Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt
cpratt

At long last Mozilla

I started work at Netscape in the summer of 1998. I was tired of seeing Netscape getting their ass kicked by Microsoft, curious what it would be like to work for one of the true stars in the software industry, hoping to challenge myself in ways I hadn't previously experienced. And yeah, I also wanted to show Dan that I could do a better job than he could[we've always been very competitive with each other, and at the time he was managing the Mac IE test team at Microsoft].

When I left Netscape just over three years later, I was disillusioned. A lot of the hard work had amounted to nothing, for various reasons. The place was infested with open source zealots who tended to forget about what customers wanted, preferring instead to hijack company time to deliver a better Motif widget replacement kit to boost Linux, which is an admirable goal, really, but not when Fortune 500 companies are paying you to fix your broken S/MIME support. You know, stuff like that. Other folks disappeared up their own asses aiming for ultra-perfect CSS support, or better PNG support, or [insert religious battle here]. Very, very few of us were still focused on delivering useful software to existing customers, and our market share had dropped to something like 2% as a result. So, I left to take a year off and travel.

Now, three years later, it looks like Mozilla finally got there, somehow. Is it perfect? No, not by a long shot. It's still kinda creaky in terms of how IMHO good software should behave, but it's closer than it's ever been before, and I'm proud to say it's finally competitive with Microsoft. In fact, it's better than IE in a lot of ways.



Check it out.

It's not often I can confidently point at something a lot of people may potentially use and say "yeah, I helped make that what it is." Lately, I've been working on small things of little consequence - at least as of right now - but I need to remind myself that perhaps three years from now MSP, G-phone, Pocket MSN etc. may be as useful to people as Mozilla is today.
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