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Firefox OS App Day Frankfurt – 22.11.2014

On the 22nd of November we met in Frankfurt am Main (Germany) to have a Firefox OS App Day. This is an event where we have talks in the morning to explain Firefox OS and Web APIs and then we hack for the rest of the day creating amazing apps for Firefox OS (and the open web).


I asked Jan Bambach if he wanted to help out to organize a Firefox OS App Day. He gladly accepted even though he had some stress in school since he has to write exams. After figuring out a date, we started to plan the event. We started with the agenda.

09:00 – 09:15 Welcome / Introduction to Mozilla

09:15 – 09:45 “What is Firefox OS?”

09:45 – 10:15 “How do I develop for Firefox OS?”

10:15 – 10:30 Break

10:30 – 12:30 Hacking your own Firefox OS app

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch Break

13:30 – 17:15 Hacking your own Firefox OS app

17:15 – 17:30 “Firefox Marketplace – How to submit an app”

17:30 – 18:15 App presentations


We did a lot of advertisement for the event, but unfortunately that didn’t turn out as we expected. We only heard about another event taking place the same day a few days before the event. This was too late to reschedule. Next time we’ll check better and avoid having an event at the same day as a big Barcamp going on. I’m sure that we’d have more participants if it was on another day. Additionally we found out that asking Universities to advertise it to their students doesn’t scale as well as it should. We didn’t get any feedback from them.


App Day

On Saturday we were 9 persons. We expected to have 25 persons, but I’m going to explain to you why this is actually not as bad as it sounds.

After a talk about the Mozilla community and Firefox OS from me, Colin talked about Web APIs and showed some examples. This was very interesting to all the participants since most of them were native App developers and not web developers. There were some “I can do X on Android, is that possible with Firefox OS too?”.

Since we could support every developer without having a “question queue”, the overall turnout of the apps was a lot more advanced than at other App days with more people where we sometimes had multiple people waiting for an answer to a question. This was also the first time where we had two Marketplace submissions with a fully functional app.

Apps created:

  • Wasserwaage - an app to measure if something is even
  • Clownfish – a game where you need to swim around fishes and need to avoid them  (still awaiting review in the Marketplace, make sure to check it out once it’s reviewed!)
  • A game where you need to clear your side of the table of all balls so that the other person has all the balls (not yet pushed to the Marketplace, but already a very exciting game even though there are no points yet)
  • A quiz app where you need to find out the capital or country by identifying the flag of the country (this was already developed before, but he did a lot of fixes and adapted it to Firefox OS)
  • An app to upload Creative Commons pictures to the Wikimedia Commons page. Unfortunately we had a problem with the Wikimedia API and couldn’t finish the app. He promised to finish it once it’s possible. The Wikimedia Commons API doesn’t send a CORS header, so systemXHR doesn’t work if cookies are sent.


At the end we showed how to upload an App to the Marketplace. Let’s hope that everybody else uploads their app too once it has a better state and is not a prototype :)

Thanks to everybody who attended, great event!


Lessons learned

  • Check better for “competing” events during the event days
  • Re-check location (fortunately this wasn’t a problem even though the reservation wasn’t confirmed)
  • Smaller groups are better since you can support the developers way better than in a large group
  • We should advertise the Flame better, there is a lot of interest!


EuroPython 2014

Disclaimer: this is an event report from Marco Perez.

Even though we were very happy to see that Mozilla was a sponsor of “EuroPython 2014″ and even got its own booth, it felt somehow strange to see it all empty. We hoped that maybe it would be equipped and manned in the afternoon or maybe on tuesday.

But wednesday arrived and the booth remained empty. So I contacted Michael, our rep of the swiss Mozilla community. After he asked me to get some swag from the local Mozilla office in Berlin, Marcel and I formed a plan.


After the last talks we went to the office at Voltastr. Fortunately not everybody had gone home yet. Georg showed us around and provided us with an ample supply of stickers and pins. We even got an original Mozilla lanyard each.

