- Literally everything they do is in the open, volunteers can participate a lot if they want to, even start new projects. (~50% of their employees remote, I guess that helps a lot here.)
- They're mentoring people new to a project really well - I love this even though I prefer to just dive into the code myself.
- They call you a "Mozillian", send you foundation/company/product updates, invite you to Mozilla Summit (I was there this year, and it was amazing) etc.
- Mozilla is not profit oriented, they just care about their mission: Moving the web forward and keeping it open. Makes me feel like part of a good cause, as opposed to unpaid labour.
All in all, they really got this figured out. I can recommend them to anyone who wants to contribute to something big/important.
This was my experience with them ever since Firefox 1.0 came out in 2004 to liberate us from Internet Explorer. They really care about open Internet, user rights and privacy. And they stayed true to those ideals all these years. Something you can't say about many big name companies on the net today. In fact, I consider them a fair replacement for the early Google that we've lost to the forces of evil :)
I highly recommend contributing to Firefox as well. It's a very cool system.
End of the year I'm going to quit my day job and wanted to do some open source stuff, to improve my skills. After all I heared, Mozilla seems a good start :)
For example, if you bookmark "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search?search=%s" with a keyword of "w", then enter "w whatever" will directly load "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search?search=whatever".
I hope more people switch (back), and in turn, more people contribute.
Compare this to most open source projects of this scale, where you will have people just tell you "to look it up in the wiki".
This wiki, if you're lucky enough to find it and find the right article, then often only has a 50% chance of being up to date and therefore missing some crucial information, causing you to spend days getting your build-setup still not working.
Before you even get to contributing, you're already meeting roadblocks on roadblocks and a dismissive attitude to your offer for help.
This on the contrary, looks very inviting. Kudos to Mozilla :)
If you enable the html5 player on youtube, you can watch videos at 1.5x or 2x speed. Go to YT, log in, scroll to the bottom, click 'Try something new!' and choose the html5 player.
... what? Why would they only support Windows? Why would they even suggest Windows? Why at least not offer information on Linux, where I'm sure a large percentage of folks are contributing from? It is a FOSS project. You should develop it with FOSS software, such as Linux.
Setting up a Firefox development environment on Linux or Mac is actually quite a bit easier than on Windows. (For example, in most Linux distributions, you just need to check out the source code and then run "./mach bootstrap" to install the full set of tools and dependencies.)
Maybe the reason so many contributors to most FOSS projects are developing at Linux is partly because so many FOSS projects are so goddamn hard to get into from a Windows environment. I know that most Windows build instructions for the projects that I've been interested in have been an absolute nightmare. Wrangling standard make instructions into something that Visual Studio will play nice with is a challenge that will turn off a lot of potential contributors.
By explicitly helping Windows users to pitch in on Firefox development, they are potentially capturing a set relatively untapped helpers. I feel that contributions to a FOSS project should be judged on their individual merits, not on the OS/environment it was developed in.
And because this it HN, I'm going to preempt any comments about 'how about patches derived from slave (or slave-like) labor?' with, well obviously those are bad, but in no way is developing Firefox (of all things) on Windows unmoral in any way. I mean, if you'll happily let Window's users use your free and open source software, then you have no reason to deny their contributions because they use Windows.
The vast majority of users run Windows, so making Firefox work better on Windows has an outsized impact. Of course, all help on any platform is very much appreciated :)
I struggle a bit to find parts of the software I can work with, and I suspect that's because I only have a 40 000ft view of the project, rather than a part-by-part exploration of how things are connected. There's a lot of code in there to read through. Unlike the MVC web applications I'm familiar with, I don't understand where to put what code to change something, how to write a test, or sometimes how to test things like crash conditions that should trigger new exception handlers I put in.
This is an awesome start, but to get closer to the goal of a large number of developers contributing meaningful work on the project there's more to be done by the people who can explain the project in better detail. Perhaps this is an opportunity for an online "learn to program" course?
If you want to do some testing not direct firefox development, consider #mozwebqa.
It's so much faster than a video.
What's the deal with this? I've read it in many résumés...
