Monthly Archives: September 2008 — A blast from the past

About eight years ago, I was selling a text editor called Texturizer on the domain. What few people knew was that this domain was never owned by myself, but by Anthony Bowersox, who ran an early startup company that had access to a server with plenty of bandwidth. At that time, having a dedicated domain name for my relatively successful shareware program was huge for me, and I was very thankful that Anthony purchased

After about two years of active development, I started to get more interested in software development in general, and open source in particular. I quickly got involved with Mozilla and decided to create a simple website for Firefox (then called Phoenix), which was hosted on The rest is history.

The reason why I bring this up today is because I was pinged this morning by Adam Barlam, the server administrator who helped me a lot with the hosting of Firefox Help. For example, during the release of Firefox 0.9, the server host was having serious bandwidth and performance issues and we had to take out some of the heavier PHP code and add caching mechanisms to survive — just like we do today with SUMO by the way. 🙂 If it wasn’t for Adam, the server would have suffered from frequent outages, as the Firefox project quickly became incredibly popular compared to the bandwidth and server resources was equipped with.

It’s always nice to catch up with people you’ve known for ages, so I was excited to hear from Adam this morning. Apparently, he is now the owner of a company called Barlam Enterprises, who among other things create web sites and offer IT services for other companies. As a testament that he still knows what he’s doing, in just five minutes he fixed an issue I had for a long time with the RSS feed of my blog!

Adam, thank you for helping me and Mozilla host the early Firefox support documentation, and for fixing my RSS today! 🙂

Paris, SUMO localization, Add-ons, and more

Last Thursday, Patrick and I went to Paris to meet up with the European Mozilla team and attend to the French community event Mozilla Add-Ons Workshop (MAOW). Although most of the event was in French — the only word I know in French is bonjour (thanks Alix; keep ’em coming!) — it was still a very rewarding and fun experience with keynotes in English by Brian King and Wladimir Palant, creator of the Adblock Plus extension.

William really deserves a huge pat in the back for pulling this event off. It’s fantastic that Mozilla has the ability and resources to gather their local communities like this because it’s very obvious that it’s appreciated by everyone attending. On a more personal note, I was excited to meet Daniel Glazman for the first time. And of course, meeting Brian and Stas again was great, as always.

Wladimir Palant doing what he does best — blocking ads! Photo (c) Brian King.

Aside from the MAOW event, I was also in Paris because of more direct business purposes in my role as SUMO manager. I had the great pleasure of meeting Delphine Lebédel and Vanessa Yve, interns at the Paris office working on SUMO localization. We sat down together for a long time to talk about their experiences with SUMO and the result was a long list of invaluable feedback that we will be working hard on incorporating into SUMO.

Delphine Lebédel

Vanessa Yve

A huge thanks to Vanessa and Delphine for being so pleasant to work with and for being honest and open about their initial confusion and frustration while working on the SUMO website. It’s constructive feedback like this that really allows us to work efficiently on creating something truly useful.

Visiting the Paris office was also an opportunity for me to meet face to face with William again to discuss SUMO and the perception of the project among the local communities in Europe. We had a great, long meeting where we touched on this and many other things.

All in all, it was a very rewarding trip. The European Mozillians are really really fun to hang out with. 🙂

What are the odds?

Hi! I’m David Tenser, and I live in Sweden (a beautiful country in northern Europe) in a small city called Eskilstuna. I live quite near the center of the city, close to the Tuna Park shopping center. I work for a global company/community called Mozilla, where I’m part of the marketing team. This map gives you an approximation of where I live:

The reason why I blog today is because I’d like to introduce you all to a guy I recently got to know. His name is Patrick Finch, and he also lives in Sweden (a beautiful country in northern Europe) in the same small city called Eskilstuna. Just like me, he lives quite near the center of the city, close to the Tuna Park shopping center. Intriguingly, he works for the same global company/community as I do — Mozilla. Finally, he’s part of (you guessed it!) the marketing team.

Bizarre coincidences aside, I’m truly excited about having Patrick working for Mozilla, and so close to where I live and work. The following picture gives you an idea of just how close to each other we live (I’m A, he’s B):

That’s just one mile between us! This morning my internet connection wasn’t working properly, so I took a five minute bike ride and worked from Patrick’s home office instead. When most of my colleagues and community friends are on the other side of the globe, having an IRL colleague just five minutes away is an amazing contrast.

Say hello to Patrick and pay his new blog Tuna Park a visit!