Novell has been very good to me, and I've very much enjoyed the last two years, but the lure of MoCo has proven too great. In particular Mozilla has offered to support additional developers here in Auckland. When I came back here, I had a vague, long-term goal of helping develop New Zealand's software industry by creating the sort of jobs that would have lured me back. I'm very excited to be realizing this goal much sooner than I expected, and I'm grateful to the corporation for making it possible. I'm also greatly looking forward to working in an office with other real live Gecko developers. I will be able to say more about this soon. Also, staff at Auckland University have shown interest in having students work on Firefox-related projects, and that's something else I'm very excited about. It just so happens I have the ideal qualifications to make that work. Perhaps God does have a plan :-).
A secondary issue is that over the last two years I've also felt I wasn't serving Novell's business needs very well. I spent most of my time working on core Gecko, some time working on Novell-specific needs, and some time working on other things. They never indicated they were dissatisfied with me, but I think they might be better off with someone more focused on Novell-specific issues. As it is, I'll continue to do 80% of what I was doing for them and they won't have to pay for any of it :-).
Just for the record, my move has nothing to do with Novell's deal with Microsoft or any of that stuff. My plans were well underway before I heard about it.
I've been busy in the last few weeks tidying up work at Novell and organizing my new position. Meanwhile it's a lovely time of year to be in Auckland; the pohutukawas are flowering and most people are winding down for the end of the year, assisted by an extraordinary number of Christmas "do's" (i.e., parties). Novell's Auckland staff had a wonderful lunch at Mudbrick bar and restaurant on Waiheke Island. I haven't really been able to wind down myself yet, but now that my Mozilla contract is signed, I can relax a bit ... but only for a couple of weeks. Yet it's good stress; the coming year looks very exciting indeed.