Firefox advocate Rob Davis, who is running the funding campaign from the Spread Firefox site, said this will be "the first-ever, full-page advertisement in a major daily newspaper created and paid for by the open-source community."
Up to 2,500 supporters are expected to donate at least US$30 apiece. For that, each supporter will get their name in the advertisement itself. "Community Champion" status will be awarded to anyone who signs up 10 or more extra names, the foundation said. The fund will also support further marketing efforts.
"We (sfx members and Firefox users) will only ever have one Firefox 1.0 launch," Davis says on the front page of the Spread Firefox site. "This is it! Let's take the world by storm."
Already available in a preview version, the Firefox browser has been downloaded more than 5 million times. On the back of intense media interest and strong word-of-mouth recommendations, the browser is becoming a potential contender against Microsoft's Internet Explorer--still the overwhelming market leader, with about 94 percent market share.
Rupert Goodwins of ZDNet UK reported from London.