The Firefox Kid

This month’s IEEE Spectrum Magazine cover story is The Firefox Kid (Blake Ross). The bulk of the article serves as an introduction to Blake Ross & Joe Hewitt’s joint project, Parakey. Other parts of the article include Blake’s childhood “as part of the first generation to grow up with the Internet.”, how Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox came about and an humorous account of a dinner with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team after Firefox became popular.

So you ask, what is Parakey? Here is Blake Ross’s description:

“a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do.” Translation: it makes it really easy to store your stuff and share it with the world.

Of course that is a very brief description and you will gain a much better understanding as you read the article. There is really nothing that I could compare Parakey to as it is something no one has ever done before (but everyone has wanted to). It will make the online world easier for people who are not so tech savvy. As Blake explained…

“Grandparents love seeing their kids and grandkids on Flickr or Snapfish, but they’re often too intimidated to put their own pictures on these sites. The reason, in part, is that they have to jump through many hoops: dragging pictures here, uploading them there. Parakey, inherently (and potentially profitably), is aimed at making it easier for them—and everyone else—to get their stuff online.”

Parakey would greatly simplify this entire process, but this doesn’t mean it is scaled down version of a popular photo sharing site. Parakey would have all the same functions (and more) of popular photo editing programs, but would be easy and fun to use (not complicated or intimidating) . There is no set date for Parakey to be released as Blake put it, “When it’s ready.”

Also see Blake’s Blog Article: So about that project…