Category Archives: Announcements

SUMO in 2013: Firefox OS

You’re reading the second part of the SUMO in 2013 blog series, and this time the focus is Firefox OS!

  • Part 1: Delight our users
  • Part 2: Firefox OS — you’re reading this one right now!
  • Part 3: Firefox Desktop
  • Part 4: Firefox Android
  • Part 5: Summary

So what exactly is Firefox OS? From mozilla.org:

Firefox OS will produce an implementation of new Web standards to free mobile platforms from the encumbrances of the rules and restrictions of existing proprietary platforms.

We’re collaborating with OEMs and carriers directly, giving them more influence to meet the specific needs of their users and market. Users and developers aren’t locked in to one platform, so they can access their info and use apps across multiple devices.

Developers will no longer need to learn and develop against platform-specific native APIs. [...] Consumers who use devices powered by Firefox OS won’t be locked into one specific platform giving them more choice, flexibility and freedom. With Firefox OS, the Web is the platform.

Create best-in-class mobile support experience for Firefox OS v1 launch

firefox-phone2013 is going to be an incredible year for Mozilla since it will be the year when Firefox OS and the open mobile web get into the hands of users around the world. At SUMO, we’re working hard to prepare for this and to ensure we’re ready to support users if they run into any problems.

However, some things will be a little different for us compared to how we’re supporting Firefox users. These Firefox OS phones will be sold in brick and mortar stores, and the user will have actually paid with real money for it. This raises the bar of the kind of support they expect for their device, and we need to be prepared for that.

Partner with carriers & OEMs

Luckily, we’re not the only ones who care deeply about Firefox OS users — since the phones will be sold in stores, we will rely on our partners for the first line of defense in supporting Firefox OS. This is a great start, but we still need to make sure that those who do come to our site get the best possible answers to their questions.

We also want to make sure that our partners have the best possible support material for our product so they can delight their customers just as much as we will. This means we’ll be working on delivering high-quality support documentation and training material as part of writing our knowledge base articles for users. In fact, we’ve already started and would love to see you join the efforts! Contributing to SUMO is a great way to influence the future of Firefox OS and to be a part of this brand new mobile phone experience.

Build localized support forums and communities and supply them with needed tools

Our support forum platform view from a mobile device.

For local communities who don’t already have a support forum and are ready to support Firefox OS users, we will be building the foundations to support localized forums on support.mozilla.org itself. This is actually something we’ve wanted to offer for a long time, so it’s very exciting that it will finally become a reality for the local communities who need it! Note that this foundation will also work for all of our other products like Firefox, but we’re building this primarily to support the Firefox OS v1 launch.

Another thing we did last year in preparation for the Firefox OS launch was to redesign the forum interface to look awesome on small screens. You can check this out today by navigating to support.mozilla.org/questions from your mobile phone.

Ensure excellent first impression by answering all user questions during our initial launch

You only have one chance to give a first impression, and we want ours to be an excellent one. We’ll be making sure that everyone gets an answer to their questions on SUMO, regardless of whether they found our site directly when searching online, or if they were sent our way by our partners.

We’re collaborating with our local communities such as Mozilla Hispano to ensure that we’re all ready for this big launch. Mozilla Hispano have done an amazing job already with preparing their community and website, and they’re just as excited about the launch as we are.

Expand our support offerings to include third-party Apps developers

UI Tests for Firefox OS (by tuuux)

The beauty of Firefox OS is that the platform used to run native apps on it is the web itself, completely unencumbered. This is huge for developers, because it means all they need to know in order to write apps for Firefox OS are the same skills they use to write websites: html5, javascript, and a bit of css. In fact, many developers already write mobile apps using these technologies on other proprietary mobile OS platforms like Android and iOS to make their apps work cross-platform. So the learning curve for developers to include support for Firefox OS will essentially be zero, because with Firefox OS, the web is the platform.

That doesn’t mean that no developer will ever need support, so we will be joining forces with the Developer Engagement team and implement a solution for those needs. This includes both administrative and purely development-related support.

