Josh Matthews is a Computer Science student from Toronto who contributes to Firefox in his spare time. He discovered Mozilla three years ago, thanks to a blog post about the Electrolysis project by Benjamin Smedberg. The projects wanted the platform to use separate processes to display the browser interface, web content, and plugins.
Josh found three ways to get better handle on the source tree: He subscribed to an RSS feed of commits, hung out in IRC channels and watched interesting Bugzilla users. He describes Bugzilla as a goldmine of fascinating activity and information. And his work on the Electrolysis helped him expand the horizons of what he knew.
Eventually, he started to feel more at home in the Mozilla codebase. So much, that he was able to start answering questions of others. “It’s an exciting feeling when you can actually start answering other people’s questions instead of always being on the asking end”, he says.
Six months ago, he came up with the FoxInABox project. It offers a virtual machine that comes with a full, standard Firefox build environment out of the box to help you compile Firefox extremely fast. But recently, he created another tool that helps new contributors to get more involved: http://whatcanidoformozilla.org
His website tells you what you can do for Mozilla based on the programming languages you know and the (specific) projects you’re interested in. We really think that this is a great way to familiarize new helpers with the Mozilla codebase.
For his awesome work on the Electrolysis project, on Firefox and on http://whatcanidoformozilla.org, Josh Matthews definitely deserved to be in the spotlight this week! Check out Bonjour Mozilla to find out more about other Mozillians.