Firefox 4 Release Parties in Indonesia
Earlier this month, I got to fly to Indonesia to attend Firefox 4 release parties along with David Anderson and Josh Aas. (Gen Kenai, Luke Wagner, and Christian Legnitto also went to Indonesia, for “Leg 1” just before we got there.) Sorry about blogging this so long after the fact–I’ve been recovering, catching up on duties here, and fixing up regular expressions. David already told the story on his blog, so instead of repeating that, I’ll offer up some personal reactions.
The highlight of the trip was certainly interacting with our hosts, Viking Karwur, Yofie Setiawan, Andi “Belutz”, and Irayani “Rara” Queencyputri (although I only got to talk to Rara for about 5 minutes–more below). I’m not a seasoned international traveler, but I felt like I had friends waiting for me, they always took care of us, we had many interesting conversations about daily life and other things in Indonesia and the United States (turns out Burger King and Starbucks are the same price), and of course they taught me how to say “thank you” in Indonesian: Terima Kasih!
The trip was physically demanding: we had to go through a +14 hour time change along with 22+ hours of travel, then 85°F+ temperatures every day (and I’m a pampered 72°F Bay Area person now), smoky megacity air, plane travel every day (except 6 hours in the car another day), and a public appearance scheduled for each day.
And then I got sick on day 3. In a taxi. Maybe that’s TMI already–anyway, it was pretty bad. I had 36 hours of misery. Fortunately, thanks to Yofie and the bartender at our Surabaya hotel, I had an Indonesian SIM card, so I could call Natalie and get some comforting. And thanks to an internet meme of a few years back, I knew Pocari Sweat was just what I needed to rehydrate myself. Finally, thanks to Josh Aas and his Cipro, I was able to recover enough to make the final event in Bali.
I really liked answering questions at the events, and I really liked the way people were entirely willing to ask hard questions: are you releasing more often just to pump up version numbers? (absolutely not–hopefully by Firefox 26 people will be over version numbers anyway), why does Firefox use so much memory? (a: Fx4 caches a lot of things in order to be faster, b: we’re working on it), will Firefox ever run on Blackberry (doubtful). There were about a zillion photo ops, until the point my face got sore from smiling so much.
I loved seeing all the energy in Indonesia: huge new apartment buildings going up in Jakarta, motorcycles everywhere, electronics stores and ads for phones everywhere. According to the pamphlet in the Garuda Air seat pockets, the median age is about 29 and the economy is growing at 6% per year, so no wonder.
And yes, David did get called Justin Bieber a lot.