Mozilla introduces ‘Firefox Health Report’, an opt-out data collector that sends Firefox usage data to Mozilla

One of the ways software publishers improve their products is by collecting data on how their programs are being used by the end user. This data, if utilized properly, can provide significant insights to developers on how they can not only improve bugs and errors but also better tailor their programs to fit the needs and desires of their users. Mozilla wants to do the same with Firefox.

Currently, Mozilla feels it is not receiving enough data from Firefox users. As such, Mozilla is introducing a new feature in Firefox — Firefox Health Report. Firefox Health Reporter is a tool that will gather data on Firefox usage and report back to Mozilla. Mozilla will then use that data to improve Firefox.

According to Mozilla, the following is the type of information Firefox Health Reporter gathers:

  • Configuration data – for example, device hardware, operating system, Firefox version
  • Customizations data – for example, add-ons, count and type
  • Performance data – for example, timing of browser events, rendering, session restores
  • Wear and Tear data – for example, length of session, how old a profile is, count of crashes

The following is how Mozilla feels Firefox Health Report will help improve Firefox:

  • User insights exhibited on-board the browser instance through visualizations and comparative graphics.
  • Product insights conveyed to Mozilla – the manufacturer or designer of the car– to help in improving existing browser instances and especially to more fully inform future design and development of Firefox.
  • Provide Mozilla with the ability to streamline and reduce duplicate information it collects across other products such as Telemetry.

Firefox Health Report is going to be introduced by Mozilla into Firefox Nightly builds and will eventually make its way into mainstream Firefox by Firefox 20. Firefox Health Report will be an opt-out feature, meaning all users will send Mozilla the above-quoted data unless users specifically out-opt of not sending it. You can read more about Firefox Health Report from the links below.

Mozilla blog post on Firefox Health Report | Firefox Health Report FAQ

[via TNW]

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4 comments

  1. Josh

    I have never written a letter to any president, nor any queen, mainly because they never asked me to and because I do not expect much good to come of it. However, this practice apparently serves the computer industry well, seeing as so many programmers and hardware people insist on it. Perhaps the presidents and queens could learn from them about how things should be done.

  2. sl0j0n

    Hello, “fermier”.
    You wrote:
    “President of the United States gets 35,000 letters each and every day from country’s citizens. A dozen are selected at random, rest are destroyed unopened. And can you blame them?”
    Actually, yes.
    The “President of the United States” *WORKS* for the PEOPLE of the United States.
    IF you refused to accept communications from your employer,
    how long would you have your job?
    I wouldn’t expect him to read every single letter,
    but his staff should read them,
    and tally the totals,
    and give the Great Imperious One a report of the letters he’s received.
    Anything less is unacceptable.
    Remember, he is *supposedly* a “public SERVANT”.
    NOT “His Royal Majesty”.
    He ‘works’ for US!
    That’s his JOB!
    IF he can’t handle it, maybe he should resign.

    Have a GREAT day, neighbor!

  3. fermier

    I read that the Microsoft Co. gets more than one million reports each and every day. They have assigned a staff of 15 people to read them.

    On unrelated matter, President of the United States gets 35,000 letters each and every day from country’s citizens. A dozen are selected at random, rest are destroyed unopened. And can you blame them?
    Queen of England does somewhat better; her staff opens about 50 letters a day.