Firefox Hackathon Zurich MozillaCH – I was there

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Why an Italian in Zurich to a Firefox hackaton organized by the Swiss community?

Nothing, I was bored ūüėÄ

Seriously, I’m on good terms with the Swiss community because i help them in the translation of their site in Italian since their multilingual country.

Last year I had to attend in October at a their meetup but commitments and high costs have prevented me so this time with the organization months in advance I was able to go there as speaker.

This meetup was dedicated to fixing bugs in Firefox, a topic that has long I’m studying but I never had the opportunity to act in a comprehensive manner.

The morning was held with various talk, this is the program:

Join us and learn how to contribute to Firefox with your own skills. We’ll have good first bugs to fix for coders, and some other good first contribution tasks. This will be a wide range, so you don’t need to be a coder to contribute!

10:30 – 10:45 Into (Michael)
10:45 – 11:15 Demolish the web with the Firefox Dev Tools (Daniele)
11:15 – 11:30 Intro Janitor (Daniele)
11:30 – 11:40 Good first bugs (Michael)
11:40 – 13:00 Get set up and choose a good bug

13:00 – 13:30 Lunch (everyone on his own, but we could go together to the Migros)

13:30 – 17:45 more hacking with our help
17:45 – 18:00 Wrap up (or “Where to go from here”)
18:00 — we probably go for a beer after that, join us!

We close the meetup at 18:30 because we are finishing two patch!


Returning to the morning I presented two talks and for the first time I did the speaker in English with slides that usually I present in Italian.

Finished the talks we tried Janitor that allowed us to do during the afternoon 10 patches very quickly .

How it works Janitor?

Watch the video and you’ll discover that it is no longer necessary to have a local system for compiling and testing software like Firefox!


Michael has selected a series of simple bugs and then we started working on it, this selection has enabled us to focus on the chosen ticket without having to look for it.

We used an Etherpad document to refer where you can see the tickets done.

Also with the presence of Julian Descottes we could work much on Firefox Dev Tools because him is a Mozilla employee who takes care of the DevTools.

View post on

As in the image during the afternoon were realized 10 patch and uploaded on bugzilla!

For more information on the patches take a look at the report of Michael Kohler or in the etherpad.

What I learned

Meet for a meetup organized by another community allows you to see the differences and exchange feedback also about the  feedback form after the event.

The differences allow us to learn new things and to help each other as well as to long talks made with a beer ehm to many beers.

I learned a lot about how to help Firefox and I hope that in Italy we can do something so highly technical.

With Michael, we got to talk a lot of the Reps program (we are both members) and Mozilla on many aspects.


Michael is a Mozilla volunteer before than me so we could talk a lot about Mozilla like as a community organization.

One of the points I have highlighted is that Mozilla needs of employees who have been volunteers for years. Because they are more motivated and know the community and hardly leave Mozilla after a few years to change jobs.

Also there is need that the volunteers are rewarded for the work they do by specific gadgets, to an email @mozillian (like ubuntu with its volunteers) and other activities.

For the technical part Janitor has revolutionized the way we work for Firefox and other solutions that require compilations simplifying all using just the browser, thanks to this tool we have cut down the time for the creation of a development environment allowing us to plan and make patches without worrying about these details.

For technical details there is the article by Michael about Janitor that explaining how we used it to work on the tickets.

For the photo album you can found on Michael’s blog on his report.

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Firefox Hackathon Zurich MozillaCH – I was there

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