Over the weekend I constructed a 3D Kumi from this 2D pattern which my two year old has been so kind as to demonstrate in a picture:
If you were wondering, Kumi is a creation of the Mozilla Indonesia community. You can’t quite see it from the photo, but Kumi is wearing the traditional dress of Balinese Kecak Dancer. The Mozilla Indonesia community has also created a number of other variations on Kumi that feature different cultural regions. Another fun fact that you may have already seen is that Firefox market share in Indonesia is incredibly high, somewhere around 80%! Clearly, this is a pretty hip group :-)
A little over a month ago, I had the chance to visit Indonesia along with my wife and some of my Mountain View based coworkers (Christian Legnitto, Dave Mandelin and the Bieber-esque David Anderson) for the local Firefox 4 release parties. It was an amazing experience and the country was really hospitable. In particular, we had two incredible hosts. One was Viking Karwur, a freelance web-developer in Jakarta, who I think is something like a general or commander in the Mozilla Indonesia community. He worked with a bunch of different local groups in Indonesia to plan some really successful release parties; if you look under the “Largest Firefox Communities” header on the Firefox 4 Release Party site on meetup.com 7 of the cities are in Indonesia! The other gracious host was Yofie Setiawan, another freelance web-developer in Jakarta. Yofie was kind enough to take Jenn and I around the city including a market so Jenn could find some Batik cloth to take back home.
One great thing about the trip was getting to hear what aspects of Firefox mattered to the Indonesian community. Pretty much the number one thing I heard was Firefox memory usage, so I’m glad that Nicholas Nethercote and others have started this new MemShrink push (you can see a stream of updates on Nick’s blog). I also think this Electrolysis effort should help since closing a process should hopefully sweep away any leaked garbage associated with a page when it closes. Also, on a practical level, I wonder how much of a free perception boost Chrome gets since its total resource usage is spread between many processes that may not all be visible to the user when they open Task Manager / Activity Monitor.
I also heard a lot of requests for Firefox Mobile on BlackBerry… nothing much positive I can say there… but also Firefox Mobile on iPhone. Now, Apple Terms and Conditions seem to clearly lock us out of putting Firefox Mobile in the app store so I think its great how we’ve taken the positive/constructive route by creating Firefox Home. But, and I’m totally shooting in the dark here, wouldn’t it be cool if we put real development effort behind a Firefox Mobile that ran on jail-broken iPhones? Is that an illegal activity? Would that cause our legit Firefox Home app to get booted? If nothing else, it seems like it would be useful for Mozilla to rattle the gates here to point out how Apple is locking out a browser that IMHO offers a superior mobile browsing experience (its the only reason I have and continue to use my Motorola Atrix).
While I am shooting uniformed questions out into the InterWebz, another question came up while in Indonesia: this Kumi artwork that I linked to at the top of my post is a really neat fusion of Mozilla and local Indonesia culture. Is there any good extension points in the Indonesian Firefox where Kumi could be featured? The first thought that came to mind is in the “About Firefox” window, perhaps in the whitespace to the bottom-left of the giant official Firefox logo. I know there is value in having a uniform experience across Firefoxen, but perhaps there is a sensible balance, or perhaps such extension points already exist.
Oh, we also got to feed monkeys!