main mozilla tech

MozCamp in Victoria tomorrow

Tomorrow I’m attending MozCamp Victoria.

I’m excited to see so many of my old colleagues from Flock there as well as people from Mozilla Messaging, Mozilla Foundation and ActiveState most of whom I didn’t have chance to meet yet.

We were hoping (with Mark and Zak) to craft a little MozCamp+ Net Literacy Workshop around, but it didn’t work out yet. I hope we’ll find time to talk about it more.

In short, the idea of Net Literacy Workshop is to gather a bunch of people from schools, universities or straight from streets and show them how they can protect their privacy, how they can avoid viruses/trojans/phishing and how they can efficiently use the Internet to improve their productivity. How to wisely use social networks, cloud computing, wikis. Show people how easy it is to set up an own blog or custom wiki. Explain the tools they have to stimulate their creativity and guide them through the basic tools that are respecting their privacy, are free and open, and can make their Internet experience richer.

It’s one of the ideas that is on my mind recently. How can we use the market share of Firefox to deliver the promise of Mozilla. Choice and Innovation. How to use it as a tool for broader goals. If we have, say 30-40% of the market share in one country, how can we really use it? Where can we go from there?

I believe that the idea of Net Literacy Workshops, or various kinds of so-called MozCamp+ events is exactly the kind of think we can start investigating in countries like Poland, Hungary, Romania, Finland or Slovenia. Delivering Mozilla Manifesto values using organic communities. You’ll find more on that at Mark Surman’s blog.

main tech

Ubuntu 8.10 released

Congratulations to Canonical and Ubuntu community on release of Ubuntu 8.10!!!

I’m proudly using Ubuntu 8.10 on my mbp (it works great) with a beautiful Dust theme, and even more beautiful GDM theme WillWill. (there’s also Willbex theme available).

The most interesting thing from my POV in this release is a great community riot around the theme for the new Ubuntu release which was strengthen by this set of mockups promoted at and digg.

I find it a good sign of the community health how strong reaction this topic received and I’m a bit disappointed by lack of public discussion between broad community and people in charge of the project. I believe we’re doing a better job on this in Mozilla and I hope it’ll be a lesson for Ubuntu project similar to what we got with Firefox 1.0 Theme switch issue.

Bottom line is that I believe this energy motivated Mark to hire designers, usability and user experience experts. It’s always good to see community getting so energetic around something *they* think is important, and I believe open projects model makes it especially effective in a longer run.

Once more, congrats on the release guys! 🙂

main mozilla tech

Slides from Silme talk

Just got back home after

Expedia screenshot
Expedia screenshot

wondering if that gives me the “longest trip home” award from EuMozCamp crew. William, beer will do this. 🙂

The event was great, I’ve been at so many mozilla events during last 8 years yet beyond “normal” awesomeness of those events, once againt some elements of what happened were a big surprise (Mix group – you know who you are) 🙂

For now I’m attaching Silme talk slides, for those who couldn’t make it to the talk. (it’s also the very best documentation we have so far):

It requires tengwar-gandalf font to display some elements, but is pretty readable without it.

If you have any other questions regarding silme, jump in on #l10n channel, silme folks are there.

Right now I’m working on logging system and then PEP08, API freeze, documentation and then release! 🙂

main mozilla tech

Mozilla Community Theme – revised

Three weeks ago we asked you for feedback on an initial round of Mozilla Community Theme mockups and we received plenty! Then, we started sorting out what we got and preparing a plan for improvements.

Today, we present you a revised Mozilla Community Theme:

Mozilla Community Theme logo

The new logo you can see here is a proposal for a Community Logo in Mozilla world. It means that we will offer it as a unifying branding element for all communities that will operate inside Mozilla environment, and it’s perfectly in line with our Manifesto:

(…) The Mozilla project uses a community-based approach to create world-class open source software and to develop new types of collaborative activities. We create communities of people involved in making the Internet experience better for all of us. (…)

It has been combined, together with other elements into an improved screen of an example website:

Mozilla Community Theme, screen1
Mozilla Community Theme, screen1

We will offer several options for the header bar, several header backgrounds and several color palettes:

This, of course, is still just an option set, since you can go beyond that and use the color set you want.

We’re currently preparing a guidelines document for you, which should help you work with the sources once they’re public. We’re working on the template for other webtools (like forum, wiki), we’re preparing sources for publishing, and we’re open to hear your feedback once again on what do you think about this theme, so let us know what you think!

main mozilla tech

Mozilla Community Template progress

A quick update on the status of MCT. Tara, Seth and I gathered a solid round of feedback from many of you. We scanned it, analyzed and built a profile of updates we want to make. We noted five main issues raised by you regarding the first proposition:

  • You are wondering what flexibility you’ll have. What about different colors? Flags? Logos?
  • You want to know how it’ll work with other tools than Drupal
  • Details are wrong, wrong flag, left&right menu are the same width, colors are wrong, languages are mixed
  • The theme is not “mozzilian” enough
  • The theme is “graphic” heavy.

Let me address those comments.

First, we are commited to create an extremely flexible environment for you with this theme. We are preparing it in the way that will give you ability to choose colors, layout, elements you want to put in the background, virtually anything. Beside, we will provide you Guidelines prepared by the agency that will help you work with those sources. They will just guide you on how to modify the template to keep the consistency. And if you missed that in my last post – we’ll also provide you full sources on open license so that you can modify this as you want! It’ll be a mixture of professional quality and community freedom.

Second. As I said we are preparing the template to work with several webapps out of the box, and with the freedom described above we hope you’ll contirbute with the theme suited for other apps as well.

Right now, we’re preparing, among the others, php template, planetplanet template and wordpress template:

MCT v1, forum view
MCT v1, forum view
MCT v1, Planet view
MCT v1, Planet view
MCT v1, WordPress template
MCT v1, WordPress view

And we also have another mockup with data from a pretty complex Mozilla Community site, in this case mozilla-russia.

Please, bear in mind, that those are all mockups – elements just combined together to present how the website may look like. Of course the width of elements, choice of logo, colors etc will be up to your community, so please, forgive us a mixture of polish, russian, spanish, latin, lorem ipsum and some other languages in those mockups 😉

Of course all those mockups are from before we received your feedback (version 1), so I’m attaching them just to show you the variety of cases we’re working on. The new mockups should be ready soon.

We spent some time trying to figure out what does “mozllian” mean in terms of website template ( and we tried to minimize the influence of visual identification to make sure people see it as Mozilla Community – not official MoCo site. It seems we didn’t hit the right balance yet.

Regarding “heaviness” of graphics on the template. We find your comments saying that the template works great for smaller sites (majority of our community websites are in this category), but we could improve how it’ll look on more complex sites. And that’s also what we plan to address with the new round.

So. Did I get you right? Does it answer your feedback? We’re working on the next round and we hope it’ll be near to final so that we can start deploying it for you to use. Expect next round, next week 🙂

update: Just to clarify – this is an option for our communities to make your life easier. We will not enfore anyone to use it! 🙂

mozilla tech

[RFC] Mozilla Community Theme

We’re listening to you and we’re excited about your ideas 🙂

Some time ago, Staś and Seth started a survey program to get an idea on what You feel about Mozilla. And in the very first survey they led, the very most commonly requested support from Mozilla was to provide Mozilla website template for community sites.

We were not surprised to see this in the survey results because it has been something that many of us have been considering a long time.  How could we find creative ways to support all of our Mozilla contributors?  How can we make life easier for everyone?  We have all levels of communities, from large to small and new to old.  Many do not have all the resources needed to create this on their own.

That’s exactly how Mozilla Community Sites project started. We’re going to work on customization of several commonly used community webtools to make it easy to set up and deploy a website for your community. If a contributor community chooses to use the tools provided, they can get a site up and running that looks like a Mozilla Community project website, with several features built in specific that do not requiring mastering PHP/MySQL etc. (but if you want, feel free to support us with your skills :)).

The tool presents several commonly used webtools like Drupal, WordPress, phpBB/punBB, PlanetPlanet etc. and prepare them to be ready to start in the Mozilla community environment. We’re planning to offer two kinds of websites:

  • powerful and highly customizable website using Drupal CMS
  • smaller, easier to deploy and less interactive based on WordPress.

We want these sites to easily feed from Mozilla Developer Center, SUMO, QMO and list latest stable releases in your language.

We also intend to use Single Sign On, OpenID, and other features to improve integration.

One featured below is a much requested Mozilla Community Theme.

From the survey, we gathered that people wanted a theme that clearly indicated that websie was part of the Mozilla Project, while at the same time not an effort from the Mozilla Corporation or Foundation.

We worked with designers to help us create something that had a feel somewhere close to the Corporation and Foundation sites, but still unique and different.

And today, I’d like to present you the draft and ask for you feedback on it!

Below is the screenshot of how the website could look like.

Main Community Website 2
Main Community Website Draft
Main Community Website 3
Main Community Website Draft
Main Community Website 4
Main Community Website Draft

The content presented on the screenshots above is of course just an example. Website maintainer will decide what to present there.

Also, the theme is not obligatory to anyone. It’ll be just an option you can use while preparing your website. We appreciate and respect how our communities are independent.

We will also provide you a special Guidelines that will help you customize the template according to your needs (changing colors – green, orange, blue etc., backgrounds, etc.). These guidelines are intended to make it easier to modify the template if you want to skin another webtool from outside of our list with this theme while still maintaining quality.

Just to be clear, with this tool you will be able to select the following:

  • components you want to display (top header, header bar, left, right panels, etc.).
  • colors to use (Guidelines will provide a list of color pallets that fits the theme well)
  • ideas to put in the background (maybe something specific to your community – Eiffel tower in the header background?)
  • community logo.

We will suggest you to follow those Guidelines, but if you want to go beyond, feel free!

Oh, and… the theme will be, of course, open sourced 🙂

So, now, that we spent some time with designers on this, we need your feedback before going any further. We need to know what you think, would it fit your community if you lead one, which kind of community does this mockup fit, what could be improved to fit others, what can we do better and what is missing. It’s especially crucial to find out what’s missing to make sure it’ll be covered with the final version. Please, focus on clear, productive feedback. Thanks! 🙂

main mozilla tech

Community Wiki gains OpenID support

I’ve just added OpenID support to Community Wiki. It should make it easier for people to edit the wiki, but its also a step in the direction of Mozilla Community Sites package.

I will write a separate post about MCS, but as many of you know since Fx Summit, I’m working on the set of customized open source web apps that will make setting up a community website much easier. One of the webapps that will be offered is MediaWiki, and one of the features of all the tools will be support for OpenID. Using this on Community Wiki is just a first step 🙂

main mozilla tech

Community Wiki

For last two months I have been working on a project that has been in my mind for over 4 years now.

Originally, the idea of what we called a Community Pack appeared during Mozilla Europe Board of Directors discussions between me and Pascal and the first notes drafted by us are located at old MoEu wiki.

Today I’m proud to announce the wiki that one day may become an official community/contribution website for Mozilla. It’s very early in the game, the theme is just something I crafted temporarily, the name has not been decided yet, the structure of the categories may change.

What is there, is an idea with a groundwork already started. The purpose for the website is to help new contributors learn about various activities inside our project and smooth the learning curve.

Beside, the wiki should help people create their own communities, improve community-2-community experience and knowledge exchange. We will try to help smaller communities learn what mature communities know, share the materials we have and address the potential that lies in strong, independent communities existing inside the Mozilla project.

The wiki will not duplicate any material that exists anywhere. It will serve as a kind of roadsign to all the various materials in different places., MDC, SUMO, QMO, SpreadFirefox and others. It’s a Wiki because we want to b

e able to add content in cases where we don’t have where to link to.

The structure of the main page represents the activities that are part of Mozilla, not projects because people who are new to Mozilla don’t know the names of the projects, but will be able to select the activity they’re interested in.

The temporary URL to the front view of the Wiki is but it’ll of course be moved to Mozilla servers pretty soon.

The back end, for editing is

It’s not a perfect solution, but I had no time to work on the skin to make it present all the UI of MediaWiki, especially the theme will be reviewed to m

atch Mozilla sites guidelines.

What now? Well… it’s up to you! First, do you like it? Do you think it may be useful? We want to grow this roadsign, so we want to add urls to your community websites there, to all resources inside Mozilla, and add content in the places where its missing. The one section that requires a lot of work is Community building.

If you are interested in helping, just create an account and start editing! Don’t be afraid of changing thing, we’ll review them.

I will be working on adding content to missing pages, since I’d like all main “category” pages to look at list like Accessibility or Localization. In the next weeks I will be also working on Mozilla customized web tools and Community Website Theme that will help you create new community websites. 🙂

main mozilla tech

Silme moves to

Just a quick note for all stakeholders: silme has been moved to

main mozilla tech

Silme progress

First update after public announcement. During last week, Silme received several minor stability patches in trunk and got initial support (patches [1], requests, feedback on API) from several developers including Stefan Plewako from and Flock projects, Adrian Kalla from and an intern in Mozilla Corp., and Pike himself 🙂

Beside of that I spent some time during Firefox Summit on talking with people of Pootle/TranslationToolkit fame to identify potential problems that they faced. It was extremely supportive for me and gave my major take away is that if I want to reach my goal of having one, common abstraction layer for l10n objects I have to merge two very different concepts – single locale files (like DTD, properties, ini) and multi-locale files (XLIFF, GetText, tc).

Multilocale branch has been ignited to address this. I already did several tests and it seems that I will be able to support both models in one API without making both feel like hacks.

Pike raised another concern, that I tried to keep for later which is a concept of entity/l10nObject processing. Initially I assumed that it’s a minor topic, and on this level of abstraction I assumed that leaving the entity values unprocessed is OK for now. Unfortunately, especially with L20n being the next Big Thing for Silme, entity processing becomes very important and has to become a legimate element of the library skeleton.

I started early hacks of format parser leaving my brain in free conceptual thinking mode and waiting for Pike’s time to talk about grammar inconsistencies.

Last big thing to come is a soon to happen switch from svn repo on my server, to shiny new This requires me to spend a few hours on svn-to-hg migration tools, but should help with later branching and support easier collaboration between many developers.

Current roadmap is pretty dense for stage3, and may be latter splitted, but does not currently involve work on end-user oriented apps like a webtool. Once I have this two major restructurizations ready (multilocale/pre-processing), I’ll get back to providing proof-of-concept tools. We’re of course looking for more developers so let me know if you’re interested 🙂