The Mozilla Foundation, the organisation behind open-source projects Firefox, Thunderbird, and others, has announced an initiative to give back to projects on which its own creations rely - and is beginning with an impressive $1 million in funding.
Like almost everything in the world of open source, Mozilla's projects build upon foundations laid by others. With many projects being integral to Mozilla's own, the organisation has opted to give direct support in the form of funding from a $1 million pot, starting early next year, with the funds being spread across ten individual open source projects.
'Mozilla is a part of the open source and free software movement. We were born out of this movement. We prosper because of the technology and activism which comes from this movement. And we know that open source and free software remains a key part of the Internet and the online life we seek to build,
' explained Mitchell Baker of Mozilla's new funding programme. 'We have had a grant program for many years. Now it is time to formalise a systematic way to provide a new level of support to this community.
The Mozilla Open Source Support programme, Baker explained in an announcement
late last week, will seek to identify projects which could benefit from funding - both those on which Mozilla's own products are built and those where improvements could benefit the whole community, dubbed 'give back' and 'give forward' respectively. Initially, however, the programme will concentrate solely on 'give back' grants, with a view to identify up to ten suitable projects for funding by the 12th of December.
'I am reminded regularly of how deeply Mozillians identify open source and free software as a critical element of an open Internet and healthy, trustworthy online experiences,
' claimed Baker. 'I am excited to build a program that helps us bring concrete support to this worldview. You are the key to making this program great – to identifying great projects, to helping figure out what engagement from Mozilla would make a meaningful difference and to deepening Mozilla’s connections with our open source and free software compatriots.
Mozilla's Firefox browser has seen slipping market share in recent years, recently dropping back below 10 per cent according to market watcher StatCounter. It has sought to reverse this trend with an entry into the mobile market, looking to beat Google's Android and Apple's iOS with an HTML5-centric mobile platform dubbed Firefox OS.