Brendan was one of the very first Netscape engineers, joined from Microunity, a famous venture-backed chip startup fiasco at that time. We decided we needed a scripting language for web browsers and web servers. We investigated every option. Brendan said, I can build one.

He single-handedly wrote Livescript (the first version) in three months. He built it into the browser. He created modern web programming and borrowed Java syntax. Sun asked us to embed their new Java into browser; in return we forced them to accept the name “Javascript” for Livescript. They hated that!

At the time, I thought Java would dominate client and Javascript would dominate server; it turned out the reverse happened for 10+ years. Javascript in the browser became BY FAR the most widely used programming language in human history. This is a breathtaking achievement. Beyond amazing.

Years later, after Netscape/AOL and AOL/TimeWarner mergers, Brendan called me to see if I could help free Mozilla into a nonprofit. I called Jim Barksdale who was on the AOL-TW board. With Jim’s help, Mitchell Baker and Brendan successfully established the Mozilla Foundation. This was an unnatural act for a big company and could have easily not happened. Mitchell and Brendan made it happen and redefined the web again.

So, if you like your browser, your Firefox, and/or your Javascript, whatever your political beliefs, you owe Brendan a debt of gratitude. The web would be a sparse and barren place without Brendan’s work. I can’t argue with his decision, but I can’t wait to see what he does next.

Source: Tweets – 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12

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Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Brendan is one of the worlds greatest, most unsung geniuses.
    He will only go onto bigger, better things.

    Congratulations Brendan!

    Reply

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