New community in Firefox 24; degree and improving

Justin Dolske dolske at
Sat Sep 28 20:26:41 UTC 2013

You may have seen 
on Planet recently. Here it is in a nutshell: Firefox 24 contained 93 
bugfixes from 43 developers (32 specifically being new volunteers) for 
whom it was their first contribution. Note that this includes all 
community members who landed their first patch in FF24 -- employees and 
interns too.

I was curious how this broke down so I, uhh, broke it down (by Bugzilla 
product, see bug 921752 if you want a ginormous buglist URL):

* 62 of the bugs listed were in Core. (Within that there were 15 
JavaScript Engine bugs, 8 Audio/Video bugs, and 7 Canvas bugs. But it's 
actually pretty spread out, because those three biggest clusters were 
due to new developers fixing multiple bugs. EG, Benjamin Bouvier fixed 
12 of the 15 JS bugs.)

* 13 Firefox for Android bugs. (Including 8 bugs from two developers who 
fixed 4 apiece.)

* 6 Desktop Firefox bugs
* 4 Firefox Health Report bugs
* 4 Testing bugs
* 3 Toolkit bugs
* 1 Mozilla Services bug (log4moz)

This is just one data point (Firefox 24), and doesn't include fixes from 
people who have landed patches in previous releases. But I don't feel 
like this is anomolous in the bigger picture -- volunteer involvement in 
desktop front-end developent is pretty light, and that doesn't bode well 
for a healthy and vibrant community.

I'd be curious to hear thoughts and ideas (Summit fodder!) on how we can 
work on improving that. Are there things other teams are already doing 
that we can do too? Front-end is the most Web-like part of Firefox 
(JS/DOM/CSS), are there web-developers who can get involved but don't 
know it? And so on.

Also, has anyone done the Hg/Bugzilla-fu to get data on all volunteer 
contributions (first-patch or not) by release? I think I've seen such a 
thing before, but can't remember who did it or where. Bonus points for 
data on how people come-and-go over time -- helping people get involved 
is one thing, helping them stay involved is another. I've not seen any 
analysis of that before.


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