The Book Of Mozilla

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Displayed in [[Mozilla FirefoxEnlarge

Displayed in [[Mozilla Firefox

]] There is no real book entitled The Book of Mozilla. However, joking passages found in the Netscape Navigator and Mozilla series of browsers give this impression by pretending to be quotes from such a book; it is a parody of the Book of Revelation in the Bible. When given the URI about:mozilla, various versions of these browsers display a message in white text on a maroon background in the browser window. Some see these hidden jokes as Easter eggs since it requires some effort to find them.

1 Official verses

2 Unofficial verses

Table of contents

Official verses

Versions 1 to 4 displayed the following prophecy:

And the beast shall come forth surrounded by a roiling cloud of vengeance.
The house of the unbelievers shall be razed and they shall be scorched to the earth. Their tags shall blink until the end of days.
::from The Book of Mozilla, 12:10
"Their tags shall blink" refers to the controversial <blink> HTML tag introduced in an earlier Netscape version. This proprietary HTML extension, which made text blink on and off, was widely derided as annoying, distracting, and ugly. Soon after its introduction, the blink tag joined hideously garish backgrounds and animated GIFs as metonymy for badly designed web pages. The numbers 12:10 refer to the release date of Netscape 1.0, December 10, 1994.

Later Netscape browser versions—which were actually based on the Mozilla code—as well as the Mozilla browser itself displayed the following:

And the beast shall be made legion. Its numbers shall be increased a thousand thousand fold. The din of a million keyboards like unto a great storm shall cover the earth, and the followers of Mammon shall tremble.
::from The Book of Mozilla, 3:31
::(Red Letter Edition)
This text probably refers to Netscape's hope that, by opening the Mozilla source, they could attract a "legion" of developers who would help improve the software. Some suggest that "Mammon" refers obliquely to Microsoft, which seems plausible given that Microsoft Internet Explorer was Mozilla's chief competition. The numbers 3:31 refer to March 31, 1998, the date on which Netscape 5.0 was made open source.

The next instalment (7:15) is said to be written by Neil Deakin to mark the establishment of the Mozilla Foundation, which cut Mozilla loose from its parent company Netscape/AOL. Moreover, it hints at the separation of the browser (Firefox) and the mail/news client (Thunderbird) by a reference to the name "Firebird", which was what Mozilla Firefox was called before the name was changed to avoid trademark difficulties.

And so at last the beast fell and the unbelievers rejoiced. But all was not lost, for from the ash rose a great bird. The bird gazed down upon the unbelievers and cast fire and thunder upon them. For the beast had been reborn with its strength renewed, and the followers of Mammon cowered in horror.
::from The Book of Mozilla, 7:15
::(Red Letter Edition)

Unofficial verses

With the shift of focus to the Firefox browser and its renaming, a new verse has been written and put under the about:firefox URI. The new verse is only available after installing the Firesomething extension and reads:

Lo, the bird of fire was magnificent! But a roiling storm was brewing to the south, and dark clouds loomed on the horizon. The bird knew a grim conflict was close at hand and that it could not triumph in its current form. It sat very still, contemplating the situation. Suddenly, in a flash of light and flame, the bird took the form of a great fox the likes of which had never been seen in this land. The dark clouds were scattered to the wind. And all who witnessed this spectacle were awed by its power.
::from The Book of Mozilla, 8:10
The same extension also adds another verse from the Extended Edition under the about:firesomething URI:

''And there was a great commotion among the believers and nonbelievers alike, for they saw a great fox of fire and knew not its true nature. But just then a faithful believer extended his hand, and offered a gift to the fiery fox. And the fox was enabled to show its true nature as an ever-changing being, and it turned into a great oyster of power. And the oyster opened its shell, revealing a dazzling pearl to all who would look upon it.
::from The Book of Mozilla – Extended Edition, 8:12
Also, in versions of Internet Explorer at least as early as 5.0, the about:mozilla URI gives a blue screen similar in colour to the BSOD. This is one of Internet Explorer's Easter eggs.

The Book of Mozilla "Apocrypha"