[linux-elitists] Netscape/Mozilla followup

Ben Woodard ben@valinux.com
Fri May 12 07:54:30 PDT 2000


I think that you have done a very good job of capturing all the
unresolved questions. I wonder how forthright the answers are going to
be. One problem that I have seen is that on one side of the company
you have the people actually making the news and who know what
happened. On the other side of the company you have the PR
department. The PR's department's job is to make sure that best
possible face is presented to the public. Their job is not necessarily
to present the truth. They have no motivation to uncover truth
especially when the truth could be damaging to the overall company
image. Remember, they will literally lie to you if they feel it will
help the corporate image. Also at times they will choose not to know
things because then they would have to lie.

I remember when the Free Software thing started getting big. The
reporters would often times say to me.they liked dealing with the Free
Software people because they would actually talk to you and not remand
you to some corporate PR department that knew nothing and who was just
interested in showing you how white their teeth are.

I have quite talking to my oldest friend after she started doing
Public Relations for a company. I just couldn't stand to be around her
any more. The things she delt with made me feel so dirty.


> Hi all, I'm Rusty Foster from Kuro5hin.org. I've been following the
> discussion about the Mozilla image blocking story here (via the web
> archive) and I thought you'd like to know that we're still trying to get
> questions answered and put together a coherent followup story about the
> whole thing. We requested (repeatedly) an interview with Steve Morse and
> Blake Ross. Ross didn't respond, and Morse finally referred us to
> Catherine Corre in Netscape PR. So we sent a list of questions to her,
> and to Mitchell Baker at Mozilla. The email we sent Corre follows, and
> apart from tiny changes to make it mozilla-specific instead of
> Netscape-specific, the one sent to Baker is identical. If anyone here
> has any issues that they feel are still unanswered and that we don't
> address in the below email, please send them on to me and we'll include
> them in any followup correspondence. Thanks!
> --R
> Mail to Catherine Corre:
> Ms. Corre,
> I am an editor at Kuro5hin (www.kuro5hin.org), a reader driven news
> weblog. What I mean by reader driven is that the stories we post are
> submitted by the readers to a submission queue, where registered
> account holders vote on whether or not they are posted to the main site.
> On Monday, May 8th, a reader submitted a story regarding a Bugzilla
> posting explaining the reason for the removal of the image blocking
> feature from the Mozilla web browser. It was voted forward very quickly,
> and generated some rather heated discussion. You can find the story as
> published at
> http://www.kuro5hin.org/?op=displaystory&sid=2000/5/8/203537/1244.
> The story was subsequently picked up by several sources, including
> Advogato and Slashdot, and there was a lot of confusion and questions
> which seemed to remain unanswered. We are putting together a follow-up
> story, in an attempt to get the events of the original story clear, and
> also to clarify for our readers the relationship between Netscape, AOL,
> and the Mozilla project.
> In the original bugzilla post, Blake Ross quoted Steve Morse of Netscape
> as having said that the feature "went the way of management decree."
> (http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=35981). In a later email to
> Ben Woodard of VA Linux, Mr. Morse confirmed this quote as being
> accurate and having come from him
> (http://zgp.org/pipermail/linux-elitists/2000-May/000385.html -- see
> the bottom of the forwarded message).
> Mr. Morse later denied having said this in numerous places, including
> personal email to Rusty Foster of Kuro5hin, and in a subsequent post to
> the Bugzilla record (http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=35981),
> where he says "Please don't go attributing any other quotes to me --
> they just aren't true!!!". This seemed to many to be a denial of his
> having said the "management decree" quote.
> While the assumption was made by the reader who posted the story that
> "management" meant AOL management, Ross said in several posts that it
> was not related to AOL. Ross strongly implied that it was Netscape
> management who made this request, in his post at
> http://www.kuro5hin.org/?op=comments&sid=2000/5/8/203537/1244&cid=14#14. 
> We have tried to clear up the series of events with Mr. Morse and Mr.
> Ross, and have been directed to forward all questions on the matter to
> you.
> There is still quite a bit of confusion regarding this and related
> matters which I am hoping you can help clear up. In particular, it would
> be most helpful if you could answer (or point me to someone who can
> answer) the following questions:
>      * Did Mr. Morse actually say that the feature was disabled by
> "management
>        decree"? Why was this quote confirmed, and then later denied?
>      * Who made the request to remove the image blocking feature? Was it
>        Netscape management, Mozilla project management, AOL, or someone
> else?
>      * Why was the request made? Did the decision to remove it have
> anything
>        to do with Netscape's concerns about potential loss of
> advertising
>        revenues on Netcenter and its other web properties?
>      * What is the nature of the relationships between Netscape and AOL,
> and
>        Netscape and Mozilla? Does AOL make requests/demands regarding
> browser
>        features, or is Netscape autonomous in this regard?
>      * Similarly, what is Netscape's position regarding features
> included or not
>        included in the browser? Does Netscape merely request the
> inclusion or
>        exclusion of features, or is the Mozilla team bound in some
> manner
>        (whether by convention or contract) to make changes deemed
> desirable by
>        Netscape? What is the process followed if a conflict arises?
>      * If it is decided that a feature is not appropriate for a Netscape
> branded
>        browser, what is Netscape's postion regarding the inclusion of
> that
>        feature in non-Netscape branded versions of Mozilla?
> This information will be used for a follow-up story to be posted by next
> Wednesday. Any additional information you can furnish that may be
> pertinent would also be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
> Sincerely,
> Alan Ratcliff
> alan@quackingcat.com
> Rusty Foster
> rusty@kuro5hin.org
> -- 
> =======================================================================
> |      Rusty Foster       | "You can never entirely stop being what   |
> |   rusty@kuro5hin.org    | you once were. That's why it's important  |
> |    rusty@intes.net      | to be the right person today, and not put |
> | http://www.kuro5hin.org | it off till tomorrow."        -Larry Wall |
> =======================================================================
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