Some Mozilla History, dmose, Hockey

August 31st, 2010

I’ve known Dan Mosedale a long time. He was already at Netscape working in the browser realm when I arrived in the fall of 1994. In fact, of all the people working on Mozilla and browsers in the world today, I think Dan was probably the first. Not the person with the longest continual history (Dan has taken some breaks), but the first chronologically.

I got to know Dan well when we both joined Mozilla full time in 1999. We had both been working on Mozilla part-time since before its founding, Dan on the IT/infrastructure side and me on the MPL and organizational aspects. We both joined Brendan at Mozilla full time at the same time in early 1999, as did Mike Shaver. In that era the very small group of us managing the project were known as “ staff.”

In the next few years staff (which also came to include Myk, Asa and Marcia) made a number of decisions about the Mozilla project that we know put our jobs at Netscape/ AOL at risk. Each time we would all look at each other and make sure we understood what we were doing. We would plan how to keep up and running. In this we had support from many other long time Mozilla contributors who are with Mozilla today, including Chris Hofmann who ultimately became the liaison between staff and Netscape/ AOL after our decisions did cause me to be fired (technically “laid off”).

A couple years ago I mentioned to Dan that I had decided to learn to ice skate, since there’s a skating rink near my house. Dan suggested I try hockey, that despite its appearance it can be much less risky and worrisome than figure skating. I recall vividly his comment that once he has all his gear on, falling became mostly irrelevant. I’ve remembered this each time I’ve fallen without pads — the ice can be hard. Not every fall hurts, but the idea of falling is inhibiting.

Saturday night was Give Hockey a Try Day, with a session at the local rink. The Northern California Women’s Hockey League, a volunteer organization focused on getting women to play and enjoy hockey, takes this seriously. Members donate their gear for the session. They invite women of all skill levels and all ages. (One current coach had no idea how to skate when she started.) Members come with their gear, members come to help neophytes get dressed, member coaches come and get everyone out on the ice. In two hours you go from never having worn hockey skates or held a hockey stick to passing and scrimmaging. Poor quality scrimmaging for sure, but also sometimes hysterically funny as a result. The great thing is that once you’re thinking about the puck, you stop worry about the skating.

In Dan’s honor I rammed myself into the wall to make myself fall. He was right — it was barely noticeable, and not remotely inhibiting.

The NCWHL folks were universally positive and supportive. They end the event with a gear sale so that newcomers can get somewhat worn-out gear for very little money and get started in league play without a lot of expense. I travel too much and have far too little time to add anything structured to my life but still love the sense of racing around the ice not worried about knees and elbows and jaws.

The evening also reminded me of how astonishing people can be when they love what they are doing. As Esther Dyson keeps reminding me, a vibrant civil society is an awesome thing.

4 comments for “Some Mozilla History, dmose, Hockey”

  1. 1

    Lukas said on August 31st, 2010 at 12:47 pm:

    I love hearing the history of Mozilla in a personal story like this. Also – I play beginner’s hockey and find that not only does the padding help you focus on just playing hard with less fear but also the game of hockey itself is to me like a form of meditation since when you are playing you cannot think about anything else except the exact moment you are in. To do otherwise would likely result in injury. So if you need to clear your head, get geared up and jump on the ice!

  2. 2

    Jonas Sicking said on September 12th, 2010 at 8:05 pm:

    Dmose was one of the people that got me into hockey too and I’ve been playing for over 4 years now.

    It’s totally true what Lukas says about hockey forcing you to focus. I’m often so in the moment that a minute after I pull a good move I’ve forgotten the details of what I did. (And pulling a good move is a rare thing for me!)

    Glad people like NCWHL exists, there’s all too few women in hockey!

    FWIW, I too ram myself into the boards sometimes. Though almost never in honor of dmose.

  3. 3

    Lorne Parsons said on September 16th, 2010 at 2:31 am:

    I miss hockey. Where I’ve been living for the last 10 years near tropical ‘Mayaville’ there’s no hockey solamente FutBol y El Mundial madness. I started hockey before kindergarten and every day on the streets after the game on the ice…..Few sport choices when I was a kid on the rather large island mountain whose roots welcomed Titanic that slammed into the boards like an iceberg with no equipment on.

    I really like your Ester Dyson link! Reminds me that I should have – “oh those 20/20 hindsight I should haves”-gotten all those women from the rural villages to play soccer while waiting for their new solar oven to cook tomorrow’s breakfast corn ‘rosquillas, ‘ Kicking that ball around, getting a bit of much needed cardio-action while encouraging vibrant new society in every Corner of the world, ‘for a vibrating society is indeed a live society, yet it’s something awful when my triangle topped with Pride and bottom corners of Power and Pleasure goes back of American dollar bill south to self servings. Interesting to watch ‘Four Corners’ unite to not only not fix nor restore but to transform vexing society from the prison of ‘Buying & Selling’ to taking flight in ‘Giving & Receiving’ where new society soars forward as……….

  4. 4

    Lorne Parsons said on September 16th, 2010 at 2:35 am:

    Hey Lukas, a friend grew up in London just down from Seneca. You might find some ‘Canadianish’ common thread here:

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