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Gregory Szorc: Soft Launch of MozReview

Mozilla planet - to, 30/10/2014 - 12:15

We performed a soft launch of MozReview: Mozilla's new code review tool yesterday!

What does that mean? How do I use it? What are the features? How do I get in touch or contribute? These are all great questions. The answers to those and more can all be found in the MozReview documentation. If they aren't, it's a bug in the documentation. File a bug or submit a patch. Instructions to do that are in the documentation.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla komt met WiFi-sniffer op Android - Webwereld

Nieuws verzameld via Google - to, 30/10/2014 - 11:16

Mozilla komt met WiFi-sniffer op Android
Ook Mozilla verzamelt data van miljoenen WiFi-routers, een omstreden praktijk sinds Google daar 'per ongeluk' iets te ver mee ging en ook daadwerkelijk internetverkeer onderschepte. Met de nieuwe Android-app Stumbler kunnen gebruikers de Mozilla ...

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Kev Needham: things that interest me this week – 29 oct 2014

Mozilla planet - to, 30/10/2014 - 03:13

Quick Update: A couple of people mentioned there’s no Mozilla items in here. They’re right, and it’s primarily because the original audience of this type of thing was Mozilla. I’ll make sure I add them where relevant, moving forward.

Every week I put together a bunch of news items I think are interesting to the people I work with, and that’s usually limited to a couple wiki pages a handful of people read. I figured I may as well put it in a couple other places, like here, and see if people are interested. Topics focus on the web, the technologies that power it, and the platforms that make use of it. I work for Mozilla, but these are my own opinions and takes on things.

I try to have three sections:

  • Something to Think About – Something I’m seeing a company doing that I think is important, why I think it’s important, and sometimes what I think should be done about it. Some weeks these won’t be around, because they tend to not show their faces much.
  • Worth a Read – Things I think are worth the time to read if you’re interested in the space as a whole. Limited to three items max, but usually two. If you don’t like what’s in here, tell me why.
  • Notes – Bits and bobs people may or may not be interested in, but that I think are significant, bear watching, or are of general interest.

I’ll throw these out every Wednesday, and standard disclaimers apply – this is what’s in my brain, and isn’t representative of what’s in anyone else’s brain, especially the folks I work with at Mozilla. I’ll also throw a mailing list together if there’s interest, and feedback is always welcome (your comment may get stuck in a spam-catcher, don’t worry, I’ll dig it out).

– k

Something to Think About

Lifehacker posted an article this morning around all the things you can do from within Chrome’s address bar. Firefox can do a number of the same things, but it’s interesting to see the continual improvements the Chrome team has made around search (and service) integration, and also the productivity hacks (like searching your Google drive without actually going there) that people come up with to make a feature more useful than it’s intended design.

Why I think people should care: Chrome’s modifications to the address bar aren’t ground-breaking, nor are they changes that came about overnight. They are a series of iterative changes to a core function that work well with Google’s external services, and focus on increasing utility which, not coincidentally, increases the value and stickiness of the Google experience as a whole. Continued improvements to existing features (and watching how people are riffing on those features) is a good thing, and is something to consider as part of our general product upkeep, particularly around the opportunity to do more with services (both ours, and others) that promote the open web as a platform.

Worth a Read
  • Benedict Evans updated his popular “Mobile Is Eating the World” presentation, and posits that mobile effectively ”is” everything technology today. I think it needs a “Now” at the end, because what he’s describing has happened before, and will happen again. Mobile is a little different currently, mainly because of the gigantic leaps in hardware for fewer dollars that continue to be made as well as carrier subsidies fueling 2-year upgrade cycles. Mobile itself is also not just phones, it’s things other than desktops and laptops that have a network connection. Everything connected is everything. He’s also put together a post on Tablets, PCs and Office that goes a little bit into technology cycles and how things like tablets are evolving to fill more than just media consumption needs, but the important piece he pushes in both places is the concept of network connected screens being the window to your stuff, and the platform under the screen being a commodity (e.g. processing power is improving on every platform to the point the hardware platform is mattering less) that is really simply the interface that better fits the task at hand.
  • Ars Technica has an overview of some of the more interesting changes in Lollipop which focus on unbundling apps and APIs to mitigate fragmentation risk, an enhanced setup process focusing on user experience, and the shift in the Nexus brand from a market-share builder to a premium offering.
  • Google’s Sundar Pichai was promoted last week in a move that solidifies Google’s movement towards a unified, backend-anchored, multi-screen experience. Pichai is a long time Google product person, and has been fronting the Android and Chrome OS (and a couple other related services) teams, and now takes on Google’s most important web properties as well, including Gmail, Search, AdSense, and the infrastructure that runs it. This gives those business units inside Google better alignment around company goals, and shows the confidence Google has in Pichai. Expect further alignment in Google’s unified experience movement through products like Lollipop, Chrome OS, Inbox and moving more Google Account data (and related experiences like notifications and Web Intents) into the cloud, where it doesn’t rely on a specific client and can be shared/used on any connected screen.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla Release Management Team: Firefox 34 beta3 to beta4

Mozilla planet - wo, 29/10/2014 - 22:27

  • 38 changesets
  • 64 files changed
  • 869 insertions
  • 625 deletions

ExtensionOccurrences js16 cpp16 jsm9 h9 java4 xml2 jsx2 html2 mn1 mm1 list1 css1

ModuleOccurrences browser19 gfx10 content8 mobile6 services5 layout4 widget3 netwerk3 xpfe2 toolkit2 modules1 accessible1

List of changesets:

