Labs Update – February 2009


February 2009

Concept Series

We are currently collecting feedback on a proposed web-based collaboration tool/space for the Concept Series. Learn more and join the discussion over on the discussion forum.

Design Challenge

The application deadline for the inaugural Design Challenge is right around the corner! Initial ideas & mockups must be submitted to the forums by Sunday, March 1st. Further details on applying are available in the discussion forum.



In preparation for the release of the next milestone leading up to the 0.3 release on March 2nd the newly updated server-side components of Weave have been migrated to a new server cluster on real hardware, dramatically increasing speed and availability. If you’re interested in helping test the next release, please register now to receive an invitation within the next few days.


Another update to Ubiquity was released this week, with many bug fixes. Release notes can be found here. More details about 0.1.6 have been posted on Atul Varma’s blog.

HCI student and Ubiquity community contributor Zac Lym has been doing good work researching the usability of Ubiquity through scientific user testing.  His research has highlighted some areas where Ubiquity needs improvement to be discoverable and learnable for new users.  He has written up his methodology and his findings on the Mozilla wiki.  He’s blogged about the root causes of the usability problems that he found, and has also come up with a list of recommendations for fixing them.


As its first experiment to escape into the open, the Developer Tools Lab launched Bespin, an experimental web-based code editor with ambitions to bring a desktop-class code editor to the Web. View an introduction screencast and check out the initial release of the editor, and get  more information on engaging with us as we figure out where to take it!

Labs Nights

If you’re hosting a Labs Night in your area, please let us know and we’ll add it to the event calendar and post it on this site.


Great success at the first Labs Night in London! Plenty of folks joined the group at Waterstones Piccadilly to discuss Ubiquity, Weave, Test Pilot, Bespin, Concept Series and Labs in general. Be on the look out in March for more London Labs events.

Mountain View

This month’s Labs Night Mountain View was awesome. We welcomed Edwin Khodabakchian, developer of Feedly, a Firefox extension which weaves twitter and Google Reader into a magazine like experience. We heard a great presentation on Play!, a Java web application framework, and Ben Galbraith and Dion Almaer discussed Bespin. Stay tuned for the next Labs meetup in March!