Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

One Year with Mozilla

It has been quite a whirlwind past year for me (and for Mozilla). I began as a Contractor working on Mozilla Marketplace support in February 2012. I got married to the love of my life in May. I made several trips to San Francisco for work weeks. I transitioned from Marketplace support to a full-time User Advocacy role. I’ve moved (and am preparing to move again). Mozilla has developed and announced Firefox OS. We’ve begun projects such as Squeaky, we’ve worked on growing and improving our tools. We’ve created a regular Firefox for Android reporting process. We’ve done so many things it’s hard to count. and get ready for an even more impressive 2013. 2012 was dominated by creating the User Advocacy team, and laying the ground work for it. This year User Advocacy can focus our whole potential on being the voice of the user for Firefox Desktop, Android, and soon FirefoxOS. I’m super excited to see what 2013 brings for me, User Advocacy, Mozilla, and the internet.

Try Firefox for Android on your ARMv6 Device!

With the launch of Firefox 17 for Android today, we are beginning support for ARMv6 devices, a much requested feature in the past. Currently we are supporting ARMv6 devices that are running Android 2.2 or higher with an 800mhz processor and 512MB of RAM. If your device meets these specifications, please install Firefox 17 from the Google Play store today! If it makes you happy, please leave a review! If if makes you sad, please let us know.

The Difference between the Firefox of 2011 and 2012

With the End of Support For Firefox 3.6 not far behind us, Firefox 13 being released with Awesome new Features, and the Wonderful Firefox 14 for Android, those of you who are on an Older version of Firefox, or who moved from Firefox to another browser, may want to take a look at how Firefox is better. A few reasons why:

  • Firefox Memory Management is FARRRRR better nowadays. With a Fresh Install of Firefox 4 on my test machine, Firefox 4 uses roughly 40MB of RAM. Firefox 13.0.1, uses 23MB. This is with the only tab open being about:memory. This is mainly due to the awesome work done by the Memshrink Team. Go read their status updates to see what work is being done in Firefox each week.
  • Firefox is much faster. With features such as Type Inference, newer versions of Firefox are faster at everything from Startup to Javascript.
  • Firefox has new Features. If you are still with an older version of Firefox, go read on what has been introduced into each new version that you are missing out on. These range from new HTML5 and CSS standards support, to security improvements, new web developer tools, and much more. Wikipedia has an excellent summary.
  • Older versions of Firefox are quite insecure. With Rapid Release, only the ESR of firefox and the latest version receive security fixes. And an alarmingly high number of users stay on these insecure versions.
  • And Much Much More.

Are Add-ons holding you back?

There have been several major changes in Firefox add-ons for new versions. In Firefox 10 and later, the majority of extensions are defaulted to compatible. With the other improvements to silent updates, removing the UAC prompt on Windows, etc. updating Firefox is worlds easier than it was even just a few months ago.

 

Are you having Troubles?

Another Awesome Feature in Firefox 13 is the Firefox Reset Feature! If you are having problems, or if you just want to try to make your Firefox any faster, go ahead and try it. Almost all your information will be saved (Extensions are the main thing that isn’t saved, but they are also the main cause of Firefox problems). It will probably make you wonder how you used Firefox before.

Try it out!

If you’ve been waiting to see if Firefox will improve before coming back, there isn’t a better time to do it than now. And if you have problems, want to make Firefox look like Firefox 3.6, or need anything at all, the SUMO Community is more than happy to help you out! Go to support.mozilla.org for all the help you can want.

Back from Mountain View

As some of you may know, Mozilla has Recently announced the Open Web Apps Project, as well as the Mozilla Marketplace. While many of the details aren’t finalized right now, the Mozilla Marketplace will be a medium for users to buy and download HTML5 apps to multiple devices (Desktop, Mobile, etc.).

This week I traveled to the Mountain View and San Francisco Mozilla Offices to begin my new role as a Support Specialist for the Mozilla Marketplace. While I feel like a sponge that had to soak up a Fire-hose of information in 3 days, I am very excited about this future opportunity to impact and help Mozilla Users. I meet a lot of awesome people (it is nice to finally put faces on names), and reconnected with people I haven’t seen since Whistler.

Until the Marketplace is officially released sometime this year, I’m going to be working on a lot of behind the scenes prep-work. I will be doing some work on Triage in my free-time, but expect to see me around on SUMO a lot more from now on.

