The media frenzy earlier this week over Google's Chrome Web browser was so over the top that I wondered: How far did reporters go questing for commentary, for insight, for historical context? How many of them chased down Jamie Zawinski, the Netscape engineer turned beer-peddling South-of-Market nightclub owner, who played a critical role in making the Netscape browser open source — a move which, years later, made Google's browser possible? So I IM'd him: "What is the absolute worst media inquiry you've gotten about Google Chrome this week?""I have gotten none until now," he replied. "Which makes this one the worst by default."
Mozilla's 10th anniversary party at 111 Minna last night felt a little like a high school reunion for the kids who didn't go to their high school reunion. The Mozilla Foundation, maker of the Firefox browser, feigned poverty by renting just half the gallery space and serving up crudités and issuing one drink ticket per guest, only later splurging by opening up the bar. There was some awkward dancing to Soft Cell's "Tainted Love," old jean jackets embroidered with the Netscape logo, a gargantuan chocolate cake and a photo booth. Many of the oldsters who were around when CSS was just a dream and Ajax was still used to scrub toilets also traded reminiscences of Burning Man, tech society's annual prom. Mozilla Foundation chair Mitchell Baker earned part of her $500,000 salary by giving a brief speech. And sign-toter Frank Chu showed up, uninvited but always welcome. But the talk of the party was the man who wasn't there.