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Doubt Cast Over Mozilla's Future
By: MarkJ - 10 March, 2005 (1:07 PM)

The success of Mozilla's free stand-alone off-shoot's, Firefox (website browsing) and Thunderbird (e-mail), has called into question the future of the integrated software suit:

Mozilla developers on the 'netscape.public.mozilla.seamonkey' newsgroup have been in fierce debate over the future of the open source suite since the minutes of the 28th February mozilla.org staff meeting were posted online on the 7th of March. At that stage the demise of the Mozilla suite was hinted at by one solitary line: "*Mozilla 1.8 final* to be discussed tomorrow whether we do one".

Discussion on the newsgroup focused on the fact that nobody was currently taking responsibility for the suite (code-named 'SeaMonkey'). As developer Robert Kaiser put it, "What we badly need is an active core developer group and an 'app czar' or project leader". Fellow developer and MIT graduate Boris Zbarsky answered the call, saying: "Absolutely. Do you have people in mind who have time to do this? If so, I'd love to know who they are. They are sorely needed."

Developer Gervase Markham pointed out in the newsgroup that maintaining the Mozilla Suite in addition to Firefox and Thunderbird is "a lot of work, particularly when you have to do releases from all of them near-simultaneously if there's a security issue".

The UK.Builder site goes on to elaborate further on the different choices and difficulties of the present situation.

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