loopback on Fri, 27 Mar 1998 17:28:28 +0100 (MET)

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<nettime> Openscape


The Openscape Group is an organization of people and resources who will be
working on the freely released Netscape client code when it is released on
March 31st. Our Mission is to provide a Cross-platform, standards compliant
browser to the public.

Openscape - Why?

      I've taken some heat lately from people who say that Openscape is 
aiming only at splintering the development process from the beginning. 
That The Netscape VP's must be worried that "Someone's already trying to 
profit from our stuff". And assorted other issues.

     Here is what Openscape is, and isn't:

     At this point (23Jan98 12:35EST) we have no idea what form the source
will be released in, what the license is, what Netscape is going to offer to
the free software community, what they will require from the free software
community, who decides what goes in, etc.

     We do know that only Netscape will be allowed to release a browser 
called "Netscape". We do know that Netscape will manage the CVS tree and 
that they want to be the "Linus" of the project.  (That's in reference to 
Linus Torvalds, the father of the Linux operating system who coordinates 
the updates and releases of the Linux kernel as development goes on all 
over the world.)

     After we get the source, the license, and get rolling, perhaps the
Netscape run project will be everything everyone hoped for. Maybe it will 
be the perfect vehicle for Browser Development. Or perhaps not. Until then, 
we can't really say what Openscape is.   Maybe it's just the name for the 
group of free software enthusiasts that are willing to work with Netscape. 
Perhaps it's a coordinated effort based on the Netscape code, and run 
autonomously.  Maybe it's both. We have no idea until we get more 
information. At this point the announcement is barely 24 hours old. 

     Until then I see Openscape as a place for like-minded people to
congregate, exchange ideas, discuss possible directions for the code. I'd 
like to be a sort of Netscape-Free-Source-Code-Users-Group, for now. We 
have 60-odd days until the software is released. We can spend it in 75 
little splinter groups, or we can come together and share ideas.  Today, 
Netscape needs to decide on the license. Is it going to be true GPL? Is 
it going to be based on GPL? We dont know, but as a unified front, we 
hold a larger voice to suggest directions for Netscape. (We can't dictate 
anything, but we can be supportive and helpful and suggest the best 
possible solution for all of us.) 

     As 03/31 approaches and we learn more, we will find our niche in this
whole mad scheme. My personal opinion is that Netscape isn't going to want 
to waste resources on things like a port to AmigaOS, or MacLinux, for 
example.  Maybe I'm wrong. My gut feeling is that Openscape will end up as 
a hybrid between autonomy and Netscape leadership.

     For those of you who have criticized me, I don't advocate splintering 
the source tree before it is even out. I advocate teamwork and cooperation. 
For now, let's concentrate on positive and contructive discussion of ideas 
for the browser, such as new features, new platforms, etc. If in 30 days 
it seems Openscape is frivolous and unnecessary, I'll glady delete the 
domain name and walk away.

     -Chris Thompson
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