Boston Developer Day Wrap-up

The Boston Developer Day was a great time. The group was a bit different than the Mountain View Developer Day. There were many individual attendees, whereas Mountain View had more group attendees. Overall, the attendees were more vocal in Boston too. We also tweaked the schedule to make the lightning talks shorter and more focused – Just say your high points, show your demo and get out. We were able to get to the breakout sessions faster.

Instead of 2 separate breakout sessions, we decided on a single track with hour long sessions. This seemed to work better than separate sessions because it created a bigger group which led to more discussion. We ended up with the following breakout sessions:

  • Streamlining the Mozilla build system – Benjamin Smedberg & Ted Mielczarek: Lots of config and make and discussion. Benjamin’s blog discusses much of the background on his (and now Ted’s) efforts to move to something more Python in it. We also discussed a little about when extension developers should try to build Firefox and when they should not even think about it.
  • Teaching Mozilla – Dave Humphrey: Dave discussed the success Seneca has had with incorporating Mozilla into curriculum. We also talked a lot about mentoring new Mozilla contributors and extension developers. We covered IRC etiquette, nice-to-have documentation and the various sub-communities inside Mozilla – contributors, extension developers and localizers.
  • Extension security and signing – Window Snyder: This ended up being a rather long discussion of the value of signing extensions and how we can work to contain trojan extensions, should one appear. We talked about AMO‘s security measures and what extension developer’s should use as best practices to get an extension reviewed faster on AMO – no binary components!
  • 3D extensions to <canvas>Vlad Vukićević: Vlad showed a quick demo of an extension that adds 3D capabilities to <canvas> much like the one he did in Mountain View. This time the discussion focused much more on how a 3D <canvas> API could be used to enhance web pages and web apps. We also talked about the next phases – where 3D could be used in the browser UI itself and where 3D features could be controlled in CSS. Vlad should have a blog post and demo ready soon. Channy did a short video of the demo.
  • FUEL and a cool UI effects library – John Resig & myself: We covered much of which I blogged about from the Mountain View. But the discussion leaned more toward how-to implement FUEL and Effects.

Boston Developer Day blogging links:

  • Seth Bindernagel has some posts covering the day.
  • Channy Yun has a post with photos and movies.
  • Eric Shepherd also has some posts during the day.
  • Dave Humphrey did a pre-day post. I suspect he’ll have a post-day post as well.
  • Mike Beltzner – Mr. Versatility

Wow, 2 developer days in 6 days on both coasts is a bit exhausting. But it was a great learning experience and I got to hear from so many Mozilla platform (extensions and XUL apps) developers that I can’t wait to do the next one. Let us know where you think we should have the next one.

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