Mozcamp Europe 2012: my report

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(English translation by Theo Chevalier,  and the French-speaking community)

Mozcamp Europe in Warsaw wrapped up 10 days ago, it’s about time I handed in my summary report, while my memory of the event is still intact. So, what aspects of this MozCamp made it so different from last year in Berlin? Here are some answers and a couple of photos.

  • French-speaking Community has grown bigger (much bigger)!

Undoubtedly my best memory of the weekend: this photo gathering all French-speaking attendees. Huge! And so many countries represented: France, Belgium, Switzerland, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, but also Canada, Estonia, Mali, and now Colombia and Mauritius! It’s really awesome!

This weekend made us get to know each other, interact, learn more about our interests, our aspirations and passions. What brings us together now goes beyond the love we have for Mozilla, Free Software and community: we are bound by friendship.

We all agreed on the importance of the French-speaking community. Because we all realize that English is sometimes a barrier for some people. The fact that we share this language, French, will allow us to reach a maximum number of people, by uniting our strengths. And that’s what we started to do! After those past two days with them, I’m certain of one thing: the French-speaking community is going to do great things in the coming months and years!

And I’d like to take this opportunity to give a special welcome to Ibrahima, Emilio, Jefferson, Pamela and Ganesh. They honor us by their participation, and we are all delighted to welcome them!

One regret however: the absence of the indispensable Camara, the leader of the Senegalese community, blocked by visa problems. Sad and hugely disappointing.

A goal today: to organize an event where we could be all together. ALL. And in the amazing new Mozilla space in Paris – no less :).

  • Newcomers (aka, “mouflets” for some)

On this photo you can see, from left to right, Antoine (flaburgan), Erwan (Taratatach) and Théo (tchevalier), who I affectionately nicknamed (yes, that is affectionate) « the Mouflets » They are just over 20 years old but did brilliant first steps in the community. Erwan has spent much of his first night polishing code of a B2G app, Théo has refined his localization techniques, and Antoine attended a lot of conferences to give better talks when his turn comes (his « speaker baptism » will take place at JDLL (FSD)!).

All the above points to one very important fact about the French-speaking community:  more than half of the contributors present at Mozcamp in Warsaw were not in Berlin. Newcomers included: Hubert, Théo, Julia, Ibrahima, Alice, Alexandre, Achraf, Flore, Kinou, Erwan, Pandark, Antoine and Daniel.

French community, one of the oldest and well established communities at Mozilla, has grown, opening its arms wide to new contributors, developing its sense of hospitality. What a joy to have them with us today! (even if, suddenly, some call me « mommy » #GettingOld) « Old » and « New » are now working together, hand in hand… And this is only the beginning, as other newcomers are showing the tip of their noses and are already starting to make an impact (aren’t they, Guillemette?).

Thank you all for your energy, for all that you do now, for your patience with the « old » people that we are. Thank you for all the wonderful moments spent together.

  • The Reps program success

This Mozcamp was also an opportunity to see the success of the Mozilla Reps program. Imagine, 400 people, many of whom had never met, who spoke as if they knew each other! This is the Reps magic.

This program makes us more involved in the Red Panda, and allows you to feel involved. Never, in Mozilla history have we seen so many events were held under the Mozilla banner. We all have anecdotes, experiences to share. How to ignore that one of the most beautiful moments I have experienced this year, the last weekend in Tunisia, is due to the Reps program (and talent of the Mozilla Tunisia community)?

The Reps program has strengthened links between communities, it not only provides tools and resources, but also opportunities and a field of possibilities.

Of course, it does not go without criticism, and its creators are aware of that. Sometimes cumbersome administratively speaking, sometimes pompous, sometimes disorganized, often complicated (for average people like me anyway!). But the result is there: a growing number of Reps and thunderous applause at the mention of the names of William and Pierros.

  • Firefox Mobile & Firefox OS

This was the theme of this MozCamp. And the subject of numerous conferences. We saw progress in this area by Mozilla. Impressive and exciting! Enough to convince the skeptics.

And it’s not because I share the life of a B2G developer that I tell you that. It is objective.

Firefox for Android is now fluid, aesthetic, pleasant. And Firefox OS will just change the world. Because that’s why it was created.

  • Confidence!

