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Photo cropped from “Cross-browser JSON request” by Niall Kennedy

Chris Wilson is the Platform Architect of Internet Explorer, but has been involved in web browsers from close to the very beginning having worked on the original NCSA Mosaic. He sat down with us at the Ajax Experience conference in 2007 and kindly let us barrage him with a series of questions, like:

– How did you get your start in computers?
– How much of a role did math specialization in your schooling play in your software career?
– Would you recommend college?
– Would you study computer science if you went back to school today?
– You started out with BASIC; how did you make the leap to more advanced programming languages?
– How did you make the transition to architect from programmer?
– How did you get from NCSA to Microsoft?
– You’ve worked for small start-ups and one of the largest companies in the world; which environment do you prefer?
– How do you manage a code base like IE?
– What are some of your regrets?
– What’s the back-story on CSS?
– Are you sad about any of the Web’s missed opportunities?
– Any features that you’re surprised people aren’t using?

We hope you enjoy this episode. Note: Sorry about the cell phone interference in the beginning of the podcast; it clears up just a few minutes into the show.

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Episode 2: Interview with Chris Wilson
Running Time:  60 minutes
Recorded: July 2007 by Ben and Dion
Format: MP3, 41 MB


  1. Did you use my photo from the Browser Wars event, crop it, make everyone’s face a bit more red, and then upload it as your own?

    The pic is released under cc by-nc, so you’re welcome to make their faces as red as you’d like, but please credit.

  2. Hi Niall,

    Not sure what happened with the tint, but the photo has always linked back to your Flickr page; apologies if that isn’t sufficient attribution. My mistake, will read up on attribution guidelines. (We did check to make sure it was licensed for derivative works before cropping, etc.).

  3. See CC By-NC 2.0 4 (c):

    “[G]ive the Original Author credit reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing by conveying the name (or pseudonym if applicable) of the Original Author if supplied; the title of the Work if supplied; to the extent reasonably practicable”

    That’s not even counting the zero attribution on your non-licensed commercial use for TechTarget (Ajaxian).

  4. Niall,

    Great, we’ve put your name and the title of the original photo under the image in the post. Thanks for bringing this problem to our attention–stupidly thought that the hyperlink was enough.

    For Ajaxian, didn’t think of that as commercial use, but I think you’re right; we’ve removed the image from that post.



  5. I’m not sure whether someone has commented this before, but the audio for the podcast has its volume really really low.
    I normally listen to podcasts out of the speaker phones of my cell phone while driving, and this one is impossible.
    Also, the background music is too loud compared to people voices.

    Sorry for not having anything nice to say. I’ll pass these through audacity and i’ll sure i’ll be having positive comments.


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  1. […] a comment » Dion and I just posted another episode of Tech Luminaries: an interview with Chris Wilson, the Platform Architect of Internet Explorer. We explored a bunch of interesting stuff with Chris, like how he got his start in the software […]

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