A job ad posted on IBM's Web site said an emerging technologies team in IBM's software group wants programmers for "enhancing the Mozilla Firefox Web browser with new features complimentary to IBM's On Demand middleware stack."
An IBM representative on Wednesday said that the ad was for one position in the company's advanced technology group. The individual will make contributions to the Firefox project, the representative said.
The Firefox work could dovetail with IBM's effort to build its Workplace servers.software, which moves several personal computer applications to a server that users access with a Web browser. IBM is spending on ensuring Linux computers can tap into
Among Workplace abilities are instant messaging, word processing and spreadsheet calculations. Today, IBM supports use of Workplace with Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla--including Linux support with the latter.
Firefox, an offshoot of the Mozilla project, has been, but Microsoft's browser still is dominant. Firefox is now the default browser in the two most widely used Linux versions, and .
RedMonk analyst James Governor helped surface the hiring move by pointing to an advertisement Wednesday that proved to be available only fleetingly. The ad was still available later on IBM's Web site.
According to the job ad, candidates should have "acceptance as a contributor in (the) Mozilla community," and programmers should have experience with the browser's XPCOM technology for writing software that runs on different computer systems.and the
Since the rise of the Firefox browser last year, programmers involved in the project have seen a corresponding increase in their employment prospects.
Google has fueled speculation about its own interest inby recruiting aggressively from Mozilla Foundation staffers and volunteers. In January, it hired both , the for Firefox, and , who worked on back-end infrastructure while maintaining a post at IBM.
In recent weeks, Google also added to the payroll.
One long-term study of open-source software development has shown that participation in an open-source project can.
CNET News.com's Martin LaMonica contributed to this report.