Wednesday, December 01, 2004
frontierkernel dinner

The FrontierKernel dinner last night was fun. It wasn't many of us, just me, Dave Winer, Dave Leubbert, and Dave Leubbert's son, who we took to calling "Dave" just to keep it straight.

We talked for a while about the history of Frontier, about what the various sections of sourcecode were about, and of the general architecture of the system (callbacks, callbacks, callbacks). I had a few of my questions answered, and was able to add a function to the Python integration while we were sitting there.

Everyone seemed to like the Python work -- DaveL was quite flattering with his characterization of the project, and DaveW's desire to push the boundaries told me I was on the right track.

I suspect that DaveW's the kind of guy that only pushes on something when he likes it and/or thinks it's important. If he didn't like it, he'd probably ignore it. That's just my impression, but I was pleased with his reactions.

After the initial thrust of tech talk, DaveL and DaveW started talking about the earlier days of Mac development, and I just sat back and listened. I love hearing those sorts of stories, I love learning the history of our industry. I've always been fascinated with where our industry came from, and listening to people who were there talk about it is just too much fun.

I liked having some time to get to know DaveL... First disclaimer -- both DaveL and I are ex-microsoft. In my experience, the view that most people have of Microsoft is not at all what Microsoft is like on the inside -- or more properly, WAS like on the inside, I don't know what it's like now. By the nature of business, they have to provide this external facing view that is united and very forceful, but inside the buildings, you find just as wide an array of points of view as you find outside, although you can get into a bit of an us-against-them outlook, since at times it seems as if the entire world is out to get you. Remember that the external images of Microsoft are created by a small group of people inside of Microsoft. The rest of the people, the people coding and testing and dreaming, they are more like you and me than you would expect.

I would also say that I've never worked in a place that had a higher percentage of smart people.

Being that I was in Systems, and DaveL was in Apps (I worked on the initial release of NT, DaveL worked on MacWord), and that there was an intense rivalry between the divisions, it was interesting to hear the other side of issues that had become quite contentious.

The dinner served it's purpose -- I learned more about Frontier internals, I got to show off Python, and DaveW got DaveL and me together.

All in all a good thing.

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