Platform update & Q&A

Hey there, SUMO Nation!

As you may have noticed, we are (for the time being) back to the previous engine powering the support site at support.mozilla.org

You can follow the latest updates and participate in the discussion about this here.

We are definitely present and following this discussion, noting your concerns and questions. We can provide you with answers and reassurance, even if we do not have ready-made solutions to some of the issues you are highlighting.

Since some of you may not be frequently visiting the forums, we would also like to make sure you can find the answers to some of the more burning questions asked across our community here, on our blog.

Q: Why is Mozilla no longer interested in using Kitsune, its own support platform?

The software engineers and project managers developing Kitsune were shifted to work on critical development needs in the Firefox browser. Kitsune also had only a handful of contributors to the code base. After calculating the time and money requirements for maintaining our own platform, which were considerable and might have entailed a major overhaul, Mozilla decided that using an third-party solution was a better investment for the long term future of Mozilla’s support needs. (To be honest, it was one of the hardest decisions we have made.) We also considered that Lithium has significant ongoing software development which we think will lead to faster feature improvements than we might have achieved internally with Kitsune.

Q: Why is the new support platform still not providing all the functionality available in Kitsune?

Kitsune had been customized and hand-crafted from scratch by Mozillians and for Mozillians over a period of eight years.

No other platform in the market can offer the same level of compatibility with Mozilla’s mission and contribution methods without a serious investment of time and development power.

We have been working with Lithium for an extended period of time on matching the core functionality of Kitsune. This is a complex, lengthy, and ongoing process.

Due to technical differences in development and deployment of features between both platforms, complete feature parity may not be possible. We promise that over time we will push aggressively to close the feature gap and even to develop useful new features that were not present in Kitsune. We understand that many in the community feel that Kitsune is a better option and there are many things we love about Kitsune. We are hopeful that Lithium will grow on you and ultimately surpass Kitsune.

Q: How will you ensure that Mozilla’s image is not negatively influenced by issues with the support site now and in the future?

We will do our very best to provide the best support site and the best workflows we can for the budget that we are allocated for support technology and tools. We are extremely serious about maintaining Mozilla’s good image and working with our community and users to ensure that Mozilla is viewed positively. We realize that changes in software and workflows may not work equally well for everyone but we will do our best to help. We always have and always will appreciate the contributions from you, our community – and that users choose to browse on Firefox.

Q: What can the community members do to help any of the above now and in the future?

First of all, please continue to contribute your time and hard work answering user questions. It’s the most valuable contribution you can make and one we greatly appreciate. Thank you.

Second, your ideas on how to improve the Mozilla support platform are something we always listen closely to, as you are in the system as much as we are. These can be new features or improvements to existing features (or adding back in older features), including improvements to the Lithium platform. We can’t promise that we will be able to include all requests in our roadmap but the community does drive our priorities and inform our decisions.

Please add these requests into the Platform meeting notes or file feature requests through Bugzilla (and make sure they are assigned to us.) Please note that we already have several feature improvements lined up for development and deployment by Lithium. We will do what we can to keep the information flowing back and forth in a clear and organized manner.

As always, thank you for your continuous presence and support of Mozilla’s mission. We can’t make it happen without you.

All the best to you all!

The SUMO Team on behalf of Mozilla

1 response

  1. Buovjaga wrote on :

    If I’m reading this right, the transition to Lithium will end up costing as much as or even more than a major overhaul to Kitsune would have. Sad to see money being poured on something that is the opposite of open web.