Curry On
July 18-19th, 2016

Building an Open Source Research Lab
Dave Herman
Mozilla Research



When I joined Mozilla as a full-time employee in 2010, I knew I wanted to combine technology research with Mozilla’s open source culture to serve our mission of advancing the Web platform. I also knew I had no idea how to do it. So I cofounded Mozilla Research to experiment with ways of doing innovation with open source.

Fast forward to 2016, and we have a number of exciting technologies we’ve spearheaded or collaborated on, including asm.js, WebAssembly, Emscripten, AOMedia Video, Rust, and Servo. We’ve also made our share of mistakes, and tried to extract lessons from them.

In this talk, I will recount some of my experiences running an open source research lab, and talk about how I’ve come to believe that investing in open source communities is a unique and powerful tactic for advancing the state of our understanding of software.


I’m a founder of and Director of Strategy at Mozilla Research, where we are working to expand the foundations of the Open Web. I participate in a number of Web platform projects, including:

•task.js •sweet.js •asm.js •Rust •Servo •Shumway

I also participate in open standards, in particular as a representative on TC39, the committee that standardizes JavaScript.