Links, Lots of Links

I wanted give a bit of input to an idea I have started to hear tossed around which I find quite intriguing. Shutting down BMO for a week or so, and devoting ALL Mozilla’s resources (devs, QA, the community, everyone) to cleaning up BMO. With 5868 UNCO bugs, and 7191 NEW bugs in Firefox alone, we obviously have a bit of need for cleaning up. Then throw in Toolkit (UNCO bugs, NEW Bugs), Thunderbird (UNCO bugs, NEW bugs), Core (UNCO bugs, NEW bugs), and so many other components and products, and really, we do have a mess on our hands.

The solution isn’t as simple as it sounds. If we just shut BMO down now, we will be using resources ineffectively, and without a long-term solution we will be right back at square 1 within a year or two. I whole-heartedly approve of shutting BMO down for a week or so, but I also know we need a multi-pronged approach. If you read my series on why we need to radically change triage, you can read most of my points there, and they are ones I have been saying repeatedly for the past year. I’ll quickly summarize them here though.

  • Create a separate product for UNCO bugs and triage. There is a new Input Tool in the works right now, and it will be using this idea in a more constrained form. I have had some discussions with the people working on it, and hopefully we can get this UNCO product rolled out to cover all bugs submitted for Firefox/Toolkit/Thunderbird/etc. I do see promise of progress here, so this is good news. Once we get this fully implemented, I feel all UNCO and abandoned NEW bugs should be moved into the product.
  • Create a way for Triagers to tell how far a bug is in the triage process, using multi-state flags. This idea was proposed at the Summit 2010 by tmyoung. Unfortunately, a lot of devs didn’t want to have their bugs cluttered up with more flags (which is understandable). By implementing the flags only in the UNCO product, they will serve triagers, and once a bug is moved out of the product, they will be no longer be needed and removed. Hopefully this way we can make both sides happy.
  • We desperately need a way to mark Support and Extension bugs as such. Having a RESOLVED>Support status and a way to automagically open a support issue for the bug will go far to help users feel that we care about them and their issues. The same goes for extensions.
  • We need Bug Triage Guidelines. Something along the lines of what I threw onto the wiki a few months ago (obviously a lot more fleshed out). But something the community, especially new members, can reference.
  • I think that if we implement a lot of the ideas that David Eaves has proposed, we can go far in improving both triage, and BMO in general. I know a few of his suggestions have already been put into production, but I don’t see any of them that would harm the community, and I think they should be thought about again.
  • I’m not sure how practical this is, but perhaps we can create some sort of bot to automatically ping a triager when a bug has gone a certain amount of time without a comment, and to ping reporters when they have not replied to their bug after a certain amount of time. This would eliminate much of the time that is spent “cleaning up”, freeing more time for “real” triage.
  • Hire several official Traigers. To do several things (most of which I’ve already discussed, so I give it in brief here). Organize the community, help new community members, communicate with Devs, do full-time triage work, be advocates for the community in Mozilla.
  • Having a yearly intense cleaning like Mike proposed would also be great, because even with the best of efforts, some bugs will slip through the cracks. The first one I think we should set a week aside for, but subsequent BMO cleaning could probably only be done in 3-4 days.

So I know this is a fairly short summary, but these are by far my most important changes to BMO, and the Triage process that I think need to be made. Some progress is happening, so I look forward to seeing what is done in the near future.

Have a good Labor Day

I am going to be using this long weekend to do a lot of reading, and private discussions on triage, and hopefully come back early next week with some more blog posts. However, in the meantime, I recommend that everyone read Mike Kaply’s blog post on how to deal with the backlog of Bugs on Bugzilla. It is an idea I’ve had before, but never talked about, and I think that once we get a game plan for triage down, it should be taken VERY seriously.

Goodbye Mozilla

Not all good things can last forever. I’ve seen over the past several months that as Mozilla has drifted further away from the company that it was in 2008, and further from my goals and vision, and that it is best that I depart from the Mozilla community. Rather than hash out all of my issues in a public blog post, I am just announcing that I will no longer be contributing in any way to the Mozilla Community. I will not be receiving anymore notifications on BMO. I will have the same email address, so if anyone ever wants to get in touch with me they can do so. Any patches that I have floating on BMO, feel free to use if there is anything of value (I doubt there is). My blog will be removed from the planet soon, but I will continue to post personal updates and posts on it (there is some big news coming up soon, so stay tuned).

I have many friends in the Mozilla community, and I want to tell you that this is not any grievance that I have with you, but more on the policies and direction that Mozilla is headed in the future, as well as the treatment of the community in recent months. I wish Mozilla luck, and I will continue to watch it. Sometime in the future, I may begin to contribute again. It is just better that after 3+ years, I pursue other, more productive and rewarding contributions with projects that truly appreciate their communities. Thank you Mozilla for a fun past 3 years, and my friends, peers, and mentors, thank you.