From: (Adam J. Richter)

Yggdrasil approved by The World Wide Web Consortium to develop "Arena" Web Browser.

Bill Selmeier
Yggdrasil Computing, Inc.
+1 408 261 6630

Sally Khudairi
W3C - World Wide Web Consortium

Steve Cook
Pearl Software
(510) 642-4361

San Jose, CA -- February 17, 1997 -- The World Wide Web Consortium [W3C] has approved Yggdrasil Computing to coordinate future development of Arena, a powerful graphical web browser originally developed as the Consortium's research testbed. Under the agreement, Yggdrasil will undertake new development and support the developer community on the internet. Yggdrasil will issue regular releases, provide a centralized file archive and web site, integrate contributed enhancements and fixes, create mailing lists for developers and users, and facilitate widespread use of Arena by others.

Yggdrasil's additions to Arena will be placed under the "GNU General Public License", which allows unlimited distribution both for profit and not for profit, provided that source code is made freely available, including source code to any modifications. No exclusive rights have been given to Yggdrasil. Anybody could legally do what Yggdrasil is doing, although the Consortium now considers Yggdrasil the formal maintainer of Arena.


The Arena web browser creates a new vehicle by which developers of browser technology will be able to reach large numbers of users. "We are eager to work with browser companies that want to use Arena to widely distribute free browser software as part of their marketing strategy. We are especially interested in working with members of the World Wide Web Consortium," explained Yggdrasil president Adam Richter.


Although Arena currently only runs under Linux and Linux-like systems such as UNIX(R) and FreeBSD, Yggdrasil announced that it has taken the first step toward bringing Arena to MS-Windows platforms by licensing an X-Windows emulator from Pearl Software which will enable an MS-Windows version of Arena. "Because the Windows environment is not our focus, we are looking for a partner company to market the DOS product," said Richter. "We believe that CD-ROM titles that include a browser, the OEM market and other bundling arrangements would be substantial opportunities for such a company, just for starters."


Arena is a graphical web browser comprised entirely of free software. Its origins predate proprietary packages such as Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mosaic. It is the source of a number of innovations which have since been copied by other web browsers. "Arena has pioneered important HTML concepts like tables and style sheets. Without Arena, the Web would not look the same today," said Hakon Lie, Style Sheets Lead at W3C. "We are happy to see the Arena code being maintained by the free software community and Yggdrasil." Now that the free software community is organizing around Arena, development is expected to accelerate dramatically. "Our first developer snapshots incorporate an upgrade to the latest web library from the World Wide Web Consortium, which facilitates inclusion of URL types designed to ease interfaces to search engines" predicted Yggdrasil's Arena project coordinator, Qing Long. "After that, we expect to do developer maintenance releases as often as once a week as we stabilize the code and add new features."


The W3C was created to develop common protocols that enhance the interoperability and promote the evolution of the World Wide Web. It is an industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users; reference code implementations to embody and promote standards; and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date over 156 organizations are Members of the Consortium.


Pearl Software is a software company founded in 1993 to bring free graphical software developed by the Linux and unix communities to the Windows market. The Oakland, California, based company is best known for its Win-Emacs product, a Windows version of the popular XEmacs development environment.


Yggdrasil Computing is a software company founded in 1992 to turn free software developed on the internet into viable solutions for businesses and consumers. Yggdrasil publishes, supports and develops a line of products based on Linux, a clone of the UNIX(R) operating system consisting entirely of free software developed on the internet. The Arena web browser will play an important role in Yggdrasil's efforts to provide complete solutions to customers based on the free software model.


New releases of the Arena web browser are accessible on the internet under the URL There are two mailing lists for Arena:, and Participants may obtain information on subscribing to either list by sending an email message with "help" in the body of the message to Bug reports should be sent to A web page is available at

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Microsoft Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.