So armed with all those goodies as well as some stuff I had brought to Berlin (a t-shirt, a hoodie and the grand-daddy of all B2G phones (a Samsung Galaxy S2, modified to dual-boot a heavily patched nightly build of Firefox OS)) we prepared a surprise in the attic of the bcc.

Thursday saw a slightly different Mozilla booth with a variety of stickers, pins, a Firefox OS mobile phone, posters with some hints (mozilla.org, getfirefox.com, mozillians.org) and QR codes. Unfortunately we couldn’t attend the booth all the time, since there were so many interesting talks we didn’t want to miss.

But the stickers and the pins disappeared almost as fast as I could resupply the booth. I began to suspect that maybe just a few afficionados helped themselves very generously. So in order to spread the remaining pins and a few hundred stickers as effectively as possiblr i had to switch tactics: Welcome to guerilla style! :-)


During the breaks i wandered around on all three floors and discretely placed some stickers on the tables where folks were working, reading, coding, eating, drinking, discussing or having fun. Some didn’t want them while others asked for a few more to give away.

On friday afternoon I gave the last remaing stickers to the volunteers that had helped keep everything going smoothly and we went to clean up the booth.


Lessons learned:
– We must always assume that Mozilla is a sponsor of such events and that there may be no official Mozilla staff available to prepare a booth, especially if there’s some “competing” event (e.g. OSCON).
– There may be no access to the resources (swag, large color printers, demo equipment, competent people) needed to make the booth look “professional”, especially if there’s no time for serious preparation.
– So next time I’m going to attend such an event, I should either coordinate my efforts with my local rep or their local office or have my Bugzilla permissions upgraded so I can check whether there’s some open bug for the event I’m going to visit.

Million Mask March Zurich – 08.11.2014

On the 8th of November (yes, 2 days before #fx10), we met in Zurich to provide a tea booth for protesters. There is a new law coming up in Switzerland which would negatively influence everybody’s privacy, which was the reason for the protest. A few days before the event I asked Martin and Gion-Andri from the Swiss community if they’d like to help out with the tea since two other members couldn’t make it that day. Fortunately they said yes and did a great job!


Reminder for everyone who wants to serve tea some time: cooking 28 liters of water for the tea is easy. It took us only about an hour to finish the tea. But since nobody of us is allowed to drive a car (we don’t need to have a car in Switzerland), we had to think about transportation. Since we also had to transport a table we needed a car and couldn’t use public transport. We didn’t find anybody with a car, so we took a taxi. The taxi driver did a great job driving steady to not spill anything. Making any other driver believe that it’s a weird taxi driver driving so slowly? We did it!

Tea booth

There we’re about 80 to 100 people attending. Since Switzerland is quite cold these days, our tea was greatly appreciated. We had a great evening and we’re surprised how many people don’t know the values of Mozilla. We need to have more events like this and show that Mozilla stands for Privacy.

Mozilla Hacking Day 2 – 11.10.2014

On the 11th of October we organized a “Mozilla Hacking Day 2″ in Berlin. This was the follow up of the first Hacking Day in Berlin in April.

On Friday we met and went to dinner and talked about the next day. Since we had to wake up early on Saturday we didn’t stay up long (*cough*). On Saturday we had a quick delay since we couldn’t have our room at TU Berlin yet at 9am. Fortunately we could have it at 9:30am and had interesting talks before that while waiting. This was organized together with MeshCon, so we could talk to a lot of people that generally don’t get in touch with Mozilla.

Table picture

We devided the tables into “Firefox”, “Firefox OS”, “Firefox Addons” and “Other”. All hacking tables had attendees present. Many of them didn’t know what to hack on, so we helped them out. Someone asked me about Popcorn.js and I could show him how to fix a bug (he found it himself!) in Popcorn Maker. On the other tables people were busy hacking on other stuff. I think most people enjoyed this day.

Table picture

At lunch we had great quiches from Florian, who suggested to cook them for us. These were amazing, thanks again to you, Florian!

