If you work on Mozilla, how do you coordinate with other people? How do you let people know what you’re working on and ask for help without burdening your coworkers with unwanted email? As part of coordinating the Electrolysis project, I created a webtool which allows people to post status reports in a low-touch way. The Mozilla Status Board allows members of the Mozilla community to post status updates which will be distributed to other people on their teams, and to the public.
A status report is simple: you list items that have been accomplished, what you plan to work on next. Finally, you can list items that other members of your team may need to see, such as review requests, links to posted designs, or even vacation days.
One of the important design considerations was not forcing users into one communication medium. Users group themselves into teams, and each user can decide whether to receive email updates from their team or subscribe to a web feed. For example, if you wanted to see my personal status updates, you can visit my status page or subscribe to my personal feed. And if I wanted to use a feed reader, I could subscribe to the posts of everyone on my team. Hint: to change your email settings, visit the preferences page linked from the header.
Everyone in the Mozilla community is invited to use the status board. In order to keep spammers away, registrations require a password: ask somebody who has already registered, or ask in irc.mozilla.org #developers, or ask any Mozilla employee.
The status board was written in python cherrypy+genshi. The code is hosted at hg.mozilla.org and I am happy to take patches or suggestions. At some point I will probably try to transfer the site from my own server to some Mozilla server, but I’ll make sure that links keep working and data is migrated.
If you’ve been using the status board already, note that I just fixed a bug in the email system: daily/weekly emails were being delivered incorrectly, so starting tonight it should work correctly.
Update: Fixed an issue where Firefox wouldn’t remember your username correctly; renamed “Tags” to “Coordination” to make its intended purpose more obvious, and enabled markdown.