Speaking of Community

In my last post I mentioned how super satisfying it is to be part of a community working together to make Firefox better.

This morning someone new dropped into #fx-team on IRC, asking about a reproducible problem and how to submit a patch. Normally #fx-team is a fairly busy channel, but since we were all at the Mozilla All-Hands last week, people were traveling and recovering… So it was 12 hours of dead silence before anyone replied. Not great, but also pretty rare. ­čśŽ

Anyway, the awesome part was that in that time this person managed to grab the source code, diagnose the problem with gdb, fix the problem, and then blog about it — check it out. That’s pretty awesome! (Oops, I already said awesome once. Still deserving of a 2nd ‘awesome’. ­čÖé

The timing couldn’t have been better. At the All Hands, I went to one of the talks by Ubuntu’s Jono Bacon on Growing and Maintaining Community. It was pretty awesome (3rd time, yes I know). Obviously Ubuntu has a large community, but I was hadn’t realized just how much thoughtful effort has gone into improving it… TONS of fantastic ideas and practices that I hope Mozilla can also make use of. The one downside, though, was that I came away feeling a little bummed at how much work need to do to reach the high level of wide-ranging, effective engagement Bacon et al have developed. So it was really splendid timing to have a new community member pop out and have a good experience.

Today was a good day.

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Community participation

(First, let me note that there will be no flame-farting robots in this post.)

Now that’s out of the way, let me refer you to this post by Notch, creator of the wildly-successful indy game Minecraft.

Someone tweeted me about a joking campaign to add 3d modeled snouts to the pigs in Minecraft, so I did.

I think this is one of my favorite parts of working on Firefox. “Hey, let’s fix that” … “*bam* Fixed”. That’s not to say every community suggestion or known bug is simple to fix, but when it is it’s super satisfying.