Mozilla Summit 2013

I was invited to the last two Mozilla Summits but I always missed it. This year, I finally be able to attend the Summit.

Mozilla Summit 2013

So what is Mozilla Summit? The apparent approximation of the Summit would be to think of it as a three-day festival, to celebrate what we want to achieve and also to reaffirm our Mission; however, Summit is way, way more than that. I am humbled and comforted by the fact I got to engage in many high-level, philosophical conversations about Mozilla and the Mission itself, in a lot of breakout sessions. Some of the questions being bought up were fundamental questions like what is a Mozillian, challenges of communicate the vision to the boarder audiences like the general users (kudos to @potch on many of his insight comments), to practical questions like how to work with closed mobile industry partners, and our challenges with our current position in the mobile market, and internal organization.

These are all important conversations that I have little chance to talk about in the office, given the fact we are all caught up in daily work. To my embarrassment, I feel I should ask forgiveness on being cynical in conversations. Nonetheless, to me, it’s more important to know how we are doing than why. The summit shouldn’t be a three-day religious or self-reinforcing event where only the good news were told; I am really glad it didn’t being hold like this for the majority of the time spent. To my relieve, I am also happy to find out most of people are much more energetic and optimistic about how we are doing, and much more hopeful on whether or not we will getting there, and devoting their thoughts on what we could do more to get there.

During the keynote, the main message of the Summit given was “We’re here to build an Internet the world needs.”. I totally agree that Mozilla should expand it’s mission from simply Open Web to Open Internet, although my question about Open Hardware being the foundation of Open Internet and another eventual goal of the project was not being picked up during the QA session. I’ve also heard little discussions (expect DRM) on some of our seemly conflicting means to reach the end, which, arguably, is a good thing (because that means most of us in the Summit agrees the Mozilla way — making concessions in order to gain future influences).


On topics unrelated to the Summit directly: I found that Toronto is a really lucky city, being gifted to have the off-shore Toronto islands that serves as a getaways and an “central park”. The city itself is a bit chaotic though as they were constructions around the Union station. However the 12 hours time difference stuck me hard; I missed a few night events because I was so tired that I had to crush to bed.

By the way, best wishes to Margaret and Gavin :D They were call up to the stage by Jay during closing in Toronto on their #MozLove: they first met on Summit 2010 and got engaged last week. I am pretty sure they weren’t the first ones and they won’t be the last ones.

That’s us, we are the hopelessly idealistic, happy, and innocent, Mozillians.

2011 報告


Mozilla Corporation 新工作

11 月底的時候換了工作。新工作在 Mozilla 的台北新辦公室,加入的研發團隊做 B2G 專案相關的研發。一開始,MozTW 的我們接到 Mozilla 私下告知關於在台北設點的計畫。起初雙方的交流僅止於公司和社群未來在行銷面上的合作方式,並沒有特別聊到什麼工作機會;事後才知道 B2G 除了 System Engineer 之外還有 Front-end Engineer 的職務,才投了履歷,做了面試。這算是一個角色的轉換,畢竟社群和工作是不一樣,而且在某個層次是不相容的;也就是基於這樣的心情,11 月的 MozCamp Asia,我以社群志工的身分最後一次參加 Mozilla 活動,對抓火狐網站的數據和心得做一個報告

對於 Mozilla,感覺一直都是千絲萬縷的。就如之前的文章提到的,一切一切都是個往回看的過程:那個跑去 MozTW 的大學生一定沒有想到,Mozilla 後來對他職涯的意義……從因為參加志工活動開始,認識了厲害的同輩,還有認同理念的朋友,到現在實質進入了 Mozilla 本身變成員工,開發下一代的 Mozilla 其中一項自己也曾想過的產品。在 MoCo-TW 的同伴都很優秀,但開始工作之後也深切體認到自己因為盜版非資工出身導致的基本知識不足;寫程式時每每總是想著,如果我知道更多資料結構和演算法的知識就好了。當然我不是那種跑去面試會跟面試官說「願意在公司努力學習」的人(這樣是找不到工作的),只是實際工作時能這樣覺得,然後開始讀書,應該算是成長吧。

喔,我好像忘記提到為了找工作,我把 Portfolio個人網站Blog、CV 全部都改版了?在新工作的第一個星期就被 iThome 邀請了訪問,順勢就拿了 Adopt Mozilla 娃娃拍了照,哈。


2011 年的另一個美麗的意外就是新的感情。女友是高中同學,在畢業前夕一起籌備畢業典禮的朋友之一。不是同班同學,所以當時也不是真的很熟,這幾年就保持著線上媒體(Facebook、Plurk、BBS)的聯繫,偶而她的樂團有演出的時候才會見到面這樣。一直都是欣賞著對方,後來因為某個奇怪的原因見面(此處保留),就這樣開始了一切。


一直在 Facebook 上面閃大家就不好意思了 :P



Looking Backwards, Connecting the Dots

So the day came.

I have not much to say like everyone else on the web and mess media. I don’t want to go on skin-depth things like how he transformed the computer industry and the world – I didn’t even agree most of the tactics he used (like, all closed-source, closed and single distributor model for the iOS platform, etc.).

I want to share something personal with you here, instead.

I did a lot of things that didn’t make sense to my parents, nor to myself at the time. Ever since mid-school, I spent countless hours making websites. I was the computer guru to my high school classmates because the guestbook/chatroom service I built was practically the online social network to them. When I went to college, I chose to take physics as major instead of computer science because I thought there were more wonders in the mechanics of the physical world instead of inside a computer. That turned out to be true, and the wonders unfortunately succumbed me; my grades in physics classes were never higher than the one and only computer science class I took. I didn’t know what to do at the time; I didn’t want to, and couldn’t go for the regular career a physics-major in Taiwan would usually do, that is go to graduate school, and to TSMC/UMC or other semiconductor companies straight from school, the flagship industry of Taiwan – The promise land with dicent salary and social recognition.

Nevertheless, I got my B.Sc. anyway. I stall a bit by deliberately not to meet the graduation requirement (which is, ironically, English requirement) and stayed for a fifth year. I joined MozTW and took care of Firefox localization, started to get to know people in the technology circle, many of whom are big names I admired. I gave lectures at meet-ups and events, wrote web application for Firefox promotion. I co-organized events, designed event websites. I built a paper toss game in the IE9 hackathon event and was awarded an XBox 360 + Kinect. Eventually, I am recognized by people as a qualified front-end developer.

(Full text of Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address)

I don’t actually remember when I see the speech for the first time. At first it didn’t make an impression. It was not until some day, I realized “connecting the dots by looking backwards” is exactly what I did, and do right now: Without these “personal homepage” I wrote before college, I wouldn’t know how server-client architecture works. Without my college projects in the physics department, I wouldn’t have any idea how to organize a full-scale rich-content website, nor the chance to improve my communication skill. Without MozTW I wouldn’t be known by my talented peers. Even physics has a part when I looked backwards – The paper toss game I wrote at the IE9 event is actually based on physics simulation skill I learned in school. I hated that class, but without the knowledge the game wouldn’t have such animation effect.

Indeed, Steve was right all along. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. … This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”, he said. By looking backwards, I found everything I did somehow makes who I am today, and they surely made all the difference.

This is what Mr. Jobs meant to me. Nothing technological nor innovative, purely personal. So long, Steve, you lived a good life. This post is my tribute to you, and you will certainly be missed.