Eyes Above The Waves

Robert O'Callahan. Christian. Repatriate Kiwi. Hacker.

Tuesday 1 March 2016

Leaving Mozilla

I'm leaving Mozilla. My last day will be this Friday, March 4 --- NZ time.

This isn't the time to go into all the reasons why, but I will mention a couple of big ones. I've been working on the Web platform for sixteen years, full-time for eleven. It was necessary and I'm so proud of what we did, but it was never the most fun thing I could have been doing and I'm very tired of it. And now there's rr. People think it's amazing, and it is, but we're only scratching the surface of what could be done. I'm bursting with ideas, and realizing them will require a lot of resources, resources that Mozilla cannot and should not provide --- we probably need to capture some of the value of this technology via a for-profit company. We can change the way people debug software, and in its own way that may be as important as my Web platform work, and it's work I desperately want to do.

I do not plan to disappear entirely from the Mozilla project. rr is the best research I've ever done partly because we've relentlessly focused on addressing real developer needs, so I want to stay engaged with Mozilla developers, helping them use rr and building tools for them that are a lot more awesome.

This is hard. I love Mozilla and its people so much, and this is a bit of a step into the unknown. I'm been singing this a lot lately...


Are you saying you'll be working full-time on rr, somehow? Will we get an update about this soon? I love rr - when i saw the title of this post I thought it was the end, but it looks like it's not.
Yes. Yes. It's not the end for rr, more like a new beginning :-).
Good luck! Thanks for all of the amazing things you've done for Mozilla over the years.
Jeff Ward
rr looks pretty cool! Keep your eyes above the waves, and good luck!
Wladimir Palant
I had to tell myself: "it's how it is, everybody has to move on eventually." I've been associating your name with the Mozilla project for a very long time, and I got quite used to reading about whatever great advancements you came up with. Thank you very much for everything you've done and good luck!
Andrew Overholt
I'm sorry to see you go, but I wish you the best of luck! Thanks for being so welcoming to newcomers at Mozilla.
Looking back, I am glad I failed to recruit you around Y2K to Netscape/AOL when you got out of CMU. I'm also glad and proud that I pulled you out of Novell when you realized you were doing more Mozilla than Ximian work, and you were morosely telling me you might go to Google, and I said "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT LET'S BUILD AN NZ OFFICE AROUND YOU AT MOZILLA", lol. Great team there, I hope you'll still get in there. Looking forward to rr-the-startup! /be
I know you have always had a heart for research and definitely gives you that. It's a bummer that just as I'm joining, you're leaving, but I wish you the best!
David Bolter
I wish you the very best roc! Thank you for everything.
Brian R. Bondy
Thanks for everything you've done for the web! Can't wait to see where rr goes, amazing project.
Very sad to see you go, you were a force of nature at Mozilla. I'll never forget f42421c174f05a60e51d43f9e9290469 or that time you e7bcdc9e3187422a65fd995d283c8dbd!
End of an era! Excited to see where you go with rr, and so, so grateful for everything you've done for Mozilla and the Web.
Chris Double
Exciting news! Thanks for all the good times working with you in Mozilla New Zealand, and I look forward to hearing about what you do next!
Sorry to see you go, roc. You are a great hacker, and a great man. God has blessed you greatly. Prayer meetings will be... smaller without you :-) Are you now going to reveal the secret of those long hex strings? Hashes of predictions? Did they come true?
I wouldn't be at Mozilla if we hadn't gotten talking after you gave a presentation at Melbourne Uni in 2008. Thank you.
Best of luck, and thanks for all the great work on gecko!
Kamil Jozwiak
Thanks for all the hard work that you've put into the Mozilla project! The web is definitely a better place because of it!
Alex Bishop
Good luck, roc. The Mozilla project would not be where it is today without you. Your contributions have affected millions, whether they realise it or not.
Whaaaat! I didn't see this coming. It's been great following your work, Roc, and I hope God richly blesses you in the future you have planned.
It's great when one finds a project to be passionate about. I hope you can ride this wave as far as possible, and keep it fun!
Sad to see you leave, roc, but I can't wait to see what you accomplish next! Thanks for your leadership at Mozilla, both on a technical and personal level.
Cameron McCormack
Thank you for all that you've done at Mozilla, roc. I'm really excited to see where you can take rr!
I can't say I saw this coming but I did wonder if it was when I saw how big rr was becoming. I'm very happy for you and look forward to what you can accomplish working full time on this important new project. I have faith that God will be with you in your new journey. Echoing others, I want to thank you for all of the great work you have done for the web!
Thank you for your guidance in Mozilla. I learn so much from you. Good luck!
I'm really surprised at this news... Thank you very much, roc. I've learned a lot of things from you. You're one of the best hackers who I respect.
I'm going to miss seeing you around a lot. Whether talking about Gecko or the gospel, it's been really fun. Thanks also for all your help personally and professionally. I remember you said getting rr to work on Windows was an impossible task. Care to prove yourself wrong?
So sad and good news at the same time... Thanks for all the fish, roc! And best of luck for the future of rr!
Good luck. Hope you get a place where you can work explore more without any limits
You may also need to change the name of this blog...
thanks! may the road rise to meet you
Steve Fink
I'm sad to not have you around the Mozilla project, but I'm heartened to learn that I don't have to stop my incessant whining about rr, nor do I lose my outlet for venting my vague and unrealistic ideas for future rr changes. I wish you all the best, in the original meaning of that phrase before it became a complete cliché.
Monica Chew
All the best, Rob! I'm rooting for you.
Daniel Cater
All the best and thanks for everything you put into Mozilla. Your blog posts have always been some of the most interesting on Planet Mozilla and I look forward to reading many more.
Benjamin Kerensa
roc I will miss you on Bugzilla!
Good luck with rr, and we will miss you at Mozilla! I am always so happy to see you show up in a bug and lay down the expertise!
Manoj Mehta
Roc - good luck and God speed with future ventures.
Alfredo Yang
I have already found a trail that we may go together when you visit Taiwan. It is sad to know this but I also happy for you about rr start-up. All the best and thanks for everything you help, roc.
Thank you for all your work at Mozilla and it was nice to meet you in Orlando. Good luck !
Naveed Ihsanullah
Roc - I have just started getting to know you. :| I will greatly miss those insightful conversation at the workweeks and All Hands we shared. I will even miss the bowling. Good luck with rr. It deserves the focus. Please ping me at my mozilla address if you are interested in sharing thoughts/ideas as we continue the work on the Web version. p.s. the song is beautiful
Dear Robert, I'm sad to hear that you leave Mozilla. You had an absolutely massive influence on me when I was still a volunteer and when I started working at Mozilla. You were one of the hero developers to me back in the time and that you wanted to meet me in person while you were at a conference in Amsterdam, meant a great deal to me. I wish you all the best at your new job.
Roc, you've been an inspiration to me, and someone to look up to, throughout my time at Mozilla. I'm sure you will continue to do amazing things over the course of your new adventure. All the best!
Dear Robert, love your great job, we had using rr to find bug many times. thanks you again.