Lunch picture

From the around 35 attendees, 2 said that they will continue contributing to Mozilla (Add-ons) and one even registered to be an add-on reviewer.

According to the feedback we have decided the following:

  • More specific hackathons (for example “Firefox Hacking”)
  • Since we didn’t do any localization there will be a localization sprint next year
  • It’s hard to get feedback (only 4 people have filled out the form) – how can we improve that?
  • The next time, prepare a “Good First Bug” list beforehand instead of using the bugzilla search

All in all, it was a great day and we’ll certainly provide this opportunity to learn in 2015.

Group picture

Hacking Day & MeshCon

MobileCamp Dresden May 2014

On the 10th May I went to the MobileCamp in Dresden, Germany to give a keynote about Firefox OS. One of our community members was asked if Mozilla wants to do the keynote and we thought that this is a great opportunity to tell people in Germany about our mission and our goals we have with Firefox OS.


I held the keynote right after the introduction and session planning on Monday morning. I talked about our Mission, why we’re doing Firefox OS and the current state of it. At the end I gave a quick overview of new features to come. After the keynote a few people instantly came to me and asked if they could play with my Firefox OS devices.

You can find the slides here: http://bit.ly/mobilecamp-firefoxos

Saturday evening:

On Saturday evening we went to the City Beach in Dresden and we talked about the mobile world and what the future will hold. Once again I could show Firefox OS to the people there and the general feedback was quite good.

Later I met Laura Hilliger and Henrik Skupin to get some drinks and catch up. It was great to talk to local Mozillians.

Rest of the barcamp:

Unfortunately I wasn’t very well, so I didn’t do a second session. Appmaker would be a great thing to have a session on, but there will be another MobileCamp next year or other barcamps in the German speaking countries. I’ll definitely keep that in mind.

There were a lot of other, very interesting sessions as well. In some I could provide my view from the “Firefox OS” view point, which led to great discussions.

One guy was very impressed when he experienced the keyboard and noticed that the vibration feedback is instant. I then explained that this is done using the Vibration API.

In conclusion this was a great event and I could have nice discussions about Firefox OS and its eco system.

Mozilla Hacking Day April 2014

On the 26th of April we met in Berlin to have a “Mozilla Hacking Day”. After several month of planning, we had a good session plan which sounded interesting. On meetup.com, 55 people rsvp’d and about 17 Mozillians registered to help us out at the event itself.

Mozillians Dinner on Friday:

On Friday we met at the hotel and went out for Tapas to plan the last few things for Saturday and have some Mozilla discussions.


Hacking Day on Saturday:

On Saturday around 40 people showed up to get to know Mozilla and hack on its projects.

Our schedule:

9:00 – 9:45 BREAKFAST
9:50 – 10:15 Welcome / Introduction to Mozilla Michael Kohler / Julian Viereck
10:20 – 10:35 Next things for Firefox <wip> Tim Taubert
10:40 – 10:55 Firefox OS Development FirefoxOS (Overview/Gaia) Colin Frei
11:00 – 11:15 Mozilla Research Overview Till Schneidereit
11:20 – 11:40 COFFE BREAK
11:40 – 11:55 WebRTC Avinash Kundaliya
12:00 – 12:15 ScanJS – scanning JS for security issues Security (Web, Firefox, Firefox OS, …) Frederik Braun
12:20 – 12:35
Webmaker Mozilla Webmaker (www.webmaker.org) Michael Kohler
MDN Florian Scholz
12:40 – 13:40 LUNCH BREAK
13:40 – 13:50 Hacking part introduction Introducing contacts, “how to find bugs and get started” Georg Fritzsche
afternoon Mozilla Research (Shumway) and/or JS Engine and/or ES6 goodness Till Schneidereit
afternoon e10s work in Firefox Where we are right now with E10S. What needs to be done. Show & tell Tom Schuster
afternoon Firefox OS Malware Defense and the Firefox OS Crypto Concept Thing have moved and are moving in FxOS app sec space, and I’ll update you on where we are and where we (hopefully) are going. I’ll also give an introduction to the current FxOS crypto concept proposal. Christiane Ruetten
afternoon Calendar Data for Apps and the Web with ICAL.js There are quite a few simple parsers for the iCalendar format (rfc5545)
on the net, but I have seen none that are full featured parsers. As part of my work for the Mozilla Calendar Project, I have created a
full featured replacement to the C++ libical used in our product, Lightning. This isn’t the only place scheduling is important. In this session I will show you how easily you can use ical.js to schedule on the web in a standards compatible way. Please bring your ideas on how calendaring can be used in your domain. If you want to take a look beforehand, check out https://github.com/mozilla-comm/ical.js
Philipp Kewisch
afternoon Mozmill & release testing of Firefox You will see how Mozilla QA makes use of the Mozmill framework in combination with Jenkins to qualify Firefox releases Henrik Skupin

