Mozilla chairman Mitchell Baker reflects on the company's first ten years:

March 31, 1998 is the date that Mozilla was officially launched. It’s the date the first Mozilla code became publicly available under the terms of an official open source license and a governing body for the project — the Mozilla Organization — began its public work. It’s always been known in Mozilla parlance as “3/31.” We’ll be celebrating Mozilla’s 10 year anniversary throughout 2008. Today I want to look at our first ten years, and a bit at the next ten years.

At its inception, Mozilla was:

  • An open source codebase for the software we call the browser
  • A group of people to build and lead an open source development effort — the Mozilla Organization (also known as “mozilla.org”)
  • A larger group of people committed to the idea — and the enormous work involved — in building a browser we all needed
  • An open source license granting everyone expansive rights to use the code for their own goals — the Mozilla Public License (which is now at version 1.1)
  • A website
  • A mascot (the orange T-rex, alternatively referred to as a lizard)

During the years since 3/31 we have taken that radical idea and proved its power. We have broadened the idea beyond anything imagined at our founding. And in the next ten years we’ll continue to be radical about building fundamental qualities such as openness, participation, opportunity, choice and innovation into the basic infrastructure of the Internet itself.

A fascinating read. It's hard not to root for Mozilla. I don't always feel they live up to their potential--the lack of major features in Firefox 2.0 and the backpedaling on truly-native UIs in Firefox 3.0 are obvious examples--but what they're doing is important. Clearly, the world is a better place as a result.