Great blog post! I think this is very important and I’m glad that the first step is taken now Here are some random thoughts after reading the blog post. @george could you please also link this Discourse discussion in your blog post? I was already drafting my thoughts to your inbox when I saw this here.
For “Help Mozilla innovate” I think it would be great to broadly share today’s Town Hall on a broader scale. I’m not sure if that would be possible though it seems to me that this is one of the Town Halls that might be okay to share. I’d like to hear your thoughts on that before I file a re-classify request through http://mzl.la/reclassify .
About the “upcoming” section
While I love to see Dino Tank, CEL, Test Pilot and OpenComm on that list, I have a feeling that we’re going for the low hanging fruits. These scale really well, I can see that. Also going for the low hanging fruits is definitely the best thing to do here for the short term.
Servo and browser.html are trickier there since they require contribution pathways that need to be inviting and thought out. QA should be fairly easy to organize around that, code contribution definitely not. That would require mentors and thorough documentation (not saying these projects are lacking it!). I’d love to see some code contributions around those as well though! We could go for something like pre-approved budgets for hackathons or similar initiatives with Reps (we of course would need to set a framework around that).
I guess we’ll be going the non-code way for those for the moment? If we’re including coding pathways for those as well, I’d be jumping up and down due to my happiness. As said, this would be tricky, but definitely not impossible. Could you share a little bit more about those plans? I’d also be glad to help out where help is needed!
While Servo and browser.html will shape the future around Firefox, I’m still missing Firefox itself (in the present) apart from the Nightly community which I’d count as low hanging fruit as above. If you believe StatCounter (yeah, I know…) Chrome is near 60% nowadays. While I really like how they’re pushing new Web APIs, I’m pretty sure that this is not without any business thoughts behind it (I mean, Web Payments API, you can’t tell me that this is without business thoughts). This deeply concerns me since we all know that Google doesn’t have the same ideas around privacy as we have.
Having a general “contribute to Firefox” is currently impossible for this scope. But could we identify interesting components and figure out a way to enable a contribution pathway with them? One example would be DevTools for example. We’ve run a Firefox Hackathon in Zurich about a month ago and that went really well. I’d love to see an effort around fixing existing features in Firefox since I think that the efforts toward Servo and browser.html will still take some time to land in main Firefox land.
In general I think while having non-code activities is great, we should also focus on the coding pathway part. It’s trickier, but I’d be glad to help kickstart that.
As a side note: there was a small discussion around the new contribution page in the #developers IRC channel yesterday. While it mentions “learn a bit about coding” there is no reference to “hey, we invite you to contribute with your coding skills to Firefox” on that page. I don’t count “Watch someone live hack on Firefox” to that. As coder I’d want to see where the source code and bug reports are to get my hands dirty. I know that there was some research going on around this, but I thought to just share this since it’s kind of relevant here.
Is this part of some issue I missed on GitHub? Or does this come organicly from the current issues in the repository? I think it would be great to have a way to keep ourselves up to date on what is going on. Also, how open is this process for a volunteer organized working group that would coordinate everything needed to get something else on that list as well? (see the Firefox section above for example)
I’d be happy to discuss any of my points above here, please join this discussion and challenge me on my ideas!