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No-Conference Travel-Free Year For Me?

In 2009, I've been to more conferences and more different places than ever before in my life. FOSDEM in Brussels, lift09 in Geneva, MAOW in Berlin, MozCamp Europe in Prague, not to mention the local Linuxwochen conference in Vienna and a vacation in the US.
The year before, I had FOSDEM in Brussels, a vacation and visit to Mozilla HQ (including a brown bag) in the US, the Mozilla Summit in Whistler, and MozCamp Europe in Barcelona.

I expected this year to follow that pattern, with being invited to another FOSDEM, lift10, and Summit, probably more. As a remark: Don't ever expect that, or you could be seriously surprised. And so far, this year looks very different: No conference (except Linuxwochen here in Vienna), no vacation, no travel. None done, none planned. And no, Eyafjallajökull is not to blame this time. I am, probably, though not intentionally.

Early this year, with the release of the long-awaited SeaMonkey 2.0, a vacation, and Christmas behind me, I felt frustrated by some people shooting down 2.0 and praising 1.x because of things that sounded minor to me, even calling me names for some decisions or compromises I had made in my own work, and, after all, by further development stalling somewhat while the rest of the world was moving on and though I was putting a lot of work into the project. Being a workaholic and quite success-oriented, this made me quite uncomfortable and should have even more effects, but an immediate reaction was to cancel my FOSDEM trip and instead get some measurable work done, as a sense of achievement always makes me feel better. And, after all, I'd meet many of those people on the Summit later this year anyhow. Or so I thought.

When lift10 came near, it became clear that Mozilla Europe didn't think our engagement in that through early enough and we wouldn't take part there after all. I don't want to blame anyone, but it meant one interesting conference (and travel destination) less for me. As it conflicted with the local Linuxwochen event here in Vienna, I could live with that after all.

And then, people were invited to the Mozilla Summit in Whistler. I had been looking forward to meeting a lot of Mozillians, finding out a few things in side talk with a number of people, discussing the future of Mozilla and the web as well as staying longer in the area, visiting Seattle for more than half a day this time, and possibly even driving down to Portland to be at OSCON.

But my invitation didn't arrive. I tried to ask back with the person in charge of invitations but didn't get an answer, so I mailed Mark and Mitchell, the heads of Mozilla. And Mitchell, who I hold in high respect due to her openness among other things, did reply - though unfortunately a bit differently than I had hoped. Apparently some inherently stupid remarks of mine, some passionate tries to prove some arguments back in the days when I was so frustrated (see above) did go as far as to break the trust in me with a number of powerful individuals in the Mozilla community. Enough that they apparently vetoed my being invited. And some feeling that myself and SeaMonkey would be conservative and backwards (I guess we never will shake of the stain of reminding people of the past) surely didn't help in getting me on the list for an event where we're supposed to discuss the future of Mozilla and where we and the web need to go to stay relevant and open. In the end, the result is that I'm shut off and not invited. Bummer.

It's really hard to explain this without blaming anyone or making anyone look bad but myself - and I really want to take this all on myself. Still, I owe the community an explanation. Also, I know I said dumbly emotional and stupid things and I'd like to apologize to anyone who felt offended or lost trust in me, even if it doesn't change that particular picture. We need to keep working together and bad feelings need to be cleaned out no matter how things go for this particular event.

In the end, I hope this explains why someone who built up the most-used localization 10 years ago, who coordinates a Mozilla-hosted application project, is passionate about the mission and whose add-ons have 13.8 million total downloads, 19,400 weekly downloads, 984,000 active daily users in total (as of today) will not be present on the Summit.

