day 6: brain to launch & a close reading

the project i’m working on, min-vid, is a firefox add-on that lets you minimize a video and keep it in the corner of the browser so you can watch while you’re reading/doing other stuff on the page behind it.

this is an idea straight out of dave’s brain.

getting this idea from dave’s brain to the firefox browser takes a lot of work and coordination. one of the first steps was for the dev team to decide on which features would add up to an ‘mvp,’ or ‘minimum viable product.’

a user experience designer looks at these mvp features and designs the human-readable interface around them. all the little x’s in the corners of browser windows, things that light up or expand or gray out when you mouse over them, windows that snap into place… they’re all designed by a person to work that way. in min-vid’s case, this person is named john. hey john.

so in addition to this set of mvp features, there are some basic logistical things that go into launching an open source product: a wiki page, a README that explains the thing and lets people know how to contribute, a name.

and then there are a thousand functionality issues to figure out. here’s a screen shot of partial issue list:

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 10.50.10 AM

one mvp feature of this product is vimeo support since lots of folks watch videos hosted by vimeo. dave is working on that, and it involves getting the vimeo api to talk to the firefox add-on api. looking at his code for the new vimeo support, i realized i didn’t understand the basic structure of the existing add-on.

so i spent a big chunk of today doing what basically amounted to a close reading of the core add-on code. i copy/pasted it into github gists, where i added comments, questions, and links to helpful resources. then, i sent my marked up index.js file to dave and he responded with additional comments, answers, and more resources.

to folks (but mostly, ahem, my own internal monologue) who say “THAT IS NOT REAL WORK OR A GOOD USE OF TIME,” i say, “wrong this is actually a great learning exercise bye!”

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