That was an overview of what we’re working on this year around Firefox OS support. It’s all very exciting! In the next part of the series, I’ll present our goals for Firefox on the desktop. Stay tuned for more…

SUMO in 2013: Delight our users

In case you’re still hiding in that safety bunker and missed all the fireworks, it’s actually 2013 now and we all survived (well, most of us; that you’re reading this is a good sign that you’re likely still around). This is big news for Mozilla, because 2013 is the year of Firefox OS on the mobile! It’s also big news for SUMO, because we’re going to provide kick-ass support for this phone OS in ways the world has never seen before — while continuing to excel with Firefox desktop and Android, as well as exploring new opportunities with Apps & Marketplace.

This post marks the beginning of a mini-series outlining and explaining our SUMO high-level goals in 2013. I’ll start at the highest level and then I’ll drill down into the specifics for each product we’re supporting (or will begin to support this year) on support.mozilla.org.

  • Part 1: Delight our users — you’re reading this one right now!
  • Part 2: Firefox OS
  • Part 3: Firefox Desktop
  • Part 4: Firefox Android
  • Part 5: Summary

To kick this off, let’s start with our overarching mission this year:

Delight our users.

Delighting users means going above and beyond and delivering product support that is better than they expected. It means making sure everyone visiting our support will get an answer to their question. But it also means that they take something with them from the experience of getting helped that they didn’t expect — something that delights them. For example, learning about a neat trick with the product that enhances their experience with the product, or just being pleasantly surprised with the speed and accuracy of the answer, or maybe that our support community was the best and most friendly community they’ve ever experienced.

Michael and Michelle helping a Firefox user.

Let’s look at our 2013 goals that apply to all of our known products: Firefox desktop, Firefox for Android, Firefox OS, and Apps & Marketplace.

Implement a cross-team proactive user education strategy

This will be a big part of our “delight our users” promise, because we’ll use this proactive type of support before the user even thought they needed help about something. You can do this in many different ways, for example when you’re on the support site and you’re trying to solve a problem, we can take the opportunity to teach about something else too. Or when you’re launching Firefox for the first time, we could feature an interactive walk-through of the components of the UI. Or if you like our Mozilla Firefox page on Facebook, we could seed it with useful tips to make the most out of your product experience.

Because of the many ways of educating users, this goal will be a coordinated approach lead by SUMO but involving aspects of marketing, engagement, support, and the product itself (UX, etc). The sky is the limit on this one, and that’s what’s making it so exciting! Michael shares some more thoughts on user education on his blog.

Ensure that users with problems know that SUMO exists

What good is our support if people don’t know how to find us, let alone that we exist? A survey that we conducted some time ago revealed that we still need to do more to ensure maximum visibility of our support offerings for those who need it. Our goal is that anyone that has a problem with our products should know where to go to get help.

Drive quality improvements to our products through powerful user advocacy

Part of what makes SUMO great is that we listen carefully to what our users are saying to us in our various channels. This leads to better support, since we continuously fine-tune our content to match user demand — but it also leads to better products, since we share our findings with the rest of the organization. We call this User Advocacy, and in 2013 we’ll ramp this up significantly to ensure that our products are meeting our users’ expectations since that will also reduce the need for support — a win-win-win situation (users, SUMO, Mozilla).

To learn more about how the SUMO group is organized, including the formation of the User Advocacy team, read the SUMO Staff Organization Changes blog post from last month.

Establish Firefox User Sentiment Report as a primary release-to-release product quality measurement for Desktop, Android, and Firefox OS

In December we piloted the first Firefox User Sentiment Report (or FUSR for short) for desktop Firefox, which is a real-time snapshot of our user’s joy and pain as reported from our user feedback channels. We got great feedback about it already, including of course rooms for improvements. Ultimately the goal of this report is to make Firefox better by ensuring that our distilled user feedback is accessible, understandable, and above all actionable. Our vision is that teams like Engineering, Product, and UX — the awesome people that make our products — will be able to look at our reports and quickly determine if there are any major issues to address across our release channels.

The December installment of the report was just the beginning — as we gain experience in creating these reports, we hope to include forecasting based on previous releases to ultimately give us the ability to predict the quality of a new version of Firefox before it leaves the Beta phase. And as we fine-tune the accuracy and visualization, we’ll make sure reports deliver on our promise of being actionable.

