Category Archives: Uncategorized

Firefox for Android getting started tutorial

The new Firefox for Android has all the functionality of the XUL implementation with tons more speed and support for Flash. In addition, the UI has been redesigned to streamline the menus and put them all in one place. On gingerbread, you’ll find them in the hardware menu key. This tutorial shows the app on ice cream sandwich, with the menu in the upper-right.

This tutorial was created with androidscreencast.jnlp, so the jerk and gradients are due to the frame-rate of the screencast. Get the awesomely smooth experience on your Android 2.2 device when it hits the Google Play store later this month.

How I got involved with Mozilla

This is in response to David Boswell’s post about contributing to Mozilla. I’m a SUMO community steward on David’s team that is all about contributors, paths to contribution, and stewardship. We’re looking at all the ways people get involved with Mozilla (or not) and writing our stories, so I thought I’d share mine.

I first used Netscape on Solaris in my work at Sun Microsystems in 2002 and I’ve never looked back. So, I’m a long-time user and very short-time contributor. My first real contribution to Mozilla, other than evangelism, was to the SUMO knowledge base four months ago.

I found out about a job opening on the SUMO team and this opportunity inspired me to check out and register on http://support.mozilla.com where I found information about how to help with Firefox Mobile support and information about who to contact. So, I emailed Kadir Topal as the help wanted section suggested and within two days, he wrote me back this message:

Hi Michele,

Thanks a lot for your interest in helping with Firefox for Android, it would be great to have your expertise in our forums. We are quite new with support for mobile Firefox, but our mobile user base is growing fast, and our support forums are an ideal way to find out what things Firefox users have the most issues with. In fact you can quite often find the actual developers of mobile Firefox answering questions in our forum.

If you want to get started, just follow this link:

https://support.mozilla.com/en-US/questions?tagged=mobile

It will show you a filtered view of our support forum, with only the mobile questions selected. After signing up you can choose any one of the questions and start helping. You can also list the question by “most requested”, just click that button on top of the list. That way you can answer questions that concern most users.

And I’d encourage you to have a look at the Contributor Homepage to see what we are currently up to and where we meet to talk about SUMO and documentation needs: https://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Contributor+Home+Page

If you have any question, you can of course mail me, or ask me in the forums at all times.

Welcome to SUMO!

Kadir
Mozilla Support

I referred back to Kadir’s message a lot over the next few weeks. I did look at the Contributor Home Page and I started calling into the weekly SUMO meeting. I read about how SUMO needed knowledge base editors and, feeling more comfortable with that avenue than forums, I fixed a few typos and submitted them for review.

A few of my edits were approved and I started to get really happy and excited, so I set up a Meetup group for Firefox for Mobile and scheduled our first event. This was a new reason to live! A reason to breathe! The SUMO meetings felt like fresh air to me and I couldn’t feel more privileged to be part of a team than I do today.

I continued to attend the meetings and found that I looked forward to them every week. The team always took time to laugh together and include me in the discussions when possible. I gave a little input here and there when asked and followed this blog until I joined the team officially in July.

My first content project that really excited me was an animated gif that included a full tour of Firefox mobile. This effort wasn’t included in the knowledge base, but it was the first ‘fire in my belly’ project I had after joining Mozilla. I started looking at our processes for updating support articles and suggested some simplifications on the SUMO Contributor Forum. And finally, after watching for a number of weeks, I started to answer forum questions on a regular basis.

I’ve recently found that answering forum questions is the most fun and rewarding way I can contribute to SUMO when I have a million other things going on. It is also the place where we need to grow the most. So, part of what I’ll do this quarter in the Steward role will be to encourage others to help with the SUMO forum questions and explore all the possible ways that we can grow our forum support community and reward the awesome contributors that shoulder the majority of Firefox support questions that need answers every day.

Mozilla Volunteer Survey: Let us know about your experience

The Mozilla contributor engagement team would appreciate 10 – 15 minutes of your time to learn more about your experience as a Mozilla contributor. Please take this volunteer-focused survey to help us make contributing to Mozilla better. This is the most important part of a contributor lifecycle audit that David Eaves is undertaking to assess the experience of volunteers within the Mozilla sphere. Please fill this out if you are a current or past contributor to Mozilla by Friday, Oct. 21st. We also encourage you to share it with fellow contributors or your local communities. Thank you!

More reading:

The aim of our audit is to get a sense of why people do or don’t get involved with Mozilla, why or why they don’t complete a project, whether or not they stay, how we can make this whole process better and more. David Eaves is working with Mozilla’s Contributor Engagement team to provide a set of recommendations that will help Mozilla improve the contributor experience. This volunteer survey is the most important part of his research!

