Admittedly, a few days have passed since the September 8-9th 2012 MozCamp EU in Warsaw. But, I wanted to say a few words about the incredible experience.
I was so excited to attend this MozCamp in particular. Eastern Europe, and Poland especially, have some of the oldest and strongest Mozilla communities, in existence for well over a decade. And, Poland is continually at the top of our browser marketshare charts, with roughly half the population using Firefox. Having never been to Poland, I’ve always seen these numbers and wondered about the people and stories behind them.
I’d met many Mozilla Poland community members over the years and knew they were passionate for the open web – people like Marcin Jagodziński, who first translated Firefox into Polish, and Marek Wawoczny, who maintains Mozilla Poland’s active community site. But, meeting these contributors together as a vibrant and enthusiastic community sheds light on Eastern Europe’s passion for open source. The communities here are healthy and growing. They are directly involved in education, many regularly speaking at university campuses to get students excited about innovating in the open. It was incredible to hear about the specific challenges that each community faces in their regions and the creative ways they step up to meet them, from hacking at meet.js events in Krakow to the Free Hugs from Firefox in Paris.
And, as at all Mozilla events, the talks and demos were incredible. As a gamer, I thought one of the most exciting projects was BananaBread, a fully 3D FPS built using only HTML5 by Anant Narayanan, Alon Zakai, and others.
Wesley Johnston showed off some pretty exciting stuff coming up in Firefox Android, like smooth-as-butter scrolling and reader mode, which turns your ugly mobile site into something that will make typographers cream their pants.
Patryk Adamczyk gave a great run-through on the design principles that have guided the creation of the beautiful Firefox OS, including the “personality types” which guided its sound design (good news for anyone who owns a business suit and a skateboard).
I gave a talk on how to user test mobile apps (and other projects). It was a great experience, and people brought some excellent ideas and questions! I’ll blog more about this talk later.
Of course, I could never do justice to all the great talks, collaboration, and hacking that went on over two very short days, but thanks to everyone who made this MozCamp so awesome. Meeting the Mozilla community always leaves me feeling humbled to work on the Project, inspired by what’s coming up, and (in this case) hungover on buffalo vodka.