 

Push Recoverability features and user-demanded fixes into product roadmaps

In 2013, we’ll continue what we started last year with highlighting user-demanded fixes and getting them into our product roadmaps. We’ll also expand these efforts to all of our products, including of course Firefox OS, where the need for high quality user advocacy will be huge.

Make SUMO the primary entry-level community for Mozillians

This is an area where we have a lot going for us already, but we can do even better, and in 2013 we will. By the end of this year, we will have made significant strides in this area, and we will have grown our community as a result!

The first contribution on SUMO should be a success, and it should be a fun and straightforward experience. There are lots of ways we can make this possible: better online tools on support.mozilla.org, better documentation, mentors and experts in our community who can help, etc.

And once you’ve joined our community, we want you to get more and more involved and engaged in our mission to delight our users. In many ways, being part of the SUMO community is a way to get closer to the products and the teams working on improving them. We love this part of SUMO and view it as a place to grow. This means that some will move on to contributing in other projects after a while, like QA, WebQA and web development — and that’s a great thing! Others (like myself) continue to contribute directly to SUMO, which is awesome.

That was a summary of the high-level SUMO goals in 2013 that apply to all of our products. In the next part, I’ll walk you through the goals we’ve outlined specifically for Firefox OS.

User Sentiment Report

We love to measure things here at Mozilla. We measure performance, speed, downloads, installs and more. We look at our successes and our failures. It’s in our DNA to monitor the health of our products to ensure we deliver more Awesome with each release. The User Advocacy team feels that the health and happiness of our users is just as critical to our success as the health of our products. After all, what would we be without our 400 Mil+ amazing users?

We’d like to introduce you to a new project we’re calling the User Sentiment Report. We have been working closely with the Metrics team for several months to create a real time snapshot of our user’s joy and pain. This report will provide a concise overview of the current release and allow for comparisons to previous releases. You will be able to see at a glance where we can focus our efforts to delight our users.

The goal of this project is to provide a User Sentiment Report once per release cycle. We will continue to work with the Metrics team to improve the accuracy and actionablity of the report in 2013. As we gain insights through this work we will also be able to attempt forecasting based on prior releases. That means that we’ll be able to make more informed decisions based on our pre-release feedback and prevent chemspills.

You can find the User Sentiment Report for Firefox 17 here:

http://blog.mozilla.org/sumo/files/2012/12/mozilla_user_sentiment_17.pdf

I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank Hamilton, Ali, Annie, and Gilbert from Metrics as well as Cheng and Tyler from User Advocacy. This project would not have been possible without the dedication and expertise they provided. This has been a great example of how much we accomplish when we work collaboratively!

SUMO Staff Organization Changes

Mozilla makes products for real people — people who use our products each day, people who recommend us to friends, people who care about the open Web.  They are our lifeblood, and we care deeply about them.  Sometimes these real people need help.  Other times, they have suggestions about how to make our products better.  SUMO is the answer: we help people and we also listen to their feedback.  We then share that feedback with the awesome folks who make our products better.

Because more and more people are using our products, and because we’re soon shipping an amazing new product that will take the world by storm, the SUMO team needs to make sure we can scale and continue to provide the kick-ass support that those real people deserve.

Which brings us here.  I’m excited to announce the following changes to our organization:

User Advocacy

Cheng Wang and Tyler Downer will report to Matt Grimes in the newly created User Advocacy team.  Together, they will be the killer-trio focused on reporting user feedback across Mozilla products for all release channels.  Cheng will continue to inject his expertise and insight into the team by focusing on solving the unsolvable (to others, at least) user feedback questions as our Senior Support Analyst.

Mobile & Firefox OS Support

Roland Tanglao, of Thunderbird support fame, and new hire Ralph Daub will report to Michelle Luna in the newly created Mobile and Firefox OS support team.  We are thrilled that Roland is taking on the role of Firefox for Android Support Coordinator while he transitions Thunderbird support to community contributors.  Ralph, a Brazil native with strong support chops, will specialize in Firefox OS user support as we prepare for the v1 product launch.

