A recent discussion about the nightly build site got me thinking about how we’re talking about what we do in a confusing way.
The short version of the story is that nightly.mozilla.org is linking to just Firefox builds. It’s certainly fine having a site devoted to Firefox nightlies, but using the mozilla.org domain creates unnecessary problems.
Equating the words Mozilla and Firefox makes it difficult to understand that Firefox is part of a larger mission—from looking at this site how is someone going to understand that Mozilla is more than just where you download Firefox builds?
Using this domain also sets up the expectation that other projects will be available. Not having other projects feels like an oversight and can even cause tension from parts of the community that feel like this should be available for nightlies for other applications.
If we were limited to one site these might be trade-offs worth making to get Firefox nightlies into more people’s hands, but there’s not only one domain name available. Why not have both nightly.firefox.com and nightly.mozilla.org (mockup of Mozilla nightly page below)?
Changing some domain names is not enough to get people to understand everything about Firefox and Mozilla, but they are part of how we tell our story. From this example it seems we aren’t being as clear as we could be and we’re setting ourselves up for problems that are easily avoidable.