Douglas Crockford

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Douglas Crockford
Douglas Crockford.jpg
Douglas Crockford at the "Browser Wars: Episode II Attack of the DOMs" event on 2007-02-28
Born Minnesota[when?]
Alma mater San Francisco State University
Occupation Senior JavaScript Architect
Employer PayPal[1]
Known for JavaScript Object Notation
Website
crockford.com

Douglas Crockford is an American computer programmer and entrepreneur who is best known for his ongoing involvement in the development of the JavaScript language, for having popularized the data format JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), and for developing various JavaScript related tools such as JSLint and JSMin.[2] He is currently a senior JavaScript architect at PayPal, and is also a writer and speaker on JavaScript, JSON, and related web technologies such as the Yahoo! User Interface Library (YUI).

Early years[edit]

Crockford earned a degree in Radio and Television from San Francisco State University.[3] in 1975. He took classes in FORTRAN and worked with a university lab's computer.[4]

Career[edit]

After Crockford purchased an Atari 8-bit computer in 1980, he wrote Galahad and the Holy Grail for Atari Program Exchange. Chris Crawford hired him at Atari, Inc., and after Warner Communications sold the company he joined National Semiconductor. In 1984 Crockford joined Lucasfilm,[4] and later Paramount Pictures. He became something of a cult figure on video game oriented listservs in the early 1990s after he posted his memoir "The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion" to a videogaming bulletin board; the memoir documented his efforts to censor the computer game Maniac Mansion to Nintendo's satisfaction so that they could release it as a cartridge, and Crockford's mounting frustrations as Nintendo's demands became more obscure and confusing.[5]

Together with Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar, Crockford founded Electric Communities and was its CEO from 1994 to 1995. He was involved in the development of the programming language E.

Crockford was also the founder of State Software (also known as Veil Networks) and its CTO from 2001 to 2002.

During his time at State Software, Crockford popularized the JSON data format, based upon existing JavaScript language constructs, as a lightweight alternative to XML. He obtained the domain name json.org in 2002, and put up his description of the format there.[6] In July 2006 he specified the format officially, as RFC 4627.[7]

Criticism[edit]

In 2002, in reference to President George Bush's war on "evildoers", Crockford added the requirement "The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil" to the open source MIT License for his JSMin software. This clause was carried over to JSMin-PHP, a variation of JSMin by Ryan Grove. This software was hosted on Google Code until December 2009 when, due to the additional clause, Google determined that the license was not compliant with the definition of open source software, which does not permit any restriction on how software may be used.[8] JSMin-PHP was forced to migrate to a new hosting provider.[9][10]

Despite its humorous[11] intent, the "evil" clause has continued to cause problems for some open source software developers when they inadvertently use code based on Crockford's version of the MIT License, and has inspired criticism of Crockford from affected open source developers as recently as January 2014.[12][13][14] Crockford has refused to change the license terms despite numerous requests,[15] with the notable exception of IBM.[16]

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bill Scott (May 12, 2012). "Welcome Crock!". Looks Good Works Well blog. 
  2. ^ "JSMIN, The JavaScript Minifier". Crockford.com. 2003-12-04. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  3. ^ Douglas Crockford speaker biography, New Paradigms for Using Computers conference, IBM Almaden Research Center, August 22, 1996
  4. ^ a b Boosman, Frank (March 1987). "Designer Profile: Doug Crockford". Computer Gaming World (interview). p. 40. 
  5. ^ The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion: A Memoir by Douglas Crockford
  6. ^ JSON: The Fat-Free Alternative to XML, Douglas Crockford, December 6, 2006
  7. ^ RFC 4627: The application/json Media Type for JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)
  8. ^ "The Open Source Definition | Open Source Initiative". Opensource.org. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  9. ^ Shankland, Stephen (2009-12-28). "'Don't-be-evil' Google spurns no-evil software | Deep Tech - CNET News". News.cnet.com. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  10. ^ wonko.com (2009-12-08). "JSMin isn't welcome on Google Code". wonko.com. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  11. ^ Douglas Crockford: The JSON Saga. YouTube (2011-08-28). Retrieved on 2013-08-23.
  12. ^ by directhex (2012-11-09). "Archive » Evil, or why Douglas Crockford is harmful to Free Software". Apebox.Org. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  13. ^ "JSON.org License Literally Says it "shall be used for Good, not Evil" | Hacker News". News.ycombinator.com. 2012-01-30. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  14. ^ "Bug #63520 JSON extension includes a problematic license statement". bugs.php.net. 2014-01-30. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  15. ^ "His javascript minifier 'jsmin' was causing projects to get removed from Google ... | Hacker News". News.ycombinator.com. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  16. ^ "IBM and its minions...". 

External links[edit]