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Mark Surman: Advocating for web literacy

ma, 20/07/2015 - 23:53

I often throw around big numbers when I talk about web literacy: “Soon we’ll have five billion people on the web. We need to make sure they all understand how it works and how to wield it.” I believe this. And, I believe that Mozilla needs to play a key role here. But the question is: how?

Advocating for web literacy

Moving through Mozilla Learning planning, we’ve concluded we need two interlinked strategies: leadership development and large scale advocacy. Leadership development is fairly straightforward: Mozilla already has programs focused on this. Advocacy — or shifting understanding and thinking about the web — is harder. We have experience and talent here, but it is more nascent. Where to invest and how to move forward is less clear. This post lays out baseline thinking on a Mozilla Learning advocacy agenda with an aim of fueling a deeper discussion about our approach.


The first step toward figuring out where we want to invest is agreeing on the impact we want to have. At the core, it’s something like:

Impact = everyone knows how to read, write and participate on the web.

This is ultimately what we’re aiming at. It’s big and abstract, but substantively it is what we want: universal web literacy. Like universal language literacy, we will never fully reach the goal. But we can meaningfully make and measure progress across the globe.

Within this overall goal, there are specific places that might be more or less important to have impact. For example:

Impact = new internet users understand the full scope of the web.
Impact = more people know how to protect their privacy.
Impact = gov’ts, foundations and companies value web literacy.

We need to pick two or three focusing impact statements like these to guide our work, at least for the next few years. There could be dozens of impact statements like this that are worthy — but we’ll only succeed if we know which ones we’re going after, and then drive hard toward them.


Mozilla is already doing good work that improves public understanding of the web and promote web literacy.

For example, we run advocacy campaigns on topics like net neutrality and mass surveillance. As a result, Firefox users learn about these complex issues in a simple way and are able to talk to others about them. They become more literate about the issues facing the internet today.

Or, a very different example: we give talks, create curriculum and offer software to encourage other organizations to participate in our web literacy agenda. This makes it easy for the kinds of organizations that belong to Hive or run Maker Parties — or, eventually, for governments or philanthropies — to connect the educational work they already do everyday to our cause of teaching the world the web.

While we’re already having an impact in areas like these, we want to have impact at a larger scale. What we need to do is take a look at which tactics are most impactful. Some options are:

  1. Advocating for the web: building a strong educational element into a regular series of political and advocacy campaigns. E.g. our recent net neutrality campaigns.
  1. Advocating for web literacy: promoting the importance of web literacy and giving others around the world the tools to teach it. E.g. lobbying governments and educational orgs to deploy curriculum from Mozilla Clubs, MDN, etc.
  1. Consumer education: building educational messages about topics like privacy into our product channels, advertising or other places where we have a large audience. E.g. Smart On campaigns or internet onboarding programs w/ phone carriers.
  1. Ambient learning: putting features and cues inside our mainstream consumer software in ways that are likely to help people better understand the web. E.g. tinker mode in Webmaker or private browsing in Firefox.
  1. Thought leadership: defining an agenda around the future of the web or web literacy and then talking about it loudly in public. E.g. a more robust version of Shape of the Web backed by an extensive public relations and media campaign.

Part of our work with Mozilla Learning is to: a) look at these tactics and others; b) line them up against our impact statements; and c) decide which ones should be at the center of our overall strategy. Specific questions we’ll need to answer include:

  • What concrete impact do we want in the next three years?
  • Where are the best opportunities to reach a large audience?
  • What tactics help us grow our constituency? (aka relationships)
  • How do constituency and audience lead to impact?
  • How do we measure impact and change?

As we do this, we need to keep in mind that the ultimate goal of the Mozilla Learning strategy is universal web literacy. Whatever we do needs to be driving back to that goal in a way that we can understand and measure, at least over time.

Finding the right mix

When I think about other organizations I admire, they use an artful mix of reinforcing strategies. National Geographic mixes mass media with environmental education with adventure travel packages. The American Lung Association mixes anti-tobacco policy work with stop smoking programs with social marketing. The Sierra Club mixes environmental activism with hiking and canoeing. This kind of mix makes for effective and lasting organizations, with impacts at scale.

