Maciej Stachowiak

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Maciej Stachowiak
Maciej Stachowiak in Boston, 2009
Maciej Stachowiak in Boston, 2009
Born (1976-06-06) June 6, 1976 (age 40)
Koszalin, Poland
Nationality Polish
Citizenship American
Education MIT Course 6 - Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Sc.B. and M.Eng Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Parent(s) Grzegorz and Anna Stachowiak
Engineering career
Discipline HTML Standards
Employer(s) Apple Inc.
Projects Nautilus, GNOME, Safari / WebKit
Significant design HTML 5, Webkit

Maciej Stachowiak (Listeni/ˈmæ stəˈhvi.æk/; born June 6, 1976) is a Polish American software developer currently employed by Apple Inc. where he is a leader of the development team responsible for the Safari web browser and WebKit Framework. A longtime proponent of Open Source, Stachowiak was involved with the SCWM, GNOME and Nautilus projects for Linux before joining Apple. He is actively involved the development of web standards, and is a co-chair of the World Wide Web Consortium's HTML 5 working group and a member of the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group steering committee.


After graduating from East High School (Rochester, New York) in 1994,[1] Stachowiak was accepted into MIT where he completed Course 6 - Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and received both his Sc.B. and M.Eng. in 1998.[2]

While at MIT Stachowiak worked on the Rethinking CS101 project,[3][4] and in 1997 he began the The Scheme Constraints Window Manager project with Greg Badros.[5] He also contributed to a paper with the Cognitive & Neural Sciences Office of Naval Research.[6] Stachowiak's MIT M.Eng. thesis on "Automated Extraction of Structured data from HTML Documents" was indicative of his early interest in web standards and development.[7]


From 1999-2001, Stachowiak contributed to various Linux software projects and was employed by Eazel as one of their lead developers along with Andy Hertzfeld and Darin Adler to create the Nautilus file manager. He was also a developer on the Object Activation Framework (OAF) for the GNOME desktop environment from 1999-2001. In 1999, he became a maintainer for the Scheme interpreter for Guile.[8] During his employment at Eazel, Stachowiak also contributed to Eye of GNOME, GNOME Libs, Gravevine, GnoP, and was a Developer on Medusa, Bonobo, GNOME VFS. Stachowiak was also a member of GNOME Foundation board of directors.[9] During this time, Eazel was profiled in Fortune magazine and Stachowiak was asked why he had decided to join Eazel. "It seemed like a borderline-crazy business plan," observed Maciej Stachowiak, who is one year out of MIT. "But I said, 'Sure, I'll work on it.'" He was laughing as he said this, but his colleagues fidgeted uncomfortably.[10] Two months later, Eazel closed its doors, laying off its entire staff, including Stachowiak.[11]

Apple Inc.[edit]

After the closure of Eazel, most of the remaining senior engineers (including Bud Tribble, Don Melton, Darin Adler, John Sullivan, Ken Kocienda, and Stachowiak) and Netscape/Mozilla Firefox alumni David Hyatt joined Apple's Safari team in June 2001.[1][12] On June 13, 2002, Stachowiak announced on a mailing list that Apple was releasing JavaScriptCore, a framework for Mac OS X that was based on KDE's JavaScript engine.[13] Through the WebKit project, JavaScriptCore has since evolved into SquirrelFish Extreme, a JavaScript engine that compiles JavaScript into native machine code. On June 6, 2005, Webkit was made open source (which was coincidentally and not intentionally Stachowiak's birthday).

W3C Standards Participation[edit]

Stachowiak wrote on behalf of Apple along with members of the Mozilla Foundation and Opera Software in a proposal that the new HTML working group of the W3C adopt the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group’s HTML5 as the starting point of its work.[14] On 9 May 2007, the new HTML working group resolved to do that. In May 2009, Stachowiak co-authored the W3C HTML Design Principles for HTML5, one of his first major documentation projects for the W3C.[15] As of 27 August 2009, Stachowiak has co-chaired the World Wide Web Consortium's HTML Working Group along with IBM's Sam Ruby and Microsoft's Paul Cotton.[16][17]

Web Standards Project Participation[edit]

WebKit, the underpinnings of Safari, was made open source on June 6, 2005. When Safari was run with this latest version of WebKit, it passed the Web Standards Project's Acid2 test. Stachowiak reported on the WebKit blog on March 26, 2008 that webkit had passed 100/100 on the Acid3 test, making Safari the first browser to pass.[18] In September 2008, it was reported that "WebKit is the first browser engine to fully pass Acid3," by developer Stachowiak in a post to the WebKit blog.[18]

Family and Personal Life[edit]

Maciej Stachowiak was born in Koszalin, Poland to Anna and Grzegorz Stachowiak, both of whom were educated as engineers in Poland. When martial law was declared in Poland, Maciej's father Grzegorz and other members of the Solidarity movement were arrested and incarcerated on December 13, 1981. After Grzegorz was released in November 1982, Stachowiak's family fled Poland and entered the United States seeking political asylum.[19] They were granted American citizenship a short time later. Maciej's younger sister, Agnieszka Stachowiak, attended MIT for her undergraduate and Ph.D., and is currently a faculty member at MIT.[20] The pseudonym, "othermaciej" [21] was acquired when Apple’s WebKit team decided to use freenode as the home for the #webkit irc channel, and Maciej Cegłowski was already using the irc nick "maciej".


  1. ^ a b Maciej Stachowiak's Facebook Profile, Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  2. ^ Maciej Stachowiak's LinkedIn Profile, Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  3. ^ Lynn Andrea Stein's Students, Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  4. ^ "The Rethinking CS101 Project". December 5, 2005. 
  5. ^ InformIT: SCWM: The Scheme Constraints Window Manager > Background Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  6. ^ Training Spatial Knowledge Acquisition Using Virtual Environments, Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  7. ^ Automated Extraction of Structured Data from HTML Documents, Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  8. ^ A Brief History of Guile, by Andy Wingo Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  9. ^ Advogato: Personal info for mjs, Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  10. ^ "Welcome To Silicon Valley's Twilight Zone In the nation's mecca of technology, they say they've learned to stop worrying and love the crash. Anyone care to take a lie detector test?" Fortune Magazine, March 19, 2001, Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  11. ^ Consumer-Linux company Eazel closes, CNET News, May 15, 2001 6:15 PM PDT, Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  12. ^ (fwd) Greetings from the Safari team at Apple Computer, Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  13. ^ [KDE-Darwin] JavaScriptCore, Apple's JavaScript framework based on KJS, Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  14. ^ Proposal to Adopt HTML5 from Maciej Stachowiak on 2007-04-10 Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  15. ^ HTML Design Principles, W3C Working Draft 26 May 2009, Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  16. ^ Apple WebKit engineer named co-chair of HTML Working Group, Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  17. ^ Apple gets higher profile in HTML standardization - CNET News
  18. ^ a b Surfin' Safari: WebKit achieves Acid3 100/100 in public build, Retrieved 2008-03-26. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "safari_acid3_full" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  19. ^ Solidarność w Koszalinie. Początki, Solidarity in Koszalin. Beginnings.
  20. ^ MIT| Department of Biological Engineering, Agnieszka (Agi) Stachowiak, Ph.D.'s Faculty Staff page at MIT
  21. ^ WebKit Team Page on's Trac page

External links[edit]