You can read more about contributor engagement activities and recent happenings here:

  • Mary Colvig’s blog: http://chickswhoclick.wordpress.com/
  • David Eaves’ blog: http://eaves.ca/2011/10/18/calling-all-mozilla-contributors-past-present/
  • David Boswell’s blog: http://davidwboswell.wordpress.com

Localization for Firefox 5 and beyond on SUMO

If you are a SUMO localizer now is a good time to prepare for the upcoming Firefox 5 release. Firefox 5 will be released on June 21, which is less than 2 weeks away and our articles are now ready to be localized. There are 7 updated articles for Firefox 5, and many of the updates are rather small, so you should have no problem updating your articles if you had them up to date for Firefox 4 already. As we have discussed before, in the future there will be 4 weeks of localization time beginning from the third week of the Beta period for every new Firefox release. But for Firefox 5 the time for localization is a bit shorter since the whole Firefox 5 development cycle is kept shorter than normal.

Michael Verdi has create a special page that let’s you easily keep track of all the articles that we have changed between Firefox 4 and Firefox 5. If you are a localizer you should bookmark that page so you can see at a glance the upcoming changes for future versions of Firefox.

As always your Localization Dashboard is the most important metric to see what to localize or update next. If you keep the top 20 articles localized at all times you cover over 50% of all visits to the KB already. But with upcoming new Firefox versions we can sometimes predict that an article is going to be very popular after the release, even if it doesn’t show up on the Localization Dashboard yet. So we’ll make sure to inform everyone about those cases.

If you have any questions about the process, an update is unclear or you want to help localize support articles into your own language, please don’t hesitate to contact us in the community forums.

Support Firefox Day, March 23rd

As everyone at Mozilla is getting ready for the Firefox 4 release, we at support are also ramping up our efforts to accommodate the big upgrade.

Firefox has hundreds of millions of users all over the world and with Firefox 4 they are going to get an awesome upgrade very soon. It’s one of our top priorities at SUMO to provide all of our users with a smooth transition to the new version, which will improve so many thing, especially in the user interface.

The last few weeks we have been updating our Knowledge Base, getting it ready and localized by our great community. But there will always be people who need direct support. To help everyone have a great first day experience with Firefox 4 we are going to have a Support Firefox Day on March 23rd. That day we will try to have as many helpers in the Forum and on Live Chat as possible. Besides upgrade issues we will answer questions about tabs that have changed positions, missing menubars and the many things that have changed since Firefox 3.6. So, even if you are not a support guru and only have a few minutes, you can still help less experienced users have a great first day with Firefox 4.

If you are interested, please add your name to the wiki, and join us in our forum on March 23rd. We will be on IRC in #sumo pretty much all day to coordinate our efforts. And we will have a live stream from the Mountain View office, where people will join us for the Support Firefox Day, between 9am and 12am and again from 1pm to 4pm (all dates PST) on Air Mozilla.

Join us and let’s make the first day experience for Firefox 4 users a truly great one!

All info for the Support Firefox Day:
March 23rd, 9am to 4pm PST
Forum: http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/questions
IRC: http://irc.mozilla.org/#sumo
Video: air.mozilla.com

Join the Firefox 4 Localization Sprint

Hello everyone,

The Firefox 4 release is less than a week away now, and to be ready for when our 450 million users hit the upgrade button we will have a Localization sprint tomorrow, Thursday, March 17th. On that day we will gather up on IRC and make sure that all articles from the top 20 list are localized for Firefox 4.

And if you are done with those already, there is the list of articles updated for Firefox 4 that you can tackle.

On March 17, from 4pm UTC to 9pm UTC, we will be on IRC in #sumo. Localizers, developers, the whole SUMO team, so you can ask things you are not sure about and get an answer immediately. And of course you can also ask your questions in the contributors forum or mail me before that.

Information about the sprint is collected on the sprint page in the Wiki.

Hope to see you all on Thursday!

Kadir

Last chance to help tens of thousands of Firefox 4 users in a few minutes

If you speak Russian or Portuguese, you can now invest a bit of time and help tens of thousands of Firefox 4 users for the upcoming launch.

The Firefox 4 release is close at hand, and while we have come a long way in SUMO, we still need help for two of our biggest languages: Russian and Brazilian Portuguese. Several of the top 20 articles in those languages need updating or translation to be ready in time for Firefox 4. To give you an idea of how many people you’d make happy: Our Russian articles are read by over 150,000 users every month, our Brazilian Portuguese articles help over 75,000 visitors per month.

