There goes number 2
Another key Mozilla Developer, Darin Fisher, announced today that he has joined Google inc. Ben Goodger, on Monday, announced that he had joined Google Inc but pledged to continue work on the Mozilla Project and on key releases like Firefox 1.1, 1.5 and 2.0. Darin, who currently owns Cookie/Permissions, NetLib (The Mozilla Networking Library) and NSPR (Netscape Portable Runtime) modules has also announced he will continue work on these Mozilla Projects. In a brief post on his weblog, Darin said the following "I thought I'd post that I have joined Google as well. Like Ben, I will still be very much involved with the Mozilla project and community :-)". Darin has previously worked for IBM and Netscape/AOL. Clearly Google is developing technologies that will build into or off current Mozilla projects. Neither Google nor Darin have announced what Darin's work role at Google will be.
http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/asa/archives/007404.html makes it sound like Google is paying Ben and Darin to work on Mozilla projects. That leaves a lot of possibilities, of course. They could have complete control over what they work on, or they could be asked to do things such as:
* Support Google employees who use Firefox.
* Work on Firefox features that Google feels are important.
* Create Firefox extensions, such as a Google Toolbar for Firefox.
* Help Google programmers make their pages work better in Firefox. This could go beyond making pages work in Firefox to ensuring that pages lay out well when displayed incrementally or suggesting ways to make Gmail faster.
* Help Google programmers understand all the crazy things web applications have to do in order to be secure.
* Create a "Google browser" product based on Firefox.
* Work with GWS people to ensure HTTP pipelining works with GWS, assuming this hasn't already been fixe). By the way, I heard that Google employs at least one Apache contributor; I wouldn't be surprised if he works on GWS (which is based on Apache) in addition to Apache.
* Integrate Google Desktop Search with Firefox data sources such as Firefox's cache.Comment by Jesse Ruderman at January 26, 2005 10:26 PM | Permalink
Another possibility is that Google is in a better financial postion to offer an salary comensurate with his abilities/contributions than the Mozilla Foundation and much like Linus with OSDL and previously at Transmeta, this may be an act of corporate "charity" to support Open Source since they (Google) are a recipient of the benefits of OSS. As I recall Red Hat has some employees working full time on OSS, so this may be more of the same. However, the other possiblities mentioned above are much more fun to speculate about.Comment by Mark Carson at January 27, 2005 06:01 AM | Permalink