I’ve been spending some time working at a client’s site, on their network and one of their computers. It’s a big company and an all-Microsoft shop, which means I’m using Microsoft Internet Explorer.
I’d forgotten about how bad it is, especially in the way that it spawns pop-up windows. I’ve been using it to browse at a lot of media sites, especially newspapers and trade journals, and spending lots of time closing pop-ups and missing the tabbed browsing feature of Mozilla Firefox.
Which brings me to the point of this post. The February issue of Wired Magazine
has an article on The
Firefox Explosion that talks about the browser and
looks at some of the programmers who worked on it. As the article says
What makes Firefox different from other open source projects is its consumer appeal. Until now, the open source community has been very good at creating useful software but lousy at finding non-technical users. By liberating Firefox from the “by geeks, for geeks” ethos, [Blake] Ross and [Ben] Goodger have moved open source out of server rooms and onto Microsoft’s turf: the desktop. Borrowing from the Net-based grassroots techniques of the recent political season, the Firefox inner circle has turned satisfied users into foot soldiers and missionaries. How’s this for a marketer’s dream: In the weeks following the debut, Firefox contributors and fans threw their own launch parties in 392 cities around the world.
One of the programmers featured in the article, New Zealander Ben Goodger, also made
the news this week. He was hired this week by Google, which further fueled the rumors that Google would be producing their own browser based on Firefox. While on the Google payroll, half of his time would still be devoted to working on Firefox.