Mozilla Community

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Talk Details

  • Date: Sept 13, 2006
  • Speaker: Mike Beltzner, Mozilla Corporation
  • License: CC-BY-SA


Main Talk (Part I)

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Question/Answer (Part II)

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Talk Outline

00:00:00IntroductionProfessor David Humphrey introduces Mike Beltzner of the Mozilla Corporation and briefly touches on how Seneca College connected with the project.
00:02:15The Mozilla Corporate Community7 people in Canada: 3 in Ottawa, 3 in downtown Toronto, couple north of Toronto, some in Vancouver, 40 or 50 in California, Europe and Japan.
00:03:04Talk AgendaWhat is the community, its place in the value chain, etiquette, points of entry, demos of entry.
00:04:12What the Community isEverybody who is at all involved with the products (including code, discussion, testing, bug filing, submitting graphics, promoting the use).
00:04:46Evangelizing FirefoxPromoting the use of the product with passion. Firefox Crop Circle.
00:05:50The Community Owns the CodeUnlike most companies, The Mozilla Project is totally open source. The code isn't the asset. Mike discusses this idea and the context in which the project works.
00:06:32Value Chain for SoftwareHow can people contribute and add value to users? It's everywhere! Who uses Mozilla products, how do they give back and what is their position in the value chain.
00:09:25Mozilla = CommunityNo one acts independently of the community -- "we live and die by the community", Mike Shaver.
00:10:00Roles of the PlayersMozilla Foundation (guidance), Mozilla Corporation (thrust), Community (passion, innovation, reach).
00:12:41Mozilla is a Community That Happens to Make SoftwareMozilla makes it possible for the community to work together around a single "thing". This idea is not limited to software; to collaborate and produce something as a group could apply beyond software.
00:13:50NetiquetteHow to deal with people online after losing the social context of in-person communication. Some basic rules with interacting in an online community for your success.
00:18:03Meritocracy of Open SourceMike describes the difference between classical power structures and open source power structures. Deeds speak in Open Source. You're always being judged and you must strive to build social capital (aka whuffie).
00:21:15Points of EntryFrom the consumer to the developer--using products, weblogs, web forums, newsgroups, IRC chat, status calls, BugZilla and CVS.
00:22:55All Points of Entry IntersectDesign, testing, and advocacy tasks, for example, are coordinated by and utilize all points of entry.
00:26:04IN-PRODUCT: Report a Broken WebsiteA website that doesn't render properly can be reported using the in-browser reporting tool. This provides a low-barrier to entry to participate in the Mozilla community.
00:27:02IN-PRODUCT: Report a Web ForgeryIn-browser phishing site reporting tool goes directly into the fishing filter to benefit the community again, instantly warning other users who stumble across the site.
00:27:48IN-PRODUCT: Help System Links to WebsitesWhenever you query the help sites they are able to know what you are looking for. In this way, just by looking for help you can contribute to The Mozilla Project.
00:28:20WEBLOG: planet is an aggregation website that gathers together the weblogs of prominent members in the community to keep people abreast of what other people are doing. This is used to get a sense of what people are working on; at Mozilla there are no status reports, so blogging lets them know what's going on.
00:30:46WEBFORUMS: front page is a summary of the high-level news item in the Mozilla world. This website is owned by the corporation or foundation people. MozillaZine acts as a support system for Mozilla as the corporation does not have any support staff employed of its own.
00:33:48WEBFORUMS: is a set of forums and weblogs that are all about spreading Firefox. The people involved are not necessarily people that work on the code. The goal is to just get people to use Firefox. Participants are rewarded with points and "ranked".
00:35:20WIKIS is the main Wiki for The Mozilla Project. All project-related plans and in-progress code documentation will first exist in this Wiki. Eventually, this information will be migrated to the Mozilla Development Centre.

00:39:53NewsgroupsNewsgroups are used by Mozilla for design discussions of the code, planning discussions about the release of code, and managing Mozilla subcommunities. dev.planning dev.general dev.apps.firefox are the busiest newsgroups.
00:41:48Time ZonesWhenever you talk about a time, communicate the time zone because you are dealing with the world community.
00:42:47IRC chatIRC is the place where the most active community members hang out. This is the "pulse of what's happening at the moment" according to Mike, and the "quickest way to get up to speed in the community".
00:50:50Search Before Asking QuestionsTry to find answers to your own questions before asking others--this is a better use of their time.
00:58:00Status CallsStatus of a project over a 1-800 number. This provides a low bar to entry, yet remains very detailed and is an "active" activity with low signal-to-noise ratio.
00:58:55BugzillaBugzilla is essentially a tool where everything happens. Bug entries include a description of a problem, steps to reproduce, actual results that people see, and expected results. People can reply to the bug and add comments. Someone eventually takes the bug and owns it and drives it to completion--eventually resolving the issue.
01:02:20How to File a BugFiling a bug in Bugzilla.
01:05:24Tinderbox PageThe Tinderbox page is a communication vehicle showing the status of the latest build machines that are building a set of code. It also shows blocking bugs (bugs which currently block a new release).
01:06:58Bonsai and CVSBonsai allows people to track CVS activity on the code base, showing the last check-ins to the code tree.
01:08:41Which Point of Entry is Appropriate for a Task