about:jwz


Hi, I'm Jamie Zawinski. I'm the proprietor of DNA Lounge, a world famous and award-winning all ages dance club and live music venue in San Francisco, and of DNA Pizza, the 24 hour cafe and pizzeria next door.

Prior to that, I worked as a programmer. I was one of the founders of Netscape and Mozilla.org, and have been involved in the free software and open source community since the mid-80s. I was the primary developer of Lucid Emacs (now XEmacs), and probably wrote most of your screen savers.

I have a blog. It's pretty popular.

To contact me, send me mail.

Chapter One: I Am Born

1985
While I was still in high school, I wheedled my way into a part-time programming job at Carnegie-Mellon University working for Scott Fahlman on the Spice Lisp project.
1986
After high school, I went to work for a small startup called Expert Technologies, writing a Lisp Machine-based expert system to do pagination and layout.
1989
I left the Blighted East to work at UC Berkeley for Robert Wilensky and Peter Norvig in the BAIR group, doing more Lisp Machine-based AI work on natural language processing.

Chapter Two: I Am Nailed to the Hull

1990
I began working at Lucid Inc., porting Lucid Common Lisp to new machines.
1991
I was the primary developer of Lucid Emacs, the first variant of GNU Emacs with a real GUI and modern desktop integration. It eventually became XEmacs.
1992
I released XScreenSaver on an unsuspecting world.
1994
I was one of the initial employees of Mosaic Communications Corporation, later known as Netscape. I was responsible for the Unix versions of Netscape Navigator through release 1.1. I came up with the name "Mozilla". I also started "blogging" that year, though that word hadn't been invented yet.
1995
I designed, and Terry Weissman and I implemented, the Netscape Mail and News clients, versions 2.0 through 3.0. It's possible that HTML email is my fault.
1996
I worked with Lisa Repka on S/MIME in an attempt to keep everyone's email encrypted and secure from the prying eyes of the government and other snoops. That didn't really work out.
1997
Terry, Will Scullin and I re-wrote Netscape Mail in Java, as Grendel. That didn't really work out either.
1998
I was the accidental impetus for Netscape's decision to release the browser source code, and I was one of the creators and curators of the Mozilla Organization during the first year of its life. We coordinated the open source development of the browser, which eventually became Firefox.
I've written a lot of other software, too. You can find it all on my hacks page. I've also done a bit of writing about software, which is on doc.

Chapter Three: I Am Eaten by Sharks

1999
I purchased the DNA Lounge nightclub in San Francisco, which had first opened in 1985. The City of San Francisco was determined to shut the club down permanently rather than allow me to revitalize it, and so many legal battles ensued, followed by a year-long remodeling project. All of this is documented in excruciating detail in my DNA Lounge blog.
2001
DNA Lounge re-opened on Friday the 13th, July 2001. And there was much rejoicing.
2008
After another multi-year legal battle, I managed to convert DNA Lounge from a 21+ venue to an all-ages venue.
2011
I purchased the restaurant next door to DNA Lounge and converted it to a 24-hour cafe and pizza restaurant, DNA Pizza.

Appendix A: Media Appearances

1998
I have quite a bit of screen time in Code Rush, David Winton's 1998 documentary chronicling the final days of Netscape.
1998
I am featured extensively in Joshua Quittner's 1998 book Speeding the Net: The Inside Story of Netscape and How It Challenged Microsoft. It's the closest thing to a biography of my life in the 90s that there is.
2001
I was interviewed in California Dreamin': The Gold Rush, a 2001 documentary for German public television.
2001
I was interviewed for Glyn Moody's 2001 book, Rebel Code: Linux and the Open Source Revolution.
2009
There is a chapter on me in Peter Seibel's 2009 book, Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming, wherein I talk a lot about my pre-Netscape programming career.
2011
I appear in a few video installations in the Computer History Museum's 2011 exhibit, Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing.

Appendix B: Other Press

An incomplete list, as I haven't been very good at keeping track of these over the years.

2011
Arrington: Startups Are Hard So Work More Cry Less And Quit All The Whining (and my retort)
2010
Bay Area Reporter: Club ends legal battle with ABC
2009
Pirate Cat Radio: ABC Threatens to Shut Down Bottom of the Hill. I was interviewed on the air on this show: MP3.
(For other DNA Lounge-related press clips, awards and so on, see the list on the DNA Lounge site.)
2009
Joel on Software: The Duct Tape Programmer (and my response, then Seibel's response)
2008
Valleywag: Mozilla's 10th Anniversary Made Valleywag Feel Old
2008
Valleywag: Browser coder Jamie Zawinski is no longer Internet famous
2005
Frank Hecker: JWZ Considered Disruptive
2004
CNET: Where are Netscape's pioneers today?
2003
Apple Snub Stings Mozilla
2002
SF Chronicle: The Beat Goes On: SF's dance scene survived the blows
2001
SF Bay Guardian: Cult of Jamie
2001
SF Weekly: Revenge is Sweet: DNA Reopens
2001
Wired: From Netscape to Nightclub
2001
CNET: Microsoft-free clubbing
2001
Frank Hecker interview about the origin of mozilla.org
2001
SF Chronicle: DNA Lounge set to reopen tomorrow; New owner brings top technology
2000
Stating the Obvious: Hacking the City
2000
Salon: Free the night life
2000
Salon: The Net on AOL's Time-Warner Deal
1999
Forbes: Beyond the Browser Wars
1998
Time: Rise and Fall of the Original Web Start-Up
1998
Time: Netscape's Hail Mary
1998
Wired 6.07: Electric Word: Mozilla.organizer
1998
Wired: Microsoft Subpoenas Bad Attitude
1997
Fast Company: You've got a Bad Attitude
1996
Fast Company: Can You Work in Netscape Time?

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