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Title: Mozilla  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Ubiquity (Firefox), Robert Sayre, Mozilla Persona, The Day We Fight Back, XUL
Collection: Mozilla, Netscape, Projects Established in 1998
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Mozilla is a free software community best known for producing the Firefox web browser. The Mozilla community uses, develops, spreads and supports Mozilla products, thereby promoting exclusively free software and open standards, with only minor exceptions.[1] The community is supported institutionally by the Mozilla Foundation and its tax-paying subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation.[2]

In addition to the Firefox browser, Mozilla also produces Thunderbird, Firefox Mobile, the Firefox OS mobile operating system, the bug tracking system Bugzilla and a number of other projects.


  • History 1
    • Eich CEO promotion controversy 1.1
  • Values 2
    • Pledge 2.1
  • Software 3
    • Firefox 3.1
    • Firefox Mobile 3.2
    • Firefox OS 3.3
    • Thunderbird 3.4
    • SeaMonkey 3.5
    • Bugzilla 3.6
    • Components 3.7
      • NSS 3.7.1
      • SpiderMonkey 3.7.2
      • Rhino 3.7.3
      • Gecko 3.7.4
      • Rust 3.7.5
      • XULRunner 3.7.6
      • pdf.js 3.7.7
      • Shumway 3.7.8
  • Other activities 4
    • Mozilla Persona 4.1
    • Firefox Marketplace 4.2
    • Webmaker 4.3
    • Mozilla Developer Network 4.4
  • Community 5
    • Local communities 5.1
    • Mozilla Reps 5.2
    • Conferences and events 5.3
      • Mozilla Festival 5.3.1
      • MozCamps 5.3.2
      • Mozilla Summit 5.3.3
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


On February 23, 1998, Netscape Communications Corporation created a project called Mozilla (after the original code name of the Netscape Navigator browser which is a blending of "Mosaic and Godzilla"[3]) to co-ordinate the development of the Mozilla Application Suite, the open source version of Netscape's internet software, Netscape Communicator.[4][5] Jamie Zawinski says he came up with the name "Mozilla" at a Netscape staff meeting.[6][7] A small group of Netscape employees were tasked with coordination of the new community.

Originally, Mozilla aimed to be a technology provider for companies, such as Netscape, who would commercialize their open source code.[8] When AOL (Netscape's parent company) greatly reduced its involvement with Mozilla in July 2003, the Mozilla Foundation was designated the legal steward of the project.[9] Soon after, Mozilla deprecated the Mozilla Suite in favor of creating independent applications for each function, primarily the Firefox web browser and the Thunderbird email client, and moved to supply them directly to the public.[10]

Recently, Mozilla's activities have expanded to include Firefox on mobile platforms (primarily Android),[11] a mobile OS called Firefox OS,[12] a web-based identity system called Mozilla Persona and a marketplace for HTML5 applications.[13]

In a report released in November 2012, Mozilla reported that their total revenue for 2011 was $163 million, which was up 33% from $123 million in 2010. Mozilla noted that roughly 85% of their revenue comes from their contract with Google.[14]

At the end of 2013, Mozilla announced a deal with Cisco Systems whereby Firefox would download and use a Cisco-provided binary build of an open source[15] codec to play the proprietary H.264 video format.[16][17] As part of the deal, Cisco would pay any patent licensing fees associated with the binaries that it distributes. Mozilla's CTO, Brendan Eich, acknowledged that this is "not a complete solution" and isn't "perfect".[18] An employee in Mozilla's video formats team, writing in an unofficial capacity, justified[19] it by the need to maintain their large user base, which would be necessary in future battles for truly free video formats.

In December 2013, Mozilla announced funding for the development of non-free games[20] through its Game Creator Challenge. However, even those games that may be released under a non-free software or open source license must be made with open web technologies and Javascript as per the work criteria outlined in the announcement.

