RIP DMOZ: The Open Web Directory is closing Permanently
As of March 14. 2017, Dmoz will no longer be available.
DMOZ — The Open web Directory that uses human editors to organize websites — is closing permanently. It marks the end of a time when humans, rather than machines, tried to organize the web.
The announcement came via a notice that’s now showing on the home page of the DMOZ site,
DMOZ – saying it will close as of March 14, 2017:
DMOZ was founded in the United States as Gnuhoo by Rich Skrenta and Bob Truel in 1998 while they were both working as engineers for Sun Microsystems. Chris Tolles, who worked at Sun Microsystems as the head of marketing for network security products, also signed on in 1998 as a co-founder of Gnuhoo along with co-founders Bryn Dole and Jeremy Wenokur. Skrenta had developed TASS, an ancestor of tin, the popular threaded Usenet newsreader for Unix systems. The original category structure of the Gnuhoo directory was based loosely on the structure of Usenet newsgroups then in existence.
The Gnuhoo directory went live on June 5, 1998. After a Slashdot article suggested that Gnuhoo had nothing in common with the spirit of free software, for which the GNUproject was known, Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation objected to the use of [the name] “Gnu”. So Gnuhoo was changed to NewHoo. Yahoo! then objected to the use of “Hoo” in the name, prompting them to switch the name again. ZURL was the likely choice. However, before the switch to ZURL, NewHoo was acquired by Netscape Communications Corporation in October 1998 and became the Open Directory Project. Netscape released Open Directory data under the Open Directory License. Netscape was acquired by AOL shortly thereafter and DMOZ was one of the assets included in the acquisition.
DMOZ uses a hierarchical ontology scheme for organizing site listings. Listings on a similar topic are grouped into categories which can then include smaller categories.
It was announced on February 28, 2017 that DMOZ will close down on March 14, 2017.