Nicolas SilvaBug 1083071 - Backout the additional blacklist entries. r=jmuizelaar, a=sledru - 31acf5dc33fc Jeff MuizelaarBug 1083071 - Disable D3D11 and D3D9 layers on broken drivers. r=bjacob, a=sledru - 618a12c410bb Ryan VanderMeulenBacked out changeset 6c46c21a04f9 (Bug 1074378) - 3e2c92836231 Cosmin MalutanBug 1072244 - Correctly throw the exceptions in TPS framework. r=hskupin a=testonly DONTBUILD - 48e3c2f927d5 Mark BannerBug 1081959 - "Something went wrong" isn't displayed when the call fails in the connection phase. r=dmose, a=lmandel - 8cf65ccdce3d Jared WeinBug 1062335 - Loop panel size increases after switching themes. r=mixedpuppy, a=lmandel - 033942f8f817 Wes JohnstonBug 1055883 - Don't reshow header when hitting the bottom of short pages. r=kats, a=lmandel - 823ecd23138b Patrick McManusBug 1073825 - http2session::cleanupstream failure. r=hurley, a=lmandel - eed6613c5568 Paul AdenotBug 1078354 - Part 1: Make sure we are not waking up an OfflineGraphDriver. r=jesup, a=lmandel - 9d0a16097623 Paul AdenotBug 1078354 - Part 2: Don't try to measure a PeriodicWave size when an OscillatorNode is using a basic waveform. r=erahm, a=lmandel - b185e7a13e18 Gavin SharpBug 1086958 - Back out change to default browser prompting for Beta 34. r=Gijs, a=lmandel - d080a93fd9e1 Yury DelendikBug 1072164 - Fixes pdf.js for CMYK jpegs. r=bdahl, a=lmandel - d1de09f2d1b0 Neil RashbrookBug 1070768 - Move XPFE's autocomplete.css to communicator so it doesn't conflict with toolkit's new global autocomplete.css. r=Ratty, a=lmandel - 78b9d7be1770 Markus StangeBug 1078262 - Only use the fixed epsilon for the translation components. r=roc, a=lmandel - 2c49dc84f1a0 Benjamin ChenBug 1079616 - Dispatch PushBlobRunnable in RequestData function, and remove CreateAndDispatchBlobEventRunnable. r=roc, a=lmandel - d9664db594e9 Brad LasseyBug 1084035 - Add the ability to mirror tabs from desktop to a second screen, don't block browser sources when specified in constraints from chrome code. r=jesup, a=lmandel - 47065beeef20 Gijs KruitboschBug 1074520 - Use CSS instead of hacks to make the forget button lay out correctly. r=jaws, a=lmandel - 46916559304f Markus StangeBug 1085475 - Don't attempt to use vibrancy in 32-bit mode. r=smichaud, a=lmandel - 184b704568ff Mark FinkleBug 1088952 - Disable "Enable wi-fi" toggle on beta due to missing permission. r=rnewman, a=lmandel - 9fd76ad57dbe Yonggang LuoBug 1066459 - Clamp the new top row index to the valid range before assigning it to mTopRowIndex when scrolling. r=kip a=lmandel - 4fd0f4651a61 Mats PalmgrenBug 1085050 - Remove a DEBug assertion. r=kip a=lmandel - 1cd947f5b6d8 Jason OrendorffBug 1042567 - Reflect JSPropertyOp properties more consistently as data properties. r=efaust, a=lmandel - 043c91e3aaeb Margaret LeibovicBug 1075232 - Record which suggestion of the search screen was tapped in telemetry. r=mfinkle, a=lmandel - a627934a0123 Benoit JacobBug 1088858 - Backport ANGLE fixes to make WebGL work on Windows in Firefox 34. r=jmuizelaar, a=lmandel - 85e56f19a5a1 Patrick McManusBug 1088910 - Default http/2 off on gecko 34 after EARLY_BETA. r=hurley, a=lmandel - 74298f48759a Benoit JacobBug 1083071 - Avoid touching D3D11 at all, even to test if it works, if D3D11 layers are blacklisted. r=Bas, r=jmuizelaar, a=sledru - 6268e33e8351 Randall BarkerBug 1080701 - TabMirror needs to be updated to work with the chromecast server. r=wesj, r=mfinkle, a=lmandel - 0811a9056ec4 Xidorn QuanBug 1088467 - Avoid adding space for bullet with list-style: none. r=surkov, a=lmandel - 2e54d90546ce Michal NovotnyBug 1083922 - Doom entry when parsing security info fails. r=mcmanus, a=lmandel - 34988fa0f0d8 Ed LeeBug 1088729 - Only allow http(s) directory links. r=adw, a=sledru - 410afcc51b13 Mark BannerBug 1047410 - Desktop client should display Call Failed if an incoming call - d2ef2bdc90bb Mark BannerBug 1088346 - Handle "answered-elsewhere" on incoming calls for desktop on Loop. r=nperriault a=lmandel - 67d9122b8c98 Mark BannerBug 1088636 - Desktop ToS url should use not r=nperriault a=lmandel - 45d717da277d Adam Roach [:abr]Bug 1033579 - Add channel to POST calls for Loop to allow different servers based on the channel. r=dmose a=lmandel - d43a7b8995a6 Ethan HuggBug 1084496 - Update whitelist for screensharing r=jesup a=lmandel - 080cfa7f5d79 Ryan VanderMeulenBacked out changeset 043c91e3aaeb (Bug 1042567) for deBug jsreftest failures. - 15bafc2978d8 Jim ChenBug 1066982 - Try to not launch processes on pre-JB devices because of Android bug. r=snorp, a=lmandel - 5a4dfee44717 Randell JesupBug 1080755 - Push video frames into MediaStreamGraph instead of waiting for pulls. r=padenot, a=lmandel - 22cfde2bf1ce

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

David Boswell: Please complete and share the contributor survey

Mozilla planet - wo, 29/10/2014 - 20:53

We are conducting a research project to learn about the values and motivations of Mozilla’s contributors (both volunteers and staff) and to understand how we can improve their experiences.

