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The Mozilla Blog: Mozilla, Caribou Digital Release Report Exploring the Global App Economy

ma, 01/02/2016 - 15:48

Mozilla is a proud supporter of research carried out by Caribou Digital, the UK-based think tank dedicated to building sustainable digital economies in emerging markets. Today, Caribou has released a report exploring the impact of the global app economy and international trade flows in app stores. You can find it here.

The findings highlight the app economy’s unbalanced nature. While smartphones are helping connect billions more to the Web, the effects of the global app economy are not yet well understood. Key findings from our report include:

  • Most developers are located in high-income countries. The geography of where app developers are located is heavily skewed toward the economic powerhouses, with 81% of developers in high-income countries — which are also the most lucrative markets. The United States remains the dominant producer, but East Asia, fueled by China, is growing past Europe.
  • Apps stores are winner-take-all. The nature of the app stores leads to winner-take-all markets, which skews value capture even more heavily toward the U.S. and other top producers. Conversely, even for those lower-income countries that do have a high number of developers — e.g., India — the amount of value capture is disproportionately small to the number of developers participating.
  • The emerging markets are the 1% — meaning, they earn 1% of total app economy revenue. 95% of the estimated value in the app economy is captured by just 10 countries, and 69% of the value is captured by just the top three countries. Excluding China, the 19 countries considered low- or lower-income accounted for only 1% of total worldwide value.
  • Developers in low-income countries struggle to export to the global stage. About one-third of developers in the sample appeared only in their domestic market. But this inability to export to other markets was much more pronounced for developers in low-income countries, where 70% of developers were not able to export, compared to high-income countries, where only 29% of developers were not able to export. For comparison, only 3% of U.S. developers did not export.
  • U.S. developers dominate almost all markets. On average, U.S. apps have 30% of the market across the 37 markets studied, and the U.S. is the dominant producer in every market except for China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Mozilla is proud to support Caribou Digital’s research, and the goal of working toward a more inclusive Internet, rich with opportunity for all users. Understanding the effects of the global app economy, and helping to build a more inclusive mobile Web, are key. We invite readers to read the full report here, and Caribou Digital’s blog post here.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

QMO: FxOS QA at FOSDEM 2016

ma, 01/02/2016 - 15:10

Several members of the QA team attended FOSDEM this year, and gave presentations on a variety of subjects – both the BuddyUp Pilot Project and FxOS Automation were presented. All of the FOSDEM presentations were recorded and will eventually be available online. Mozilla also had a booth, and we had a group of community volunteers who volunteered to sit at the booth and answer questions. There was a VR display as well as some FxOS devices on display.

You can read more about the event here.

Pictures of the event are here.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Andrew Sutherland: An email conversation summary visualization

ma, 01/02/2016 - 12:29

We’ve been overhauling the Firefox OS Gaia Email app and its back-end to understand email conversations.  I also created a react.js-based desktop-ish development UI, glodastrophe, that consumes the same back-end.

My first attempt at summaries for glodastrophe was the following:

old summaries; 3 message tidbits

The back-end derives a conversation summary object from all of the messages that make up the conversation whenever any message in the conversation changes.  While there are some things that are always computed (the number of messages in the conversation, whether there are any unread messages, any starred/flagged messages, etc.), the back-end also provides hooks for the front-end to provide application logic to do its own processing to meet its UI needs.

In the case of this conversation summary, the application logic finds the first 3 unread messages in the conversation and stashes their date, author, and extracted snippet (if any) in a list of “tidbits”.  This also is used to determine the height of the conversation summary in the conversation list.  (The virtual list is aware of a quantized coordinate space where each conversation summary object is between 1 and 4 units high in this case.)

While this is interesting because it’s something Thunderbird’s thread pane could not do, it’s not clear that the tidbits are an efficient use of screen real-estate.  At least not when the number of unread messages in the conversation exceeds the 3 we cap the tidbits at.

time-based thread summary visualization

But our app logic can actually do anything it wants.  It could, say, establish the threading relationship of the messages in the conversation to enable us to make a highly dubious visualization of the thread structure in the conversation as well as show the activity in the conversation over time.  Much like the visualization you already saw before you read this sentence.  We can see the rhythm of the conversation.  We can know whether this is a highly active conversation that’s still ongoing, or just that someone has brought back to life.

Here’s the same visualization where we still use the d3 cluster layout but don’t clobber the x-position with our manual-quasi-logarithmic time-based scale:

the visualization without time-based x-positioning

Disclaimer: This visualization is ridiculously impractical in cases where a conversation has only a small number of messages.  But a neat thing is that the application logic could decide to use textual tidbits for small numbers of unread and a cool graph for larger numbers.  The graph’s vertical height could even vary based on the number of messages in the conversation.  Or the visualization could use thread-arcs if you like visualizations but want them based on actual research.

If you’re interested in the moving pieces in the implementation, they’re here:

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

QMO: David Weir: friendly with belief in team work and contribution

ma, 01/02/2016 - 09:00

David Weir has been involved with Mozilla since 2009. He is from Glasgow, Scotland where he has recently graduated from Glasgow Kelvin College with skills in digital media. In his spare time, he volunteers at local organisations that aim to promote the quality of life in Glasgow’s East End community.

David is from Scotland in Europe.

David is from Scotland in Europe.

Hi David! How did you discover the Web?

I used to write letters the old-fashioned way with ink and paper till I got an email address and discovered the Internet. I started going online for stuff like applying for jobs. That’s how I discovered the Web.

How did you hear about Mozilla?

I used Internet Explorer before I found out about Firefox from an advertisement on Facebook.

How and why did you start contributing to Mozilla?

I was a newbie Firefox user and I liked it. As I got to understand it better, I decided to help out other users on live chat. I became a part of SUMO. To date, I’ve answered 39 questions, written 27 documents and earned 3 badges on SUMO.

Have you contributed to any other Mozilla projects in any other way?

I am a community contributor to the QA team. I actively participate in discussions during team meetings, email threads, and IRC. I’ve recently arranged testdays for Windows 10, Windows Nightly 64-bit, Firefox for Android and Firefox for Desktop.

I contribute code to SuMoBot, an IRC bot in Mozilla’s #SuMo IRC channel.

I’m part of Firefox Friends, a team of social-sharers and word-spreaders to promote Firefox. I help run the Mozilla contributor group on Facebook, and I keep an eye out for Mozilla-related news spreading around social channels.

I am a Mozilla Rep and actively recruit Mozillians.

What’s the contribution you’re the most proud of?

I have some disability in the form of visual impairment and autism; my hand-eye co-ordination is not perfect. I help to make the web more accessible for people with disability. I look at Mozilla websites and if I find things like the text is too dark to read, I notify the developers to make fixes for better accessibility. See bugs 721518, 746251, 770248 and 775318.

You belong to the Mozilla UK community. Please tell us more about your community. Is there anything you find particularly interesting or special about it?

The Mozilla UK community consists of a small number of employees and volunteers scattered around the United Kingdom. There is a Community Space in London. Every year in November, community members help to host the Mozilla Festival. Since only a few employees work in the London office, most meetings happen online. You can find us on the #uk IRC channel. Community discussion happens on Discourse.

A recent landmark achievement for the UK community was the rollout of the en-GB locale for Mozilla’s web properties like mozillians.org, addons.mozilla.org, marketplace.firefox.com, input.mozilla.org, webmaker.org and the main Mozilla website, mozilla.org. I personally contributed to the (en-GB) localization of addons.mozilla.org. See bugs 1190535 and 1188470.

There is a Scottish community within the larger UK community that can download Mozilla products localized in Gaelic language and discuss support issues on the Gaelic language discussion forum Fòram na Gàidhlig.

What advice would you give to someone who is new and interested in contributing to Mozilla?

Mozilla is one of the most friendly communities I have ever volunteered with. The whole staff is behind you.

If you had one word or sentence to describe Mozilla, what would it be?

Lots of stuff happening – get involved!

What exciting things do you envision for you and Mozilla in the future?

A Scottish community space would be nice.

The Mozilla QA and SUMO teams would like to thank David Weir for his contributions over the past 7 years.

David has contributed to the Mozilla project for a few years now. I’ve frequently had the opportunity to interact with him through IRC. We would also get to say “hi!” to him face-to-ace every so often, because he would attend our weekly team meetings throughteleconferencing. I remember he initially started out attending “testdays” where he would help us test new features in Firefox. Later, his collaboration evolved into organizing his own testdays to address issues he identified as problematic. He’s been a very enthusiastic contributor, and he’s never been shy about pointing out when and where we could be doing better for example, in terms of sharing documentation, or any other information that could be helpful to other contributors. He has made a memorable impression on me and enriched my Mozilla experience, and I hope he keeps participating in the project. – Juan Carlos Becerra

Every team at Mozilla would be lucky to have a contributor like David (IRC nick satdav). He’s committed, the first to know about anything new going on in our social contributor community, and always open with ideas for how we can improve our programs. – Elizabeth Hull

Over the last few years satdav has stayed on top of many support and QA issues, often bringing new bugs that affect the user community to developer attention. That’s so helpful! He shows up to a wide range of Firefox meetings and irc channels, and has a good idea of who to ask to get more information on a bug. Because he has a broad and general interest and is not afraid to ask questions, he also sometimes works as a cross team communicator letting people know what’s going on in other meetings or discussions. I think of him as one of those people who in a science fiction future, would be in a spaceship mission control center with 20 monitors, listening on many channels at once. It has been cool to see his enthusiasm on Mozilla projects and to see his knowledge deepen! – Liz Henry

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Karl Dubost: Testing Google Search On Gecko With Different UA Strings

ma, 01/02/2016 - 08:40

Google is serving very different versions of its services to individual browsers and devices. A bit more than one year ago, I had listed some of the bugs (btw, I need to go through this list again), Firefox was facing when accessing Google properties. Sometimes, we were not served the tier 1 experience that Chrome was receiving. Sometimes it was just completely broken.

We have an open channel of discussions with Google. Google is also not a monolithic organization. Some services have different philosophy with regards to fixing bugs or Web compatibility issues. The good news is that it is improving.

Three Small Important Things About Google Today
  1. mike was looking for usage of -webkit-mask-* CSS property on the Web. I was about to reply "Google search!" which was sending it to Chrome browser but decided to look at the bug again. They were using -webkit-mask-image. To my big surprise, they switched to an SVG icon. Wonderful!
  2. So it was time for me to testing one more time Google Search on Gecko with Firefox Android UA and Chrome UA. See below.
  3. Tantek started some discussion in the CSS Working Group about Web compatibility issues, including one about getting the members of the CSS Working Group to fix their Web properties.
Testing Google Search on Gecko and Blink

For each test, the first two screenshots are on the mobile device itself (Chrome, then Firefox). The third screenshot shows the same site with a Chrome user agent string but as displayed on Gecko on Desktop. Basically, this 3rd one is testing if Google was sending the same version to Firefox on Android that they serve to Chrome, would it work?

Home page

We reached the home page of Google.

home page

Home page - search term results

We typed the word "Japan".

home page with search term

Home page - scrolling down

We scrolled down a bit.

scrolling down the page

Home page - bottom

We reached the bottom of the page.

Bottom of the page

Google Images with the search term

We go back to the top of the page and tap on Images menu.

Accessing Google image

Google Images when image has been tapped

We tap on the first image.

focus on the image

Conclusion

We are not there yet the issue is complex, because of the big number of versions which are served to different browsers/devices, but definitely there is progress. At first sight, the version sent to Chrome is compatible with Firefox. We would need to test with being logged too and all the corner cases of the tools and menus. But it's a lot, lot, better that what it was used to be in the past. We have never been that close from an acceptable user experience.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Daniel Stenberg: My HTTP/2 slide updates

ma, 01/02/2016 - 08:39

My first HTTP/2 talk of the year I did for OWASP Stockholm on January 27th, and I subsequently updated my public slide set:

On slideshare here: Http2 I then did a shorter talk at FOSDEM 2016 on January 30th that I called “an HTTP/2 update”. In 25 rushed minutes I presented these slides:

HTTP/2 Update – FOSDEM 2016
Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 116

ma, 01/02/2016 - 06:00

Hello and welcome to another issue of This Week in Rust! Rust is a systems language pursuing the trifecta: safety, concurrency, and speed. This is a weekly summary of its progress and community. Want something mentioned? Tweet us at @ThisWeekInRust or send us an email! Want to get involved? We love contributions.

This Week in Rust is openly developed on GitHub. If you find any errors in this week's issue, please submit a PR.

This week's edition was edited by: nasa42, brson, and llogiq.

Updates from Rust Community News & Blog Posts Notable New Crates & Project Updates Updates from Rust Core

114 pull requests were merged in the last week.

See the triage digest and subteam reports for more details.

Notable changes New Contributors
  • Ali Clark
  • Daan Sprenkels
  • ggomez
  • tgor
  • Thomas Wickham
  • Tomasz Miąsko
  • Vincent Esche
Approved RFCs

Changes to Rust follow the Rust RFC (request for comments) process. These are the RFCs that were approved for implementation this week:

Final Comment Period

Every week the team announces the 'final comment period' for RFCs and key PRs which are reaching a decision. Express your opinions now. This week's FCPs are:

New RFCs Upcoming Events

If you are running a Rust event please add it to the calendar to get it mentioned here. Email Erick Tryzelaar or Brian Anderson for access.

fn work(on: RustProject) -> Money

Tweet us at @ThisWeekInRust to get your job offers listed here!

Crate of the Week

This week's Crate of the Week is herbie-lint, a miraculous compiler plugin to check the numerical stability of floating-point operations in the code. Another reason to have a nightly Rust handy.

Thanks to redditor protestor for the suggestion.

Submit your suggestions for next week!

Quote of the Week

imo: the opinionated version of mio

durka42 on #rust

Thanks to Steve Klabnik for the suggestion.

Submit your quotes for next week!

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Daniel Stenberg: haxx.se, HTTPS and h2

ma, 01/02/2016 - 00:03

I previously mentioned my slow-moving plan to get all my sites and servers onto HTTPS and HTTP/2. As of now, I’ve started to activate HTTPS for sites that run on our server and that I admin. First out in the list of sites are this host (daniel.haxx.se) and the curl web site (curl.haxx.se). There are plenty more to setup but the plan is to have the most important ones on HTTPS really soon.

If you experience problems with any of these, let me know. The long-term plan involves going HTTPS-only for all of them.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Ludovic Hirlimann: Fosdem 2016 day 2

zo, 31/01/2016 - 23:22

Day 2 was a bit different than day 1, has I was less tired. It started by me visiting a few booths in order to decorate my bag and get a few more T-shirts, thanks to wiki-mania, Apache, Open Stack. I got the mini-port to VGA cable I had left in the conference room and then  headed for the conferences.

The first one was “Active supervision and monitoring with Salt, Graphite and Grafana“ was interesting because I knew nothing about any of these, except for graphite, but I knew so little that I learned a lot.

The second one titled “War Story: Puppet in a Traditional Enterprise” was someone implementing puppet at an enterprise scale in a big company. It reminded me all the big company I had consulted to a few years back - nothing surprising. It was quiet interesting anyway.

The Third talk I attend was about hardening and securing configuration management software. It was more about general principle than an howto. Quite interesting specially the hardening.io link given at the end of the documentation and the idea to remove ssh if possible on all servers and enable it thru conf. management to investigate issues. I didn’t learn much but it was a good refresher.

I then attend a talk in a very small room that was packed packed packed , about mapping with your phone. As I’ve started contributing to OSM, it was nice to listen and discover all the other apps that I can run on my droid phone in order to add data to the maps. I’ll probably share that next month at the local OSM meeting that got announced this week-end.

Last but not least I attended the key signing party. According to my paperwork, I’ll have sot sign twice 98 keys (twice because I’m creating a new key).

I’ve of course added a few pictures to my Fosdem set.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Kartikaya Gupta: Frameworks vs libraries (or: process shifts at Mozilla)

zo, 31/01/2016 - 19:26

At some point in the past, I learned about the difference between frameworks and libraries, and it struck me as a really important conceptual distinction that extends far beyond just software. It's really a distinction in process, and that applies everywhere.

The fundamental difference between frameworks and libraries is that when dealing with a framework, the framework provides the structure, and you have to fill in specific bits to make it apply to what you are doing. With a library, however, you are provided with a set of functionality, and you invoke the library to help you get the job done.

It may not seem like a very big distinction at first, but it has a huge impact on various properties of the final product. For example, a framework is easier to use if what you are trying to do lines up with the goal the framework is intended to accomplish. The only thing you need to do is provide (or override) specific things that you need to customize, and the framework takes care of the rest. It's like a builder building your house, and you picking which tile pattern you want for the backsplash. With libraries there's a lot more work - you have a Home Depot full of tools and supplies, but you have to figure out how to put them together to build a house yourself.

The flip side, of course, is that with libraries you get a lot more freedom and customizability than you do with frameworks. With the house analogy, a builder won't add an extra floor for your house if it doesn't fit with their pre-defined floorplans for the subdivision. If you're building it yourself, though, you can do whatever you want.

The library approach makes the final workflow a lot more adaptable when faced with new situations. Once you are in a workflow dictated by a framework, it's very hard to change the workflow because you have almost no control over it - you only have as much control as it was designed to let you have. With libraries you can drop a library here, pick up another one there, and evolve your workflow incrementally, because you can use them however you want.

In the context of building code, the *nix toolchain (a pile of command-line tools that do very specific things) is a great example of the library approach - it's very adaptable as you can swap out commands for other commands to do what you need. An IDE, on the other hand, is more of a framework. It's easier to get started because the heavy lifting is taken care of, all you have to do is "insert code here". But if you want to do some special processing of the code that the IDE doesn't allow, you're out of luck.

An interesting thing to note is that usually people start with frameworks and move towards libraries as their needs get more complex and they need to customize their workflow more. It's not often that people go the other way, because once you've already spent the effort to build a customized workflow it's hard to justify throwing the freedom away and locking yourself down. But that's what it feels like we are doing at Mozilla - sometimes on purpose, and sometimes unintentionally, without realizing we are putting on a straitjacket.

The shift from Bugzilla/Splinter to MozReview is one example of this. Going from a customizable, flexible tool (attachments with flags) to a unified review process (push to MozReview) is a shift from libraries to frameworks. It forces people to conform to the workflow which the framework assumes, and for people used to their own customized, library-assisted workflow, that's a very hard transition. Another example of a shift from libraries to frameworks is the bug triage process that was announced recently.

I think in both of these cases the end goal is desirable and worth working towards, but we should realize that it entails (by definition) making things less flexible and adaptable. In theory the only workflows that we eliminate are the "undesirable" ones, e.g. a triage process that drops bugs on the floor, or a review process that makes patch context hard to access. In practice, though, other workflows - both legitimate workflows currently being used and potential improved workflows get eliminated as well.

Of course, things aren't all as black-and-white as I might have made them seem. As always, the specific context/situation matters a lot, and it's always a tradeoff between different goals - in the end there's no one-size-fits-all and the decision is something that needs careful consideration.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Marcia Knous: Firefox OS QA at FOSDEM 2016

zo, 31/01/2016 - 19:19
Despite the fact I have been around the Mozilla project for some time, I never did get the opportunity to attend the FOSDEM conference. This year I was fortunate enough to not only attend, but also to present along with Ioana Chiorean at FOSDEM in the Mozilla Developer Room. And I was in good company: Johan Lorenzo and Martijn Wargers of the QA team also presented a great Automation Session on Saturday.    Martijn Wargers and Johan Lorenzo presenting at FOSDEM 2016   There were several things
Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

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