My weekend at FOSDEM 2008

What an amazing weekend! Reminisce about the last two years this one was definitely the greatest one at FOSDEM. The main reason why I joined again was Mozilla. And due to there aren’t so many choices to get the opportunity to meet Mozillians, I cannot cancel such an appointment. 😉 I met a lot of interesting and crazy people, listened to mostly all talks inside the Mozilla devroom (also known as sauna) and had pulsating and valuable conversations. Mostly I enjoyed to finally met Seth Bindernagel and David Tenser. Both guys working for the Mozilla Corporation and doing (like many others) a really great job. And that’s the reason why Mozilla gets so popular and can celebrate its 10th anniversary this year. Thanks to the organization team of Mozilla-Europe we had an incredible evening in the bowling centre. Sadly I didn’t made any pictures this year. But that’s not as bad because there are still hundreds of them available.

To be a bit more concrete about the topics I had at FOSDEM and work that I’ve taken with me, I will give a short overview:

  1. Some weeks ago during a QA session on IRC, Marcia Knous asked me if I would be pleased when Mozilla would support my work. I was happy to hear that because I don’t have the perfect equipment to build my own debug builds under each operating system. This is bad when triaging crasher bugs which only happen under a special OS. Now everything goes really fast. Three days later I got a message from Seth Bindernagel who leads the community-giving program. After some conversations there was made the decision that I will get a new Mac Mini and the appropriate OS licenses. Finally we met each other at FOSDEM and discussed if I would fit into the Community Loan Program. But due to I don’t have a real plan of things I want to do – QA work is really widespread – we dismissed that option. Meanwhile I got the Mac Mini from my local Apple salesman and I will start to set it up within the next days. Hopefully I’ll get some help.
  2. Over the last month I heard about SUMO several times. But I hadn’t the change to gain insight into this project. So I was totally uninformed on Friday evening when I was introduced to David Tenser, the smart and blond Swedish guy behind this project. To make matters worse his first question was about the German translation. I had to acknowledge my ignorance. 😉 But during his talk on Saturday I get more and more informed about the background. In co-operation with Abdulkadir Topal we will try to find some reliable localizers who are engaged to help translating the Firefox 3 help into German. We plan to do some posts to our German newsgroups and forums. Lets see if we are successful.
  3. On Friday I also had the chance to talk with Chris Hofmann about the translation of the Firefox privacy policy into German. Due to the legal text no-one wanted to do that in the past. Now we will give it a try and do our best to create a good first translation. But the final review will be done by a lawyer so we don’t have to know everything in detail. That’s really helpful! Thanks Chris.
  4. Stanisław Małolepszy and Seth Bindernagel did a great job in analyzing the latest community surveys. Hopefully we can get some data to be able to have a detail view onto the community in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It looked like we are really a bit behind and not so enthusiastic like the Spanish folks…

Finally I have a lot of things to do right now and will give several status updates over the next weeks.