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Chapter 1. The Problem with the Blue E > The Red Lizard and Its Children

1.8. The Red Lizard and Its Children

Last time we looked at Netscape, back in 1998, it had just open sourced its code to form the foundations of a new web browser, to be called Mozilla. So what happened to Mozilla?

The code was opened, and lots of developers began poring over it. Very quickly, a big problem became obvious: the Netscape code that was supposed to be the base of Mozilla was a total mess. Netscape developers had worked frantically for years, pulling all-nighters fueled by pizza and cola, and the programming code consequently was enormous, complex, and unwieldy—what developers call "spaghetti code." After some time had been spent trying to rework the code, a decision was made: almost all of the old code had to be jettisoned, and the browser had to be rewritten from scratch, in a more structured, organized, and correct way.


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