Engagement/Developer Engagement/FirefoxOSAppsv2

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Technical Evangelism Group Firefox OS Developer Engagement Plan

Owners: Havi Hoffman, Christie Koehler, Mark Coggins

Status: Living document, subject to on-going revision and status updates. First draft reviewed by Mozilla management in Engagement and Marketplace departments and Telefonica.

Review Protocol: If you own an action item, please feel free to make edits directly to your items in the plan. Likewise, if you wish to add an activity for you or your group, please add it directly to the plan. Otherwise, please use the Discussion menu item above to record suggestions and feedback. Havi, Christie or Mark will make sure that you receive a response in the discussion area or that your comments are incorporated. Thanks.


The overarching goal of the plan is to generate enthusiasm and build a vital developer ecosystem around HTML5, Open Web Apps and Mobile Apps for Firefox OS. In the short to medium term, we seek to:

  • Encourage and enable developers to populate the Firefox Marketplace with relevant, quality apps in support of the initial launch
  • Six months after launch, encourage and enable population of 10x the number of relevant, quality apps


By Developer Type

  • HTML5 Developers:
    • HTML5 Game Developers
    • Chrome App Developers
    • HTML5 developers with apps in independent marketplaces (e.g., OpenAppMkt)
    • Developers without apps who can be encouraged to apply skills in app creation
  • Web Developers: General web developers unfamiliar with HTML5 specifics/or mobile app UX who can be encouraged to build quality apps via events, training, enablement resources & incentives
  • Mobile App Developers: iPhone & Android app developers with existing apps that can be ported or recoded to Firefox OS, leveraging translation tools when possible
  • Other: Interested Java, C++, etc. developers who are motivated by affinity with the Mozilla community to support Firefox OS by contributing apps

Observed Developer Demographics By Region

  • Brazil: Mainly Web Developers and Others, often drawn from university or Free Software environments; very little base of HTML5 or Mobile App Developers
  • Others: TBD


  • Make training, documentation, design guidelines and sample code available on MDN, DevHub and the Mozilla Hacks blog
  • Facilitate community-driven developer support with oversight from Mozilla
  • Provide developer tools to aid in app emulation/simulation and validation
  • Distribute branded phones to enable app development and generate awareness
  • Collect and synthesize developer feedback to suggest improvements in the platform and improve developer uptake
  • Use incentives such as paid-for consulting services to engage and move developers through the app development lifecycle
  • Employ conference talks to generate awareness and raise developer interest in HTML5, Open Web Apps and Firefox OS
  • Host a series of world-wide developer events on Firefox OS in January in a lead-up to Mobile World Congress
  • Target existing HTML5 and mobile app developers and encourage them to migrate their applications to Firefox OS
  • Feature early app contributors to the Marketplace in January MDN events and Mobile World Congress

Participants & Stakeholders

Developer Engagement Team (Stormy Peters)

  • Technical Evangelism team (Mark Coggins)
  • Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) team (Ali Spivak)
  • Contributors from the Global Mozilla community
    • Doc sprint contributors
    • Localizers
    • Speakers, community leaders and evangelism reps

Developer Tools & Websites

  • Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) team (Ali Spivak)
  • DevHub (Fred Wenzel Engineering / Daniel Buchner PM)
  • Developer Tools (Kevin Dangoor PM / Dave Camp Engineering)

App Submission

  • App Review Manager (Lisa Brewster)

Mozilla Support Team (SUMO)

  • Apps & Marketplace support (Ibai Garcia)


  • Telefonica
    • Blue Via
    • Wayra
    • Vivo/Terra
  • Qualcomm

Activities by Phase

The following describes activities of the plan by phase. Commencement of the developer-facing activities for a particular phase will be tied to satisfaction of its dependencies (for example, availability of devices) in order to avoid engaging developers when needed resources or the maturity of the platform makes it unlikely they will succeed. (Note: this does not mean that plan participants will refrain from working toward needed deliverables for future phases.)

Activities for earlier phases may continue even after new phases commence. For example, efforts to raise awareness in the developer community about Firefox OS will continue for the full duration of the plan.

Explanations of the categories of activities used in each phase are shown below in the Category Definitions section.

I. Raise Developer Awareness


  • Firefox OS project initiated

Anticipated Start Time

  • Project initiation


Category Activity Owner Date/Link to Details
Events Conference appearances to provide education on and promote HTML5, Web APIs and Open Web Apps Developer Evangelists + Evangelism Reps Ongoing
Events Hackathons in Brazil and elsewhere to educate and engage local developers Shezmeen Prasad, Havi Hoffman Firefox OS Apps Event Plan
Events Phone Ambassador Program - phones to demo, get feedback, file bugs and generate buzz. Shezmeen Prasad Sept 7-9 in Warsaw, Poland MozCamp
Content Mozilla Hacks & Beyond The Code posts on HTML5, Open Web Apps and Firefox OS Developer Evangelists, Mozillians, Recruited Authors Ongoing Editorial Guidelines
Content Initial MDN pages on Firefox OS, Apps and associated tools MDN Developer Documentation team Done
Content Initial DevHub design and deployment DevHub content, product, engineering Done
Content MDN Home Page Redesign to highlight FFOS & Marketplace/apps Ali Spivak Redesign kicked off, will have draft plan by Oct. 15
Content Initial definition of what constitutes a quality Firefox OS app Havi Hoffman / Joe Stagner Handed off to Lisa Brewster, Marketplace Reviewer
Training Train Evangelism Reps in community to effectively promote HTML5, Open Web Apps and Firefox OS Christian Heilmann / Shezmeen Prasad Ongoing Evangelism Reps Program Evangelism reps Facebook
Tools First versions of desktop simulator & emulator B2G team w/contributions from Jeff Griffith team Done
Support Stand up initial Google groups page for community Firefox OS support MDN Done Mozilla.webapps


