Mozilla launches European support arm

European developers and users of open source Internet applications from the Mozilla Foundation can now turn to a local group for support.

The Foundation has launched Mozilla Europe, at, to develop, promote and help deploy its suite of open source software products in Europe, said Tristan Nitot, cofounder and managing director of Mozilla Europe, in an interview Thursday. A nonprofit organization, Mozilla Europe will be based in Paris.

“The European Web site is just the beginning,” Tristan said. “We want to find and support European programmers, Web translators and other contributors. As part of this effort, we aim to meet with universities and engineering schools to promote Mozilla-related programs during their studies.”

Mozilla is the original code name for the product that came to be known as Netscape Navigator and later Netscape Communicator, according to the Foundation’s Web site. The name today is used as a generic term for Internet client software developed within the Mozilla Foundation open source project.

The Foundation, established in July 2003 with start-up support from the Netscape unit of Time Warner Inc.’s American Online division, provides organization, legal and financial support for the Mozilla open source software project. It is based in Mountain View, Calif.

In January, the Foundation released the latest version of its Web browser, Mozilla 1.6, which is available for download on the organization’s Web site: The organization is currently developing a new browser, called Firefox. Its stand-alone e-mail and newsgroup application, Thunderbird, can be used as a companion to Firefox or by itself.

The new European Web site currently offers local support in French, German and Spanish, in addition to English. Support in three additional languages, Dutch, Italian and Slovak, will be available soon, according to Tristan, a former Netscape veteran.

“Although Mozilla’s Web browser is available in around 60 languages, efforts to localize our Web site have lagged behind,” Tristan said. “We aim to change this as we reach out locally to contributors and users.”