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Air Mozilla: The Joy of Coding - Episode 112

Mozilla planet - wo, 13/09/2017 - 19:00

The Joy of Coding - Episode 112 mconley livehacks on real Firefox bugs while thinking aloud.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Air Mozilla: The Joy of Coding - Episode 112

Mozilla planet - wo, 13/09/2017 - 19:00

The Joy of Coding - Episode 112 mconley livehacks on real Firefox bugs while thinking aloud.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Will Kahn-Greene: Socorro and Firefox 57

Mozilla planet - wo, 13/09/2017 - 18:34
Summary

Socorro is the crash ingestion pipeline for Mozilla's products like Firefox. When Firefox crashes, the Breakpad crash reporter asks the user if the user would like to send a crash report. If the user answers "yes!", then the Breakpad crash reporter collects data related to the crash, generates a crash report, and submits that crash report as an HTTP POST to Socorro--specifically the Socorro collector.

Teams at Mozilla are feverishly working on Firefox 57. That's super important work and we're getting down to the wire. Socorro is a critical part of that development work as it collects incoming crashes, processes them, and has tools for analysis.

This blog post covers some of the things Socorro engineering has been doing to facilitate that work and what we're planning from now until Firefox 57 release.

This quarter

This quarter, we replaced Snappy with Tecken for more reliable symbol lookup in Visual Studio and other clients.

We built a Docker-based local dev environment for Socorro making it easier to run Socorro on your local machine configured like crash-stats.mozilla.com. It now takes five steps to getting Socorro running on your computer.

We also overhauled the signature generation system in Socorro and slapped on a command-line interface. Now you can test the effects of signature generation changes on specific crashes as well as groups of crashes on your local machine.

We've also been fixing stability issues and bugs and myriad other things.

Now until Firefox 57

Starting today and continuing until after Firefox 57 release, we are:

  1. prioritizing your signature generation changes, getting them landed, and pushing them to -prod
  2. triaging Socorro bugs into "need it right now" and "everything else" buckets
  3. deferring big changes to Socorro until after Firefox 57 including API endpoint deprecation, major UI changes to the crash-stats interface, and other things that would affect your workflow

We want to make sure crash analysis is working as best as it can so you can do the best you can so we can have a successful Firefox 57.

Please contact us if you need something!

We hang out on #breakpad on irc.mozilla.org. You can also write up bugs.

Hopefully this helps. If not, let us know!

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: Announcing the 2017 Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows!

Mozilla planet - wo, 13/09/2017 - 18:00

At the foundation of our net policy and advocacy platforms at Mozilla is our support for the growing network of leaders all over the world. For the past two years, Mozilla and the Ford Foundation have partnered over fourteen organizations with progressive technologists operating at the intersection of open web security and policy; and in 2017-2018 we plan to continue our Open Web Fellows Program with our largest cohort yet! Following months of deliberation, and a recruitment process that included close to 300 competitive applicants from our global community, we’re delighted to introduce you to our 2016-2017 Open Web Fellows:

                      

This year, we’ll host an unprecedented set of eleven fellows embedded in four incumbent and seven new host organizations! These fellows will partner with their host organizations over the next 10 months to work on independent research and project development that amplifies issues of Internet Health, privacy and security, as well as net neutrality and open web policy on/offline.

If you’d like to learn more about our fellows, we encourage you to browse their bios, read up on their host organizations, and follow them on Twitter! We look forward to updating you on our Fellows’ progress, and can’t wait to learn more from them over the coming months. Stay tuned!

The post Announcing the 2017 Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows! appeared first on Open Policy & Advocacy.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Air Mozilla: Weekly SUMO Community Meeting September 13, 2017

Mozilla planet - wo, 13/09/2017 - 18:00

Weekly SUMO Community Meeting September 13, 2017 This is the SUMO weekly call

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Air Mozilla: Weekly SUMO Community Meeting September 13, 2017

Mozilla planet - wo, 13/09/2017 - 18:00

Weekly SUMO Community Meeting September 13, 2017 This is the SUMO weekly call

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla Open Innovation Team: Open Source Needs Students To Thrive

Mozilla planet - wo, 13/09/2017 - 15:58

This past year, thousands of computer science students in the United States were inspired by open source, yet in many cases their flames of interest were doused by the structure of technical education at most colleges. Concerns about students plagiarizing each other’s work, lack of structural support, resources, and community connections are making it hard for students to jump between curious to capable in the world of open source.

