Subject: Re: Dwyer, FRB, Economics of Open Source
From: Brian Behlendorf <>
Date: Sat, 3 Jun 2000 22:05:28 -0700 (PDT)

On Sun, 28 May 2000 wrote:
> My point being that Mozilla didn't proceed very far until this rewrite
> occurred, and that the rewrite itself was a significant task.  

I like to call Mozilla a "moon shot" - just like the original drive to
land a man on the moon in the 60's, it was a (from some perspectives,
stupidly) ambitious endeavor to do something that it was very clear was
not going to happen on its own, without some substantial investment; and
yet, the results of that effort are partly the accomplishment of the goal
(putting a man on the moon, having an open source web browser), but vastly
greater benefits came from the innovation that occured along the way.  In
going to the moon, we advanced our knowlege of materials science,
propulsion, telemetry, and communications faster than would have happened
without it.  

By the same token, there's been lots of good code written as a result of
the Mozilla project that we're only starting to see the fruits of; though
still quite primitive, the XUL work could be the basis for a substantial
amount of desktop open source development, as it's (by second-hand
account) significantly easier to use to build graphical applications than
most other toolsets, especially "network-aware" applications.  And then
there's the XPCOM stuff, NSPR, the Gecko rendering engine, and other
goodness in there; it'll be interesting to see how this stack and the
other open source desktop stacks work together (or compete - eek).