Mozilla and Mozilla-Hispano

libre software, mswl, mswl-cases, mswl-comm, mswl-intro

Hi mates!!!

Following the series of talks about my subject in Studie Cases II, now it’s the turn of Mozilla and more specifically Mozilla Hispano, the Mozilla Spanish speakers community.

In this talk the lecturer was Guillermo Lopez, member of Mozilla Hispano, he is, actually translator of Firefox, Firefox Mobile and Sync. He is also leader in the translation of SUMO.

So here we go!!

At the beginning of the talk Guillermo talks about the rendering engine used in Mozilla Firefox which is Gecko is also developed by Mozilla so the difference with Webkit which in the previous talk Carlos Garcia Campos talked about it, Mozilla creates the rendering engine and the web browser, so difference with Webkit, Mozilla has all the authority regarding gecko.

In Mozilla there are 250 people working in Gecko, Firefox, Thunderbird and the rest of Mozilla software.

And the market quota is more than 300 million people using Mozilla software.

Guillermo also talks at the beginning about different interesting Firefox stuff like the plan to give the availability to work in different cores for Firefox.

Gecko is developed in C++.

Mozilla uses Mercurial as the SCMs and different branches for the different branches of Firefox, like beta, aurora, main, etc.

They have as webkit also has a repository just to try different patches before to commit in Mozilla central, and also different scm where different bots are working (compiling) the system every time.

Before 1998, the main web browser was Netscape Navigator, but in 1998 began the web browser war between IExplorer and Netscape Navigator.

Microsoft created Internet Explorer which they included in its Microsoft Windows by default, so the war was won by Microsoft, Navigator was unable to compete with them.

This event was a demonstration of Microsoft didn’t bet for Internet until they saw Internet was “the market”.

In 31st March 1998, Netscape decide to release all Navigator code under a FLOSS license.

So the people at that moment was skeptical but also enthusiastic with this release.

But this release wasn’t too good as we can think, the complexity of code and code under privative licenses made really difficult to continue the development of the project, so then Mozilla decided to start the development since zero using milestones with different functionality.

Netscape 6 was released 6th December 2000, using Mozilla 0.6 (Gecko) this version was 2 years and a half of development.

5th June 2001, Mozilla 1.0 was released, 4 years and 2 months after the first release.

When Netscape released the code they build website but they didn’t have a foundation to support the project, so 15th July 2003 Mozilla Foundation was created by the same people was working in the project.

Until recently Mozilla had different subsidiaries in charged of different things as Mozilla Europe, Mozilla Japan and Mozilla Chinese, but this has been changed recently and now Mozilla Foundation is the one which is in charged of all about Mozilla.

Mozilla is a global effort to promote the choice and the innovation in Internet, the main purpose of Mozilla is not to create a web browser or a email client but make a web better.

Mozilla is based in thousands of collaborators.

Mozilla has a manifesto where they say what they can do it and promote it.

Mozilla has the following products:

  • Firefox and Firefox Mobile
  • Thunderbird
  • Camino
  • Seamonkey
  • Sunbird/Lightning
  • XULRunner
  • Bugzilla
  • Socorro
  • LXR
  • MXR

They have also a “branch” where they create different software or implement new ideas and its called Labs. In Labs they have:

  • Weave
  • Bespin
  • JetPack
  • TestPilot
  • Raindrop
  • Prism
  • Personas
  • Ubiquity

The different ways to know about different Mozilla technologies and to communicate between the collaborators are for instance:

  • DevMo (for developers)
  • WikiMo (internal but public communication)
  • SUMO (help and support)
  • SUMOMO (help and support for Thunderbird)

Mozilla also collaborates with different FLOSS projects, standards and technologies.

There is software which is based in Mozilla as:

  • Komodo
  • Songbird
  • TomTom
  • etc.

Mozilla has:

  • Developers
  • Engineers
  • User interface experts.
  • Lawyers
  • Marketing
  • Translators
  • etc.

Mozilla software is separated in different packages.

