Peter-Paul Koch (PPK) wrote a blog post yesterday about his thoughts on Web developer relations management in the mobile world. Since I work for Mozilla, that he mentions, and I was also remotely involved in the discussion he refers too, I wanted to express my thoughts.
PPK is outlining his thoughts and experiences when organizing the Mobilism conference and trying to get devices/sponsorship, and his take on various players out there. When it comes to Mozilla, he is basically frustrated for not getting any replies in time about the possibilities of getting Boot to Gecko devices to the conference. I can relate to the annoyance of not getting replies, and I’ve written about my thoughts in The decency of replying to e-mails.
Eventually he reached out to me and said he didn’t hear anything back about sponsorship from Mozilla (no devices mentioned in that e-mail), and we had a direct e-mail discussion back and forth, all in the same day. I contacted people at Mozilla who should know, and to my knowledge, they got back to him soon after that.
No, unfortunately there weren’t any devices for him. Boot to Gecko is a very fresh initiative, only started six months ago, and we just managed to produce a handful of devices to demo at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. As PPK is very well aware of, and in the mobile world especially, partnerships and various deals are essential for success and getting any traction and therefore our first step had to be to do that for Mobile World Congress.
The operating system, and implementation on a few devices, is in a very early stage, and to my knowledge, no devices have been handed out to anyone external to the project. Mozila doesn’t produce hardware, we are doing the software part, and we share what we can. I personally covered all we could share with the Boot to Gecko announcement and Gaia, Mozilla’s Boot to Gecko user interface.
Additionally, all the code for Boot to Gecko and code for Gaia is open source, and available for anyone to experiment with and try out. Paul Rouget set up Gaia on his web site, which anyone can do by just taking the code for Gaia from the GitHub repository. And that’s what can be done at this time.
When we can share devices, more information and tools for web developers, naturally we will do so! Humbly we learn along they way, and we constantly strive to get better. We also have a number of ideas for how to move forward, and we would love to share as much as we can! Because that’s how Mozilla is as an organization, and that is how I am as a person.
So, for PPK to go from that to tell an entire organization to fuck off? For not getting replies from one person?
I’ve known PPK since the end of the 1990s, we’ve met and been co-speakers at a number of conferences, and I believe we have always felt a mutual respect for each other’s work. But for something like this to work out, we need to act professionally about this.
We need to speak in a reasonable tone, be realistic and continue to show respect and initiative to work together.
So, hugs to you PPK, and I look forward to a sensible discussion and collaboration moving forward.