[Project_owners] A MozDev Mission Statement?

Pete Collins pete at mozdev.org
Tue Sep 16 11:13:31 EDT 2003

> So to clarify, the process would result in certain goals for Mozilla/GRE 
> that would make life easier/better for application/extension developers.
> I don't think it would be a useful way to try and identify Mozilla's 
> overall mission or general goals, but rather a useful way to provide 
> feedback to them on some of their current goals (Mozilla as a 
> development platform)

That's correct. There is no mystery here. All these problems have been 
sloved time and time again.

For a platform all you need are a clearly defined set of *general 
purpose* API's that make it as easy as possible to author an application 
in the specific paradigm. In this case the Mozilla paradigm. It is a 
fundamental thing.

How are apps built these days?

W/ libraries and toolkits that are easy to use, install and distribute. 
We all know this.

So the question *really* is. What is Mozilla?

It is a bird, a plane, a platform, a suite of apps, what?

This ambiguity is the root of all frustration.

So, instead of Mozilla.org coming up w/ a mission statement, maybe just 
a simple sentence as to what exactly Mozilla is. Or at least what they 
would like it to be. That is called clarity.

Curently Mozilla is:

- A browser suite
- A stand alone browser
- A stand alone Mail/Client
- A set of poorly documented xpcom objects (libraries)
- A development platform
- A GUI toolkit
- A set of developer tools
- A community of users
- A community of developers

If we can simplify this and reorganize these things we would get this:

- Applications
- Libraries/Toolkit
- Developer Tools
- Community

If you add all these things together, what do you get?

Applications + Libraries + Toolkit + Tools + Community = Platform

It's a platform right?

So using this logic, it may be safe to say "Mozilla is a platform". A 
new system for writing cross platform applications using web technologies.

If this is indeed true. Then what needs to be done to make a platform 
more useful?

First clearly state what Mozilla is. Plaster it on the web site. You now 
have your first piece of very important documentation.

"Mozilla is a platform"

Then proceed from there.

Mozdev has obviously always considered Mozilla a platform. But because 
it doesn't act like a proper platform and we are all using it as such, 
we tend to get very frustrated.

If it's not a platform then just tell us what is actually is. There is 
no real magic here. Just common sense.


Pete Collins

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