Wired Compiler has an interview with Asa Dotzler, Mozilla’s Director of Community Development. Several interesting facts are mentioned on how Firefox was started, the process of deciding what features goes in and out, and Firefox 3.
This is something almost nobody knows about. The entire add-ons structure was a compromise we made to avoid losing some of our key contributors. Everyone could see which way the wind was blowing — this new thing that would become Firefox was gaining tremendous momentum — but we had people working on Gecko, the web rendering engine, and other key backend stuff that were threatening to leave. They loved working on Mozilla and they told us that if we ditched Mozilla, they would leave.
So we said, “The things we take out, you can just add them back in at your discretion. And, if you love your Mozilla cookie toolbar, here’s a really easy API you can use to make that into a Firefox extension.”
Read the complete interview at Wired Compiler.