L. David Baron

One of the things that initially attracted me to the Internet was my interest in weather. It turned out to be a great system for transmitting weather data of various sorts, and was adopted quite early by the weather community. I read and posted on the newsgroups ne.weather, sci.geo.meteorology, and bit.listserv.wx-talk. These interests (and others) led me to collect lots of links to web pages, starting in 1994. (Digression: Back then, many of the links were to gopher and FTP servers. The main browsers were NCSA Mosaic and Cello. And it took me two hours to get Trumpet Winsock working (along with Mosaic 2.0a2) because I had to do the parity calculations for the login script by hand!) I had an especially good collection of weather links, and within that, an especially good collection of links to weather satellite images. I am still somewhat interested in the weather, but I don't follow it on a day-to-day basis as much anymore or do much maintainance on the Web sites I created relating to weather. I don't really read the weather newsgroups anymore, and I don't miss them much, as they have become quite hostile.

In late 1994, when I was in the 9th grade, I became involved in helping my high school set up their internet access and their web page. I helped maintain a few Windows machines in the library on a Novell network, and I ended up running the Linux email server for about 3 years. (This experience greatly enhanced my appreciation for the tremendous power of Linux. And the server originally ran kernel 1.1.59, I think.) It provided email accounts to many students, but only those whose teachers asked for it. We could have provided email to all students, but for some administrative reason, that never happened. Halfway through my senior year, the Linux was taken out of service (as its Internet connection was lost to make way for a new network with NT servers and firewalls), and all student email accounts went with it.

All this work (along with playing the piano and playing tennis) gave me tendinitis, a form of Repetitive Strain Injury, which started in June 1996. I couldn't really return to normal computer use and to the piano until the summer of 1998. My experiences with speech recognition software amazed me, and I occasionally still use it, even though I am a very fast (Dvorak) typist.

My return to web-related activity in the summer of 1998 led me into a number of new interests. I developed an automated system for handling the thousands of bookmarks that I had accumulated to add to my links pages. I became more interested in web development, including writing HTML that is correct and device-independent.

However, my biggest interest became Cascading Style Sheets, which offered to return HTML to the content markup language that it was intended to be while also creating a wonderful (and very powerful) system of author-user interaction over how pages should be displayed. I was involved in trying to improve browser support for CSS in various ways, since in the early days it wasn't very good. I became involved in the newsgroup comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets and the www-style mailing list, became a member of the Web Standards Project's CSS Action committee, contributed to the W3C's CSS Test Suite. I also wrote a number of pages relating to CSS (which includes results from the CSS Test Suite and my own tests) and other WWW-related things. My interest in CSS led me to do a significant amount of bug testing on the New Layout Engine that was used in Mozilla and in Netscape 6 and 7. I also became an invited expert to the W3C's CSS working group.

I ended up doing summer internships at Netscape/AOL/AOLTW in the summers of 1999 through 2002, and also working there in the fall of 2001 when I took a semester off from college. During the first two internships I gradually switched from testing to programming. After I graduated, I worked there for a few months before they laid everybody off in July 2003 (although I stayed until the end of September). Then I went to work for the Mozilla Foundation, and as of October 2005, I work for the Mozilla Corporation.


Map of places I've visited
States I've visited (as of December 2016), excluding transit through (RI, NC, GA)
I've been to the US states: AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, HI, IL, IN, MD, MA, MN, MO, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA
Countries I've visited (as of late September 2017) (for transit only, Finland, as of April 2018)
I've been to the countries: United States, Canada, France, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, Belgium, United Kingdom, Japan, China, Spain, New Zealand, Argentina, Germany, Taiwan, South Korea, Italy, Vatican City, Switzerland, Ireland, Portugal, Monaco
Places I've flown (as of end of December 2017, with many repetitions of flights from my childhood not included)
[list of most flights I've taken]
Unsure of flights prior to 1988
Flights in 1988 (slightly unsure)
Flights in 1989 (unsure)
Flights in 1994
Flights in 1998 (slightly unsure)
Flights in 1999
Flights in 2000 (7287 mi)
Flights in 2001 (14639 mi)
Flights in 2002 (12499 mi)
Flights in 2003 (23417 mi)
Flights in 2004 (22374 mi)
Flights in 2005 (44396 mi)
Flights in 2006 (58972 mi)
Flights in 2007 (28964 mi)
Flights in 2008 (45670 mi)
Flights in 2009 (50995 mi)
Flights in 2010 (43770 mi)
Flights in 2011 (56389 mi)
Flights in 2012 (69981 mi)
Flights in 2013 (83796 mi)
Flights in 2014 (61073 mi)
Flights in 2015 (87560 mi)
Flights in 2016 (110383 mi)
Flights in 2017 (62559 mi)
Flights in 2018 (as of April 15) (upcoming 2018 flights?)


Earthquakes I've felt:

Earthquakes I've been told I should have felt, but didn't:

World Heritage Sites

UNESCO World heritage sites I've visited:

(Back to David Baron)

LDB, dbaron@dbaron.org