With all the publicity that has surrounded Mozilla and its Firefox browser, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was a large organisation with hundreds of employees. In fact, there are only 40 Mozilla Foundation employees, many of which are based out of the organisation's head office in Mountain View, California.
The office is in a small, leafy industrial park in the suburbs of Mountain View, a town in the heart of Silicon Valley, 35 miles south of San Francisco. The town is home to 72,200 residents, but grows to 100,000 during the day due to the national and international companies that are based there.
Other companies that have headquarters in Mountain View include Google, Silicon Graphics, Veritas, Verisign and Netscape — the company that provided the original Mozilla source code when it made the Netscape Communicator browser available under an open source licence in 1998.
The Mozilla Foundation office is a relatively small, open-plan office, with tightly packed desks and boxes containing promotional material piled up in the corner. The walls are adorned with Firefox posters, including one surrounded by postcards sent by SpreadFirefox members from around the world. Asa Dotzler, the community coordinator at Mozilla, said the SpreadFirefox community probably includes members from "every country in the planet".
The centrepiece in the Mozilla office is a bridge made out of empty drinks cans. Originally built at Netscape in 1999, it is a model of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge and was moved to the Mozilla offices later. Around the base of the bridge are pieces from a giant chess set, plush toys and a life-size cardboard cut-out of Austin Powers.
Postcards from members of the SpreadFirefox community
Bridge made of drinks cans, and assorted cuddly toys.
Bridge made of drinks cans with Mozilla employee Josh Aas in foreground. Aas is currently working on making Firefox work better on the Apple Mac platform.
To see photos of some of the people ZDNet UK met in the Mozilla offices, go to the next page.