Happy birthday, Mozilla

15 Years of a better web I’m a little late with this one, but on March 31st, Mozilla turned 15 years old.

Looking back, Mozilla’s plan was as radical as the Web itself: use open source and community to simultaneously create great software and build openness into the key technologies of the Internet itself. This was something commercial vendors weren’t doing and could not do. A non-profit, community-driven organization like Mozilla was needed to step up to the challenge.

When Netscape Navigator came along, it was a piece of software that you were expected to pay for. Microsoft, sensing an opportunity, not only released Internet Explorer but also bundled it – gratis – with Windows. This, in a single step, flattened Netscape’s business and left the way open for Microsoft to start stuffing proprietary technologies into their internet offerings.

If Firefox hadn’t come along when it did, and with the commitment to openness that Mozilla has maintained, we would all now be using Microsoft Internet Explorer to visit sites authored with Microsoft FrontPage and hosted on servers running Microsoft IIS. If that had happened, the web today would be a very different place in which the cost of building a web presence would be a serious barrier to the sorts of innovation we have become used to over the past 15 years.

We all owe Mozilla a debt of gratitude and the future is bright. Firefox 20 is out now and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what Firefox OS does to the mobile market.

BrowserQuest

This is good. The Mozilla Foundation – those fine folks behind Firefox – recently released a massively multiplayer adventure game written entirely in HTML 5 and JavaScript. BrowserQuest is a cute tribute to the video games many of us grew up with, but with a multiplayer twist.

BrowserQuest can be played by thousands of simultaneous players, distributed across different instances of the in-game world. Click on the population counter at any time to know exactly how many total players are currently online.

Players can see and interact with each other by using an in-game chat system. They can also team up and fight enemies together.

BrowserQuest is a game of exploration: the more dangerous the places you go, the better the rewards.

Of course, it is all open source and if you want to know where to find the code, the Octocat can tell you:

Screenshot

Via BoingBoing

Help Mozilla build a better Web.

If it hadn’t been for Firefox, chances are that we would all be looking at a closed, Microsoft defined, web right now with all the limitations and licence restrictions that woulkd come wrapped up in that. The Mozilla Foundation, who develop and distribute Firefox, are still going and still working to build a better web.

You can support them by Joining Mozilla. Not only do you get to feel warm and fuzzy, you get a freee t-shirt as well.

Thanks to @corenomial for the link.