for Mosaic murderer), according to the other from Mosaic meets Godzilla . Both explanations may even apply.

The mascot

Mozilla was also the mascot of Netscape Communications Corporation, which emerged from Mosaic Communications Corporation. Initially there were many forms of different forms of the mascot, including an astronaut with a helmet, but the ultimate decision to go for a Godzilla-like green lizard no doubt had to do with the fact that the name Mozilla resembled the word Godzilla. The appearance of the mascot was designed by Dave Titus in 1994.

Mozilla was initially featured very prominently on the Netscape website. However, the need for a more professional corporate image, especially with corporate customers, led the mascot to disappear from the website . Netscape continued to use it in-house, and it was often featured on workforce t-shirts or as artwork on the walls of the Netscape campus in Mountain View, California .

After the NewHoo web directory was acquired in 1998, it was renamed the Open Directory Project , nicknamed dmoz . Because of its similarity to the Mozilla project, dmoz stands for Directory of Mozilla. Since then, a picture of the green lizard has graced almost every page of dmoz. That is still the case today, although Netscape was dissolved after AOL acquired it.

See also

Web links

Commons : Mozilla  - collection of images, videos and audio files
  • The Mozilla Project. .
  • 10 years ago: started work. In: Heise Open. February 23, 2008.;
  • Holger Metzger: A little Netscape story. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015 (chronology via Netscape & Co 1993-2007).;
  • Alexandra Kleijn: Code Rush. In: July 14, 2009 (documentary on the transition of Netscape Communicator to the Mozilla project).;
  • Markus Albers: Mozilla: Everyone is a teacher . In: brand eins . No. 01 , 2011 ( - report on the open source principle and the new education market).


  1. Heise Newsticker: Mozilla Foundation sets up commercial marketing company , August 3, 2005.
  2. Mozilla Foundation: Mozilla Foundation Reorganization , August 3, 2005, English.
  3. David Ascher: Mozilla Messaging , February 19, 2008.
  4. Mozilla Labs present Thunderbird 5.0 as a beta version .
  5. Mozilla shows iPad browser concept "Junior". (No longer available online.) In: t3n. June 18, 2012, archived from the original on June 20, 2012 ; Retrieved June 18, 2012 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. GNU: Comments on MPL , English.
  7. Mozilla Foundation: MPL Relicensing FAQ , English.
  8. Aleks Totić: The Netscape mascot as a t-shirt motif ( Memento from April 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) , English.
  9. Chuck Lau: Copy of the original Netscape website , October 15, 1994, English.
  10. Open Directory Project : Start page ( Memento of the original dated February 3, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , November 9, 2009. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /