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Notes from November 9, 2001 Mozilla Developer Day

Our low key affair turned out rather well. About 70 or 80 people participated, a higher turnout than we expected given recent events. People stayed awake, remained interested, asked a bunch of questions, and stayed until the end of the program.

We'll add links to the original announcement page as follow-up info becomes available. This will include slides, videos and survey results.

  • Slides are or will be available for most of the talks. Slides available now have links in the text below.
  • Videotapes were made of most sessions. Unfortunately, there is no video of the XPCOM talk due to audiovisual problems. The Business Forum discussion was also not taped.
  • The videos require processing before we can post them, so they aren't available yet. When they are, links will be added to the announcement page. The University of Montreal at Quebec has offered to host the videos, and we'll include a link to their site if this happens.
  • Mitchell will be sending out a Survey to attendees in the next couple of days. If we get useful data back, we'll post a summary of the results. (Or the results themselves, if they are in a legible format.)
  • We did not have a closing session, and so did not talk about planning future events. Mitchell will try to send out information and solicit feedback on possible future events, and to provide more notice next time.

Session Summary (Partial)

Mitchell put together a brief summary of the sessions she attended. Unfortunately, this covers only a few of the talks. Summaries of the other sessions would be more than welcome.

  1. Developing Applications with XUL and JavaScript

    We started with a great talk by Rob Ginda describing a set of tools for building JavaScript and XUL applications, including the JavaScript debugger and Rob's new template processor, which generates new XUL application code from templatized source files. The tools are under development, but are already very helpful. Check out the slides, and see what's in the works.

    Joe Hewitt finished up this talk with a description and demo of the "Document Inspector." This is an application Joe built on the Mozilla platform, which allows the user to view and edit the various facets of a XUL, HTML, or any XML-based document. Joe's talk was stopped twice by the audience's gasps of appreciation, so check it out.

    Then we split into two groups, one focused on core components in Mozilla, and one on business and project management issues.

  2. Components

    On the component side, Doug Turner started with a discussion of XPCOM, Gagan Saksena continued with an overview of the networking architecture in Mozilla, and Vidur Apparao finished the set with a discussion of embedding Mozilla's browsing engine in a range of applications. I didn't attend these talks, so can't say much about them. Slides are linked to from the announcement page.

  3. Overview of the Project

    Mitchell started by describing the companies using Mozilla technology. The list is more varied than one might think, so take a look. The lists are ready for updating, so let her know if you know of companies or projects using Mozilla technology that aren't included. Mitchell also described a range of ways projects and companies may choose to participate in the Mozilla project, starting from "take the executable and run" to active participation and leadership in the development of code, milestone and roadmap decisions.

  4. Community QA

    Asa Dotzler talked about the range of activities performed by mozilla's QA community, including testing, bug reporting, bug triage, resolving duplicate and invalid bugs, developing test cases and running functional tests. He noted that there are typically more than 2500 downloads of the daily verification builds, and something approaching 200,000 downloads of Milestone builds. Between 100 and 300 bugs are reported daily, so the volume of work is significant. Asa also included statistics on the number of people reporting and resolving bugs. Asa concluded with a brief discussion of some future Community QA activities he would like to see take shape.

  5. Business Forum

    Mitchell opened the Business Forum by noting that the Mozilla project was founded to create a distributed development and distribution system, that active and successful participation by vendors shipping Mozilla-based products is a key element in the ultimate success of the project, and that the Business Forum is intended as an ongoing discussion to assist vendors in doing this.

    Participants identified the biggest problem for companies using Mozilla as the lack of adequate documentation. Several participants pointed out that the documentation problem should diminish once Mozilla 1.0 ships and books are published about Mozilla. In the meantime, several people said they were willing to update and correct inadequate documentation as they found it, but didn't feel had described a clear mechanism for doing so. The short answer is "file a bug, add an attachment to the bug that fixes the problem, and we'll use Bugzilla to track this." A better answer should be possible, and will try to look into this.

    Other suggestions included:

    • Creating a newsgroup to discuss issues germane to shipping commercial products;
    • Setting up the Status Reports on so that one could subscribe to status reports for particular areas;
    • Creating a mechanism for input regarding important features; and
    • Creating a mechanism for companies to fund development of the Mozilla codebase and