Upcoming trips

As usual, I’m happy to coordinate and meet with people, whether for meals, drinks, or regular meetings. I’ll be:

In San Francisco and Mountain view next week, from Tuesday night till Friday evening.

In Quebec, Oct 9 & 10, for CLLAP, where I’ll give my first talk in French. Brr.

In Barcelona, Oct 25 & 26, for MozCamp EU 2008.

In Paris, just before or after Barcelona, because it’s on the way.

(tripit and dopplr don’t seem to be working so well at sharing this kind of info, so far. too bad)


OSCON is the conference that I seem to attend the most regularly. In particular, the hallway conversations are great.

Not being a Perl guy, I never went to the Perl Conference, but I was involved in organizing the first Python track at the first OSCON IIRC, and I think I’ve been every year since.

This time, for the first time, as a Mozilla rep. Dan and I will give a talk about Thunderbird, but I’m expecting we’ll talk about Thunderbird 18 hours a day!

See some of you there!

Linux smoketesters needed

UPDATED: see the end

As part of a release (say, for the sake of illustration, the next alpha of Thunderbird), we try to run the software through a set of tests. The more widespread the release, the more tests. Nightlies don’t go through any non-automated tests. The final release will go through a lot. For an alpha, we like to have a few people poke at the software on each of the major platforms, to make sure that the major bits work.

We have volunteers covering Mac and Windows, but we’re short a couple of Linux volunteers. All it should take is 1) access to a linux box (the more mainstream the better), 2) experience with Thunderbird and ideally with Linux, 3) a bugzilla account, and 4) a couple of hours of free time.

If you’re interested, contact me (email is findable from my blog home page), or contact Wayne Mery directly if you know how to do that.

UPDATE: We’ve had overwhelming response to this post, in part thanks to a mention in Linux Magazin in Germany. We don’t need any more Linux smoke testers specifically, but we’re always eager to see more people help with Thunderbird testing. If that describes you, please subscribe or join or follow the mozilla.dev.quality newsgroup/mailing list/google group, and check out the Thunderbird:Test wiki page. There are lots of ways to help, and some of them take only a little bit of effort. Thanks again for the enthusiastic response!

Notes from Germany

I spent much of last week traveling to Germany — Berlin and Hamburg. Time for an update.

I started off with a day-trip to Berlin, which could have been exciting given my complete lack of German, but I spent it instead with Axel Hecht, localization coordinator for Mozilla, which meant that the chances of my getting lost were pretty slim. What I learned:

  • Berlin is a city under massive change. It’s history is mostly erased, with lots of new buildings blurring the once stark divisions between east and west. You have to know that the line of bricks on the ground marks the old wall. Unfortunately, it was drizzly and cold for most of the day, which didn’t let the architecture shine. Still, I got a feel for the city, and I’ll definitely go back and spend more time there.
  • Axel and I talked a lot about localization, a topic that I have deliberately not dived into yet because it seems in relatively good shape. Figuring out how to coordinate the work of 50 teams of volunteers across the world is something that I know we’ll have to taken on soon, but not this week. It’s nice to be able to learn from Axel and get his perspective on what works/doesn’t work.
  • I found a lot of echoes of my childhood, and brought some of them back: marzipan, Struwwelpeter. I also brought back weird chocolates (pomegranate and chili chocolate anyone?). Who knew germans were so culinarily experimental?
  • Hamburg is a very pleasant city, especially if the weather cooperates. Unfortunately I had camera troubles so didn’t take as many shots as I should have. But I liked the blend of canals, modern architecture and older buildings, and a general feeling of highly functional buildings. Recommended.
  • Strangely enough, while we certainly had our share of good beer, we had only one schnitzel and no sausages. Don’t know why, that’s something to be corrected in the future.
  • Work meetings went well. It was I think very helpful to have Dan, Bryan, Mark and I in the same room as many of the Calendar contributors, including Daniel Boelzle, Simon Paquet, Philipp Kewisch, Christian Jansen, and more. See Bryan’s photo to match names and faces. I also have some untagged pictures for less formal shots. I’ll write more about the calendar project in another post.
  • I’ve discovered a special area of Schipol airport with really nice relaxing chairs, a good place to spend 4h layovers

For the record, a few great places to eat:
In Berlin:

In Hamburg:


Back from almost 10 days without access to the net, email, etc., and after some exploration of the Yucatán peninsula in Mexico. Swam in warm caribbean waters yesterday morning, and stared at a snowstorm this morning. I can’t remember the last time I was so disconnected from the net.


* Cochinita pibil from a street vendor in Meridà
* Pollo asado al carbon in Tulùm
* Chiles rellenos in Puerto Morelos
* Fresh tortillas anywhere
* for something not food related: the horse-drawn cart ride (no idea who that is) to the three cenotes in Cuzama.