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ComputerWorld: A brighter future: Mozilla and open sourcing redux

Nov 02, 1999, 02:46 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Cusumano)

"I must apologize to readers of my last column "(Mozilla gambit reveals risks of open sourcing," Oct. 18) and to people working on Mozilla, Netscape's open-source version of its browser source code. I wanted to make two points that I still believe: that open-source development may not help a public company deliver software products in a predictable time frame; and that the Mozilla project not only has yet to deliver the 5.0 version of Navigator, but it may also never salvage the market share of Netscape's browser. Both are judgment calls open to debate, which I wanted to provoke."

"That said, I missed or confused some basic facts. I held on too long to old information and negative impressions of Mozilla from last year, following the hype that open source was Netscape's answer to the Microsoft juggernaut. I combined Mozilla with Navigator, which I now see as separate. I didn't follow the project closely enough."

"But in retrospect, it is unfair simply to blame Mozilla and the open-source process for the delays and for making schedules more unpredictable. The rewrite was unavoidable. Netscape deserves the blame for not rearchitecting the browser code earlier."

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