Since we had some overlapping sessions (e.g. talks during other sessions), the attendees needed to choose what they wanted to do after lunch. Some decided to hear the rest of the talks, others went upstairs to hack on the projects. Unfortunately most of the people downstairs didn’t come upstairs to hack on something after the talks.

Those hacking upstairs splitted up to the different session tables with Firefox OS being the most popular. Some other tables, unfortunately, were empty. This is one point we need to address for future events (see “Lessions learned” below).


In conclusion we can happily say that this was a great event and we’ll follow up on that in autumn. We had a lot of discussions with interested people, mostly about Firefox OS. This was one of the first events where a lot of Mozilla emplyees were present, this is a big advantage and also helps to further improve the coorporation between employees and volunteers.


Lessions learned:

  • We knew we’ll have a few “no show”, but we didn’t expect it to be almost 40%. We need to find a way to improve that.
  • Better calculate the food: we had some Pizzas and bread left. At the end we gave it away to people needing it more than we do, but nevertheless this could be improved. But this also has to do with the first lession.
  • Better plan the sessions and ask people about their interests earlier to not have empty session tables.

A big “Thanks!” goes out to everyone who helped organize it and supported us at the event itself. Also, I’d like to thank co.up which sponsered the venue.

I’m currently planning to do a second Mozilla Hacking Day. This time with more people and all the lessions learned applied. Stay tuned!

German-speaking Community DocSprint April 2014

Am 5. und 6. April  traffen wir uns in Berlin für einen Mozilla DocSprint der deutschspachigen Community. Es konnten leider nicht alle Core-Contributors dabei sein, aber wir hatten trotzdem ein schönes und produktives Wochenende.


Am Freitag traffen wir uns im Mozilla Office in Berlin, um an einer Mozilla-Town-Hall teilzunehmen. Danach haben wir über diverse Themen diskutiert und uns auf die beiden bevorstehenden Tage vorbereitet.


Am Samstag war unsere Aufmerksamkeit vollständig auf SUMO gerichtet. Thomas hat uns eine Einführung gegeben, so dass wir danach selbständig Artikel übersetzen konnten. Mit der super Hilfe von Thomas und anderen Lokalisierern konnten wir viele Artikel zum Thema “Firefox 29″ übersetzen. Andy und andere haben jeweils die neuen Australis-Screenshots auf Deutsch dazu beigetragen.

Nach ungefähr 11 Stunden Arbeit konnten wir guten Gewisses chinesisch essen gehen.


Am Sonntag führte uns Florian in MDN am Samstag, da sich die beiden Systeme unterscheiden. Wir fokussierten uns auf die “Developer Tools” Artikel von MDN.

Am Nachmittag erhielten wir eine kurze Einführung in “Produkt-Lokalisierung” von Kadir. Mit dieser Einführung sollten nun alle in der Lage sein, die verschiedenen Produkte zu lokalisieren und die deutschsprachige Übersetzung auf dem aktuellen Stand zu halten. Da Sebastian bereits viele Bugs im Vorfeld korrigiert hatte, blieben uns nur noch 2 Bugs, die wir bearbeiten konnten. An dieser Stelle auch einen herzlichen Dank an Sebastian und Andy, welche zwar nicht dabei sein konnten, aber trotzdem massgeblich am Erfolg dieses Wochenendes beigetragen haben.

