Guest post: “That Bug about Mobile Bookmarks”

Hi, SUMO Nation!

Time for a guest blog post by Seburo – one of our “regulars”, who wanted to share a very personal story about Firefox with all of you. He originally posted in on Mozilla’s Discourse, but the more people it reaches, the better. Thank you for sharing, Seburo! (As always, if you want to post something to our blog about your Mozilla and/or SUMO adventures and experiences, let us know.)

Here we go…

 

As a Mozillian I like to set myself goals and targets. It helps me to plan what I would like to do and to ensure that I am constantly focusing on activities that help Mozilla as well as maintain a level of contribution. But under these “public” goals are a number of things that are more long term, that are possible and have been done by many Mozillians, but for me just seem a little out of reach. If you were to see the list, it may seem a little odd and possibly a little egotistical, even laughable, but however impossible some of them are, they serve as a reminder of what I may be able to achieve.

This blog entry is about me achieving one of them…

In the time leading up to the London All-Hands, I had been invited by a fellow SUMO contributor to attend a breakfast meeting to learn more about the plans around Nightly. This clashed with another breakfast meeting between SUMO and Sync to continue to work to improve our support for this great and useful feature of Firefox. Not wanting to upset anyone, I went with the first invite, but hoped to catch up with members of the Sync team during the week.

Having spent the morning better understanding how SUMO fits into the larger corporate structure, I made use of the open time in the schedule to visit the Firefox Homeroom which was based in a basement meeting room, home for the week to all the alchemists and magicians that bring Mozilla software to life. It was on the way back up the stairs that I bumped into Mark from the Firefox Desktop team. Expecting to arrange some time for later in the week, Mark was free to have a chat there and then.

Sync is straightforward when used to connect desktop and mobile versions of Firefox but I wanted to better understand how it would work if a third device was included. It was at the end of the conversation that one of us mentioned about how the bookmarks coming to desktop Firefox could be seen in the Mobile Bookmarks folder in the bookmark drop down menus. But it is not there, which can make it look like your bookmarks have disappeared. Sure, you can open the bookmark library, but this is extra mouse clicks to open a separate tool. Mark suggested that this could be easy to fix and that I should file a bug, a task that duly went in the list of things to do on returning from the week.

A key goal for contributors at an All-Hands is to come back with a number of ways to build upon your ability to contribute in the future and I came back with a long list that took time to work through. The bug was also delayed in filing due to natural pessimism about its chances of success. But I realised…what if we all thought like that? All things that we have done started with someone having an idea that was put forward knowing that other ideas had failed, but they still went ahead regardless.

So I wrote a bug and submitted it and nothing much happened. But after a while there was a spark of activity. Thom from the Sync team had decided to resolve it and seemed to fully understand how this could work. The bug was assigned various flags and it soon became clear to me that work was being done on it. Not having any coding ability, I was not able to provide any real help to Thom aside from positive feedback to an early mock up of how the user experience would look. But to be honest, I was too nervous to say much more. A number of projects I had come back from MozLondon with had fallen through and I did not say anything much that could “jinx it” and it not proceed.

A few months passed after which I started getting copied in on bugmail about code needing review with links to systems I barely knew existed. And there, partway down a page were two words:

Ship It.

I know that these words are not unusual for many people at Mozilla, indeed their very existence is one of the reasons that many staff turn on their computers (the other is probably cat gifs), but for me it was the culmination of something that I never thought would happen. The sobriety of this moment increased with the release of Nightly 54 – I could actually see and use what Thom and Mark had spent time and effort crafting. If you use version 54 (which is currently Firefox Developer Edition) and use Firefox Sync, you should now see a “Mobile Bookmarks” folder in the drop down from the menu bar and from the toolbar. This folder is an easier way for you to access the bookmarks that you have saved on the bus, in the pub, on the train or during that really boring meeting you thought would never end.