It feels to me like these american show masters, who get on stage and greet the people with a "hello, how are you doing" but since he's asking the whole audience, no one answers.
well played :D
I always want to add "and one average son..."
I find it bizarre and disconcerting that this thread (questioning that comment) even exists. Had he said that he was an avid cook, surfer or music enthusiast, would anyone actually dare to call it into question?
I don't mean to be judgmental in that horrible anonymous internet fashion, so apologies to the site creator if he happens to read that and think I am being attacking in some way - not intended.
I guess part of it for me (as a typical Englishman) is reading so many overly-emotional pieces in seemingly out of context places in articles all over and perhaps reacting partly due to that.
The information in question though, is buried in the about page, as the last category, with a title of Personal Information. If the information in a category is not interesting, just read the title and keep going.
I love what you're trying to do with this page. Helping get people involved in open source projects rocks, so apologies for the spot-on 4chan impression of a typer HN user I am doing!
I think I glossed over it a bit and had a 'cached' reaction the same way I do when I read something overly sentimental that is literally placed in the middle of an unrelated post, which you are clearly not doing.
My hair is not a bird. My argument is invalid.
Don't be discouraged.
See this for example, a 12.5 years old Firefox bug.
Almost all major browsers suffered from this at a time, but the rest of them fixed it. The only important update they've done so far about this bug is to block unhappy users to even comment on it ;)
For your bug, there's a proof of concept patch https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=78414#c657
A better way to fix comments is always to have a vote up/vote down system, rather than disabling it altogether. The website already allows to selectively unsubscribe from emails for each bug for those who don't want.
What do we do about bugs that sit there for a very long time? They're clearly not good for the developers or the community at large.
Using a piece of free software doesn't give any user the right to a developer's time or bandwidth. The bug tracking software is there to assist the developers in cataloging and responding to bugs. It isn't a public forum or discussion. Some projects have such forums. Some do not.
Developers have different priorities than users. Maybe there isn't enough developer interest to fix a bug or add a new feature. Maybe developers are busy fixing other more important issues. Maybe developers are unpaid and busy with their lives. Just because it matters to a user, or even a lot of users, doesn't mean that it does, or should, matter to developers.
Many developers of free software get sick of dealing with users when there aren't clear protocols and respect involved. Pidgin's developers famously stopped paying any attention to their public forums for a while due issues like that a while back. Interestingly, it's been shown many times that free software users (that's free with a lowercase f as in no cost) are the most demanding and entitled users. They're more trouble to support on average than paying customers. Paying customers are more likely to either suck it up and deal with an issue or politely ask for a bug fix. The thinking is that they value the software (and, thus, the developer) more having paid for it. Open source users that value the concept of open source are a bit different. But many users of open source software don't care about that aspect of it... just the no cost aspect. So, open source developers have to deal with those free users as well.
Just look at that bugzilla bug:
"Seriously, this bug was reported in 2001! What a joke, will this ever be resolved? Is there any point to bugzilla at all?"
"WTF!? FF3 shouldn't be released until this is fixed, how hard can this be?"
"I am amazed that this bug has been allowed to hang around since 2001! I'm not going to hold my breath for a fix anytime soon..."
"Serously? Not enough time? You've had what, almost a decade? Please."
"Looks like the programmers behind Firefox are lazy, possibly bad coders, and don't care about the customer base. Fantastic. This is great reason of motivation to try other browsers such as Opera or Chrome, although I don't use either currently."
And then lots of me toos, plenty of reddit spam, circular discussion from non-developers, conversations about browser replacing operating systems, ALL CAPS YELLING ABOUT HOW CRITICAL SOMETHING IS, etc
Burnout amongst free software developers in the face of entitled users who feel like they are owed what they want (and demand it, often with little respect for the developer) is a very real thing in open source and free (lowercase f) software. It doesn't get talked about enough, which is a shame. I've lost developers over it more than once. And nearly quit projects because of it.
Unfortunately I can't work on firefox at this point, but this is still awesome.
Getting started with Firefox is pretty difficult, and its good that more folks are putting effort into it. Good job!
I'm sure both are way out of my league.
I think switching to Github would increase the rate of contributions significantly though.