Part of this effort is a survey for contributors that has just been launched at:

Please take a few minutes to fill this out and then share this link with the communities you work with. Having more people complete this will give us a more complete understanding of how we can improve the experience for all contributors.

We plan to have results from this survey and the data analysis project available by the time of the Portland work week in December.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

K Lars Lohn: Judge the Project, Not the Contributors

Mozilla planet - wo, 29/10/2014 - 18:16
I recently read a blog posting titled, The 8 Essential Traits of a Great Open Source Contributor I am disturbed by this posting. While clearly not the intended effect, I feel the posting just told a huge swath of people that they are neither qualified nor welcome to contribute to Open Source. The intent of the posting was to say that there is a wide range of skills needed in Open Source. Even if a potential contributor feels they lack an essential technical skill, here's an enumeration of other skills that are helpful.
Over the years, I’ve talked to many people who have wanted to contribute to open source projects, but think that they don’t have what it takes to make a contribution. If you’re in that situation, I hope this post helps you get out of that mindset and start contributing to the projects that matter to you. See? The author has completely good intentions. My fear is that the posting has the opposite effect. It raises a bar as if it is an ad for a paid technical position. He uses superlatives that say to me, “we are looking for the top people as contributors, not common people”.

Unfortunately, my interpretation of this blog posting is not the need for a wide range of skills, it communicates that if you contribute, you'd better be great at doing so. In fact, if you do not have all these skills, you cannot be considered great. So where is the incentive to participate? It makes Open Source sound as if it an invitation to be judged as either great or inadequate.

Ok, I know this interpretation is through my own jaundiced eyes. So to see if my interpretation was just a reflection of my own bad day, I shared the blog posting with a couple colleagues.  Both colleagues are women that judge their own skills unnecessarily harshly, but, in my judgement are really quite good. I chose these two specifically, because I knew both suffer “imposter syndrome”, a largely unshakable feeling of inadequacy that is quite common among technical people.   Both reacted badly to the posting, one saying that it sounded like a job posting for a position for which there would be no hope of ever landing.

I want to turn this around. Let's not judge the contributors, let's judge the projects instead. In fact, we can take these eight traits and boil them down to one: essential trait of a great open source project:
Essential trait of a great open source project:
Leaders & processes that can advance the project while marshalling imperfect contributors gracefully.
That's a really tall order. By that standard, my own Open Source projects are not great. However, I feel much more comfortable saying that the project is not great, rather than sorting the contributors.

If I were paying people to work on my project, I'd have no qualms about judging their performance any where along a continuum of “great” to “inadequate”. Contributors are NOT employees subject to performance review.  In my projects, if someone contributes, I consider both the contribution and the contributor to be “great”. The contribution may not make it into the project, but it was given to me for free, so it is naturally great by that aspect alone.

Contribution: Voluntary Gift
Perhaps if the original posting had said, "these are the eight gifts we need" rather than saying the the gifts are traits of people we consider "great", I would not have been so uncomfortable.
A great Open Source project is one that produces a successful product and is inclusive. An Open Source project that produces a successful product, but is not inclusive, is merely successful.
Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Tim Taubert: Talk: Keeping secrets with JavaScript - An Introduction to the WebCrypto API

Mozilla planet - wo, 29/10/2014 - 17:00

With the web slowly maturing as a platform the demand for cryptography in the browser has risen, especially in a post-Snowden era. Many of us have heard about the upcoming Web Cryptography API but at the time of writing there seem to be no good introductions available. We will take a look at the proposed W3C spec and its current state of implementation.

Video Slides Code

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Soledad Penades: Native smooth scrolling with JS

Mozilla planet - wo, 29/10/2014 - 14:50

There’s a new way of invoking the scroll functions in JavaScript where you can specify how do you want the scroll to behave: smoothly, immediately, or auto (whatever the user agent wants, I guess).

window.scrollBy({ top: 100, behavior: 'smooth' });

(note it’s behavior, not behaviour, argggh).

I read this post yesterday saying that it would be available (via this tweet from @FirefoxNightly) and immediately wanted to try it out!

I made sure I had an updated copy of Firefox Nightly—you’ll need a version from the 28th of October or later. Then I enabled the feature by going to about:config and changing layout.css.scroll-behavior.enabled to true. No restart required!

My test looks like this:

native smooth scrolling

(source code)

You can also use it in CSS code:

#myelement {
  scroll-behavior: smooth;

but my example doesn’t. Feel like building one yourself? :)

The reason why I’m so excited about this is that I’ve had to implement this behaviour with plug-ins and what nots that tend to interfere with the rendering pipeline many, many times and it’s amazing that this is going to be native to the browser, as it should be smooth and posh. And also because other native platforms have it too and it makes the web look “not cool”. Well, not anymore!

The other cool aspect is that it degrades great—if the option is not recognised by the engine you will just get… a normal abrupt behaviour, but it will still scroll.

I’m guessing that you can still use your not-so-performant plug-ins if you really want your own scroll algorithm (maybe you want it to bounce in a particular way, etc). Just use instant instead of smooth, and you should be good to go!


flattr this!

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Andreas Gal: HTML5 reaches the Recommendation stage

Mozilla planet - wo, 29/10/2014 - 05:29

Today HTML5 reached the Recommendation stage inside the W3C, the last stage of W3C standards. Mozilla was one of the first organizations to become deeply involved in the evolution and standardization of HTML5, so today’s announcement by the W3C has a special connection to Mozilla’s mission and our work over the last 10 years.