Die erledigten Arbeiten könnt ihr nachfolgend einsehen.

Erledigte Arbeiten (über alle 2 Tage verteilt):


  • 26 Artikel aktualisiert
  • 100 wichtigste Artikel: 34% -> 48%

Etherpad mit den entsprechenden Artikel und Links: https://demeeting.etherpad.mozilla.org/german-speaking-sprint-berlin-april-2014-sumo



  • Artikel übersetzt: 9 (18%)
  • Artikel aktuell: 1 (12%)


  • Artikel übersetzt: 15 (29%)
  • Artikel aktuell: 11 (74%)

Etherpad, mit den entsprechenden Artikel und Links: https://demeeting.etherpad.mozilla.org/german-speaking-sprint-berlin-april-2014-mdn


Die Liste mit den Bugs, findet ihr hier.


  • Webmaker.org wurde vollständig aktualisiert und übersetzt-> 100%
  • Appmaker Übersetzung aktualisiert –> von 40% -> 83%
  • whatcanidoformozilla.org aktualisiert und weiter übersetzt -> 100%

Mein Ziel wäre gewesen, auch noch ca. 30% der Webmaker-SUMO Artikel zu übersetzen, aber dafür hat es leider zeitlich nicht gereicht. Da ich nun aber weiss, wie diese übersetzt werden können, kann ich das auch so machen und muss nicht vor Ort in Berlin sein.

Nächste Schritte:

Wir benötigen bei SUMO weitere Reviewer, dies ist bestimmt eines der wichtigeren Themen in den nächsten Monaten. Ausserdem benötigt MDN immer wieder neue Contributors, auch da können wir bei anderen Events immer wieder MDN erwähnen.

Grundsätzlich gilt, dass wir ein sehr produktives Wochenende hatten. Aus meiner Sicht kann man dies gerne gegen Ende Jahr wiederholen. Herzlichen Dank, dass ihr alle teilgenommen habt.

Alle Bilder zu dieser Veranstaltung findet ihr auf Flickr. Die Teilnehmer sind in dieser Mozillians-Gruppe vereint.

Barcamp Salzburg March 2014

On the 15th of March I organized a Firefox OS workshop at the Barcamp Salzburg. But let’s start from the beginning.

Friday evening
On Friday evening I demoed my Firefox OS devices and had some really nice talks with the students from the FH Salzburg.

I could even try Googles Glasses in exchange with my Firefox OS device :)

After some very interesting talks we could start with our workshop in the afternoon. We had a time slot of about 2 hours. Even though about 15 persons registered for the event, only 8 showed up. Nevertheless we had a great workshop!

At the beginning I hold a short talk about Firefox OS explaining its way and our goals. No, I don’t have slides to share, since I took the very popular slides from Christian Heilmann and deleted some of the slides to fit it to our time slot.

After that Ankit took over and explained how to use the Firefox OS Simulator.

Since Ankit showed how to debug the standard applications already installed on the simulator, a lot of participants instantly opened the editor and played with the Developer Tools.

Since the time didn’t allow us to do a lot of application programming the participants just played with the simulator and we answered some questions. One guy took his already existing web app and ported it to Firefox OS.

After all, the participants had a great time playing with Firefox OS. Additionally they all now have amazing Firefox OS swag. The orange Firefox OS glasses are a great give-away and at the end we could have given away even more than we had!

German-speaking Mozilla Community Meetup February 2014

TL;DR: Great meetup, let’s work on our defined goals for 2014!

On the 8th of February 2014 we had our second “German-speaking Mozilla Community” Meetup after rebooting the community. In this blog post I’d like to review the event and tell you about our 2014 goals.

