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The Great Resignation: New gig? Here are 7 tips to ensure success

Mozilla Blog - do, 16/09/2021 - 22:20

If recent surveys and polls ring true, over 46% of the global workforce is considering leaving their employer this year. Despite COVID-19 causing initial turnover due to the related economic downturn, the current phenomenon coined “The Great Resignation” is attributed to the many job seekers choosing to leave their current employment voluntarily. Mass vaccinations and mask mandates have allowed offices to re-open just as job seekers are reassessing work-life balance, making bold moves to take control of where they choose to live and work. 

The “New Normal”

Millions of workers have adjusted to remote-flexible work arrangements, finding success and a greater sense of work-life balance. The question is whether or not employers will permanently allow this benefit post-pandemic.

Jerry Lee, COO/Founder of the career development consultancy, Wonsulting, sees changes coming to the workplace power dynamic.

“In the future of work, employers will have to be much more employee-first beyond monetary compensation,” he said. “There is a shift of negotiating power moving from the employers to the employees, which calls for company benefits and work-life balance to improve.” 

Abbie Duckham, Talent Operations Program Manager at Mozilla, believes the days of companies choosing people are long over. 

“From a hiring lens, it’s no longer about companies choosing people, it’s about people choosing companies,” Duckham said. “People are choosing to work at companies that, yes, value productivity and revenue – but more-so companies that value mental health and understand that every single person on their staff has a different home life or work-life balance.”

Drop the mic and cue the job switch

So, how can recent job switchers or job seekers better prepare for their next big move? The following tips and advice from career and talent sourcing experts can help anyone perform their best while adapting to our current pandemic reality.

Take a vacation *seriously*

When starting a new role many are keen to jump into work right away; however, it’s always important to take a mental break between your different roles before you start another onboarding process,” advises Jonathan Javier, CEO/Founder at Wonsulting. “One way to do this is to plan your vacations ahead of your switch: that trip to Hawaii you always wanted? Plan it right after you end your job. That time you wanted to spend with your significant other? Enjoy that time off.” 

It also never hurts to negotiate a start date that prioritizes your mental preparedness and well-being.

Out with the old and in with that new-new

When Duckham started at Mozilla, she made it her mission to absorb every bit of the manifesto to better understand Mozilla’s culture. “From there I looked into what we actually do as a company. Setting up a Firefox account was pretty crucial since we are all about dog-fooding here (or as we call it, foxfooding), and then downloading Firefox Nightly, the latest beta-snapshot of the browser as our developers are actively working on it.”

Duckham also implores job-switchers to rebrand themselves. 

“You have a chance to take everything you wanted your last company to know about you and restart,” she said. “Take everything you had imposter syndrome about and flip the switch.”

Network early

“When you join a new company, it’s important to identify the subject matter experts for different functions of your company so you know who you can reach out to if you have any questions or need insights,” Javier said.

Javier also recommends networking with people who have also switched jobs. 

“You can search for and find people who switched from non-tech roles to an in-tech role by simply searching for ‘Past Company’ at a non-tech company and then putting ‘Current Company’ at a tech company on LinkedIn,” he said.

Brain-breaks 

Duckham went as far as giving her digital workspace a refreshing overhaul when she started at Mozilla. 

“I cleaned off my desktop, made folders for storing files, and essentially crafted a blank working space to start fresh from my previous company – effectively tabula rasa-ing my digital workspace did the same for my mental state as I prepared to absorb tons of new processes and practices.”

In that same vein, when you need a bit of a brain-break throughout the work day and that break leads you to social media, Duckham advises downloading Facebook Container, a browser extension that makes it harder for Facebook to track you on the web outside of Facebook.

“Speaking of brain-breaks, if socials aren’t your thing and you’d rather catch up on written curated content from around the web, Pocket is an excellent way to let your mind wander and breathe during the work day so you’re able return to work a little more refreshed,” Duckham added.

Making remote friends and drawing boundary lines

56% of Mozilla employees signed in to work from remote locations all over the world, even before the pandemic. Working asynchronously across so many time zones can be unusual for new teammates. Duckham’s biggest tip for new Mozillians? 

“Be open and a little vulnerable. Do you need to take your kid to school every day, does your dog require a mid-day walk? Chances are your schedule is just as unique as the person in the Zoom window next to you. Be open about the personal time you need to take throughout the day and then build your work schedule around it.” 

But what about building comradery and remote-friendships

“In a traditional work environment, you might run into your colleagues in the break room and have a quick chat. As roles continue to become more remote or hybrid-first, it is important to create opportunities for you to mingle with your colleagues,” Jerry Lee of Wonsulting said. “These small interactions are what builds long-lasting friendships, which in turn allows you to feel more comfortable and productive at work.”

How to leverage pay, flexibility and other benefits even if you aren’t job searching

“The best leverage you can find in this job market – is clearly defining what is important for you and making sure you have that option in your role,” Lee said. 

He’s not wrong. Make sure to consider your current growth opportunities, autonomy, location, work-life flexibility and compensation, of course. For example, if you are looking for a flexible-remote arrangement, Lee suggests clearly articulating what it is you want to your manager using the following talk-track as a guide:

Hey Manager!

I’m looking for ways to better incorporate my work into my personal life, and I’ve realized one important factor for me is location flexibility. I’m looking to move around a bit in the next few years but would love to continue the work I have here.

What can we do to make this happen?

Once you make your request, you’ll need to work with your manager to ensure your productivity and impact improves or at least remains the same.

Finally, it’s always helpful to remind yourself that every ‘big’ career move is the result of several smaller moves. If you’re looking to make a switch or simply reassessing your current work-life balance, Javier recommends practicing vision boarding. “I do this by drawing my current state and what I want my future state to look like,” said Javier. “Even if your drawings are subpar, you’ll be able to visualize what you want to accomplish in the future and make it into reality.”

As the Great Resignation continues, it is important to keep in mind that getting a new job is just the start of the journey. There are important steps that you can do, and Firefox and Pocket can help, to make sure that you feel ready for your next career adventure.

Firefox browser logo Get Firefox Get the browser that protects what’s important About our experts

Jonathan Javier is the CEO/Founder of Wonsulting, whose mission is to “turn underdogs into winners”. He’s also worked in Operations at Snap, Google, and Cisco coming from a non-target school/non-traditional background. He works on many initiatives, providing advice and words of wisdom on LinkedIn and through speaking engagements. In total, he has led 210+ workshops in 9 different countries including the Mena ICT Forum in Jordan, Resume/Personal Branding at Cisco, LinkedIn Strategy & Operations Offsite, Great Place To Work, Talks at Google, TEDx, and more. He’s been featured on Forbes, Fox News, Business Insider, The Times, LinkedIn News, Yahoo! News, Jobscan, and Brainz Magazine as a top job search expert and amassed 1M+ followers on LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok as well as 30+ million impressions monthly on his content.

Jerry Lee is the COO/Founder of Wonsulting and an ex-Senior Strategy & Operations Manager at Google & used to lead Product Strategy at Lucid. He is from Torrance, California and graduated summa cum laude from Babson College. After graduating, Jerry was hired as the youngest analyst in his organization by being promoted multiple times in 2 years to his current position. After he left Google, he was the youngest person to lead a strategy team at Lucid. Jerry partners with universities & organizations (220+ to date) to help others land into their dream careers. He has 250K+ followers across LinkedIn, TikTok & Instagram and has reached 40M+ professionals. In addition, his work is featured on Forbes, Newsweek, Business Insider, Yahoo! News, LinkedIn & elected as the 2020 LinkedIn Top Voice for Tech. 

Abbie Duckham is the current Talent Operations Program Manager at Mozilla. She has been with the company since 2016, working out of the San Francisco Office, and now her home office in Oakland.

The post The Great Resignation: New gig? Here are 7 tips to ensure success appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla VPN adds advanced privacy features: Custom DNS servers and Multi-hop

Mozilla Blog - do, 16/09/2021 - 00:43

Your online privacy remains our top priority, and we know that one of the first things to secure your privacy when you go online is to get on a Virtual Private Network (VPN), an encrypted connection that serves as a tunnel between your computer and VPN server. Today, we’re launching the latest release of our Mozilla VPN, our fast and easy-to-use VPN service, with two new advanced privacy features that offer additional layers of privacy. This includes your choice of Domain Name System (DNS) servers whether it’s the default we’ve provided, our suggested ad blocking, tracker blocking or ad plus tracker blocking DNS server, or an alternative one, plus the multi-hop feature which allows you to add two different servers to give you twice the amount of encryption. Today’s Mozilla VPN release is available on Windows, Mac, Linux and Android platforms (it will soon be available on iOS later this week).

Here are today’s Mozilla VPN Features: Uplevel your privacy with Mozilla VPN’s Custom DNS server feature

Traditionally when you go online your traffic is routed through your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) DNS servers who may be keeping records of your online activities. DNS, which stands for Domain Name System, is like a phone book for domains, which are the websites that you visit. One of the advantages to using a VPN is shielding your online activity from your ISP by using your trusted VPN service provider’s DNS servers. There are a variety of DNS servers, from ones that offer additional features like tracker blocking, ad blocking or a combination of both tracker and ad blocking, or local DNS servers that have those benefits along with speed. 

Now, with today’s Custom DNS server, we put you in control of choosing your DNS server that fits your needs. You can find this feature in your Network Settings under Advanced DNS Settings. From there, you can choose from the default DNS server, enter your local DNS server, or choose from the recommended list of DNS servers available to you. 

Choose from the recommended list of DNS servers available to you Double up your VPN service with Mozilla’s VPN Multi-hop feature

We’re introducing our Multi-hop feature which is also known as doubling up your VPN because instead of using one VPN server you can use two VPN servers. Here’s how it works, first your online activity is routed through one VPN server. Then, by selecting the Multi-Hop feature, your online activity will get routed a second time through an extra VPN server which is known as your exit server. Essentially, you will have two VPN servers which are known as the entry VPN server and exit VPN server. This new powerful privacy feature appeals to those who think twice about their privacy, like political activists, journalists writing sensitive topics, or anyone who’s using a public wi-fi and wants that added peace of mind by doubling-up their VPN servers.

To turn on this new feature, go to your Location, then choose Multi-hop. From there, you can choose your entry server location and your exit server location. The exit server location will be your main VPN server. We will also list your two recent Multi-hop connections so you can reuse them in the future. 

Choose your entry server location and your exit server location Your two recent Multi-hop connections will also be listed and available to reuse in the future How we innovate and build features for you with Mozilla VPN

Developed by Mozilla, a mission-driven company with a 20-year track record of fighting for online privacy and a healthier internet, we are committed to innovate and bring new features to the Mozilla VPN. Mozilla periodically works with third-party organizations to complement our internal security programs and help improve the overall security of our products. Mozilla recently published an independent security audit of its Mozilla VPN from Cure53, an unbiased cybersecurity firm based in Berlin with more than 15 years of running software testing and code auditing. Here is a link to the blog post and the security audit for more details. 

We know that it’s more important than ever for you to be safe, and for you to know that what you do online is your own business. By subscribing to Mozilla VPN, users support both Mozilla’s product development and our mission to build a better web for all. Check out the Mozilla VPN and subscribe today from our website.