Eich CEO promotion controversy

On March 24, 2014, Mozilla promoted Eich to the role of CEO. This led to global boycotts and protests from the LGBT community and its supporters, as Eich previously donated US$1,000[21] in 2008 in support of California's Proposition 8, a California ballot proposition and state constitutional amendment in opposition to same-sex marriage.[22] Eich's donation first became public knowledge in 2012, while he was Mozilla’s chief technical officer; however, following angry responses on Twitter—including the use of the hashtag "#wontworkwithbigots"—the controversy eventually abated.[23]

Protests of a greater magnitude emerged in 2014 following the announcement of Eich's appointment as CEO of Mozilla. U.S. companies OkCupid and CREDO Mobile received media coverage for their objections, with the former asking its users to boycott the browser,[24] while Credo amassed 50,000 signatures for a petition that called for Eich's resignation.[25] In Australia, the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) issued a press release on March 28, 2014, in which CEO Simon Ruth stated:

Organisations like Mozilla have a commitment to respect and treat people equally, regardless of sexual or gender orientation. Mozilla appointing a CEO who openly opposes measures to address equality is in opposition to our organisation’s mission and values. Consequently, VAC/GMHC has dis-endorsed the use of Mozilla across all our computer systems.[26]

Eich resigned on April 3, 2014 and Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman of Mozilla Corporation, posted an official apology on the Mozilla blog: "We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality."[27]

OkCupid co-founder and CEO Sam Yagan had also donated $500[28] to Republican candidate Chris Cannon who proceeded to vote for multiple anti-gay measures, including the banning of same-sex marriage.[29][30][31][32] Yagan claims he did not know about Cannon's stance on gay rights and that his contribution was due to the candidate being the ranking Republican participating in the House subcommittee that oversaw Internet and Intellectual Property matters.[33][34][35][36][37]

Reader comments on articles that were published close to the events were divided between support for OkCupid's actions and opposition to them. Supporters claimed the boycott was justified and saw OkCupid's actions as a firm statement of opposition to intolerance towards gay individuals and gay rights. Opponents saw OkCupid's actions as hypocritical, since Eich is also the inventor of Javascript, which is still required to browse OkCupid's website, felt that users should not be punished for the actions of Mozilla and suspected that OkCupid's actions were a publicity stunt. The latter view is shared by some article authors as well.[35][38]


According to Mozilla's manifesto,[39] which outlines goals, principles, and a pledge, "The Mozilla project uses a community-based approach to create world-class open source software and to develop new types of collaborative activities".


The Mozilla Foundation pledges to support the Mozilla Manifesto in its activities. Specifically, we will:
  • build and enable open-source technologies and communities that support the Manifesto’s principles;
  • build and deliver great consumer products that support the Manifesto’s principles;
  • use the Mozilla assets (intellectual property such as copyrights and trademarks, infrastructure, funds, and reputation) to keep the Internet an open platform;
  • promote models for creating economic value for the public benefit; and
  • promote the Mozilla Manifesto principles in public discourse and within the Internet industry.


Firefox logo
  Countries where Firefox is the most used browser


Firefox is a web browser, and is Mozilla's flagship software product. It is available in both desktop and mobile versions. Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine to render web pages, which implements current and anticipated web standards.[40] As of April 2013, Firefox has approximately 20–21% of worldwide usage share of web browsers, making it the third most-used web browser.[41][42][43]

Firefox began as an experimental branch of the Mozilla codebase by Dave Hyatt, Joe Hewitt and Blake Ross. They believed the commercial requirements of Netscape's sponsorship and developer-driven feature creep compromised the utility of the Mozilla browser.[44] To combat what they saw as the Mozilla Suite's software bloat, they created a stand-alone browser, with which they intended to replace the Mozilla Suite.

Firefox was originally named Phoenix but the name was changed so as to avoid trademark conflicts with Phoenix Technologies. The initially-announced replacement, Firebird, provoked objections from the Firebird project community.[45][46] The current name, Firefox, was chosen on February 9, 2004.[47]

Firefox Mobile

Firefox Mobile (codenamed Fennec) is the build of the Mozilla Firefox web browser for devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.

