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The Rust Programming Language Blog: Announcing Rust 1.18

Mozilla planet - do, 08/06/2017 - 02:00

The Rust team is happy to announce the latest version of Rust, 1.18.0. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

If you have a previous version of Rust installed, getting Rust 1.18 is as easy as:

$ rustup update stable

If you don’t have it already, you can get rustup from the appropriate page on our website, and check out the detailed release notes for 1.18.0 on GitHub.

What’s in 1.18.0 stable

As usual, Rust 1.18.0 is a collection of improvements, cleanups, and new features.

One of the largest changes is a long time coming: core team members Carol Nichols and Steve Klabnik have been writing a new edition of “The Rust Programming Language”, the official book about Rust. It’s being written openly on GitHub, and has over a hundred contributors in total. This release includes the first draft of the second edition in our online documentation. 19 out of 20 chapters have a draft; the draft of chapter 20 will land in Rust 1.19. When the book is done, a print version will be made available through No Starch Press, if you’d like a paper copy. We’re still working with the editors at No Starch to improve the text, but we wanted to start getting a wider audience now.

The new edition is a complete re-write from the ground up, using the last two years of knowledge we’ve gained from teaching people Rust. You’ll find brand-new explanations for a lot of Rust’s core concepts, new projects to build, and all kinds of other good stuff. Please check it out and let us know what you think!

As for the language itself, an old feature has learned some new tricks: the pub keyword has been expanded a bit. Experienced Rustaceans will know that items are private by default in Rust, and you can use the pub keyword to make them public. In Rust 1.18.0, pub has gained a new form:

pub(crate) bar;

The bit inside of () is a ‘restriction’, which refines the notion of how this is made public. Using the crate keyword like the example above means that bar would be public to the entire crate, but not outside of it. This makes it easier to declare APIs that are “public to your crate”, but not exposed to your users. This was possible with the existing module system, but often very awkward.

You can also specify a path, like this:

pub(in a::b::c) foo;

This means “usable within the hierarchy of a::b::c, but not elsewhere.” This feature was defined in RFC 1422 and is documented in the reference.

For our Windows users, Rust 1.18.0 has a new attribute, #![windows_subsystem]. It works like this:

#![windows_subsystem = "console"] #![windows_subsystem = "windows"]

These control the /SUBSYSTEM flag in the linker. For now, only "console" and "windows" are supported.

When is this useful? In the simplest terms, if you’re developing a graphical application, and do not specify "windows", a console window would flash up upon your application’s start. With this flag, it won’t.

Finally, Rust’s tuples, enum variant fields, and structs (without #[repr]) have always had an unspecified layout. We’ve turned on automatic re-ordering, which can result in smaller sizes through reducing padding. Consider a struct like this:

struct Suboptimal(u8, u16, u8);

In previous versions of Rust on the x86_64 platform, this struct would have the size of six bytes. But looking at the source, you’d expect it to have four. The extra two bytes come from padding; given that we have a u16 here, it should be aligned to two bytes. But in this case, it’s at offset one. To move it to offset two, another byte of padding is placed after the first u8. To give the whole struct a proper alignment, another byte is added after the second u8 as well, giving us 1 + 1 (padding) + 2 + 1 + 1 (padding) = 6 bytes.

But what if our struct looked like this?

struct Optimal(u8, u8, u16);

This struct is properly aligned; the u16 lies on a two byte boundary, and so does the entire struct. No padding is needed. This gives us 1 + 1 + 2 = 4 bytes.

When designing Rust, we left the details of memory layout undefined for just this reason. Because we didn’t commit to a particular layout, we can make improvements to it, such as in this case where the compiler can optimize Suboptimal into Optimal automatically. And if you check the sizes of Suboptimal and Optimal on Rust 1.18.0, you’ll see that they both have a size of four bytes.

We’ve been planning this change for a while; previous versions of Rust included this optimization on the nightly channel, but some people wrote unsafe code that assumed the exact details of the representation. We rolled it back while we fixed all instances of this that we know about, but if you find some code breaks due to this, please let us know so we can help fix it! Structs used for FFI can be given the #[repr(C)] annotation to prevent reordering, in addition to C-compatible field layout.

We’ve been planning on moving rustdoc to use a CommonMark compliant markdown parser for a long time now. However, just switching over can introduce regressions where the CommonMark spec differs from our existing parser, Hoedown. As part of the transition plan, a new flag has been added to rustdoc, --enable-commonmark. This will use the new parser instead of the old one. Please give it a try! As far as we know, both parsers will produce identical results, but we’d be interested in knowing if you find a scenario where the rendered results differ!

Finally, compiling rustc itself is now 15%-20% faster. Each commit message in this PR goes over the details; there were some inefficiencies, and now they’ve been cleaned up.

See the detailed release notes for more.

Library stabilizations

Seven new APIs were stabilized this release:

See the detailed release notes for more.

Cargo features

Cargo has added support for the Pijul VCS, which is written in Rust. cargo new my-awesome-project --vcs=pijul will get you going!

To supplement the --all flag, Cargo now has several new flags such as --bins, --examples, --tests, and --benches, which will let you build all programs of that type.

Finally, Cargo now supports Haiku and Android!

See the detailed release notes for more.

Contributors to 1.18.0

Many people came together to create Rust 1.18. We couldn’t have done it without all of you. Thanks!

