Pick a Free OS

Interview with Mozilla engineering director Chris Hofmann

Q: Will Version 2 be a collection of independent applications (Firebird, Thunderbird, etc.) or an Integrated suite?

A: Our preliminary thinking on this is that 2.0 is really a version number for the core gecko components, and a collection of many applications that are built on top of it. Those applications would likely include the latest update to the Integrated Suite, Firebird, Thunderbird, and many more.

Q: Which type of organization prefer Mozilla suite and which ones prefer the individuals applications?

A: It fills a wide variety of needs in many different niches.

We have talked to several enterprise and large organizations that have Mozilla deployments in place, or are considering them. The stable full Mozilla suite provides a good low-cost solution to their needs. These kind of organizations face big costs when trying to do any training, or roll out deployments. So having the full suite around, and not having its UI change much fits a real need with many of these kind of organizations.

Other large organizations want to stay closer to the cutting edge are starting deployments of Firebird and Thunderbird. We think this will ramp up when the *birds hit 1.0.

High costs, security concerns, and the prospect of long delays in the next major release of operating systems gives us a window of opportunity to see the adoption of Mozilla grow over the next couple of years. We plan to fill all the gaps we can with our technology. That's what is driving decisions about the suite, and the redesigned standalone apps that focus on simplicity, speed, and innovation of the UI.

At the core of this is gecko, which is well-tested technology that renders the vast majority of content on the web and has the best standards support of any browser. All kinds of applications will be built on top of gecko going forward. The full suite was the first major widely deployed app built on gecko, Firebird and Thunderbird will be next, and many will follow.

Q: It makes sense for Mozilla and OpenOffice.org to work together. Both offer suite of applications for the desktop which work on a variety of platform. Is there a possibility of merging the two projects?