Firefox Mobile uses the same Gecko layout engine as Mozilla Firefox. For example, version 1.0 used the same engine as Firefox 3.6, and the following release, 4.0, shared core code with Firefox 4.0. Its features include HTML5 support, Firefox Sync, add-ons support and tabbed browsing.[48]

Firefox Mobile is currently available for Android 2.2 and above devices with an ARMv7 or ARMv6 CPU.[49] The x86 architecture is not officially supported.[50] Tristan Nitot, president of Mozilla Europe, has said that it's unlikely that an iPhone or a BlackBerry version will be released, citing Apple's iTunes Store application approval policies (which forbid applications competing with Apple's own, and forbid engines which run downloaded code) and BlackBerry's limited operating system as the reasons.[51]

Firefox OS

Firefox OS (project name: Boot to Gecko also known as B2G) is an open source operating system in development by Mozilla that aims to support HTML5 apps written using "open Web" technologies rather than platform-specific native APIs. The concept behind Firefox OS is that all user-accessible software will be HTML5 applications, that use Open Web APIs to access the phone's hardware directly via JavaScript.[52]


Thunderbird is a free, open source, cross-platform email and news client developed by the Mozilla Foundation.


SeaMonkey logo

SeaMonkey (formerly the Mozilla Application Suite) is a free and open source cross platform suite of Internet software components including a web browser component, a client for sending and receiving email and USENET newsgroup messages, an HTML editor (Mozilla Composer) and the ChatZilla IRC client.

On March 10, 2005, the Mozilla Foundation announced that it would not release any official versions of Mozilla Application Suite beyond 1.7.x, since it had now focused on the standalone applications Firefox and Thunderbird.[53] SeaMonkey is now maintained by the SeaMonkey Council, which has trademarked the SeaMonkey name with help from the Mozilla Foundation.[54] The Mozilla Foundation provides project hosting for the SeaMonkey developers.


Bugzilla logo

Bugzilla is a bug tracking system for both free and open source software and proprietary projects and products, including the Mozilla Foundation, the Linux kernel, GNOME, KDE, Red Hat, Novell, Eclipse and LibreOffice.[55]



Network Security Services (NSS) comprises a set of libraries designed to support cross-platform development of security-enabled client and server applications. NSS provides a complete open-source implementation of crypto libraries supporting SSL and S/MIME. NSS was previously tri-licensed under the Mozilla Public License 1.1, the GNU General Public License, and the GNU Lesser General Public License, but upgraded to GPL-compatible MPL 2.0.

AOL, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems/Oracle Corporation, Google and other companies and individual contributors have co-developed NSS and it is used in a wide range of non-Mozilla products including Evolution, Pidgin, and Apache OpenOffice.


SpiderMonkey is the original JavaScript engine developed by Brendan Eich when he invented JavaScript in 1995 as a developer at Netscape. It became part of the Mozilla product family when Mozilla inherited Netscape's code-base in 1998. In 2011, Eich transferred the nominal ownership of the SpiderMonkey code and project to Dave Mandelin.[56]

SpiderMonkey is a cross-platform engine written in C++ which implements ECMAScript, a standard developed from JavaScript.[56][57] It comprises an interpreter, several just-in-time compilers, a decompiler and a garbage collector. Products which embed SpiderMonkey include Firefox, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, and many non-Mozilla applications.[58]


Rhino is an open source JavaScript engine managed by the Mozilla Foundation. It is developed entirely in Java. Rhino converts JavaScript scripts into Java classes. Rhino works in both compiled and interpreted mode.[59]


Gecko is a layout engine that supports web pages written using HTML, SVG, and MathML. Gecko is written in C++ and uses NSPR for platform independence. Its source code is licensed under the Mozilla Public License.

Firefox uses Gecko both for rendering web pages and for rendering its user interface. Gecko is also used by Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, and many non-Mozilla applications.


Rust is a compiled programming language being developed by Mozilla Research. It is designed for safety, concurrency, and performance. Rust is intended for creating large and complex software which needs to be both safe against exploits and fast.

