This is a historical film from 2000 that followed the team at Netscape as they rushed to release their code to the developer community as open source, in a bid to shore up their failing company, and then on to their eventual sell out to AOL, which, although it doesn’t show it here, was the signal for the end of the company and its browser.
What followed that though was that Mozilla was born, and Netscape was eventually transformed into Firefox, which still lives on, although with a small percentage of the market share, losing out, not to Microsoft, as with Netscape, but to Google, and the similar way it has pushed its own browser Chrome.
The film basically follows some of the lead developers as they are working against time to get the code debugged and ready for release, and tries to understand the developer mentality and community along the way. It looks only sideways at the way companies (specifically Microsoft) were using their muscle to take over the space.
The film I think is important historically as showing what was motivating people at this stage of the development of the internet, the problems they faced, and their hopes and aspirations. It was also made before the collapse of the dotcom bubble, so is a product of its time, and shows that in various ways, including its enthusiasm for the startup company and what could be achieved.
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