[Go Faster] Do we want system add-ons to update without restarting?

Chris Hofmann chofmann at mozilla.com
Mon Sep 28 17:13:47 UTC 2015

On Mon, Sep 28, 2015 at 6:53 AM, Laura Thomson <lthomson at mozilla.com> wrote:

> > It allows teams
> > working on these add-ons to be more autonomous and not have to sync to
> > Firefox's release cycle (barring a dependency on a platform change).
> What Rob said, here.
> Laura
> ==
I think its worthwhile defining what "Working Autonomously" means.   Its
not listed as goal or anywhere in the PRD.

There are several place where "Working Automously" might come in to play.

During development of code.   - Developers work Autonomously on this now,
they are able to land new code on there own development branch or central
as wanted.

During localization of code.  - Developers work autonomously on this now,
they land strings and l10n-drivers and localization teams get the feature
localized, sometimes within hours of code landing, and some times with some
teams on the aurora or latter cycle.  We really don't have a definition of
when localization work is "required" and we really don't require any
developer involvement in the process in most cases other than than landing
good and well thought out en-US strings and comply with well defined
development practices that allow the efficient translation of the
feature.   Its been suggested that if we somehow allow features to ship
only in en-US, or only in selected languages it will somehow increase
developer autonomy, but it also works against the goal of a product built
to reach all of our global audience.  If we are interested in maintaining
and building global marketshare that ought to be an explicit goal.  The
systems in place now both allow developer autonomy and meet the goal of
reaching the widest possible audience.

During testing, security checks, stability assessment and other evaluation,
of code.   Developers don't work autonomously on this now.  They engage
with QA and our testing community to get feedback and bugs to shape the
feature.   How are system addons intended to change automomy in this
area?   Its been hinted at that developers might do this work, or make
decisions that some of these tasks might not be needed or intentionally
avoided in the interest of shipping sooner.  It would be good to figure out
and make explicit if this is the case.

During Release Management and over all Integration of the feature into the
single browser product that we ship.   How it all hangs together is one of
the most important things we assess and do.  It creates the unified
browsing experience we want our users have.    Its also hard for me to see
how individual developer autonomy helps in performing these tasks, and it
appears that system addons is actually a distraction in getting that work
accomplished, since they operate in a parallel distribution path.  The
increase the amount of work to get done, the number or releases to
administer and ship, and intern the more work and time spent actually
causes us to go slower.

These are just a few areas where autonomy might come into play.  Lets
define and asses what autonomy means if its an important part of system

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