Questions about mozilla.org’s position with in the company have been repeatedly
raised since AOLs purchase of Netscape last December. The
mozilla.org statement reads, in part, “As a major mozilla.org contributor,
AOL completely supports our efforts. Commercial open source software
development is in its early stages, and Wednesday’s comments demonstrate
that it is still regarded with skepticism by some in the industry. We would
like to stress that Sun was not speaking for mozilla.org or for AOL.”
In a News.com article, Alan Baratz, president of Sun’s
software products and platforms division saying, questioned the effort’s future.
“I’m not sure Mozilla.org
is working all that well,” said. “We’re looking at what the options are.”
The comments came on the heels of a March 24 reorganization of AOL into
four product groups. One of the four divisions is the Netscape Enterprise
Group which will continue to serve
Netscape’s enterprise customers and contribute to America Online’s part of
the e-commerce alliance with Sun. The move was expected to lead to
reductions of 350 to 500 positions at Netscape.
On April 1, the resignation of Jamie Zawinski, engineer and founding member
of mozilla.org, also prompted concerns. Zawinski left the company while
posting unfavorable comments about his tenure
on his homepage.
“Netscape no longer had the talent, either in engineering
or management, to ship quality products,” he said.
For its part, AOL has continually restated it’s support for mozilla.org.