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Air Mozilla: Bugzilla Project Meeting, 07 Jun 2017

Mozilla planet - wo, 07/06/2017 - 22:00

Bugzilla Project Meeting The Bugzilla Project Developers meeting.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Air Mozilla: The Joy of Coding - Episode 101

Mozilla planet - wo, 07/06/2017 - 19:00

The Joy of Coding - Episode 101 mconley livehacks on real Firefox bugs while thinking aloud.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Air Mozilla: Weekly SUMO Community Meeting June 07, 2017

Mozilla planet - wo, 07/06/2017 - 18:00

Weekly SUMO Community Meeting June 07, 2017 This is the sumo weekly call

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: Engaging on e-Privacy at the European Parliament

Mozilla planet - wo, 07/06/2017 - 17:26

Last week, I participated in the European Parliament’s Technical Roundtable regarding the draft e-Privacy Regulation currently under consideration – specifically, I joined the discussion on “cookies”. The Roundtable was hosted by lead Rapporteur on the file, MEP Marju Lauristin (Socialists and Democrats, Estonia), and MEP Michal Boni (European People’s Party, Poland). It was designed to bring together a range of stakeholders to inform the Parliament’s consideration of what could be a major change to how Europe regulates the privacy and security of communications online, related to but with a different scope and purpose than the recently adopted General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Below the fold is a brief overview of my intervention, which describes our proposed changes for some of the key aspects of the Regulation, including how it handles “cookies”, and more generally how to deliver maximal benefits for the privacy and security of communications, with minimum unnecessary or problematic complexities for technology design and engineering. I covered the following three points:

  1. We support incentives for companies to offer privacy protective options to users.
  2. The e-Privacy Regulation must be future-proofed by ensuring technological neutrality.
  3. Browsers are not gatekeepers nor ad-blockers; we are user agents.

The current legal instrument on this topic, the e-Privacy Directive, leaves much to be desired when it comes to effective privacy protections and user benefit, illustrated quite prominently by the “cookie banner” which users click through to “consent” to the use of cookies by a Web site. The e-Privacy Regulation is is an important piece of legislation – for Mozilla, for Europe, and ultimately, for the health of the global internet. We support the EU’s ambitious vision,  and we will continue working with the Parliament, the Commission, and the Council by sharing our views and experiences with investing in privacy online. We hope that the Regulation will contribute to a better communications ecosystem, one that offers meaningful control, transparency, and choice to individuals, and helps to rebuild trust online.

1 – We support incentives for companies to offer privacy protective options to users.

We view one of the primary objectives of the Regulation to be catalyzing more offerings of privacy protective technologies and services for users. We strongly support this objective. This is the approach we take with Firefox: Users can browse in regular mode, which permits Web sites to place cookies, or in private browsing mode, which has our Tracking Protection technology built in. We invest in making sure that both options are desirable user experiences, and the user is free to choose which they go with – and can switch between them at will, and use both at the same time. We’d like to see more of this in the industry, and welcome the language in Article 10(1) of the draft Regulation which we believe is intended to encourage this.

2 – The e-Privacy Regulation must be future-proofed by ensuring technological neutrality.

One of the principles that shaped the current e-Privacy Directive was technological neutrality. It’s critical that the Regulation similarly follow this principle, to ensure practical application and to keep it future-proof. It should therefore focus on the underlying privacy risk to users created by cross-site and cross-device tracking, rather than on specific technologies that create that risk. To achieve that, the current draft of the Regulation would benefit from two changes.

First, the Parliament should revise  references to specific tracking techniques, like first and third party cookies to ensure that other forms of tracking aren’t overlooked. While blocking third party cookies may seem at first glance to be a low hanging fruit to better protect user privacy and security online — see this Firefox add-on called Lightbeam, which demonstrates the amount of first and third party sites that can “follow” you online — there are a number of different ways a user can be tracked online; via third party cookies is only an implementation of one form (albeit a common one). Device fingerprinting, for example, creates a unique, persistent identifier that undermines user consent mechanisms and that requires a regulatory solution. Similarly, Advertising identifiers are a pervasive tracking tool on mobile platforms that are currently not addressed. The Regulation should use terminology that more accurately captures the targeted behavior, and not only one possible implementation of tracking.

Second, the Regulation includes a particular focus on Web browsers (such as Recitals 22-24), without proper consideration of the diversity of forms of online communications today. We aren’t suggesting that the Regulation exclude Web browsing, of course. But to focus on one particular client-side software technology risks missing other technology with significant privacy implications, such as tracking facilitated by mobile operating systems or cloud services accessed via mobile apps. Keeping a principle-based approach will ensure that the Regulation doesn’t impose a specific solution that does not meaningfully deliver on transparency, choice, and control outside of the Web browsing context.

3 – Browsers are not gatekeepers nor ad-blockers; we are user agents.

Building on the above, the Parliament ought to view the Web browser in a manner that reflects its place in the technology ecosystem. Web browsers are user agents facilitating the communication between internet users and Web sites. For example, Firefox offers deep customisation options, and its goal is to put the user in the driver seat. Similarly, Firefox private browsing mode includes Tracking Protection technology, which blocks certain third party trackers through a blacklist (learn more about our approach to content blocking here). Both of these are user agent features, embedded in code shipped to users and run on their local devices – neither is a service that we functionally intermediate or operate as it is used. It’s not constructive from a regulatory perspective, nor an accurate understanding of the technology, to describe Web browsers as gatekeepers in the way the Regulation does today.

The post Engaging on e-Privacy at the European Parliament appeared first on Open Policy & Advocacy.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Jan Varga: A Time for Mourning Again.

Mozilla planet - wo, 07/06/2017 - 16:52

Our dog Aida passed away today from a kidney failure. I knew there’s a little chance to help her, but I really hoped she would magically overcome it.

She was the greatest dog I’ve ever had. She was a family member, a friend … I will miss her terribly.

Rest in peace our beloved Aida…



Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Hacks.Mozilla.Org: Introducing FilterBubbler: A WebExtension built using React/Redux

Mozilla planet - wo, 07/06/2017 - 16:47

A  few months ago my long time Free Software associate, Don Marti, called me about an idea for a WebExtension. WebExtensions is the really cool new standard for browser extensions that Mozilla and the Chrome team are collaborating on (as well as Opera, Edge and a number of other major browsers). The WebExtensions API lets you write add-ons using the same JavaScript and HTML methodologies you use to implement any other web site.

Don’s idea was basically to build a text analysis toolkit with the new WebExtensions API. This toolkit would let you monitor various browser activities and resources (history, bookmarks, etc.) and then let you use text analysis modules to discover patterns in your own browsing history. The idea was to turn the tables on the kinds of sophisticated analysis that advertisers do with the everyday browsing activities we take for granted. Big companies are using advanced techniques to model user behavior and control the content they receive, in order to manipulate outcomes like the time a user spends on the system or the ads they see. If we provided tools for users to do this with their own browsing data, they would have a better chance to understand their own behaviors and and a greater awareness of when external systems are trying to manipulate them.