Mozilla has pioneered many widely adopted technologies such as WebGL which further enhance HTML5 and make it a competitive and compelling alternative to proprietary and native ecosystems. With the entrance of Firefox OS into the smartphone market we have also made great progress in advancing the state of the mobile Web. Many of the new APIs and capabilities we have proposed in the context of Firefox OS are currently going through the standards process, bringing capabilities to the Web that were previously only available to native applications.

W3C Standards go through a series of steps, ranging from proposals to Editors’ Drafts to Candidate Recommendations and ultimately Recommendations. While reaching the Recommendation stage is an important milestone, we encourage developers to engage with new Web standards long before they actually hit that point. To stay current, Web developers should keep an eye on new evolving standards and read Editors’ Drafts instead of Recommendations. Web developer-targeted documentation such as and are also a great way to learn about upcoming standards.

A second important area of focus for Mozilla around HTML5 has been test suites. Test suites can be used by Web developers and Web engine developers alike to verify that Web browsers consistently implement the HTML5 specification. You can check out the latest results at:

These automated testing suites for HTML5 play a critical role in ensuring a uniform and consistent Web experience for users.

At Mozilla, we envision a Web which can do anything you can do in a native application. The advancement of HTML5 marks an important step on the road to this vision. We have many exciting things planned for our upcoming 10th anniversary of Firefox (#Fx10), which will continue to move the Web forward as an open ecosystem and platform for innovation.

Stay tuned.

Filed under: Mozilla
Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Kartikaya Gupta: Building a NAS

Mozilla planet - wo, 29/10/2014 - 03:24

I've been wanting to build a NAS (network-attached storage) box for a while now, and the ominous creaking noises from the laptop I was previously using as a file server prompted me to finally take action. I wanted to build rather than buy because (a) I wanted more control over the machine and OS, (b) I figured I'd learn something along the way and (c) thought it might be cheaper. This blog posts documents the decisions and mistakes I made and problems I ran into.

First step was figuring out the level of data redundancy and storage space I wanted. After reading up on the different RAID levels I figured 4 drives with 3 TB each in a RAID5 configuration would suit my needs for the next few years. I don't have a huge amount of data so the ~9TB of usable space sounded fine, and being able to survive single-drive failures sounded sufficient to me. For all critical data I keep a copy on a separate machine as well.

I chose to go with software RAID rather than hardware because I've read horror stories of hardware RAID controllers going obsolete and being unable to find a replacement, rendering the data unreadable. That didn't sound good. With an open-source software RAID controller at least you can get the source code and have a shot at recovering your data if things go bad.

With this in mind I started looking at software options - a bit of searching took me to FreeNAS which sounded exactly like what I wanted. However after reading through random threads in the user forums it seemed like the FreeNAS people are very focused on using ZFS and hardware setups with ECC RAM. From what I gleaned, using ZFS without ECC RAM is a bad idea, because errors in the RAM can cause ZFS to corrupt your data silently and unrecoverably (and worse, it causes propagation of the corruption). A system that makes bad situations worse didn't sound so good to me.

I could have still gone with ZFS with ECC RAM but from some rudimentary searching it sounded like it would increase the cost significantly, and frankly I didn't see the point. So instead I decided to go with NAS4Free (which actually was the original FreeNAS before iXsystems bought the trademark and forked the code) which allows using a UFS file system in a software RAID5 configuration.

So with the software decisions made, it was time to pick hardware. I used this guide by Sam Kear as a starting point and modified a few things here and there. I ended up with this parts list that I mostly ordered from (Aside: I wish I had discovered earlier in the process as it would have saved me a lot of time). They shipped things to me in 5 different packages which arrived on 4 different days using 3 different shipping services. Woo! The parts I didn't get from I picked up at a local Canada Computers store. Then, last weekend, I put it all together.

It's been a while since I've built a box so I screwed up a few things and had to rewind (twice) to fix them. Took about 3 hours in total for assembly; somebody who knew what they were doing could have done it in less than one. I mostly blame lack of documentation with the chassis since there were a bunch of different screws and it wasn't obvious which ones I had to use for what. They all worked for mounting the motherboard but only one of them was actually correct and using the wrong one meant trouble later.

In terms of the hardware compatibility I think my choices were mostly sound, but there were a few hitches. The case and motherboard both support up to 6 SATA drives (I'm using 4, giving me some room to grow). However, the PSU only came with 4 SATA power connectors which means I'll need to get some adaptors or maybe a different PSU if I need to add drives. The other problem was that the chassis comes with three fans (two small ones at the front, one big one at the back) but there was only one chassis power connector on the motherboard. I plugged the big fan in and so far the machine seems to be staying pretty cool so I'm not too worried. Does seem like a waste to have those extra unused fans though.

Finally, I booted it up using a monitor/keyboard borrowed from another machine, and ran memtest86 to make sure the RAM was good. It was, so I flashed the NAS4Free LiveUSB onto a USB drive and booted it up. Unfortunately after booting into NAS4Free my keyboard stopped working. I had to disable the USB 3.0 stuff in the BIOS to get around that. I don't really care about having USB 3.0 support on this machine so not a big deal. It took me some time to figure out what installation mode I wanted to use NAS4Free in. I decided to do a full install onto a second USB drive and not have a swap partition (figured hosting swap over USB would be slow and probably unnecessary).

