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OSU Open Source Lab

A Look Back at Mozila Firefox 1.0

by Anonymous on Tue, Nov 16 2004

As the Open Source Lab celebrates a decade of open source hosting, development and education, the lab is reflecting on its past accomplishments. Below is a favorite from our archives.

OSL Hosting Popular New Firefox Web Browser

Originally posted on November 16, 2004

Mozilla’s Firefox 1.0, the newly released Web browser available at www.mozilla.org, is living quietly in the Oregon State University Open Source Lab. The Open Source Lab is a world-class facility and data center for Open Source Software (OSS) knowledge, hosting, infrastructure, development and collaboration.

Creating an atmosphere of innovation and creativity for students, faculty and staff is a critical piece of the OSL's mission. “Collaborations there provide new and innovative solutions that would not have been possible without its growing success,” said Curt Pederson, vice provost for Information Services. “The Open Source Lab continues to save the University money at a time of decreasing state resources.” OSU hosts the software update services, website and download redirector for Mozilla.

“The open source lab played a big part in our Firefox 1.0 launch with over one million downloads on its first day of availability,” said Chris Hofmann, Mozilla Foundation’s Director of Engineering. Firefox 1.0, available for the Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems in more than a dozen languages, is the result of two years of work by literally hundreds of programmers. The browser is an absolute joy to use - smart, fast and very user-friendly, while still offering a multitude of advanced programmable and customizable functions for those who want to tinker.

“We began collaborating with Mozilla because we have been mirroring several other open source projects for many years,” said Scott Kveton, Associate Director at OSL. “We have helped them grow to over 40 mirrors across the globe and have developed tools with them to spread the load across all of those mirrors in a reliable fashion. In the past week there have been about 4 million downloads of Firefox 1.0”

The Mozilla Foundation, a California-based non-profit organization, is dedicated to developing open source software that provides users with choice and improved web experiences. Mozilla has already made considerable inroads into the browser market. Firefox features a pop-up ad blocker, online fraud protection and the ability to display several web pages in a single window, using "tabbed browsing."

“OSU's Open Source Lab has already helped the University save thousands of dollars by coming up with new solutions to otherwise expensive problems,” said OSU Provost and Executive Vice President, Sabah Randawah. Scott Kveton couldn’t agree more. “Mozilla is covering the cost of bandwidth and equipment hosted here at OSU and we are offering up our expertise as well as student help to provide these services,” he said. “OSU’s hosting efforts have resulted in several donations from open source users in the community. We are always looking for more donations to help provide support for some of the bigger open source projects that need world-class facilities to deliver their software to the masses.”

Perhaps the most important thing about these projects is what they bring to OSU in terms of human capital. “This has helped make OSU the home of open source by being able to help projects such as Mozilla,” continued Kveton. “Having Mozilla hosted at OSU has opened up some fantastic learning opportunities for students as well as added to the synergy occurring here. On Tuesday Mozilla Firefox had approximately 100 million hits across 7 million unique visitors. The Gentoo Linux community jumped in to help build out some machines that were hosted at the open source lab to handle the increased traffic. Without this kind of collaboration we wouldn't have been able to pull off the 1.0 release.”

OSU’s strategic plan states, “In today’s high technology global economy and fast-changing world, we will be an engine for economic growth and social progress in Oregon.”