Ten years is a really cool milestone for the project and taking some time to reflect on this decade of work and to celebrate what we've accomplished is great. But the more I think about it, the less I'm interested in what we were doing last year, 5 years ago, or 10 years ago, and the more excited I am about what we're going to be doing next year, 5 and 10 years out.
March 2008 Archives
Robert has just hit the 5 year anniversary of his weblog. If you're not subscribed, it sounds like he's got great plans for the next 5 years so now would be a good time.
Sean does have some really nice kicks. I'm always envious.
I've found twitter to be a pretty interesting platform and even though I haven't used my month's old account, I have been following many interesting (to me) twitter discussions.
I think, though, that I'm done. Seeing how twitter's misogynistic and self-centered founder, Evan WIlliams uses the service, I'm just no longer as interested as I once was.
This Monday, on the ten year anniversary of the Mozilla source code release, we'll be joined by Mitchell Baker, Brendan Eich, Mike Shaver, and Chris Hofmann for a special one hour retrospective, "10 Years of Mozilla". We'll be talking about the early days, major inflection points for the organization, and what's in store for the next 10 years of Mozilla.
So please join us on Monday for Air Mozilla Live.
Who: The Mozilla community, host Asa Dotzler, and guests Mitchell Baker, Brendan Eich, Mike Shaver, and Chris Hofmann.
When: Monday, March 31, from 11:00:00 - 12:00:00 PDT (UTC-07:00)
Where: View the webcast and join the chat at air.mozilla.com.
Also: As part of the year-long celebration of Mozilla's 10 years, we're gathering up video memories from our community of contributors. If you'd like to share some of your experiences with Mozilla, please upload them to YouTube and tag them with "mozilla-anniversary" so that we can locate them. You'll be able to see the first batch of video memories starting one hour before Monday's show and we hope to add another batch at least once a month.
(If you do record a video memory, hold onto the clip so that if we decided to put it into the Air Mozilla program, we can use the higher quality footage rather than YouTube's downsampled version.)
See you all on Monday!
The good folks at Opera Software, ASA have just become the first browser in the world to pass the super sexy, super trippy Acid 3 test and the colors (!) are so wild, man.
Today Mozilla hosted a blogger luncheon where we did our best to make what we're doing at Mozilla these days a bit more understandable. It was also a great opportunity to get direct feedback from some excellent writers and interesting personalities on everything from Firefox UI issues to Mozilla policies and processes.
On hand from Mozilla were John Lilly, Mike Schroepfer, me, Alex Faaborg, Vladimir Vukiecevic, Stuart Parmenter, Chris Beard, Jonas Sicking, Jay Sullivan, Brendan Eich, Damon Sicore, and Melissa Shapiro.
John Lilly opened with a mention of the 10 year anniversary and a short description of some of the big inflection points for the project, the organization, and the products we ship.
He answered some questions about Mozilla's revenue sources and then went on to describe the incredible growth Mozilla's experienced over the last few years, in terms of employees, community, geography, and users.
Specifically John noted that:
Mozilla has grown from 15 or so employees when he joined a couple years ago, to about 150 employees today;
Mozilla has gone from one organization, the Mozilla Foundation to 6 in just a few years: Mozilla Foundation, Mozilla Corporation, Mozilla Messaging, Mozilla Europe, Mozilla Japan, and Mozilla Online (China);
The contributions of Mozilla's open source community have scaled right along with that employee growth -- about 40% of the code that makes up Firefox 3 came from people not employed by Mozilla which matches right up with previous Firefox releases.
And that Firefox has gone from a couple tens of millions of users to more than 160 million users today.
In response to a question, John tried to explain how we're a different sort of organization, not really like Google or Facebook, and not really like the Red Cross, the UN, or traditional NGOs. He used the term "hybrid organization" and mentioned a few organizations that he sees as somewhat closer to our model: Wikipedia, Kiva.org, and Participatory Culture Foundation -- mission driven organizations competing in a commercial marketplace.
Next, someone asked about our efforts beyond desktop Firefox and Lilly talked for a few minutes about Mozilla's Mobile efforts (working with handset manufacturers, iPhone's legal prohibition against Firefox and other applications, performance and footprint improvements, and how Mozilla is trying to bring choice to a traditionally closed space,) the cloud computing program called Weave, Mozilla Messaging, other Mozilla hosted projects like Camino and Bugzilla, as well as places where Mozilla is contributing to non-Mozilla projects like Cairo, jemalloc, and SQLite.
There wasn't a lot of structure to the luncheon, but after folks had asked their more "organizational" and historical questions, Mike Schroepfer took a few minutes to talk specifically about Firefox 3 and how it builds on Mozilla's goals of making Firefox "better, faster, safer".