I for myself can only hope I can win back the trust I lost and see things turn out differently in the future. For that first week of July, I might stick to what I hear in those Country Music tunes I like so much and drown my tears over this outcome of what was largely my own mistakes in some Whiskey. I have a few good bottles of all six Classic Single Malts here, after all ;-)

Entry written by KaiRo and posted on June 8th, 2010 02:37 | Tags: Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Summit, travel | 12 comments


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    Pseudonymous Coward


    Take it easy, relax. We make mistakes and the more important thing is to learn from them. Try to avoid from making the same mistakes again. Thanks for making software that thousands, if not millions, use day to day.

    Stay away from those drinks too.
    2010-06-08 03:56


    A good lesson

    I would say that you've learned a powerful lesson, though I don't know that I agree with your assessment of what it is: it would seem to me you've learned more about organizational politics than mistakes you've made.

    For what it's worth, for the "sin" of having spoken your mind frankly, honestly, and sincerely, you've been put in a "penalty box" along with plenty of other people.

    I hope the disrespect toward you doesn't discourage you from keeping up the good work.
    2010-06-08 09:18


    Robert, will be al ok . I strongly believe. You are the best !
    But may be ... it's a sign !? Do you believe in it ? ...

    just thought ...a sign to take a look a partly on some other things ...
    for example ... a WebKit2 ... why not ...

    -no, not to all it of cause , due to xul extensions miss if skip to html WebKit2 engine (Am I right ?)
    but New Nitro JS engine (Is it possible to take only Nitro ?).... Nitro ... looks pretty fast as I seeing last 24 hours ...

    -new SeaMonkey3 on fastest Nitro JS engine - why not !?

    ///just my stupid thought ...
    2010-06-09 05:57



    The fastest JS engine by the time we can think of a SeaMonkey3 will be JägerMonkey, the then-default Mozilla JS engine. Believe me. Also, taking a step back from the add-on capabilities of the Gecko/XULRunner platform and to the incomplete standards compliance on WebKit is not an option for our project.
    2010-06-09 17:19


    By the way , Robert do you know that JägerMonkey will use code from Nitro ;) ?
    I'm really not sure that such hamburger will work faster than Nitro3 (I mean Nitro from WebKit3) when will appeared.

    My idea was in that now if just change TraceMonkey to Nitro2(WebKit2 Nitro) - mightly we can see a better speed with SM2.
    And in a future when come Nitro3(WebKit3 Nitro) very likely that Nitro3 will faster too.

    Is it theoretically hard to change JS engine without any writing of other code ?

    It's just an example of stupid thought)...
    I meant only that it would be interesting to look for some other useful code out there of MC ... and may be it will goes to reenforce SM more than using only one MC code.
    2010-06-10 18:32


    And it's great to hear that SM won't leave xul extensions even if FF skip only to JetPack in the future.
    (if I correctly did understand)
    2010-06-10 18:36



    In any case, this post is not about the future of SeaMonkey. It's about me not being able to participate in the discussion of Mozilla's future.
    Despite that, I still believe in Mozilla - and in SeaMonkey. Maybe I'm stubborn, but that's me. ;-)

    Last edited by KaiRo at 2010-06-10 18:41

    2010-06-10 18:40


    I believe in Mozilla and in SeaMonkey either. Wish them stay stronger against huge corporations.
    And I hope one day SeaMonkey became browser number one in the world.
    2010-06-10 22:36


    from the US

    You don't sound happy. Personally, I'd go bonkers if I had to got to a lot of conferences and such. About people who praise 1.x, maybe you should look into giving the users what they want, if it doesn't interfere with more people want. It seems to me that SeaMonkey is getting the same dictator-style development (we'll do what we want; to hell with what the users want!) that Firefox has had for years.
    2010-06-12 17:16



    Please show me the dictator and how he manifests himself.
    Also, we're doing a lot of what our users want, esp. as we're also our own users ourselves, but you can't satisfy everyone at the same time.
    And yes, I am unhappy indeed, as conferences are one of the best ways to actually get into personal contact with users and people we are remotely working with. We don't have an office where we meet our Mozilla co-workers, we can only personally interact at conferences.
    2010-06-12 20:23

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