This is my report on my activities related to the Mozilla Foundation for the weeks ending July 27 and August 3, 2007.

Projects for the week

Here’s a summary of what Foundation-related activities went on the last two weeks; for more information about others’ activities please see the weekly status reports published by David Boswell, Gerv Markham, and Zak Greant.

  • Executive director search. The search committee had its first meeting; for more information see the meeting notes.

  • Grants and related activities. As part of our efforts to improve the accessibility of Firefox and the web, particularly on free and open source platforms, the Foundation will be funding improvements to the GNOME AT-SPI accessibility API on Linux and enhancements to the Orca screen reader for Linux. Also, Eitan Isaacson completed his Foundation-funded work on the Accerciser accessibility test tool for GNOME on Linux. Last but definitely not least, Aaron Leventhal was one of five winners of the 2007 Google/O’Reilly Open Source Awards, for his work on Mozilla and Firefox accessibility; please join us in congratulating Aaron!

    Next action(s): Evaluate a funding request for sponsorship of a developer workshop (Mozilla-related but not Mozilla-specific). Work with the Foundation board to make a decision on other new proposals.

  • IP/legal issues. I’m responding to licensing-related questions to the Foundation while Gerv Markham is on vacation.

    Next action(s): Work with the SeaMonkey Council and others on appropriate policies for the SeaMonkey trademarks. Work more to get the contributors agreement moved forward.

  • Web sites. David Boswell created a Foundation page on for Foundation-related work in progress, links to staff blogs, etc.

  • Other. Along with Mitchell, David, Zak, and I participated in the Internet as a Public Good symposium at Harvard. Thanks go to Zak for his work in getting the symposium organized!

    Next actions: Do a blog post on the issues discussed at the IPG symposium.

Upcoming activities

  • I’ll be in Mountain View on September 12 for a Mozilla Foundation board meeting.

Random notes

Given my interest in theories of innovation, I set up a Google Alert to return web pages mentioning open source, innovation, and Clayton Christensen. Today I got one of the stranger search results, a blog post describing an attempt to create and market a new musical instrument, the Thummer. I have no idea whether the Thummer will be widely adopted, or whether it will join the ranks of the theremin and other “cult” instruments. However it does serve as a reminder of the dominant position the 88-key piano keyboard occupies as a standard interface to create music, and how difficult it is to introduce new interfaces.