If you’ve been following Ubiquity, you know we haven’t made a new release of the extension since last summer. What’s going on?
Last October, Mozilla Labs got together and had a meeting about all the things we want to get done in 2010. It became clear that there were too many things on our plate, and we had to make some hard decisions. Ubiquity was one of the things that was put onto the back burner in order to focus better on Weave, Jetpack, Bespin, and other core projects.
Everybody I’ve talked to at Mozilla loves Ubiquity and would love to see it developed further — but all have agreed that the other projects are higher priority. Ubiquity remains an exciting experiment and I personally look forward to the time when I can work on it again. But for now I’m focused full time on Test Pilot.
Does this mean Ubiquity is dead? Not at all! It’s an open source project with a fairly large installed user base, and if you look at the Mercurial repository and the mailing list you can see that the community is still active fixing bugs and answering user’s questions. It’s clear that the Ubiquity community has taken on a life of its own and is capable of further development with or without direct involvement from Mozilla Corporation employees.
We’ll probably be releasing a new version of Ubiquity sometime soon, just for the sake of maintenance. The last released version isn’t compatible with Firefox 3.6, and the lack of compatibility is harming the many people who still use Ubiquity on a daily basis. Making it compatible should not be very difficult, since the “trunk” (the latest development code) is compatible with 3.6 to the best of my knowledge. So we just need to roll up a new release and get it out to people. We should be able to get that out this week or next week.
We’re also working on analyzing the first round of Ubiquity experimentation, so that we can figure out what to approach differently when we begin the second round. Yes, I’m pretty sure there will be a second round.) I’ve been writing up my thoughts on what we learned during the first round. It’s turned into quite a long essay. Not exactly a “post-mortem”, as that would imply the project is dead; call it a “retrospective”. Look for it within the next couple of days.