Computergram: Apache Group Incorporated But Future of Mozilla in Doubt

Sally Khudairi (
Fri, 2 Jul 1999 10:08:07 -0400

Computergram International
Issue 3694, July 01 1999

+ Apache Group Incorporated But Future of Mozilla in Doubt
Section: 10. Internet
By Rachel Chalmers

The Apache Group has announced the creation of the Apache
Foundation (ASF). This international volunteer effort is
dedicated to the
support of open-source software projects based on the
collaborative model
of the Apache HTTP Server Project. The ASF will provide
legal and financial support for the projects, and will seek
to ensure their
continuity beyond the participation of individual
volunteers. Incorporating
Apache also makes it possible for donations to be
tax-deductible, and
provides a vehicle for limiting the legal exposure of
contributing developers.

The Foundation will oversee all Apache activities, but the
technical aspects
of each project will continue to be governed by the
individual project teams.
Projects will be required to remain open to new contributors
via internet
collaboration, and software can only be distributed via a
set of approved
open-source licenses. Beyond those provisions, however, the
new corporation
promises not to interfere with the day-to-day running of

Ironically, even as the Apache Group cements its legal
status - testimony to
its extraordinary success in establishing its open source
web server as the
internet standard - the future of the open source browser
project Mozilla appears
to be in doubt. Speaking at the Enterprise Outlook
conference in Burlingame,
California, Sun Microsystems Inc executive Alan Baratz said:
"I'm not sure is working all that well. We're looking at what
the options are."

Sun's involvement in Mozilla came about as a result of the
complex three-way
deal between America Online Inc, Netscape Communications
Corp and Sun in
November last year, which saw Netscape acquired by AOL. At
the time, AOL
chief executive Steve Case assured Mozilla contributors that
the project had
his personal support. Six months down the track, Mozilla has
lost its chief
visionary, Jamie Zawinski, and still hasn't delivered
anything more than the
Gecko HTML layout engine. Little wonder that Sun is asking