The other major goal would be to provide a well-documented example of using the new WebExtensions API.  The more I read about WebExtensions the more I realized they represent a game-changer for moving web browsing intelligence “out to the edge”. All sorts of analysis and automation can be done with WebExtensions in a way that potentially lets the tools be used on any of the popular modern web browsers. About the only thing I saw missing was a way to easily collaborate around these “recipes” for analysing web content. I suggested we create a WordPress plugin that would supply a RESTful interface for sharing classifications and the basic plan for “FilterBubbler” was born.

Our initial prototype was a proof of concept that used an extremely basic HTML pop-up and a Bayesian classifier. This version proved that we could provide useful classification of web page content based on hand-loaded corpora, but it was clear that we would need additional tooling to get to a “consumer” feel. Before we could start adding important features like remote recipe servers, classification displays and configuration screens, we clearly needed to make some decisions about our infrastructure. In this article, I will cover our efforts to provide a modern UI environment and the challenges that posed when working with WebExtensions.


The React framework and its associated Flux implementation took the HTML UI world by storm when Facebook released the tool as Free Software in 2013. React was originally deployed in 2011 as part of the newsfeed display infrastructure on Facebook itself. Since then the library has found use in Instagram, Netflix, AirBnB and many other popular services. The tool revolves around a strategy called Flux which tightly defines the way state is updated in an application.

Flux is a strategy not an actual implementation, and there are many libraries that provide its functionality. One of the most popular libraries today is Redux. The Redux core value is a simplified universal view of the application state. Because there is a single state for the application, the behavior that results from a series of action events is completely deterministic and predictable. This makes your application easier to reason about, test and debug. A full discussion of the concepts behind React and Redux is beyond the scope of this article so if you are just getting started, I would recommend that you read the Redux introductory material or check out Dan Ambramov’s excellent introductory course at Egghead.

Integrating with WebExtensions

Digging into the WebExtensions framework, one of the first hurdles is that the UI pop-up and config page context is separate from the background context. The state of the UI context is recreated each time you open and close the UI displays. Communication between the UI context and the background script context is achieved via a message-passing architecture.

The state of the FilterBubbler extension will be stored in the background context but we’ll need to bind that state to UI elements in the pop-up and config page context. Alexander Ivantsov’s Redux-WebExt project offers one solution for this problem. His tool provides an abstraction layer between the UI and background pages with a proxy. The proxy gives the appearance of direct access to the Redux store in the UI, but it actually forwards actions to the background context, and then sends resulting state modifications generated by the reducers back to the UI context.

Action mapping

It took me some effort to get things working across the Redux-WebExt bridge. The React components that run in the UI contexts think they are talking to a Redux store; in fact, it’s a facade that is exchanging messages with your background context. The action objects that you think are headed to your reducers are actually serialized into messages, sent to the background context and then unpacked and delivered to the store. Once the reducers finish their state modifications, the resulting state is packed up and sent back to the proxy so that it can update the state of the UI peers.

Redux-WebExt puts a mapping table in the middle of this process that lets you modify how action events from the front-end get delivered to the store. In some cases (i.e., asynchronous operations) you really need this mapping to separate out actions that can’t be serialized into message objects (like callback functions).

In some cases this may be a straight mapping that only copies the data from a UI action event, like this one from FilterBubbler’s mappings in store.js:

actions[formActionTypes.TOUCH] = (data) => { return { type: formActionTypes.TOUCH, }; }

Or, you may need to map that UI action to something completely different, like this mapping that calls an asynchronous function only available in the background store:

actions[UI_REQUEST_ACTIVE_URL] = requestActiveUrl;

In short, be mindful of the mapper! It took me a few hours to get my head wrapped around its purpose. Understanding this is critical if you want to use React/Redux in your extension as we are.

This arrangement makes it possible to use standard React/Redux tooling with minimal changes and configuration. Existing sophisticated libraries for form-handling and other major UI tasks can plug into the WebExtension environment without any knowledge of the underlying message-based connectivity. One example tool we have already integrated is Redux Form, which provides a full system for managing form input with validation and the other services you would expect in a modern development effort.

Having established that we can use a major UI toolkit without starting from scratch, our next concern is to make things look good. Google’s Material Design is one popular look and feel standard and the React platform has the popular Material UI, which implements the Google standard as a set of React/Redux components. This gives us the ability to produce great looking UI popups and config screens without having to develop a new UI toolkit.

Get thunky

Some of the operations we need to perform are callback-based, which makes them asynchronous. In the React/Redux model this presents some issues. Action generator functions and reducers are designed to do their work immediately when called. Solutions like providing access to the store within an action generator and calling dispatch in a callback are considered an anti-pattern. One popular solution to this problem is the Redux-Thunk middleware. Adding Redux-Thunk to your application is easy, you just pass it in when you create the store.

import thunk from 'redux-thunk' const store = createStore(    reducers,    applyMiddleware(thunk))

With Redux-Thunk installed you are provided with a new style of action generators in which you return a function to the store that will later be passed a dispatch function. This inversion of control allows Redux to stay in the driver’s seat when it comes to sequencing your asynchronous operations with other actions in the queue. As an example, here’s a function that requests the URL of the current tab and then dispatches a request to set the result in the UI:

export function requestActiveUrl() {    return dispatch => {        return browser.tabs.query({active: true}, tabs => {            return dispatch(activeUrl(tabs[0].url));        })    } }

The activeUrl() function looks more typical:

export function activeUrl(url) {    return {        type: ACTIVE_URL,        url    } }

Since WebExtensions span several different contexts and communicate with asynchronous messaging, a tool like Redux-Thunk is indispensable.

Debugging WebExtensions

Debugging WebExtensions presents a few new challenges that work a little differently depending on the browser you are using. Whichever browser you use, the first major difference is that the background context of the extension has no visible page and must be specifically selected for debugging. Let’s walk through getting started with that process on Firefox and Chrome.


