Conference Calls, Mailing Lists and Wikis… Oh My!

Yes, I know… very cheesy title.  I really couldn’t think of anything else.  Regardless of the title, the beginning of this week has been very eventful so far.  During Monday’s class, we were given another series of to-do-list by our educators.  Not a very hard list, like last week’s, but lengthy enough.  I’ll summarize them for you in the following:

  • Create Wiki accounts on MDC and wikimo
  • Consider creating a Twitter account in conjunction with your blog
  • Dial-in to a Mozilla status call
  • Join a Mozilla mailing list
  • Comment on another student’s blog
  • Watch online lectures/readings
  • Complete lab by Friday

So… not too hard at all.  At this point, I’ve crossed out the ones I’ve done.  But, I’m going to begin by telling you about the item on that list I was most excited about doing… the Mozilla status call.

I’ve been on conference calls before, working at Smart Systems for Health Agency (which merged with eHealth Ontario) over summers in my first couple of years in Seneca.  So, I wasn’t really nervous to begin with… maybe a little anxious.  David emailed us on the day the call was taking place.  I hadn’t had a chance to look at the scheduled calls at that point, and I should’ve done so sooner because I found out that most of the conference calls happens earlier in the week.  So, I was a little unprepared for it but managed to squeeze in the time to be on the call.  I was even a little early and found time to check how the phone system worked (testing the *1 to unmute).  David informed me to join the IRC #planning channel as they would be using it as well.  As can be seen in the picture below, there were plenty of people in the IRC channel during the beginning of the call.  However when I called in, the system told me there were 18 other people on the line.  Therefore, I’m thinking most of the other people on that channel were mostly just idling.  The amount of callers later rises up to 43 people, when my late friend called-in and informed me of the number.

Amount of users in #planning channel during the beginning of the call

Amount of users in #planning channel during the beginning of the call

It was an interesting setup.  Most of the time, there was one speaker detailing their issues/comments/resolutions on the topic at hand. People also discussed ideas on IRC while there was a speaker.  It gives a bit of freedom for everyone else, even with a solitary speaker talking about more important things.  The general atmosphere in the meeting wasn’t heavy-laden either… especially in IRC.  The following joke was told when doing the Blocker report on IRC.

[14:05] <jimb> Aren’t beta-blockers a class of drugs?
[14:05] <bsmedberg> so are alpha-blockers!

There was also a detailed outline on the items they would be covering… it was posted (require Google login for link) on the Mozilla Planning Group (require Google login for link) in Google Groups.  Even with the outline, I was a little lost throughout most of the call.  I am a little apprehensive in saying this, but I was having a hard time keeping up with some of the subjects they were talking about.  I may still be a little disoriented now, if it wasn’t reading my friend’s, Nadim, post on the subject.  I looked up a link he had on his post, which involved the meeting’s minutes.  Written down and with plenty of links, the meeting was easier for me to follow.  I suppose I’ll have to do a bit of research on past meetings before my next chance at listening-in.

Continuing on my to-do list, I joined two mailing lists that interested me.  The Firefox application development list and the mobile platform development list.  Those were the two lists that most interested me.  Now, I’m not completely sure how they work.  Reading over some of the mail I received, it seems to me that their development conversations between certain people and these conversations get shared to everyone on the list.  I believe you can also participate in said conversations, but you would have to reply to the mailing list in order to do so.  Someone correct me if I’m wrong please, which is very likely.

On to the final item that I’ve completed on my to-do list.  The item is creating an account on the Mozilla Development Centre (or MDC) and Mozilla wiki (aka wikimo).  I’ve also created profiles on them that link back to my email and this blog.  On that note, I will finish up the rest of the items on my list closer to the end of the week.  I have taken a quick look through the article by/in Ars Technica.  It looks promising and has me excited about reading it.  In fact, I’ll probably do that right after this post!

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