So installing that was easy enough, and I was able to boot into the full NAS4Free install and configure it to have a software RAID5 on the four disks. Things generally seemed OK and I started copying stuff over.. and then the box rebooted. It also managed to corrupt my installation somehow, so I had to start over from the LiveUSB stick and re-install. I had saved the config from the first time so it was easy to get it back up again, and once again I started putting data on there. Again it rebooted, although this time it didn't corrupt my installation. This was getting worrying, particularly since the system log files provided no indication as to what went wrong.

My first suspicion was that the RAID wasn't fully initialized and so copying data onto it resulted in badness. The array was "rebuilding" and I'm supposed to be able to use it then, but I figured I might as well wait until it was done. Turns out it's going to be rebuilding for the next ~20 days because RAID5 has to read/write the entire disk to initialize fully and in the days of multi-terabyte disk this takes forever. So in retrospect perhaps RAID5 was a poor choice for such large disks.

Anyway in order to debug the rebooting, I looked up the FreeBSD kernel debugging documentation, and that requires having a swap partition that the kernel can dump a crash report to. So I reinstalled and set up a swap partition this time. This seemed to magically fix the rebooting problem entirely, so I suspect the RAID drivers just don't deal well when there's no swap, or something. Not an easy situation to debug if it only happens with no swap partition but you need a swap partition to get a kernel dump.

So, things were good, and I started copying more data over and configuring more stuff and so on. The next problem I ran into was the USB drive to which I had installed NAS4Free started crapping out with read/write errors. This wasn't so great but by this point I'd already reinstalled it about 6 or 7 times, so I reinstalled again onto a different USB stick. The one that was crapping out seems to still work fine in other machines, so I'm not sure what the problem was there. The new one that I used, however, was extremely slow. Things that took seconds on the previous drive took minutes on this one. So I switched again to yet another drive, this time an old 2.5" internal drive that I have mounted in an enclosure through USB.

And finally, after installing the OS at least I've-lost-count-how-many times, I have a NAS that seems stable and appears to work well. To be fair, reinstalling the OS is a pretty painless process and by the end I could do it in less than 10 minutes from sticking in the LiveUSB to a fully-configured working system. Being able to download the config file (which includes not just the NAS config but also user accounts and so on) makes it pretty painless to restore your system to exactly the way it was. The only additional things I had to do were install a few FreeBSD packages and unpack a tarball into my home directory to get some stuff I wanted. At no point was any of the data on the RAID array itself lost or corrupted, so I'm pretty happy about that.

In conclusion, setup was a bit of a pain, mostly due to unclear documentation and flaky USB drives (or drivers) but now that I have it set up it seems to be working well. If I ever have to do it over I might go for something other than RAID5 just because of the long rebuild time but so far it hasn't been an actual problem.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Asa Dotzler: MozFest Flame Phones

Mozilla planet - ti, 28/10/2014 - 23:15
Dancing FlamesImage via Flickr user Capture Queen, and used under a CC license

Even though I wasn’t there, it sure was thrilling to see all the activity around the Flame phones at MozFest.

So, you’ve got a Flame and you’re wondering how you can use this new hardware to help Mozilla make Firefox OS awesome?! Well, here’s what we’d love from you.

First, check your Flame to see what build of Firefox OS it’s running. If you have not flashed it, it’s probably on Firefox OS 1.3 and you’ll need to upgrade it to something contemporary first. If you’re using anything older than the v188 base image, you definitely need to upgrade. To upgrade, visit the Flame page on MDN and follow the instructions to flash a new vendor-provided base image and then flash the latest nightly from Mozilla on top of that.

Once you’re on the latest nightly of Firefox OS, you’re ready to start using the Flame and filing bugs on things that don’t work. You’d think that with about five thousand Flames out there, we’d have reports on everything that’s not working but that’s not the case. Even if the bug seems highly visible, please report it. We’d rather have a couple of duplicate reports than no report at all. If you’re experienced with Bugzilla, please search first *and* help us triage incoming reports so the devs can focus on fixing rather than duping bugs.

In addition to this use-based ad hoc testing, you can participate in the One and Done program or work directly with the Firefox OS QA team on more structured testing.

But that’s not all! Because Firefox OS is built on Web technologies, you don’t have to be a hardcore programmer to fix many of the bugs in the OS or the default system apps like Dialer, Email, and Camera. If you’ve got Web dev skills, please help us squash bugs. A great place to start is the list of bugs with developers assigned to mentor you through the process.

It’s a non-trivial investment that the Mozilla Foundation has made in giving away these Flame reference phones and I’m here to work with you all to help make that effort pay off in terms of bugs reported and fixed. Please let me know if you run into problems or could use my help. Enjoy your Flames!

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

J. Ryan Stinnett: Debugging Tabs with Firefox for Android

Mozilla planet - ti, 28/10/2014 - 22:08

For quite a while, it has been possible to debug tabs on Firefox for Android devices, but there were many steps involved, including manual port forwarding from the terminal.

As I hinted a few weeks ago, WebIDE would soon support connecting to Firefox for Android via ADB Helper support, and that time is now!

How to Use

You'll need to assemble the following bits and bobs:

  • Firefox 36 (2014-10-25 or later)
  • ADB Helper 0.7.0 or later
  • Firefox for Android 35 or later

Opening WebIDE for the first time should install ADB Helper if you don't already have it, but double-check it is the right version in the add-on manager.

Firefox for Android runtime appears

Inside WebIDE, you'll see an entry for Firefox for Android in the Runtime menu.

Firefox for Android tab list

Once you select the runtime, tabs from Firefox for Android will be available in the (now poorly labelled) apps menu on the left.

Inspecting a tab in WebIDE

Choosing a tab will open up the DevTools toolbox for that tab. You can also toggle the toolbox via the "Pause" icon in the top toolbar.

If you would like to debug Firefox for Android's system-level / chrome code, instead of a specific tab, you can do that with the "Main Process" option.

