Matthew Claypotch

Matthew Claypotch: Web Developer Advocate at Mozilla

Matthew Claypotch, also known as “Potch,” is a web developer advocate at Mozilla. For the past seven years, he’s worked on the web at Mozilla. Most of his time is spent working on web APIs and web platform features in browsers, on products such as Firefox and Project Quantum, where he brings vision and leadership to the team.

Regarding the future, Mozilla has been envisioning a freer web that encourages cross-pollination of programming languages and ideas and allows for faster, easier distribution and consumption of content. This shines in Firefox 52, where many key features, including WebAssembly, have been added.

WebAssembly is a JavaScript companion format that allows you to compile other languages to run in the JavaScript engine. What this means for non-web developers is that the web is now within reach and available. Anyone can write software in the language of their choice, compile to WebAssembly, and make their code available online. The possibilities of cross-language collaboration and new, innovative ways to rethink the web are coming to fruition.

Mozilla is also working on a project to renovate Gecko, their browser engine, called Project Quantum. It strives to take a big leap forward in how browsers work. One idea around Project Quantum is to use the graphics card to paint web pages instead of the CPU. If the prototype works, imagine a browser rendering things at 100+ fps.

Potch’s passion is to make the web easier for developers. “I want to understand how people are doing things on the web and make it easy for them. The web should not be a hack, and if there are hacks to help you get productive on the web, then there is something wrong and it should be fixed,” says Potch.

We’ve gotten used to how computers work and users behave. We’ve developed best practices for thinking about the web, but innovation needs to continue. Potch encourages people to rethink how things are done and to make it better.

Written by Tracy Lee
Photography by Daniel Garcia

Article originally appeared in Issue 9.3 “Future”

Issue 9.3 Cover

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