Start 2016 Message To Foxfooders - From Ari Jaaksi

I’m posting this message on behalf of Ari Jaaksi - Brian

Dear Foxfooders,

As we start the new year, this message is a sincere thank you for all of the time you have spent in using Firefox OS, filing bugs and being active in mailing list and forum discussions. 2015 was a year where we have built out the foxfooding program to be a valuable platform to build and iterate Firefox OS.

As we pivot to our Connected Devices strategy, our need for an active and vibrant foxfooding community only increases. Our commitment to you, our amazing community, is to ensure that our communication is clear and transparent. As part of that, we wanted to describe where we are today and what 2016 will bring.

While we are shifting our focus away from commercial smartphones at this time, we will continue to explore ways to push the Web platform forward on mobile devices. That means we will likely not spend time building features into our apps or the OS that are readily available on existing solutions, unless they are critical in advancing the Web as a platform. Some apps will likely be deprioritized, as well. For now, feel free to continue to file any bugs that you find, but do not expect resolution of feature request bugs which simply match other OS features. Our shift also means that ports for unlocked Android devices and ways of testing experiences on existing devices (Firefox OS 2.5 Developer Preview) will be critical.

While you have joined the foxfooder program in the context of smartphones, as we explore the opportunity to imbue Mozilla values in the ‘Connected Devices’ space, we will call upon our Community to be active in testing and providing feedback on our efforts. It is You who will shape the products we build and the ways through which we fulfill our mission. I wish you nothing but the best in 2016 and I look forward to seeing our community thrive.


Ari Jaaksi
SVP Connected Devices


In the spirit of clear communications and transparency, can we get a more detailed information on what does this piece means. This verbiage is too “murky” and will lead to confusion, miscommunication and probably “an article by the verge saying $MOZILLA_STUFF is dead”.

What kind of features are no longer priority? What type of work is stopping? What apps will be deprioritized (or “transferred to community ownership” as we tend to say).

The community is full of questions about the smartphone experience. We trust Mozilla in the connected devices arena but we need to have more info regarding Firefox OS as a Smartphone platform and I am not talking about commercial carrier/factory relationships, we all know that is gone.

So let me a bit blunt and ask: "If Mozilla is not spending time and effort in features regarding towards making Firefox OS a kick-ass Smartphone Platform, why should we volunteers invest in the foxfooding program? If we are phasing out features because they appear in other operating systems, then, why should I test this system?

I am heavily invested in Firefox OS, heck, I even wrote the very first book about it in the whole world and if I need a more reassuring position and answers from Mozilla, then, I bet that lots of others feel the same way.


The way I read Ari Jaaksi’s message is that we will make Firefox OS more than just a smartphone platform. I know that a lot had read the article in The Verge saying that Firefox OS is dead. My answer to colleagues and friends when asked if that is true (because they are Firefox fans and believers of Firefox OS): definitely not true. In fact, Firefox OS is expanding from smartphones to connected devices (IoT).


Thanks, as always, for your thoughts.

Mozilla is spending time and effort on Firefox OS. We’ll continue to explore ways to push the Web platform forward on mobile devices and the strategy is being formulated by a number of people today, this week, this month, this quarter. Firefox OS is a part of Connected Devices and later this month as part of the Leadership Summit in Singapore - although we won’t have all the answers then - we’ll be asking You and other Mozillians to input into what a Connected Devices strategy might look like as part of this planning process.

All feedback is valuable. Over the next three months, we’ll look to actually increase the number of Foxfooders. In future, it is thought that elements of the Firefox OS stack will also be ported into other form factors around the Home and elsewhere. That’s a pretty big deal. And you’ll have helped form that. These IoT categories are currently not dominated by organisations offering proprietary platforms (as you can see with all the news from CES this week). We’d like to avoid that future scenario and love these industries to be built around the Web. Your testing of the system helps avoid future Apple/Android duopolies in the future that don’t offer end-users a choice.



Thanks a lot for the quick reply and reassurances. I’ve been talking to lots of volunteers and we’re all eager to help. There is a bright future in the connected home and we’re all looking forward for more information regarding the smartphone platform as strategies and plans become more clear.

I am really anxious for Singapore and all the magic that will happen regarding the connected home.


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