What's Next

We have even more connection UX improvements on the way, so I hope to have more to share soon!

If there are features you'd like to see added, file bugs or contact the team via various channels.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Christian Heilmann: Speaking at the Trondheim Developer Conference – good show!

Mozilla planet - ti, 28/10/2014 - 21:56

TL;DR: The Trondheim Development Conference 2014 was incredible. Well worth my time and a fresh breath of great organisation.

trondheim Developer conference

I am right now on the plane back from Oslo to London – a good chance to put together a few thoughts on the conference I just spoke at. The Trondheim Developer Conference was – one might be amazed to learn – a conference for developers in Trondheim, Norway. All of the money that is left over after the organisers covered the cost goes to supporting other local events and developer programs. In stark contrast to other not-for-profit events this one shines with a classy veneer that is hard to find and would normally demand a mid-3 digit price for the tickets.

This is all the more surprising seeing that Norway is a ridiculously expensive place where I tend not to breathe in too much as I am not sure if they charge for air or not.

Clarion Hotel Trondheim - outside
Clarion Hotel Trondheim - inside

The location of the one day conference was the Clarion Hotel & Congress Trondheim, a high-class location with great connectivity and excellent catering. Before I wax poetic about the event here, let’s just give you a quick list:

  • TDC treats their speakers really well. I had full travel and accommodation coverage with airport pick-ups and public transport bringing me to the venue. I got a very simple list with all the information I needed and there was no back and forth about what I want – anything I could think of had already been anticipated. The speaker lounge was functional and easily accessible. The pre-conference speaker dinner lavish.
  • Everything about the event happened in the same building. This meant it was easy to go back to your room to get things or have undisturbed preparation or phone time. It also meant that attendees didn’t get lost on the way to other venues.
  • Superb catering. Coffee, cookies and fruit available throughout the day.
  • Great lunch organisation that should be copied by others. It wasn’t an affair where you had to queue up for ages trying to get the good bits of a buffet. Instead the food was already on the tables and all you had to do was pick a seat, start a chat and dig in. That way the one hour break was one hour of nourishment and conversation, not pushing and trying to find a spot to eat.
  • Wireless was strong and bountiful. I was able to upload my screencasts and cover the event on social media without a hitch. There was no need to sign up or get vouchers or whatever else is in between us and online bliss – simply a wireless name and a password.
  • Big rooms with great sound and AV setup. The organisers had a big box of cable connectors in case you brought exotic computers. We had enough microphones and the rooms had enough space.
  • Audience feedback was simple. When entering a session, attendees got a roulette chip and when leaving the session they dropped them in provided baskets stating “awesome” or “meh”. There was also an email directly after the event asking people to provide feedback.
  • Non-pushy exhibitors. There was a mix of commercial partners and supported not-for-profit organisations with booths and stands. Each of them had something nice to show (Oculus Rift probably was the overall winner) and none of them had booth babes or sales weasels. All the people I talked to had good info and were not pushy but helpful instead.
  • A clever time table. Whilst I am not a big fan of multi-track conferences, TDC had 5 tracks but limited the talks to 30 minutes. This meant there were 15 minute breaks in between tracks to have a coffee and go to the other room. I loved that. It meant speakers need to cut to the chase faster.
  • Multilingual presentations. Whilst my knowledge of Norwegian is to try to guess the German sounding words in it and wondering why everything is written very differently to Swedish I think it gave a lot of local presenters a better chance to reach the local audience when sticking to their mother tongue. The amounts of talks were even, so I could go to the one or two English talks in each time slot. With the talks being short it was no biggie if one slot didn’t have something that excited you.
  • A nice after party with a band and just the right amount of drinks. Make no mistake – alcohol costs an arm and a leg in Norway (and I think the main organiser ended up with a peg leg) but the party was well-behaved with a nice band and lots of space to have chats without having to shout at one another.
  • Good diversity of speakers and audience There was a healthy mix and Scandinavian countries are known to be very much about equality.
  • It started and ended with science and blowing things up. I was mesmerised by Selda Ekiz who started and wrapped up the event by showing some physics experiments of the explosive kind. She is a local celebrity and TV presenter who runs a children’s show explaining physics. Think Mythbusters but with incredible charm and a lot less ad breaks. If you have an event, consider getting her – I loved every second.

Selda Ekiz on stage

I was overwhelmed how much fun and how relaxing the whole event was. There was no rush, no queues, no confusion as to what goes where. If you want a conference to check out next October, TDC is a great choice.

My own contributions to the event were two sessions (as I filled in for one that didn’t work out). The first one was about allowing HTML5 to graduate, or – in other words – not being afraid of using it.

You can watch a the screencast with me talking about how HTML5 missed its graduation on YouTube.

The HTML5 graduation slides are on Slideshare.

How HTML5 missed its graduation – #TrondheimDC from Christian Heilmann

The other session was about the need to create offline apps for the now and coming market. Marketing of products keeps telling us that we’re always connected but this couldn’t be further from the truth. It is up to us as developers to condition our users to trust the web to work even when the pesky wireless is acting up again.

You can watch the screencast of the offline talk on YouTube.

The Working connected to create offline slides are on Slideshare.

Working connected to create offline – Trondheim Developer Conference 2014 from Christian Heilmann

I had a blast and I hope to meet many of the people I met at TDC again soon.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Marco Zehe: Apps, the web, and productivity

Mozilla planet - ti, 28/10/2014 - 19:28

Inspired by this public discussion on Asa Dotzler’s Facebook wall, I reflected on my own current use cases of web applications, native mobile apps, and desktop clients. I also thought about my post from 2012 where I asked the question whether web apps are accessible enough to replace desktop clients any time soon.

During my 30 days with Android experiment this summer, I also used Gmail on the web most of the time and hardly used my mail clients for desktop and mobile, except for the Gmail client on Android. The only exception was my Mozilla e-mail which I continued to do in Thunderbird on Windows.

After the experiment ended, I gradually migrated back to using clients of various shapes and sizes on the various platforms I use. And after a few days, I found that the Gmail web client was no longer one of them.

The problem is not one of accessibility in this case, because that has greatly improved over the last two years. So have web apps like Twitter and Facebook, for example. The reason I am still using dedicated clients for the most part are, first and foremost, these:

  1. Less clutter: All web apps I mentioned, and others, too, come with a huge overload of clutter that get in the way of productivity. Granted, the Gmail keyboard shortcuts, and mostly using the web app like a desktop client with NDA’s virtual mode turned off, mittigate this somewhat, but it still gets in the way far too often.
  2. Latency. I am on a quite fast VDSL 50 MBIT/S connection on my landline internet provider. Sufficing to say, this is quite fast already. The download of OS X Yosemite, 5.16 GB, takes under 20 minutes if the internet isn’t too busy. But still managing e-mail, loading conversations, switching labels, collecting tweets in the Twitter web app over time, browsing Facebook, especialy when catching up with the over-night news feed, take quite some noticeable time to load, refresh, or fetch new stuff. First the new data is pulled from servers, second they are being processed in the browser, which has to integrate it into the overloaded web applications it already has (see above), and third, all the changes need to be communicated to the screen reader I happen to be using at the time. On a single page load, this may not add up much. But on a news feed, 50 or so e-mail threads, or various fetches of tweets, this adds up time. I don’t even want to imagine how this would feel on a much slower connection that others have to cope with on a daily basis!

Yes, some of the above could probably be mittigated by using the mobile web offerings instead. But a) some web sites don’t allow a desktop browser to fetch their mobile site without the desktop browser faking a mobile one, and b) those are nowadays often so touch optimized that keyboard or simulated mouse interaction often fails or is as cumbersome as waiting for the latent loads of the desktop version.

So whether it’s e-mail, Twitter, or Facebook, I found that dedicated clients still do a much better job at allowing me to be productive. The amount of data they seem to fetch is much smaller, or it at least feels that way. The way this new data is integrated feels faster even on last year’s mobile device, and the whole interface is so geared to the task at hand, without any clutter getting in the way, that one simply gets things done much faster over-all.

What many many web applications for the desktop have not learned to do a good job at is to only give users what they currently need. For example as I write this in my WordPress installation backend, besides the editor, I have all the stuff that allows me to create new articles, pages, categories, go into the WordPress settings, install new plugins etc. I have to navigate past this to the main section to start editing my article. This, for example, is made quick by the quick navigation feature of my screen reader, but even the fact that this whole baggage is there to begin with proves the point. I want to write an article. Why offer me all those distractions? Yes, for quick access and quick ways of switching tasks, some would say. But if I write an article, I write an article. Thanks for the WordPress app for iOS or Android, which if I write an article, don’t put all other available options in my face at the same time!

Or take Twitter or Facebook. All the baggage that those web apps carry around while one just wants to browse tweets is daunting! My wife recently described to me what the FB web site looks to her in a browser, and fact is the point where the action is happening, the news feed, takes only a roughly estimated 10 or 15 percent of the whole screen estate. All the rest is either ads, or links to all kinds of things that Facebook has to offer besides the news feed. Zillions of groups, recommended friends, apps, games nobody plays, etc., etc., etc.

Same with Twitter. It shoves down one’s throat trendings, other recommendations, a huge menu of other stuff one would probably only need once a year, etc. OK, desktop screens are big nowadays. But offering so many bells, whistles and other distractions constantly and all around the place cannot seriously be considered a good user experience, can it?

I realize this is purely written from the perspective of a blind guy who has never seen a user interface. I only know them from descriptions by others. But I find myself always applauding the focused, concise, and clean user interfaces much more than those that shove every available option down my throat on first launch. And that goes for all operating systems and platforms I use.

And if the web doesn’t learn to give me better, and in this case that means, more focused user interfaces where I don’t have to dig for the UI of the task I want to accomplish, I will continue to use mobile and desktop clients for e-mail, Twitter and others over the similar web offerings, even when those are technically accessible to my browser and screen reader.

So, to cut a long story short, I think many mainstream web applications are still not ready, at least for me, for productive use, despite their advancements in technical accessibility. And the reason is the usability of things for one, and the latency of fetching all that stuff over the internet even on fast connections, on the other hand.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Pascal Finette: The Open Source Disruption

Mozilla planet - ti, 28/10/2014 - 16:52

Yesterday I gave a talk at Singularity University’s Executive Program on Open Source Disruption - it’s (somewhat) new content I developed; here’s the abstract of my talk:

The Open Source movement has upended the software world: Democratizing access, bringing billion dollar industries to their knees, toppling giants and simultaneously creating vast opportunities for the brave and unconventional. After decades in the making, the Open Source ideology, being kindled by ever cheaper and better technologies, is spreading like wildfire - and has the potential to disrupt many industries.

In his talk, Pascal will take you on a journey from the humble beginnings to the end of software as we knew it. He will make a case for why Open Source is an unstoppable force and present you with strategies and tactics to thrive in this brave new world.

And here’s the deck.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8 - Register

Nieuws verzameld via Google - ti, 28/10/2014 - 16:42

Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Mozilla Distinguished Engineer Robert O'Callahan reports that the Spidermonkey JavaScript engine, used by the Firefox web browser, has surpassed the performance of Google's V8 engine (used by Chrome) and Apple's JavaScript Core (used by Safari) on ...

Google Nieuws
Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Yunier José Sosa Vázquez: Disponible el Add-on SDK 1.17

Mozilla planet - ti, 28/10/2014 - 13:10

Add-on-SDKUna nueva versión de la herramienta creada por Mozilla para  desarrollar complementos ha sido liberada y se encuentra disponible desde nuestro sitio web.

Descargar Add-on SDK 1.17.

En esta ocasión no encontraremos grandes novedades ni nuevas características añadidas al Add-on SDK pues este lanzamiento tiene como objetivo principal la actualización del comando cfx y la compatibilidad de las extensiones con las nuevas versiones de Firefox (32+).

El mayor cambio en el Add-on SDK lo veremos en la próxima versión ya que se dejará de utilizar cfx para emplear JPM (Jetpack Manager), un módulo de Node.JS. Según los desarrolladores de Mozilla con cfx era muy complejo empaquetar las dependencias en cada add-on y en su lugar JMP es más simple al eliminar algunas tareas que cfx hacía.

JPM también permitirá a los desarrolladores de complementos crear y usar los módulos npm como dependencias en sus complementos. En este artículo publicado en el sitio para Desarrolladores podrás aprender a trabajar con JPM y los cambios que debes realizar en tu complemento.

Si te interesa la creación de añadidos para Firefox puedes visitar nuestro sitio de Desarrolladores e investigar más al respecto. Allí encontrarás presentaciones, talleres y artículos que tocan este tema.

Antes de descargar el Add-on SDK 1.17 recuerda que puedes contribuir a la mejora de este reportando bugs, mirando el código para que contribuyas dando tus soluciones o simplemente dejar tu impresión sobre esta nueva versión.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Will Kahn-Greene: Input: Removing the frontpage chart

Mozilla planet - ti, 28/10/2014 - 11:00

I've been working on Input for a while now. One of the things I've actively disliked was the chart on the front page. This blog post talks about why I loathe it and then what's happening this week.

First, here's the front page dashboard as it is today:

Input front page dashboard

Input front page dashboard (October 2014)

When I started, Input gathered feedback solely on the Firefox desktop web browser. It was a one-product feedback gathering site. Because it was gathering feedback for a single product, the front page dashboard was entirely about that single product. All the feedback talked about that product. The happy/sad chart was about that product. Today, Input gathers feedback for a variety of products.

When I started, it was nice to have a general happy/sad chart on the front page because no one really looked at it and the people who did look at it understood why the chart slants so negatively. So the people who did look at it understood the heavy negative bias and could view the chart as such. Today, Input is viewed by a variety of people who have no idea how feedback on Input works or why it's so negatively biased.

When I started, Input didn't expose the data in helpful ways allowing people to build their own charts and dashboards to answer their specific questions. Thus there was a need for a dashboard to expose information from the data Input was gathering. I contend that the front page dashboard did this exceedingly poorly--what does the happy/sad lines actually mean? If it dips, what does that mean? If they spike, what does that mean? There's not enough information in the chart to make any helpful conclusions. Today, Input has an API allowing anyone to fetch data from Input in JSON format and generate their own dashboards of which there are several out there.

When I started, Input received some spam/abuse feedback, but the noise was far outweighed by the signal. Today, we get a ton of spam/abuse feedback. We still have no good way of categorizing spam/abuse as such and removing it from the system. That's something I want to work on more, but haven't had time to address. In the meantime, the front page dashboard chart has a lot of spammy noise in it. Thus the happy/sad lines aren't accurate.

Thus I argue we've far outlived the usefulness of the chart on the front page and it's time for it to go away.

So, what happens now? Bug 1080816 covers removing the front page dashboard chart. It covers some other changes to the front page, but I think I'm going to push those off until later since they're all pretty "up in the air".

If you depend on the front page dashboard chart, toss me an email. Depending on how many people depend on the front page chart and what the precise needs are, maybe we'll look into writing a better one.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla Firefox 33.0.1 'Enhanced' Web Browser Now Available for Official ... - International Business Times UK

Nieuws verzameld via Google - ti, 28/10/2014 - 08:41

Mozilla Firefox 33.0.1 'Enhanced' Web Browser Now Available for Official ...
International Business Times UK
Firefox 33.0.1 lets users connect to HTTP proxy, over HTTPS. Finally, users in Azerbaijan get to use Firefox in their native Azerbaijani language. Mozilla's latest Firefox instalment also features developer-specific enhancements, along with ...

Google Nieuws
Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Byron Jones: happy bmo push day!

Mozilla planet - ti, 28/10/2014 - 07:00

the following changes have been pushed to

  • [1083790] Default version does not take into account is_active
  • [1078314] Missing links and broken unicode characters in some bugmail
  • [1072662] decrease the number of messages a jobqueue worker will process before terminating
  • [1086912] Fix BugUserLastVisit->get
  • [1062940] Please increase bmo’s alias length to match bugzilla 5.0 (40 chars instead of 20)
  • [1082113] The ComponentWatching extension should create a default watch user with a new database installation
  • [1082106] $dbh->bz_add_columns creates a foreign key constraint causing failure in when it tries to re-add it later
  • [1084052] Only show “Add bounty tracking attachment” links to people who actually might do that (not everyone in core-security)
  • [1075281] bugmail filtering using “field name contains” doesn’t work correctly with flags
  • [1088711] New bugzilla users are unable to user bug templates
  • [1076746] Mentor field is missing in the email when a bug gets created
  • [1087525] fix creating duplicate rows in flag*clusions

discuss these changes on

Filed under: bmo, mozilla
Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet