Mozilla



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Posted by: stak
Tags: mozilla
Posted on: 2012-03-17 19:17:30

So it's been about five and a half months since I started working at Mozilla. Kind of ironic that I haven't yet blogged about it, considering they encourage their employees to blog early and often, and being able to blog about work stuff was definitely one of the things that attracted me to Mozilla in the first place.

Officially I'm on the mobile platform team, working on the parts of the code that deal with the mobile browsers (i.e. Firefox for Android, aka Fennec) interaction with the core Gecko rendering engine. However, since we've been focused on a rewrite of the entire Fennec front-end, everybody on the mobile team has been working on whatever needs to be done, and the lines are pretty blurry anyway. Currently I'm working on the pan/zoom behaviour of Fennec, ensuring the user can navigate around the page smoothly and efficiently, encountering as little "checkerboarding" as possible.

Working at Mozilla so far has been pretty interesting. In the world of software, it's almost the polar opposite of RIM (particularly RIM as it was when I left). Working on open source software in an open development process is obviously a large part of it. All our code is publicly available, and a lot of the discussion that goes on happens on Bugzilla and IRC, where anybody can see and participate.

But even more important, and quite surprising to me, is the emphasis on community. Mozilla has a huge focus on building a community around the web - to the extent that every office has a dedicated community space where they host events. For example, during the last week at the Toronto office, we had a "Girls learning code" event where 11-14 year old girls could come and learn about the web and technology in general. This is an aspect of Mozilla that I think a lot of people aren't really aware of (I was only vaguely aware of it before I started here), but it is a core part of the company and mission.

I don't want to ramble on right now, but I plan to blog on Mozilla-specific things, both technical and non-technical, in the future. I suspect some of those posts will not be of general interest, so I'll keep them off the main blog, but you can get at them by going to https://staktrace.com/spout/?tag=mozilla. The RSS feed will likewise be at https://staktrace.com/spout/getrss.php?tag=mozilla. Feel free to subscribe to that if you want to see Mozilla-specific blog content.

Posted by Dave Pritchard at 2012-03-18 00:46:49
Sounds awesome! Which office are you working at? Why do they give is such a crazy name and not, say, Fennel?
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Posted by stak at 2012-03-18 09:45:12
I'm working out of their Toronto office. As for the name - Fennec, according to the all-knowing Wikipedia, is a species of fox, and so is in keeping with the "Firefox" naming theme.
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Posted by varun at 2012-03-18 21:40:01
So one thing I've been confused about for a while is the relationship between Firefox, Firefox for Mobile (also called Firefox?) and Fennec... Are the latter two the same thing?

Sorry - it used to be clear earlier, Fennec was the development build for Maemo/Meego and the like, Firefox for Mobile was the Android build, and of course, it was Firefox on the desktop (Phoenix, Firebird, aside...)
[ Reply to this ]
Posted by stak at 2012-03-18 22:49:46
Yes, FF for mobile is the same thing as Fennec. Fennec is really just the development name; it's branded as Firefox when users see it. The "for mobile" is something people just say to distinguish it from the desktop version (win/mac/*nix). Maemo/meego are no longer officially supported platforms.
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