Addons Hack @ KCG Maker Space

Web Extension Activity Feedback:

Link to the proposal: https://docs.google.com/document/d/104gpmlpohoLVKjMUAN9SM_Bf90wAiLJg5lxPJ_HDMQQ/edit?ts=58adde4d#

Audience Background:

10 Engineering Students from CS/IT Streams

  • 30% – 2nd year
  • 10% – 3rd year
  • 60% – 4th year

Day 1

WhatsApp Image 2017-07-29 at 13.14.08

Meeting 1 & Meeting 2:

  • Introduction to Web Extension
  • Brainstorm ideas
  • paper prototyping the ideas

 

First, we started with what is firefox addons, Why web extension? And I talked about E10S, Multi process architecture. Then we introduced Web Extension and asked the students to try out different addons from addons.mozilla.org.

After this, Everyone was divided into a group of 2 and asked them to think of a brilliant idea for building addons and they were asked to follow the Open Innovation Toolkit guidelines. All their ideas were recorded as issues in the below link:

https://github.com/mozillacampusclubs/teach-how-to-build-addons/issues/

 

Feedback 1: Students really loved prototyping their ideas on paper. Drawing out their ideas on charts and brainstorming, reiterating and gathering feedback on their ideas really worked out well. Everyone enjoyed this session.

But the Only concern is the placement of this Session. We should first introduce them to few API’s and what it can do. Once they experience by developing simple addon using these basic API’s. They will get an idea what an addon could do and what it couldn’t.

 

Why?

Everyone came up with a lot of ideas. The problem lies in the fact that, the students think it as some mobile app and the ideas they share are either complex to solve through web extension or totally non-feasible with our existing API’s.

This is because the students are only given the basic introduction of addons and they have no clue on the capability of it.
Feedback 2: We already have a firefox-addons/ideas repo here: https://github.com/firefox-addons/ideas where the community post their add-on ideas that they are about work on.

Is this repo needed? Redundancy!

https://github.com/mozillacampusclubs/teach-how-to-build-addons/issues/new

Suggestion: Let’s use the firefox-addons repo for idea submission. We shall ask the campus students participating in our activity to add a label on GitHub to identify that the ideas are from CC students.

Day 2:

photo_2017-07-31_16-34-21

Meeting 3:

 

  • Build & test your Web Extension

 

As we were not able to proceed with building the add-on based on the proposed ideas. The students were taught with simple API’s like new tab API, Alarm API, notification API etc and asked them to build a small add-on using them.

Feedback 1: First 2 meetings went really well as it didn’t involve any code. But once the meeting 3 was started, people really had no idea where & how to start. No clarity on how to proceed with building the addon.

Feedback 2: One more thing I observed that Not all Engineering students are expert with HTML, CSS, and javascript. In fact, this is introduced to students while they are in 3rd and in the final year.
Out of the 10 participants, only 4 knew the basics of javascript. The only good thing is that these people can be trained well. But for this to happen, There needs to be a change in the Activity Flow.

Suggested Activity Flow:

Day 1) Introduction to Web Extension.

Day 2) Introduction to Adoons API: Introduce 3-4 API’s and ask them to do a simple Web Extension using these API.

Day 3) Similar to the previous week, Introduce them to another 3-4 API’s.

Day 4) Brainstorm ideas & gather feedback on the ideas. Finally paper prototype the idea.

Day 5) Build & test your Web Extension.

 

Addons School: This is Similar to web VR School, Addons School is a teaching kit which explains about at least 8-10 simple APIs and a sample add-ons developed using these API’s. Viswaprasath and I are already working on this course kit and we have started testing it out in the name of Weeks of Contribution program in Mozilla Tamilnadu Community. In this program, Every week we introduce the students to 3-4 new API’s and teach them to build a simple add-ons using them. By the end of these sessions, Students will know what are the API’s available and use these to build on their ideas.

I have shared an activity format for Web Extension which we are following in our community as a part of Weeks of contribution program:

All Credits to Viswaprasath for framing the agenda which is available in the below link: 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1k6EPcQC8Bc9snt3yuSH14BQwrKhtpkAdjLCtM9zXhB8/edit#gid=0

 

How will this help the rest of the people (6/10 in my Case Study) who doesn’t know the basics of HTML, CSS, JS?

This is, in fact, a challenging part. But, Introducing them to API’s and asking them to build simple add-on will help them to learn what actions each JS code does. So they can use it in their own ideas. This will motivate them to develop addon as well.

 

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