Not 100% achieved 2013 goals:

  • Not a lot of new faces on this year’s meetup
  • Even though there was a lot going on, the coordination within the groups was not great. Also overall communication can be improved.
  • “Contribute” form is hard to process -> almost no visible new contributors
  • It’s hard to find new contributors for Marketing and Localization

We splitted up in different groups: L10N/Support, Hacking and a “miscellaneous” group.

Let’s review our goals for 2014:


  • Goal: Find more contributors
  • Goal: Improve the German articles on SUMO, MDN
  • Goal: Improve the German translation of Firefox, Firefox OS
  • Solution: organize different Sprints during the year. The next sprint will be on the 5th and 6th of April in Berlin


  • Goal: Find more contributors
  • Solution: organize multiple “Mozilla Hacking Days”. The next event will be on the 26th of April in Berlin (to be definitely confirmed)
  • Solution: use the momentum of the first Hacking Day to organize a second Hacking Day. At the second event we fully go “non-Mozillians”, i.e. as many interested, possible contributors as possible


Firefox OS:

  • Goal: find new app developers and create localized apps
  • Goal: promote Firefox OS in Germany
  • Solution: organize multiple Firefox OS App Days in Germany/Austria/Switzerland
  • Firefox OS App Day Zurich (planning ongoing)
  • Firefox OS App Day Vienna (planning ongoing)
  • Firefox OS App Day Munich (planning pending)
  • Other Firefox OS App Days to be specified


  • Goal: find new contributors for posts on Twitter, Facebook, …
  • Solution: probably use already existing contributors in other areas


  • Goal: organize multiple Webmaker events in Germany, Austria and Switzerland
  • Goal: organize a OpenBadges event in Switzerland
  • Goal: organize a “All Things Web” bi-weekly course in Switzerland (probably in cooperation with the Open Tech School)
  • Solution: Meeting with Michelle Thorne on the 4th of April to discuss the ideas


At the end of the day we had a “Community Building” session. Here’s the outcome/brainstorming:

  • Use badges for contributors
  • Identify Student Ambassadors in Germany
  • Response to “Contribute” form needs to be edited
  • Reach out to other tech communities to find new contributors
  • Better integration of Mozilla employees
  • Inform other communities about our next events (JS groups, user groups, …)
  • Big Mozilla Hacking Days (see above)


The different groups will inform about the progress in the #deMeeting on the 5th of March.


Thanks again for joining us! See all photos on Henrik’s flickr page.

OKCon 2013 in Geneva

Mid of September I attended the Open Knowledge Conference 2013 in Geneva. To be honest, I had never heard of the Open Knowledge Foundation before (or I just don’t recall), so I was quite happy to see that this year’s conference was in Geneva.  I just found out about it, because Kaitlin Thaney, Director Mozilla Science Lab had a talk there.

I had heard of Open Data and seen some examples before, but I didn’t know, that there was a whole conference about it. Open Data, Open Government, Open Science, you name it. I tried to go to an OpenData.ch event last spring, but unfortunately I couldn’t make it. Otherwise I would have been involved with OpenData before, since it’s a great cause. At the Open Knowledge Conference the Swiss government announced their Open Data Portal, which (in my opinion) needs a lot of improvement and more different datasets.

Since OpenData has a strong correlation with the Open Web Mozilla wants to build, I was there talking to people about the Open Web and Mozilla’s Mission. Also I talked with people about Mozilla Webmaker to show them how easy it can be to publish their data with the Webmaker tools. One problem I was faced with was that the event registration was sponsored and so everybody had the same (sponsored) lanyard. Since I had Firefox lanyards with me, I couldn’t just go there and tell everyone to switch them. Or could I have? In my opinion that would have been quite unpolite. Nevertheless I handed out the lanyards, but didn’t ask them to switch them instantly (but some of them did on their own).

I met a lot of inspiring persons with whom I will get in contact shortly to create more events to get the general public more aware about Open Data and the Web.