About me and this website
Hello, I’m Don Melton, probably best known as the person who started the Safari and WebKit projects at Apple. These days I’m just an aspiring writer and recovering programmer.
I live in the Republic of California with my wife, son and various creatures—some of which are also family. I prefer dogs over cats since I’m allergic to the latter. The rest are mostly varmints.
Growing up, all I ever wanted to be was a comic strip or comic book artist. I not only had a natural talent for drawing, I was diligent in my practice of it. Later I even had some success with my artwork. Now I rarely draw anything other than the occasional fly.
After illustrating some obscure underground comics as a teenager, I became a professional newspaper artist where I finally managed to get a steady paycheck. Back in the ’70s, there was no money in comics. Of course, there was no money in newspapers either.
Later in that slowly dying newspaper business, I pioneered using the Macintosh for information graphics. And I didn’t just learn how to draw with computers. Out of curiosity and need, I taught myself to write software with them. In the beginning, I wrote code to make better graphics. Soon though, that effort got out of hand.
Turns out I was good at programming. And I liked it better than drawing. But just so we’re clear, I still have no engineering degree. Nor formal management training. I even dropped out of college. Twice. I’m one of those annoying self-taught people you’re told to avoid.
After leaving newspapers I’ve been, at one time or another, a senior engineer or engineering manager of MacTOPS, Director, Illustrator, Navigator, Nautilus and Safari. Apparently, not everyone was avoiding me.
I was a member of the team at Netscape which released Mozilla as open source. I hired and led the Safari team at Apple where I chose KHTML and KJS as core technologies for the WebKit project. There’s a good chance you’re reading this now in a WebKit-based browser.
While at Apple, I also led the department developing the Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Messages and FaceTime apps on OS X—as well as Core Services, a set of frameworks familiar to anyone programming for the Mac. My teams did the original versions of some built-in iPad applications. And, of course, I was responsible for WebKit on iOS in addition to the desktop.
Then, after over 10 years at Apple, I retired from my position as Engineering Director of Internet Technologies in early 2012 in order to focus on writing. At least that’s what I told everyone at the time.
When I’m not pretending to write here at my eponymous domain, I blather incessantly on podcasts from iMore, The Incomparable and other places. I even have my own occasional show. Plus, as part of my ongoing recovery, I started the popular open source Video Transcoding project.
I compose my blog posts in Markdown using BBEdit. And Ruby stitches it all together. It’s a team effort, really.
Obviously I love to tinker with things. So there’s no guarantee I’ll keep using
Magneto WordPress Nanoc to generate the content here.