First Mike talked about the platform integration work that makes Firefox feel like a first class application on the three major platforms. Dave Winer chimed in to note that he didn't like the new back button and offered some software development advice that seemed to me could be summed up as "never change anything" though I'm sure I missed some more subtle wisdom in his commentary.
Schrep went on to highlight the Awesomebar which seemed to be a winner with most people at the table who had tried it, though Winer objected to it, (I think because he could envision a scenario where there might some day be some revenue opportunity associated with it. What that would be, I really couldn't say and I think others at Mozilla were equally stumped. Perhaps he was confused about the feature and didn't understand that it was searching users' local data and not some third party commercial service. I'm not sure. Maybe he'll shed some more light on his concerns.)
After the brief discussion on the merits of revenue diversification, (at which point Lilly noted that the Awesomebar might actually turn out to be revenue negative, if it makes finding recently visited pages easy enough that people require less remote searching,) and the value of users' "personal space" in the browser, Schrep went on to talk about some of the new security and user safety enhancements including Malware protection and friendlier website identification information. In response to another question, he also described the new password manager which only offers to save your password after you've successfully logged in rather than tossing up a modal dialog before you're even sure if the login is correct.
After a few more questions and answers, Mike circled back around to talk about how Firefox 3's major improvements should alleviate some of the most often heard complaints and painpoints from previous releases: Places, for example, based on sqlite, should go a long way to addressing the most commonly reported problem in our user support forums, bookmarks dataloss. The memory and performance work addresses peoples' concerns about Firefox using up all their RAM or not rendering web applications as fast as the other browsers. The new themes should help answer the complaints about Firefox being a poor OS citizen.
From there, people asked some questions about Microsoft and it's commitment to Web standards -- responses were optimistic but skeptical, and the competitive landscape on the desktop and mobile devices. Then we broke for lunch and reassembled in much smaller groups of people, a lot of individual Q&A and trying to connect up with various domain experts at Mozilla followed.
Charles Cooper of c|newt News.Com has already posted With Firefox 3, Microsoft has reason to worry.
Michael Calore, from Wired Digital, has posted Mozilla: Final Version of Firefox 3 Will Ship in June and Mozilla Execs on Firefox 3, iPhone and Ten Years of Growth
Mark Hendrikson, of TechCrunch, got his up pretty early: Mozilla Discusses Firefox 3 and Microsoft’s Public Embrace of Open Standards
Rafe Needleman, from Webware posted Live from Mozilla: Firefox for iPhone? No.
Stowe Boyd Twittered a lot of the luncheon.
Rafe Needleman at Builder AU: Firefox 3's better performance and memory improvements
(more as I find them.)
I met some people I'd only known from blogs and it was really nice to be able to finally connect a real person with a URL. All in all, I think it was a great afternoon with a lot of great questions and feedback and I think we should definitely do more of these in the future.
These amazing robots and the even more amazing team(s) of people making the science happen won't be shut down prematurely. This is great news.
"Closing down either of the rovers is not on the table," Brown quoted Griffin as saying Monday night. Then yesterday NASA released a statement that said: "This letter was not coordinated with the administrator's office and is in the process of being rescinded. The administrator has unequivocally stated that no rover will be turned off."
Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech
Vote for Firefox. (You can skip everything else if you want, just don't miss the browser section.)
What Mars couldn't do to the amazing Mars Exploration Rovers and Mars Odyssey, the US government has done -- begin killing them off. What a shortsighted shame.
Apparently it's more important to waste money playing around on the Moon again than to actually learn something new about our solar system and the origins and histories of the terrestrial planets.
What a fucking shame.
I was thinking very much the same thing when I first got this notice on my Windows machine.
It really is wrong to make cause for users to mistrust, or even worse, to distrust, software update systems.
If the software update relationship isn't an honest and trusted one, user will suffer. Tarnishing the mechanism like this does the entire software industry a disservice.
update: Via c|net we get this gem from Apple flack Bill Evans,
We are using Software Update to make it easy and convenient for both Mac and Windows users to get the latest Safari update from Apple.
Misinformed or mendacious? You decide. I've already made up my mind and my opinion of Apple has been considerably diminished.
update2: And no, this isn't like the IE7 update. IE 7 is an update for IE 6 which is on my system. Safari 3.1 is not an update for my iTunes installation nor is it an update for my QuickTime install. It is simply not an update and it's completely disingenuous for Apple to make that claim.
Also a shame that journalists publishing the Apple statement didn't challenge such an obviously false claim.
update3: And no, I am not bothered by the idea of more Safari users on Windows. I don't think that's what this is about at all. Had Apple leveraged it's installed software by having iTunes or QuickTime prompt users with an offer to install additional software from Apple, that'd be fine with me.