For more on Mozilla VPN:

Mozilla VPN Completes Independent Security Audit by Cure53

Celebrating Mozilla VPN: How we’re keeping your data safe for you

Latest Mozilla VPN features keep your data safe

Mozilla Puts Its Trusted Stamp on VPN

The post Mozilla VPN adds advanced privacy features: Custom DNS servers and Multi-hop appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Get where you’re going faster, with Firefox Suggest

Mozilla Blog - wo, 15/09/2021 - 18:16

Today, people have to work too hard to find what they want online, sifting through and steering clear of content, clutter and click-bait not worthy of their time. Over time, navigation on the internet has become increasingly centralized and optimized for clicks and scrolling, not for getting people to where they want to go or what they are looking for quickly. 

We’d like to help change this, and we think Firefox is a good place to start.

Today we’re announcing our first step towards doing that with a new feature called Firefox Suggest.

Firefox Suggest is a new discovery feature that is built directly into the browser. Firefox Suggest acts as a trustworthy guide to the better web, surfacing relevant information and sites to help people accomplish their goals. Check it out here:

Relevant, reliable answers: 

Firefox already helps people search their browsing history and tabs and use their preferred search engine directly from Firefox’s Awesome Bar. 

Firefox Suggest will enhance this by including other sources of information such as Wikipedia, Pocket articles, reviews and credible content from sponsored, vetted partners and trusted organizations. 

For instance, suppose someone types “Costa Rica” into the Awesome Bar, they might see a result from Wikipedia:

Firefox users can find suggestions from Wikipedia

Firefox Suggest also contains sponsored suggestions from vetted partners. For instance, if someone types in “vans”, we might show a sponsored result for Vans shoes on eBay:

Firefox users can find sponsored suggestions from vetted partners

We are also developing contextual suggestions. These aim to enhance and speed up your searching experience. To deliver contextual suggestions, Firefox will need to send Mozilla new data, specifically, what you type into the search bar, city-level location data to know what’s nearby and relevant, as well as whether you click on a suggestion and which suggestion you click on.

In your control:

As always, we believe people should be in control of their web experience, so Firefox Suggest will be a customizable feature. 

We’ll begin offering contextual suggestions to a percentage of people in the U.S. as an opt-in experience. 

Opt-in prompt for smarter, contextual suggestions

Find out more about the ways you can customize this experience here.

Unmatched privacy: 

We believe online ads can work without advertisers needing to know everything about you. So when people choose to enable smarter suggestions, we will collect only the data that we need to operate, update and improve the functionality of Firefox Suggest and the overall user experience based on our Lean Data and Data Privacy Principles. We will also continue to be transparent about our data and data collection practices as we develop this new feature.

A better web. 

The internet has so much to offer, and we want to help people get the best out of it faster and easier than ever before.

Firefox is the choice for people who want to experience the web as a purpose driven and independent company envisions it. We create software for people that provides real privacy, transparency and valuable help with navigating today’s internet. This is another step in our journey to build a better internet.

The post Get where you’re going faster, with Firefox Suggest appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Matrix 4, Blue’s Clues, #StarTrekDay and More — Everything That’s Old is New Again in This Week’s Top Shelf

Mozilla Blog - vr, 10/09/2021 - 23:29

At Mozilla, we believe part of making the internet we want is celebrating the best of the internet, and that can be as simple as sharing a tweet that made us pause in our feed. Twitter isn’t perfect, but there are individual tweets that come pretty close.

Each week in Top Shelf, we will be sharing the tweets that made us laugh, think, Pocket them for later, text our friends, and want to continue the internet revolution each week.

Here’s what made it to the Top Shelf for the week of September 6, 2021, in no particular order.

{Nostalgia has entered the chat} This week saw people online reacting to pop-culture references that are making a comeback. As one person put it: “It’s the 90s again, baby!” And while 1990 was NOT, in fact, 10 years ago, it looks like our childhood is back in full force!

Steve from Blues Clues is going to save 2021.

— Stacey Grant (@Stacey_Grant91) September 7, 2021

steve from blues clues hitting us right in the chest

2021 just keeps on rolling https://t.co/9xzmZy5Iw3

— Matt Adams (@themattadams) September 7, 2021

Given that “Star Trek” is turning 55, it’s actually impressive fans can stay up late enough to watch this Trek day thing. Beam up, tune in, clap off.

— Brian Lowry (@blowryontv) September 9, 2021

someone from the audience at star trek day just yelled "spoil it!" at the strange new worlds panel's hesitancy to say anything about the show, and they are my new hero

— kayti burt (@kaytiburt) September 9, 2021

The Matrix is back. The Sopranos is back. Self-aware slasher movies are back. Princess Diana is back (sort of). It's the '90s again, baby.

— Chris Evangelista @ TIFF (@cevangelista413) September 9, 2021

Sure there are lots of amazing shots in the new MATRIX trailer but we all know there’s one iconic image. pic.twitter.com/QNz18g92P4

— Josh Horowitz (@joshuahorowitz) September 9, 2021

…matrix 4 might be enough to get the pod out of hiatus…

— Jenna Wortham (@jennydeluxe) September 10, 2021 And now, for the Top Shelf Best of — :

Best “Response to Big Tech” Tweet

I love NFTs, but a bouncy house to let the kids tire themselves out while I have a beer is a close second.

— KΞvin R◎se (@kevinrose) September 6, 2021 Best “Keeping it Real About Journalism” Tweet

these are truly insane amounts of money to pay for a journalism degree https://t.co/BG6KaZyY7z pic.twitter.com/ZFndxWBCFL

— Wesley (@WesleyLowery) September 10, 2021

Best “Right in the Feels” Tweet

"Considered correctly, the daily dog walks are a regimen of escape and pause. They enlarge our sympathies and sweeten our disposition. They pry open the day when it balls up into a little fist." https://t.co/5K9fasshyR

— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) September 9, 2021

The post Matrix 4, Blue’s Clues, #StarTrekDay and More — Everything That’s Old is New Again in This Week’s Top Shelf appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Data@Mozilla: This Week in Glean: Data Reviews are Important, Glean Parser makes them Easy

Mozilla planet - di, 07/09/2021 - 17:27

(“This Week in Glean” is a series of blog posts that the Glean Team at Mozilla is using to try to communicate better about our work. They could be release notes, documentation, hopes, dreams, or whatever: so long as it is inspired by Glean.) All “This Week in Glean” blog posts are listed in the TWiG index).

At Mozilla we put a lot of stock in Openness. Source? Open. Bug tracker? Open. Discussion Forums (Fora?)? Open (synchronous and asynchronous).

We also have an open process for determining if a new or expanded data collection in a Mozilla project is in line with our Privacy Principles and Policies: Data Review.

Basically, when a new piece of instrumentation is put up for code review (or before, or after), the instrumentor fills out a form and asks a volunteer Data Steward to review it. If the instrumentation (as explained in the filled-in form) is obviously in line with our privacy commitments to our users, the Data Steward gives it the go-ahead to ship.

(If it isn’t _obviously_ okay then we kick it up to our Trust Team to make the decision. They sit next to Legal, in case you need to find them.)

The Data Review Process and its forms are very generic. They’re designed to work for any instrumentation (tab count, bytes transferred, theme colour) being added to any project (Firefox Desktop, mozilla.org, Focus) and being collected by any data collection system (Firefox Telemetry, Crash Reporter, Glean). This is great for the process as it means we can use it and rely on it anywhere.

It isn’t so great for users _of_ the process. If you only ever write Data Reviews for one system, you’ll find yourself answering the same questions with the same answers every time.

And Glean makes this worse (better?) by including in its metrics definitions almost every piece of information you need in order to answer the review. So now you get to write the answers first in YAML and then in English during Data Review.

But no more! Introducing glean_parser data-review and mach data-review: command-line tools that will generate for you a Data Review Request skeleton with all the easy parts filled in. It works like this:

  1. Write your instrumentation, providing full information in the metrics definition.
  2. Call python -m glean_parser data-review <bug_number> <list of metrics.yaml files> (or mach data-review <bug_number> if you’re adding the instrumentation to Firefox Desktop).
  3. glean_parser will parse the metrics definitions files, pull out only the definitions that were added or changed in <bug_number>, and then output a partially-filled-out form for you.

Here’s an example. Say I’m working on bug 1664461 and add a new piece of instrumentation to Firefox Desktop:

fog.ipc: replay_failures: type: counter description: | The number of times the ipc buffer failed to be replayed in the parent process. bugs: - https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1664461 data_reviews: - https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1664461 data_sensitivity: - technical notification_emails: - chutten@mozilla.com - glean-team@mozilla.com expires: never

I’m sure to fill in the `bugs` field correctly (because that’s important on its own _and_ it’s what glean_parser data-review uses to find which data I added), and have categorized the data_sensitivity. I also included a helpful description. (The data_reviews field currently points at the bug I’ll attach the Data Review Request for. I’d better remember to come back before I land this code and update it to point at the specific comment…)

Then I can simply use mach data-review 1664461 and it spits out:

!! Reminder: it is your responsibility to complete and check the correctness of !! this automatically-generated request skeleton before requesting Data !! Collection Review. See https://wiki.mozilla.org/Data_Collection for details. DATA REVIEW REQUEST 1. What questions will you answer with this data? TODO: Fill this in. 2. Why does Mozilla need to answer these questions? Are there benefits for users? Do we need this information to address product or business requirements? TODO: Fill this in. 3. What alternative methods did you consider to answer these questions? Why were they not sufficient? TODO: Fill this in. 4. Can current instrumentation answer these questions? TODO: Fill this in. 5. List all proposed measurements and indicate the category of data collection for each measurement, using the Firefox data collection categories found on the Mozilla wiki. Measurement Name | Measurement Description | Data Collection Category | Tracking Bug ---------------- | ----------------------- | ------------------------ | ------------ fog_ipc.replay_failures | The number of times the ipc buffer failed to be replayed in the parent process. | technical | https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1664461 6. Please provide a link to the documentation for this data collection which describes the ultimate data set in a public, complete, and accurate way. This collection is Glean so is documented [in the Glean Dictionary](https://dictionary.telemetry.mozilla.org). 7. How long will this data be collected? This collection will be collected permanently. **TODO: identify at least one individual here** will be responsible for the permanent collections. 8. What populations will you measure? All channels, countries, and locales. No filters. 9. If this data collection is default on, what is the opt-out mechanism for users? These collections are Glean. The opt-out can be found in the product's preferences. 10. Please provide a general description of how you will analyze this data. TODO: Fill this in. 11. Where do you intend to share the results of your analysis? TODO: Fill this in. 12. Is there a third-party tool (i.e. not Telemetry) that you are proposing to use for this data collection? No.

As you can see, this Data Review Request skeleton comes partially filled out. Everything you previously had to mechanically fill out has been done for you, leaving you more time to focus on only the interesting questions like “Why do we need this?” and “How are you going to use it?”.

Also, this saves you from having to remember the URL to the Data Review Request Form Template each time you need it. We’ve got you covered.

