Mozilla is a free software community best known for producing the Firefox web browser. The Mozilla community uses, develops, spreads and supports Mozilla products and works to advance the goals of the Open Web described in the Mozilla Manifesto. The community is supported institutionally by the Mozilla Foundation and its tax-paying subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation.
In addition to the Firefox browser, Mozilla also produces Firefox Mobile, the Firefox OS mobile operating system, the bug tracking system Bugzilla and a number of other projects.
On February 23, 1998, Netscape Communications Corporation created a project called Mozilla (after the original code name of the Netscape Navigator browser which — according to Pascal Finette — is a mashup of “Mosaic Killer”) to co-ordinate the development of the Mozilla Application Suite, the open source version of Netscape’s internet software, Netscape Communicator. Jamie Zawinski says he came up with the name “Mozilla” at a Netscape staff meeting. A small group of Netscape employees were tasked with coordination of the new community.
Originally, Mozilla aimed to be a technology provider for companies, such as Netscape, who would commercialize their open source code. When AOL (Netscape’s parent company) drastically scaled back its involvement with Mozilla in July 2003, the Mozilla Foundation was launched as the legal steward of the project. Soon after, Mozilla deprecated the Mozilla Suite in favor of creating independent applications for each function, primarily the Firefox web browser and the Thunderbird email client, and moved to supply them direct to the public.
Recently, Mozilla’s activities have expanded to include Firefox on mobile platforms (primarily Android), a mobile OS called Firefox OS, a web-based identity system called Mozilla Persona and a marketplace for HTML5 applications.
In a report released in November of 2012, Mozilla reported that their total revenue for 2011 was $163 million, which was up 33% from $123 million in 2010. Mozilla noted that roughly 85% of their revenue comes from their contract with Google.
Firefox is a web browser, and is Mozilla’s flagship software product. It is available in both desktop and mobile versions. Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine to render web pages, which implements current and anticipated web standards. As of July 2012, Firefox has approximately 24% of worldwide usage share of web browsers, making it the third most widely used web browser.
Firefox began as an experimental branch of the Mozilla codebase by Dave Hyatt, Joe Hewitt and Blake Ross. They believed the commercial requirements of Netscape’s sponsorship and developer-driven feature creep compromised the utility of the Mozilla browser. To combat what they saw as the Mozilla Suite’s software bloat, they created a stand-alone browser, with which they intended to replace the Mozilla Suite.
Firefox was originally named Phoenix but the name was changed so as to avoid trademark conflicts with Phoenix Technologies. The replacement name, Firebird, provoked an intense response from the Firebird free database software project. The current name, Firefox, was chosen on February 9, 2004.
 Firefox Mobile
Firefox Mobile (codenamed Fennec) is the build of the Mozilla Firefox web browser for devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.
Firefox Mobile uses the same Gecko layout engine as Mozilla Firefox. For example, version 1.0 used the same engine as Firefox 3.6, and the following release, 4.0, shared core code with Firefox 4.0. Its features include HTML5 support, Firefox Sync, add-ons support and tabbed browsing.
Firefox Mobile is currently only available for Android 2.2 and above devices with an ARMv7 CPU. Work is ongoing to support ARMv6. Tristan Nitot, president of Mozilla Europe, has said that it’s unlikely that an iPhone or a BlackBerry version will be released, citing Apple’s iTunes Store application approval policies (which forbid applications competing with Apple’s own, and forbid engines which run downloaded code) and BlackBerry’s limited operating system as the reasons.
Thunderbird is a free, open source, cross-platform email and news client developed by the Mozilla Foundation.
SeaMonkey (formerly the Mozilla Application Suite) is a free and open source cross platform suite of Internet software components including a web browser component, a client for sending and receiving email and USENET newsgroup messages, an HTML editor (Mozilla Composer) and the ChatZilla IRC client.
On March 10, 2005, the Mozilla Foundation announced that it would not release any official versions of Mozilla Application Suite beyond 1.7.x, since it had now focused on the standalone applications Firefox and Thunderbird. SeaMonkey is now maintained by the SeaMonkey Council, which has trademarked the SeaMonkey name with help from the Mozilla Foundation. The Mozilla Foundation provide project hosting for the SeaMonkey developers.
