[Project_owners] proposed changes to Mozdev roadmap

Myk Melez myk at mozilla.org
Wed Apr 2 09:45:12 PDT 2008

I'm on the board of the Mozdev organization 
<http://www.mozdev.org/about.html>, and we're in the process of 
reviewing our roadmap for development 

We're a small organization with limited resources, so we can't do 
everything that would be useful, and it makes sense to leverage the 
tooling taking place elsewhere in the Mozilla community.

At the same time, I want Mozdev to blaze a trail on the usability and 
functionality of key services like website development/deployment tools 
and discussion forums.  And it should be super-easy to set up and manage 
a project on Mozdev.

So I am proposing that we revise the roadmap to make the following three 
items the top priorities for the organization:

   1. *Add one additional revision control system, and deprecate CVS.*

      The two systems in the running are Subversion and Mercurial, and
      they each have their advantages.  Subversion's chief advantages
      are its similarity to CVS and familiarity to some existing project
      owners, while Mercurial's are its modern design (including support
      for distributed development) and its momentum in the Mozilla

      Overall, I think we're better off adding Mercurial, which has the
      full weight of Mozilla tooling efforts behind it and which is on
      track to become the most popular system in the Mozilla community
      (until the next one comes along, anyway).

      So I think we should add Mercurial to the site.  But this would
      not preclude adding Subversion as well at some point if resources
      became available to deploy and maintain it.

   2. *Implement a new website hosting service with simple WYSIWYG wiki
      publishing and scp/sftp/ftps file upload.*

      Here we're tackling two constituencies at once: those who just
      want a simple hosting option where it is easy to create and edit
      pages, and those who want complete control over the files that
      make up their site.

      The file upload option also addresses the needs of users who
      generally want the simple approach but occasionally need to upload
      a file or two (f.e. an image to display on a page in the wiki or a
      presentation in PDF format).

   3. *Automate project creation and management so that project creation
      requests can be addressed in minutes or hours and users can
      self-manage their projects.*

      This item combines the /automate project creation process/ and
      /centralized account management system/ items from the second and
      third priority groups, respectively, on the existing roadmap

      I think we should continue to require approval of new project
      requests from unknown people but no longer require approval of
      those from known, trusted people like existing project owners, so
      that trusted people can have a new project up and running in seconds.

There are certainly many other changes that would be beneficial, like 
integrating forums, feeds, mailing lists, and newsgroups, so users can 
pick their preferred delivery format and get the same communications as 
on every other channel.

But these three changes would make a big difference in the usability and 
functionality of the site, and I think we should make them our top 



[also posted to my blog <http://www.melez.com/mykzilla/>]

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