And since this is part of Glean, this means this is already available to every project you can see here. This isn’t just a Firefox Desktop thing.

Hope this saves you some time! If you can think of other time-saving improvements we could add once to Glean so every Mozilla project can take advantage of, please tell us on Matrix.

If you’re interested in how this is implemented, glean_parser’s part of this is over here, while the mach command part is here.

:chutten

(( This is a syndicated copy of the original post. ))

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Chris H-C: This Week in Glean: Data Reviews are Important, Glean Parser makes them Easy

Mozilla planet - di, 07/09/2021 - 17:26

(“This Week in Glean” is a series of blog posts that the Glean Team at Mozilla is using to try to communicate better about our work. They could be release notes, documentation, hopes, dreams, or whatever: so long as it is inspired by Glean.) All “This Week in Glean” blog posts are listed in the TWiG index).

At Mozilla we put a lot of stock in Openness. Source? Open. Bug tracker? Open. Discussion Forums (Fora?)? Open (synchronous and asynchronous).

We also have an open process for determining if a new or expanded data collection in a Mozilla project is in line with our Privacy Principles and Policies: Data Review.

Basically, when a new piece of instrumentation is put up for code review (or before, or after), the instrumentor fills out a form and asks a volunteer Data Steward to review it. If the instrumentation (as explained in the filled-in form) is obviously in line with our privacy commitments to our users, the Data Steward gives it the go-ahead to ship.

(If it isn’t _obviously_ okay then we kick it up to our Trust Team to make the decision. They sit next to Legal, in case you need to find them.)

The Data Review Process and its forms are very generic. They’re designed to work for any instrumentation (tab count, bytes transferred, theme colour) being added to any project (Firefox Desktop, mozilla.org, Focus) and being collected by any data collection system (Firefox Telemetry, Crash Reporter, Glean). This is great for the process as it means we can use it and rely on it anywhere.

It isn’t so great for users _of_ the process. If you only ever write Data Reviews for one system, you’ll find yourself answering the same questions with the same answers every time.

And Glean makes this worse (better?) by including in its metrics definitions almost every piece of information you need in order to answer the review. So now you get to write the answers first in YAML and then in English during Data Review.

But no more! Introducing glean_parser data-review and mach data-review: command-line tools that will generate for you a Data Review Request skeleton with all the easy parts filled in. It works like this:

  1. Write your instrumentation, providing full information in the metrics definition.
  2. Call python -m glean_parser data-review <bug_number> <list of metrics.yaml files> (or mach data-review <bug_number> if you’re adding the instrumentation to Firefox Desktop).
  3. glean_parser will parse the metrics definitions files, pull out only the definitions that were added or changed in <bug_number>, and then output a partially-filled-out form for you.

Here’s an example. Say I’m working on bug 1664461 and add a new piece of instrumentation to Firefox Desktop:

fog.ipc: replay_failures: type: counter description: | The number of times the ipc buffer failed to be replayed in the parent process. bugs: - https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1664461 data_reviews: - https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1664461 data_sensitivity: - technical notification_emails: - chutten@mozilla.com - glean-team@mozilla.com expires: never

I’m sure to fill in the `bugs` field correctly (because that’s important on its own _and_ it’s what glean_parser data-review uses to find which data I added), and have categorized the data_sensitivity. I also included a helpful description. (The data_reviews field currently points at the bug I’ll attach the Data Review Request for. I’d better remember to come back before I land this code and update it to point at the specific comment…)

Then I can simply use mach data-review 1664461 and it spits out:

!! Reminder: it is your responsibility to complete and check the correctness of !! this automatically-generated request skeleton before requesting Data !! Collection Review. See https://wiki.mozilla.org/Data_Collection for details. DATA REVIEW REQUEST 1. What questions will you answer with this data? TODO: Fill this in. 2. Why does Mozilla need to answer these questions? Are there benefits for users? Do we need this information to address product or business requirements? TODO: Fill this in. 3. What alternative methods did you consider to answer these questions? Why were they not sufficient? TODO: Fill this in. 4. Can current instrumentation answer these questions? TODO: Fill this in. 5. List all proposed measurements and indicate the category of data collection for each measurement, using the Firefox data collection categories found on the Mozilla wiki. Measurement Name | Measurement Description | Data Collection Category | Tracking Bug ---------------- | ----------------------- | ------------------------ | ------------ fog_ipc.replay_failures | The number of times the ipc buffer failed to be replayed in the parent process. | technical | https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1664461 6. Please provide a link to the documentation for this data collection which describes the ultimate data set in a public, complete, and accurate way. This collection is Glean so is documented [in the Glean Dictionary](https://dictionary.telemetry.mozilla.org). 7. How long will this data be collected? This collection will be collected permanently. **TODO: identify at least one individual here** will be responsible for the permanent collections. 8. What populations will you measure? All channels, countries, and locales. No filters. 9. If this data collection is default on, what is the opt-out mechanism for users? These collections are Glean. The opt-out can be found in the product's preferences. 10. Please provide a general description of how you will analyze this data. TODO: Fill this in. 11. Where do you intend to share the results of your analysis? TODO: Fill this in. 12. Is there a third-party tool (i.e. not Telemetry) that you are proposing to use for this data collection? No.

As you can see, this Data Review Request skeleton comes partially filled out. Everything you previously had to mechanically fill out has been done for you, leaving you more time to focus on only the interesting questions like “Why do we need this?” and “How are you going to use it?”.

Also, this saves you from having to remember the URL to the Data Review Request Form Template each time you need it. We’ve got you covered.

And since this is part of Glean, this means this is already available to every project you can see here. This isn’t just a Firefox Desktop thing. 

Hope this saves you some time! If you can think of other time-saving improvements we could add once to Glean so every Mozilla project can take advantage of, please tell us on Matrix.

If you’re interested in how this is implemented, glean_parser’s part of this is over here, while the mach command part is here.

:chutten

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Cameron Kaiser: TenFourFox FPR32 SPR4 available

Mozilla planet - zo, 05/09/2021 - 07:28
TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 32 Security Parity Release 4 "32.4" is available for testing (downloads, hashes). There are, as before, no changes to the release notes nor anything notable about the security patches in this release. Assuming no major problems, FPR32.4 will go live Monday evening Pacific time as usual. The final official build FPR32.5 remains scheduled for October 5, so we'll do a little look at your options should you wish to continue building from source after that point later this month.
Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Firefox Add-on Reviews: uBlock Origin—everything you need to know about the ad blocker

Mozilla planet - vr, 03/09/2021 - 19:38

Rare is the browser extension that can satisfy both passive and power users. But that’s an essential part of uBlock Origin’s brilliance—it is an ad blocker you could recommend to your most tech forward friend as easily as you could to someone who’s just emerged from the jungle lost for the past 20 years. 

If you install uBlock Origin and do nothing else, right out of the box it will block nearly all types of internet advertising—everything from big blinking banners to search ads and video pre-rolls and all the rest. However if you want extremely granular levels of content control, uBlock Origin can accommodate via advanced settings. 

We’ll try to split the middle here and walk through a few of the extension’s most intriguing features and options…

Does using uBlock Origin actually speed up my web experience? 

Yes. Not only do web pages load faster because the extension blocks unwanted ads from loading, but uBlock Origin utilizes a uniquely lightweight approach to content filtering so it imposes minimal impact on memory consumption. It is generally accepted that uBlock Origin offers the most performative speed boost among top ad blockers. 

But don’t ad blockers also break pages? 

Occasionally that can occur, where a page breaks if certain content is blocked or some websites will even detect the presence of an ad blocker and halt passage. 

Fortunately this doesn’t happen as frequently with uBlock Origin as it might with other ad blockers and the extension is also extremely effective at bypassing anti-ad blockers (yes, an ongoing battle rages between ad tech and content blocking software). But if uBlock Origin does happen to break a page you want to access it’s easy to turn off content blocking for specific pages you trust or perhaps even want to see their ads.

<figcaption>Hit the blue on/off button if you want to suspend content blocking on any page.</figcaption> Show us a few tips & tricks

Let’s take a look at some high level settings and what you can do with them. 

  • Lightning bolt button enables Element Zapper, which lets you temporarily remove page elements by simply mousing over them and clicking. For example, this is convenient for removing embedded gifs or for hiding disturbing images you may encounter in some news articles.
  • Eye dropper button enables Element Picker, which lets you permanently remove page elements. For example, if you find Facebook Stories a complete waste of time, just activate Element Picker, mouse over/click the Stories section of the page, select “Create” and presto—The End of Facebook Stories.    

The five buttons on this row will only affect the page you’re on.

  • Pop-up button blocks—you guessed it—pop-ups
  • Film button blocks large media elements like embedded video, audio, or images
  • Eye slash button disables cosmetic filtering, which is on by default and elegantly reformats your pages when ads are removed, but if you’d prefer to see pages laid out as they were intended (with just empty spaces instead of ads) then you have that option
  • “Aa” button blocks remote fonts from loading on the page
  • “</>” button disables JavaScript on the page
Does uBlock Origin protect against malware? 

In addition to using various advertising block lists, uBlock Origin also leverages potent lists of known malware sources, so it automatically blocks those for you as well. To be clear, there is no software that can offer 100% malware protection, but it doesn’t hurt to give yourself enhanced protections like this. 

All of the content block lists are actively maintained by volunteers who believe in the mission of providing users with more choice and control over the content they see online. “uBlock Origin stands uncompromisingly for all users’ best interests, it’s not monetized, and its development and maintenance is driven only by volunteers who share the same view,” says uBlock Origin founder and developer Raymond Hill. “As long as I am the maintainer of [uBlock Origin], this will not change.”

We could go into a lot more detail about uBlock Origin—how you can create your own custom filter lists, how you can set it to block only media of a certain size, cloud storage sync, and so on—but power users will discover these delights on their own. Hopefully we’ve provided enough insight here to help you make an informed choice about exploring uBlock Origin, whether it be your first ad blocker or just the latest. 

If you’d like to check out other amazing ad blocker options, please see What’s the best ad blocker for you?

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mark Mayo: Celebrating 10k KryptoSign users with an on-chain lottery feature!

Mozilla planet - do, 02/09/2021 - 04:22

TL;DR: we’re adding 3 new features to KryptoSign today!

  • CSV downloads of a document’s signers
  • Document Locking (prevent further signing)
  • Document Lotteries (pick a winner from list of signers)

Why? Well, you folks keep abusing this simple Ethereum-native document signing tool to run contests for airdrops and pre-sales, so we thought we’d make your lives a bit easier! :)

up and to the right graph showing exponential growth of KS

We launched KryptoSign in May this year as tool for Kai, Bart, and I to do the lightest possible “contract signing” using our MetaMask wallets. Write down a simple scope of work with someone, both parties sign with their wallet to signal they agree. When the job is complete, their Ethereum address is right there to copy-n-paste into a wallet to send payment. Quick, easy, delightful. :)

But as often happens, users started showing up and using it for other things. Like guestbooks. And then guestbooks became a way to sign up users for NFT drops as part of contests and pre-sales, and so on. The organizer has everyone sign a KS doc, maybe link their Discord or Twitter, and then picks a winner and sends a NFT/token/etc. to their address in the signature block. Cool.

As these NFT drops started getting really hot the feature you all wanted was pretty obvious: have folks sign a KS document as part of a pre-sales window, and have KS pick the winner automatically. Because the stakes on things like hot NFT pre-sales are high, we decided to implement the random winner using Chainlink’s VRF — verifiable random functions — which means everyone involved in a KryptoSign lottery can independently confirm how the random winner was picked. Transparency is nice!

The UI for doing this is quite simple, as you’d hope and expect from KryptoSign. There’s an action icon on the document now:

screenshot of menu option to pick a winner from the signers of a document

When you’re ready to pick a winner, it’s pretty easy. Lock the document, and hit the button:

Of note, to pick a winner we’re collecting to 0.05 ETH from you to cover the cost of the 2 LINK required to invoke the VRF on mainnet. You don’t need your own LINK and all the gas-incurring swapping that would imply. Phew! The user approves a single transaction with their wallet (including gas to interact with the smart contract) and they’re done.

Our initial users really wanted the on-chain trust of a VRF, and are willing to pay for it so their communities can trust the draw, but for other use cases you have in mind, maybe it’s overkill? Let us know! We’ll continue to build upon KryptoSign as long as people find useful things to do with it.

Finally, big props to our team who worked through some rough patches with calling the Chainlink VRF contract. Blockchain is weird, yo! This release saw engineering contributions from Neo Cho, Ryan Ouyang, and Josh Peters. Thanks!

— Mark

Celebrating 10k KryptoSign users with an on-chain lottery feature! was originally published in Block::Block on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Ludovic Hirlimann: My geeking plans for this summer

Thunderbird - do, 07/05/2015 - 10:39

During July I’ll be visiting family in Mongolia but I’ve also a few things that are very geeky that I want to do.

The first thing I want to do is plug the Ripe Atlas probes I have. It’s litle devices that look like that :

Hello @ripe #Atlas !

They enable anybody with a ripe atlas or ripe account to make measurements for dns queries and others. This helps making a global better internet. I have three of these probes I’d like to install. It’s good because last time I checked Mongolia didn’t have any active probe. These probes will also help Internet become better in Mongolia. I’ll need to buy some network cables before leaving because finding these in mongolia is going to be challenging. More on atlas at https://atlas.ripe.net/.

The second thing I intend to do is map Mongolia a bit better on two projects the first is related to Mozilla and maps gps coordinateswith wifi access point. Only a little part of The capital Ulaanbaatar is covered as per https://location.services.mozilla.com/map#11/47.8740/106.9485 I want this to be way more because having an open data source for this is important in the future. As mapping is my new thing I’ll probably edit Openstreetmap in order to make the urban parts of mongolia that I’ll visit way more usable on all the services that use OSM as a source of truth. There is already a project to map the capital city at http://hotosm.org/projects/mongolia_mapping_ulaanbaatar but I believe osm can server more than just 50% of mongolia’s population.

I got inspired to write this post by mu son this morning, look what he is doing at 17 months :

Geeking on a Sun keyboard at 17 months
Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Andrew Sutherland: Talk Script: Firefox OS Email Performance Strategies

Thunderbird - do, 30/04/2015 - 22:11

Last week I gave a talk at the Philly Tech Week 2015 Dev Day organized by the delightful people at technical.ly on some of the tricks/strategies we use in the Firefox OS Gaia Email app.  Note that the credit for implementing most of these techniques goes to the owner of the Email app’s front-end, James Burke.  Also, a special shout-out to Vivien for the initial DOM Worker patches for the email app.

I tried to avoid having slides that both I would be reading aloud as the audience read silently, so instead of slides to share, I have the talk script.  Well, I also have the slides here, but there’s not much to them.  The headings below are the content of the slides, except for the one time I inline some code.  Note that the live presentation must have differed slightly, because I’m sure I’m much more witty and clever in person than this script would make it seem…

Cover Slide: Who!

Hi, my name is Andrew Sutherland.  I work at Mozilla on the Firefox OS Email Application.  I’m here to share some strategies we used to make our HTML5 app Seem faster and sometimes actually Be faster.

What’s A Firefox OS (Screenshot Slide)

But first: What is a Firefox OS?  It’s a multiprocess Firefox gecko engine on an android linux kernel where all the apps including the system UI are implemented using HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.  All the apps use some combination of standard web APIs and APIs that we hope to standardize in some form.

Firefox OS homescreen screenshot Firefox OS clock app screenshot Firefox OS email app screenshot

Here are some screenshots.  We’ve got the default home screen app, the clock app, and of course, the email app.

It’s an entirely client-side offline email application, supporting IMAP4, POP3, and ActiveSync.  The goal, like all Firefox OS apps shipped with the phone, is to give native apps on other platforms a run for their money.

And that begins with starting up fast.

Fast Startup: The Problems

But that’s frequently easier said than done.  Slow-loading websites are still very much a thing.

The good news for the email application is that a slow network isn’t one of its problems.  It’s pre-loaded on the phone.  And even if it wasn’t, because of the security implications of the TCP Web API and the difficulty of explaining this risk to users in a way they won’t just click through, any TCP-using app needs to be a cryptographically signed zip file approved by a marketplace.  So we do load directly from flash.

However, it’s not like flash on cellphones is equivalent to an infinitely fast, zero-latency network connection.  And even if it was, in a naive app you’d still try and load all of your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript at the same time because the HTML file would reference them all.  And that adds up.

It adds up in the form of event loop activity and competition with other threads and processes.  With the exception of Promises which get their own micro-task queue fast-lane, the web execution model is the same as all other UI event loops; events get scheduled and then executed in the same order they are scheduled.  Loading data from an asynchronous API like IndexedDB means that your read result gets in line behind everything else that’s scheduled.  And in the case of the bulk of shipped Firefox OS devices, we only have a single processor core so the thread and process contention do come into play.

So we try not to be a naive.

Seeming Fast at Startup: The HTML Cache

If we’re going to optimize startup, it’s good to start with what the user sees.  Once an account exists for the email app, at startup we display the default account’s inbox folder.

What is the least amount of work that we can do to show that?  Cache a screenshot of the Inbox.  The problem with that, of course, is that a static screenshot is indistinguishable from an unresponsive application.

So we did the next best thing, (which is) we cache the actual HTML we display.  At startup we load a minimal HTML file, our concatenated CSS, and just enough Javascript to figure out if we should use the HTML cache and then actually use it if appropriate.  It’s not always appropriate, like if our application is being triggered to display a compose UI or from a new mail notification that wants to show a specific message or a different folder.  But this is a decision we can make synchronously so it doesn’t slow us down.

Local Storage: Okay in small doses

We implement this by storing the HTML in localStorage.

Important Disclaimer!  LocalStorage is a bad API.  It’s a bad API because it’s synchronous.  You can read any value stored in it at any time, without waiting for a callback.  Which means if the data is not in memory the browser needs to block its event loop or spin a nested event loop until the data has been read from disk.  Browsers avoid this now by trying to preload the Entire contents of local storage for your origin into memory as soon as they know your page is being loaded.  And then they keep that information, ALL of it, in memory until your page is gone.

So if you store a megabyte of data in local storage, that’s a megabyte of data that needs to be loaded in its entirety before you can use any of it, and that hangs around in scarce phone memory.

To really make the point: do not use local storage, at least not directly.  Use a library like localForage that will use IndexedDB when available, and then fails over to WebSQLDatabase and local storage in that order.

Now, having sufficiently warned you of the terrible evils of local storage, I can say with a sorta-clear conscience… there are upsides in this very specific case.

The synchronous nature of the API means that once we get our turn in the event loop we can act immediately.  There’s no waiting around for an IndexedDB read result to gets its turn on the event loop.

This matters because although the concept of loading is simple from a User Experience perspective, there’s no standard to back it up right now.  Firefox OS’s UX desires are very straightforward.  When you tap on an app, we zoom it in.  Until the app is loaded we display the app’s icon in the center of the screen.  Unfortunately the standards are still assuming that the content is right there in the HTML.  This works well for document-based web pages or server-powered web apps where the contents of the page are baked in.  They work less well for client-only web apps where the content lives in a database and has to be dynamically retrieved.

The two events that exist are:

DOMContentLoaded” fires when the document has been fully parsed and all scripts not tagged as “async” have run.  If there were stylesheets referenced prior to the script tags, the script tags will wait for the stylesheet loads.

load” fires when the document has been fully loaded; stylesheets, images, everything.

But none of these have anything to do with the content in the page saying it’s actually done.  This matters because these standards also say nothing about IndexedDB reads or the like.  We tried to create a standards consensus around this, but it’s not there yet.  So Firefox OS just uses the “load” event to decide an app or page has finished loading and it can stop showing your app icon.  This largely avoids the dreaded “flash of unstyled content” problem, but it also means that your webpage or app needs to deal with this period of time by displaying a loading UI or just accepting a potentially awkward transient UI state.

(Trivial HTML slide)

<link rel=”stylesheet” ...> <script ...></script> DOMContentLoaded!

This is the important summary of our index.html.

We reference our stylesheet first.  It includes all of our styles.  We never dynamically load stylesheets because that compels a style recalculation for all nodes and potentially a reflow.  We would have to have an awful lot of style declarations before considering that.

Then we have our single script file.  Because the stylesheet precedes the script, our script will not execute until the stylesheet has been loaded.  Then our script runs and we synchronously insert our HTML from local storage.  Then DOMContentLoaded can fire.  At this point the layout engine has enough information to perform a style recalculation and determine what CSS-referenced image resources need to be loaded for buttons and icons, then those load, and then we’re good to be displayed as the “load” event can fire.

After that, we’re displaying an interactive-ish HTML document.  You can scroll, you can press on buttons and the :active state will apply.  So things seem real.

Being Fast: Lazy Loading and Optimized Layers

But now we need to try and get some logic in place as quickly as possible that will actually cash the checks that real-looking HTML UI is writing.  And the key to that is only loading what you need when you need it, and trying to get it to load as quickly as possible.

There are many module loading and build optimizing tools out there, and most frameworks have a preferred or required way of handling this.  We used the RequireJS family of Asynchronous Module Definition loaders, specifically the alameda loader and the r-dot-js optimizer.

One of the niceties of the loader plugin model is that we are able to express resource dependencies as well as code dependencies.

RequireJS Loader Plugins

var fooModule = require('./foo'); var htmlString = require('text!./foo.html'); var localizedDomNode = require('tmpl!./foo.html');

The standard Common JS loader semantics used by node.js and io.js are the first one you see here.  Load the module, return its exports.

But RequireJS loader plugins also allow us to do things like the second line where the exclamation point indicates that the load should occur using a loader plugin, which is itself a module that conforms to the loader plugin contract.  In this case it’s saying load the file foo.html as raw text and return it as a string.

But, wait, there’s more!  loader plugins can do more than that.  The third example uses a loader that loads the HTML file using the ‘text’ plugin under the hood, creates an HTML document fragment, and pre-localizes it using our localization library.  And this works un-optimized in a browser, no compilation step needed, but it can also be optimized.

So when our optimizer runs, it bundles up the core modules we use, plus, the modules for our “message list” card that displays the inbox.  And the message list card loads its HTML snippets using the template loader plugin.  The r-dot-js optimizer then locates these dependencies and the loader plugins also have optimizer logic that results in the HTML strings being inlined in the resulting optimized file.  So there’s just one single javascript file to load with no extra HTML file dependencies or other loads.

We then also run the optimizer against our other important cards like the “compose” card and the “message reader” card.  We don’t do this for all cards because it can be hard to carve up the module dependency graph for optimization without starting to run into cases of overlap where many optimized files redundantly include files loaded by other optimized files.

Plus, we have another trick up our sleeve:

Seeming Fast: Preloading

Preloading.  Our cards optionally know the other cards they can load.  So once we display a card, we can kick off a preload of the cards that might potentially be displayed.  For example, the message list card can trigger the compose card and the message reader card, so we can trigger a preload of both of those.

But we don’t go overboard with preloading in the frontend because we still haven’t actually loaded the back-end that actually does all the emaily email stuff.  The back-end is also chopped up into optimized layers along account type lines and online/offline needs, but the main optimized JS file still weighs in at something like 17 thousand lines of code with newlines retained.

So once our UI logic is loaded, it’s time to kick-off loading the back-end.  And in order to avoid impacting the responsiveness of the UI both while it loads and when we’re doing steady-state processing, we run it in a DOM Worker.

Being Responsive: Workers and SharedWorkers

DOM Workers are background JS threads that lack access to the page’s DOM, communicating with their owning page via message passing with postMessage.  Normal workers are owned by a single page.  SharedWorkers can be accessed via multiple pages from the same document origin.

By doing this, we stay out of the way of the main thread.  This is getting less important as browser engines support Asynchronous Panning & Zooming or “APZ” with hardware-accelerated composition, tile-based rendering, and all that good stuff.  (Some might even call it magic.)

When Firefox OS started, we didn’t have APZ, so any main-thread logic had the serious potential to result in janky scrolling and the impossibility of rendering at 60 frames per second.  It’s a lot easier to get 60 frames-per-second now, but even asynchronous pan and zoom potentially has to wait on dispatching an event to the main thread to figure out if the user’s tap is going to be consumed by app logic and preventDefault called on it.  APZ does this because it needs to know whether it should start scrolling or not.

And speaking of 60 frames-per-second…

Being Fast: Virtual List Widgets

…the heart of a mail application is the message list.  The expected UX is to be able to fling your way through the entire list of what the email app knows about and see the messages there, just like you would on a native app.

This is admittedly one of the areas where native apps have it easier.  There are usually list widgets that explicitly have a contract that says they request data on an as-needed basis.  They potentially even include data bindings so you can just point them at a data-store.

But HTML doesn’t yet have a concept of instantiate-on-demand for the DOM, although it’s being discussed by Firefox layout engine developers.  For app purposes, the DOM is a scene graph.  An extremely capable scene graph that can handle huge documents, but there are footguns and it’s arguably better to err on the side of fewer DOM nodes.

So what the email app does is we create a scroll-region div and explicitly size it based on the number of messages in the mail folder we’re displaying.  We create and render enough message summary nodes to cover the current screen, 3 screens worth of messages in the direction we’re scrolling, and then we also retain up to 3 screens worth in the direction we scrolled from.  We also pre-fetch 2 more screens worth of messages from the database.  These constants were arrived at experimentally on prototype devices.

We listen to “scroll” events and issue database requests and move DOM nodes around and update them as the user scrolls.  For any potentially jarring or expensive transitions such as coordinate space changes from new messages being added above the current scroll position, we wait for scrolling to stop.

Nodes are absolutely positioned within the scroll area using their ‘top’ style but translation transforms also work.  We remove nodes from the DOM, then update their position and their state before re-appending them.  We do this because the browser APZ logic tries to be clever and figure out how to create an efficient series of layers so that it can pre-paint as much of the DOM as possible in graphic buffers, AKA layers, that can be efficiently composited by the GPU.  Its goal is that when the user is scrolling, or something is being animated, that it can just move the layers around the screen or adjust their opacity or other transforms without having to ask the layout engine to re-render portions of the DOM.

When our message elements are added to the DOM with an already-initialized absolute position, the APZ logic lumps them together as something it can paint in a single layer along with the other elements in the scrolling region.  But if we start moving them around while they’re still in the DOM, the layerization logic decides that they might want to independently move around more in the future and so each message item ends up in its own layer.  This slows things down.  But by removing them and re-adding them it sees them as new with static positions and decides that it can lump them all together in a single layer.  Really, we could just create new DOM nodes, but we produce slightly less garbage this way and in the event there’s a bug, it’s nicer to mess up with 30 DOM nodes displayed incorrectly rather than 3 million.

But as neat as the layerization stuff is to know about on its own, I really mention it to underscore 2 suggestions:

1, Use a library when possible.  Getting on and staying on APZ fast-paths is not trivial, especially across browser engines.  So it’s a very good idea to use a library rather than rolling your own.

2, Use developer tools.  APZ is tricky to reason about and even the developers who write the Async pan & zoom logic can be surprised by what happens in complex real-world situations.  And there ARE developer tools available that help you avoid needing to reason about this.  Firefox OS has easy on-device developer tools that can help diagnose what’s going on or at least help tell you whether you’re making things faster or slower:

– it’s got a frames-per-second overlay; you do need to scroll like mad to get the system to want to render 60 frames-per-second, but it makes it clear what the net result is

– it has paint flashing that overlays random colors every time it paints the DOM into a layer.  If the screen is flashing like a discotheque or has a lot of smeared rainbows, you know something’s wrong because the APZ logic is not able to to just reuse its layers.

– devtools can enable drawing cool colored borders around the layers APZ has created so you can see if layerization is doing something crazy

There’s also fancier and more complicated tools in Firefox and other browsers like Google Chrome to let you see what got painted, what the layer tree looks like, et cetera.

And that’s my spiel.

Links

The source code to Gaia can be found at https://github.com/mozilla-b2g/gaia

The email app in particular can be found at https://github.com/mozilla-b2g/gaia/tree/master/apps/email

(I also asked for questions here.)

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Joshua Cranmer: Breaking news

Thunderbird - wo, 01/04/2015 - 09:00
It was brought to my attention recently by reputable sources that the recent announcement of increased usage in recent years produced an internal firestorm within Mozilla. Key figures raised alarm that some of the tech press had interpreted the blog post as a sign that Thunderbird was not, in fact, dead. As a result, they asked Thunderbird community members to make corrections to emphasize that Mozilla was trying to kill Thunderbird.

The primary fear, it seems, is that knowledge that the largest open-source email client was still receiving regular updates would impel its userbase to agitate for increased funding and maintenance of the client to help forestall potential threats to the open nature of email as well as to innovate in the space of providing usable and private communication channels. Such funding, however, would be an unaffordable luxury and would only distract Mozilla from its central goal of building developer productivity tooling. Persistent rumors that Mozilla would be willing to fund Thunderbird were it renamed Firefox Email were finally addressed with the comment, "such a renaming would violate our current policy that all projects be named Persona."

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Joshua Cranmer: Why email is hard, part 8: why email security failed

Thunderbird - di, 13/01/2015 - 05:38
This post is part 8 of an intermittent series exploring the difficulties of writing an email client. Part 1 describes a brief history of the infrastructure. Part 2 discusses internationalization. Part 3 discusses MIME. Part 4 discusses email addresses. Part 5 discusses the more general problem of email headers. Part 6 discusses how email security works in practice. Part 7 discusses the problem of trust. This part discusses why email security has largely failed.

At the end of the last part in this series, I posed the question, "Which email security protocol is most popular?" The answer to the question is actually neither S/MIME nor PGP, but a third protocol, DKIM. I haven't brought up DKIM until now because DKIM doesn't try to secure email in the same vein as S/MIME or PGP, but I still consider it relevant to discussing email security.

Unquestionably, DKIM is the only security protocol for email that can be considered successful. There are perhaps 4 billion active email addresses [1]. Of these, about 1-2 billion use DKIM. In contrast, S/MIME can count a few million users, and PGP at best a few hundred thousand. No other security protocols have really caught on past these three. Why did DKIM succeed where the others fail?

DKIM's success stems from its relatively narrow focus. It is nothing more than a cryptographic signature of the message body and a smattering of headers, and is itself stuck in the DKIM-Signature header. It is meant to be applied to messages only on outgoing servers and read and processed at the recipient mail server—it completely bypasses clients. That it bypasses clients allows it to solve the problem of key discovery and key management very easily (public keys are stored in DNS, which is already a key part of mail delivery), and its role in spam filtering is strong motivation to get it implemented quickly (it is 7 years old as of this writing). It's also simple: this one paragraph description is basically all you need to know [2].

The failure of S/MIME and PGP to see large deployment is certainly a large topic of discussion on myriads of cryptography enthusiast mailing lists, which often like to partake in propositions of new end-to-end encryption of email paradigms, such as the recent DIME proposal. Quite frankly, all of these solutions suffer broadly from at least the same 5 fundamental weaknesses, and I see it unlikely that a protocol will come about that can fix these weaknesses well enough to become successful.

The first weakness, and one I've harped about many times already, is UI. Most email security UI is abysmal and generally at best usable only by enthusiasts. At least some of this is endemic to security: while it mean seem obvious how to convey what an email signature or an encrypted email signifies, how do you convey the distinctions between sign-and-encrypt, encrypt-and-sign, or an S/MIME triple wrap? The Web of Trust model used by PGP (and many other proposals) is even worse, in that inherently requires users to do other actions out-of-band of email to work properly.

Trust is the second weakness. Consider that, for all intents and purposes, the email address is the unique identifier on the Internet. By extension, that implies that a lot of services are ultimately predicated on the notion that the ability to receive and respond to an email is a sufficient means to identify an individual. However, the entire purpose of secure email, or at least of end-to-end encryption, is subtly based on the fact that other people in fact have access to your mailbox, thus destroying the most natural ways to build trust models on the Internet. The quest for anonymity or privacy also renders untenable many other plausible ways to establish trust (e.g., phone verification or government-issued ID cards).

Key discovery is another weakness, although it's arguably the easiest one to solve. If you try to keep discovery independent of trust, the problem of key discovery is merely picking a protocol to publish and another one to find keys. Some of these already exist: PGP key servers, for example, or using DANE to publish S/MIME or PGP keys.

Key management, on the other hand, is a more troubling weakness. S/MIME, for example, basically works without issue if you have a certificate, but managing to get an S/MIME certificate is a daunting task (necessitated, in part, by its trust model—see how these issues all intertwine?). This is also where it's easy to say that webmail is an unsolvable problem, but on further reflection, I'm not sure I agree with that statement anymore. One solution is just storing the private key with the webmail provider (you're trusting them as an email client, after all), but it's also not impossible to imagine using phones or flash drives as keystores. Other key management factors are more difficult to solve: people who lose their private keys or key rollover create thorny issues. There is also the difficulty of managing user expectations: if I forget my password to most sites (even my email provider), I can usually get it reset somehow, but when a private key is lost, the user is totally and completely out of luck.

Of course, there is one glaring and almost completely insurmountable problem. Encrypted email fundamentally precludes certain features that we have come to take for granted. The lesser known is server-side search and filtration. While there exist some mechanisms to do search on encrypted text, those mechanisms rely on the fact that you can manipulate the text to change the message, destroying the integrity feature of secure email. They also tend to be fairly expensive. It's easy to just say "who needs server-side stuff?", but the contingent of people who do email on smartphones would not be happy to have to pay the transfer rates to download all the messages in their folder just to find one little email, nor the energy costs of doing it on the phone. And those who have really large folders—Fastmail has a design point of 1,000,000 in a single folder—would still prefer to not have to transfer all their mail even on desktops.

The more well-known feature that would disappear is spam filtration. Consider that 90% of all email is spam, and if you think your spam folder is too slim for that to be true, it's because your spam folder only contains messages that your email provider wasn't sure were spam. The loss of server-side spam filtering would dramatically increase the cost of spam (a 10% reduction in efficiency would double the amount of server storage, per my calculations), and client-side spam filtering is quite literally too slow [3] and too costly (remember smartphones? Imagine having your email take 10 times as much energy and bandwidth) to be a tenable option. And privacy or anonymity tends to be an invitation to abuse (cf. Tor and Wikipedia). Proposed solutions to the spam problem are so common that there is a checklist containing most of the objections.

When you consider all of those weaknesses, it is easy to be pessimistic about the possibility of wide deployment of powerful email security solutions. The strongest future—all email is encrypted, including metadata—is probably impossible or at least woefully impractical. That said, if you weaken some of the assumptions (say, don't desire all or most traffic to be encrypted), then solutions seem possible if difficult.

This concludes my discussion of email security, at least until things change for the better. I don't have a topic for the next part in this series picked out (this part actually concludes the set I knew I wanted to discuss when I started), although OAuth and DMARC are two topics that have been bugging me enough recently to consider writing about. They also have the unfortunate side effect of being things likely to see changes in the near future, unlike most of the topics I've discussed so far. But rest assured that I will find more difficulties in the email infrastructure to write about before long!

[1] All of these numbers are crude estimates and are accurate to only an order of magnitude. To justify my choices: I assume 1 email address per Internet user (this overestimates the developing world and underestimates the developed world). The largest webmail providers have given numbers that claim to be 1 billion active accounts between them, and all of them use DKIM. S/MIME is guessed by assuming that any smartcard deployment supports S/MIME, and noting that the US Department of Defense and Estonia's digital ID project are both heavy users of such smartcards. PGP is estimated from the size of the strong set and old numbers on the reachable set from the core Web of Trust.
[2] Ever since last April, it's become impossible to mention DKIM without referring to DMARC, as a result of Yahoo's controversial DMARC policy. A proper discussion of DMARC (and why what Yahoo did was controversial) requires explaining the mail transmission architecture and spam, however, so I'll defer that to a later post. It's also possible that changes in this space could happen within the next year.
[3] According to a former GMail spam employee, if it takes you as long as three minutes to calculate reputation, the spammer wins.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Joshua Cranmer: A unified history for comm-central

Thunderbird - za, 10/01/2015 - 18:55
Several years back, Ehsan and Jeff Muizelaar attempted to build a unified history of mozilla-central across the Mercurial era and the CVS era. Their result is now used in the gecko-dev repository. While being distracted on yet another side project, I thought that I might want to do the same for comm-central. It turns out that building a unified history for comm-central makes mozilla-central look easy: mozilla-central merely had one import from CVS. In contrast, comm-central imported twice from CVS (the calendar code came later), four times from mozilla-central (once with converted history), and imported twice from Instantbird's repository (once with converted history). Three of those conversions also involved moving paths. But I've worked through all of those issues to provide a nice snapshot of the repository [1]. And since I've been frustrated by failing to find good documentation on how this sort of process went for mozilla-central, I'll provide details on the process for comm-central.

The first step and probably the hardest is getting the CVS history in DVCS form (I use hg because I'm more comfortable it, but there's effectively no difference between hg, git, or bzr here). There is a git version of mozilla's CVS tree available, but I've noticed after doing research that its last revision is about a month before the revision I need for Calendar's import. The documentation for how that repo was built is no longer on the web, although we eventually found a copy after I wrote this post on git.mozilla.org. I tried doing another conversion using hg convert to get CVS tags, but that rudely blew up in my face. For now, I've filed a bug on getting an official, branchy-and-tag-filled version of this repository, while using the current lack of history as a base. Calendar people will have to suffer missing a month of history.

CVS is famously hard to convert to more modern repositories, and, as I've done my research, Mozilla's CVS looks like it uses those features which make it difficult. In particular, both the calendar CVS import and the comm-central initial CVS import used a CVS tag HG_COMM_INITIAL_IMPORT. That tagging was done, on only a small portion of the tree, twice, about two months apart. Fortunately, mailnews code was never touched on CVS trunk after the import (there appears to be one commit on calendar after the tagging), so it is probably possible to salvage a repository-wide consistent tag.

The start of my script for conversion looks like this:

#!/bin/bash set -e WORKDIR=/tmp HGCVS=$WORKDIR/mozilla-cvs-history MC=/src/trunk/mozilla-central CC=/src/trunk/comm-central OUTPUT=$WORKDIR/full-c-c # Bug 445146: m-c/editor/ui -> c-c/editor/ui MC_EDITOR_IMPORT=d8064eff0a17372c50014ee305271af8e577a204 # Bug 669040: m-c/db/mork -> c-c/db/mork MC_MORK_IMPORT=f2a50910befcf29eaa1a29dc088a8a33e64a609a # Bug 1027241, bug 611752 m-c/security/manager/ssl/** -> c-c/mailnews/mime/src/* MC_SMIME_IMPORT=e74c19c18f01a5340e00ecfbc44c774c9a71d11d # Step 0: Grab the mozilla CVS history. if [ ! -e $HGCVS ]; then hg clone git+https://github.com/jrmuizel/mozilla-cvs-history.git $HGCVS fi

Since I don't want to include the changesets useless to comm-central history, I trimmed the history by using hg convert to eliminate changesets that don't change the necessary files. Most of the files are simple directory-wide changes, but S/MIME only moved a few files over, so it requires a more complex way to grab the file list. In addition, I also replaced the % in the usernames with @ that they are used to appearing in hg. The relevant code is here:

# Step 1: Trim mozilla CVS history to include only the files we are ultimately # interested in. cat >$WORKDIR/convert-filemap.txt <<EOF # Revision e4f4569d451a include directory/xpcom include mail include mailnews include other-licenses/branding/thunderbird include suite # Revision 7c0bfdcda673 include calendar include other-licenses/branding/sunbird # Revision ee719a0502491fc663bda942dcfc52c0825938d3 include editor/ui # Revision 52efa9789800829c6f0ee6a005f83ed45a250396 include db/mork/ include db/mdb/ EOF # Add the S/MIME import files hg -R $MC log -r "children($MC_SMIME_IMPORT)" \ --template "{file_dels % 'include {file}\n'}" >>$WORKDIR/convert-filemap.txt if [ ! -e $WORKDIR/convert-authormap.txt ]; then hg -R $HGCVS log --template "{email(author)}={sub('%', '@', email(author))}\n" \ | sort -u > $WORKDIR/convert-authormap.txt fi cd $WORKDIR hg convert $HGCVS $OUTPUT --filemap convert-filemap.txt -A convert-authormap.txt

That last command provides us the subset of the CVS history that we need for unified history. Strictly speaking, I should be pulling a specific revision, but I happen to know that there's no need to (we're cloning the only head) in this case. At this point, we now need to pull in the mozilla-central changes before we pull in comm-central. Order is key; hg convert will only apply the graft points when converting the child changeset (which it does but once), and it needs the parents to exist before it can do that. We also need to ensure that the mozilla-central graft point is included before continuing, so we do that, and then pull mozilla-central:

CC_CVS_BASE=$(hg log -R $HGCVS -r 'tip' --template '{node}') CC_CVS_BASE=$(grep $CC_CVS_BASE $OUTPUT/.hg/shamap | cut -d' ' -f2) MC_CVS_BASE=$(hg log -R $HGCVS -r 'gitnode(215f52d06f4260fdcca797eebd78266524ea3d2c)' --template '{node}') MC_CVS_BASE=$(grep $MC_CVS_BASE $OUTPUT/.hg/shamap | cut -d' ' -f2) # Okay, now we need to build the map of revisions. cat >$WORKDIR/convert-revmap.txt <<EOF e4f4569d451a5e0d12a6aa33ebd916f979dd8faa $CC_CVS_BASE # Thunderbird / Suite 7c0bfdcda6731e77303f3c47b01736aaa93d5534 d4b728dc9da418f8d5601ed6735e9a00ac963c4e, $CC_CVS_BASE # Calendar 9b2a99adc05e53cd4010de512f50118594756650 $MC_CVS_BASE # Mozilla graft point ee719a0502491fc663bda942dcfc52c0825938d3 78b3d6c649f71eff41fe3f486c6cc4f4b899fd35, $MC_EDITOR_IMPORT # Editor 8cdfed92867f885fda98664395236b7829947a1d 4b5da7e5d0680c6617ec743109e6efc88ca413da, e4e612fcae9d0e5181a5543ed17f705a83a3de71 # Chat EOF # Next, import mozilla-central revisions for rev in $MC_MORK_IMPORT $MC_EDITOR_IMPORT $MC_SMIME_IMPORT; do hg convert $MC $OUTPUT -r $rev --splicemap $WORKDIR/convert-revmap.txt \ --filemap $WORKDIR/convert-filemap.txt done

Some notes about all of the revision ids in the script. The splicemap requires the full 40-character SHA ids; anything less and the thing complains. I also need to specify the parents of the revisions that deleted the code for the mozilla-central import, so if you go hunting for those revisions and are surprised that they don't remove the code in question, that's why.

I mentioned complications about the merges earlier. The Mork and S/MIME import codes here moved files, so that what was db/mdb in mozilla-central became db/mork. There's no support for causing the generated splice to record these as a move, so I have to manually construct those renamings:

# We need to execute a few hg move commands due to renamings. pushd $OUTPUT hg update -r $(grep $MC_MORK_IMPORT .hg/shamap | cut -d' ' -f2) (hg -R $MC log -r "children($MC_MORK_IMPORT)" \ --template "{file_dels % 'hg mv {file} {sub(\"db/mdb\", \"db/mork\", file)}\n'}") | bash hg commit -m 'Pseudo-changeset to move Mork files' -d '2011-08-06 17:25:21 +0200' MC_MORK_IMPORT=$(hg log -r tip --template '{node}') hg update -r $(grep $MC_SMIME_IMPORT .hg/shamap | cut -d' ' -f2) (hg -R $MC log -r "children($MC_SMIME_IMPORT)" \ --template "{file_dels % 'hg mv {file} {sub(\"security/manager/ssl\", \"mailnews/mime\", file)}\n'}") | bash hg commit -m 'Pseudo-changeset to move S/MIME files' -d '2014-06-15 20:51:51 -0700' MC_SMIME_IMPORT=$(hg log -r tip --template '{node}') popd # Echo the new move commands to the changeset conversion map. cat >>$WORKDIR/convert-revmap.txt <<EOF 52efa9789800829c6f0ee6a005f83ed45a250396 abfd23d7c5042bc87502506c9f34c965fb9a09d1, $MC_MORK_IMPORT # Mork 50f5b5fc3f53c680dba4f237856e530e2097adfd 97253b3cca68f1c287eb5729647ba6f9a5dab08a, $MC_SMIME_IMPORT # S/MIME EOF

Now that we have all of the graft points defined, and all of the external code ready, we can pull comm-central and do the conversion. That's not quite it, though—when we graft the S/MIME history to the original mozilla-central history, we have a small segment of abandoned converted history. A call to hg strip removes that.

# Now, import comm-central revisions that we need hg convert $CC $OUTPUT --splicemap $WORKDIR/convert-revmap.txt hg strip 2f69e0a3a05a

[1] I left out one of the graft points because I just didn't want to deal with it. I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out which one it was. Hint: it's the only one I didn't know about before I searched for the archive points [2].
[2] Since I wasn't sure I knew all of the graft points, I decided to try to comb through all of the changesets to figure out who imported code. It turns out that hg log -r 'adds("**")' narrows it down nicely (1667 changesets to look at instead of 17547), and using the {file_adds} template helps winnow it down more easily.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Philipp Kewisch: Monitor all http(s) network requests using the Mozilla Platform

Thunderbird - do, 02/10/2014 - 16:38

In an xpcshell test, I recently needed a way to monitor all network requests and access both request and response data so I can save them for later use. This required a little bit of digging in Mozilla’s devtools code so I thought I’d write a short blog post about it.

This code will be used in a testcase that ensures that calendar providers in Lightning function properly. In the case of the CalDAV provider, we would need to access a real server for testing. We can’t just set up a few servers and use them for testing, it would end in an unreasonable amount of server maintenance. Given non-local connections are not allowed when running the tests on the Mozilla build infrastructure, it wouldn’t work anyway. The solution is to create a fakeserver, that is able to replay the requests in the same way. Instead of manually making the requests and figuring out how the server replies, we can use this code to quickly collect all the requests we need.

Without further delay, here is the code you have been waiting for:

/* This Source Code Form is subject to the terms of the Mozilla Public * License, v. 2.0. If a copy of the MPL was not distributed with this * file, You can obtain one at http://mozilla.org/MPL/2.0/. */ var allRequests = []; /** * Add the following function as a request observer: * Services.obs.addObserver(httpObserver, "http-on-examine-response", false); * * When done listening on requests: * dump(allRequests.join("\n===\n")); // print them * dump(JSON.stringify(allRequests, null, " ")) // jsonify them */ function httpObserver(aSubject, aTopic, aData) { if (aSubject instanceof Components.interfaces.nsITraceableChannel) { let request = new TracedRequest(aSubject); request._next = aSubject.setNewListener(request); allRequests.push(request); } } /** * This is the object that represents a request/response and also collects the data for it * * @param aSubject The channel from the response observer. */ function TracedRequest(aSubject) { let httpchannel = aSubject.QueryInterface(Components.interfaces.nsIHttpChannel); let self = this; this.requestHeaders = Object.create(null); httpchannel.visitRequestHeaders({ visitHeader: function(k, v) { self.requestHeaders[k] = v; } }); this.responseHeaders = Object.create(null); httpchannel.visitResponseHeaders({ visitHeader: function(k, v) { self.responseHeaders[k] = v; } }); this.uri = aSubject.URI.spec; this.method = httpchannel.requestMethod; this.requestBody = readRequestBody(aSubject); this.responseStatus = httpchannel.responseStatus; this.responseStatusText = httpchannel.responseStatusText; this._chunks = []; } TracedRequest.prototype = { uri: null, method: null, requestBody: null, requestHeaders: null, responseStatus: null, responseStatusText: null, responseHeaders: null, responseBody: null, toJSON: function() { let j = Object.create(null); for (let m of Object.keys(this)) { if (typeof this[m] != "function" && m[0] != "_") { j[m] = this[m]; } } return j; }, onStartRequest: function(aRequest, aContext) this._next.onStartRequest(aRequest, aContext), onStopRequest: function(aRequest, aContext, aStatusCode) { this.responseBody = this._chunks.join(""); this._chunks = null; this._next.onStopRequest(aRequest, aContext, aStatusCode); this._next = null; }, onDataAvailable: function(aRequest, aContext, aStream, aOffset, aCount) { let binaryInputStream = Components.classes["@mozilla.org/binaryinputstream;1"] .createInstance(Components.interfaces.nsIBinaryInputStream); let storageStream = Components.classes["@mozilla.org/storagestream;1"] .createInstance(Components.interfaces.nsIStorageStream); let outStream = Components.classes["@mozilla.org/binaryoutputstream;1"] .createInstance(Components.interfaces.nsIBinaryOutputStream); binaryInputStream.setInputStream(aStream); storageStream.init(8192, aCount, null); outStream.setOutputStream(storageStream.getOutputStream(0)); let data = binaryInputStream.readBytes(aCount); this._chunks.push(data); outStream.writeBytes(data, aCount); this._next.onDataAvailable(aRequest, aContext, storageStream.newInputStream(0), aOffset, aCount); }, toString: function() { let str = this.method + " " + this.uri; for (let hdr of Object.keys(this.requestHeaders)) { str += hdr + ": " + this.requestHeaders[hdr] + "\n"; } if (this.requestBody) { str += "\r\n" + this.requestBody + "\n"; } str += "\n" + this.responseStatus + " " + this.responseStatusText if (this.responseBody) { str += "\r\n" + this.responseBody + "\n"; } return str; } }; // Taken from: // http://hg.mozilla.org/mozilla-central/file/2399d1ae89e9/toolkit/devtools/webconsole/network-helper.js#l120 function readRequestBody(aRequest, aCharset="UTF-8") { let text = null; if (aRequest instanceof Ci.nsIUploadChannel) { let iStream = aRequest.uploadStream; let isSeekableStream = false; if (iStream instanceof Ci.nsISeekableStream) { isSeekableStream = true; } let prevOffset; if (isSeekableStream) { prevOffset = iStream.tell(); iStream.seek(Ci.nsISeekableStream.NS_SEEK_SET, 0); } // Read data from the stream. try { let rawtext = NetUtil.readInputStreamToString(iStream, iStream.available()) let conv = Components.classes["@mozilla.org/intl/scriptableunicodeconverter"] .createInstance(Components.interfaces.nsIScriptableUnicodeConverter); conv.charset = aCharset; text = conv.ConvertToUnicode(rawtext); } catch (err) { } // Seek locks the file, so seek to the beginning only if necko hasn't // read it yet, since necko doesn't eek to 0 before reading (at lest // not till 459384 is fixed). if (isSeekableStream && prevOffset == 0) { iStream.seek(Components.interfaces.nsISeekableStream.NS_SEEK_SET, 0); } } return text; }

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Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Ludovic Hirlimann: Tips on organizing a pgp key signing party

Thunderbird - ma, 29/09/2014 - 13:03

Over the years I’ve organized or tried to organize pgp key signing parties every time I go somewhere. I the last year I’ve organized 3 that were successful (eg with more then 10 attendees).

1. Have a venue

I’ve tried a bunch of times to have people show up at the hotel I was staying in the morning - that doesn’t work. Having catering at the venues is even better, it will encourage people to come from far away (or long distance commute). Try to show the path in the venues with signs (paper with PGP key signing party and arrows help).

2. Date and time

Meeting in the evening after work works better ( after 18 or 18:30 works better).

Let people know how long it will take (count 1 hour/per 30 participants).

3. Make people sign up

That makes people think twice before saying they will attend. It’s also an easy way for you to know how much beer/cola/ etc.. you’ll need to provide if you cater food.

I’ve been using eventbrite to manage attendance at my last three meeting it let’s me :

  • know who is coming
  • Mass mail participants
  • have them have a calendar reminder
4 Reach out

For such a party you need people to attend so you need to reach out.

I always start by a search on biglumber.com to find who are the people using gpg registered on that site for the area I’m visiting (see below on what I send).

Then I look for local linux users groups / *BSD groups  and send an announcement to them with :

  • date
  • venue
  • link to eventbrite and why I use it
  • ask them to forward (they know the area better than you)
  • I also use lanyrd and twitter but I’m not convinced that it works.

for my last announcement it looked like this :

Subject: GnuPG / PGP key signing party September 26 2014 Content-Type: multipart/signed; micalg=pgp-sha256; protocol="application/pgp-signature"; boundary="t01Mpe56TgLc7mgHKVMajjwkqQdw8XvI4" This is an OpenPGP/MIME signed message (RFC 4880 and 3156) --t01Mpe56TgLc7mgHKVMajjwkqQdw8XvI4 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8 Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Hello my name is ludovic, I'm a sysadmins at mozilla working remote from europe. I've been involved with Thunderbird a lot (and still am). I'm organizing a pgp Key signing party in the Mozilla san francisco office on September the 26th 2014 from 6PM to 8PM. For security and assurances reasons I need to count how many people will attend. I'v setup a eventbrite for that at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gnupg-pgp-key-signing-party-making-the-web-o= f-trust-stronger-tickets-12867542165 (please take one ticket if you think about attending - If you change you mind cancel so more people can come). I will use the eventbrite tool to send reminders and I will try to make a list with keys and fingerprint before the event to make things more manageable (but I don't promise). for those using lanyrd you will be able to use http://lanyrd.com/ccckzw. Ludovic ps sent to buug.org,nblug.org end penlug.org - please feel free to post where appropriate ( the more the meerier, the stronger the web of trust).= ps2 I have contacted people listed on biglumber to have more gpg related people show up. --=20 [:Usul] MOC Team at Mozilla QA Lead fof Thunderbird http://sietch-tabr.tumblr.com/ - http://weusepgp.info/ 5. Make it easy to attend

As noted above making a list of participants to hand out helps a lot (I’ve used http://www.phildev.net/pius/ and my own stuff to make a list). It make it easier for you, for attendees. Tell people what they need to bring (IDs, pen, printed fingerprints if you don’t provide a list).

6. Send reminders

Send people reminder and let them know how many people intend to show up. It boosts audience.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Ludovic Hirlimann: Gnupg / PGP key signing party in mozilla's San francisco space

Thunderbird - wo, 17/09/2014 - 02:35

I’m organizing a pgp Keysigning party in the Mozilla san francisco office on September the 26th 2014 from 6PM to 8PM.

For security and assurances reasons I need to count how many people will attend. I’ve setup a eventbrite for that at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gnupg-pgp-key-signing-party-making-the-web-of-trust-stronger-tickets-12867542165 (please take one ticket if you think about attending - If you change you mind cancel so more people can come).

I will use the eventbrite tool to send reminders and I will try to make a list with keys and fingerprint before the event to make things more manageable (but I don’t promise).

For those using lanyrd you will be able to use http://lanyrd.com/ccckzw.(Please tweet the event to get more people in).

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Joshua Cranmer: Why email is hard, part 7: email security and trust

Thunderbird - wo, 06/08/2014 - 05:39
This post is part 7 of an intermittent series exploring the difficulties of writing an email client. Part 1 describes a brief history of the infrastructure. Part 2 discusses internationalization. Part 3 discusses MIME. Part 4 discusses email addresses. Part 5 discusses the more general problem of email headers. Part 6 discusses how email security works in practice. This part discusses the problem of trust.

At a technical level, S/MIME and PGP (or at least PGP/MIME) use cryptography essentially identically. Yet the two are treated as radically different models of email security because they diverge on the most important question of public key cryptography: how do you trust the identity of a public key? Trust is critical, as it is the only way to stop an active, man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack. MITM attacks are actually easier to pull off in email, since all email messages effectively have to pass through both the sender's and the recipients' email servers [1], allowing attackers to be able to pull off permanent, long-lasting MITM attacks [2].

S/MIME uses the same trust model that SSL uses, based on X.509 certificates and certificate authorities. X.509 certificates effectively work by providing a certificate that says who you are which is signed by another authority. In the original concept (as you might guess from the name "X.509"), the trusted authority was your telecom provider, and the certificates were furthermore intended to be a part of the global X.500 directory—a natural extension of the OSI internet model. The OSI model of the internet never gained traction, and the trusted telecom providers were replaced with trusted root CAs.

PGP, by contrast, uses a trust model that's generally known as the Web of Trust. Every user has a PGP key (containing their identity and their public key), and users can sign others' public keys. Trust generally flows from these signatures: if you trust a user, you know the keys that they sign are correct. The name "Web of Trust" comes from the vision that trust flows along the paths of signatures, building a tight web of trust.

And now for the controversial part of the post, the comparisons and critiques of these trust models. A disclaimer: I am not a security expert, although I am a programmer who revels in dreaming up arcane edge cases. I also don't use PGP at all, and use S/MIME to a very limited extent for some Mozilla work [3], although I did try a few abortive attempts to dogfood it in the past. I've attempted to replace personal experience with comprehensive research [4], but most existing critiques and comparisons of these two trust models are about 10-15 years old and predate several changes to CA certificate practices.

A basic tenet of development that I have found is that the average user is fairly ignorant. At the same time, a lot of the defense of trust models, both CAs and Web of Trust, tends to hinge on configurability. How many people, for example, know how to add or remove a CA root from Firefox, Windows, or Android? Even among the subgroup of Mozilla developers, I suspect the number of people who know how to do so are rather few. Or in the case of PGP, how many people know how to change the maximum path length? Or even understand the security implications of doing so?

Seen in the light of ignorant users, the Web of Trust is a UX disaster. Its entire security model is predicated on having users precisely specify how much they trust other people to trust others (ultimate, full, marginal, none, unknown) and also on having them continually do out-of-band verification procedures and publicly reporting those steps. In 1998, a seminal paper on the usability of a GUI for PGP encryption came to the conclusion that the UI was effectively unusable for users, to the point that only a third of the users were able to send an encrypted email (and even then, only with significant help from the test administrators), and a quarter managed to publicly announce their private keys at some point, which is pretty much the worst thing you can do. They also noted that the complex trust UI was never used by participants, although the failure of many users to get that far makes generalization dangerous [5]. While newer versions of security UI have undoubtedly fixed many of the original issues found (in no small part due to the paper, one of the first to argue that usability is integral, not orthogonal, to security), I have yet to find an actual study on the usability of the trust model itself.

The Web of Trust has other faults. The notion of "marginal" trust it turns out is rather broken: if you marginally trust a user who has two keys who both signed another person's key, that's the same as fully trusting a user with one key who signed that key. There are several proposals for different trust formulas [6], but none of them have caught on in practice to my knowledge.

A hidden fault is associated with its manner of presentation: in sharp contrast to CAs, the Web of Trust appears to not delegate trust, but any practical widespread deployment needs to solve the problem of contacting people who have had no prior contact. Combined with the need to bootstrap new users, this implies that there needs to be some keys that have signed a lot of other keys that are essentially default-trusted—in other words, a CA, a fact sometimes lost on advocates of the Web of Trust.

That said, a valid point in favor of the Web of Trust is that it more easily allows people to distrust CAs if they wish to. While I'm skeptical of its utility to a broader audience, the ability to do so for is crucial for a not-insignificant portion of the population, and it's important enough to be explicitly called out.

X.509 certificates are most commonly discussed in the context of SSL/TLS connections, so I'll discuss them in that context as well, as the implications for S/MIME are mostly the same. Almost all criticism of this trust model essentially boils down to a single complaint: certificate authorities aren't trustworthy. A historical criticism is that the addition of CAs to the main root trust stores was ad-hoc. Since then, however, the main oligopoly of these root stores (Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Mozilla) have made their policies public and clear [7]. The introduction of the CA/Browser Forum in 2005, with a collection of major CAs and the major browsers as members, and several [8] helps in articulating common policies. These policies, simplified immensely, boil down to:

  1. You must verify information (depending on certificate type). This information must be relatively recent.
  2. You must not use weak algorithms in your certificates (e.g., no MD5).
  3. You must not make certificates that are valid for too long.
  4. You must maintain revocation checking services.
  5. You must have fairly stringent physical and digital security practices and intrusion detection mechanisms.
  6. You must be [externally] audited every year that you follow the above rules.
  7. If you screw up, we can kick you out.

I'm not going to claim that this is necessarily the best policy or even that any policy can feasibly stop intrusions from happening. But it's a policy, so CAs must abide by some set of rules.

Another CA criticism is the fear that they may be suborned by national government spy agencies. I find this claim underwhelming, considering that the number of certificates acquired by intrusions that were used in the wild is larger than the number of certificates acquired by national governments that were used in the wild: 1 and 0, respectively. Yet no one complains about the untrustworthiness of CAs due to their ability to be hacked by outsiders. Another attack is that CAs are controlled by profit-seeking corporations, which misses the point because the business of CAs is not selling certificates but selling their access to the root databases. As we will see shortly, jeopardizing that access is a great way for a CA to go out of business.

To understand issues involving CAs in greater detail, there are two CAs that are particularly useful to look at. The first is CACert. CACert is favored by many by its attempt to handle X.509 certificates in a Web of Trust model, so invariably every public discussion about CACert ends up devolving into an attack on other CAs for their perceived capture by national governments or corporate interests. Yet what many of the proponents for inclusion of CACert miss (or dismiss) is the fact that CACert actually failed the required audit, and it is unlikely to ever pass an audit. This shows a central failure of both CAs and Web of Trust: different people have different definitions of "trust," and in the case of CACert, some people are favoring a subjective definition (I trust their owners because they're not evil) when an objective definition fails (in this case, that the root signing key is securely kept).

The other CA of note here is DigiNotar. In July 2011, some hackers managed to acquire a few fraudulent certificates by hacking into DigiNotar's systems. By late August, people had become aware of these certificates being used in practice [9] to intercept communications, mostly in Iran. The use appears to have been caught after Chromium updates failed due to invalid certificate fingerprints. After it became clear that the fraudulent certificates were not limited to a single fake Google certificate, and that DigiNotar had failed to notify potentially affected companies of its breach, DigiNotar was swiftly removed from all of the trust databases. It ended up declaring bankruptcy within two weeks.

DigiNotar indicates several things. One, SSL MITM attacks are not theoretical (I have seen at least two or three security experts advising pre-DigiNotar that SSL MITM attacks are "theoretical" and therefore the wrong target for security mechanisms). Two, keeping the trust of browsers is necessary for commercial operation of CAs. Three, the notion that a CA is "too big to fail" is false: DigiNotar played an important role in the Dutch community as a major CA and the operator of Staat der Nederlanden. Yet when DigiNotar screwed up and lost its trust, it was swiftly kicked out despite this role. I suspect that even Verisign could be kicked out if it manages to screw up badly enough.

This isn't to say that the CA model isn't problematic. But the source of its problems is that delegating trust isn't a feasible model in the first place, a problem that it shares with the Web of Trust as well. Different notions of what "trust" actually means and the uncertainty that gets introduced as chains of trust get longer both make delegating trust weak to both social engineering and technical engineering attacks. There appears to be an increasing consensus that the best way forward is some variant of key pinning, much akin to how SSH works: once you know someone's public key, you complain if that public key appears to change, even if it appears to be "trusted." This does leave people open to attacks on first use, and the question of what to do when you need to legitimately re-key is not easy to solve.

In short, both CAs and the Web of Trust have issues. Whether or not you should prefer S/MIME or PGP ultimately comes down to the very conscious question of how you want to deal with trust—a question without a clear, obvious answer. If I appear to be painting CAs and S/MIME in a positive light and the Web of Trust and PGP in a negative one in this post, it is more because I am trying to focus on the positions less commonly taken to balance perspective on the internet. In my next post, I'll round out the discussion on email security by explaining why email security has seen poor uptake and answering the question as to which email security protocol is most popular. The answer may surprise you!

[1] Strictly speaking, you can bypass the sender's SMTP server. In practice, this is considered a hole in the SMTP system that email providers are trying to plug.
[2] I've had 13 different connections to the internet in the same time as I've had my main email address, not counting all the public wifis that I have used. Whereas an attacker would find it extraordinarily difficult to intercept all of my SSH sessions for a MITM attack, intercepting all of my email sessions is clearly far easier if the attacker were my email provider.
[3] Before you read too much into this personal choice of S/MIME over PGP, it's entirely motivated by a simple concern: S/MIME is built into Thunderbird; PGP is not. As someone who does a lot of Thunderbird development work that could easily break the Enigmail extension locally, needing to use an extension would be disruptive to workflow.
[4] This is not to say that I don't heavily research many of my other posts, but I did go so far for this one as to actually start going through a lot of published journals in an attempt to find information.
[5] It's questionable how well the usability of a trust model UI can be measured in a lab setting, since the observer effect is particularly strong for all metrics of trust.
[6] The web of trust makes a nice graph, and graphs invite lots of interesting mathematical metrics. I've always been partial to eigenvectors of the graph, myself.
[7] Mozilla's policy for addition to NSS is basically the standard policy adopted by all open-source Linux or BSD distributions, seeing as OpenSSL never attempted to produce a root database.
[8] It looks to me that it's the browsers who are more in charge in this forum than the CAs.
[9] To my knowledge, this is the first—and so far only—attempt to actively MITM an SSL connection.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Ludovic Hirlimann: Thunderbird 31 coming soon to you and needs testing love

Thunderbird - vr, 11/07/2014 - 12:39

We just released the second beta of Thunderbird 31. Please help us improve Thunderbird quality by uncovering bugs now in Thunderbird 31 beta so that developers have time to fix them.

There are two ways you can help

- Use Thunderbird 31 beta in your daily activities. For problems that you find, file a bug report that blocks our tracking bug 1008543.

- Use Thunderbird 31 beta to do formal testing.  Use the moztrap testing system to tests : choose run test - find the Thunderbird product and choose 31 test run.

Visit https://etherpad.mozilla.org/tbird31testing for additional information, and to post your testing questions and results.

Thanks for contributing and helping!

Ludo for the QA team

Updated links

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

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