Saturday, 29 November 2008

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Mozilla 2010 Goals

To move Mozilla mission, Mitchell Baker, Chairperson of Mozilla has proposed a few goals for the next few years called "Mozilla 2010 Goals". As part of my contribution to it, I have answered a few questions from a personal perspective. My answers are in a broader sense. Specific conclusions can be made after discussions in the line of my answers. Their purpose is guiding.

1. How do you feel the Mozilla community can help you with your individual development, whether it's personal, professional, or both?

Today, nearly all of us have a virtual life synced with our real life. The internet (not to be confused with the web) is an essential tool/way of communication, job control, etc. Mozilla tools like Firefox and Thunderbird (these are the ones I use) serve as basic internet usage tools. I follow internet news, check email and follows RSS feeds through Thunderbird and browse through Firefox. These two tools are used seamlessly by me. The basic nature of these two tools in my case is evident from the fact that Firefox was the first software I downloaded after more than a dozen reinstalls I have had during my four years of experience with it.

2. Do you feel Mozilla can be more involved in certain communities, whether they be geographical, technological, or within the Mozilla world?

Yes I do feel Mozilla can be more involved in many other communities. For example, currently Firefox on Linux has some GNOME bindings. KDE users (XFCE users won't have much trouble as they have some GNOME linkages.) find this problematic. I heard of Nokia developing a QT port of Firefox.

3. Where do you think innovation comes from in the Mozilla world?

Every time we use a software product, we translate our needs into tasks that the product can do. There are occassions where this is not possible and we either find a work around or leave the task. However, sometimes when direct translation of needs into tasks is not possible, we boldly go for creating the functionality to suit our needs. This is where innovation comes in. For example, plugins serve specific purposes which their authors want to have as functionalities.

4. What specific areas in the world of Internet technology and the open Web do you see Mozilla being a leader?

I see Mozilla as a leader in basic communication. I like the ease of usage of Mozilla products.

5. How can Mozilla play a bigger role in moving the Web forward?

Today many people do not feel a difference between online use and offline use. That transition phase should be minimised more and a seamless integration of browsing, mailing, document reading, writing and editing should be aimed at. The ease of usage, security and simplicity of the technology shall lead it ahead.

6. Do you feel strongly about how your information is stored and used online by the websites you visit?

Yes. I like privacy and try to minimize the information that is being stored.

7. What concerns do you have about Mozilla getting more involved with data related to Web users?

I doubt breach of privacy.

8. What benefits do you see for aggregating anonymous "usage data" and making it available to the world as a public resource?

No problems as long as the user permits it explicitly and with full knowledge of it rather than in ignorance.

9. Do you have ideas on how Firefox for mobile devices can carry on the Mozilla mission?

I want seamless integration of web services and Firefox for mobile is an essential part of it.

10. Why do you think Firefox has not captured more browser marketshare?

Ignorance about Mozilla products is a major cause. I would like to have input from people in the corporate sector on this issue.

11. What can Mozilla do in order to spread awareness about the open Web and continue our Firefox marketshare momentum?

Mozilla can make its products more versatile.

Linux distro chooser

Linux comes in various flavours called distros. Distrowatch has been keeping track of various distros. However, finding a suitable distro is usually difficult, especially for newbies. They find it difficult to link the description of distros and their criteria of choosing a distro. Distros usually describe their package management systems, desktop environments, or their particular purpose. However, users want descriptions explaining ease of usage. [Basically, the learning curve for linux is steep.] However, here is a site that tries to link user criteria with description of distros. The results are not very satisfying, yet it is worth trying. Moreover as it is available in a number of languages, non-english speakers can benefit from it.