Two weeks ago, William Quiviger (Global Community Manager for Mozilla) traveled to Tunis to meet with the Mozilla Tunisia core team (aka the “Tunisian Kernel”). Mozilla Tunisia is one of Mozilla’s most vibrant communities in Africa with 11 core members and about 20 regular contributors.
He writes on the exciting developments of Firefox OS in Tunis and beyond and the dedicated community that drive the initiatives.
The community was created by a few passionate Mozillians back in 2011 after meeting at a local open source conference and learning about the Mozilla project. Quickly, the community grew and regularly organised events, workshops and activities to help push the project forward across Tunisia and recruit new volunteers interested in the many contribution opportunities Mozilla offers, including localisation, coding, support, QA and marketing.
Apart from their quick growth and unique passion for the project, one key characteristic of the Tunisian community was its early interest in the mobile web and understanding the importance for Mozilla to pursue its mission of safeguarding the open Web in the mobile space, especially in Africa, which is the second largest mobile market in the world and the fastest growing one.
Back in 2012, in the very early days of the Firefox OS project (back then, the project had the very geeky name of Boot-2-Gecko), the community was already organizing workshops for students, technologists, developers and web enthusiasts of all stripes to educate them about the importance of promoting openness, innovation & opportunity on the mobile Web and how to contribute to the project. It’s therefore no surprise that Tunisia is one of the first countries in Africa where Mozilla is launching Firefox OS.
The two-day meetup aimed to first get the Kernel up to speed with the exciting programs and initiatives around all of Mozilla’s product lines (Firefox OS, Firefox for Desktop and Android, Cloud Services, Webmaker etc..) but with a special focus on Firefox OS. So many exciting things are happening at Mozilla that it usually takes a full day to cover everything.
The second day of the meetup focused on brainstorm and start drafting a local “participation plan” for the upcoming launch of Fx OS in Tunisia in partnership with Orange Tunisia to build momentum around the launch and empower new volunteers to join the team. Ideas ranged from new experimental approaches to recruitment of support and quality testing contributors at schools and universities, to creating a “Fx OS Developer Lab” in downtown Tunis to engage with local developers interested in contributing local content to Marketplace.
With so many exciting projects in the pipeline and with the launch of Firefox OS just around the corner, the Kernel is fired up about 2015, which promises to be a truly special year for Mozilla in Tunisia. You can expect regular updates soon on http://mozilla-tunisia.org/, Mozilla Tunisia’s community website which is, by the way, set for a new look in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!