I never thought that I would be able to influence the Firefox end product, and I had in a very small way. Whilst full credit should go to Thom and Mark and the Sync team for building this and those who herded and QA’d the bug (never forget these people, their work is vital), credit should also go to the SUMO team for enabling me to be a position to understand the user perspective to help make Sync work for more users. Sync is a great feature of Firefox and one that I hope can be improved and enhanced further.

I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed reading this little story, but I hope that you have learned from it and that those learnings will help you as a contributor. In particular:

  • Have goals, however impossible.
  • Contribute your ideas. Nobody else in the world has the same idea as you and imagines it in the same way.
  • Work outside of your own team, build bridges to other areas.
  • Use Nightly and (if you also use a mobile version of Firefox) use it with Firefox Sync.
  • Be respectful of Mozilla staff as they are at work and they are busy people, but also be prepared to be in awe of their awesomeness.

Whilst this was (I have been told) a simple piece of code, the result for me was to see a feature in Firefox that I helped make happen. Along the way, I have broadened my understanding of the effort that goes into Firefox but I can also see that some of the bigger goals I have are achievable.

There is still so much I want to do.

What’s Up with SUMO – 9th February 2017

Hello, SUMO Nation!

Today’s post has a slightly different format for two reasons:

  1. We are rethinking the way these (regular) blog posts work and the way they should be shaped – but that’s going to take a while because…
  2. We have migrated to a Completely New Site™ and we need to update you on a few things regarding its current (and future) state. (hint: we’re all really busy)

There you have it. So, while we may be returning to your regularly scheduled programming at a slightly later time, now it’s time talk about…

The Completely New Site™

  1. The migration process was not easy from a technical point of view and things did go wrong in some expected (and some unexpected) ways. Moving 8 years of data from one custom platform to another is like that.
  2. The delay in switching to the new site was caused by last minute issues we managed to fix (but we needed time for that).
  3. We are live at https://support.mozilla.org/ but there are still a lot of things to work on, most of which we are trying to tackle now using Admin powers.
  4. We have a long list of outstanding issues to fight with in the first two weeks after the launch. You can add more to it, don’t worry. Please keep filing bugs. Thanks to all of you who already did so. Before you file a bug, please remember to check this list.
  5. If you are confused about the way the site works (its options, basic features, etc.), you can start fighting that confusion using the site FAQ (“How do things work?”).
  6. Our priorities for the next two weeks are:
    • Making sure site navigation and content are in correct places and work well for all launch locales.
    • Making sure that all users have the right permissions and access to the right resources based on that for all launch locales. As a refresher, take a look at the Roles & Responsibilities doc (as shared with you at the beginning of the migration process in 2016)
    • Working on fixing the bugs from the list linked above.
    • Improving the UX design of the site.
    • Improving the notifications.
    • Improving the onboarding and “ask a question/find an answer” flows.
    • Sharing documentation that explains how we can all get “back to SUMO business as usual” using the new platform (answering questions, working on the KB).
  7. The following are not a priority at the moment but will be worked on later:

So, if you are on the new site (yay!), we ask you for a little extra patience while we make it our new home. In the meantime, if you have questions about:

Now, let me tell you a bit more about…

The Next Month (or so) for the KB / L10n of SUMO…

  1. The KB content of the launch locales is mostly ready for use and consumption by the users, thanks to your help.
  2. All Editors, Reviewers, and Locale Leads should have the right permissions to work within their locale’s KB, but for now we are not localizing anything – please hold off with edits for now.
  3. Joni is coming back on Monday (13th February) and will make sure the English KB is in shape.
  4. Once the English KB is cleaned up and reorganized, we will work on copying the same structure for all launch locales.
  5. The documentation explaining how the localization process works on the new site is coming once we knock all the l10n bugs out of the way. For now, you can get a taste of it reading these two documents (one) (two).
  6. Our goal is to ensure that:
    • All KB Editors, Reviewers and Locale Leads have the right permissions for their locale’s KBs
    • The visible KB nodes are all in the right place and reflect the English version as close as possible (for now, this may be changing in the future, depending on your needs/ideas)
    • The new KB nodes are in place and localized accordingly
    • All KB templates are organized under a separate KB for each launch locale
    • All KB content that should be archived is moved to a separate Archive KB for each launch locale
    • Key UI elements are reviewed and retranslated for each launch locale
    • Locales that were not included in the launch are prepared for addition to the main site

