Bruce Lawson's personal site

Joining Vivaldi

Today is my first day working at Vivaldi, the browser people (many of whom I know from our time at Opera before it changed hands). I shall be working as a Technical Communications Officer, helping out with blogposts, journalist enquiries, and regulatory fun.

Because of the latter aspect, I’ve resigned from the Board of Open Web Advocacy. OWA has always been a group of independent web developers with no skin in the browser game other than the wish for the Web to reach its full potential, and be a true competitor to Single-Platform Apps. I don’t want any of Big Tech’s army of lawyers pointing at OWA and saying “look! Bruce works for Vivaldi, so OWA are a shill for, er, Big Little Tech!”. Needless to say, I am still whole-heartedly a supporter of their aims, and will amplify their voice.

Knowing the core team at Vivaldi of old, I don’t expect my job title to constrict what I actually *do*; I’m attracted to working with them because it’s a non-hierarchical company that believes in self-organising and collaboration. One of the guiding principles is “Respect each other, question everything, be creative and get things done”.

I’ve also been a Vivaldi user for a few years now, and like that they don’t snoop, and that there is no bundling LLMs/ “AI” or crypto-crapto in the browser. Vivaldi is owned by its employees (all of them, including cleaner and office manager) and has no external investors, so there’s a good chance of keeping that culture.

Don’t ask me too many hard questions yet; it’s been eight years since I was working in browsers, and there’s a lot to catch up on. Lately I’ve grown jaded about the Rube Goldberg machine that is modern web development; I’m sick of Docker and node dependancy nightmares, silly CSS dialects to shield “full stack devs” from understanding how to style web sites, creaky old component libraries and over-hyped frameworks that seem to be designed to make it harder to send performant, accessible HTML to users.

So I’m looking forward to returning to BrowserLand, Web Standards World (wouldn’t those be great theme parks?) and extending the reach of the greatest democratising communication system ever invented, while prising as much of it as possible out of the clammy hands of Big Tech and Vulture Capitalists.

Buy "Calling For The Moon", my debut album of songs I wrote while living in Thailand, India, Turkey. (Only £2, on Bandcamp.)

6 Responses to “ Joining Vivaldi ”

Comment by Amandeep

Congratulations, Bruce!!
I loved your take on nodejs dependencies and frameworks!! I can totally relate to this.

Comment by Petter Nilsen

Congratulations and good luck, I’m sure we’ll see you walking around in Oslo again now!

Comment by Charlie

Congratulations. I remember what a great job you did at Opera and I’m sure Vivaldi will benefit as a result of “normal user” telling them what doesn’t work so well for them.

I gave Vivaldi a spin a couple of years ago but got frustrated at problems updating and the mail client that never arrived. I might give it another look.

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