Launching

Launching Open Web Apps feedback channels – help us make the web better!

About three months ago we launched a feedback channel for the Firefox Developer Tools, and since it was a great success, we’re happy announce a new one for Open Web Apps!

For Developer Tools, we have, and keep on getting, excellent suggestions at http://mzl.la/devtools, which has lead to features coming from ideas there being implemented in both Firefox 32 & 33 – the first ideas shipped in Firefox only 6 weeks after we launched the feedback channels!

Your feedback as developers is crucial to building better products and a better web, so we want to take this one step further.

A channel for Open Web Apps

We have now just opened another feedback channel on UserVoice about Open Web Apps, available at http://mzl.la/openwebapps

It is a place for constructive feedback around Open Web Apps with ideas and feature suggestions for how to make them more powerful and a first-class citizen on all platforms; desktop, mobile and more.

What we cover in the feedback channel is collecting all your ideas and also updating you on the different areas we are working on. In many cases these features are non-standard, yet: we are striving to standardize Apps, APIs, and features through the W3C/WHATWG – so expect these features to change as they are transitioned to become part of the Web platform.

If you want to learn more about the current state, there’s lots of documentation for Open Web Apps and WebAPIs on MDN.

Contributing is very easy!

If you have an idea for how you believe Open Web Apps should work, simply just go to the feedback channel, enter a name and an e-mail address (no need to create an account!) and you’re good to go!

In addition to that, you have 10 votes assigned which you can use to vote for other existing ideas there.

Just make sure that you have an idea that is constructive and with a limited scope, so it’s actionable; i.e. if you have a list of 10 things you are missing, enter them as a separate ideas so we can follow up on them individually.

We don’t want to hear “the web sucks” – we want you to let us know how you believe it should be to be amazing.

What do you want the web to be like?

With all the discussions about web vs. native, developers choosing iOS, Android or the web as their main target, PhoneGap as the enabler and much more:

Let us, and other companies building for the web, know what the web needs to be your primary developer choice. We want the web to be accessible and fantastic on all platforms, by all providers.

Share your ideas and help us shape the future of the web!

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Launching feedback channels – let us know your ideas for Firefox Developer Tools

One thing that is vital for us at Mozilla is to listen to developers and users, and care to your needs to make the web a better place. We’re strong believers in constructive communication and discussions, and that’s why I’m happy to announce our latest initiative! Feedback channels for developers.

We’ve been looking into various ways to make it as easy as possible for developers to express their thoughts and opinions on a number of topics, and also for how we at Mozilla can be as transparent as possible around the projects we work on.

Making the web a better place isn’t only about trying to figure out what’s right – it’s about listening to people, gather their thoughts and ideas and let that help us in achieving better results.

Introducing UserVoice

With that in mind, we’ve been evaluating third party services available as well as our own projects such as Mozilla Support and Firefox Input.

For this specific use case and to match our requirements, we’ve decided to do it through the UserVoice service. We want to make it dead simple for you to enter ideas and vote for existing ones, both through an easy and intuitive user interface but also with requiring no account registration.

Currently all you need to do know is enter a name and an e-mail address and you’re good to go! You will also have 10 votes dedicated to your e-mail address/account, which you can dispose as you seem fit for other ideas there.

Naturally, if we see an abuse of this simplicity, we will have to add an element of moderation to process. We sincerely hope that won’t be needed, though, and that you will act and write respectfully.

First project: Firefox Developer Tools

The first project out the door that we will have a feedback channel for is the Developer Tools in Firefox. We have made great great progress with the Developer Tools over the last year – outlined in more detail in Dev Tools articles here on Hacks and the extensive documentation on MDN – but we want to hear the ideas you have to make them even better, what’s important to you, what could be a game changer and much more.

People from the Developer Tools team will interact directly with you in this feedback channel, giving you a unique opportunity to influence and inspire us, resulting in a better product for you.

A first test

This try with UserVoice and feedback channels is our first attempt at this, with the ambition to be able to listen to your thoughts and ideas, and utilize that to make sure we focus on the most important areas.

