Speaking of Community

In my last post I mentioned how super satisfying it is to be part of a community working together to make Firefox better.

This morning someone new dropped into #fx-team on IRC, asking about a reproducible problem and how to submit a patch. Normally #fx-team is a fairly busy channel, but since we were all at the Mozilla All-Hands last week, people were traveling and recovering… So it was 12 hours of dead silence before anyone replied. Not great, but also pretty rare. :-(

Anyway, the awesome part was that in that time this person managed to grab the source code, diagnose the problem with gdb, fix the problem, and then blog about it — check it out. That’s pretty awesome! (Oops, I already said awesome once. Still deserving of a 2nd ‘awesome’. :-)

The timing couldn’t have been better. At the All Hands, I went to one of the talks by Ubuntu’s Jono Bacon on Growing and Maintaining Community. It was pretty awesome (3rd time, yes I know). Obviously Ubuntu has a large community, but I was hadn’t realized just how much thoughtful effort has gone into improving it… TONS of fantastic ideas and practices that I hope Mozilla can also make use of. The one downside, though, was that I came away feeling a little bummed at how much work need to do to reach the high level of wide-ranging, effective engagement Bacon et al have developed. So it was really splendid timing to have a new community member pop out and have a good experience.

Today was a good day.

About Justin Dolske

Mostly harmless.
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6 Responses to Speaking of Community

  1. Mike Beltzner says:

    Dolske, lemme know if you want to take on any community outreach or improving how Mozilla does that projects, and I’ll be right there with you. I’m realizing that as a now external contributor, that’d be one of the best ways to use the Mozilla-skills that I’ve got.

  2. cheater says:

    Glad to have been of service! I think the Firefox community is very strong.. to be honest I couldn’t muster up one piece of criticism here. And if you look through my blog there are quite a few big rants – even about the Ubuntu/Launchpad development platform you mention :)

  3. Benoit Jacob says:

    If you’re interested in tracking an ongoing attempt to make Gecko development more community-friendly (specifically the gfx team), check this out: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=686998

  4. So, what was the bug#?

  5. cheater says:

    Neil, as spoken elsewhere, there was no bug report because at that point it was fixed in the tip already.

    Benoit, I could not find a piece of documentation that would be missing; I’m sure there is some, I just couldn’t find it :D However, I have rewritten the part of my blog post after the asterism (⁂) with a different idea of how Mozilla can improve. I would be very interested to hear your, and other Mozilla people’s, comments on that.

  6. Cool, thanks for pointing to that blog post — good to read about their experience getting involved.

    Jono did have a bunch of great ideas and I heard other good ideas talking with other people too last week. It is a little overwhelming, but making things better isn’t something that one person has to do one their own.

    I’m definitely interested in this, and so is the rest of the Contributor Engagement team, so let us know how we can help.

    David

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