Mozilla and Mozilla Hispano

Continuing with the presentations of the subject Case Studies II, Guillermo López Leal gived to us a talk about Mozilla and Mozilla Hispano, he is a member of Mozilla Hispano, translator of some Firefox projects, leader of Mozilla Hispano tranlation and Guillermo has a Mozilla Rep, that autorizate him to talk about Mozilla in public presentations.

Differences with Webkit (the previous talk)

Mozilla not only does the rendering engine, develops it and is called Gecko and the web browser too, therefore they have the authority on Gecko, and Webkit not have a company that has this authority.

Guillermo also indicated that Gecko was thought initially separate of the browser, as Webkit, but they discarded because of the difficulty they thought.

In Mozilla there are 250 person working in the develop of the engine, Firefox, Thunderbird, etc.., however there are a lot people working in Webkit, probably this is the main reason of their success.

History of Mozilla

Until 1998 the most used web browser was Netscape (more than 70%), during this year web was considered like a market and began a war of web browsers and Microsoft integrated Internet Explorer in their operative system obtaining the 90% of share market. Netscape lost the battle, due to the economic power of Microsoft.

In March of 1998, Netscape decided release the source code of the project, called internally Mozilla, and created mozilla.org.

Guillermo tell to us a interesting documentary called “Code Rush”, where you can see everything that happened during the days when the source code was released, you can see in this link.

This facts brought different reactions between skepticism, because Netscape was releasing the code of a product that gave money, and enthusiasm, for the people who were already in the world of FLOSS because it was very helpful and useful.

From this point, they decided to rewrite everything from scratch, due to the impossibility of further developing its complexity and they decided to develop through milestones, until in 2000 appeared Netscape 6 based on code released. In June 2002, Mozilla 1.0 is released.

Organizations

  • Mozilla Foundation: created in 2003 with the collaborators of Netscape that were developing the new source code.
  • Mozilla Corporation (MoCo): created in 2005 with the main objetive to get money, to do marketing campaigns, do inversions in other proyects, donations, etc.
  • Mozilla Messaging: created in 2008 as a foundation for Thunderbird. Nowadays is integrated in MoCo.

What is Mozilla?

Mozilla is:

  • A global effort to promote the election and the innovation in Internet.
  • The posibility of election for users in the web.
  • A FLOSS project with thousand of collaborators.
  • A great community enthusiastic about the web and its technologies.
  • The developer of Firefox, Thunderbird and more.
  • A great oportunity to do the web better.

These are reflected in the Mozilla Manifesto.

Products

Mozilla supports FLOSS participating and funding projects like Cairo, SQLite, GTK, QT, Hg, SVN, CVS, GitHub.

Mozilla also supports standars like CSS, HTML, JavaScript, CSS3, HTML5, DOM, WebAPIs and many others.

There are a lot of products based in Mozilla (approximately 200 ), like Komodo, Sogbird, KompoZer or TomTom.

Mozilla Community

Mozilla consists of workers and employees, covering different areas such as programmingproject, the engineering, GUI people, lawyers, translators, marketing people, etc.

It has a leadership structure based on meritocracy.

What is Mozilla Hispano?

  • Meritocracy.
  • “Do as you please”.
  • Help on what you can.
  • …when you can.
  • …as you can.
  • “Small Mozilla inside Mozilla”.
  • Mentors: to help new people.

Areas in Mozilla Hispano

  • News (WordPress): events, news and talks relevants to Mozilla.
  • Documentation (Wiki): tasks, events, internal tools, manuals, etc.
  • Forum (phpbb): separate by products.
  • Planet: ideas by people of the community.
  • Events (django).
  • Facebook.
  • Marketing/Difusion.
  • Design.

Lessons learned

  • Let people participate.
  • Delegate.
  • Truts in others.
  • Organization
  • Talk with others about others things than the project.
  • Your opinion is never impepinable

There are two things of the talk that were very interesting for me, regardless of the relevance of the release of the Netscape code was in the history of FLOSS. The first of these is to see that Mozilla brings not only a great browser but is involved in many FLOSS projects and is the base for many others, bringing its contribution to FLOSS is extremely high compared to others.

Second, I find very interesting the learned lessons mentioned by Guillermo and based on his experience in MozillaHispano, I think if applied some of these, not only FLOSS communities, but also to any job, it’s possible to improve productivity and motivation of people. I share many of these and apply them in my day to day, as delegate if you’re overwhelmed, have a good personal organization, listen to others’ ideas and fundamental, distracted from time to time to see the project from a different perspective.

References:

Mozilla and MozillaHispano slides

Mozilla and MozillaHispano video

Salud2…

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