Desktop & Cross-Product Support

Kadir Topal, Michael Verdi, Rosana Ardila and Madalina Ana will report to Ibai Garcia in the newly created Desktop & Cross-Product support team.  With Kadir driving the support.mozilla.org product, Michael leading content management, Rosana managing the localization support community and Madalina managing the forum support community, we are sure to continue to support any user who needs help with Firefox around the world.

Please join me in congratulating Matt, Michelle, Ibai, Cheng, and Roland on their new roles, and welcome Ralph to Mozilla and the SUMO staff!  With these changes, SUMO is well-positioned to continue to delight our users — including those real people out there that have yet to discover Mozilla!

SUMO now helping an additional 7.3 million visitors

About 3 weeks ago we made the switch to a new information architecture and new design. The goal was to improve the browsability of the site and help people find the articles that they were looking for. 3 Weeks later we can now take a look at our key performance indicators to determine whether the whole project was worth the effort

Methodology

Since this project was primarily concerned with the Knowledge Base, we can focus on the helpfulness rating in this channel. Also, we know from our exit surveys that about 80% of our visitors use the KB.  The KB helpfulness rating is based on the survey that accompanies each article in each language. We ask the question “Was this article helpful?”, which can be answered with yes or no. Of course this metric is not perfect, articles that describe features have higher ratings than articles explaining how to fix a problem, English articles are generally higher rated than localized articles, despite having the same content, and the rating is also influenced by the path people took to get to the page. However, in this case we are not interested in the absolute ratings, we are particularly interested in the change since we moved to the new iA and design.

So, what happened?

We knew from previous tests that making the site browsable would be beneficial for that segment of our users who would rather browse than search for their article. People rate an article down, when it’s not the one that they were looking for. We know so much from our article surveys, and assuming we did our homework we should help more people find the right article. That being the case we expected the helpfulness of articles to rise, but it was hard to tell by how much it would rise. Considering that we have over 500,000 visitors per day and 80% use the KB, even a change by one percentage point would help an additional 1.46 million visitors per year. Without further ado, here are the results:

The results are phenomenal, we raised the helpfulness by 10 percent on average. That’s an increase by 5 percentage points and means an additional 7.3 million visitors per year stating that they found a SUMO article helpful. This is across all languages and across all incoming channels. It means that in 7.3 million cases where people might have decided to drop Firefox or be miserable because they couldn’t get Firefox to do what they wanted, they will now leave SUMO satisfied with their browser.

It’s hard to overstate the significance of this, and we are extremely happy with the results. The improvements to the site were the result of month of hard work by many people on the SUMO team, from SUMOdev, our creative team, and UX designers. We knew we were able to offer our users a better service, and the work has finally paid off. Continually thinking about how to serve our users better is what’s driving this team, and we will take these results as motivation to work even harder on improving our services.

Today, I’m very proud of what this team made possible, and I’d like to extend my thanks to each and everyone involved in the process: You made these results possible!

MozCamp EU 2012 trip report

Mobilize Mozilla! was the theme for this Mozcamp in Warsaw, Poland September 7-9. So, it was all about mobile, while remembering that Desktop is where we have all the users and where our market share is ever-growing. Warsaw at night

Opening night and Buddy program

We had a nice welcome on Friday night where everyone found their “buddy”. We were all paired with a buddy and we have a mission that we will work on through October.

My buddy is Robert Kaiser of Vienna, he works on stability for desktop Firefox, so we spent lots of time talking about how to get things like crash reporting into Firefox OS. He’s the original SeaMonkey lead and he’s in a ton of conversations everywhere, so I was very glad to get to work with him.

Keynotes

The keynote from Mitchell was great, as usual, and she made strong points about building great products and our values. But, she also said we need to be ready to launch things that are imperfect and that even today Firefox is not the perfect reflection of our values and so we need to plow ahead with our values in mind, but not with perfection as our goal.

Tristan’s keynote talked all about the new spaces in Europe and how well it is going there. And we got to sit with him at dinner Saturday night and he told us more about the amazing Paris office.

