10 days of Mozillians: meet Wim!

Firefox is turning 10! In order to celebrate, meet 10 Mozillians from all over the world.
They share with us how they feel about Mozilla and the Web : their memories, their daily life as a Mozillian, their expectations for the next 10 years and more.

Wim Benes

“The use of software shouldn’t be limited in any way, not by device, OS nor plugins.”

Wim Benes

Hi Wim! First, please shortly introduce yourself and give us three keywords that define you!

My name is Wim Benes, I’m 48 and I live in The Netherlands in a province called Friesland, where we speak the Frysk – Frisian – language. That’s the locale I am responsible for in Mozilla Localization. In my daytime I am a system administrator at a hospital. My keywords are sports, nature and Open-Source!

Now what about you and the Web; how and when did you discover it?

It feels like I’ve been online for ages. It all started with a beeping modem over 56k. I guess it was circa 1995, right after Windows 95 came out.

I started exploring the web and quickly switched to Netscape as my default browser. All was new, so I had to search for email, newsgroups, bulletin boards and search providers. At that time the Internet wasn’t required for my work as a draftsman in an architectural agency, so all I did was just out of curiosity for the Web.

If you had one thing to say to the world about the Internet and its potential, what would it be?

I really like Mozilla’s new slogan: “the Web is the platform”.

Why? What does it mean for you?

The use of software shouldn’t be limited in any way, not by device, OS or plugins. It’s ok to deliver paid services, for instance for workflows or presentations, as long as it’s relying on pure web applications such as CSS and JavaScript.

Tell us about you & Mozilla: if you had one word or sentence to describe Mozilla, what would it be?

The real Open Community.

And what’s the contribution you’re the most proud of?

The first official Frisian Firefox in July 2006. I first started investigating the possibility of localizing Firefox in October 2004. Localization wasn’t organized as well as it is nowadays and I started with the Dutch version first. After a long time of struggling in order to get the translated files into the repositories, I was very excited when the Frisian version came out with Firefox 1.5.0.2.

Let’s talk about you and your community: what’s your best memory with your fellow community members?

We took a picture to celebrate one billion Firefox downloads, and our picture ended up on http://website-archive.mozilla.org/onebillionplusyou.com/#feature-influence !

What exciting things do you envision for Mozilla in the future?

I would love to see governments acknowledge the benefits of the Open Web and set an example by asking developers to keep that in mind while they create new cool stuff.

That would give a huge boost to make people understand how the Web should work. I want Mozilla to be the big example for all other great Internet companies.

And what do you wish for the Web?

To keep it open and accessible for everyone, everywhere, on any device.

Thank you Wim for your answers and the time you’ve given so far to Mozilla!