As we refine the Mozilla Learning plan, and our overall strategy as an organization, I think we need a mix something like:

A. Mainstream software with Mozilla’s values

complemented by

B. Leadership development
C. [still to be defined large scale advocacy efforts]

We already have A (Firefox). And we’re getting close on B (Hive, Clubs, fellows, etc.). The chunk of work we need to do now is figure out C.

As part of the next phase of Mozilla Learning strategy, Ben Moskowitz and David Ascher are going to lead a series of discussions on this ‘moving the needle on massive web literacy’ topic. Key people from MoFo’s advocacy and product teams will also play a leadership role in this process. And there will be chances along the way for anyone who has interest to join the conversation. More info will be available when the process kicks off in mid-August. In the meantime, I wanted to throw out these questions for discussion and debate.

Filed under: mozilla
Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Air Mozilla: Mozilla Weekly Project Meeting

ma, 20/07/2015 - 20:00

Mozilla Weekly Project Meeting The Monday Project Meeting

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Air Mozilla: Mozilla Weekly Project Meeting

ma, 20/07/2015 - 20:00

Mozilla Weekly Project Meeting The Monday Project Meeting

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Chris Cooper: RelEng & RelOps Weekly highlights - July 17, 2015

ma, 20/07/2015 - 18:31

Welcome to the weekly releng Friday update, only this time on a Monday!

I’ve done away with the gory details section. It was basically a thin filter for bugzilla search results, and we all spend enough time in bugzilla already.


TaskCluster: Funsize is generating partial updates for nightly/aurora builds now! We’re generating partial updates for up to 4 days in the past: link to TreeHerder results, which are hidden by default.

You can set your update channel to ‘nightly-funsize’ to test.

This quarter, we’re working on a scopes and authentication/credentials audit of TaskCluster to make sure it’s secure enough to move build/testing load from buildbot to TaskCluster. Hal is leading this effort with the OpSec team.

Our interns are also hard at work on migrations to TaskCluster. Anhad finished his work migrating spidermonkey builds and tests (, while Anthony is working on uploading symbols via a separate task (

Modernize infrastructure: Runner is now enabled on all our Windows build machines. One of the biggest benefits of this is that runner is performing most clobber/purge work before buildbot starts and so build jobs don’t need to waste so much time clobbering build directories or freeing up space.

We’re starting to investigate what the requirements are to stand up Windows 10 CI infrastructure. We’re attacking both the build integration side and the OS installation and configuration side simultaneously.

We’ve finished collecting performance data for Windows in AWS and have chosen the c3.2xlarge platform as our base for future 2008 instances.

New proposal for TaskCluster routes for buildbot/TaskCluster uploads: Mike is looking for feedback about how we organize builds in the TaskCluster index. These routes will make it possible to find builds via various parameters like platform, revision, or build date.

Mozharness in-tree: The mozharness archiver was deployed but encountered problems with celery task proliferation. Jordan wrote some code to better track and expire the celery tasks, and deployed it late last week. We hope to resume the in-tree migration this week.

Improve release pipeline: Ben has been working on killing XULRunner builds and replacing them with the Firefox SDK we’re already producing. This will really simplify our release pipeline, and clean up our codebase as well.

Improve CI pipeline: Ted got 64-bit OS X cross-compiling in one of the existing docker containers! He still needs to figure out universal builds, but this is a big step forward.

Release: Firefox 40 is currently in beta. We’re up to b5 now.

Operational: A bad commit landed on upstream master for “repo” caused trees to be closed for many hours last Wednesday. We eventually got back in business by stripping commits on the master. There are bugs on file now to improve how we handle these repos in automation going forward to avoid precisely this kind of problem.

I took particular solace in this bug because somewhere, someone decided that naming a git repo “repo” was a good idea. Releng is not the only group that is terrible at naming things.

We’ve fixed some bugs in and bundled Metric Collective, our OS-level metrics collection software on Windows, into an exe for use with our puppet-managed Windows servers.

We’ve gotten a nuget repo set up on our configuration management servers and work is starting to make that the default package manager for puppet-managed Windows hosts.

There was a big, disruptive, tree-closing window (TCW) over the weekend, and everything went smoothly from our perspective.

See you next week!

