Event Telemetry is the means by which we can send ordered interaction data from Firefox users back to Mozilla where we can use it to make product decisions.
…but are these connected? If so, how?
To determine what parts of Firefox our users are having trouble finding or using, we often need to know the order things happen. That’s where Event Telemetry comes into play: we timestamp things that happen all over the browser so we can see what happens and in what order (and a little bit of how long it took to happen).
The “main” ping carries a lot of information and is usually sent once per time you close your Firefox (or once per day, whichever is shorter). As such, Event Telemetry was constrained in how it was able to report this ordered data. It takes two whole days to get 95% of it (because that’s how long it takes us to get “main” pings), and it isn’t allowed to send more than one thousand events per process (lest it balloon the size of the “main” ping, causing problems).
This makes the data slow, and possibly incomplete.
With the landing of bug 1460595 in Firefox Nightly 63 last week, Event Telemetry now has its own ping: the “event” ping.
The “event” ping maintains the same 1000-events-per-process-per-ping limit as the “main” ping, but can send pings as frequently as one ping every ten minutes. Typically, though, it waits the full hour before sending as there isn’t any rush. A maximum delay of an hour still makes for low-latency data, and a minimum delay of ten minutes is unlikely to be overrun by event recordings which means we should get all of the events.
This means it takes less time to receive data that is more likely to be complete. This in turn means we can use less of it to get our answers. And it means more efficiency in our decision-making process, which is important when you’re competing against giants.
If you use Event Telemetry to answer your questions with data, now you can look forward to being able to do so faster and with less worry about losing data along the way.
And if you don’t use Event Telemetry to answer your questions, maybe now would be a good time to start.
Thanks to :sunahsuh for her excellent work reviewing the proposal and in getting the data into the derived datasets so they can be easily queried, and further thanks to the Data Team for their support.