On Firefox, you can access your extension by typing “about:debugging” into the browser’s URL field. This page will allow you to load an unpacked extension with the “Load Temporary Add-On” button (or you can use the handy web-ext tool that allows you to start the process from the command line). Pressing the “Debug” button here will bring up a source debugger for your extension. With FilterBubbler, we are using the flexible webpack build tool to take advantage of the latest JavaScript features. Webpack uses the babel transpiler to convert new JavaScript language features into code that is compatible with current browsers. This means that the sources run by the browser are significantly altered from their originals. Be sure to select the “Show Original Sources” option from the preferences menu in the debugger or your code will seem very unfamiliar!

Once you have that selected you should see something more like what you expect:

From here you can set breakpoints and do everything else you would expect.


On Chrome it’s all basically the same idea, just a few small differences in the UI. First you will go to the main menu, dig down to “more tools” and then select “extensions”:

That will take you to the extension listing page.

The “Inspect views” section will allow you to bring up a debugger for your background scripts.

Where the Firefox debugger shows all of your background and foreground activity in one place, the Chrome environment does things a little differently. The foreground UI view is activated by right-clicking the icon of your WebExtension and selecting the “Inspect popup” option.

From there things are pretty much as you would expect. If you have written JavaScript applications and used the browser’s built-in functionality then you should find things pretty familiar.

Classification materials

With all our new infrastructure in place and a working debugger we were back on track adding features to FilterBubbler.  One of our goals for the prototype is to provide the API that recipes will run in. The main ingredients for FilterBubbler recipes are:

One or more sources: A source provides a stream of classification events on given URLs. The prototype provides a simple source which will emit a classification request any time the browser switches to a particular page. Other possible sources could include a source that scans a social network or a newsfeed for content, a stream of email messages or a segment of the user’s browser history.

A classifier: The classifier takes content from a source and returns at least one classification label with a strength value. The classifier may return an array of label and strength value pairs. If the array is empty then the system assumes that the classifier was not able to produce a match.

One or more corpora: FilterBubbler corpora provide a list of URLs with label and strength values. The labels and strength values are used to train the classifier.

One or more sinks: A sink is the destination for the classification events. The prototype includes a simple sink that connects a given classifier to a UI widget, which displays the classifications in the WebExtensions pop-up. Other possible sinks could generate outbound emails for certain classification label matches or a sink that writes URLs into a bookmark folder named with the classification label.

Maybe a diagram helps. The following configuration could tell you whether the page you are currently looking at is “awesome” or “stupid”!

Passing on the knowledge

The configurations for these arrangements are called “recipes” and can be loaded into your local configuration. A recipe is defined with a simple JSON format like so:

{ “recipe-version”: “0.1”, “name”: “My Recipe”, “classifier”: “naive-bayes”, “corpora”: [ “”, “”, “” ], “source”: [ “default” ], “sink”: [ “default” ] }

The simple bit of demo code above can help a user differentiate between fake news, UFO sightings and food blogs (more of a problem than you might expect in some cities). Currently the classifiers, sources and sinks must be one of the provided implementations and cannot be loaded dynamically in the initial prototype. In upcoming articles, we will expand this functionality and describe the challenges these activities present in the WebExtensions environment.


FilterBubbler on GitHub:
React based Material UI:
Redux WebExt:
Redux Form:
Mozilla browser polyfill:

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mike Conley: Things I’ve Learned This Week (May 25 – May 29, 2015)

Thunderbird - ma, 01/06/2015 - 07:49
MozReview will now create individual attachments for child commits

Up until recently, anytime you pushed a patch series to MozReview, a single attachment would be created on the bug associated with the push.

That single attachment would link to the “parent” or “root” review request, which contains the folded diff of all commits.

We noticed a lot of MozReview users were (rightfully) confused about this mapping from Bugzilla to MozReview. It was not at all obvious that Ship It on the parent review request would cause the attachment on Bugzilla to be r+’d. Consequently, reviewers used a number of workarounds, including, but not limited to:

  1. Manually setting the r+ or r- flags in Bugzilla for the MozReview attachments
  2. Marking Ship It on the child review requests, and letting the reviewee take care of setting the reviewer flags in the commit message
  3. Just writing “r+” in a MozReview comment

Anyhow, this model wasn’t great, and caused a lot of confusion.

So it’s changed! Now, when you push to MozReview, there’s one attachment created for every commit in the push. That means that when different reviewers are set for different commits, that’s reflected in the Bugzilla attachments, and when those reviewers mark “Ship It” on a child commit, that’s also reflected in an r+ on the associated Bugzilla attachment!

I think this makes quite a bit more sense. Hopefully you do too!

See gps’s blog post for the nitty gritty details, and some other cool MozReview announcements!

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mike Conley: The Joy of Coding (Ep. 16): Wacky Morning DJ

Thunderbird - do, 28/05/2015 - 04:12

I’m on vacation this week, but the show must go on! So I pre-recorded a shorter episode of The Joy of Coding last Friday.

In this episode1, I focused on a tool I wrote that I alluded to in the last episode, which is a soundboard to use during Joy of Coding episodes.

I demo the tool, and then I explain how it works. After I finished the episode, I pushed to repository to GitHub, and you can check that out right here.

So I’ll see you next week with a full length episode! Take care!

  1. Which, several times, I mistakenly refer to as the 15th episode, and not the 16th. Whoops. 

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Rumbling Edge - Thunderbird: 2015-05-26 Calendar builds

Thunderbird - wo, 27/05/2015 - 10:26

Common (excluding Website bugs)-specific: (23)

  • Fixed: 735253 – JavaScript Error: “TypeError: calendar is null” {file: “chrome://calendar/content/calendar-task-editing.js” line: 102}
  • Fixed: 768207 – Make the cache checkbox default-on in the new calendar dialog
  • Fixed: 1049591 – Fix lots of strict warnings
  • Fixed: 1086573 – Lightning and Thunderbird disagree about timezone support in ics files
  • Fixed: 1099592 – Make JS callers of ios.newChannel call ios.newChannel2 in calendar/
  • Fixed: 1149423 – Add Windows timezone names to list of aliases
  • Fixed: 1151011 – Calendar events show up on wrong day when printing
  • Fixed: 1151440 – Choose a color not responsive when creating a New calendar in Lightning 4.0b1
  • Fixed: 1153327 – Run compare-locales with merging for Lightning
  • Fixed: 1156015 – Email scheduling fails for recipients with URN id
  • Fixed: 1158036 – Support sendMailTo for URN type attendees
  • Fixed: 1159447 – TEST-UNEXPECTED-FAIL | xpcshell-icaljs.ini:calendar/test/unit/test_extract.js
  • Fixed: 1159638 – Getter fails in calender-migration-dialog on first run after installation
  • Fixed: 1159682 – Provide a more appropriate “learn more” page on integrated Lightning firstrun
  • Fixed: 1159698 – Opt-out dialog has a button for “disable”, but actually the addon is removed
  • Fixed: 1160728 – Unbreak Lightning 4.0b4 beta builds
  • Fixed: 1162300 – TEST-UNEXPECTED-FAIL | xpcshell-libical.ini:calendar/test/unit/test_alarm.js | xpcshell return code: 0
  • Fixed: 1163306 – Re-enable libical tests and disable ical.js in nightly builds when binary compatibility is back
  • Fixed: 1165002 – Lightning broken, tries to load libical backend although “calendar.icaljs” defaults to “true”
  • Fixed: 1165315 – TEST-UNEXPECTED-FAIL | xpcshell-icaljs.ini:calendar/test/unit/test_bug759324.js | xpcshell return code: 1 | ###!!! ASSERTION: Deprecated, use NewChannelFromURI2 providing loadInfo arguments!
  • Fixed: 1165497 – TEST-UNEXPECTED-FAIL | xpcshell-icaljs.ini:calendar/test/unit/test_alarmservice.js | xpcshell return code: -11
  • Fixed: 1165726 – TEST-UNEXPECTED-FAIL | /builds/slave/test/build/tests/mozmill/testBasicFunctionality.js | testBasicFunctionality.js::testSmokeTest
  • Fixed: 1165728 – TEST-UNEXPECTED-FAIL | xpcshell-icaljs.ini:calendar/test/unit/test_bug494140.js | xpcshell return code: -11

Sunbird will no longer be actively developed by the Calendar team.

Windows builds Official Windows

Linux builds Official Linux (i686), Official Linux (x86_64)

Mac builds Official Mac

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Rumbling Edge - Thunderbird: 2015-05-26 Thunderbird comm-central builds

Thunderbird - wo, 27/05/2015 - 10:25

Thunderbird-specific: (54)

  • Fixed: 401779 – Integrate Lightning Into Thunderbird by Default and Ship Thunderbird with Lightning Enabled
  • Fixed: 717292 – Spell check language setting for subject and body not synchronized, but temporarily appears so when changing language and depending on focus (confusing ux)
  • Fixed: 914225 – Support hotfix add-on in Thunderbird
  • Fixed: 1025547 – newmailaccount/jquery.tmpl.js, line 123: reference to undefined property def[1]
  • Fixed: 1088975 – Answering mail with sendername containing encoded special chars and comma creates two “To”-entries
  • Fixed: 1101237 – Remove distribution directory during install
  • Fixed: 1109178 – Thunderbird OAuth implementation does not work with Evernote
  • Fixed: 1110166 – Port |Bug 1102219 – Rename String.prototype.contains to String.prototype.includes| to comm-central
  • Fixed: 1113097 – Fix misuse of fixIterator
  • Fixed: 1130854 – Package Lightning with Thunderbird
  • Fixed: 1131997 – Adapt for Debugger Server code for changes in bug 1059308
  • Fixed: 1135291 – Update chat log entries added to Gloda since bug 955292 to use relative paths
  • Fixed: 1135588 – New conversations get indexed twice by gloda, leading to duplicate search results
  • Fixed: 1138154 – Plugins default to “always activate” in Thunderbird
  • Fixed: 1142879 – [meta] track Mozilla-central (Core) issues that we want to have fixed in TB38
  • Fixed: 1146698 – Chat Messages added to logs just before shutdown may not be indexed by gloda
  • Fixed: 1148330 – Font indicator doesn’t update when cursor is placed in text where core returns sans-serif (Windows). Serif and monospace don’t work (Linux).
  • Fixed: 1148512 – TEST-UNEXPECTED-FAIL | mailnews/imap/test/unit/test_dod.js | xpcshell return code: 0||1 | streamMessages – [streamMessages : 94] false == true | application crashed [@ mozalloc_abort(char const * const)]
  • Fixed: 1149059 – splitter in compose window can be resized down to completely obscure composition area
  • Fixed: 1151206 – Using a theme hides minimize, maximize and close button in composer window [Mac]
  • Fixed: 1151475 – Remove use of expression closures in mail/
  • Fixed: 1152299 – [autoconfig] Cosmetic changes for WEB.DE config
  • Fixed: 1152706 – Upgrade to Correspondents column (combined To/From column) too agressive
  • Fixed: 1152796 – chrome://messenger/content/folderDisplay.js, line 697: TypeError: this._savedColumnStates.correspondentCol is undefined
  • Fixed: 1152926 – New mail sound preview doesn’t work for default system sound on Mac OS X
  • Fixed: 1154737 – Permafail: TEST-UNEXPECTED-FAIL | toolkit/components/telemetry/tests/unit/test_TelemetryPing.js | xpcshell return code: 0
  • Fixed: 1154747 – TEST-UNEXPECTED-FAIL | /builds/slave/test/build/tests/mozmill/session-store/test-session-store.js | test-session-store.js::test_message_pane_height_persistence
  • Fixed: 1156669 – Trash folder duplication while using IMAP with localized TB
  • Fixed: 1157236 – In-content dialogs: Port bug 1043612, bug 1148923 and bug 1141031 to TB
  • Fixed: 1157649 – TEST-UNEXPECTED-FAIL | dom/push/test/xpcshell/test_clearAll_successful.js (and most other push tests)
  • Fixed: 1158824 – Port bug 138009 to fix packaging errors | Missing file(s): bin/defaults/autoconfig/platform.js
  • Fixed: 1159448 – Thunderbird ignores proxy settings on POP3S protocol
  • Fixed: 1159627 – resource:///modules/dbViewWrapper.js, line 560: SyntaxError: unreachable code after return statement
  • Fixed: 1159630 – components/glautocomp.js, line 155: SyntaxError: unreachable code after return statement
  • Fixed: 1159676 – mailnews/mime/jsmime/test/test_custom_headers.js | run_next_test 0 – TypeError: _gRunningTest is undefined at /builds/slave/test/build/tests/xpcshell/head.js:1435 (and other jsmime tests)
  • Fixed: 1159688 – After switching/changing the window layout, dragging the splitter between threadpane and messagepane can create gray/grey area/space (misplaced notificationbox)
  • Fixed: 1159815 – Take bug 1154791 “Inline spell checker loses red underlines after a backspace is used – take two” in Thunderbird 38
  • Fixed: 1159817 – Take “Bug 1100966 – Inline spell checker loses red underlines after a backspace is used” in Thunderbird 38
  • Fixed: 1159834 – Consider taking “Bug 756984 – Changing location in editor doesn’t preserve the font when returning to end of text/line” in Thunderbird 38
  • Fixed: 1159923 – Take bug 1140105 “Can’t query for a specific font face when the selection is collapsed” in TB 38
  • Fixed: 1160105 – Fix strict mode warnings in protovis-r2.6-modded.js
  • Fixed: 1160106 – “Searching…” spinner at the bottom of gloda search results never goes away
  • Fixed: 1160114 – Strict mode warnings on faceted search
  • Fixed: 1160805 – Missing Windows and Linux nightly builds, build step set props: previous_buildid fails
  • Fixed: 1161162 – “Join Chat” doesn’t focus the newly joined MUC
  • Fixed: 1162396 – Take bug 1140617 “Pasting an image loses the composition style” in TB38
  • Fixed: 1163086 – Take bug 967494 “changing spellcheck language in one composition window affects all open and new compositions” in TB38
  • Fixed: 1163299 – “TypeError: getBrowser(…) is null” in contentAreaClick with Lightning installed and started in calendar view
  • Fixed: 1163343 – Incorrectly formatted error message “sending failed”
  • Fixed: 1164415 – Error in comment for imapEnterServerPasswordPrompt
  • Fixed: 1164658 – TypeError: Cc[‘;1’] is undefined at resource://gre/modules/FxAccountsWebChannel.jsm:227
  • Fixed: 1164707 – missing toolkit_perfmonitoring.xpt in aurora builds
  • Fixed: 1165152 – Take bug 1154894 in TB 38 branch: Disable test_plugin_default_state.js so Thunderbird can ship with plugins disabled by default
  • Fixed: 1165320 – TEST-UNEXPECTED-FAIL | /builds/slave/test/build/tests/mozmill/notification/test-notification.js

MailNews Core-specific: (30)

  • Fixed: 610533 – crash [@ nsMsgDatabase::GetSearchResultsTable(char const*, int, nsIMdbTable**)] with virtual folder
  • Fixed: 745664 – Rename Address book aaa to aaa_test, delete another address book bbb, and renamed address book aaa_test will lose its name and appear deleted after restart (dataloss! involving localized names)
  • Fixed: 777770 – get rid of nsVoidArray from /mailnews
  • Fixed: 786141 – Use nsIFile.exists() instead of stat to check the existence of the file
  • Fixed: 1069790 – Email addresses with parenthesis are not pretty-printed anymore
  • Fixed: 1072611 – Ctrl+P not working from Composition’s Print Preview window
  • Fixed: 1099587 – Make JS callers of ios.newChannel call ios.newChannel2 in mail/ and mailnews/
  • Fixed: 1130248 – |To: “” <>| becomes |”foo@example.comfoo”| when I compose mail to it
  • Fixed: 1138220 – some headers are not not properly capitalized
  • Fixed: 1141446 – Behaviour of malformed rfc2047 encoded From message header inconsistent
  • Fixed: 1143569 – User-agent error when posting to NNTP due to RFC5536 violation of Tb (user-agent header is folded just after user-agent:, “user-agent:[CRLF][SP]Mozilla…”)
  • Fixed: 1144693 – Disable libnotify usage on Linux by default for new-mail notifications (doesn’t always work after bug 858919)
  • Fixed: 1149320 – fix compile warnings in mailnews/extensions/
  • Fixed: 1150891 – Port changes from Bug 1115495 – Part 2: PAC generator for browsing and system wide proxy
  • Fixed: 1151782 – Inputting 29th Feb as a birthday in the addressbook contact replaces it with 1st Mar.
  • Fixed: 1152364 – crash in Address Book via nsAbBSDirectory::GetChildNodes nsCOMArrayEnumerator::operator new(unsigned int, nsCOMArray_base const&)
  • Fixed: 1152989 – Account Manager Extensions broken in Thunderbird 37/38
  • Fixed: 1154521 – jsmime fails on long references header and e-mail gets sent and stored in Sent without headers
  • Fixed: 1155491 – Support autoconfig and manual config of gmail IMAP OAuth2 authentication
  • Fixed: 1155952 – Nesting level does not match indentation
  • Fixed: 1156691 – GUI “Edit filters”: Conditions/actions (for specfic accounts) not visible
  • Fixed: 1156777 – nsParseMailbox.cpp:505:55: error: ‘do_QueryObject’ was not declared in this scope
  • Fixed: 1158501 – Port bug 1039866 (metro code removal) and bug 1085557 (addition of socorro symbol upload API)
  • Fixed: 1158751 – Port NO_JS_MANIFEST changes | mozbuild.frontend.reader.SandboxValidationError: calendar/base/backend/icaljs/
  • Fixed: 1159255 – Build error: MSVC_ENABLE_PGO = True is not permitted to be used in mailnews/intl/
  • Fixed: 1159626 – chrome://messenger/content/accountUtils.js, line 455: SyntaxError: unreachable code after return statement
  • Fixed: 1160647 – Port |Bug 1159972 – Remove the fallible version of PL_DHashTableInit()| to comm-central
  • Fixed: 1163347 – Don’t require scope in ispdb config for OAuth2
  • Fixed: 1165737 – Fix usage of NS_LITERAL_CSTRING in mailnews, port Bug 1155963 to comm-central
  • Fixed: 1166842 – Re-enable binary extensions for comm-central