What's not fine with me is strapping an unrequested program onto a mechanism that's before now been reserved for security and stability updates for already installed programs. Doing that weakens the trust that is critical to keeping users safe.
If people are afraid that by OK'ing an application update they will get unrequested new programs installed, they're going to stop being comfortable with application update services. That's bad for not just Mozilla, that's bad for anyone with a computer.
Apple could do the right thing by simply creating a separate service or by redesigning the current one to make a very explicit distinction between updates for installed programs and offers of new programs. If that was done right, it could be an effective channel for Apple to reach Windows users with new software offers.
I personally think it would be quite annoying to get software offers like this, but it wouldn't be harmful to the safety and security of hundreds of millions of computer users.
I suspect it wouldn't be terribly effective either and I'd wager that's why Apple took the more effective and more deceptive approach here.
update4: And no, this isn't the same as Acrobat Reader's installer offering the Google Toolbar or any of those other bundled installers. This isn't about crappy installers, it's about the pollution of the update experience.
There's a huge difference between cramming more crap into the install experience, which only serves to dissuade people from installing new software, and the damage this Apple action does to a mostly functioning update system that users mostly trust and need to trust to stay safe.
final update: since I had them in tabs I figured I'd dump the blog roundup here for anyone that's interested and for posterity.
InformationWeek » Mozilla CEO: Apple's Safari-To-Windows Distribution Scheme Is Wrong, Open Source | ZDNet.com » Mozilla CEO blasts Apple for distributing Safari 3.1 for Window on its update site, ReadWriteWeb » Apple Takes the Spyware-Style Low Road, Pushing Safari on Windows, Tech news blog - CNET News.com » Mozilla CEO says Apple's Safari auto-update 'wrong', Macworld » Mozilla CEO: Apple wrong 'pushing' Safari to Windows users, WebProNews » Mozilla CEO Blasts Apple's Safari Ploy, MacDailyNews » Mozilla CEO bemoans Apple's use of Software Update to suggest Safari to iTunes users, waffle » Where By "Interesting", I Mean "Annoying", InfoWorld | News » Mozilla CEO: Apple wrong in pushing Safari to Windows users, Blech Vox » A Translation of "Apple's Windows Invasion", aplus moments » That annoying neighbor, Clickety Clack » Response To Apple Safari Auto-Install, Tech news blog - CNET News.com » Apple pushes Safari on Windows via iTunes updater, Macsimum News » Mozilla CEO says Apple wrong to push Safari thorugh iTunes Updater, The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) » Is Apple pushing Safari 3.1 on Windows users?, applegazette » Apple using 'Microsoft-like' moves to get Safari on Windows Machines, Cybernet News » Apple Pushes Safari "Update" on Windows, InformationWeek » Apple Distributes Safari Via Software Update, greg hughes - dot net » Safari magically installing on Windows? Just say "no" if you don't want it..., p2pnet news » Apple Safari targets Windows users, VentureBeat » Outrage alert: Apple tricks lazy users into downloading Safari with iTunes, ComputerWorld » Apple pushes Windows Safari via iTunes updater, Download Squad » Safari 3.1 elbows its way onto the Windows desktop, Adnans Sysadmin/Scripting Blog » Safari on Windows, Movies on iTunes » Safari comes in auto-update. Windows users under ADD, Cannot see update options!, My Life » Apple um Hello We want to be Microsoft, GAFNO.com - Hot World News Blog » Mozilla CEO says Apple's Safari auto-update 'wrong', The News is NowPublic.com » Mozilla CEO: Apple's Safari-To-Windows Distribution Scheme Is Wrong, The Industry Standard » Outrage alert: Apple tricks lazy users into downloading Safari with iTunes, Webware : Cool Web apps for everyone » Mozilla CEO says Apple's Safari auto-update 'wrong', Paul's SuperSite blog » Mozilla responds to Apple's dubious use of Software Update to push Safari, Gizmodo » Mozilla CEO: Apple Auto-Installing Safari 3.1 "Borders on Malware", Tektodo » Heading out on Safari, The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) » Sneaky Safari Updater opinion roundup, STLtoday.com - Talking Tech » Mozilla boss supremely irked by Apple's Safari update (But why?), Marketing Pilgrim » Mozilla CEO Takes a Bite Out of Apple's Reputation, LoCo About Ubuntu! » Mozilla CEO Calls Out Apple on Safari, Software Journal » Mozilla not happy with Safari auto-install move by Apple, eNews 2.0 » Mozilla CEO Says Apple's New Windows Distribution Scheme Is Wrong, Weblog of a "switcher" » A lot of hub-bub about Apple Software Update for Windows, Ibleedyellow's Weblog » Software update politics from Apple... hence what