Learning Mozilla resources?

Education, Evangelism, Mozilla, Work 2 Comments

Last week, I asked for suggestions about possible screencast/video introductions we should produce to help people learn about Mozilla, our tools, our methods, and how to get involved with the project. It was pointed out (and rightfully so) that we already have quite a few resources along these lines, they’re just scattered and hard to find.

So, in addition to getting new content produced to help people, I’m going to start collecting existing materials together and figuring out how to make those easier to find and use.

I’ve created a new page on wiki.mo called Learning Mozilla, listing on it some of the useful things I already know about. Now I need your help: if you know of other resources that would be useful for someone who wants to learn more about Mozilla, please take a few moments to add it to the page or leave a note (with a URL) in the comments here.

Anything and everything is great — I’ll dig for more content as I can, and I’ll take it upon myself keep the page cleaned up and organized, so don’t worry too much about where to list things or how to format stuff. Just add the links and we’ll sort out the rest as we go.

Ideas for screencasts & video introductions?

Evangelism, Mozilla, Work 8 Comments

video camera icon
Johnathan Nightingale and Rob Campbell recently put together fantastically useful screencast introductions to Bugzilla (Johnath) and Firebug (Rob). The response to these has been phenomenal, so I’ve been gathering suggestions for other screencasts we could put together to help people learn about our tools, code, culture, community, and so on.

So far, people have suggested the following:

  • Lifecycle of a Bug – introduction to the stages involved in fixing a bug from start to end
  • Building Firefox – introduction to getting the Firefox source code and compiling it, while going over the basics of hg
  • Test Frameworks – introduction to the different test frameworks we use, and how to write a basic test in each of them
  • Drinking from the Firehose – how to stay on top of the news, difference between “stream of development and ideas” and “announcments”, how to understand things like what the next milestone is
  • Bugzilla for Developers: Getting your patch into the product – how to nom for review; how to determine if you need to nom for approval, blocking, etc.; writing tests; checkin wrangling; watching the tree.
  • Gaining Traction – how to publish that wicked cool idea you have; how to rally people around it to see if there’s interest; moving from idea to implementation
  • How to navigate the code using MXR/DXR
  • How to use and contribute to MDC
  • Writing your first automated test
  • How to do your own screencasts/videos
  • Mozilla Developer Tools & Workflow
  • How to optimize edit/compile/test loops
  • Presentation tips & tricks

What other screencasts or video introductions do you think would be useful for learning Mozilla and getting involved with the project and community?

Video Camera icon from IconArchive

Towards a new about:mozilla newsletter format

about:mozilla, Devrel, Evangelism, Mozilla, Work 16 Comments


The about:mozilla newsletter needs to evolve. It launched about 14 months ago and hasn’t changed at all in that time while the Mozilla project has continued to grow and expand. Based on the feedback I’ve received from a few people, I’m proposing that the newsletter morph from a “light and quick overview of a handful of interesting items” to a “full-blown newspaper for Mozilla project contributors”.

This is going to involve a lot more research and editorial work, and it could end up being longer, but it will have better structure and organization making it easier to skim and digest. As something targeted at project contributors, I think it will be more useful overall.

The following static sections were suggested:

* Feature development, major changes, demos, etc.

Labs and add-ons
* Labs, labs projects, AMO, add-on news (Firebug, etc)

Other products and projects
* Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, Camino, etc.

Upcoming releases
* Shortform list of all known/announced upcoming releases

Security notes
* Quicklist of recent security issues and information

Infrastructure and IT
* All project-infrastructure related news – upcoming planned outages, upgrades, changes, etc. Bugzilla, tinderbox, graphserver, etc.

Project coordination
* Upcoming bugdays, testdays, l10n events/deadlines, community marketing events, etc.

Events and conferences
* Devdays, barcamps, meetups, labs nights, Mozilla-involved conferences, etc. Bullet-pointy.

Meetings and meeting notes
* Standard reminder about the Community Calendar and all the goodness that resides there. Link to meeting notes blog + rss feed.

In the media
* Recent important media mentions or other PR-related things of interest

* MoCo/MoFo/MoMo related news. EC stuff, goals setting, education program, governance, awards, etc.

* Anything else that’s interesting enough to include.

What do you think? Good idea? Terrible idea? Do the proposed sections cover everything? Are there other things that would be useful in a weekly project newsletter? What else could/should be included?

I really want this newsletter to be as useful as possible for our project contributors, so your feedback is really important. Please leave your comments here or email me privately at deb-at-mozilla-dot-com. Thanks!


Evangelism, Work No Comments

“Evangelism is making people believe in your dream as much as you do.” – Guy Kawasaki.

I like that definition a lot.

about:mozilla needs you!

about:mozilla, Evangelism, Mozilla, Work No Comments


about:mozilla is a blog and weekly newsletter that focuses on the major news items related to the Mozilla Project. These news items can really be about any aspect of the Project, ranging from development news and schedules through marketing and community events. For an idea of what sort of news we cover, just check out the blog or the past issues.

We’re looking for help. Do you follow or are you involved in a particular part of the Mozilla Project? Do you think there’s news and information about that part of the Project that deserves to be included in the about:mozilla blog and newsletter? If so, please send a note to about-mozilla at mozilla.com. Ideally you will include a snappy headline, a short version of the story you’re submitting (a few sentences is sufficient, really — the newsletter needs to be short and to the point), and at least one link where readers can get more information.

New about:mozilla weblog!

about:mozilla, Evangelism, Mozilla, Work No Comments


Some eight months ago the Evangelism team started publishing the about:mozilla newsletter. We’re now expanding the scope of that project a little, while also streamlining the newsletter’s production, by introducing the new about:mozilla weblog.

