Mozilla Team at Pesta Blogger 2010: IS THE WEB DEAD?

Gen Kanai - the Director of Asia Business Development for Mozilla - served as the first speaker presenting "Is the Web Dead?".
Fifteen minutes prior to starting off the class discussion, Gen Kanai, William Quiviger and Dietrich Ayala were already preparing the equipment. Some bright yellow (Mozilla’s dominant logo color) souvenirs were distributed for anyone taking part in the discussion. Gen was spotted trying to adjust the colors produced by the projector but he seemed desperate (so there may be a better quality LCD projectorin the future provided for each and every room).The one-hour break passed by so quickly, which meant very few participants entered the room in time. William whispered something to Dietrich telling him some other rooms were even worse than ours (having fewer number of audience in the room) . Most of the participants are Muslims so the break time wouldn’t only be needed to have their lunch but also to pray. It worsened as the participants weren’t reminded of the break time (which was supposed to be at 12 pm sharp). They were glued to the performance on the main stage instead of rushing to the caterer for lunch.

So the presentation started a bit late. Gen Kanai spoke first. Soon the room with scarce audience got filled quite fast. It was perhaps because of some Mozilla community members entering the room, I guess. Cameras were taking pictures occasionally before and during the presentation.

As Gen elaborated the slides, the audience looked fully concentrated. No one spoke but Gen, which was good as this showed the audience complete interest in the topic.

And as the discussion proceeded, it had dawned on me I was in the middle of geeks crowd. Dietrich was sitting next to me with his laptop open displaying coding characters which I have know nothing about. Gen mentioned a lot of geek jargon related to the latest version of Firefox 4.0 beta. He addressed HTML 5, CSS 3 (which is still in draft), geolocation (GPS/ location information for the web), indexed database API (local (browser) database for web), audio data API, hardware multitouch support (pinch-to-zoom), etc.

Gen’s presentation was a little longer than necessary (or maybe it felt so since he only read and reemphasized the ideas already on the slides and the discussion started late).  Gen concluded the presentation by playing some videos on how several prominent figures on the web think of the release of Mozilla Firefox for Android platform.

Gen stated Mozilla has been releasing the latest beta version of Firefox, named Firefox 4.1 beta. As I heard from Dietrich Ayala, this version hasn’t been proved to be safely installed along with Firefox 3.6 (I’m not sure about this. I asked him for clarification but he doesn’t reply my query tweet). But what made Dietrich wonder is the language option may or may not exist on different PC. I was downloading the Firefox 4 installation file and the person behind me was doing the same. While this guy could locate the language options below the download button, I didn’t! Gen added further that they’re targetting Android and Nokia handset users as well.

Gen also addresed the most crucial issue of web browsing: speed. No users love a sluggish browser. He showed us how we can test and measure on real-time basis how fast a web browser we’re using is compared to the competitors. He claimed Firefox 4 on Sept 15 was proven to be faster than Apple’s Safari and on October 15, 2010 its speed surpassed that of Safari and Chrome.

The best feature, to me (and to lots of other Mozilla users I’m convinced), that Firefox 4 offers is probably the synchronization ability. Users are enabled to synchronize the Mozilla browsers they use on different PCs. So we can effortlessly access history, passwords, bookmarks, and even tabs across all our devices and gadgets.

And it was the time of question-answer session. Several participants threw questions to Gen and he managed to provide satisfactory questions. Though the exchange of ideas was carried out entirely in English, most of audience seemed as vibrant as if it was in Bahasa.

Gen Kanai’s most mind-blowing quote that I found throughout the discussion is “There should not be only one company or place where anyone goes” (Needless to mention which company Gen meant here). The message he tried to get across is simpy amazing as if it resounded in the room. The audience held still and Gen’s husky voice captured them all, these two combined made the moment so memorable in my mind. I love the idea of Internet openness and equality in which everyone is a partner to another, not a ‘milk cow’ to its owner.

The second speaker was William Quiviger. He presented “Community Building @ Mozilla”. Before his presentation turn, this young man sat right in front of me and Dietrich. While Gen was lucky enough to speak much longer, William wasn’t. He just started off the presentation a moment after the time keeper came in telling it was only several minutes left. So he rushed to get the presentation done on time and some people in the room got restless, moving around, walking to and fro.

Some notable points that William addressed were the organization’s manifesto, Mozilla in numbers, Mozilla community, worldwide Mozilla contributors, tools and processes.

The Mozilla team closed their presentation by taking pictures with the whole audience. Gen made the crowd gather and then took some pictures with his camera. To be very honest, I’m not a Mozilla community member but there spread the lively spirit of togetherness across the room. And this is the X factor that , I suppose, has helped Mozilla gain its fame in Indonesia. If this is not one of the most lively meeting at Pesta Blogger 2010, I don’t know what is.

Were you there with me in Nusa Penida Room and experienced the ‘riot’? Have your say!
P.S. : This post was also submitted to the Pesta Blogger 2010 Committee as a discussion report.
Update: Gen has been kind enough to drop by and leave some words here and provide his slides for you all!
[slideshare id=5629920&doc=pestablogger2010mozilla-101031232245-phpapp02]

10 thoughts on “Mozilla Team at Pesta Blogger 2010: IS THE WEB DEAD?

  1. You should’ve come earlier because what Gen conveyed was really cool. Thanks to the very limited time, William had to haste and got distracted, trying his best to present and view all the slides, and it did ruin the discussion. We absolutely need more time for each speaker. In less than an hour with 2 speakers presenting is just mad, I’d say.

  2. Akhlis, thank you for this review of our session. I do apologize that my portion was too long- we had to start late and I do agree that trying to fit in both topics in 1 hr was too ambitious.

    For your reference, my slides are here:

    http://www.slideshare.net/gkanai/pestablogger2010mozilla

    Also, the New York Times did a piece about “Proclaimed Dead, Web Is Showing New Life” just 1 day after my presentation at PestaBlogger, so I suppose it’s a hot topic 🙂

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/01/technology/01webwalls.html?hpw=&pagewanted=all

    1. Hi Gen!

      So pleased to have you commenting here, on my simple blog. Your portion felt too long because the time was extremely short (not your fault!). I’m sure we’d have a more spirited exchange of ideas if only the alloted time was longer than that.
      Thanks for the links to your slides and the New York Times article!

      P. S. : I think I’m a Mozilla fan now! LOL 🙂

    1. Hi Pak Riri,
      So pleased to have your comment here. I think Gen had done a great job there, highlighting the efforts that Mozilla undertakes to explore the potential of web in the future.

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