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Firefox Hacks by Nigel McFarlane

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About the Author

Nigel McFarlane (http://www.nigelmcfarlane.com) is the Mozilla community’s regular technical commentator, focused on education, analysis, and a few narrowly scoped bugs. He works full-time on Mozilla matters, except when interrupted by other things. The core Mozilla hackers are slowly getting used to him.

Nigel writes extensively on Mozilla, Firefox, and open source, including the columns Searching for Substance at InformIT and Mozilla Meanderings for TUX . He contributes to a number of journals, including Inside Web Development and Linux Journal, numerous online publications, and to the W3C’s sXBL specification.

In addition to writing, Nigel messes around with programming and waves his arms about. He sometimes consults to industry and government. He holds science degrees from the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University. He is the author of several JavaScript Web books (WROX Press) and the authoritative Rapid Application Development with Mozilla (Prentice Hall)—the Mozilla community’s favorite text in print. Other strong points are telecommunications, data systems, and the Web. On the human side, he spends a lot of time studying the forces and processes behind open source, invention, and online communities in general.

When not welded to the computer, Nigel enjoys Melbourne, Australia, his home city. It’s often named the world’s most livable city, and not without reason. Outdoors there are no computers, so bushwalking, swimming, music, and city rambles are great ways to relax.


The following people contributed their hacks, writing, and inspiration to this book:

  • John Allsopp and Maxine Sherrin are Western Civilisation Pty Ltd (http://www.westciv.com). They are the developers of the leading cross-platform CSS editor Style Master and a series of highly influential web development courses. Their web site is one of the longest-standing web developer resources for CSS and web standards. Maxine and John are co-conveners of the annual Web Essentials conference. They are both longtime web standards evangelists.

  • Seth Dillingham is president and lead programmer of Macrobyte Resources (http://www.macrobyte.net). He and his company specialize in custom development of web applications, such as the popular Conversant (http://www.free-conversant.com) groupware and content management system. On those seemingly rare occasions that he steps out of his office, Seth can be found cycling around southern Connecticut or spending time with his lovely wife, Corinne.

  • Ben Karel is surprised that you’re bothering to read the contributor’s bio section. Ben learned the Firefox ropes as a side effect of contributing an improbably large amount of time to the Adblock extension (http://adblock.mozdev.org/). He believes that open source software such as Firefox has a wholly unique potential to change the world. Entirely Too Much Information about Ben is available at http://eschew.org.

  • Brian King has been involved in the Mozilla community since 1999. In that time, he has worked on both free and for-profit software built on top of the Mozilla Application Platform. He is one of the core site admins at http://www.mozdev.org, a community site for hosting Mozilla-based projects and for promoting Mozilla technologies. Brian is COO of Mozdev Group, Inc., a Mozilla services and software company.

  • Tomás Marek is a J2EE developer, Mozilla Links Newsletter translator (http://newsletter.mozdev.org/intro/), Mozilla evangelist, and an occasional contributor to open source web software. He lives in Beroun in the Czech Republic.

  • Roger B. Sidje is mostly known in Mozilla and W3C circles for his work that enabled the display of mathematical documents on the Web through MathML, which is vital for educators, students and researchers. Born in Cameroon, Africa, he moved to France to undertake a PhD on the numerical solution of Markov chains. After that, he headed to Australia for a position at the University of Queensland in the mathematics department. He works for the Advanced Computational Modelling Centre, where he develops other interests typical of academics.

  • Neil Stansbury is the lead engineer for Redback Systems (http://www.redbacksystems.com). Living in London, England, he is the principal designer of the cross-platform Mozilla-based client for Novell’s GroupWise product.

  • Keith M. Swartz is an Enterprise Software Architect at Oracle Corporation, where he has worked for more than 11 years. He has provided support, development, and product management for the E-Business Suite Technology Group and has co-authored and contributed to several books on Oracle products. When not evangelizing the division’s future technology directions, he is usually found nagging his senior management to switch to Mozilla and Firefox. He currently resides in Seattle, Washington, with his wonderful wife, Erin, and their cat, Gwen.

  • James Vulling (), a software engineering graduate, consults in the architecture, development, and maintenance of enterprise scale web applications. The use of XSL in this environment has helped speed up the product development cycle immensely. Away from work, James enjoys home theatre, music and basketball.


My thanks to all the contributors to this book, who are a talented bunch and patiently nonjudgmental in the face of ridiculous deadlines. Thank you for your enthusiasm and support. Thanks also to Brian Sawyer, editor extraordinaire, for tolerating me and for deadly precision in email.

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