Synthetic Monitoring

Simulate visitor interaction with your site to monitor the end user experience.

View Product Info

FEATURES

Simulate visitor interaction

Identify bottlenecks and speed up your website.

Learn More

Real User Monitoring

Enhance your site performance with data from actual site visitors

View Product Info

FEATURES

Real user insights in real time

Know how your site or web app is performing with real user insights

Learn More

Infrastructure Monitoring Powered by SolarWinds AppOptics

Instant visibility into servers, virtual hosts, and containerized environments

View Infrastructure Monitoring Info

Comprehensive set of turnkey infrastructure integrations

Including dozens of AWS and Azure services, container orchestrations like Docker and Kubernetes, and more 

Learn More

Application Performance Monitoring Powered by SolarWinds AppOptics

Comprehensive, full-stack visibility, and troubleshooting

View Application Performance Monitoring Info

Complete visibility into application issues

Pinpoint the root cause down to a poor-performing line of code

Learn More

Log Management and Analytics Powered by SolarWinds Loggly

Integrated, cost-effective, hosted, and scalable full-stack, multi-source log management

 View Log Management and Analytics Info

Collect, search, and analyze log data

Quickly jump into the relevant logs to accelerate troubleshooting

Learn More

Mozilla’s fire-breathing web browser sprung to life 10 years ago

MozillaToday, we want to highlight that it was 10 years ago, on June 5 in 2002, that version 1.0 of the open source Mozilla web browser suite was releasedblazing a path to the most recent Firefox.

The simple significance of this is that without Mozilla 1.0, Firefox may never have existed.

That makes today an important day in the history of the Internet in general, and the web in particular. In what seems like a lucky coincidence, Firefox 13 is officially released today, something that is no doubt welcome news for scores of users.

First browser war was over – IE won

The story of Mozilla starts after Microsoft had won the first browser war in the 1990s, when Netscape released most of its browser suite as open source in March 1998.

Netscape called the move, in a press release, “bold” and “aggressive.”

Netscape’s President and CEO at the time, Jim Barksdale, said: “By giving away the source code for future versions, we can ignite the creative energies of the entire Net community and fuel unprecedented levels of innovation in the browser market.”

The Mozilla project was then formed and set out to create a new browser, which, they hoped, would be able to take back market share from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

More than four years in the making

Initial excitement over Netscape’s decision to set the source code free seemed to have turned into frustration because of having to deal with old code. The team working on Mozilla decided to throw out the old code and start over. Brendan Eich, creator of the JavaScript scripting language and the present CTO at the Mozilla Corporation wrote: “It’s time to stop banging our heads on the old layout and… codebase.”

Mozilla

Out of this came a lot of new developments, including what still beats at the heart of Firefox today, the Gecko layout engine. The new engine promised to render web pages more correctly as well as faster than IE.

In 2000, the first major browser that was built on the open source code from the Mozilla project was released: Netscape 6. Unfortunately, feelings at Mozilla were that the browser was still bloated and needed further streamlining to be able to compete with IE.

So Mozilla decided to develop its own browser without influence from AOL and Netscape. Mozilla 1.0 was completed over four years after Netscape had open sourced its browser suite.

Following its Netscape heritage, the first Mozilla suite included a browser, mail application, newsgroup reader, IRC client, address book application, and a collection of JavaScript debugging tools.

Mozilla 1.0 had some killer features, many of which we take for granted today, including pop-up blocking, themes and skins, tabbed browsing, full web-standards compliance, and protections against the latest security threats.

Reviews of Mozilla 1.0

MozillaOnce released, Mozilla 1.0 received some pretty positive reviews.

PCMagazine’s Edward Mendelson, in his review, called Mozilla 1.0: “Netscape 7.0 without the commercial add-ons” and gave it a three out of five rating

Rex Baldazo, writing for ZDNet, wrote about Mozilla: it’s “a little too complicated for the average consumer,” but gave it a 7.4 out of 10. His conclusion was: “If you’d like a solid alternative to the Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 hegemony, give Mozilla a try while you wait for Netscape 7 — you might like what you find.”

In Arstechnica’s review, Kurt Mackey concluded: “The Mozilla project has been nothing less than a resounding success. The mozilla.org group has created a realistic alternative to IE for both today’s web and 5 years from now’s web.”

Even Playboy seems to have reviewed Mozilla 1.0, as noted by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone: “ ‘Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is the most popular browser in the world. But it’s not the best. That title belongs to Mozilla.”

Enter Firefox

MozillaEven though the early reviews of Mozilla 1.0 were positive, the new browser suite was not that well received among users. It was open source, which gave it a push, but that could only take it so far. Users largely found the browser slow, bloated, full of bugs, and generally hampered by the other components of the suite.

The result was that Mozilla, the web browser, never captured any significant market share, only ever reaching about 3% usage share.

That disappointment led to a radical rethink, when Ben Goodger and Blake Ross, two Mozilla contributors, took things back to basics.

In late 2004, Firefox emerged, as a faster, slimmer, and easier-to-use spawn of Mozilla.

But that’s a story for another day.

Mozilla 1.0 has left a lasting legacy

No doubt, many of you reading this article are doing it using web browsers that can trace their heritage back to the very first Mozilla version. Although we don’t know whether the launch of Firefox 13 on the 10-year anniversary day is a coincidence or not, it sure is a fitting tribute.

Whether you used Mozilla 1.0 when it was released or not, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the folks who worked on the Mozilla project. No doubt, the release of the Mozilla suite will be viewed as an important milestone in the history of the web.

Real User Monitoring: How to Improve Your Target Audience Reach

In the first post of this two-part series, we talked about the need to fully un [...]

Web Performance of the Top 50 E-commerce/Retail Sites in 2021

By Rachel Frnka Many factors have led to the massive increase of online reta [...]

How Pingdom’s Real User Monitoring Can Help Optimize Your WordPress Website

Enterprise web applications or medium-to-large, consumer-facing websites are ty [...]

Web Performance of the World’s Top 50 Blogs

By: Rachel Frnka Am I the only one who thinks blogs were in their prime in t [...]

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp Down for Over Five Hours

Did you unconsciously open Instagram, Facebook, or WhatsApp several times throu [...]

Monitor your website’s uptime and performance

With Pingdom's website monitoring you are always the first to know when your site is in trouble, and as a result you are making the Internet faster and more reliable. Nice, huh?

START YOUR FREE 30-DAY TRIAL

MONITOR YOUR WEB APPLICATION PERFORMANCE

Gain availability and performance insights with Pingdom – a comprehensive web application performance and digital experience monitoring tool.

START YOUR FREE 30-DAY TRIAL
Start monitoring for free