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DATE 2005-01-01

HANGOUT

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Key: Value:

Key: Value:

MESSAGE
DATE 2005-01-23
FROM Ruben Safir
SUBJECT Subject: [hangout] Mama - don't let your kids grow up to be programers


Teen is co-creator of Firefox browser

By JOHN PAIN
AP BUSINESS WRITER

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- By age 10, Blake Ross was designing Web pages on
America Online. By 14, after mastering complex programming languages
such as C++, he was fixing bugs in Netscape's Web browser from home, a
hobby that landed him a job offer.

"What, at the local store or something?" David Ross remembered thinking
when his son told him.

No, at Netscape Communications Corp.

Ross, now 19, a sophomore computer science major at Stanford University,
has an even more impressive resume than most of his peers. Before
graduating high school, he helped develop Firefox.

Colleagues who worked with Ross only online were surprised when they met
him to find "a scrawny 15-year-old kid," recalled Chris Hofmann,
engineering director at the Mozilla Foundation.



To take an internship at Netscape during the summer of 2001, Ross moved
with his mother to a rented apartment near Netscape's offices in
Mountain View, Calif. She drove him to work each morning.

He continued working on the browser on contract after returning to
Florida to attend Gulliver Preparatory School. He breezed through
computer classes, finishing projects in a day that took others two
weeks, said Dean Morell, a former teacher and chairman of the school's
computer science department.

Ross soon took on a much more demanding project.

America Online Inc., which bought Netscape in 1999, was trying to
resurrect the once-mighty Netscape browser. AOL added features, but they
bogged down the software and reduced performance, Ross said in recent
interviews by e-mail and at his parents' condo in Key Biscayne, a Miami
suburb.

At 17, Ross and another Netscape programmer, David Hyatt, started a side
project that became Firefox. They wanted to strip down Netscape and the
Mozilla suite on which it is based. By reducing the software to its
browsing basics, they figured it would run more efficiently.

Ross and Hyatt created an early version of the browser. Because the
project was open source, thousands of volunteers could examine the
programming code and suggest ways to improve performance and fix bugs.

"I have fond memories of long nights spent at Netscape just poring over
all the feedback people submitted about our programs," Ross said.

Hofmann, the Mozilla engineering director, said Ross dealt with the
pressures of Silicon Valley quite well for his age.

"I don't think that he was intimidated or awe-struck at all," he said.
"With open-source projects you rise to a level based on your skills. It
is really a meritocracy. Anyone who has the skills rises quickly and
Blake had all those skills."

AOL ultimately spun off the project and created the not-for-profit
Mozilla Foundation to develop Firefox and related software.

Hyatt left to design Apple Computer Inc.'s Safari Web browser, but Ross
stayed and helped fix Firefox bugs from college.

Firefox was officially released Nov. 9. It was used by 4.6 percent of
Web surfers in early January, and that number could reach 10 percent by
mid-2005, according to WebSideStory, which tracks browser use.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer has dropped to 90.6 percent this month
from 95.5 percent in June.

Security experts like Firefox, saying it isn't as vulnerable as Internet
Explorer to viruses, spyware and other malicious programs.

Ross has assisted with marketing, helping to place an ad in The New York
Times paid for by thousands of Firefox users.

Ross will work with a team on Firefox version 2.0. He also gets calls
from venture capitalists and has a startup with Joe Hewitt, another
veteran of Netscape and Firefox. He said he can't talk about their work,
but he's also interested in writing movies or children's fiction.

The downside of his success: "All my computer science professors are
expecting straight A's, even in classes that have nothing to do with the
Internet," he said.

And have his appearances in major newspapers posted on his eponymous Web
site helped with those California girls at school?

"They're the ones that aren't impressed at all," he said with a laugh.

