'Brendan, we have failed you', a tweet full of regrets...
The Mozilla name is a shortcut of Mosaic Killer (Killa), and was the code name of the Netscape browser in the development team. Mosaic, an early Web browser, was the most used when Netscape was released and has been made obsolete.
This code name was used to identify the user agent of Netscape in HTTP message exchanges.
The word Mozilla is also the origin of Dmoz (Directory Mozilla), the directory acquired by Netscape and now owned by AOL. Its logo is a green lizard. To differentiate from it, Mozilla later chose the image of a red dinosaur. There is a paleontologist trend who believes that dinosaurs were red, but that's another topic.
Netscape was the most used browser until 1998 when Internet Explorer has replaced it. The latter was then closer to web standards, things have changed...
In 1998, Netscape becomes open source. Then a new version was built from scratch based on the Gecko rendering engine and the XUL interface language, it will become Firefox further.
Netscape was bought by AOL in November 1998. The foundation was established previously the same year to develop a different version of the browser. In 2003 it became a nonprofit organization, the Mozilla Foundation. In August 2005 was created next to the foundation a company, Mozilla Corporation designed to create profits with products from Mozilla, including Firefox.
AOL finally buried Netscape by closing the site and selling its patents to his opponent of always: Microsoft!
The open source version of Netscape was first named Phoenix. But the name was already used by a manufacturer of motherboards, so it is renamed Firebird in 2003 and that in turn conflicted with the name of a database. It then becomes Mozilla Firebird, and then Mozilla Firefox in 2004.
The first perfectly stable version of Firefox dates from 2005.
In 2010, the Firefox browser is the second most popular with 25% market share worldwide after Internet Explorer.
Who would have thought that one of the founders of Mozilla, who made it an inclusive community, would be pushed away by the very people he welcomed without discrimination?
Brendan Eich was the architect for the construction of Mozilla, the foundation and the associate enterprise. He guided the main strategic choices that have defined its products. (Ref CNET).
Mitchell Baker, co-founder, about Brendan Eich:
"Brendan can make amazing things happen when nobody else thinks it's possible or when it's late in the game. It's been part of the history of Mozilla."
All the fuss made by activists and profiteers on which the media feasted, was seen as a threat to the Mozilla Foundation, whose income depends solely on donations and sponsors. Then blackmail paid, Brendan Eich resigned April 3, 2014 to spare Mozilla this disastrous publicity, and preserve the foundation, under the pressure of those who did not care.
Message of support on medium.com:
Another support, from Dave Winer, creator of RSS 2.0:
Brendan Eich has decided to go on a trip with his family, and is replaced by the marketing manager. What Mozilla needs the most at this time because this is not the Rust language that will improve its image.
See also ...