Windows builds Official Windows, Official Windows installer

Linux builds Official Linux (i686), Official Linux (x86_64)

Mac builds Official Mac

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mike Conley: Things I’ve Learned This Week (May 18 – May 22, 2015)

Thunderbird - za, 23/05/2015 - 23:54

You might have noticed that I had no “Things I’ve Learned This Week” post last week. Sorry about that – by the end of the week, I looked at my Evernote of “lessons from the week”, and it was empty. I’m certain I’d learned stuff, but I just failed to write it down. So I guess the lesson I learned last week was, always write down what you learn.

How to make your mozilla-central Mercurial clone work faster

I like Mercurial. I also like Git, but recently, I’ve gotten pretty used to Mercurial.

One complaint I hear over and over (and I’m guilty of it myself sometimes), is that “Mercurial is slow”. I’ve even experienced that slowness during some of my Joy of Coding episodes.

This past week, I was helping my awesome new intern get set up to tear into some e10s bugs, and at some point we went through this document to get her .hgrc all set up.

This document did not exist when I first started working with Mercurial – back then, I was using mq or sometimes pbranch, and grumbling about how I missed Git.

But there is some gold in this document.

gps has been doing some killer work documenting best practices with Mercurial, and this document is one of the results of his labour.

The part that’s really made the difference for me is the hgwatchman bit.

watchman is a tool that some folks at Facebook wrote to monitor changes in a folder. hgwatchman is an extension for Mercurial that takes advantage of watchman for a repository, smartly precomputing a bunch of stuff when the folder changes so that when you fire a command, like

hg status

It takes a fraction of the time it’d take without hgwatchman. A fraction.

Here’s how I set hgwatchman up on my MacBook (though you should probably go by the Mercurial for Mozillians doc as the official reference):

  1. Install watchman with brew: brew install watchman
  2. Clone the hgwatchman extension to some folder that you can easily remember and build it: hg clone cd hgwatchman make local
  3. Add the following lines to my user .hgrc: [extensions] hgwatchman = cloned-in-dir/hgwatchman/hgwatchman
  4. Make sure the extension is properly installed by running: hg help extensions
  5. hgwatchman should be listed under “enabled extensions”. If it didn’t work, keep in mind that you want to target the hgwatchman directory
  6. And then in my mozilla-central .hg/.hgrc: [watchman] mode = on
  7. Boom, you’re done!

Congratulations, hg should feel snappier now!

Next step is to try out this chg thingthough I’m having some issues still.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mark Banner: Using eslint alongside the Firefox Hello code base to help productivity

Thunderbird - wo, 13/05/2015 - 21:19

On Firefox Hello, we recently added the eslint linter to be run against the Hello code base. We started of with a minimal set of rules, just enough to get us something running. Now we’re working on enabling more rules.

Since we enabled it, I feel like I’m able to iterate faster on patches. For example, if just as I finish typing I see something like:

eslint syntax error in sublime I know almost immediately that I’ve forgotten a closing bracket and I don’t have to run anything to find out – less run-edit-run cycles.

Now I think about it, I’m realising it has also helped reduced the amount of review nits on my patches – due to trivial formatting mistakes being caught automatically, e.g. trailing white-space or missing semi-colons.

Talking about reviews, as we’re running eslint on the Hello code, we just have to apply the patch, and run our tests, and we automatically get eslint output:

eslint output - no trailing spacesHopefully our patch authors will be running eslint before uploading the patch anyway, but this is an additional test, and a few less things that we need to look at during review which helps speed up that cycle as well.

I’ve also put together a global config file for eslint (see below), that I use for outside of the Hello code, on the rest of the Firefox code base (and other projects). This is enough, that, when using it in my editor it gives me a reasonable amount of information about bad syntax, without complaining about everything.

I would definitely recommend giving it a try. My patches feel faster overall, and my test runs are for testing, not stupid-mistake catching!

Want more specific details about the setup and advantages? Read on…

My Setup

For my setup, I’ve recently switched to using Sublime. I used to use Aquamacs (an emacs variant), but when eslint came along, the UI for real-time linting within emacs didn’t really seem great.

I use sublime with the SublimeLinter and SublimeLinter-contrib-eslint packages. I’m told other editors have eslint integration as well, but I’ve not looked at any of them.

You need to have eslint installed globally, or at least in your path, other than that, just follow the installation instructions given on the SublimeLinter page.

One configuration I change I did have to make to the global configuration:

  • Open up a normal javascript (*.js) file.
  • Select “Preferences” -> “Settings – More” -> “Syntax Specific – User”
  • In the file that appears, set the configuration up as follows (or whatever suits you):
{ "extensions": [ "jsm", "jsx", "sjs" ] }

This makes sure sublime treats the .jsm and .jsx files as javascript files, which amongst other things turns on eslint for those files.

Global Configuration

I’ve uploaded my global configuration to a gist, if it changes I’ll update it there. It isn’t intended to catch everything – there’s too many inconsistencies across the code base for that to be sensible at the moment. However, it does at least allow general syntax issues to be highlighted for most files – which is obviously useful in itself.

I haven’t yet tried running it across the whole code base via eslint on the command line – there seems to be some sort of configuration issue that is messing it up and I’ve not tracked it down yet.

Firefox Hello’s Configuration

The configuration files for Hello can be found in the mozilla-central source. There’s a few of these because we have both content and chrome code, and some of the content code is shared with a website that can be viewed by most browsers, and hence isn’t currently able to use all the es6 features, whereas the chrome code can. This is another thing that eslint is good for enforcing.

