The The Big Picture

The Mozilla open source project began as a way of developing the next generation of the Netscape Communicator suite. (See: The Relationship and History between Mozilla and Netscape) The Mozilla Application Suite, like Netscape Communicator, is an 'all in one' application, which contains a browser, email/newsgroups client, address book, and an HTML editor. Additional components, added to the suite were an IRC chat client, and web development tools (DOM Inspector, JavaScript Debugger).

A group of Mozilla contributors wanted to use the Mozilla code to build a much more streamlined product. They wanted to build just a browser, without the complications and added code, brought on by additional components. That product became Mozilla Firefox; and when the same thing was done to the email/newsgroups client, that product became Mozilla Thunderbird. There's even an equivalent product for the HTML editor, called BlueGriffon. (The IRC chat client, known as ChatZilla, is available as an extension.)

In the Spring of 2003, the Mozilla development roadmap was changed to focus development on the stand-alone applications Firefox and Thunderbird. Eventually, the Mozilla Foundation ceased development of the Mozilla Application Suite. Mozilla 1.7 was updated with security updates until April of 2006. (Version 1.7.13 was the last.)

A group of people in the Mozilla community, preferring Mozilla Suite's more in-depth interface, began a project called SeaMonkey, which aims to "deliver production-quality releases of code derived from the application formerly known as 'Mozilla Application Suite'." For instance, what would have been Mozilla 1.8 is SeaMonkey 1.0.

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