Rust is being used in an experimental layout engine, Servo, which is developed by Mozilla and Samsung. Servo is not used in any browsers yet, and there are no plans for it to replace Gecko.


XULRunner is a software platform and technology experiment by Mozilla, that allows applications built with the same technologies used by Firefox extensions (XPCOM, Javascript, HTML, CSS, XUL) to be run natively as desktop applications, without requiring Firefox to be installed on the user's machine. XULRunner binaries are available for the Windows, GNU/Linux and OS X operating systems, allowing such applications to be effectively cross platform.


Pdf.js is a library developed by Mozilla that allows in-browser rendering of pdf documents using the HTML5 Canvas and Javascript. It is included by default in recent versions of Firefox, allowing the browser to render pdf documents without requiring an external plugin; and it is available separately as an extension named "PDF Viewer" for Firefox for Android, SeaMonkey, and the Firefox versions which don't include it built-in. It can also be included as part of a website's scripts, to allow pdf rendering for any browser that implements the required HTML5 features and can run Javascript.


Shumway is an open source replacement for the Adobe Flash Player, developed by Mozilla since 2012, using open web technologies as a replacement for Flash technologies. It uses Javascript and HTML5 Canvas elements to render Flash and execute Actionscript. It is included by default in Firefox Nightly and can be installed as an extension for any recent version of Firefox. The current implementation is limited in its capabilities to render Flash content outside simple projects.

Other activities

Mozilla Persona

Mozilla Persona is a secure, cross-browser website authentication mechanism which allows a user to use a single username and password (or other authentication method) to log in to multiple sites.[60]

Firefox Marketplace

The Firefox Marketplace is a marketplace for HTML5 applications. Its main purpose is to support Firefox OS.


Mozilla Webmaker is Mozilla's educational initiative. Webmaker's goal is to "help millions of people move from using the web to making the web." As part of Mozilla’s non-profit mission, Webmaker aims "to help the world increase their understanding of the web, take greater control of their online lives, and create a more web literate planet."[61][62] [63]

Mozilla Developer Network

Mozilla maintains a comprehensive developer documentation website called the Mozilla Developer Network which contains information about web technologies including HTML, CSS, SVG, JavaScript, as well Mozilla-specific information.

In addition, Mozilla publishes a large number of videos about web technologies and the development of Mozilla projects on the Air Mozilla website.[64][65]


The Mozilla Community consists of over 40,000 active contributors from across the globe. It includes both paid employees and volunteers who work towards the goals set forth[39] in the Mozilla Manifesto. Many of the sub-communities in Mozilla have formed around localization efforts for Mozilla Firefox, and the Mozilla web properties.

Local communities

Mozilla spaces, London

There are a number of sub-communities that exist based on their geographical locations, where contributors near each other work together on particular activities, such as localization, marketing, PR and user support.

Mozilla Reps

Mozilla Reps logo

The Mozilla Reps program aims to empower and support volunteer Mozillians who want to become official representatives of Mozilla in their region/locale.

The program provides a simple framework and a specific set of tools to help Mozillians to organize and/or attend events, recruit and mentor new contributors, document and share activities, and support their local communities better.

When joining the program, a Mozilla Rep agrees to take on the following responsibilities:

  • represent Mozilla in their country/region
  • promote the Mozilla Project and our mission
  • build on and support existing/future local community efforts and programs
  • inspire, recruit and support new contributors
  • support and mentor future Mozilla Reps
  • document clearly all their activities

Conferences and events

Mozilla Festival

Speakers from the Knight Foundation discuss the future of news at the 2011 Mozilla Festival in London.

The Mozilla Festival is an annual event where hundreds of passionate people explore the Web, learn together and make things that can change the world. With the emphasis on making—the mantra of the Festival is "less yack, more hack." Journalists, coders, filmmakers, designers, educators, gamers, makers, youth and anyone else, from all over the world, are encouraged to attend, with attendees from more than 40 countries, working together at the intersection between freedom, the Web, and that years theme.

