Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

John Lilly , CEO of Mozilla, Interviewed

Category: Firefox, Podcasts

<p>Sean Ammirati of ReadWriteTalk has posted an interview with John Lilly, the new CEO of Mozilla.

Listen, or read the transcript.

Ok. In Firefox 3 is the killer browser. And I think I’ve been using the Beta since Beta 1 and Beta 2 is even better. Even in the Beta, we’ve surpassed the quality of Firefox 2. So I already encouraged my mom and my grandmother to update their Firefox 3 Beta 2. I thinks it’s a killer product. It holds up in a lot of new areas. It works well on Mac, on Linux and works well in Windows as always.On labs, there are two things in particular. I’m really excited about the efforts on mobile were working on. I think a lot of folks wondered what about what we’re going to give mobile. And we’ve waited for a pretty long time. But we really felt like we needed to wait until the industry started to open-up a little bit.

We are trying not to overload users with a lot of new features. We’ve done a lot of stream lining. A few years ago we cam out with Firefox 1. It was a good’s a good product, but it was 1.0. With Firefox 2 we started adding a lot of what people were expecting. And then I think Firefox 3 really represents a streamlining and a maturation of the user interface. But it really means it fits into the Mac. The Macintosh theme really works. We have Linux system integration and icons. I think that it’s going to feel like a much better product to people, especially people who give you aren’t
so techy. But I think it will retain all the openness that the techy population, like myself, like.The one featured that everybody really likes, other than the fact that the memory usage is better than ever and the performance is better than ever, is
the URL bar.

Instead of just typing the URL and having it remind you what the URL is, you can type any word in the name of the document. Like if you went to a site about the Simpsons, you could just type Simpsons in the bar and it will show you all the sites with Simpsons in the title. And it’s just one example of maybe 15 different ways we’re helping people find the places they’ve been to before or the place that they want to get to. So I think navigation around the information space is getting increasingly important. The web is pervasive or humungous and getting larger. And just being able to find what you want, find what you’ve visited is the key. So I think that the colloquialism around here is to call it the awesome bar instead of the URL bar.
That’s just one example of hundreds of hundreds of user interface tweaks that we’ve made. And I think are going to make a little difference to people.

So I suspect that we’ll start to participate DataPortability.org. They’ve got to start doing something sooner or later. So like doing the actual work there is going to be the key. Of course OAuth and that kind of stuff we’ve starting to experiments with. That stuff will be very important for Weave. So I suspect we will start to participate in dataportability.org, but we haven’t yet.

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My God, is that actually English?

Comment by Dave Crighton — January 15, 2008

Looks like a verbatim transcript of the interview.

Comment by hardissababa — January 15, 2008

Congratulations on copying the features of Opera browser. Who knows maybe Mozilla will actually make an inovation for the average user. Except introducing plugin capabilities (which is not a feature for everybody) there’s nothing new to see here. I really think it’s a good thing they are staying close to Opera. Too bad people don’t have a little willingness to install another browser. The power of habit, I guess.
go http://www.opera.com

Comment by Adrian — January 15, 2008

@Adrian

Let’s just be thankful they didn’t copy all the crashing and buggy runtime features. =p

Comment by jkuhnert — January 15, 2008

Adrian, I think everybody that you’ll find here has at some point tried Opera… the point is that not everybody who tries it automatically likes it better… Opera has too many features and therefore cluttered menues that I don’t care about, a let’s call it “one-of-a-kind” UI and lots and lots of settings, without being truely customizable in the FF sense of the word… combine that with the still buggy JS implementation and the simple fact that developers don’t test their pages against Opera (yet?) and you see that Opera is absolutely worthless to me.

It probably all comes down to a users habits but for now we have users that prefer FF and users that prefer Opera. Why shouldn’t both groups be happy with their choice?

About the post itself… it’s quite different from what I’m used to. Mitchell just seemed so … correct. Statistics, references, good style. When she wanted to make a point she knew how to get across, while John seems a little unfocused…

Comment by Hans Schmucker — January 15, 2008

…I’ve been very impressed with FF3b2 on my Mac (not a lot of long hangs like there used to be)… if you want to install, here is John Resig’s post: http://ejohn.org/blog/sexy-firefox-3/

Comment by Mark Holton — January 15, 2008

You know I, like a lot of people, actually like Opera (“SpeedDial” is cool) … but as a developer, it’s all too easy to ignore it. I’m not interested in writing yet another bug fix for yet another browser. If it actually worked with generic code (that is code that works consistently in both IE and FireFox) Opera just might have a chance. I take the same attitude against WebKit / Safari and any other would be contenders.

As for FireFox 3, the last beta I tried had differences in rendering pages from FireFox 2, until they are consistent I will have to forgo any conclusions.

Comment by DigitalSkyline — January 15, 2008

Utter fanboyism.

Comment by tmpuser — January 15, 2008

I’ve tried the Firefox 3 beta, and it’s a real step forward, particularly for Javascript-heavy sites.

On the other hand, the new URL bar is an abomination. If I start typing an URL, I don’t wish to be reminded of every page I’ve ever visited with an address containing the letter “c” or whatever. I want to see cuteoverload.com. Uh, just as an example. Right.

And while Opera may have cluttered menus, Firefox has about:config, which is a hundred times worse.

Comment by PixyMisa — January 15, 2008

@jkuhnert: the “buggy” lightbulbs of Edison was the basis for the Philips lightbulbs of today. The Windows interface was copied from other OS. I said it’s a good thing FF is copying Opera features. When innovation is not your concern of course you have to be bugg-less. Otherwise what other strategic advantage could FF have?
@Hans Schmucker: Opera menus are fully customizable. Even for a novice. All it takes is a little patience that seems to become extinct in this fast-paced world. For most users pressing F1 is harder than a reboot.

Comment by Adrian — January 16, 2008

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