It’s that time of the year again, and I’m back. I’m doing the Browser Wars Panel again for the third whopping time, and this time there are a few things that are different from the last two years.
If you’re in Austin, say hi. If my voice holds up, you can also see me at Fray Cafe, telling a story.
Of course, mobile Firefox (Fennec) isn’t available on many devices, and we’ve got a lot of work left to realize the vision of the web being the platform of choice on mobile. How will that manifest itself? I got plenty of questions about WebKit vs. Firefox, and ease of use of each codebase for mobile projects. Mozilla’s platform (including XUL, extensions, and XPCOM) stands as a sometimes weighty alternative to WebKit, but people love the platform with its extensibility, and that’s where the promise lies. This theme will make a brief reappearance (amongst other themes) in my panel on March 16 at SxSW 2009, in which I’m sticking a Chrome guy, a Microsoft guy, an Opera guy, and a Mozilla guy together for a panel discussion on where the web is going.
Here’s my talk at OSiM 2009, available as a PDF file:
sethb and I don’t mean to tempt fate. We find ourselves whizzing through Lucknow on our way to the airport with that sinking feeling that we’re going to miss our flight. Our flight to Mumbai leaves at 7PM, and it’s already 645PM. A herd of buffalo blocks the road, and the driver’s nonchalance is both inspiring and enervating. We’re on our way to Pune (via Mumbai) for gnuNify 2009, where we’re scheduled to talk at the Mozilla Project Day.
We find that our flight is delayed, which means that though we make the flight (joy!), we eventually only get into Pune at 3.30a.m. (*sigh). Our talk is at 10a.m. w00t! We find ourselves chuckling with resignation.
IITK’s annual TechKriti festival seems to have increased this place’s cranial buzz (if that’s possible). We hear about the “Build Your Own Supercomputer” project, in which students take some NVIDIA GPU components and string them together to do complex calculations, powered by hardware from the local market in Kanpur. Then we actually witness some guys tinkering away on robots — Shashank tells me they’ve been up for two nights trying to get their robots to do stuff. I’m in town with sethb to give a talk about the Open Web. I’ve got some experimental stuff to show off from Mozilla, too.
It’s about midnight, and a wedding party next door is boisterously dancing to loud drum beats, preventing us from drifting off to sleep. sethb gazes out at the shadows behind the curtain with wide open, sleep-addled eyes. Like me, he’s probably exhausted and jet-lagged, but he is curious and intrigued by what he is looking at. It dawns on me that sethb’s adventurous curiosity will make him a great travel buddy as we do a Mozilla trip through India, hitting the road lean and mean. It’s our first day in Delhi, and it’s set a high octane precedent for whatever else will happen. Twenty or so hours ago, Seth got in from Europe, after FOSDEM; I got in at the same time from California and we meet up at Indira Gandhi Airport, Delhi. We haven’t really slept much.
Earlier in the day, we attended an event at the Indian Social Institute called MozCampDelhi, put together by the inimitable Mohak Prince in just a few short days. Mohak (aka “~~~STigMaTa~~~ ~~~HaLLuCiNaTiNg AmBiGuiTy~~~” in all his emails) is a Mozilla Campus Rep in India, and has a real flair for organization. Along with a really sharp crew of open source enthusiasts that helped put the event together, Mohak brought together an impressive audience of professionals, students, and hobbyists. It was a great crowd for a Tuesday afternoon. It was also pretty illustrative of the use of Twitter, Wikis, and the blogosphere in India as instruments of event promotion and spontaneous UnConferencing. I sensed that this was going to be a really smart, savvy and interactive bunch of people, and I remember feeling really elated to be there.