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Firefox, Mac OS 9, and the power of open source

One of the benefits of open source is that it gives users control of their destiny, as a port of Firefox to Mac OS 9, called "Classilla,'" suggests.

Despite the occasional usability snag, one of the very best things about open source is the diversity of development "itches" that can be "scratched," to use Eric Raymond's parlance. This is borne out in the news that the popular Mozilla Firefox browser has been ported to the Mac OS 9 platform.

Classilla Logo

Dubbed "Classilla," it's an effort to keep Apple's classic OS 9 alive and kicking by bringing the power of modern browser technology to an old operating system.

According to the project developers, however, it also "establishes a template for other free open-source projects to follow," namely "By putting the ability to maintain our own software in our own hands, as users of classic Macs, we ensure that OS 9 will continue to survive."

In other words, Classilla demonstrates what open-source software has long allowed: developers and users can take their fates into their own hands, rather than being overly reliant on a vendor.

So, if you're feeling ambitious, join the effort. Or you could instead contribute to the Firefox port for the Amiga (Amizilla). You have nothing to lose but your chains (and quite possibly your sanity).

Follow me on Twitter @mjasay.