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Daniel Pocock: RTC status on Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora

ma, 20/07/2015 - 16:04

Zoltan (Zoltanh721) recently blogged about WebRTC for the Fedora community and Fedora desktop. has been running for a while now and this has given many people a chance to get a taste of regular SIP and WebRTC-based SIP. As suggested in Zoltan's blog, it has convenient integration with Fedora SSO and as the source code is available, people are welcome to see how it was built and use it for other projects.

Issues with Chrome/Chromium on Linux

If you tried any of, or using Chrome/Chromium on Linux, you may have found that the call appears to be connected but there is no media. This is a bug and the Chromium developers are on to it. You can work around this by trying an older version of Chromium (it still works with v37 from Debian wheezy) or Firefox/Iceweasel.

WebRTC is not everything

WebRTC offers many great possibilities for people to quickly build and deploy RTC services to a large user base, especially when using components like JSCommunicator or the DruCall WebRTC plugin for Drupal.

However, it is not a silver bullet. For example, there remain concerns about how to receive incoming calls. How do you know which browser tab is ringing when you have many tabs open at once? This may require greater browser/desktop integration and that has security implications for JavaScript. Whether users on battery-powered devices can really leave JavaScript running for extended periods of time waiting for incoming calls is another issue, especially when you consider that many web sites contain some JavaScript that is less than efficient.

Native applications and mobile apps like Lumicall continue to offer the most optimized solution for each platform although WebRTC currently offers the most convenient way for people to place a Call me link on their web site or portal.

Deploy it yourself

The RTC Quick Start Guide offers step-by-step instructions and a thorough discussion of the architecture for people to start deploying RTC and WebRTC on their own servers using standard packages on many of the most popular Linux distributions, including Debian, Ubuntu, RHEL, CentOS and Fedora.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Support.Mozilla.Org: Want to be a star in a SUMO video? Keep on reading!

ma, 20/07/2015 - 15:00

gi-hero-questionsDear SUMO Warriors (and everyone else reading these words)!

A SUMO video?

A SUMO video! We would like to put together a fun video with your help – a video to show what SUMO is about, in an entertaining way. We want users around the world to have an instant visual reminder that the great community around Mozilla (yes, this means YOU!) have their back when trouble and errors strike.

How can you get involved?

It’s super simple!

  • Record a short (2-5 seconds) video of you, your family or friends experiencing “problems in front of a computer”.
  • Make it fun, but obvious that the person (or people) using the computers are not having a good time and they need help.
  • Record the video in .MOV, .MPEG4, .MP4 or in .AVI format.
  • Send the video via email to Michał or Madalina

More details as we get the videos from you!

Go forth and record! :-)

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

QMO: Firefox 40 Beta 7 Testday, July 24th

ma, 20/07/2015 - 14:21

I’m writing to let you know that this Friday, July 24th, we’ll be hosting the Firefox 40.0 Beta 7 Testday. The main focus of this event is going to be set on Hello – Context, Flash Plugin and Graphics. Detailed participation instructions are available in this etherpad.

No previous testing experience is required so feel free to join us on the #qa IRC channel and our moderators will make sure you’ve got everything you need to get started.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all this Friday! Let’s make Firefox better together!

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla Reps Community: Reps of the month – June 2015

ma, 20/07/2015 - 12:14

Please join us in congratulating Ahmed Nefzaoui from Tunisia and Yofie Setiawan from Indonesia for being selected as Mozilla Reps of the Month for June 2015.

Ahmed has been involved in the Tunisia Community for 3 years now. He contributes fixes to the RTL (right-to-left) UI, various other user experience related issues and fixes bugs for Firefox OS. He’s also known as “the RTL guy” within the community. Additionally he helps out with the Arabic localization for several projects and Mozilla websites. He was also involved in the Firefox OS launch in Tunisia with the help of other awesome contributors, localizers and supporters.

Yofie has been involved in the Indonesian Community for more than 4 years. Passionate Mozillian and hard-working as a Rep. Based in Jakarta – Indonesia, Yofie has been actively spreading the word and getting people involved in the Mozilla project in schools, local communities, mobile shops and basically wherever he can. Within Reps Yofie is mostly known for his great work designing for several Mozilla projects and helping out growing the Mozilla Indonesia community. He recently was the lead for the launch of the new Indonesia community website at

Don’t forget to congratulate them on Discourse!

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet