Webdev Extravaganza – January 2015

Note: Apologies for the lack of posts in December; both the Webdev Extravaganza and Beer and Tell were cancelled due to a company-wide workweek and the holidays.

Once a month, web developers from across Mozilla get together to compete in a S’More-themed cooking contest. While we concoct a variety of meals out of the basic ingredients of graham cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate, we find time to talk about the work that we’ve shipped, share the libraries we’re working on, meet new folks, and talk about whatever else is on our minds. It’s the Webdev Extravaganza! The meeting is open to the public; you should stop by!

You can check out the wiki page that we use to organize the meeting, or view a recording of the meeting in Air Mozilla. Or just read on for a summary!

Shipping Celebration

The shipping celebration is for anything we finished and deployed in the past month, whether it be a brand new site, an upgrade to an existing one, or even a release of a library.

Socorro Switch from HBase to S3

Lonnen shared with us the news that Socorro (Crash-Stats) has switched from storing crash data in HBase to Amazon S3. Socorro has roughly 150 terabytes of data, and HBase was the single largest source of problems for the site. Even with the extra latency of leaving the data center to read crash data, Socorro hasn’t seen any major issues with the new system.

about:home Fundraising Snippets

As part of the end-of-year fundraising push, Osmose worked with the amazing team over at the Mozilla Foundation to test and deploy several snippets encouraging Firefox users to donate to Mozilla. Throughout the campaign, the fundraising team has been maintaining a webpage and blog with info about how much we raised and what methods we used to optimize our fundraising.

Mozilla.org Landing Pages and Upcoming Tours

Craigcook shared news about a new landing page for Firefox OS on TVs that landed on Mozilla.org for CES. There’s also a not-yet-but-soon-to-be-launched landing page announcing Firefox Hello.

QMO on Shared WordPress

Craig also dropped a note about QMO being moved over to the shared WordPress instance instead of living on it’s own separate instance. This will make QMO easier to maintain and less fragile.

Peep 2.0

ErikRose proudly announced the 2.0 release of Peep, a wrapper around pip that cryptographically ensures that libraries you install are the same as the ones installed by the original developer. The 2.0 release primarily includes a security fix where the setup.py file of a package would be executed even if the package did not match the expected hash. Update today!

Air Mozilla Extracted Screenshots for Video Icons

Peterbe informed us that Air Mozilla now has thumbnails available for use as video icons instead of the previously-used static logos. If you have any archived videos, you can visit their “Edit event data” page and select which thumbnail you’d like to use as the icon for the video.

Open-source Citizenship

Here we talk about libraries we’re maintaining and what, if anything, we need help with for them.

ElasticUtils is Deprecated

Willkg gave a non-verbal update to inform us that ElasticUtils is deprecated, and he’s stepping down as maintainer. There’s a blog post explaining why, and he recommends that users switch to elasticsearch-dsl-py instead.

New Hires / Interns / Volunteers / Contributors

Here we introduce any newcomers to the Webdev group, including new employees, interns, volunteers, or any other form of contributor. Or rather, we would, but no one new joined this week. Doh!


The Roundtable is the home for discussions that don’t fit anywhere else.

Custom Context Menu Items

ErikRose wanted to share a neat article he found by davidwalsh describing how to add custom items to the context menu. Browser support is currently limited to Firefox.

DevOps Talk?

Jgmize asked about hosting a possible DevOps Extravaganza, but it was reinforced that DevOps-related topics are still relevant to developing the web, and thus can be talked about during the Webdev Extravaganza. If you’re doing something interesting related to DevOps, feel free to share during the meeting!

SUMO Developers Flattened

Lonnen shared the news that r1cky has transitioned from being a manager to being a full-time engineer again. The SUMO and Input teams that were under him are now all on the Web Engineering team under lonnen. Hooray for flat hierarchies!

This month’s winning entry in the cooking contest was a S’mores-flavored variety of Soylent that both provides all the nutrients and calories you probably need, but also is literally just S’mores thrown in a blender. Genius!

If you’re interested in web development at Mozilla, or want to attend next month’s Extravaganza, subscribe to the dev-webdev@lists.mozilla.org mailing list to be notified of the next meeting, and maybe send a message introducing yourself. We’d love to meet you!

See you next month!