If we see that we can make a difference with this initiative and that you appreciate the direct contact and transparency, we will do our best to keep this going and to introduce channels for more topics in the future!

Will you automatically implement the feature with the highest votes?

Not automatically. The voting and ideas will help us see what you truly care about and interact with you around those, but we will also need to compare developing time and resources vs. the possible gain we see for a certain feature.

It will however be of immense help for us weighing ideas, features and items in the roadmap against each other, and a helpful tool for prioritizing our work.

Working with UserVoice

Here are the most common things you can do at UserVoice – what they are and what they look like.

Viewing ideas

You can easily view a list of ideas, the number of votes they’ve gotten, current state (e.g. Started, Under Review), click the link to see comments and more.

You also have a quick navigation to sort the listing based on what’s Hot, Top ideas, New or their current status. You can also list them based on your feedback or comments as well.

Enter an idea

To enter an idea, simply type the idea in the text box at the top:

When you start typing, you will get suggestions for existing ideas that might match your topic, highlighting the word(s)in question. Please make sure to vote for existing ideas instead of creating duplicate ones.

Search existing ideas

In the right-hand side of the web site, you can also quickly search through existing topics and ideas, and see both matches and their current state.

Official comment from Mozilla

It also gives us the possibility to give you a reply to the state of the current feature. Whether it’s already in there, planned or if there’s something that’s not currently on our roadmap.

Complement to Bugzilla and Stack Overflow

At Mozilla, we use Bugzilla for tracking bugs and Stack Overflow for developer support. Our feedback channels at UserVoice are intended for conversations, constructive feedback and transparency around what we work on. Therefore, for reporting bugs or getting support for a product or challenge:

Help us help you

We really hope you will like this opportunity to have a discussion with us and be able to influence our thinking and work! If this works out well, we’d be glad to take it to other areas as well.

So help us help you! Let’s work together to make a better web with better products for developing for it.

Go to our Developer Tools feedback channel and get started!

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Launching developer Q&A on Stack Overflow

One thing that is very important for us at Mozilla is the need to directly interact with you developers and help you with challenges and issues while developing using open technologies. We are now happy to announce our presence on Stack Overflow!

Stack Overflow is one of – if not the – most well-known question and answer sites among developers, and we believe it’s very important to go where developers are and choose to have their discussions while developing.

Initially our main focus is on Firefox OS app development and Open Web Apps in general. There are three tags that we are monitoring:

All tags and posts are available at our landing page on Stack Overflow: http://stackoverflow.com/r/mozilla

Take part!

We’d love for you to participate with both questions and answers, so we together can collaborate and make the Open Web and open technologies the first choice for developers!

A little extra motivation might be that if you answer a lot of questions, you’ll show up in the Top Users page for that tag, e.g. http://stackoverflow.com/tags/firefox-os/topusers

Resources that might be good for you about HTML5, Apps, Developer Tools and more are:

See you on Stack Overflow!

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Launching Evangelism Reps – getting the army of awesome ready to take the stage

Today the Developer Engagement Team has launched the Evangelism Reps program – a special interest group within ReMo. Each year, we get thousands of requests to send Mozilla speakers around the world to talk about HTML5, new web technologies, Mozilla’s mission, our projects, products and more. Now, we would love for you to join the effort and become a Mozilla speaker too!

This program is open to paid staff and Mozilla Reps of all skill levels and capabilities. If you are a new speaker and have always wanted to represent Mozilla at events, you can take advantage of our advanced speaker training where you can learn from people like Christian Heilmann and Robert Nyman on how to give effective presentations and get access to their best practices. People who are veteran speakers can also benefit by having the tools and resources available to host events, prepare stunning screen casts and be mentors to new Evangelism Reps.

We encourage all current Mozilla speakers to please join our Speaker Database even if you don’t join the Evangelism Reps program. This will help us know who you are and match you up with the speaking opportunities that fit you best.

The Evangelism Reps program information is on the wiki: https://wiki.mozilla.org/ReMo/SIGs/Evangelism_Reps

Please contact us at make-me-a-speaker@mozilla.com if you are interested in joining the team. We anticipate our first training to be held in May so stay tuned for this exciting opportunity.

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