Category Archives: Firefox

Firefox Followup: Parakey

Details have finally emerged about Blake Ross’ secret new project, Parakey. It gets to the meat on the third page.

“Although it looks like a Web site—down to the Firefox-style tabs that run across the top of the page, which each family member uses to display his or her own section—it is, in fact, something much more ambitious: a universal interface. Even though Parakey works inside your Web browser, it runs locally on your home computer, which allows Parakey developers to do things inside your Parakey site that a traditional Web site could not do, such as interact with your camera.”

It uses a new language called JUL. I haven’t found anything about Parakey online, besides Parakey.com registered about a month ago. Most disappointing quote from the article?

“If it were up to us, we’d open source all of it,” he says, “but it depends on how the investors want to do this.”

I’m guessing this might be a misquote. Investors are for money, advice, and connections, not product leadership. There are good examples now of scalable businesses being built on top of open source — don’t let anyone take you down a path you can’t believe in 100%. Think long term. I don’t know who Parakey’s investors are, but I’m sure Blake hooked up with (or could demand) folks smart enough to understand this.

Update: Blake says in the comments, “That is, indeed, a misquote. Parakey will be open source, as I repeatedly told the magazine while the article was being edited.”