Jay Sullivan’s keynote was a combination of product presentation bullet points and demos. He had a Telefonica big-wig demo the Firefox OS phone and talk about their excitement and partner excitement. Wes Johnston demoed the new Firefox for Android and reader mode, touch events, and marketplace.

David Slater, the new Marketing/Engagement leader at Mozilla, gave a keynote that was really funny and great to watch. He is poised on stage and made a lot of good jokes about marketing and graphs and T-shirts. His whole message was that he wants to fund small marketing initiatives all over the world and he wants anyone with an idea, no matter how crazy, to tell Gen Kenai and they will consider funding it if its good.

Mark Surman, was the most inspirational keynote. He talked all about education and the web and putting a “Hack Me” button on everything. He talked about how we live in a digital world and increasingly, it will be important for people to understand the structure of that world to thrive.

Finally, the Community Quilt keynote, where 33 language communities presented their accomplishments and goals and challenges to the audience in succession. This quilt keynote is my favorite presentation at Mozcamp. It always makes me feel that I can do so much more and that I should have bigger goals and that I want to make Mozillians proud and support them fully because they are so passionate and compassionate and driven. Many of the communities around the world said that for 2013 they were preparing to support or localize Firefox OS. So, I feel that I am part of a truly global effort to bring this smartphone to market and I welcome all of you to join us in our mission!

Firefox OS demos & desktop build install fest

There was a program for 20 people to have prototype Firefox OS phones to demo throughout the weekend. So, I demoed my Firefox OS phone along with them. I completed 12 demos during the weekend, which seems like none, but I felt like I was constantly showing it around. People really liked the interaction model and the overall experience. We had a great time sharing thoughts about the device, collecting initial feedback and found that everyone is very enthusiastic about the progress of the future product!

The best part of my demo-fest was talking to people about the infinite possibilities presented by Firefox OS for people to hack on mobile and customize their experience and build apps and be part of the ecosystem. We spent hours talking about how it fits in with everything from civilian participation to bio-gardening. Mozillians are truly awesome, let no one tell you otherwise.

Me and Ibai Garcia led a workshop on installing the desktop build of Firefox OS that was very well-attended. thanks to Roland Tanglao for leading the Windows installs! Alex Kebyl gave a similar talk the previous day and also referred to verdi’s How To article describing setup of the desktop builds of Firefox OS and our workshop. We got at least five people up and running and felt that the rest of the attendees at our workshop would certainly get it running. So, it was a real success for us and Firefox OS. Here is a great picture of me and some awesome workshop attendees: Firefox OS desktop builds workshop

The ultimate goal of running the desktop builds is to document the features of Firefox OS in the following Knowledge base articles for future users of the product and to learn how it works in preparation for answering questions on the forum. The Mozilla Support knowledge base is a wiki that anyone can contribute to, so feel free to join in!

We will start with English articles, then localize to Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish toward the end of the calendar year. We have created Firefox OS discussion forums where we can talk about how we will support future users and you can ask any questions you have about the documentation wiki. We are just getting started, so I welcome your participation.

Vivien, a lead developer on the Firefox OS attended our workshop and I heard lot of talk afterward that they would simplify the steps to make setup of the desktop builds easier and I think I already saw something come across the wires about bundling the profile into the build somehow. So, showing people trying to do it had its own impact. We gave out Firefox Clinic T-shirts and Firefox stickers to everyone and told them it was a contract that required that they help users on SUMO. So, we’ve seen some new contributions come across this week as a result. Thanks to all of you who attended and have contacted me or contributed to SUMO since I met you! You and your spirit of collaboration are what makes Mozilla great!

Firefox for Android feedback presentation

My other workshop was for Firefox for Android non-English feedback. A big group of SUMO contributors were there and I talked about the manual feedback collection we currently do for English Google Play reviews. Wes Johnston of the mobile-dev team attended and said how super-helpful it is to get user feedback summaries in mobile engineering each week and how it changes and often guides their priorities.

