You are receiving this email as a group of people interested in and/or working closely with Developer Relations to support app & web developers worldwide. This is intended to provide highlights about what is happening among web & app developers as well as to foster greater points of collaboration among Mozilla to support them.
We welcome your feedback!
Welcome to the inaugural edition of DevPulse: a monthly glance at stuff happening among developers & Mozilla!
- Game Developer Conference (GDC). Mozilla had a strong presence at last week's GDC conference in San Francisco. Firefox's ability to power gaming on the web was demonstrated through various demos, presentations and partner announcements. Highlights include:
- Mozilla & Unity announcement of new deployment tools bringing Unity-authored games to the Web without the need for plugins, This builds on existing work to broaden the impact of gaming on the web.
- Presentations by various Mozillians including Martin Best, Angelina Fabbro, Bill Maggs, Vukićević,Luke Wagner and Alon Zakai ranging from a high level overview of the state of the Web as a gaming platform to a deep dive into game developer tools from Mozilla.
- Constant browser and Firefox OS demos at the Mozilla stand, reaching interested game developers, game publishers, and students.
- One major step for open web apps! Last week Firefox for Android Beta (Fx29) was released into the Google Play Store. This means that developers who submit an app to the Firefox Marketplace will soon get the option of making their app available to Android. Details are on MDN and Hacks
- Guest posts on Hacks. We've had some great guests post on the Mozilla Hacks blog. A sampling:
- Flambe Provides Support for Firefox OS by lead Flambe developer Bruno Garcia addresses how this flexible cross-platform 2D game engine now integrates easily with Firefox OS (as demonstrated in Nickeloden Games)
- The Translation of the Firetext App by Mozillian Joshua Smith, who developed this popular open source text editor for Firefox OS, and then got it localized in 20 languages!
- jsDelivr -- The advanced open source public CDN by Dmitriy Akulov outlines Dmitriy's free and open source Content Delivery Network (CDN), jsDelivr, for developers and webmasters
Recent & upcoming Mozilla projects & event highlights
- Firefox OS video series. We recently launched a series of videos along with our partner Telenor which outline the basics of Firefox OS and getting an app onto Marketplace. These videos are all available on YouTube and will also be downloadable for those wishing to use them in their own training materials. The intended audience is web developers who want to enter app development. The videos are kept short and simple, and there is accompanying demo code for hands-on learning.
- MDN Work Weekend. The Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) team of staff & contributors assembled in Paris earlier this month and did a lot of work. Highlights include improvements to the overall platform (including a "slaughter" of 137 bugs) and content (including categorizing content by "Beginner," "Intermediate" and "Advanced" level) and process (including guidelines and tools for new contributors and developer events). Direct from staff and contributors wrote more in this post, and full details of the sessions are here.
- MDN Learning Project. This year MDN is kicking off initiatives to improve experiences for beginners. Most recently, this entailed a survey of 70 participants providing actionable insights including enhanced organization of content and providing live, editable content for code. View the full report here.
- Phones for PhoneGap apps. Mozilla's program offering developers of great PhoneGap (which allows developers to quickly and easily port existing apps to platforms like Firefox OS) apps is in full swing. Learn more about the program and how to build apps in Cordova (the underlying software in PhoneGap that allows mobile application developers to access native device functions). More on using Cordova (and the program) here, and you can also check out [https://github.com/JasonWeathersby/cordovasample a sample app by Jason Weathersby showing how to port a Cordova App to Firefox OS.
App & web developer Perspectives
- Stack Overflow. Learn from and participate in ongoing discussions among Firefox OS app developers on Stack Overflow.
- User research. Larissa Co and Cori Schauer in our UX group have met with DevReland DevTools to establish a plan to get a better understanding of how app developers work and what makes them effective. They are meeting with app developers in both the San Francisco Bay Area and Warsaw this month. Preliminary learnings include:
- Pain points exist around submitting an app to multiple marketplaces, app discovery and a lack of information around Firefox tools. Casual meetup groups (and not conferences) are where most of the Bay Area developers (especially the hobbyists) learn about new technology. Participants specifically said they constantly hear about what they can do with the Chrome browser and their dev tools, but don't hear much about Firefox in their local communities.
- Ongoing information on this research is being shared on the firstname.lastname@example.org list.
- Keep learning. We've also created a "MozAppDev-Alliance" group list for Mozillians across various groups and functions who are interested in the overall app developer experience. Sign up here.
- Upcoming events. We sponsor developer events that support the open web. Through our worldwide network of Mozillians, we participate in technical events with highly engaged speakers and attendees. All of our sponsored events have one or more engaged Mozillians, and our presence is focused on helping developers create awesome content for the open web. Of note:
We have a lot of data-lovers wanting to help app developers, and that data often leads to actionable insights! Some from this month:
- Demographics. Google Analytics confirms a large percentage (61%) of MDN & Hacks visitors are 18-34 years old. Action item: we plan to focus on University outreach to help grow contribution.
- Sign-ins. Only 1% of MDN visitors sign in, yet a full 7% of signed-in MDN users contribute to the wiki. Action item: we are working to improve MDN's sign-in flow.
- More MDN site metrics & KPIsare available in the February State of MDN report.
Supporting developers together
- Support community resources: Code Firefox. Contributor Brian Bondy has built Code Firefox, a one-stop resource to learn everything about Firefox. Have a play, see what you like about it and share what is missing.
- Participate in a developer event. We have various opportunities to participate in events worldwide. If you know of a developer-related event that you believe Mozilla should participate in, please tell us more using this event form.
- Translate. The video series with Telenor Digital will be distributed in emerging markets for developers in various languages so help translating subtitles and transcripts is appreciated. We will add a subtitling sectionto the wiki page when the series is out.
- Tell us what code you need. We've gotten feedback that having live, editable code samples on MDN would be helpful. Please submit any ideas for this here.
- Share what developer-friendly things are coming up. We'd love to hear about projects, events and other activities for developers, and help out if we can! You can participate on our distribution list, or send this stuff directly to Diane (email@example.com).
- Talk with us. We have an open meeting in the #devrel IRC each Tuesday at 9am PST. Agendas and minutes are here.