On Friday, Gerv announced that Giganews would be hosting the new Mozilla news server. This is something that was five years in waiting. It will also be the first time user support forums will be on a server called “mozilla.org”. (I’ll post more info, when the groups go live.) While there have been mentions of the new server in recent staff meeting minutes, and various posts by members of the community, I want to tell the story of my small role in how this came about.
I am a very satisfied client of Giganews usenet services. I also subscribe to their internal giganews.* newsgroups, in which their support staff participate. Over the last year, I had noticed that many Giganews support personnel had started using Mozilla Thunderbird to post their messages. Assuming that many people at Giganews were fans of Mozilla products, I thought maybe one of their server administrators may be interested in helping out Mozilla.org with their server.
After Gervase Markham posted his (what was beginning to look like annual) request for a news administrator, I decided to contact Giganews about it. The next morning, I got a reply from the vice president, with interest in helping Mozilla. I gave him Gerv’s address, and Gerv verified the contact with “He has indeed been in touch, and we’re in discussion.” A couple of weeks later, he informed me of their success, with “It will be happening very soon.”
Moral of the story:
I felt it important to publicize how I was able to help, because I am neither a Mozilla employee, a Giganews employee, or an NNTP administrator. Yet there was a bug I really wanted fixed, and I was able to get it fixed (at least find someone willing and able to fix it). The lesson is for users of Mozilla products, who want certain bugs fixed. Even if you aren’t a coder, you can still help get bugs fixed, and play an integral part. Don’t be afraid to look for someone willing to fix the bugs that bug you. After all, it is open-source development. Everyone can contribute, no matter how small the contribution.