Bugzilla is a web-based general-purpose bug tracking system, which was released as open source software by Netscape Communications in 1998 along with the rest of the Mozilla codebase, and is currently stewarded by Mozilla. It has been adopted by a variety of organizations for use as a bug tracking system for both free and open source software and proprietary projects and products. For instance Bugzilla is used by Mozilla Foundation, NASA, Yahoo!, GNOME, KDE, Red Hat and Novell.
Network Security Services (NSS) comprises a set of libraries designed to support cross-platform development of security-enabled client and server applications. NSS provides a complete open-source implementation of crypto libraries supporting SSL and S/MIME. NSS is triple-licensed under the Mozilla Public License, the GNU General Public License, and the GNU Lesser General Public License.
AOL, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems/Oracle Corporation, Google and other companies and individual contributors have co-developed NSS and it is used in a wide range of non-Mozilla products including Google Chrome, Evolution, Pidgin, and OpenOffice.org.
Gecko is a layout engine that supports web pages written using HTML, SVG, and MathML. Gecko is written in C++ and uses NSPR for platform independence. Its source code is licensed under the Mozilla Public License.
Firefox uses Gecko both for rendering web pages and for rendering its user interface. Gecko is also used by Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, and many non-Mozilla applications.
Mozilla Persona is a secure, cross-browser website authentication mechanism which allows a user to use a single username and password (or other authentication method) to log in to multiple sites.
The Mozilla Marketplace is a marketplace for HTML5 applications. Its current main purpose is to support Firefox OS.
Mozilla Webmaker is a ‘web literacy’ project. Its goal is to “help millions of people move from using the web to making the web.”
Mozilla Developer Network
In addition, Mozilla publish a large number of videos about both web technologies and the development of Mozilla projects on the Air Mozilla website.
The Mozilla Community totals over 40,000 active contributors from across the globe. They include both paid employees and volunteers who work together to try and achieve the goals set forth in the Mozilla Manifesto. Many of the sub-communities in Mozilla have formed around localization efforts for Mozilla Firefox, and the Mozilla web properties.
There a number of sub-communities that exist based on their geographical locations, where contributors near each other work together on particular activities, such as localization, marketing, PR and user support.
The Mozilla Reps program aims to empower and support volunteer Mozillians who want to become official representatives of Mozilla in their region/locale.
The program provides a simple framework and a specific set of tools to help Mozillians to organize and/or attend events, recruit and mentor new contributors, document and share activities, and support their local communities better.
When joining the program, a Mozilla Rep agrees to take on the following responsibilities:
• represent Mozilla in their country/region
• promote the Mozilla Project and our mission
• build on and support existing/future local community efforts and programs
• inspire, recruit and support new contributors
• support and mentor future Mozilla Reps
• document clearly all their activities
Conferences and events
The Mozilla Festival is an annual event where hundreds of passionate people explore the Web, learn together and make things that can change the world. With the emphasis on making—the mantra of the Festival is “less yack, more hack.” Journalists, coders, filmmakers, designers, educators, gamers, makers, youth and anyone else, from all over the world, are encouraged to attend, with attendees from more than 40 countries, working together at the intersection between freedom, the Web, and that years theme.
The event revolves around design challenges which address key issues based on the chosen theme for that years festival. In previous years the Mozilla Festival has focused on Learning, and Media, with the 2012 festival being based around making. The titles of the festival revolve around the main theme, freedom (as in freedom of speech not free beer), and the Web.
MozCamps are the critical part of the Grow Mozilla initiative which aims to grow the Mozilla Community. These camps aim to bring core contributors from around strategic. They are an intensive multiday summits that include keynote speeches by Mozilla leadership, workshops and breakout sessions (lead by paid and un-paid staff), and fun social outings. All of these activities combine to reward contributors for their hard work, engage them with our new products and initiatives, and align all attendees on Mozilla’s mission.