The Truth about Mozilla

Mozilla in 2008: Web Development

Posted in Mozilla by The Lizard on December 27, 2007

 Moving to a happier future, Mozilla’s Web Development team, led by Mike Morgan (aka, morgamic), has some lofty goals for the next year. Given the hilarity Morgan infuses in his writing, the Lizard believes some direct quoting is in order. To wit:

In 2008, we will make web pages. They won’t be normal web pages though. They will be web pages that grab your attention, put it in a headlock and leave you wondering what hit you. This means less status quo and more sexy. It’s less chomping at the bit and more leaping ahead.

…and yes, the future will be localized. And yes, the future is accessible.

2008 will see the emergence of a presence that watches the Webtools product in Bugzilla and can solve webtools-security bugs in 10 f-ing hours. That same presence will help pick up stagnant web-apps and get things moving with help from the community.

To put it bluntly, we’re dying to show what we can do.

Yes, dear readers, Mozilla can be funny. I was just as surprised as you. (For those hiding under rocks for the past few months, “10 f-ing hours” refers to the “misquote”, aka idiocy, of Mike Shaver when he stated that Mozilla could, with responsible disclosure, patch and deploy any critical security holes within “Ten Fucking Days”. Shaver’s idiocy, however, isn’t the topic of this post; the Lizard already wrote about that here.)

Looking deeper at these lighthearted passages, Morgan promises tangible results with real benefit to Mozilla and the world: localization and accessibility of Mozilla’s web properties. Some of this has already been achieved with the release of the new addons.mozilla.org (AMO), which allowed for a localized interface, as well as with the fabled Kubla, which simply allows better interaction with, and rights management of, SVN. Work is also underway to make localized content possible on top of Tikiwiki, the CMS/Wiki software Mozilla selected for its support site.

Morgan goes on to imply that the unowned web tools that power Mozilla, such as Bonsai, Doctor, Graph Server, LXR, and potentially semi-owned tools like Despot, Reporter, and Tinderbox, will receive attention in 2008 and possibly even find themselves under active development. Supporting projects your own organization has created? Crazy. Granted, most of these projects were created before Morgan’s time. 

The future doesn’t stop there, however. Morgan continues to discuss the birth of a project along the lines of Launchpad, Babelzilla, and Rosetta, allowing easier localization of strings within Mozilla’s codebase.

When a string needs to be localized, anybody in any country can log in, see where we need help, and contribute.

A bold statement, but one that would be welcomed by localizers around the world. 

Morgan further promises improvements to services like AUS, PFS, AMO, and Bouncer, as well as the creation of an open-source IdeaStorm to help increase user feedback and participation. 

It’s hard to criticize the web development team at Mozilla because of how much they’ve done, time and time again. The Lizard questions the amount of work this team has opted to take on and wonders if it can finish it. However, the endeavors are greatly appreciated and will truly, concretely, help the overall community in exciting ways. If Morgan and his team can accomplish this, Mozilla will be a better place. 

To put it bluntly, we’re dying to see what you can do!

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