Bugzilla Project Meeting Wednesday, July 17th, at 14:00 UTC

Much of this post is taken from a message I posted to the developers list a few days ago, so my apologies in advance to anyone reading it again. I’ve expanded on a few things and added the information about the upcoming meeting, so it’s probably worth re-reading.

For those unaware of the context, Frédéric Buclin last week announced that he was stepping down from his Assistant Project Manager position after 9 years.

To Frédéric: Thanks again (and again!) for all your hard work over the years! As stretched as I’ve been for time myself it has been a true godsend to have you picking up my slack the last few years. You will be missed!

To everyone else: For the time being, I’ll be handling approval requests, so if you have something up for approval and it’s not getting attention, I’m the one to pester.

This is sort of the end of an era for the Bugzilla project… Both Frédéric and Max (who left to work at Google a couple years ago and stepped down from his position earlier this year for lack of time) have been with the project for much longer than most people ever stick with a single employer in IT-related jobs (of which an open source project of this magnitude has a lot of similarities). For an open source project, that’s outright amazing, as people tend to come and go a lot in most projects. It’s kind of surprising that I’ve been around longer than them, but I’m kind of a “lifer” in some ways, and in reality I’ve had a good break from the project for the last few years because Max and Frédéric have been mostly taking care of everything while I’ve been busy with other things.

So it’s time to begin a new era. Since I’ve had a good break to clear the monotony I’m going to be trying to get more involved myself again (which I’ve been saying ever since Max left, but I have a lot more incentive now). I’d also like to kickstart a new team to lead the project, and kind of re-organize if you will. We have a number of positions within the project for various functions, which we’ve never really paid attention to as people moved on. So some questions we’ll be asking at our upcoming meeting are:

  • What positions in our existing structure do we have open?
  • Do we still need them all?
  • Are there new positions we have a need for that we should create?
  • Who should fill them?
  • Do the existing holders of positions that we still need and haven’t been vacated want to keep doing them?

We also have some other “reinventing the project” type topics while we’re at it. There’s a number of things we’ve been talking about doing for a long time that we never really moved on, and some of the big elusive dreams (the big UI overhaul!) have actually been making progress as well, lately. When we’re in the middle of big changes like this, I think it’s a good time to review where we are, get everyone on the same page, and tackle some of these things we keep talking about.

We also have a lot of new useful technology at our disposal since the last time we had a project meeting. We’re going to experiment with using Google Hangouts for the meeting this time, and using their feature to stream the Hangout via YouTube for those who want to watch without participating. We’ll also keep our usual meeting IRC channel open so people who don’t have a Google+ account and don’t want to get one can still participate and ask questions via IRC.

The preliminary agenda and participation instructions have been posted at https://wiki.mozilla.org/Bugzilla:Meetings. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 17th, at 14:00 UTC. And before anyone complains about the time, this was the best time to avoid inconveniencing the largest number of people. The Bugzilla Project has a global pool of contributors, and we have active contributors in a wide variety of time zones. The time chosen puts the meeting in the middle of the night for the fewest number of people. Those on the west coast in the US will probably have to get up a little early, and those in eastern Australia will be up a little later.

A lot of the emails and comments I’ve gotten since Frédéric’s announcement have been really positive, so I’m encouraged by the number of people who are still committed to keeping Bugzilla vibrant! We’ll see you at the meeting on Wednesday!

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