Originally a code name for Netscape Navigator, Mozilla is a contraction of Mosaic killer, referring to the hope that it would unseat Mosaic as the top Web browser, and Godzilla, referring to the fictional monster of Japanese science fiction movies. Mozilla now refers to an open source application suite based on the Netscape Navigator source code, which was released by Netscape in 1998 under an open source license. See also browser, Firefox, Mosaic, Netscape Navigator, and Web.
An open source Web browser and toolkit from the Mozilla Foundation (www.mozilla.org). Mozilla serves as a reference platform for standards compliance and quality control. Mozilla-based products for Windows, Mac and Linux are the Mozilla and SeaMonkey suites (browser, e-mail, newsgroups and HTML editor), Firefox browser and Thunderbird e-mail client. The Camino browser is Mac only. Over the years, Mozilla received contributions from around the world, and both Netscape and third parties have used the code for their own purposes. Version 1.0 of the Mozilla browser was released in 2002. Gecko is the name of the rendering engine that began its development at Netscape in 1997, but was released as open source. Gecko was formerly called Raptor and NGLayout (Next Gen Layout). See browser rendering engine. What's a Mozilla? Mozilla was originally the code name for the Netscape Navigator Web browser and Netscape's first alligator-like mascot. Mozilla stood for "Mosaic Killer," because Netscape wanted to reign supreme, which it did for a while (see Mosaic). In 1998, the source code of the entire Netscape Communicator package was made available to developers, and Mozilla.org was created to act as a clearing house for contributions. In 2003, with the help of the Netscape division of AOL, it was turned into the Mozilla Foundation to provide support for open source projects. See Firefox, Netscape and Netscape Communicator.