II. Enable App Prototyping


  • Solid, easy to use desktop emulator/simulator
  • Platform code complete, Web APIs stable & performant
  • Access to demo phones

Anticipated Start Time

  • October 2012


Category Activity Owner Date/Link to Details
Content Plan to rationalize and synchronize MDN, DevHub and Tools Ali Spivak, Fred Wenzel, Mark Giffin, Others in process (plan due 11/1/12)
Tools Release and documentation of R2D2B2G tool - FFOS Simulator Myk Melez, Dev Tools stakeholder, MDN stakeholder First version introduced in Hacks blog post; targeting release in mid-November
Content Sample app with blog post and other documentation describing its construction Joe Stagner In process with December due date.
Support Develop and implement strategy for developer support Mark Coggins / Ibai Garcia / DevHub Agreed on a two-pronged approach: Stackoverflow for general HTML5 app questions; SUMO forum for Firefox OS-specific questions. Stackoverflow is linked from DevHub. Need to do the same for selected SUMO forum technology.
Feedback Capture Identify and benchmark existing HTML5 games on native Firefox OS to gauge portability & identify performance bottlenecks Rob Hawkes Games identified; benchmarking ongoing, weekly report available by request
Support Identify and sign-up a minimum of 25 developers with HTML5 games to attend app migration event Rob Hawkes In process with December due date.
Support Identify and sign-up a minimum of 25 developers with non-game HTML5 apps to attend app migration event Joe Stagner In process with December due date.

III. Enable Marketplace Readiness


  • API signature freeze

Anticipated Start Time

  • December 2012


Category Activity Owner Date/Link to Details
Content Flesh out Firefox OS documentation on MDN/Devhub Ali Spivak / Eric Shepherd (MDN) Docs are in process. Reference: B2G Sales Tools Docs list
Content Start publication of a Firefox OS Developer Newsletter Havi Hoffman Initial list assembled; first mailing in December.
Support Work one-on-one with several developers with existing HTML5 apps to understand issues in migrating them to Firefox OS. Rob Hawkes December

IV. Support App Goal for Launch


  • Code Freeze
  • Performant rendering, particularly for game apps
  • Availability of devices for use by developers as described in the Phone Deployment Plan

Anticipated Start Time

  • January 2013


Category Activity Owner Date/Link to Details
Events Hold developer events on Firefox OS in multiple venues world-wide during one week in January to build momentum for MWC Contributor Engagement, Havi Hoffman, Julie Choi, Telefonica Firefox OS App Days
Events Two invite-only events targeted at HTML5 developers with existing apps that can be easily ported/moved to Firefox OS. Rob Hawkes, Joe Stagner, Christian Heilmann, Julie Choi Porting apps to Firefox OS training outline
Events Invite select, early Marketplace app contributors to Mobile World Congress to feature and promote Mark Coggins, Shezmeen Prasad

V. Expand Reach


  • Regional go to market plan with schedule

Anticipated Start Time

  • June 2013 (Initial Launch)


Category Activity Owner Date/Link to Details
Feedback Capture Gather, synthesize and communicate developer feedback to Firefox OS, Apps & Marketplace, and Platform teams via a weekly report Developer Evangelists
Content Create a "Why Develop FireFox OS Apps / Open Web Apps" value proposition for developers Product Marketing / Marketplace
Content Provide a taxonomy of application types with a prioritized list of desired apps to encourage development Mark Coggins / DevHub?
Content Develop performance tips & tricks guidelines Developer Evangelists with feedback from Engineering
Incentives Launch Incentives trials for Mobile UX, Code review workshops & 1:1s Havi Hoffman Mobile mentorship workshop pilot - Bryan Clark @PapayaVentures
Incentives For qualified developers, provide access to professional UI design consultancy
Content Develop UI style guidelines
Content Publish a series of videos highlighting selected apps and associated app developer(s) to describe technical approaches and marketplace success
Events How-to webinar series for app developers; done live on-line and posted to MDN/DevHub MDN (Janet Swisher & Mark Giffin) /DevEcosystem /Apps engineering
Tools Encourage Google and others to modify their manifest creation tools to support Firefox OS format Developer Evangelists
Tools / Content Publish materials describing how to leverage Emscripten to convert native apps from C++ to Javascript
Content Develop guide on porting/moving Chrome web apps to Firefox OS Developer Evangelists
Support Provide community-driven app localization hub on MDN/Devhub Ali Spivak / Daniel Buchner
Tools Lint-like tool to validate adherence to app guidelines (Extend scope of Cvan's prototype manifest checker) Wil Clouser
Content Starter app framework to provide head start for app construction, perhaps in targeted app area like sports or games Developer Evangelists + Consulting firm?

Category Definitions

Category Definition
Content Formal documentation on MDN or DevHub, blog posts on the Mozilla Hacks blog, social media interactions, sample code, videos, training materials, archived presentations and design guidelines.
Incentives Incentives such as design consulting to encourage developers to move through the app development lifecycle.
Events Talks at non-Mozilla conferences, participation in partner conferences and Mozilla-sponsored events, face-to-face and over the web.
Feedback Capture Collection and synthesis of developer feedback on Firefox OS to be given to Mozilla engineering team.
Support Community or Mozilla-driven support to answer developer questions on developing Firefox OS apps, or other 1:1 interactions to enable or encourage app submission.
Tools Tools such as emulators and simulators that enable the app development process.