Tag Archives: Clients

Gorazd Golob – Firefox extensions and what we have to do with them [firefox 3 release party notes]

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Image by alx_chief via Flickr

Gorazd Golob - Firefox extensions and what we have to do with them.

Who are we

  • Developing local search engines
  • The most visited website in Slovenia
  • Present with Pogodak, local search sites in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedoni

Their servers are runinng 99.5% open source software. They are mostly Linux users in-house, so they use Firefox as the only real option.

Firefox usage numbers for Interseek:

  • June 2005  – 5.1%
  • June 2007 – 15.2%
  • June 2008 – 26.9%

Third one is always Opera (not Safari). In June 2008, Opera has 1.2% usage base.

We have Firefox users

We have a lot of Firefox users, and we must offer them a full service experience. We have to give them goodies like toolbars and Firefox search plugins. Publishing these features is good for us but also helps to expand the general Firefox user base.

Our story

in the first half of 2007 we launched Firefox toolbar and search plugin for Najdi.si and Pogodak (.hr, .ba., rs.) search engines.

What is so cool about Firefox extensions?

It’s mostly cool because XUL is cool. If you know how to make a dynmaic client side web application then you will probably know how to do XUL application. If you know how to program using XML, JavaScript and DOM you know XUL. XUL is supported by the Gecko engine.

Only XUL?

XPCOM components written in C++. Integration of other libraries into Mozilla.

Why would be ever need this? Things we can’t do with Javascript, we can do with an XPCOM component (e.g., usage of tcp socekts, etc.) and then use new functions from Javascript.

XUL extension

If you are planning an extension like toolbar or an ultra cool addon for uploading pictures to your new social network web site..

If you don’t have an idea what is possible – check http://addons.mozilla.org

Building UI applications based on XUL. Two popular applications/examples are Songbird and Komodo.

Is your plugin working in Firefox 3?

Secure updates of your application with files hosted on secure http servers or signed xpi files. If you don’t have https server, it’s also possible to sign them with help of McCoy to create keys and fingerprints.

Resources for you extensions

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Zbigniew Braniecki – the power of communities [firefox3 release party notes]

Mozilla (mascot)  

Image via Wikipedia

Zbigniew Braniecki – the power of communities; how to create communities, what does it mean to have a community and what does it mean to participate to communities.

 

Why people do things

The do it because they want a reward in some way. There are different types of rewards:

  • external motivations (good grade, money, airline miles)
  • hobby
Driven by intristic motivation, practice for interst and enjoyment. Gives you skills, knowledge, experience. But the goal is a personal fulfillment.

Volutneering – highest level on Maslow’s hiarachy of motivation. 

Mozilla communites are organic. They are organic and part of Mozilla project from the day 0. They contribute to each and every element of the system. Create new elements and serve as whistle-blowers. Contribute their unique skills and knowledge and are united by the goals of manifesto.

 

Crop circle community project – as an example

It’s a firefox logo in a field of corn. It’s the same technique that aliens use 😉

Firefox Crop Circle
Creative Commons License photo credit: John Griffiths

 

Firefox Flicks
The other example is Firefox Flicks, it’s a community made of clips that are promoting Firefox.

Example video clip:

 

Development

With time, the development of Firefox/Mozilla code-base split 60% – of payed people vs. 40% of contributed code. Mozilla started hiring people, but the natural source of community, were former community members who just contributed to the level that made the project recognizable. Then they got hired to be able to spend even more time and effort in the project. This also means that Mozilla is representing American dream, if you enjoy what you do it is possible to get help to spend all of your time on the project you like and enjoy.

Mozilla is also doing Internships that are focused on “you” creating what you want, and focusing on things that you want to work on. It also means that organization is not employing people who are doing it just for money, but can attract great and passionate people. It also means that it can do more with a smaller team, and everyone is a community.

 

Something bigger

Mozilla is not only about Firefox, it’s something much bigger. A lot of great other things are being developed, after getting Firefox 3 out of door, the idea is to work on Thunderbird, more localization.

 

Thunderbird 3

The idea for next major version of Thunderbird, by Mozilla Messaging, connect social network, online identities and such.

 

Mobile Solutions

Working on new ways to interact with mobiles, how to use internet and new interaction paradigms.

 


Firefox Mobile Concept Video from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.
 

Mozilla Manifesto

It was not created in the beginning. It was created just last year. They asked the fundamental question – What does it mean to be part of Mozilla, what is the goal?

 

Excerpt from the Manifesto:

Principles

  1. The Internet is an integral part of modern life–a key component in education, communication, collaboration, business, entertainment and society as a whole.
  2. The Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible.
  3. The Internet should enrich the lives of individual human beings.
  4. Individuals’ security on the Internet is fundamental and cannot be treated as optional.
  5. Individuals must have the ability to shape their own experiences on the Internet.
  6. The effectiveness of the Internet as a public resource depends upon interoperability (protocols, data formats, content), innovation and decentralized participation worldwide.
  7. Free and open source software promotes the development of the Internet as a public resource.
  8. Transparent community-based processes promote participation, accountability, and trust.
  9. Commercial involvement in the development of the Internet brings many benefits; a balance between commercial goals and public benefit is critical.
  10. Magnifying the public benefit aspects of the Internet is an important goal, worthy of time, attention and commitment.

 

Firefox 3 has been released

1.5 million people in the beta testing community program.

 

Turn your energy on

 

We can all help with:

  • hunt bugs
  • improve quality
  • accessibility
  • write extensions
  • develop code
  • promote web standards
  • improve documentation
  • share ideas
  • create themes
  • build communities
  • help others
  • localize
  • spread the word
  • and lots of other ways..

 

Upcoming projects

A set of tools, guidelines and documentations that help new volunteers to form new communities. Help explain to people how and why communities work and what they can do about this.

 

 

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