If you want to help, you can just register and dive into the Knowledge Base. Information about localization is in our KB. I’d also be glad to help and connect you to Alexander and Reuben, our locale leaders for Russian and Brazilian Portuguese. Shoot me an email (atopal at mozilla dot com), and make many, many people happy :)

KB days – second edition. March towards Firefox 4

Last weeks KB day was awesome. We had selected 3 articles that needed updating for Firefox 4  and within hours Scoobiediver and Vito had snatched and finished them. That was more than we had expected, so here is another issue of the KB day for the Firefox 4 launch. We’ll have the KB day on Wednesday March 9th, where we will focus on improving another 3 support articles.

Again, for every article we have a list of tasks to be done, but that doesn’t mean that one person has to do all of them. You can do the screenshots and leave text improvements to another contributor or the other way around, every bit of contribution counts.

Please state that you are working on the articles in the forum posts below before you start, and for any questions talk to us on IRC, in #sumo. Topal and Michaelverdi will be there pretty much all day, and we’d love to see you. Help us get the support documentation in shape for an awesome Firefox 4 release vey soon.

These are articles that are read by tens of thousands of people, and we have many more popular articles that are awaiting improvements. You can also check our weekly stats for visitor number to decide which article to work on next.

This week’s 3 articles are:

Pop-up blocker

This article needs to be updated for Firefox 4:

  • The pop-up-blocking icon moved to the location bar, it can take different colors
  • Needs new screenshots

Back and forward or other toolbar items are missing

This article needs to be updated for Fx 4:

  • Needs new text for Firefox 4 on Windows (changed ways to access options etc.)
  • Needs new screenshots

What is Panorama?

This article needs to be completed:

  • Needs explaination about how to add the button to the toolbar now that it is not there by default. (You have to use the All Tabs menu to open panorama and then create a group. The it will be added to the tab strip)
  • Needs to be reviewed

Knowledge Base Days – Preparing for Firefox 4

Last month the Mozilla Developer Network started with Wiki-Wednesdays to improve the quality of the developer documentation. At SUMO we really loved that idea of incremental improvements. So, following in the footsteps of MDN and in preparation for the Firefox 4 launch we’ll have a KB day today, Wednesday March 2nd, where we will focus on improving 3 support articles. For every article we have a list of tasks to be done, but that doesn’t mean that one person has to do all of them. You can do the screenshots and leave text improvements to another contributor or the other way around, every bit of contribution counts.

Please state that you are working on the articles in the forum posts below before you start, and for any questions talk to us on IRC, in #sumo. Topal and Michaelverdi will be there pretty much all day, and we’d love to see you. Help us get the support documentation in shape for an awesome Firefox 4 release vey soon.

These are articles that are read by tens of thousands of people, and we have many more popular articles that are awaiting improvements. You can also check our weekly stats for visitor number to decide which article to work on next.

This week’s 3 articles are:

How to customize the toolbar

This article needs to be updated for Firefox 4:

  • In Windows Vista and 7, the menu bar has been replaced with the Firefox button by default. Windows XP and Linux can use the Firefox button be turning off the menu bar.
  • On new installs of Firefox 4 the bookmarks toolbar is not shown by default.
  • Needs new screenshots

Options window – Security panel

This article needs to be updated for Fx 4:

  • Needs a heading for the first section after the intro
  • Should use the template for the link back to the Options article
  • Needs a new screenshot
  • Warning messages section is gone in Fx 4

Do not track

This article needs to be completed:

  • Needs formatting
  • Needs markup (eg toc)
  • Needs a screenshot for the how-to section at the end
  • Needs to be reviewed

How to support 400 million users with 4 people

At Mozilla we have around 400 million Firefox users by now, that means that offering traditional support to them is completely impossible, especially since the support team has only 5 employees. But we still want happy users, and the only way that works is when users help other users. So, after evaluating the situation, we spent most of last year designing the best possible tools for our community. Because we are facing the same challenges most free software projects will face, I wanted to share our assessment and our solutions with the broader free software community, and since I needed a catchy title, it’s called “How to support 400 Million users with 4 employees.”

This was my FOSDEM presentation, but Instead of boring you with the slides, that don’t makes any sense on their own, I tried a little experiment. I recorded the whole presentation with my voice on it and exported it as a video. It’s a bit rough around the edges, but hopefully still useful. I’d love to hear your feedback on how to improve things at SUMO, or comments on what we do.