Mozilla to Make Open Source Simpler

The 10-year-old Mozilla Public License will be updated by the end of 2010.

At the open source organization's weekly meeting Monday, Mozilla Corp president Mitchell Baker announced that the MPL needs to be refreshed. It's not clear if there will be any major league changes to the hybrid license. It appears that the higher ups want the language updated, the terms simplified and the license modernized.

Execs on the call said they expect a "release candidate" of the new document to be ready by November. The plan was officially announced on Monday and a web site will be launched this Wednesday to accept feedback and input.

"Open source is well understood now and … we want to make it much simpler," Baker told the staff during the meeting today. "We want to have a much better document going forward."

Baker noted that the open source project — which launched in 1998 -spent just two months creating and vetting the hybrid license (before the leading hybrid license, the Apache Public License, debuted). It's been very successful since but some of the best practices and language in the license are outdated and need a refresh, the Mozilla president said.

Mozilla Corp and related Mozilla Foundation, which develops the leading open source browser, Firefox, as well as Thunderbird e-mail client and Sunbird calendar software, is based in Mountain View, Calif.

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