I asked that contributors read reviews of Firefox in their native language and consider providing a simple list of the top three problems that show up in their language for the mobile engineering team as a great way to contribute to the project if you are just getting started in your locale. You don’t need to be technically savvy or use any special tools, you just need to read the Google Play reviews and send a list of the top three problems that users comment on to me, mluna, each week on Tuesdays. We will then report it to engineering, so they can prioritize issues that appear in non-English locales. You can also just add it to the mobile engineering weekly meeting roundtable section on wiki.mozilla.org.

The new magic SUMO tool for frequent questions, and an interview with its developer, Tobias Markus

For a few weeks now we have been replying to almost every single question that is asked in the Mozilla support forums. That is up from about 50% last year and it shows the dedication of our community. Also over the last few month we have made a number of changes to SUMO to reduce the flow of simple questions that have answers in the KB already. That has been quite succesful, not only are we getting really hard questions now, but they are solved at a higher rate than before too.

The challenge now is that we have to ask for more information before we can solve an issue. Repeating those questions is quite tiring, so we decided to build a tool to help out our community and gather all the important questions to ask in one place.

We had actually planned to work on it later this year, but one of our great community members, Tobbi, saw an opportunity and offered to try his hand on it.

The result went online a few days ago, and is amazing. Sign into SUMO, and check it out for yourself:

  1. Chose a question
  2. Click on the response tool (the magic hat symbol)
  3. Select an answer or a request for specific information
  4. Customize as necessary and send!

Over time this tool will hopefully gather all the shared wisdom of our community and help us solve issues in as few steps as possible.

Interview with the developer, Tobias Markus.

This is not the first time a community member has been helpful in the development of Kitsune, the software that powers SUMO, but it’s the first major feature. We’d love to see much more of this, and I asked Tobbi for an interview to ask him how he got involved for anyone who wants to follow in his footsteps.

Tobbi, you have been a SUMO community member for quite a long time. Where did you start and how was your SUMO journey so far?

It was late 2008 when I started contributing to SUMO. My portal to the SUMO world was the Firefox LiveChat, which I joined as I really liked the personal touch that the chat had. Later on, I found out that there was a German localization group for SUMO articles, so I started translating articles into German and helped reaching the goal of then 100% localization coverage. I even gave forum support, although I preferred LiveChat because it was more personal than the forums.

How did you get the idea to help with the development of SUMO?

The idea for development started when I was working on a Firefox add-on together with Propeng. We implemented various features for the old forums to make them more contributor-friendly and add some tools that aimed at making life for contributors easier. However, due to the amount of unfinished code and the switch to Kitsune, the project was stalled. That’s when we decided to split the big project into smaller chunks to make them compatible again with the new forums. One of these smaller projects was the Knowledge Base article autocomplete that was landed a few months ago. I think it was Rosana who suggested integrating the Knowledge Base autocomplete into the Firefox support website directly. That’s when I started contributing to the development of SUMO.

Did you get any help with your project?

The SUMO team and other contributors really helped me a lot. At first I was posting an early draft to the contributors forum to gather suggestions from other contributors and the team. The feedback I got was huge. I spent the next couple of weeks reacting on it and making a lot of improvements to the code to enable things like instant preview, edit mode, and even flags that can limit certain responses to certain groups of contributors. The SUMOdev team also answered some implementation questions.

Once this was done, the next thing was to make the experience perfect for contributors. I brainstormed a lot with Bram [the SUMO UX designer] about best practices in order to get a good user experience design and spent some more weeks making the necessary changes.

The fourth step was a final code review by Ricky Rosario. That went smoothly as well, the necessary changes I had to do were minimal and most of them were about simple code style fixes. Once these were fixed, the code was ready to land.

The final step was to create the canned responses. I asked the community again to get back to me with some frequently used responses and the amount of responses I got was overwhelming. I chose around 10 of the most frequently used ones (based on my own judgement) and rewrote them a little. Kadir then helped me put each response in its own article and create a main article for the category structure that has links to all the individual responses.

What is your advise for people who want to get involved with SUMO development?

Drop by in #sumodev on irc.mozilla.org and say hello. The SUMOdev people answered any questions I had so that canned responses could become a success. Also, there is good documentation available online about setting up a local copy of SUMO. So, if you have a great feature in mind for the support website and want to start developing, give it a go!

