Welcome to the Location forum on Discourse! This is a place to discuss location topics at Mozilla, and replaces the dev-geolocation mailing list. Feel free to introduce yourself here!
I’m John Whitlock, a developer at Mozilla since 2015, and assigned to the Mozilla Location Service (MLS) in 2019. Previously I worked on the Mozilla Developer Network, the Mozilla Symbol Server, and Mozilla Crash Reports. MLS matches my interests in long-lived Python web projects with high stability and throughput requirements, and ways to use data to improve services. It continues my streak of working on projects with Mozilla in the title.
MLS was launched in April 2013 to provide geolocation lookups based on publicly observable cell tower and WiFi access point information. Hanno Schlichting, Chris Peterson, and others worked on the project in those early years, which included adding Bluetooth location beacon support and a region API. By 2017, MLS was feature complete, used by Firefox for region lookups and (in some cases) geolocation, and was being maintained but not actively improved. The original team left Mozilla or moved on to other projects at Mozilla.
I joined a small team in summer 2019, assembled to refresh MLS. This included completing the Python 3 transition, migrating to a new infrastructure, and helping to implement the new MLS policy. MLS is up-to-date and stable again, and we plan to keep it that way. I’ve moved to the Service Engineering team, which will continue developing Taskcluster as well as maintain services like MLS. We’re improving our understanding of how the service is used in 2020 versus the last seven years, and are discussing the future mission of MLS at Mozilla.
Part of my job is to blow the dust off our neglected processes and get them up to date. We’re moving back to GitHub issues, but keeping the Location product in Bugzilla for any confidential or security-related discussions. We’ll continue to use the Mozilla Services blog for big announcements. And finally, we have this Location category and the #location chat room if you want to follow discussions of MLS and location at Mozilla.
I’m excited to be part of this next phase of MLS and location at Mozilla!