The event revolves around design challenges which address key issues based on the chosen theme for that years festival. In previous years the Mozilla Festival has focused on Learning, and Media, with the 2012 festival being based around making. The titles of the festival revolve around the main theme, freedom (as in freedom of speech not free beer), and the Web.


MozCamps are the critical part of the Grow Mozilla initiative which aims to grow the Mozilla Community. These camps aim to bring core contributors from around the world together. They are intensive multi-day summits that include keynote speeches by Mozilla leadership, workshops and breakout sessions (lead by paid and un-paid staff), and fun social outings. All of these activities combine to reward contributors for their hard work, engage them with new products and initiatives, and align all attendees on Mozilla's mission.

Mozilla Summit

Mozilla Summit are the global event with active contributors and Mozilla staffs to develop a shared understanding of Mozilla's mission together. Over 2,000 people representing 90 countries and 114 languages gathered in Santa Clara, Toronto and Brussels in 2013.

See also


  1. ^ For exceptions, see "Values" section below
  2. ^ "About the Mozilla Corporation". Mozilla Foundation. 
  3. ^ Payment, S. (2007). Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark: The Founders of Netscape. Rosen Publishing Group.  
  4. ^ "Netscape Announces, a Dedicated Team and Web Site Supporting Development of Free Client Source Code". Netscape. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  5. ^ "Mac vendors ponder Netscape gambit.". Macworld. 1 May 1998. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  6. ^ Zawinski, Jamie (1996). "nscp dorm". Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  7. ^ Dave Titus with assistance from Andrew Wong. "How was Mozilla born". 
  8. ^ "Introduction to Mozilla Source Code". Mozilla. Retrieved 2012-08-18. However, wants to emphasize that these milestones are being produced for testing purposes only. 
  9. ^ " Announces Launch of the Mozilla Foundation to Lead Open-Source Browser Efforts". Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  10. ^  
  11. ^ "Better Browsing on Your Android Smartphone". AllThingsD. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  12. ^ "Mozilla Releases Test Version of Firefox OS". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  13. ^ "Mozilla Marketplace is live, lets you run web apps like desktop programs". Engadget. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  14. ^ November 15, 2012. Lardinois, Frederic. "Mozilla Releases Annual Report For 2011: Revenue Up 33% To $163M, Majority From Google."
  15. ^ "cisco/openh264 · GitHub". Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  16. ^ "Mozilla will add H.264 to Firefox as Cisco makes eleventh-hour push for WebRTC’s future — Tech News and Analysis". Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  17. ^ "Cisco to release open-source H.264 codec, Mozilla makes tactical retreat - TechRepublic". Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  18. ^ "Video Interoperability on the Web Gets a Boost From Cisco’s H.264 Codec". Of course, this is not a not a complete solution. In a perfect world, codecs, like other basic Internet technologies such as TCP/IP, HTTP, and HTML, would be fully open and free 
  19. ^ "Comments on Cisco, Mozilla, and H.264". By endorsing Cisco's plan, there's no getting around the fact that we've caved on our principles. That said, principles can't replace being in a practical position to make a difference in the future.  - Christopher Montgomery wrote in a personal capacity but works for Mozilla in their codecs team
  20. ^ "Game Creator Challenge -Contest Terms and Conditions".  - submissions to the "amateur" category have to be released as free software, but not for the other two categories
  21. ^ "Los Angeles Times - Brendan Eich contribution to Proposition 8". Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  22. ^ "Gay Firefox developers boycott Mozilla to protest CEO hire [Updated] | Ars Technica". Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  23. ^ Kelly Faircloth (9 April 2012). "Tech Celeb Makes Prop-8 Donation; Internet Goes Berserk". BetaBeat. BetaBeat. Retrieved 2014-04-28. 