…and how you can help with that

  1. Subscribe to the changes in your locale’s KB (and the English KB as well). You can do it following the instructions from this site.
  2. Keep filing bugs about things that don’t work for your locale (or globally). You can use Bugzilla (as usual) or this spreadsheet.
  3. Wait for further information – I am working on making the site better for localizers (and international users), but everything takes time. I really appreciate your patience and support.

We hope that the above information will help you understand where we are now with the site switch and what are our next goals and steps. If you have questions, you know where to find us. We are looking forward to seeing you around the new SUMO site. Thank you for being there for the users!

It’s the final countdown… to migration!

Hello, SUMO Nation!

sumo_logoThis post serves as a reminder and a starting point for next week (the week of the migration) and the weeks that will follow.

As you may already know, we are going to migrate all the content and operations from our current home (Kitsune) to a new service. We have been talking about this for over five months now, so chances are you already know it’s happening… But in case you don’t, here are the most important links for your consideration:

These resources should give you a good idea of how we started and where we got with the process for now. We would like to thank one more time all those who had the time and the energy to help us work on the details of the migration and provided their critical feedback and input. We care because you do!

There is still a lot of work going on behind the scenes. We can’t share all the results with you in real time, as the site is being merged from several instances and edited by many people at the same time. Showing you the state of the site in the middle of all the updates happening would only cause a lot of confusion and unnecessary questions. We believe you trust us enough to deliver a working site to you and all other users on the 1st of February.

So, next week you can expect that:

  • We will provide you with materials to help you get started on the new platform. These will include explanations on how the platform itself works, but also the “typical” SUMO documentation that will explain how you can contribute on the new site.
  • We will be present and active on the #sumo IRC channel on Mozilla’s IRC server starting on the morning of 31st of January (Central European Time – CET), until the afternoon (Pacific Time – PST). You can connect directly to the IRC channel using this web client. During that same time, we will also hang out in the SUMO Vidyo room.
  • Things will not work perfectly all the time or may be initially missing.
  • There may be a bit of healthy chaos.
  • There will be requests for help – mostly to review and help fix any launch issues with the new site (e.g. unexpected localization or UX issues).
  • There will be changes in the way some processes or ways of contribution work, due to technical differences between the sites.

Please:

  • Relax, all transitions are difficult.
  • Be patient. We all have a lot to go through.
  • If you see something, use the methods of reporting issues that we will provide you with, so that we can fix things as soon as possible.
  • Don’t forget to smile and take it easy.

Remember:

  • The new site will be new for everybody. We have spent a lot of time preparing it, but we are not sure how it’s going to behave in the wild.
  • There will be training and guidelines available for everyone.
  • You can ask questions and that will help us create an FAQ, if need be.

It was a long and difficult journey from the very first moment we realised we need to migrate to a new site, but you made it worth the pain :-). We hope to see you on the new site and we hope you will build a future-proof SUMO community with us in 2017.

See you on M(igration)-Day!

What’s Up with SUMO – 26th January 2017

Hello, SUMO Nation!

The end of January is upon us – and it’s the end of an era for SUMO as well. Next week we’re moving to a new home to host all your feats of helpfulness for users around the world – Kitsune will be put into a deep-freeze and we’ll start using the new site you’ve been hearing so much about 100% of the time. The first days (or even weeks) may be a bit rough (new places, new tricks to learn), but we are sure we will all emerge victorious on the other side of this migration, together! :-) Looking forward to the new, we tip a hat towards all the greatness that Kitsune has been a symbol and example of over the years.

