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Open Source Roadshow Summaries and Outline

This document provides summaries and (some) outlines for Mozilla's presentations at the upcoming Open Source Roadshow, as well as profiles of the presenters. We expect details to change as we review, polish, and act on feedback, especially in the technology demo area. As such, this page is more of a menu than a schedule. The exact set and order of presentations will be tuned to the individual needs of the schools.

See Ed Fox's wiki for more discussion and details.

Presentation Summaries and Outlines


Time: 1/2 hour. Presenters: Mitchell Baker, Scott Collins.

This section presents an introduction to the concept of Free Software/Open Source Software, and the mozilla project with a brief political/technical history and why the listener might be interested anything else we have to say. The intended audience is everyone. This session will be useful to anyone who wants to know more about mozilla, or who intends to see any other session.

  • What is Free Software/Open Source Software
  • What is this presentation?
  • Who am I?
  • What is mozilla? a brief history
  • What is
  • What is mozilla University? (and why should you care). It's real-world development experience and technologies that are
    • broad
    • deep
    • relevant
    • accessible
    • and we have the materials to communicate this knowledge
  • Q and A

Mozilla Project Dynamics

Time: 1/2 hour. Presenter: Scott Collins.

This section is a slice of life of the interactions in the mozilla project. It covers the activities, participants, connections, and the raw numbers that define our effort. The intended audience is everyone. This session will be useful to anyone who interested in how open source projects in general succeed and fail, and ours in particular; and to anyone interested in getting their hooks into mozilla and participating.

  • it's a tight cooperative feedback loop
  • design in the open (bugzilla, irc, news, and public meetings)
  • bugzilla
  • code and design review
  • managing the source (source code control, access, branches)
  • continuous integration and testing
  • performance analysis
  • many `eyeballs': public review of daily builds and milestones
  • stable releases, freezes and milestones
  • plugged into the rest of the free software/open source software community
  • Q and A

The Mozilla Demos

Time: 1 hour. Presenter: Scott Collins.

This section illustrates the breadth of applications to which our technologies have been put. The intended audience is anyone generally aware of web standards and current technologies, though technical expertise is not required. This session will be useful to project planners, engineers, and anyone else who wants a loose survey of the field.

  • XUL
    • demo of creating XUL
    • themes
    • remote XUL functionality
      • becomes a sidebar
      • becomes a desktop app
    • using XUL for rapid prototyping and xp delivery
  • Crocodile Clips
  • Komodo 2
  • browser extensions
    • sidebars
    • google search
    • blog
    • gestures
    • composite
  • browsers
    • mozilla
    • Chimera
    • NS7
    • Galeon
  • XPCOM bindings
    • PyXPCOM (Python)
    • PlXPCOM (Perl)
    • RBXPCOM (Ruby)
  • SOAP
  • MathML
  • SVG
  • XSLT
  • Q and A

Mozilla Technologies

Time: 1 hour. Presenter: Scott Collins.

This section is a breakdown of the exploitable machinery and technologies in mozilla. The intended audience is technical. This session will be useful to people who want to hack on mozilla code or UI, either as a contributor, or for their own projects (or both!).

  • Gecko
    • DOM
    • CSS
    • XSLT
      • XPath
      • XLink
    • DOM Inspector
    • XUL
      • XBL
      • overlays
      • themes
    • SVG
    • MathML
  • JavaScript
    • Venkman
  • XPConnect
  • RDF
  • security
  • XPInstall
  • l10n (localization), i18n (internationalization)
    • language packs
  • licensing
  • Bugzilla
  • build tools
  • userChrome/userContent
  • Q and A

Mozilla Educational Resources

Time: 1 hour. Presenter: Scott Collins.

This section describes the documentation, tools, and approaches to squeeze all this real-world knowledge out of the mozilla effort and make it approachable to (almost) ordinary people. The intended audience is pretty much everyone. This session will be useful to anyone who wants to teach or learn more about mozilla. Non-technical people will get as much out of it as the technical.

  • tentative courses
    • mozilla application development
    • CSS in mozilla
    • extending your mozilla application
    • XBL
    • RDF in mozilla
    • using and creating XPCOM components
    • web standards, content development and evangelism
  • the real world
    • Developer Days
    • using the source base for research
    • lxr and cvs
      • blame
      • log
      • history
      • search
    • doxygen
  • Q and A

Security In Mozilla

Time: 1 hour. Presenter: Mitchell Stoltz.

This presentation will describe the security challenges we face as makers of a Web client, and some of the strategies we are using to improve our security. It will make a case for greater participation by students and faculty of computer science and engineering programs with an interest in security, and discuss the advantages of academic collaboration. Finally, it will propose some possible projects to be taken on in collaboration with universities.

Securing Open Source Software: Advantages and Challenges

Time: 1 hour. Presenter: Mitchell Stoltz.

This presentation will discuss the security implications of open source development; the caveats and pitfalls, the potential advantages, and the conditions necessary to create these advantages. This presentation will be of interest to developers of security-critical open source software, as well as anyone interested in the current debate over the security of open source.

Open Source Licensing

Time: 1 hour. Presenter: Mitchell Baker.

Open source software is governed by a license of some sort, which describes the terms under which the software can be used. The Mozilla Public License ("MPL") was created at the launch of the Mozilla project, and has been widely adopted by a variety of other projects. This talk will discuss why the MPL was written, what's required of an "open source" license, how the MPL was written, how the MPL compares with two seminal open source/free software licenses (the BSD license and the GNU General Public License), acceptance of the MPL and current licensing issues. This discussion will include topics such as:

  • licensing in the Open Source Software/Free Software world
  • key requirements on an Open Source license
  • why was the MPL created?
  • creating the MPL
  • major decisions in drafting the MPL
  • acceptance level of the MPL
  • current licensing issues

See also this wiki page, and this list of many different licenses.

About the Presenters

Mitchell Baker

Mitchell is the general troubleshooter, spokesperson and policy arbitrator for She works extensively with companies and projects using Mozilla. This involves explaining processes, listening to the needs of contributors, and seeking to integrate open source development techniques with the world of commercial software development.

Mitchell also spends a lot of time driving consensus as to how ought to manage the project, which suggests she may have a masochistic streak. She dreams of making the Mozilla project easier to understand.

Before joining staff, Mitchell was the attorney at Netscape responsible for all legal issues related to product development and intellectual property protection. During that time she wrote the Netscape and Mozilla Public Licenses.

Scott Collins

Scott Collins has been a participant and contributor on the mozilla project since its inception. Some of his initial contributions to the project were chronicled in the PBS documentary "Code Rush" as Netscape undertook efforts to put its browser code into the public domain. He is currently the lead evangelist of the "Mozilla University" effort that is underway to promote the use, understanding, research and development of mozilla technologies in a variety of educational settings.

Mitch Stoltz

Mitch Stoltz is the lead security engineer and "fireman" for the Netscape client team. He works on finding and fixing security problems in Mozilla and educating developers on secure coding practices.