Mozilla Foundation activities, week ending 2007/06/01

This is my report on my activities related to the Mozilla Foundation for the weeks ending May 25 and June 1, 2007.

Projects for the week

Here's a partial listing of what I and others did these past two weeks:

  • Grants and related activities. I approved a Mozilla Foundation donation to the NetSquared Technology Innovation Fund; for more on NetSquared see Seth Bindernagel's post. Henri Sivonen posted his final masters thesis describing his Mozilla Foundation-funded project to produce a prototype HTML conformance checker; the thesis and the conformance checker code are well worth checking out if you have an interest in this topic. The Foundation is now funding some follow-on work by Henri to produce an HTML5 parser for Java. I also approved matching funding from the Mozilla Foundation for a project sponsored by the Camino project to improve the scriptability of Camino.

    Next action(s): Finish up with stuff left over from the Summer of Code submissions. Do a blog post summarizing our accessibility-related efforts, as well as a brief meeting report on CSUN and G3ICT.

  • IP/legal issues. I worked on some internal legal matters.

    Next action(s): Work more to get the contributors agreement moved forward.

  • Other. I was in Boston on June 1 to attend the Internet & Society Conference 2007 and meet some folks from the Berkman Center (with whom we're planning an event for later this year). Among the sessions I attended, perhaps the most interesting to me was that by Chris Mackie of the Mellon Foundation. The Mellon Foundation mainly funds projects related to the arts and humanities, and as an offshoot of that now has a program funding research in information technologies of interest to educational institutions, including development of open source software. In particular, Mellon funded creation of the Zotero extension to Firefox, a tool for people doing academic research online.

See also the blogs by Gerv and Zak for their own status reports.

Upcoming activities

Random notes

On the flights up to Boston and back I read David Weinberger's new book Everything is Miscellaneous. If I have time later I'll post a brief review. However in the meantime I noted in the online errata that he wasn't able to track down the exact source of a quote from Ted Nelson ("Everything is deeply intertwingled"). As it happens, I have a copy of Nelson's Computer Lib/Dream Machines that apparently contains the original quote. (Strictly speaking I have what purports to be a copy of the sixth printing of the first edition, although it may actually be the second edition instead.) I picked up this book for $7 sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s; it's now out of print, and used copies are selling on Amazon for $150-200. Sometimes I guess it's a good thing to have lived a while!


Christopher J. Mackie wrote at 2007-06-06 07:12:

Hi Frank; thanks for the kind words--it was good to meet you in Boston, and to learn more about what the Mozilla Foundation is doing.

I wanted to pass along two additional bits of information to you and any other interested parties. First, the link you give for my program offers basic information, but much more information, including links to current and former projects as well as information on how to apply for funding, is available at our program's own web site:

Also, while my presentation at the Berkman Center focused on our work in higher education, our actual charge is somewhat broader: we support software development in higher education (with a special focus on the arts and humanities), research libraries (one reason we support Zotero is because of its value as a research tool for online library resources), museums, arts organizations, and conservation biology. We're always on the lookout for interesting software development projects in any of those areas, so anyone who has such a project should read the info on the web site and then get in touch.

It's very exciting to see you folks making a difference with your own funding activities. Let's keep in touch,


Frank Hecker wrote at 2007-06-06 14:11:

Chris, thanks for the comment and the link. Note that as far as I can tell the Mellon Foundation RIT site is not linked to from the RIT page on the Mellon Foundation main site, which is why I wasn't aware of it. Perhaps you all could add a link?

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