could happen, Technology | Guardian Unlimited » Firefox boss slams Apple for trying to sneak Safari onto Windows PCs, The Boy Genius Report » Mozilla CEO: Safari = Malware?, Maven Mapper's » What's More Annoying that QuickTime Updates? Safari Auto Installations, insignificant thoughts » The Most Dramatic Checkbox Ever, Pedro Vera's Web Log » Mozilla CEO Says Apple's Safari 'Update' Undermines Users' Trust, Kortech Services Blog » Apple is forcing Safari?, Mashable » Apple Promotes Safari Installs Via iTunes Updater. Mozilla CEO Cries Foul., Digital Journal » Apple Accused of 'Bad Business' Tactics in Distribution of Web Browser, PC World » Mozilla CEO Criticizes Apple's Stealth Safari Update, How good is that? » Safari for Windows update kerfuffle, i drank the kool-aid: clutching my dixie cup of apple goodness » Apple Has Its Boot On The Necks Of Millions!!!, iTWire » Apple 'forcing' Safari on XP iTunes users - 'choice' or click trickery?, Tech Today » Apple distributes Safari 3.1 for windows via Apple update, Mozilla CEO furious, The Browser World » Apple's Safari distribution scheme is unethical - Mozilla CEO, Web Services » An Apple a Day, Tech-Ex » Apple Pushes Safari Via iTunes Update, Tales from the Crypto » Retro-bundling - another suck of the Apple, Tech Ticker » Slimy tactics won't earn Apple any more Safari users, Zoli's Blog » Apple's Sneakiness Did Not Start Today, Microsoft Watch » Apple Software Update is Ripe, Not Rotten, Brandon Paddock's Blog » Apple is the new Borg., Macworld » Apple pushes Windows Safari via iTunes updater, Irregular Enterprise | ZDNet.com » Question to Mozilla CEO: what do you fear?, Hardware 2.0 | ZDNet.com » Rotten Apple, eFluxMedia » Mozilla CEO Says Apple's Safari 'Update' Undermines Users' Trust, GameShout » Apple Updates Safari for Windows Users, The Small Wave » A Second Look: Apple Windows Updater, Safari 3.1, and You, The Official Blog of the SBS "Diva" » A translation to a person in charge of patch management, EliHorne » Why Apple's PC auto-update rocks my world, _jerieljan/ » Question to Dennis Howlett: Ever tried seeing both sides of the coin?, The Money Times » Mozilla CEO Criticizes Apple's Safari Auto Update, SaranX.com ~ Saran Saha » Mozilla CEO, Wazzup ?, Gordaen's Blog » Sneaky Safari Install at Gordaen's Blog, FULL clout » Is Apple pushing Safari 3.1 on Windows users?, Mom On The Run » iWannaMoreCrap, the media Guru » Safari for Windows, iTWire » Apple's dirty Safari installer wouldn't happen in open source, TrustedReviews » Safari Pushed To Windows Users Via iTunes, Baron VC » Daddy Jobs Always Knows Best
Sounds about right to me.
Because we can't possibly have the uber-wealthy gambling class discouraged from doing more gambling in the future. After all, that's the real engine driving the now second largest economy in the world.
it's Friday was "talk like a physicist day". What I find amusing is that software engineers (among whose company I do my not-engineering thing,) sound like this too :-)
In the battle for performance, I think it's the web developers who are the big winners.
Firefox is very close to shipping its major perf improvements. I expect Opera soon and a Safari 3.1 sometime pretty soon as well. Will IE 8 ship this year? I don't have a lot of confidence on that one but I'll bet by this time next year, we'll have a pretty solid next gen set of fast browsers deployed to pretty substantial number of users.
Will this be enough to keep developers focused on real Web apps, or will Flash and Silverlight plus their respective offline solutions make big gains?
Linpus Linux. Whoever came up with that should be shot. I tried for about 10 minutes and I couldn't come up with a worse name for a linux distro.
Naming is hard, but not that hard. C'mon.
Yes, I get that it's probably derived from "linux" and "Olympus", and that doesn't make it any less awful.
Lost, I sometimes think, behind all of the excitement that surrounds Firefox's thousands of available extensions and themes, is the extensibility of a key feature, Firefox Search.
Firefox 3 Search comes with a choice of several search services built right in, (Amazon, Answers, Creative Commons, EBay, Google, Wikipedia, and Yahoo,) and you can easily switch between those services, but that's just the beginning.
Head over to the Mycroft Project and take a gander at the 15,000 additional search services available for Firefox Search!
Wow, this sounds bad. One would (I suppose incorrectly) assume that medical device makers that are increasingly building "computers" would have security at the foremost of concerns. Apparently not.
If you didn't think think IE 8's "activities" were a derivative of Mozilla's microformats work then check out Mike Kapley's add-on.
Looks like microformats, microsummaries, a personal toolbar, session restore, and malware protection. Am I missing anything killer here?
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