  24. ^ "Screenshot of OkCupid's statement towards Firefox users". Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  25. ^ Alistair Barr (3 April 2014). "Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich Steps Down". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-04-28. 
  26. ^ Simon Ruth; Greg Carter. "VAC/GMHC Rejects Mozilla in Response to Appointment of Homophobic CEO". Victorian AIDS Council. Victorian AIDS Council. Retrieved 2014-04-28. 
  27. ^ Baker, Mitchell (3 April 2014). "Brendan Eich Steps Down as Mozilla CEO". mozilla blog. Mozilla. Retrieved 2014-04-04. 
  28. ^ " listing of Sam Yagan's contributions to political candidates". Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  29. ^ " listing of votes cast by Chris Cannon". Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  30. ^ " listing of votes cast on the permanency of the Patriot Act". Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  31. ^ " Chris Cannon on Homeland Security". Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  32. ^ " Chris Cannon on Abortion". Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  33. ^ Levintova, Hannah (7 April 2014). "OkCupid's CEO Donated to an Anti-Gay Campaign Once, Too". Hanna Levintova article on Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  34. ^ Lee, Stephanie M. (8 April 2014). "OKCupid CEO once donated to anti-gay politician". Stephanie M. Lee's blog on Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  35. ^ a b "The Hypocrisy Of Sam Yagan & OkCupid". blog. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  36. ^ Bellware, Kim (31 March 2014). "'"OKCupid Publicly Rips Mozilla: 'We Wish Them Nothing But Failure. Kim Bellware article on Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  37. ^ "Mozilla's Appointment Of Brendan Eich As CEO Sparks Controversy After Prop 8 Donation News Re-Emerges". article. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  38. ^ Eidelson, Josh (4 April 2014). "OkCupid’s gay rights stunt has its limits: Taking a deeper look at the savvy ploy". Josh Eidelson article on Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  39. ^ a b "Mozilla Manifesto". Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  40. ^ "Gecko Layout Engine". July 17, 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-11-28. Retrieved 2012-05-10. 
  41. ^ "Web Browser Market Share Trends". W3Counter. Awio Web Services LLC. Retrieved 2012-05-10. 
  42. ^ "Top 5 Browsers". StatCounter Global Stats. StatCounter. Retrieved 2012-05-10. 
  43. ^ "Web browsers (Global marketshare)". Clicky. Roxr Software Ltd. Retrieved 2012-05-10. 
  44. ^  
  45. ^ "Mozilla browser becomes Firebird". IBPhoenix. Archived from the original on 2007-09-14. Retrieved 2013-06-10. We at IBPhoenix think that having a browser and a database with the same name in the same space will confuse the market, especially as browsers and databases are often used in the same applications 
  46. ^ Festa, Paul (May 6, 2003). "Mozilla's Firebird gets wings clipped".  
  47. ^ Festa, Paul (February 9, 2004). "Mozilla holds 'fire' in naming fight". CNET News. Retrieved 2007-01-24. 
  48. ^ "Mobile features". Mozilla. Retrieved 2012-06-26. 
  49. ^ "Mobile System Requirements". 
  50. ^ "Firefox Mobile supported devices". 
  51. ^ "Mozilla rules out Firefox for iPhone and BlackBerry". 
  52. ^ "Boot to Gecko Project". Mozilla. March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  53. ^ "Two discontinued browsers". 21 December 2005. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  54. ^ "SeaMonkey trademarks registered!". 2007-05-22. Retrieved 2013-06-10. 
  55. ^ "Bugzilla Installation List". Retrieved 2014-09-18. 
  56. ^ a b  
  57. ^ "Bug 759422 - Remove use of e4x in account creation". Bugzilla@Mozilla. 2012-08-17. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  58. ^ "SpiderMonkey". Mozilla Developer Network. 2012-08-15. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  59. ^ "Rhino History".  
  60. ^ Persona, Mozilla 
  61. ^ About Mozilla Webmaker, Mozilla 
  62. ^
  63. ^
  64. ^ "Air Mozilla". Mozilla Wiki. 
  65. ^ "Air Mozilla Reboot, Phase I". 

External links

  • Official website , including the Mozilla Manifesto
  • Mozilla Wiki
  • Mozilla Mercurial Repository
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