---


____________________________
NYLXS: New Yorker Free Software Users Scene
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because it's either fair use or useless....
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  1. 2005-01-31 From: "Martin, Jared" <JMartin-at-dglaw.com> Fw: [hangout] [visham-at-proexam.org: I will like to Register/And I will also like to lern more about this class]
  2. 2005-01-30 From: "P.Robert Marino" <rob-at-concord-hs.org> Re: [hangout] Re: Paid DOE Security Deployment Internship Job Description
  3. 2005-01-30 From: "rc" <ray-pub-at-rcn.com> Subject: [hangout] classes
  4. 2005-01-30 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [hangout] We should Celebrate!
  5. 2005-01-30 From: "Steve Milo" <slavik914-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [hangout] Tax that funded the Spano-American war could be extended
  6. 2005-01-30 From: "Steve Milo" <slavik914-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [hangout] January 30, Sunday, Kings Games. Is anybody or everybody going to be there?
  7. 2005-01-30 swd <sderrick-at-optonline.net> Subject: [hangout] January 30, Sunday, Kings Games. Is anybody or everybody going to be
  8. 2005-01-30 From: "Steve Milo" <slavik914-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [hangout] Future might be looking brighter
  9. 2005-01-30 Ron Guerin <ron-at-vnetworx.net> Re: [hangout] Future might be looking brighter
  10. 2005-01-29 From: "Steve Milo" <slavik914-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [hangout] Future might be looking brighter
  11. 2005-01-29 Billy <billy-at-dadadada.net> Re: Fw: [hangout] [visham-at-proexam.org: I will like to Register/And
  12. 2005-01-29 Billy <billy-at-dadadada.net> Re: [hangout] Re: Paid DOE Security Deployment Internship Job Description
  13. 2005-01-28 From: "Martin, Jared" <JMartin-at-dglaw.com> Fw: [hangout] [visham-at-proexam.org: I will like to Register/And I will also like to lern more about this class]
  14. 2005-01-28 Ruben Safir Secretary NYLXS <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [hangout] Future might be looking brighter
  15. 2005-01-27 Ruben Safir Secretary NYLXS <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [hangout] [visham-at-proexam.org: I will like to Register/And I will also like to lern more about this class]
  16. 2005-01-27 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> Subject: [hangout] MySQL installations targeted by Forbot worm variant
  17. 2005-01-27 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> Subject: [hangout] Concerns mount over Lenovo's IBM deal
  18. 2005-01-27 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [hangout] New Cold Medication Restrictions will make them Pharmacy only
  19. 2005-01-27 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [hangout] I've been Robbed - NOT
  20. 2005-01-26 Ruben Safir Secretary NYLXS <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [hangout] Simple C question
  21. 2005-01-26 Billy <billy-at-dadadada.net> Re: [hangout] Simple C question
  22. 2005-01-26 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [hangout] Simple C question
  23. 2005-01-26 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [hangout] Simple C question
  24. 2005-01-25 From: "rc" <ray-pub-at-rcn.com> Subject: [hangout] FOSS Biz Solution Thoughts?
  25. 2005-01-25 From: "Martin, Jared" <JMartin-at-dglaw.com> RE: [hangout] Simple C question
  26. 2005-01-25 Steve Milo <slavik914-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [hangout] Simple C question
  27. 2005-01-25 Billy <billy-at-dadadada.net> Re: [hangout] Simple C question
  28. 2005-01-25 Billy <billy-at-dadadada.net> Re: [hangout] Simple C question
  29. 2005-01-25 James Linder <jhl-at-jlinder.com> Re: [hangout] Simple C question
  30. 2005-01-25 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> RE: [hangout] Simple C question
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  32. 2005-01-25 Ron Guerin <ron-at-vnetworx.net> Re: [hangout] Ron G.
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  37. 2005-01-23 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [hangout] Mama - don't let your kids grow up to be programers
  38. 2005-01-21 From: "Steve Milo" <slavik914-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [hangout] Paging serge.
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  40. 2005-01-20 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> Subject: [hangout] OS News of the Day - Jan 20, 2005
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  43. 2005-01-20 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> RE: [hangout] NY Linux Users Grp. 27 Jan. Meeting: Elliotte Rusty
  44. 2005-01-20 From: "Steve Milo" <slavik914-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [hangout] NY Linux Users Grp. 27 Jan. Meeting: Elliotte Rusty Harold -on- Extensible Markup Language (XML)
  45. 2005-01-20 Ron Guerin <ron-at-vnetworx.net> Subject: [hangout] NY Linux Users Grp. 27 Jan. Meeting: Elliotte Rusty Harold -on-
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  48. 2005-01-19 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> RE: [hangout] Staff Development and Organizational Capacity
  49. 2005-01-18 From: "Martin, Jared" <JMartin-at-dglaw.com> RE: [hangout] Staff Development and Organizational Capacity
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  57. 2005-01-13 Ruben Safir Secretary NYLXS <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [hangout] More wonderful BS from Columbia University
  58. 2005-01-13 Billy <billy-at-dadadada.net> Re: [hangout] Why is he still able to teach!!!
  59. 2005-01-13 Billy <billy-at-dadadada.net> Re: [hangout] More wonderful BS from Columbia University
  60. 2005-01-13 Ruben Safir Secretary NYLXS <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [hangout] More wonderful BS from Columbia University
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  62. 2005-01-12 dspira-at-att.net Subject: [hangout] Why is he still able to teach!!!
  63. 2005-01-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [hangout] More wonderful BS from Columbia University
  64. 2005-01-12 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> RE: [hangout] More wonderful BS from Columbia University
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  69. 2005-01-11 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> Subject: [hangout] NYLXS Needs You !! Call Out for Volunteers
  70. 2005-01-11 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [hangout] Staff Development and Organizational Capacity
  71. 2005-01-11 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> RE: [hangout] Staff Development and Organizational Capacity
  72. 2005-01-11 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> Subject: [hangout] Staff Development and Organizational Capacity
  73. 2005-01-11 wjc <wjc-at-optonline.net> Subject: [hangout] test
  74. 2005-01-09 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [hangout] It never ends......
  75. 2005-01-06 Billy <billy-at-dadadada.net> Re: [hangout] What is available for creating GUI's?
  76. 2005-01-06 From: "P.Robert Marino" <rob-at-concord-hs.org> Subject: [hangout] the contract number for the microsoft contract with the NYC DOE
  77. 2005-01-06 From: "Steve Milo" <slavik914-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [hangout] What is available for creating GUI's?

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