Leading Mozilla: Focus Forward

A short blog post to let everyone in the Mozilla community know the latest news.

As the “About Brendan” sidebar says, I’m a founder of Mozilla, and since 2005 I have had the title of CTO. That job has entailed work on technical strategy, Web standards, influencing/partnering, Mozilla Research, public speaking, and talent-scouting. (Oh, and I still code.)

I’m happy to announce that as CTO I will now also be managing our product and platform engineering teams. This is a privilege and an obligation I take seriously. I look forward to working even more with community members including Mozilla’s engineering staff to advance the Open Web on all platforms, especially the mobile ones rising to overshadow desktop computers.

Mozilla is many things: mission-based organization, community of hackers and supporters, social movement representing the people using the Web above all other agendas. To fulfill our mission, we must serve users with excellent products. Successful products require great design and engineering, and also (increasingly) partnering.

We can’t fulfill our mission without winning products. We can’t have winning products without focus on the technology trends, including the rise of mobile, and also of multicore and GPU processing, and yet more laser-like focus on serving the people who use our products.

The watch-word for me is therefore “focus”. Competition and partnering have focused Mozilla in the last few years, and all to the good in my view. We are on the right track with Firefox OS, Firefox for Android, Firefox on the desktop, and our other initiatives (two to name here: Persona and Web Maker). We need to continue, with even sharper focus on what’s in front of us.

In particular, on mobile this means not just great user interfaces and fast, smooth performance. It also means, as I said to @stshank, expanding up the stack to fight proprietary lock-in that diminishes developer and user experience. We did it with Firefox in 2004, we can do it again with Firefox OS, Firefox for Android, Persona and beyond.

I remain the buck-stopper for Mozilla module ownership and other technical delegated decision-making disputes. Mitchell remains governance conflict buck-stopper and Chief Lizard-Wrangler.


TAG, You’re “It”

Congratulations to Marcos Caceres, Yehuda Katz, Alex Russell, and Anne van Kesteren on the news of their election to the W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG).

This is great news: four out of the five reformers won.

Back-story: in late 2010, TBL invited me to join the TAG. I declined with thanks for two reasons:

  1. I was (at the time, especially) over-committed to standards (JS, mostly) and Mozilla work (e.g., setting up Mozilla Research).
  2. The TAG was not engaged “toothfully” (my word) on Web problems faced by developers, rather it seemed focused on XML and Semantic Web matters, and therefore I would be odd-TAG-member-out.

Having both (a) more time and (b, the point of this story) three or four kindred-spirit candidates would have changed my mind. I hope my decline-with-thanks message helped in some small way to bring about today’s good news.

Kudos to the reformers for running, to the W3C Advisory Committee representatives who voted in the reformers, and to the W3C and TBL for being open to reform.