Tobi, thank you for this interview, and in the name of the SUMO community: thanks for making everyone’s live so much easier!

The new Reset Firefox feature is like magic

Planet Mozilla viewers – you can watch this video on YouTube.

A little more than two years ago when I joined the support team, one of the first things that struck me was that most every support procedure we had involved a long list of troubleshooting steps. The idea seemed to be, let’s try to identify the exact cause of the problem and just fix that. That sounds reasonable but the practical implication of that often isn’t: Is your software up to date? If yes, let’s turn off your plugins and see what happens. Did the problem go away? No? Does the problem happen in safe mode? If no, let’s try turning half of your extensions back on. What about a new profile? Great, now just copy places.sqlite from your old profile to your new profile.

What a mess. What mere mortal has the time, skill and patience to work their way though all that? And if the thing that needs fixing isn’t easily reproducible? Forget it. It’s now become a part-time job. I suspect that for many people, it’s just easier to switch to another browser since you’ve already got one installed on your computer. Problem solved.

So the support team worked with product and engineering to create the Reset Firefox feature. The first implementation of this is a button on the Troubleshooting Information page (about:support). What is does is create a new profile and migrate your bookmarks, passwords, cookies and form data. Everything else gets set to the defaults.

I have to say, this thing is like magic. You basically get a brand new Firefox installation without the penalty of losing all your data. This is especially useful as a quick fix for the thousands of posts we see on social media where people often express vague complaints about Firefox. “Firefox is slow.” “Firefox crashes too much.” “Firefox sucks.”

The big gap in the current implementation is that, for the most part, people won’t know about this feature unless we tell them about it. Future plans involve making it discoverable. Soon we’ll give users the option to reset Firefox when it crashes on startup for the third time. And the really big thing will be giving Windows users this option when re-installing Firefox. Maybe one day the phrase, “I tried re-installing Firefox but it didn’t do anything” will go away.

Read more about Reset Firefox on the support site and then download Firefox Beta and try it out.

    Notes:

  • This may be broken in Nightly or Aurora. Only try this in Beta.
  • It only saves bookmarks, passwords, cookies and form data. You will lose your add-ons, Sync settings, open tabs and tab groups.
  • It only works with the default profile. If you’ve opened Firefox via the command line or shortcut with a profile that isn’t the default, you won’t see the Reset Firefox button.

The 8th SUMO sprint

Last Tuesday we finished the 8th SUMO sprint of this year. I’s been a short sprint, because for half of it Mozilla web developers met for a work week in California. Nevertheless we were able to land some great improvements to SUMO.

  1. One of our top priorities right now is improving our search results. To that end we started an initiative to rate KB and forum results as equals, based solely on the content instead of showing KB articles on top and forum posts at the bottom. We hope that this step will result in better search results by higher click through rates. This is a project that will take more than one sprint to be implemented. We completed the first of 3 phases in this sprint and are planning to implement the rest over the next sprints. You can read Will’s bug comment about it, if you want to know more about the gory details of the unification work.
  2. We were also able to implement a feature in the forums that gives our community an indicator for how we are doing and shows everyones impact on the forum: We call it the forum feedback indicator. It shows you how many questions were asked in the last 3 days and how many have a reply. It also links to the questions that haven’t been answered yet. The progress bar is orange, for any values below 100% and turns green when all questions are taken care of.

As with every sprint we also fixed a number of annoying bugs, and you can always follow along on the excellent scrumbugs. Here is the list for the 8th sprint.

However I’d like to point out one specific issue, that was bugging us in the forums for quite a while, creeping back when we thought we had squashed it: In some cases, a question displayed “No replies”, even though it already had replies. That bug is now hopefully fixed for good.

Thursday, March 29th is SUMO Day!

It’s time for a new SUMO day! This will happen on Thursday, March 29. We’ll be answering questions in the support forum and helping each other in #sumo on IRC from 9am to 5pm PST (UTC -7).

Join us, create an account and then take some time on Thursday to help with unanswered questions. Additional tips for getting started are on the etherpad. Our goal is to respond to every new question posted Thursday, so please try to answer as many questions as you can throughout the day.

Let’s make this an awesome day!

Madalina