Here are some links to interesting software that I’ve worked on or found useful – and that is also available out on the net today.
Twist is what I work on now. The product is the world’s easiest way to let others know when you’ll arrive. Find the fastest route, compute the time to get there, and share privately with just your friends all in a few taps. We’ve been fortunate and had a lot of good press about the product. I particularly liked this statement, “Twist has earned a coveted spot on my home screen.” – Brian Beam, Computerworld. That’s pretty nice praise – there are only 4 spots available on your phone!
After working on Chrome for a couple of years, I founded and built the SPDY team within Google. SPDY started because I was troubled with the state of HTTP networking (as was practically everyone), and the Chrome management gave me the latitude to go try to make it better. I partnered up with Roberto Peon, one of the most capable server engineers I’ve ever met, and together we invented SPDY. Along the way we had to prove a lot of things about latency, learn a lot of things about transports, practicality of switching protocols, and more. But in the end, it looks like SPDY will be a success. Recently SPDY has been picked up by the Mozilla Firefox team, as well as the new Amazon Silk browser. Open source software makes this possible – and I look forward to getting SPDY into a more typically approved standard.
- Google Chrome
I was lucky to arrive on the scene at Google just as Chrome was getting started. At the time, Chrome was about 10 engineers with an idea of maybe making a better browser. I was lucky to be part of the fantastic team that built Chrome, and hopefully helped make a few parts (memory management, networking, and V8 bindings) a little better.
Lookout is project I’ve been working on with my friend and colleague Eric Hahn. Its an experiment of sorts, and we hope it will turn out to be useful. For now, its just in beta test, and we’ll see what comes of it. Lookout is a plug-in to Outlook for implenting a great search within Outlook. It sounds too simple at first, but when you try it, you’ll get it.
It is what its name is – I wanted to see all the “SpyMail” messages that were coming into my mailbox. Writing this was triggered after I received a couple of spymail messages from people that knew me, and being disgusted that companies are trying to make a business out of it. Its a plugin built on .NET/C# which runs inside of Outlook. Once you try it – you’ll see a whole lot of people have been spying on you! Mostly spammers.Download it and try it for free… Let me know if it works!
NSPR is the “NetScape Portable Runtime”. Its a project which I worked on while at Netscape and it was the lowest level cross platform API used within the Netscape Enterprise Server and the Netscape Browser (Mozilla). It has now been made available as open source.Being on the server team, we were highly motivated to make the Netscape Server be as fast as possible on all platforms, from Windows NT to Solaris. This proved challenging, because the most efficient system-call APIs provided on the different platforms varied widely.
At the time we shipped Netscape Enterprise Server 3, it was one of the fastest servers on the market, even beating out Microsoft’s IIS. IIS only was designed to only run on NT. NES was had to run equally fast on NT, Solaris, IRIX, HPUX, etc. To make this possible, we implemented NSPR using Microsoft’s Fibers and IO Completion ports.
When people look at NSPR today, they often complain about a very convoluted makesystem, which is true. That was one of the prices we paid for getting started down the path of cross platform development very quickly.
Nonetheless, NSPR is a very good API, its works cross platform, and more importantly, its very efficient even when running cross platform.
While working at Good Technology, Chad Rosen came up with the idea for a test tracking tool. As a software development manager, I was pretty interested in this. Up to this point, our QA team had huge binders of hard-copy Word documents which made up our test cases and our test plans. Each time we came up with a new version of the software, a few QA engineers had to go off and “create the plan for a test plan” for a couple of days. This process largely meant going and finding the right word documents which contained the test cases relevant to this version of the software. Ack! And of course, we also had the problem of tracking QA test results. The team had to manually track results, so at each milestone, it was difficult to get a good understanding of which cases were finished, and which were not. Lastly, I really wanted to have a way for the developers to directly see and understand what their QA counterparts were working through. So, a tool like Chad’s seemed like a great idea. We built it. The team uses it today, and overall, it was quite a success. Thanks to Chad for doing most of the work. Its not a complex piece of software, but its very practical. And if you are building complex software that you need to test, Testlink might be a good tool to employ.And the best part is that Good gave us permission to post it out to the open source community. So you can find it out at sourceforge.