Taking a break from Firefox Sync

November 2, 2011

It’s been a year and a half since I joined Mozilla and the Sync team. We’ve done exciting things since then: integrated Sync into Firefox, simplified the cryptography scheme to get rid of expensive RSA encryption and auto-generate a key for the user, provided an easy device pairing mechanism, improved performance and memory consumption, made sync scheduling smarter, error reporting less and less obnoxious, tons of reliability fixes under the hood, … the list goes on.

At the same time we’ve grown a team of three engineers to a team of a dozen or so, plus a product manager, QA, and an Ops team. There’s a roadmap and weekly client and server release trains ensure a tight and timely engineering/QA/deployment cycle. And while we’ve hit some bumps along the road, it feels like we’re doing proper software development and stuff. More importantly it feels like proper, feel-good teamwork.

With this many resources are devoted to Sync, I am happy to announce that for a while I’m going to devote most of my attention to some new stuff happening at Mozilla right now: Boot to Gecko. This rather geeky name stands for something incredibly exciting: developing a truly open and transparent phone stack that is for and of the web. It ranges from creating a phone’s complete UI and functionality with HTML/CSS/JS down to writing a GSM stack in JavaScript. I expect to dabble with all of it here and there and learn a ton from a bunch of rather intelligent people. As you can imagine, I’m pretty excited about that.

That said, taking a break from Sync, even if it may be temporary, won’t be easy. I will sorely miss Mike Connor’s mentorship, sharing two halves of a brain with Richard Newman, collaborating with battle-hardened server engineers and ops people, and being a mentor to a bunch of incredibly talented people that are all going to be much better at this stuff than I am right now. Thank you all.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to put the intarwebs in ur phonez. Kthxbai.

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5 Responses to “Taking a break from Firefox Sync”

  1. Erik Corry Says:

    A GSM stack in JS? How do you want to get that past the FTC etc.?

  2. cysiek10 Says:

    I wish you integrate Vertical Tabs to Firefox instead :)

    Good luck in the new project.


  3. yay, i can have want intarwebz in my phonez!

    Yay philikon: I am a happy user of sync, and I also greatly enjoyed working with you back in the stone age. So I’m kind of jealous of the new folks you’re going to work with!

  4. Erunno Says:

    Thank you and the rest of the team for the great work on Sync which has indeed come a long way since its troubled beginnings as an extension (including experiences of data loss and other anomalies). It’s one of my major reasons for sticking with Firefox nowadays as I became totally dependent on having (more or less) the same history on my 3 computers. Good luck with your new assignment.


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