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October 14, 2009

SeaMonkey 2 contributor interviews: Neil

Starting with this post, the SeaMonkey blog will run a weekly series of interviews with SeaMonkey 2.0 contributors - and yes, we have enough people in our team to be running one interview every week for a few months!
This series should highlight our great team of contributors and our very vivid community - and get you to know them a bit better. Our source code module owner, Neil Rashbrook gets the privilege to start this off today:

Who are you? (Name? Where from? Roughly how old? Daytime work? Other notable things?)

I'm Neil, I'm from Stevenage in England, and I'm the wrong side of 40. My job mainly involves supporting small business networks. Outside of my job I enjoy playing chess, but I only have a BCF rating of 132, so no international matches for me (yet)! I can play the viola and piano (not simultaneously obviously) and I'm also a keen church bell-ringer (but again, not as keen as some!)

How did you become a SeaMonkey contributor?

Back in the good old days of Netscape 4.5, I was looking for an upgrade, and I'd vaguely heard about the Mozilla project, so I looked it up and downloaded M14. Soon I had filed my first duplicate, bug 35000; not a good start, but my bug reporting karma has improved so that now a little over 50% of bugs I reported have been fixed, and that's also less than the number of bugs I've fixed too. At first I stuck to milestones, but then when my then employer upgraded to broadband I would start downloading nightlies. I even had a script to migrate all my local patches from one nightly build to the next. I started contributing using Gerv's PatchMaker, which at the time worked well with nightlies because they didn't mess around with all that preprocessing nonsense. Later on I gained access to a Linux workstation and started making my own builds, then when I got my first home desktop PC (sorry, but my old ZX Spectrum doesn't count) I started building natively on Windows as well as in a Linux VM. Nowadays I cross-compile from SFU to Windows, originally because it used to be faster than MSYS (I've since discovered that extra RAM helps MSYS more than SFU), but still because I can hard-link my chrome, so that I get instant results from edits (obviously my Linux VM uses symlinked chrome, which is even better).

What notable contribution did you make to SeaMonkey 2.0?

Hmm, well by patch size that appears to be bug 484484 (and that's not even a binary diff). Of course I've patched shared backend files too; bug 436051 wins there. But on the UI side, my most notable contribution would be making XPFE autocomplete work with satchel (form fill) and Places. And then there are the reviews... I've apparently reviewed over 3000 bugs in total; I don't know how many of those are just for SeaMonkey 2.

How can users give something back to you? (perhaps Amazon wishlist, etc.?)

I'd love to have a girlfriend, but no used ones, please!

Why, in your eyes, should people use SeaMonkey 2.0?

Because it's even better than SeaMonkey 1.1.18!

What next step do you see for SeaMonkey, and what would you like to happen in the Mozilla and SeaMonkey projects?

I think the next step for SeaMonkey is to try and pull in some features that sadly missed 2.0 as well as pick up on the new Gecko features that are landing. As for the future, it's unfortunate that Editor is showing its age and could really do with some updates.

Posted by KaiRo at October 14, 2009 5:00 AM

Comments

"How can users give something back to you? (perhaps Amazon wishlist, etc.?)

I'd love to have a girlfriend, but no used ones, please!"

I didn't know that we can order even new partner from Amazon. seems technology has evolved much faster than way we expect 8)

Posted by: Dom at October 14, 2009 6:18 AM

1. Do you still "contain traces of nuts"
2. Those Tango icons for smilies were probably not the best choice (but then again, my eyes are on the wrong side of 60)
3. Have you ever considered a "duo" of bell ringing with "Standard8" Youtube title "Open source can ring your bell"

I think Robert made a great selection in singling you out in this first interview, it is well-deserved. (Now please get started on that editor re-write. :)

Posted by: JoeS at October 14, 2009 5:09 PM

Lol about the non used Girl Friend ...

Posted by: Ludovic Hirlimann at October 14, 2009 10:35 PM

"...no used ones, please!"
Luckily, this isn't on Planet Gnome.

Posted by: Aaron Strontsman at October 15, 2009 12:25 PM

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