I had the pleasure of participating in the panel discussion. This particular moment which reflects so much the Mozilla philosophy: 9 people, leardership staff but also Reps, answering questions from the audience. This year, the questions were proposed by Reps who then voted for those they wanted to be asked first. A list of 10 questions was preprared, which touching on a wide cariety of topics, ranging from the economy, the future of Mozilla, to its very philosophy. Mozilla does not intend to hide anything from its contributors.

During the preparations, Debbie Cohen asked each of us what we were expecting from this session. I replied, « trust », ie feel that we can trust Mozilla and Mozilla trusts us. In the end At the end of the day, that’s what I felt, and I’m pleased with that.

Because they all have hammered their need of the community to confront the giants Google, Apple, Microsoft. The means are different: at Mozilla they are not financial, they are human. And they also showed that they knew where they were going: the key is to make good products, it is not relying on the Free Software philosophy, hoping that the world will become virtuous, it is simply offering the best tools.

Well, the journalist that I am cannot deny that there was a bit of stonewalling. But I think it is intrinsic to such processes: since we want to give confidence, we are necessarily in Care Bear world.

That said, I think the message was well received, I hope that some Mozilla leaders have registered those expectations articulated by the community, and have understood how much the Free Software philosophy is important to the contributors who need to be reassured that Mozilla stays aligned with its core values. Indeed, how could we not worry when Mozilla changed its attitude towards H264.

I also hope, at a more personal level, that they understood when I said I will never (ever) fill a bug with this horrible and scary tool that is Bugzilla. In any case, given the applause that followed, I saw that I was not alone. Mission accomplished for Mr. and Mrs. Average!

  • Buddy hunting

He is William Reynolds, and he was my « buddy » (note the pronunciation because I have several times pronounced « body », and it played tricks on me). The first night, everyone discovered a name in front of his own: a « buddy » so we were assigned, usually depending on the form that we filled. The idea was to provoke encounters, to ensure that countries and cultures would mix (and no, that in that sense, you dirty minds!)

This did not happen in Berlin, and it was a pity. In any case, the idea was fine because everyone started to go out of their ways to find their buddy. In a sea of 300 people, this can come accross as a very daunting task! On Saturday evening, there were several folks who still had not found their buddy. So I went on a buddy-hunt! I went from table to table, asking if anyone knew so and so … with my French accent. Once, I had the person in front of me, except he did not understand who I was looking for, in fact, he did not even understand that the name I gave was his.

Anyway: In my case, I finally met my (lovely) buddy on Sunday. William works in marketing at Mozilla, and his specialty is social networks. That’s good because I wanted to create a Twitter account to identify contributions proposals! So here we are both on board in this project…

  • The karaoke

Amidst all these conferences, the workshops, the demos, the debates, all under the banner of the Internet,  came a truly surreal moment: the Saturday night karaoke.

What an incredible experience! And the proof that Mozillians feel good together, they are so tolerant that they do not hesitate to sing in front of each other. And even dancing the Macarena. The atmosphere was great!

Special mention to Fuzzyfox who simply has a terrific voice. he really spoiled us!

That said. If someone publishes a certain karaoke video on Abba song, Spice Girls, or any other of my performances, he will test my WoMoz hammer! You have been warned…

  • Beautiful meetings

This is what I prefer in these events: discovering new people. With Mozilla, I am never disappointed! There is such a diversity of personalities. This year again, I have been moved by some, amazed by all. I returned with a lot of portraits… that you will soon discover in Bonjour Mozilla.

One more thing, a last thank, because I received during this Mozcamp a gift that goes straight to my heart: a  Foxkeh plush! I am deeply moved and proud. And I thank Tetsuya Kosaka for this. I’ll take care of it!

Mozilla magic, again


À propos de claristamozilla

Je m’appelle Clarista (enfin, c’est mon pseudo, vous l’aurez deviné), je suis une Madame Michu, copine de geek, et membre de la communauté Mozilla. Je suis Mozilla Reps pour la France, et membre de WoMoz. J’AIME la communauté, et ce qui me motive aujourd’hui c’est d’oeuvrer à tisser des liens entre les Mozilliens de différents pays. Et intégrer plus de M. Et Mme Michu, pour me sentir moins seule, et parce que je compte sur eux pour aider le Logiciel Libre à conquérir le monde :D

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