In this issue…
- Jetpack 50-line code challenge
- Launching the Jetpack gallery
- Jetpack contest winner
- AMO welcomes self-hosted add-ons
- New AMO Contributions options
- Download source tracking on AMO
- WebGL updates + Planet WebGL
- University design challenge mockups
- User feedback after Firefox install
- Web developer survey
- Planet Mozilla survey
- Upcoming events
- Developer calendar
- About about:mozilla
Jetpack 50-line code challenge
The Mozilla Labs team, along with the release of Jetpack 0.6, has announced a new Jetpack contest. The contest runs until Dec 13, and the challenge is to create the “most awesome Jetpack” that uses less than 50 lines of code. Prizes include a brand new netbook (ASUS Eee PC 1000HE) and a big package of Mozilla swag. For more details, check out the original contest announcement.
Launching the Jetpack gallery
Mozilla Labs recently launched the Jetpack Gallery, a “community for developers and add-on users: Users get innovative add-ons that add functionality to Firefox, while developers receive valuable feedback and visibility in the Jetpack community.” You can browse Jetpacks by tag, author, and popularity, as well as vote on and review the ones you try. See the Mozilla Labs blog post for more information.
Jetpack contest winner
“We are happy to announce that we have a winner for the Jetpack 0.5 contest. Given the fantastic group of entrants, with Jetpacks that did everything from Twitter to a one-click text translator, it was hard to pick a winner. Alexander Meltsev of Moscow created a prototype for allowing Jetpacks to process large amounts of data on your computer’s graphical co-processor. Alex’s work is both creative and unusual. It digs deep into what a potential future use of Jetpack can be — allowing for high-performance computing that is accessible to casual developers.” Read more at the contest blog post.
AMO welcomes self-hosted add-ons
The AMO team recently launched a pilot program to allow self-hosted add-ons to be listed on AMO alongside thousands of Mozilla-hosted add-ons. “One of the staples of the Mozilla add-ons platform is the choice developers have to host and distribute their add-ons on any website they’d like, not just addons.mozilla.org. Yet, as the largest gallery of add-ons, Mozilla Add-ons is where users come to search for and discover new add-ons, which leaves add-ons hosted on a personal or business website out of sight and usually out of mind.” Self-hosted add-ons won’t have all the same AMO site features as Mozilla-hosted add-ons, but they will appear in search and browse listings, collections, and can be reviewed and rated.
New AMO Contributions options
The Mozilla Add-ons website has allowed add-on developers to request voluntary contributions from their users as part of a pilot project that has been running over the past few months. The team has added some new options to that project which they hope will make a difference in the way users make contributions. “Pledge drives” allow add-on developers to do focused, short-term drives to raise funds through their add-ons, and “Subscriptions” allow users to provide a regular monthly contribution to an add-on developer for 12 months. Contributions are a simple and effective way to support your favourite add-on developers and help them continue their work — visit the AMO website and consider making a contribution today.
Download source tracking on AMO
With the recent AMO update, the team made a tiny change to every add-on download button on the website that now allows them to see from what parts of the site add-ons are downloaded. “With the help of Daniel Einspanjer on our metrics team, we’re now able to analyze whether an add-on download came from an AMO search results page, the add-on’s display page, the Firefox Add-ons Manager, or one of around 12 predefined sources we are tracking.” Add-on developers can also see this data for their add-on as part of the Statistics Dashboard. “Our source tracking system also allows developers to add their own tracking codes for external links to their add-on. By simply adding a src parameter to any add-on’s URL or download URL, that source will start being tracked and appear in the Statistics Dashboard.”
WebGL updates + Planet WebGL
Mark Steele has posted a short update on WebGL-related goings on. Included is a link to a fully-playable WebGL game demo that works in Minefield (Cube Defense), and links to a couple of libraries that simplify writing applications that use WebGL. “Since there isn’t any real documentation on WebGL so far, getting even this far takes some digging and patience. Giles Thomas created a blog about WebGL with very detailed lessons based on the NeHe OpenGL lessons.” Additionally, a planet site for WebGL has been set up to aggregate blog posts from people posting about WebGL — they’re looking for more people to include, so if you write about WebGL, contact Chris Blizzard to be added.
University design challenge mockups
Pascal Finette has posted an update about the Fall ’09 Mozilla Labs Design Challenge. “We challenged students from universities around the world to develop concepts and solutions to the question: Browsing History – how can we make sense of this rich source of data and how do we best present this data to the user? Students from four schools took the challenge and worked intensively on their ideas — some in the form of a Design Jam next to their normal course work, others as part of their university assignments.” All the design concepts have been submitted, and you can review them via the Labs website.
User feedback after Firefox install
Mozilla’s Metrics team has been working in integrating user outreach into the mozilla.com website. Most recently, they posted about comments left by users during their visit to the Firefox “First Run” page, which brand new users hit after downloading and installing Firefox for the first time. “About 1,200 people left feedback over the past month. Overall, the feedback looks really amazing. For such a high percentage of people to go out of their way to say something positive is incredible. On the downside, there were two issues identified by users that we weren’t previously aware of. Thanks to this insight, we’ve been able to prioritize a fix, and we’re hoping to ship it in the next release of Firefox!”
Web developer survey
A few weeks ago the Mozilla Evangelism and Marketing teams announced the beginnings of the new Mozilla Developer Network (MDN). If you’re a Web developer, they need your help in understanding who you are, what you’re interested in, and what resources would be most valuable for you on MDN. To do this, they have created a short survey for which they’re hoping to get a total of 5000 responses. Take the survey today!
Planet Mozilla survey
Planet Mozilla is a central and vital resource for the Mozilla Community, and the team is looking for ways to improve it. They’re seeking your input on what you think Planet should be for, how well it’s fulfilling that purpose, and how it could be improved or augmented to better serve our community.
If you use Planet Mozilla at all, please take a few minutes of your time to answer three short questions about it. The team is hoping to get as much feedback as possible, so you can also leave other comments and insights about Planet or other Planet-related things on the original blog post. Respond to the Planet Mozilla survey at SurveyMonkey.
The Mozilla community is organizing an increasing number of events and meetups all the time, and we include a list of these here every week. If you have events you would like listed, send them along to: about-mozilla*at*mozilla.com.
For an up-to-date list of the coming week’s Mozilla project meetings and events, please see the Mozilla Community Calendar wiki page. Notes from previous meetings are linked to through the Calendar as well.
about:mozilla is by, for and about the Mozilla community, focusing on major news items related to all aspects of the Mozilla Project. The newsletter is written by Deb Richardson and is published every Tuesday morning. If you have any news or announcements you would like to have included in our next issue, please send them to: about-mozilla[at]mozilla.com.
If you would like to get this newsletter by email, just head on over to the about:mozilla newsletter subscription form. Fresh news, every Tuesday, right to your inbox.
17 Nov 2009 deb