Goings On – 2012 So Far

Mozilla Croatia Community

So far this year it has been busy and exciting for me. So in reverse chronological order, here are some things I have been up to recently.

Briks Is 6

I meant to call out the 5 year anniversary last year but it slipped by as I was too busy. Six is better, it rhymes! I set up Briks Software this month 6 years ago. Briks is a Web Consultancy that specialises in all things Mozilla and sometimes beyond. We do Add-ons, XULRunner apps, bug fixes, mobile work, and more. We’ve worked on projects large and small, with big companies and startups. Briks is not a 1-person show, I like to call it a Mozilla Development Collective. I’ve had various folks come on board per-project over the 6 years and quite frankly Briks would not have been so successful without them. There are 2 people that I would like to give a special shout-out to. Chris Neale is the glue that keeps everything together, from the web site to design to graphics to listening to me ramble on Skype all day. David McNamara is a coder who can whip something up before you can say ‘digital drifter’. See his recent profile on Bonjour Mozilla!.

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Pretty Install

There was a plan to turn the Firefox add-on install dialog into a doorhanger dialog (bug 588266). This has been abandoned in favour of an approach using tabs (bug 643020). Rather than let the work for the former approach go to waste, we are releasing it as an add-on.

USAGE:

  • It only works for remote installs. For local installs, the current dialog shows.
  • Clicking anywhere outside the doorhanger dismisses it and cancels the install.
  • Switching to a new tab or window when the doorhanger is open cancels the install.

If you feel like it is an experiment worth pursuing further, the source is available on github.

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Xultris : Mobile Add-on Game Goodness

While I’m not a gamer in general, I do love retro-games. I’ve been thinking that on Mobile, games provide great opportunities for Firefox add-on developers. They are a great way to spend that short bus ride, for example. I think there should be a Games category on Mozilla Add-ons. At Briks we wanted to showcase this with some fun games, so are going about porting a couple of the wonderful distractions from games.mozdev.org. First up, the Tetris clone Xultris.

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On Giving Talks

I do quite a lot of public speaking. I was never formally taught, nor have I actively done much to improve my technique. Rather, it has grown organically and I’ve become more confident (and hopefully better) over time. One thing I have done is read the Presentation Zen book to try and improve how I make slide decks. The conclusions drawn there are less is more, and bullet points bore. I try to adhere to this now but have not yet got to where I want to be. So there is always room for improvement. The start of this process is to watch myself talk, and for many people watching themselves is agonising. I’m going to throw it out there for everyone to see.

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The Texas Experience

If there is such a thing as event overload this is it. Being a newbie, it was overwhelming at first. I had bought a platinum badge (Interactive and Film), being naive enough to think I'd take in some movie panels and screenings. Wishful thinking.