Our eslint configuration is evolving at the moment, as we enable more rules, which we’re tracking in this bug.

Any Questions?

Feel free to ask any questions about eslint or the setup in the comments, or come and visit us in #loop on (IRC info here).

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 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.


The source code to Gaia can be found at

The email app in particular can be found at

(I also asked for questions here.)

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Calendar: The Third Beta on the way to Lightning 4.0

Thunderbird - di, 28/04/2015 - 12:21

It’s that time of year again, we have a new major release of Lightning on the horizon. About every 42 weeks, Thunderbird prepares for a major release, we follow up with a matching major version. You may know these as Lightning 2.6 or 3.3.In order to avoid disappointments, we do a series of beta releases before a such major release. This is where we need you. Please help out in making Lightning 4.0 a great success.Time flies when you are preparing for releases, so we are already at Thunderbird 38.0b3 and Lightning 4.0b3. The final release will be on May 12th and there will be at least one more beta. Please download these betas and take a moment to go through all the actions you normally do on a daily basis. Create an event, accept an invitation, complete a task. You probably have your own workflow, these are of course just examples.

Here is how to get the builds. If you have found an issue, you can either leave a comment here or file a bug on bugzilla.

You may wonder what is new. I’ve gone through the bugs fixed since 3.3 and found that most issues are backend fixes that won’t be very visible. We do however have a great new feature to save copies of invitations to your calendar. This helps in case you don’t care about replying to the invitation but would still like to see it in your calendar. We also have more general improvements in invitation compatibility, performance and stability and some slight visual enhancements. The full list of changes can be found on bugzilla.

Although its highly unlikely that severe problems will arise, you are encouraged to make a backup before switching to beta. If it comforts you, I am using beta builds for my production profile and I don’t recall there being a time where I lost events or had to start over.

If you have questions or have found a bug, feel free to leave a comment here.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Robert Kaiser: "Nothing to Hide"?

Thunderbird - ma, 27/04/2015 - 00:38
I've been bothered for quite a while with people telling me they "have nothing to hide anyhow" when the topic of Internet privacy comes up.

I guess that mostly comes from the impression that the whole story is our government watching (over) us and the worst thing that can happen is incrimination. While that might threaten some things, most people do nothing that is really interesting enough for a government to go into attack mode over it (or so they believe, and very firmly so). And I even agree that most governments (including the US and EU countries) actually actively seek out what they call "terrorist activities" (even though they often stretch that term in crazy ways) and/or child abuse and similar topics that the vast majority of citizens agree are a bad thing and are not part of - and the vast majority of politicians and government workers believe they act in the best interest of their citizens when "obviously fighting that" via their different programs of privacy-undermining surveillance. That said, most people seem to be OK with their government collecting data about them as long as it's not used to incriminate them (and when that happens, it's too late to protest the practice anyhow).

A lot has been said about that since the "Snowden leaks", but I think the more obvious short-term and direct threat is in corporate surveillance, which has been swept under the rug in most discussions recently - to the joy of Facebook, Google and other major players in that area. I have also seen that when depicting some obvious scenarios resulting of that, people start to think about it much more promptly and realize the effect on their daily lives (even if those are minor issues compared to government starting a manhunt against you with terror allegations or similar).

So what I start asking is:
  • Are you OK with banks determining your credit conditions based on all his comments on Facebook and his Google searches? ("Your friends say you owe them money, and that you live beyond your means, this is gonna be difficult...")
  • Are you OK with insurances changing your rates based on all that data? ("Oh, so you 'like' all those videos about dangerous sports and that deafening music, and you have some quite aggressive or even violent friends - so you see why we need to go a bit higher there, right?")
  • Are you OK with prices for flights or products in online stores (Amazon etc.) being different depending on what other things you have done on the web? ("So, you already planned that vacation at that location, good, so we can give you a higher air rate as you' can't back out now anyhow.")
  • And, of course, envision ads in public or half-public locations being customized for whoever is in the area. ("You recently searched for engagement rings, so we'll show ads for them wherever you go." or "Hey, this is the third time today we sat down and a screen nearby shows Viagra ads." or "My dear daughter, why do we see ads for diapers everywhere we go?")
There are probably more examples, those are the ones that came to my mind so far. Even if those are smaller things, people can relate to them as they affect things in their own life and not scenarios that feel very theoretical to them.

And, of course, they are true to a degree even now. Banks are already buying data from Facebook, probably including "private" messages, for determining credit scores, insurances base rates on anything they can find out about you, flight rates as well as prices for some Amazon and other web shop products vary based on what you searched before - and ads both on your screen and even on postal mail get tailored to a profile built on all kinds of your online behavior. My questions above just take all of those another step forward - but a pretty realistic one in my opinion.

I hope thinking about questions like that makes people realize they might actually want to evade some of that and in the end they actually have something to hide.

And then, of course, that a non-profit like Mozilla, which doesn't seek to maximize money, can believably be on their side and help them regain some privacy where they - now - want to.
Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Thunderbird Blog: Thunderbird 38 goes to beta!

Thunderbird - vr, 03/04/2015 - 11:13

The next major release of Thunderbird, version 38, is now in beta and available for testing. You may download Thunderbird 38.0b1 here.

This version of Thunderbird is the first that is mostly managed by volunteer community members rather than by Mozilla staff. We have many new features, including:

  • Message filtering when a message is sent or archived
  • File-per-message local storage available for new accounts (maildir)
  • Contact search over multiple address books
  • Internationalized domain names for RSS feeds
  • Allow expanded columns to the folder pane for folder size and counts

Release notes are available here.

There are still a couple of features missing from this beta that we hope to ship in the final version of Thunderbird 38. Those are:

  • Ship Lightning calendar addon with Thunderbird with an opt-out dialog
  • Use OAUTH authentication with Gmail IMAP accounts


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

Calendar: We are now on Twitter

Thunderbird - di, 03/03/2015 - 01:39

In the spirit of Twitter I will keep this blog post down to 140 characters. Check out @mozcalendar for more frequent updates on the project.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet