Last weekend, March 15-17, Mozilla Italia took part in Fa’ la cosa giusta 2013 in Milan (Fa’ la cosa giusta means Do the right thing!). For our association this was the fourth time in this particular event: we participated from 2007 to 2009, then we moved to Florence for a couple of years (event called “Terra Futura”) and took a break in 2012. In Milan there were six active members from our community, which is quite a gathering considering how spread we are through Italy, and two guests who helped us during these three days.
Citing from the official site: Fa’ la cosa giusta is a fair about ethical consumerism and sustainable living, with over 700 exhibitors hosted on 29,000 square meters. This year edition had more than 72,000 visitors, among them 3,300 students from 17 different schools.
The number of tech-related exhibitors is always quite limited: for example near our booth there was an area where people from Ubuntu and Document Foundation had talks about their communities and their products, there were also other realities like a lab which takes in old IT hardware (printers, computers, etc.) and restore them, or even low cost 3D printers (Waspproject).
Taking part in this kind of events, compared to more tech-oriented exhibitions, has some positive aspects. For example trying to explain the Open Web, or the importance of web standards and diversity to people who can’t really understand the difference between a browser and a search engine is quite a challenge (Q: “What software do you use to browse the Internet?” A: “I use Google.”). At the end of these three days we welcomed a lot of people at our booth, even a couple of puppies: some of them wanted help for some problems they were having with Firefox or Thunderbird, some others wanted to know more about Mozilla or just say hello to us.
More frequently questions: what is Mozilla? Why are you here, how do you fit in? In some ways answering this last question was the most interesting: what Mozilla does, how Firefox and all other products are created by a non-profit organization and a unique community equally built on employees and volunteers from around the world, what we do as an association in Italy, how our ideals and principles help creating and driving initiatives like WebMaker or WebFWD. And then see these people agree with us
On Saturday and Sunday the main point of interest was this developer phone running Firefox OS. A lot of people stopped by to see and try the phone: some of them knew the project, thanks to the good coverage of the last MWC 2013 in Barcellona, others didn’t know it at all and wanted to understand what Mozilla is working on. Again, there were questions a lot more frequent than others:
- How and when will Firefox OS be commercialized? Distribution should start soon in some countries (e.g. Spain, Brazil, Poland, etc.), and then cover other areas. In the meantime people, in particular those interested in developing Apps for the new OS, can try Firefox OS with an emulator or desktop builds.
- When will Firefox OS be available in Italy? Well, we don’t know Personally I hope at some point during 2014, considering that Telecom Italia is listed among the partners on the official page.
- Will I be able to install Firefox OS on my phone and replace Android/Windows? It depends, but it can’t be excluded given the open nature of the project.
I made a set of photos on Flickr, considering the amount of people stopping at our booth I wasn’t really able to shot many photos. Enough said: at the end of those two days I almost had no voice left
the following changes have been pushed to bugzilla.mozilla.org:
-  product/component searching should also search the product’s description.
-  “not implemented” error when updating a bug with the “locale” multi-select field visible
-  “Flags requested of you” doesn’t show flags that are requested on Resolved bugs
-  bug filing links in my dashboard should be able to be opened in new tabs/windows
-  Some MyDashboard “updated” friendly dates are inappropriate and/or broken w.r.t. timezones
-  change “send error to error reporter” from forking to running a process
Filed under: bmo, mozilla
Guess what? I'm moving to London!
You heard right; I'm upping sticks from my cosy life by the beach and heading back to the city that I was brought up in. Am I crazy? Maybe.Tilt-shift from a helicopter, by yours truly What is this about?
To cut a long story short, my life has changed a whole bunch in the past few years. This year alone has seen some of the biggest decisions of my life to date; like leaving Mozilla and, most recently, (mutually) ending a 4-year relationship.
Whether good or bad (both decisions can be seen in either light), what's certain is that I now have the freedom to grab life by the balls and take it in directions I hadn't considered before.Why am I doing this?
So why London? Well, first of all it's a city I know and love. I was brought up in Richmond and I lived there for near-enough 3/4 of my life before heading to university. I may not love the insane crowds so much but I certainly appreciate the beauty of the location.
Aside from the sentiment and history, London is a great place to be if you want to immerse yourself in the UK Web community. And as much as I may have despised a move to London in the past (the countryside is beautiful), the time has come for a change and I can't think of anywhere better for that change than London.When will it happen?
This is still up in the air at the moment but the plan is to sort everything out within the next few weeks.
It'll likely happen in stages, starting with a temporary move to the family home in Richmond and then a more permanent move to my own place somewhere in the vicinity (South West).How can you help?
I've been out of touch with London for a long time; so much has changed since I last lived there. I also don't know a huge amount of people there any more.
Here are some things you might be able to help out with…
- Inviting me along to local social and industry events that I might not know about
- Letting me know about work and contracting opportunities in the city that might tickle my fancy (R&D, experimentation, etc.)
- Helping me out while I ask stupid questions about the city
Basically, I'll need help kick-starting the next stage in my life. I'll appreciate it!
Here's an early screenshot from a ViziCities experiment with London landmarks.ViziCities: London Landmarks
Common (excluding Website bugs)-specific: (16)
- Fixed: 349529 – Investigate in-view task UI of tasks with missing date or due date
- Fixed: 489162 – No accept/ decline button for invitations with GCal
- Fixed: 687412 – “Save Event” dialog pops up when closing an unmodified event
- Fixed: 707966 – METHOD=CANCEL shows as processed event, but cannot be opened
- Fixed: 732393 – Cannot edit or delete task in cached CalDAV calendar [Error: this.mItemInfoCache[aNewItem.id] is undefined]
- Fixed: 733822 – Update internal timezone database from version 2011n to version 2013a
- Fixed: 757762 – [Linux] alarms too late / internal time wrong after resuming from sleep / suspend / hibernation mode
- Fixed: 815815 – Minimonth bold days get reloaded (again) if clicked on day, using ‘Next’ and ‘Prev’ in day view does not
- Fixed: 827279 – Show Accept/Decline buttons even for processed messages in imip bar
- Fixed: 833720 – ICS calendars cause process threads leak and high memory
- Fixed: 840913 – Remove use of nsISupportsArray in Calendar’s treeview implementation [Error: TypeError: aProps is undefined]
- Fixed: 848138 – Tooltips for tasks show Priority item as “Medium” instead of “Normal”
- Fixed: 848424 – Show EXDATE and modified occurrences in email invitation template
- Fixed: 849026 – Task view: task-details-container appears with no task selected
- Fixed: 849797 – resPathComponents[endBasePos] is undefined
- Fixed: 852673 – Provide source code package for Lightning 1.9.1
Sunbird will no longer be actively developed by the Calendar team.
- Fixed: 263736 – Group by sort feature with sort by “Date” uses “Old Mail” in RSS folders and newsgroup
- Fixed: 459474 – Cannot open some PDF attachments
- Fixed: 533682 – Difficulty finding/getting to All Folders from Unified Folders
- Fixed: 547995 – FORWARD should not allow you to forward message to sender.
- Fixed: 708550 – Cannot copy version string from “About Thunderbird” dialogue window (regression)
- Fixed: 765074 – Compose window shows reference count leaks on shutdown
- Fixed: 781333 – Use 2x images for HiDPI Thunderbird UI
- Fixed: 794575 – Tag button in header toolbar not monochrome
- Fixed: 825452 – system integration dialog says ‘Skip integration’ even when launched from preferences
- Fixed: 832666 – Remove on Win8 the fog on tabbar
- Fixed: 833028 – Subjects with mixed ASCII and MIME words are incorrectly displayed
- Fixed: 840954 – Add mozbase to the list of packaged directories for Thunderbird’s tests
- Fixed: 842920 – Thunderbird Windows builds are broken due to regression in disable-webRTC
- Fixed: 844175 – Twitter stays on Connecting: Requesting user timelines…
- Fixed: 844373 – clean up _flagNameList iterating in mail/base/content/folderPane.js
- Fixed: 844432 – Give Edit buttons a hover state
- Fixed: 844463 – packaging after build fails, if configure with –disable-updater
- Fixed: 845819 – Overlay grain.png on the Folder Pane
- Fixed: 846706 – Username is confusing in the context of creating an IRC account.
- Fixed: 847187 – Permaorange: TEST-UNEXPECTED-FAIL | /home/cltbld/talos-slave/test/build/xpcshell/tests/dom/mobilemessage/tests/test_smsservice_createsmsmessage.js | test failed (with xpcshell return code: 3)
- Fixed: 848292 – Icons for special IMAP folder (Inbox, trash, …) are not shown when folder is shared
- Fixed: 849215 – Overlay grain.png on the Chat Pane.
- Fixed: 851117 – Repack comm-aurora using in-tree mozconfigs, objdirs, and pre-built mar tools
- Fixed: 852252 – Daily: latest update : no mail folders visible
MailNews Core-specific: (23)
- Fixed: 454932 – assertion in nsVoidArray::FastElementAt() trying to find a connection in the cache
- Fixed: 514136 – Increase the size of the char array for imap command tag
- Fixed: 524662 – Customize Headers window is prompted twice (Creating/adding customized filter header or removing it requires to click ‘OK’ twice)
- Fixed: 542995 – clean up VC4.x support defines
- Fixed: 616229 – crash [@ nsMsgXFGroupThread::SetMsgHdrAt(unsigned int, nsIMsgDBHdr*)]
- Fixed: 648980 – Add build system hooks for allowing applications to provide their own configure options and autoconf variables
- Fixed: 655428 – “Reply with Template” Filter replies to From field, not Reply-To field
- Fixed: 681219 – make method name of nsISmtpService decent
- Fixed: 809990 – Don’t set the offline folder flag for SPAM and TRASH folders
- Fixed: 818607 – Memory leak when Message Compose Window is opened
- Fixed: 825449 – Filter editor: Accesskey for ‘Perform these actions’ should set/move focus to first action item (at the moment invisible/not shown)
- Fixed: 829208 – External API build busted after bug 807678
- Fixed: 831485 – _virtualenv and mozilla/_virtualenv in each c-c objdir
- Fixed: 834612 – building Mozilla fails because of NS_ENSURE_SUCCESS in mailnews/import/oexpress/nsOEScanBoxes.cpp
- Fixed: 834757 – Remove [noscript] methods from nsIMimeConverter
- Fixed: 840230 – replace nsISupportsArray variable mailnews/base/src/nsMessenger*Integration.*::mFoldersWithNewMail
- Fixed: 845089 – Thunderbird build config changes in a moz.build world
- Fixed: 846694 – “Trust junk mail headers set by” dropdown shows only a number 5
- Fixed: 846983 – Linux bustage on package-manifest:114: Missing file(s): bin/components/dom_sms.xpt
- Fixed: 849612 – Fix build problems caused by Bug 847195 [error: nsIDOMNamedNodeMap.h: No such file or directory]
- Fixed: 850088 – TEST-UNEXPECTED-FAIL | check-sync-dirs.py | build file copies are not in sync
- Fixed: 850389 – Move XPIDL variables to moz.build files
- Fixed: 850466 – do some trivial optimisations in mailnews/base/utils/folderUtils.jsm
After messing around with it for some of my latest presentations, I just updated the Mozilla HTML5 presentation template (on github). It has been a while since I did that, so here are some new features:
- Smooth transition from slide to slide
- Blockquotes with cite link
- Notes functionality
- Smooth inner-slide bullet navigation (greyed out to full)
- Option to suppress page numbers
- Centered, left- and right-aligned images
- Image frames, dropshadows and frame dangling animation
- Live code editing
You can see how to use the system in this 10 minute screencast.
U.S. News & World Report
Linux, Mozilla eye smartphone market
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When I ran across it again on ThinkGeek, I put it on my wish list - and finally ordered one this month. Now, after I had wrapped up this week of work, I finally found some time to play with it, and an interesting and very geeky Friday night ensued. Here's a bit more about that - and about Saturday, and further plans/ideas.
So, for one thing, I wanted to use this device with actual Open Web stuff, and not with Flash or other proprietary software. After all, this is Open Hardware (yay!) and I'm entirely entrenched in Open Source / Free Software, from using Linux on desktop, laptop and server, via working for Mozilla/Firefox, to doing some web apps under the MPL2 license in my free time. So, given the latter, I decided it would be nice if I could navigate the OSM world with my Lantea Maps app/site (source) using the MaKey Makey. For that, I had to put some keyboard accessibility into Lantea Maps itself, which is a good idea for accessibility, among other things, anyhow. So I did that, looking at Chris' testy-testy and MDN to find out how to achieve that best. I ended up implementing methods to move the map with the arrow keys, hooked up zoom in/out to +/- keys as well as w/s (the latter are supported by MaKey MaKey out of the box), and then also created direct shortcuts to certain zoom levels with the 0-9 numeric keys (not supported by MaKey Makey, but convenient for keyboard users).
OK, then it was time to actually bring in the MaKey MaKey. I really want to do some fruit stuff at some point, but I only had a few apples around, and I thought it actually would be nice to create some kind of navigation pad that can be used with Lantea Maps at full screen when having an OpenStreetMap booth at Linuxwochen in Vienna. I figured that with some cardboard from the back of an old note pad, and some tinfoil, that should be doable. I added some plastic wrap for insulation, glue of course, and some paper clips so the crocodile clips to connect to the MaKey MaKey wouldn't scratch the tinfoil too much (as well as some temporary applied ones to hold things together while allowing the glue to dry). Here's some photos from production:
Note that the back side as well as the right rim of the pad is covered with a single sheet of tinfoil that makes the earth connection quite naturally when you hold the pad in your hands.
As of the last photo, while the glue was still drying, it was ready to use for some map navigation (and after the night, I removed the temporary paper clips and took another "promotional" picture):
Even while getting to bed that evening, the ideas for my next project were flying around in my mind already. On one hand, I saw that MaKey MaKey had connectors for mouse up/down/left/right, on the other hand, ever since trying the original BananaBread demo as someone who's usually not doing any first person shooter games, I wondered if there was a nicer or more obvious way to operate this, rather than using w/a/s/d keys for movement, space/click for jump/fire, and mouse for turning. Well, now that I had done this first custom pad for MaKey MaKey, would there be a handy solution for that as well? In any case, it would be fun. So I took a smaller piece of cardboard that would make this thing fit nicely into my hands (just like those professional game pads), and decided this time I would try something slightly different by using coins as the actual "buttons" on the pad. One-cent coins looked like the right size, and I had a 10-pin cable around from a different project, which would fit for the 10 "keys" pretty well (just that I needed one more for earthing, which I again did with a sheet of tinfoil at the back of the pad, so I added yet another single cable in the end). Also, this time I used some double-sided tape instead of glue for many cases, as that works better with the cable and coins:
And then I was ready to play some BananaBread, now with both the awesomeness of running a 3D first person shooter seamlessly in the browser AND using a special game pad for playing!
If you're interested, not only are those pictures all linked to the gallery where you can go up to "big" versions of those, there's a few more steps of building visible in this photo gallery.
Given all that and the fact that Linuxwochen Wien in the first days of May has an additional focus on Open Hardware this year, I decided to hand in a proposal for a talk on MaKey MaKey there. I intend to show off those pads as well as Chris' photo booth and any other MaKey MaKey experiments that I can fit, preferably ones that run as web pages/apps (let me know if there are any nice ones).
I'm thinking that it could be nice to have an app that shows you on screen in a web site which kind of fruit/item you touched (configurable with key <-> item entries), and I'd love a web (not Flash) piano and/or drumset (using ogg or even opus files with HTML5 audio!) app to present, maybe I can hack something up if there's nothing around.
If this has caught your interest, it's easy to get your own MaKey MaKey, and if you're in or around Vienna in the first days of May, I'd be happy to meet you at my talk (there will be a Firefox OS App workshop as well, probably!) - oh, and if you have any nice, open web apps/pages that show off this device, let me know!
Yesterday makes it a full year since Creative Commons and Mozilla contributor Bassel Khartibil was imprisoned by the Syrian regime. Last July a public campaign was launched, and Mozilla participated .
This public campaign to #freebassel may have played a significant role in getting Bassel moved from a military intelligence to a civilian prison with visitation rights.
We continue to urge support for the #freebassel campaign by visiting the website, tweeting about Bassel’s case (#freebassel), or attending an event in his honor.