The Firefox and the Hedgehog

The Greek poet Archilochus wrote “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”

But what does the Firefox know? Both many things (tabbed browsing live bookmarks popup blocking mouse gestures extension architecture download manager small fast . . .) and one immense thing: that the power of the Internet and the power of open source are two sides of one coin, minted by millions of people working together as never before. Firefox shows what can be done when people use the web to collaborate without any agenda other than a common vision of simplicity and ease of use, and with the freedom to extend that vision according to individual good taste in boundless directions through XUL extensions.

In the case of Firefox 1.0, those people include the dozens of top hackers on the Mozilla project, the project managers at the Foundation and among the key strategic partners, the hundreds of CVS committers, the thousands of daily build testers and advocates, and the millions of users. I’ll single out only four by name, without slighting any others in the least.

First, many thanks to ben, who took up the flag after 0.5, kept his cool and his great sense of design under pressure, and carried the ball into the end zone. Kudos also to blake and hyatt, who started it all and showed the world the way to a better mousetrap. Finally, thanks again, and always, to asa, for his tireless testing and release leadership.

Onward to Firefox 1.1 and Mozilla 2.0!