The roles used by Mozilla for the different roles of its developer contributors, when they have  commit rights are:

  • Owner
  • Peer

When somebody send a patch, this patch has to check by an owner or a Peer.

Mozilla works under the meritocracy way, so the more as you work the more “power” you’ll have.

Anybody can comment in a bug for changes.

The collaboration in Mozilla are, between others:

  • Translation groups.
  • Community groups.
  • Support groups.
  • Documentation groups.
  • News groups

The communication in Mozilla is based on:

  • Newsgroups
  • Email
  • IRC
  • Wiki


  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • JavaScript2
  • Open Standards (video and audio).
  • Web navigation in mobile devices.
  • B2G (an idea to create an operating system all based in HTML5 using Gecko).
  • Promote the innovation and choice in the web.
  • Make the web hackable.
  • Maintain the privacy in Internet
  • Drumbeat (to educate people in Internet use).


  • Faster release cycles (around 6 weeks).
  • Extended support release (every 9 versions, more or less a year).
  • Divided in branches.
  • Simpler and improved GUI.

Firefox Mobile

Is developed for Maemo, Meego and Android.
They want to improve the performance and make it similar in characteristics to Firefox.
Absolute synchronization.

Mozilla Hispano

As in Mozilla, in Mozilla Hispano (the Spanish community Mozilla chapter) the more important thing is the people.

The organization is based also in Meritocracy as the main Mozilla Foundation.

They follow the statement of collaborate in whatever you want, when you can and as you can.

They use the figure of the Mentor which helps you to give the indications if you want to help in a concrete part of the foundation.

They have small organizations in different countries also with responsible in different areas.

In Mozilla Hispano, the have a website with different parts where you can find information regarding the community, where you can help, etc.

They have different areas, as news, documentation, forum, planet, events, facebook site, marketing and diffusion, design, etc.

They use also mailing lists to communicate between the members as most of the FLOSS communities do.

They also use Google Docs to collaborative documents and Google Labs to create labs projects.

Usually they organize talks and meetings where they talk about different things of the organization, projects, events, etc.

The talks are recorded in audio and also are documented.

The Facebook group is really important with more than 100k users, the twitter channel has less followers but with 25k of them.

At the end of the talk Guillermo also explains about things learned:

  • Let the people participate.
  • If you don’t have enough time, delegate it!
  • Trust in the others.
  • Organize you.
  • Be careful with the language (in different countries the same word has different meaning).
  • If you meet people in talks or meetings don’t talk about the project, talk about different things.
  • Talk using the voice (in real, voice-chat, telephone, etc.) much better than by chat, email, etc. for concrete questions and to know deeper to people involved, your mates.


1- How do you manage the different voice talks meetings since we have a big different hour time?

More or less using hour times good for all, for instance at night in Spain and at morning in South America.

2- How do you manage the translations?

They use Mozilla Translator which gets the language files from the repository and helps to create the translation.

3- Collaborating in Mozilla can give you an opportunity to work in Mozilla or in other companies?

Yes (as you can remember in Rodrigo Moya’s talk about how to live as a FLOSS hacker, being involved and collaborate in a FLOSS community always give you not just knowledge, friends and something interesting and important to do, also maybe job offers, possibilities, etc.).


As we saw in other talks about important FLOSS communities as KDE or Gnome, Mozilla is a very important FLOSS foundation with great projects.
Since its origins from a privative product is really interesting to know how a privative product can originate a FLOSS foundation and an incredible FLOSS project which can help to change Internet and the world we are.
The way how Mozilla manage itself also follows the standard ways to manage and communicate as many other FLOSS communities.

The language based Mozilla chapters as Mozilla Hispano are also really important in a community based in thousands of people, to have a small community close to you where you can start and where they can give you help is a really important thing which as we’ve seen other important FLOSS communities also do.

And in general, this talk has given me really good information to understand even more than I knew how Mozilla Foundation works.

You can find the talk here and the slides used during the same here.

See u!!!!


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