Predictions for the next yearof Moz Work: There’ll be another All Hands
Glean will continue to gain ground in Firefox Desktop
“FOG Migration” will not happen
There was an all hands. It was in Montreal. It was fun to have folks come to a city I knew a little bit (though I’m still sore we didn’t get June 2020 ’s Toronto All-Hands). Poutine. Bagels. And a cirque-themed closing party.
Glean continued to gain ground on Firefox Desktop. Last year ’s post mentioned over 100 Glean probes in Firefox Desktop . The current count as of time of writing is 368 . Now, some of this is due to some projects our team have undertaken, but a lot of it is organic.
This is despite “FOG Migration” not happening. Firefox leadership remained uninterested in the prospect of migrating data collections to begin being sent in Glean. Though in Montrealthere were some conversations that suggest that this might be changing.
So, what have I been up to? Well, I discovered in Januarythat a legacy data collection system ( PingCentre ) was subject to some data loss that was incompatible with how the data was being used (( You can imagine that data loss would be acceptable for certain things like performance measurement or feedback, so long as you could characterize the loss (e.g. you lose stuff randomly? Only the small numbers? Only the feedback from Ottawa ?). It’s less acceptable for retention or revenue. )). By March , replacing PingCentre had become a top-level OKR and I was managing the project.
So this yearhas been spent growing an appreciation for Project Management as a discipline. I now have more opinions about work tracking than I ever dreamed I’d have (though, no, I’ve not set up Kanban or anything else).
I’ve also continued my practice of basically never saying No to someone who had a question for me. As much as I bemoan the new tendency of questions being asked over direct message instead of in a topic channel where anyone can help, it does bring me no little joy to partner in a data exploration, consult on answering awkward privacy/data questions from contributors, or debug someone’s test file “out loud” so they can follow along. It really is the people that make Mozillaspecial, so helping them feels like a high calling.
Which is why I find our continued focus on “AI” to be so baffling. So much of “AI” we hear about is dragging the humanity out of the Internet that Mozillais so keen to protect. We seem to be just as bad as the Valley for using “AI” to mean everything from outstanding work on local machine translation (now available in Firefox 118 ), to LLMs spouting out incorrect answers when you ask them to explain CSS. I hope we provide some clarity about what we mean when we say “AI”, and draw a thick line between what we’re doing and the grifts being peddled all around us at great cost to truth and the environment.
I understand that we need to be in a business to be able to speak about it. It’s why I’m excited that we’re giving social media some attention. I can’t wait to see what those teams create for the world. But the way everything became “AI” so fast sounds like chasing the hype cycle.
As for me, what do I expect to do? First, I expect to finish up the year by migrating Use Counters to Glean. Then… who knows? Maybe the results of the Events Work Week will exceed expectations and require more investment. Maybe I’ll find another data collection system in Firefox Desktop that’s dropping between 2% and 15% of all data that’ll need replacing. Maybe I’ll finally get to rewrite the IPC layer so it leaves the main thread alone. Yeah, okay maybe not.
Predictions for the next yearof moz work:
I’ll work on client code in Firefox Desktop
I’ll not blog as much as I’d like
We continue to support existing collections in all of Legacy Telemetry’s core systems
There’ll be an All Hands (safe bet, as Dublinwas announced in Montreal ), and at least one more will be announced
Glean will continue to be used more on Firefox Desktop, and not just because Use Counters will juice the numbers (I will no doubt ascribe this increase to be disproportionately due to the (well-received) Glean talk I (finally) gave to a Firefox Front-End Engineering team)
“FOG Migration” will not happen, but new top-down guidance will be handed down expanding the circumstances where Glean is explicitly stated to be the data collection system system of choice in Firefox Desktop(and not just because it provides the best API to Legacy Telemetry )
We will quietly stop talking about AI so much, in the same way most firms have stopped talking about Web3 this year
I will publish the moziversary blog post actually _on_ my moziversary, unlike this year
Let’s see how that pans out.