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mjzffr /
Last active Feb 14, 2018
This is an excerpt of an email exchange I had with a student interested in contributing to Mozilla's open source projects. The notes and resources are aimed at someone who has knowledge of programming (1st-year CS, say) but little or no knowledge of version control. Feel free to remix, reuse. :)

Hey ---, nice to talk with you yesterday! Giant email ahead!

Here's what we talked about:

All open source projects use version control tools like git for code submission. Mozilla uses two version control tools (hg and git) to track the history of code changes: hg (also called mercurial) is used for Firefox code, git is used for other supporting projects. The underlying concepts for hg and git are similar, but I think the documentation for git is much better so I suggest you focus on git first. Github is a web-based user interface for git. Locally (i.e. "on your computer"), you will interact with git using the terminal instead by entering commands. Version control is all about tracking project history so that it's easy to merge work from many different people or go back in time; it's an extra step/tool in software development on top of writing/testing your code.

To start working on any open source project, the first step is to get a copy of the source code repository (e.g. git clone). Then the programmer ch

mjzffr / IRC
Last active Oct 2, 2018
people being awesome and helpful on IRC (#ateam,
View IRC
20:46 martianwars jmaher: What does "afk" stand for?
20:46 jmaher martianwars: hey, great question
20:46 jmaher afk == away from keyboard
20:46 jmaher omw == on my way
20:46 jmaher pto == paid time off
20:47 jmaher mtg == meeting
20:47 martianwars bbiab?
20:47 jmaher ^ those are the common nick modifiers people use
20:47 adusca bbiab = be back in a bit
20:47 adusca brb = be right back
import os
import sys
config = {
"virtualenv_python_dll": 'c:/mozilla-build/python27/python27.dll',
"virtualenv_path": 'venv',
"exes": {
'python': 'c:/mozilla-build/python27/python',
'virtualenv': ['c:/mozilla-build/python27/python', 'c:/mozilla-build/buildbotve/'],
'hg': 'c:/mozilla-build/hg/hg',
mjzffr /
Last active Aug 29, 2015
Resources for setting up Python

Is Python installed? Which version?

Run python from a shell to find out.

If you're using Linux, you might be able to install everything you need directly from your distribution's package repository. The versions you want might not be available, though.

Install Python

  • The above page probably has links to specific info about Mac, Windows, etc. (Last I checked, middle of page under "Information about specific ports, and developer info")

Install some essential tools

mjzffr /
Last active Jan 29, 2020
Python on Windows

#Python 2

  1. Install Python 2.7
  • To use pygame (mentioned below), install the 32-bit (x86, not x86-64) version of Python!
  • Location C:\Python27
  • Add C:\Python27\python.exe and C:\Python27\Scripts to PATH
  • In the Start menu, rename the "IDLE" shortcut to "IDLE Python 2.7"
  1. Install pip for package management (
  • Download and run python, where python is the command to run the Python 2.7 interpreter.
  • If this works, C:\Python27\Scripts will contain pip.exe

Keybase proof

I hereby claim:

  • I am mjzffr on github.
  • I am maja_zf ( on keybase.
  • I have a public key whose fingerprint is 026D 04CC F5F0 B6E5 6ACA 3B9F A5DB B7B8 CD9F 4726

To claim this, I am signing this object:

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