When I first made the decision to take a leave of absence from IBM and go out on my own (before I was laid off), one of my primary motivations was that to stay at IBM I would have to completely change my career path. That path would have moved me away from working primarily on client software (which I’d done since I started at IBM) to working primarily on server software. At the time, this type of work didn’t really appeal to me.
But the truth is there was one motivator behind my final decision:
I didn’t want change.
So my plan for this year, in addition to posting more, is to alternate posts between Firefox related and non Firefox related. This one is Firefox related. Hopefully you’ll find it interesting either way.
As I was putting together What I Shipped in 2010 in response to Seth Godin’s question, I discovered a few things about myself that probably apply to you.
- By the end of the year, I’ve forgotten the first three quarters of the year.
- A major negative event (or maybe positive) divides your year. In my case, it was very difficult to see things before that event because that event defined my year
- If it weren’t for Facebook and Twitter, I’d probably have no record of my year.
Why’s it so important to keep track of the things that you’ve shipped?
I’ve just updated Rebrand for Firefox 4.
For those that don’t know, Rebrand is an add-on for Firefox that creates an XPI that “rebrands” Firefox, Thunderbird and SeaMonkey. You can change all images and product references except for the menu bar on Mac. Disclaimers apply and are displayed on startup.
I’ve also updated my Netscape rebranding package. Install it to relive the nostalgia that was Netscape Navigator.
The new about dialog looks especially good.
One of the things I’m trying to do for the new year is
reduce increase my signal to noise ratio. Facebook and Twitter both can end up having a lot of noise and very little signal. The problem with reducing this ratio on Facebook is that you end up having to decide who you want to keep as your “friends.”
I really hate Facebook’s decision to use the term friend because they cause us to view everyone as friends, even though in most cases they are acquaintances and in many cases we don’t even know them. So in order to reduce my friends, I had to start categorizing them and using those categories to determine who to keep and who to drop.
So in the same spirit as Stuff Christians Like (a great satire site), here are seven categories of people you are friends with on Facebook that aren’t actually friends.
Per Seth Godin’s Blog, this is a list of what I shipped in 2010.
Here are (in my opinion) the two best blog posts I wrote this year (non Firefox related):
On a more personal note, for those that are close to us, you know that 2010 has been a really hard year for our family. I appreciate all the prayers and support.
Here’s to 2011 demolishing 2010 (which for our family is easy).
Special thanks to Twitter and Facebook for giving me an easy way to look back through the year.
Next week is Add-on-Con and it’s exciting to see a lot of buzz this year about the event. It’s a great time to be an add-on developer, with many browser vendors participating in the space.
This conference is my yearly pilgrimage to the Silicon Valley and will be extra special since my 40th birthday is on Thursday. I’ll be there from Tuesday through Friday and I’m looking forward to connecting with old friends and making new ones.
Hope to see you there!
Alternate Title: Personas 1.6 Breaks Add-ons
In the past couple weeks, we’ve started getting reports of Brand Thunder add-ons breaking. The problems range from display problems, to hangs, to the inability to bring up the add-ons manager. Of course, when you are the last add-on to be installed, you generally get the blame. After some investigating, we came across bug 590608. In case the summary isn’t clear:
Personas 1.6 breaks hundreds of add-ons.
And they didn’t just break add-ons. They broke the extension manager. Which means they most likely broke the ability for the broken add-on to be blocklisted. And at least a million people got this update before it was put in the sandbox.
When I originally created the CCK Wizard for Firefox, my goal was to keep the user interface as close to the Netscape CCK as possible. Over time, I added new functionality, but I kept holding on to the original design. With Firefox 4 approaching, I think it’s time to reimagine what the CCK should be.
I’d really like to try to engage the community in figure out what to do next. What should the UI look like? Is there missing functionality?
So please do me a favor, install the CCK Wizard and post your opinion. I’d love to take the CCK Wizard in a new direction, but I need some helping deciding which way to go.
You may have heard of the the Firefox Build Your Own Browser Project. On the web page, it says it “is a simple way that your organization can create and distribute a customized version of Firefox.” I think BYOB is a great start to solving the distribution problem, but it’s missing one key thing – the ability to bundle your own add-ons.
What I’m going to do with this post is explain exactly how BYOB works internally so that you can create your own distribution that has all the customizations you want. There are a some downsides to our method – primarily that we are Windows only and that we can’t sign our installers with the Mozilla certificate. But it’s the only way we can create a distribution that includes our own add-ons.