With more than a hundred million users around the globe, Firefox is no longer a web browser used by just the tech savvy people. While we have seen tremendous efforts from the Mozilla community to provide support for Firefox through the years, these resources have been spread out on different sites and hard for our users to find. The need for one centralized and official support channel for Firefox has never been greater, and Sumo is Mozilla’s attempt to meet that need.
Sumo is short for support.mozilla.com, and its three major components are:
- Knowledge Base — a vast library of Firefox articles, tutorials, references, and how-tos.
- Forums — a place for users to ask questions they can’t find the answer to in the Knowledge Base.
- Live Chat — a last resource, but also a very cool feature that allows users to log in and chat with skilled Firefox users that volunteer to help out.
Today we are releasing a live preview of the Knowledge Base (KB), the most important part of the Sumo project. During the last few months, a number of contributors have helped us populating the KB with good content and we think we’ve now reached a level of quality that is good enough to show off, even though there are still technical quirks and other issues we need to work out.
This alpha preview will be:
• focusing solely on the knowledge base,
• en-US only, and
• obviously a work in progress.
We will not actively promote this live preview at this point. The idea is to gradually start linking to the site in order to ramp up traffic to the site and test the scalability of the application and server. If all goes well, we will go fully live in the next couple of weeks.
Note to active contributors: support.mozilla.com will just be a preview until Monday, October 1st, when we will do a resync from the database of support-stage.mozilla.org. If you’re doing updates on KB articles this weekend, please do it on the staging server to make sure the updates are not overwritten. When we’ve done the final resync on Monday, we will shut down the staging server and all updates should be made on support.mozilla.com. Thanks for all your help so far!
What about localization?
We currently don’t have a good way of keeping track of changes made on the en-US versions of articles for localizers. This means that it’s currently a lot of work to maintain a localized version of the knowledge base. Because of this, we will only focus on the en-US version right now. We are working on evaluating our needs of the underlying TikiWiki infrastructure to pinpoint what needs to be done to make l10n happen.
What about forums?
While TikiWiki has built-in support for forums, we are not quite ready to go live with that yet. There is work under way to determine our requirements and we expect to have a better overview soon. We’re inviting you all to provide feedback on the forum situation.
So go check out the new Firefox support and let us know what you think!