How are the newsletter and weblog related? Essentially, anything that ends up in the newsletter will be on the weblog first, but not everything on the weblog will end up in the newsletter. So, the weblog is a slightly higher-volume stream of news that is updated (more or less) daily, and the newsletter is a weekly publication of the week’s highlights from the weblog.

What does this mean for you, the reader and potential content submitter? Not much. The newsletters will continue to be published as they currently are, in the locations they’re currently in. The about:mozilla weblog will not be syndicated to Planet — most of the content is already on Planet to start with — so it won’t be further inflating the volume of traffic there.

Submitting stories for about:mozilla

We could always, always use more content for about:mozilla, and if you would like to submit items, please send them to about-mozilla[at]mozilla.com at any time. Where possible, please include a headline, one or two short paragraphs of content, and at least one URL where readers can find more information. Don’t worry too much about formatting, the editorial staff can take care of that part.

We could use your help

We could always use help with news gathering, writing, and editorial tasks, so if you are interested in getting involved with the newsletter and weblog, please ping me in IRC (“dria” on irc.mozilla.org), or email (deb[at]mozilla.com). This is a great and fun way to get involved with the Mozilla project if you’re not a programmer, so send a note if you’d like to help out.

about:mozilla newsletter submission reminder!

about:mozilla, Evangelism, Mozilla, Work No Comments

Hey folks: If you have news, information, or announcements of interest to the Mozilla community-at-large that you think should be included in the about:mozilla newsletter, send it in to (mozilla-news-submissions at mozilla.org) by Friday of this week. The about:mozilla newsletter is published every Tuesday morning, so the weekly deadline is every Friday.

If you would like to subscribe to the about:mozilla newsletter, you can do so through the subscription form. Thanks!

about:mozilla newsletter submission deadline is (every) Friday

about:mozilla, Evangelism, Mozilla, Work No Comments

Just a quick reminder: If you have news, information, or announcements of interest to the Mozilla community-at-large that you think should be included in the about:mozilla newsletter, send it in to (mozilla-news-submissions at mozilla.org) by Friday of this (and every) week. The about:mozilla newsletter is published every Tuesday morning, and I need all of Monday to put things together and prep it for publication.

If you would like to subscribe to the about:mozilla newsletter, you can do so through the subscription form. Thanks!


about:mozilla newsletter launched + story submissions

about:mozilla, Evangelism, Work No Comments


This past Monday we celebrated the launching of the about:mozilla weekly newsletter, bringing you the latest news and announcements from across the breadth of the Mozilla Project. The current archive of the inaugural issue is here.

Many people helped with this project, including: Mike Shaver, Mark Finkle, John Resig, Eric Shepherd, Paul Kim, Vlad Vukicevic, Mary Colvig, John Slater, and David Rolnitzky. Thanks to all.

If you would like to subscribe to the about:mozilla newsletter, you can do so via the about:mozilla sign-up form.

Story submissions
The deadline for getting submissions in for next Monday’s issue is coming up fast (tomorrow afternoon)! If there are things you would like to see included in the newsletter, please send them to: mozilla-news-submissions (at) mozilla.org.

If you would like to give us feedback about the newsletter, please send it to: news-editor (at) mozilla.org.

Newsletter news: the name, the schedule, and how to sign up!

Evangelism, Mozilla, Work 20 Comments


As I’ve previously discussed on this blog, the Mozilla Evangelism team is starting an experimental newsletter targeted at our contributor community. A “contributor” is anyone, anywhere, that is interested in and helps with any Mozilla project — we’ll be talking about Firefox development, Thunderbird work, new releases from all kinds of projects, Bug Days, meetings (oh the meetings), schedules, Spread Firefox events, conferences, Developer Days, and so much more.

The Name

The name we’ve decided to use for the newsletter is “about:mozilla”. This deceptively simple name was suggested by none other than our very own Graydon Hoare.

The Service

We have also confirmed that we’ll be using MailChimp as our initial newsletter signup, management, and delivery service. MailChimp has a set of domains involved with their service, including: campaign-archive.com and list-manage.com. I’m mentioning this only so everyone’s aware that not everything related to MailChimp is located at mailchimp.com.

The Schedule

The first issue of about:mozilla will be published November 26, 2007. Yes, folks, that’s next Monday! Less than a week away!

We’re planning to publish the newsletter every Monday morning (Eastern time, hopefully, Pacific time at the very least). This should give readers enough time to check out the calendar for the week before missing any of the meetings and events.

How to submit news

If you have something — a meeting, event, announcement, release, note, or anything else — that you think should be mentioned in the about:mozilla newsletter, please send it to mozilla-news-submissions@mozilla.org. If you have questions or comments for the editor (right now that’s me), the email address is news-editor@mozilla.org.

We welcome submissions from any contributors from any part of the Mozilla community, but we cannot promise that we will publish every submission we receive. Submissions should be succinct (200 words or less), of general interest to our community-at-large, and should include at least one link to more information or details.

Submission deadline: I’m setting a submission deadline of Thursday 2pm Pacific time for items to be included in the next Monday’s newsletter. Anything submitted after that will be saved and considered for the next issue.

Sign up now!

The about:mozilla list has been created at MailChimp, and there’s a double opt-in sign up form available here: about:mozilla sign up!.

This is a temporary location for that sign up form, as we will eventually find a home for it somewhere on mozilla.com. If you have any problems signing up please send a note to me at deb@mozilla.com. This is the first time I’ve tested this particular part of the system, so feedback and bug reports are very much appreciated!


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