The preparations went a step forward Monday with the debut of a Web site devoted to the effort and the announcement of a dedicated client source code team within the company.
The mozilla.org site, which went live Monday, will provide a central point of contact and discussion for Netscape developers, and will also offer software updates, product architecture roadmaps, and technical tips for developers, said Jim Hamerly, vice president of the client product division at Netscape (NSCP), in Mountain View, Calif.
The newly formed mozilla team is now negotiating with the company's technology partners to try to finalise deals for their proprietary software components in Navigator to be released as free source code as well, Hamerly said.
The announcements follow the company's recent decision to open up the source code to developers, which came partly as a result of growing pressure on Netscape's bottom line from Microsoft Corp.'s competing browser, Internet Explorer. Some analysts hailed the decision as a major potential boon for the company.
The new team "will be dedicated to assisting developers in the development of the source code, building a community that addresses markets and needs we can't address on our own, and allowing our customers to reap the benefits through access to superior products," said Marc Andreessen, executive vice president of products, in a statement.