Now, let’s get to the new news!

Welcome, new contributors!

If you just joined us, don’t hesitate – come over and say “hi” in the forums!

SUMO Community meetings

  • LATEST ONE: 25th of January – you can read the notes here (and see the video at AirMozilla).
  • NEXT ONE: happening on the 1st of February!
  • Reminder – if you want to add a discussion topic to the upcoming meeting agenda:
    • Start a thread in the Community Forums, so that everyone in the community can see what will be discussed and voice their opinion here before Wednesday (this will make it easier to have an efficient meeting).
    • Please do so as soon as you can before the meeting, so that people have time to read, think, and reply (and also add it to the agenda).
    • If you can, please attend the meeting in person (or via IRC), so we can follow up on your discussion topic during the meeting with your feedback.

Community

Platform

Social & Support Forum

Knowledge Base & L10n

  • Over 830 edits in the KB in all locales since the last blog post. Whoa! Thanks to everyone who invested their time, energy, and talent in making us more helpful for everyone.
  • No more current updates, as we are tinkering on the upcoming new site – and that takes a lot of time and effort… Expect the first two weeks after the migration to be busy, too!

Firefox

for Android

for Desktop

for iOS

…and that’s it! Now, as mentioned above, the next week will be a BIG thing for all of us at SUMO. Some of us may feel a bit sad, others quite differently, but… whatever happens, we will be ready to go! See you on the other side of upcoming changes!

What’s Up with SUMO – 19th January 2017

Hello, SUMO Nation!

Welcome to the third post of the year, friends and revolutionaries :-) Time flies! We have a large set of updates to share with you, so let’s dig in without delay. As always, if you think we’re missing something in this post (or you’d like to see something mentioned in the future) use the comments section!

Welcome, new contributors!

If you just joined us, don’t hesitate – come over and say “hi” in the forums!

SUMO Community meetings

  • LATEST ONE: 18th of January – you can read the notes here (and see the video at AirMozilla).
  • NEXT ONE: happening on the 25th of January!
  • Reminder – if you want to add a discussion topic to the upcoming meeting agenda:
    • Start a thread in the Community Forums, so that everyone in the community can see what will be discussed and voice their opinion here before Wednesday (this will make it easier to have an efficient meeting).
    • Please do so as soon as you can before the meeting, so that people have time to read, think, and reply (and also add it to the agenda).
    • If you can, please attend the meeting in person (or via IRC), so we can follow up on your discussion topic during the meeting with your feedback.

Community

Platform

Social

Support Forum

Knowledge Base & L10n

  • Over 400 edits in the KB in all locales since the last blog post – thank you for making the Knowledge Base better, everyone!.
  • Jeff from the l10n team shared our “big cousin’s” plans for 2017 – read all about it here!
  • You can see the L10n migration bugs in progress and fixed here: (the list includes making sure localized content lands in the right language category – yay!)
  • We now have an “Other languages” component linking to existing locales. It can be seen on article pages in the side panel. We’re working to figure out the best way to make it easier for non-existing locales to be translated using the same (or similar) setup. Thanks for all your feedback on that!
  • Michal is taking a well-deserved break from making SUMO awesomer for Czech users. Thank you Mikk & good luck with your final educational stretch! In the meantime, Jiri is taking over the keys to the Czech part of the SUMO kingdom :-) Teamwork!

Firefox

  • for iOS
    • Version 6.0 was released on January 17th, including:
      • an update for mailto:// links.
      • something for developersSwift 2.3!
    • You can find the contributor forums for iOS here.
    • Firefox Focus / Firefox Klar comes out next week! There will be a “Set your default search engine” article and an update to the existing article in the works.

…and that’s that for this week, dear people of SUMO (and not only). We hope you’ve had a good week so far and that the next seven days bring a lot of interesting, exciting, and inspiring moments. See you next week!