posts during 2006

Firefox Flicks

If you’ve never been to Firefox Flicks, I recommend you check it out. It’s got some great user-submitted Firefox commercials – some of them are hilarious. 4 of them (Billy’s Browser, This is Hot, Web for All, and Daredevil) are going to air a bit in Boston and San Francisco on cable networks. See the full press release here.

Also, I don’t think I mentioned it before, but my name is in the Firefox 2 credits. It’s over a minute into them, so I took a screenshot for you because you’re impatient. Yes, you. It’s sorta interesting that I actually know who most of the people in that long list are and met many of them at the summit.

I have some other stuff to talk about, but I’ll make a different post on that later.

This is my first post, so you might not know who I am. I’m Justin Scott (fligtar) and I’m an AMO developer, currently working on the developer/admin pages of the Remora project.

Recently, there’s been a lot of feedback through various channels on the AMO reskinning, “spyware” toolbars, and other issues, and I get the feeling that users think their comments are falling upon deaf ears, or not even falling in audible range. This is not the case. AMO 1.0/2.0 is frozen so that our development efforts can be focused on Remora, which you may confuse with us not caring about fixing problems with it. Issues brought up in bug reports, IRC, and other channels are definitely being considered and implemented in Remora.

Last week at the Firefox 2 Summit, we came up with a solution to many of these problems that will raise the quality bar and also increase the transparency of the add-on review process. This new system will divide into two sections: a public area (similar to the current AMO) and a sandbox area. The graphic below is a basic summary of how it will work.

We hope that this process will:

  • Eliminate approval delays for updates to trusted extensions
  • Keep add-ons that are not ready for prime-time out of the general public area
  • Automatically run security checks on all submitted add-on code and flag for security review if triggered
  • Provide a home for Mozilla Labs creations not ready for mass use

While in the sandbox, regular users will be able to install and test the add-ons and then write reviews as to whether the add-on works and should be pushed to the public site. After several of these reviews, an AMO editor will review the add-on and the public reviews and make a decision to send it to the public area or keep it in the sandbox. We expect that some add-ons will stay in the sandbox forever, such as those automatically generated by certain websites.

Please see our meeting notes in the Meeting Notepad or append to the Idea Dump for any ideas you may have regarding the development of Remora.

Continuing from the Day 2 entry, the Remora meeting Thursday tied up some loose ends on what we had decided the day before. It turns out we will be completely changing the way works as far as getting your add-on on the site, but I’m not going into it now. The details make my brain hurt and we all concluded that what we decided on would literally be impossible to have come up with on IRC or on the phone.

After the Remora meeting, shaver drove sancus and I back to the hotel where I caught the bus for the 40 minute ride to Foreign Cinema in San Francisco. It was a pretty interesting experience. It was a stand-while-waiters-bring-trays-of-stuff-around-to-you type event. When they closed around 11pm, we went to another bar next door and when that one closed, I took the bus to the hotel but others went to still another bar.

Friday morning started at 10am with a bus ride to San Jose to see the new James Bond movie, Casino Royale. It was my first James Bond movie, and I liked it. We rented out the theater. After that, we went to Gordon Biersch for lunch and then had a scavenger hunt in San Jose. It was surprisingly fun and took 2 hours and I learned far more about how to get around downtown San Jose that I’d ever wanted to know. I thought we did really well but we didn’t win.

After that, Mike Beltzner drove shaver and I back to MoCo where I snacked and watch shaver dissect his blackberry that fell into the fountain when he was looking for a 1971 penny. When the bus got there, we had an extremely short closing session and then beltzner drove sancus and I to pavlov’s house where others later joined us and we had an excellent dinner. We played Lego Star Wars on XBOX… it was so fun I think I’m actually going get it and add it to the list of things I don’t have time for.

Around 12:30am, shaver drove us back to the hotel. The car service is picking me up at 5:30am for my 7:00am flight. I should arrive in Baton Rouge around 4pm (and really tired, as I probably won’t sleep tonight).

Final photos added to the gallery.

Leaving off from my last post, after the Places meeting we had a two hour Remora meeting in which we redefined the approval process that I’m currently working on. We have enough policy and flow topics to entertain us for days, so we’re having another meeting later today.

After that meeting, we went to a sports bar in Los Gatos for dinner and casino stuffs. Dinner was surprisingly good, and I met more people, including an interesting conversation with a Songbird developer. After a few hours there, we came back to the hotel.

Today (Thursday) I attended Automated Testing, Mozilla Labs, Building the Mozilla Community, and the Firefox 3 Planning sessions. (I’m still in Firefox 3 planning.) After this, we have another Remora meeting and then will be going to San Francisco for dinner at Foreign Cinema for the Firefox 2 gala dinner thing.

I added some more pictures to the gallery.

Tuesday (yesterday) was the day volunteers were supposed to arrive at the Mozilla Firefox Summit in Mountain View, California. To make a long story short, my original flight from Baton Rouge was delayed and then canceled, so I had to take a different flight which caused me to have to take a different flight from Atlanta to San Francisco. But I made it, at last.

The car ride from SFO to Mozilla was very nice – it was a professional car service (like a limo but not a stretch limo). 30 minutes into the 40 minute ride, I freaked out and quickly text messaged shaver to ask how much people tip these guys. $5? $10? 15% of the cost unknown to me? “Give him a five, you’re a star!” I gave him TWO fives.

When I got to Mozilla, everyone was standing around in groups talking in a party-like atmosphere. This would normally be uncomfortable for me, but I felt at home because 75% of the people here are socially awkward geeks just like me. It was fun putting faces with names I’ve seen all over the Mozilla community on IRC and bugzilla and online. I quickly met up with the team I work with every day and hung around watching them get drunk. We went back to the hotel and I checked in at 11pm. I was too tired to attend any of the late night activities in and around the hotel.

This morning was the welcome session and lunch, followed by 3 break out sessions. All the sessions I attended were in Building S. First was Future of the Web Brainstorming, which was interesting and thought-provoking, but I’m not sure if anything will come of it. Next was Mozilla Web Site Integration of the three major communities – Mozilla Corp, Mozilla Japan, and Mozilla Europe. It’s very interesting listening to all of the different viewpoints and unique issues of each culture. Right now I’m in the Places meeting, which is the revamped bookmarks system in Firefox 3. I’m very surprised at how many ideas are being brought up here. People use bookmarks for so many different reasons and it will interesting to see how we account for all of these use-cases.

In a little while we have some free time but we’re having a Remora meeting and then going to a restaurant in Los Gatos for dinner. I posted a few photos of the hotel room here and will add more as the week progresses.