Archive for September 19th, 2007


September 19th, 2007

As those of you who read know, last weekend was the Mozilla24 event. A lot of people have written about Mozilla 24 and I won’t repeat a general description. The thing that struck me was the power that the infrastructure can bring, and how the infrastructure really can bring people closer. Typically in the Mozilla world we’re focused on software (obviously!). We recognize the critical nature of the underlying infrastructure that we live on but don’t spend our days building it as we do the software layer. And so the proposal for Mozilla 24 seemed daunting to me, given the massive amounts of infrastructure needed to provide real-time video conferencing across multiple continents. But Mozilla 24 was spear-headed by Mozilla Japan with the significant assistance Dr. Jun Morai. Dr. Morai is known as the “father of the Internet” of Japan, is a VP of Keio University, a member of ICANN and the Internet Society, and a long time friend of Mozilla Japan.

Dr. Morai is also the chairperson of the WIDE project which seeks to put this infrastructure to use for social benefit. I found Mozilla24 to be an eye-opening example of how powerful an idea this is. I attended the Mozilla24 event at Stanford University. It was a very nice facility — thank you Stanford! The room had 3 large screens. Generally one showed the presentation, another showed the audiences in other areas and the third often showed the Mozilla 24 photo stream. What surprised me was how strong the feeling was of “touching” and “seeing” the people in other locations. The images were good enough, the audio was good, and the transmission lag was so small as to be unnoticeable for much of the time. I participated in the last segment, which was the Kids” Summit, followed by a discussion with Dr. Morai and Dr. Cerf. It really was possible to have a discussion, to watch Dr. Morai, the discussion leader and feel as if he was “right there.” At one point Dr. Moral was speaking to the Kids’ Summit participants, suggesting we’d kept them long enough and it was fine for them to go home. After the children from Japan left he turned to the children from Thailand and suggested they were free to go as well. I thought to myself “Wow, I didn’t know the participants from Thailand had gone to Japan; I thought they were all at the University in Thailand.” But of course, they *were* in Thailand. Dr. Morai is simply so comfortable with this technology that it’s impossible to tell from watching him whether he’s talking to people in the same room or someone thousands of miles away.

Of course, Mozilla24 was an enormous amount of work. The Mozilla Japan team showed once again that they are masters of organization, and of bringing Mozilla DNA to well-organized, professional quality events. And the rest of the Mozilla world jumped in to make a rich program.

Mozilla24 has made it clear to me once again how Mozilla is part of a much larger effort to bring openness and participation to *all* levels of the Internet stack. It made me realize once again all the different things that the Mozilla community is and does.

Skip past the sidebar