Webdev Extravaganza – March 6th

Once a month, web developers from across Mozilla get together to practice our dowsing technique. While we compare the latest models of dowsing rods, 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.

Bedrock Static Media

First up was pmac, who shared the news that Bedrock has switched to using Django static files for static media instead of using the older MEDIA_URL-based methods. As part of this switch, they’ve switched from jingo-minify to django-pipeline, switched from using Apache to serve the static files to Whitenoise (paired with the existing CDN), and switched to Python 2.7.

Contribute.json is now Responsive

Next, peterbe told us that the contribute.json webpage is now responsive thanks to a patch from the ever-impressive contributor koddsson.

MasterFirefoxOS Training Hub

jgmize informed us that masterfirefoxos.mozilla.org launched. It’s a training website for people working in retail to sell Firefox OS phones. Due to the small audience for the site, they were able to experiment with a bunch of new ideas for creating and hosting our websites, including using the sugardough application template (which comes with Django 1.7, Python 3.4, and Docker + Fig for local development), running the site on a Deis cluster on Amazon Web Services, and implementing continuous delivery via automated deploys with Jenkins.

Input on Django 1.7

r1cky wants people to know that Input upgraded to Django 1.7. Yay!

DXR Holding Back for Your Safety

ErikRose mentioned some work on DXR that has yet to ship (but will soon, hopefully), including some improvements to Python language support (courtesy of yours truly), image thumbnails (courtesy of new_one, a future DXR intern), and a revamped config system.


lonnen shared news about games.mozilla.org, a landing page created for Mozilla’s presence at GDC 2015. The site was developed mostly by cvan, with help from a few other people like adrian. Not only is the site itself cool, but the site’s deployment strategy is impressively simple; it’s a private Github repo that deploys to Heroku, which in turn is wrapped by CloudFront such that we only need 1 dyno to serve the site even when traffic surges.

Self-Repair Server

lonnen also shared the Self-Repair Server, which is part of an experimental system to have Firefox notice problems in the browser and proactively fix them itself. It’s similar to games.mozilla.org in that it’s end result is static data, but because it’s a public repo, we use TravisCI to deploy the content to S3, which sits behind Cloudfront.

Open-source Citizenship

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

django-tidings 1.0 is Out

ErikRose released django-tidings 1.0, a framework for asynchronous email notifications from Django. The new release supports Django 1.6 (and possibly up), includes a tox config for local testing against multiple Django versions, and more!

pyelasticsearch 1.1

Next ErikRose shared news about the 1.1 release of pyelasticsearch, which is a Python API to Elasticsearch. 1.1 comes with a new bulk API for bulk operations (such as index, update, create, and delete) as well as improved documentation.

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.

Name Role Work
lismanb Volunteer 3 bugs closed on Bedrock thusfar. Congrats!
lgp171188 Volunteer 25+ pull requests on Input, fixing Vagrant provisioning and the “new contributor” experience. Nice!
lcamacho Volunteer 19 commits on airmozilla, including docker+fig and selenium tests using Django LiveServer. Awesome!


The Roundtable is the home for discussions that don’t fit anywhere else. And this week, the Roundtable is empty!

If you want to know what precious metals, water reservoirs, or grave sites may be hiding on your land, send two Bitcoins to our address and we’ll be in touch.

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!