Tantek's Thoughts

  1. 20040629

    1. 1850

      Subject: Moving on...; To: co-workers

      • personal
      • work

      Sent broadly to co-workers today, with only minor bits appropriately redacted, and some text enhanced with hyperlinks:

      After more than 7 years at Microsoft, and several weeks of consideration and introspection, I've decided to move on.

      It has been quite an adventure.

      When Don Bradford hired me into Microsoft's "MSBay" team in San Jose, I wasn't quite sure what to expect, having just spent over a year building a Macintosh software development and consulting startup, and four years before that at Apple.

      I was given the opportunity to help develop ground breaking products like Internet Explorer for Macintosh versions 3.01 through 4.0. After a major group reorg under Dick Craddock and renaming ("Macintosh Internet Products Unit" -- which many affectionately referred to as "macipu"), we insisted that IE4.01/Mac undergo a few more months of bug fixing, and as a result it achieved levels of performance and stability previously unseen in a Macintosh web browser.

      As the development lead for Tasman, I was fortunate enough to work with a team of strong developers, and together we built, rebuilt, tweaked, optimized and shipped a rendering engine second to none.

      IE5/Mac delivered previously unseen levels of content fidelity (compliant CSS1, HTML4, PNG1 with full 8-bit alpha transparency) that clearly bested anything from the competition (Netscape, Opera, Konqueror etc.). E.g.:


      And that's not even counting IE/Mac's numerous innovations and firsts, some (but not all) of which have been copied by our competitors: Download Manager, all-in-one-file Web Archives (WAFs), one click Forms Autofill, DOCTYPE switching, flavor switchable NewLook, Auction Manager, Web Scrapbook, Page Holder, Customizable Toolbars, Text Zoom, etc.

      When we shipped IE5/Mac, disbelief, amazement and acclaim echoed in newsgroups, mailing lists, and web boards alike, resulting in IE5/Mac's rapid rise in browser share up to ~70% of Macs in the first six months after RTW through downloads alone, and culminating in IE5/Mac being recognized as the "Best Internet Client Software" at the 2000 Eddy's.


      However by then the IE/Mac team had been reorg'd into WebTV and was gradually being assimilated into the guts of a Microsoft acquisition which itself had never been fully digested.

      [redacted] Working with a recreated IE team in MacBU, the Tasman team helped ship IE5.1/Mac, IE5.2/Mac, MSN/Mac and most recently, Office2004/Mac, each with a newer and more improved version of Tasman.


      Last fall, having exhausted any and all possibilities of a set-top-box project that would ship with Tasman, and thoroughly disgusted with the underbelly of the television/cable business, I almost quit.


      In the mean time, over the past six years, I managed to successfully represent Microsoft in the W3C CSS working group, and get IE innovations in CSS (the best designed ones that made the most sense) standardized in the W3C in various CSS3 candidate recommendations.


      With those achievements, it became obvious that I had reached a logical transition point. And despite the successful creation of a new development effort in Mountain View, it became more and more clear to me that my professional interests had changed in recent years and it was time to act on that.

      Thus I am leaving Microsoft as of July 6th, [redacted].

      You may find me at the following:

      http://tantek.com/ [redacted]

      It has been great working with each and every one of you over the past 7+ years in the development and release of industry changing products like IE/Mac. May you all find it within your position and reach to continue advancing the state of the art in our industry and shipping products and services that enable and enhance the lives of millions of users.


      Tantek Çelik

  2. 20040626

    1. 2359

      More fun

      • friends

      • Thursday: very late lunch at Gordo's. Quick shopping trip at Amoeba. Last minute meetup at Rockin' Java. Very late slices at Escape From New York Pizza — they kicked us out. Matt's photos from Thursday.
      • Friday: Metreon, Just Desserts, Yerba Buena park and SFMOMA. Visited the SixApart offices in San Mateo. Dinner at Hunan Homes in Chinatown. Quick stop at City Lights bookstore, not long enough to browse books sufficiently to make a purchase decision. Waited outside Steps of Rome because they were too busy with dinner-types to seat a few dessert-types. So off we went to the Bubble Lounge where we took over a supposedly "reserved" table. Many glasses of champagne and strawberries dipped in chocolate. Amber spun a great closing set. Matt's photos from Friday.
      • today: overslept. Late brunch at Crepes on Cole. N-Judah over to Embarcadero. F-Train to Pier 39. Sea lions MIA (out mating according to the signs). Walk to Fisherman's Wharf. Line too long at the cable car so we took a cab over the cable car route instead. WordPress MeetUp at Borders. A quick walk around Union Square and nearby stores. Body Shop stop. Matt found a good sweater-jacket at FCUK. I found an even better t-shirt at Abercrombie. Skipped the massive 4th & Market Old Navy and went straight to the Apple Store where Amber observed that the huge glass staircase was not particularly skirt friendly. MUNI home for warmer clothing. Dinner at Citrus Club. Matt converts MJ to WordPress.
  3. 20040624

    1. 2149

      Recent fun

      • friends
  4. 20040623

    1. 2311


      • personal
      • work


  5. 20040622

    1. 2210


      • personal
      • work

      have been made and communicated.