As part of our ongoing efforts to engage college students and develop a program to support open source clubs, Mozilla’s Open Innovation Team recently conducted a study to better understand the current state of open source on US Campuses. We also asked ourselves “what can Mozilla do to support and fuel students who are actively engaged in advancing open source?” Read the full research report here.

We ran a broad screening process to identify students with an interest in technology, an interest in open source, and who also represented a diversity of gender identities, academic focuses, locations and schools. We ultimately selected 25 students with whom to conduct an in-depth interview.

Photo distributed with CC BY-NC-ND

We found that open source is usually learned outside the classroom, there is strong interest, but the overall level for open source literacy is low.

Students are excited about open source, but there’s a knowledge gap

Students are generally excited about the idea of open source, citing the control it gives them over the software they use, the opportunities it provides for them to build skills, and the emphasis on community.

However, for many students a lot is still unknown, and there are core aspects of open source that lots of students weren’t aware of. For example, a challenge that many students faced when trying to contribute to an existing open source project was not knowing how to analytically read code. One student described his challenges trying to read a codebase for the first time…

I looked at a codebase and I had no idea where to begin. It felt like it would take weeks just to come up to speed.” — Eric, Georgia Tech

Students also were worried about how viable open source is a career path, leading one student to ask “how can I pay my student loans with open source”.

Another example was at a hackathon attended by our researcher, for submissions to the “Best Open Source Hack” category. In fact, only 5 of the 16 entries correctly licensed their software. 10 of the disqualified teams expressed surprise that a license was required. They had believed that all that was required to make software open source was to release it on Github.

I had been told that being on Github was enough. I had never heard about licensing before!

Open source isn’t taught, it’s learned informally

A major reason for this lack of literacy is that open source is rarely taught as part of university curriculum (except the Portland State University). In fact, the structure and culture of most computer science programs often unintentionally reinforces behaviors that are counter to developing the skills necessary to make contributions to existing open source projects. A large part of this seems to come from a desire to prevent academic dishonesty.

“An [Open Source Club] member recently told me that one of the reasons he joined was that he wanted to be able to code along side other people and help them solve problems with their code. He didn’t feel like he could normally do that in his classes without being accused of helping people ‘cheating.” — Wes, Rensselaer Polytechnic

As a result most students learn about open source informally through hobbies, like robotics programming, extracurriculars or their peers.

The reality is that on most college campuses, Open Source is learned in students off time and during club times. Its students teaching students, not professors teaching us.— Semirah, UMass Dartmouth

Implications: Starting their careers with a knowledge and skills gap

A generation of developers are at risk of starting their technical careers without understanding or even knowing about open source or the value of open. Mozilla purposefully designs open products and technologies which can grow and change the Web because of passionate OS contributors but we need to enable the next generation to drive the mission forward.

“Open source offers an alternative to corporate control of programs and the web. That’s something that needs to be encouraged.” — Casey, Portland State

Opportunities: Filling the need for bottom-up support

As people who care about open source we can tackle this by supporting organizations like POSSE who are working to get better open source education into the classroom. Ensuring that more students are exposed to open source concepts and the basic skills they’d need to participate, as a part of their education.

Given the challenges and wait times associated with introducing new curriculum in most universities, there is also an immediate and present need for well-supported, networked, informal structures that help teach, instill and provide access to open source projects and technologies for students. From what we learned so far and from the feedback we got from the students, there is a real opportunity for Mozilla to fill this need and make a difference on campuses interested in open source.

Next Steps for Mozilla’s Open Source Student Network

Based on this research, we are currently working with a team of student leaders to design a program that makes it easy for students to learn about and contribute to open source on their campuses.

We are also working closely with organizations already in this space such as POSSE, Red Hat, and the Open Source Initiative to create educational content and connect with professors and students who share our mission.

Furthermore we’re partnering with other teams and projects inside Mozilla such as Add Ons, Rust, Dev Tools, and Mozilla VR/AR, to create activities and challenges that motivate and engage a vast network of students and professors in our products and technology development processes.

Does this reflect your experience? Tell us what it’s like on your campus in the comments here or reach out to us on discourse or via email at campusclubs@mozilla.com!

Open Source Needs Students To Thrive was originally published in Mozilla Open Innovation on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla Announces 15 New Fellows for Science, Advocacy, and Media

Mozilla Blog - wo, 13/09/2017 - 14:59
These technologists, researchers, activists, and artists will spend the next 10 months making the Internet a better place

 

Today, Mozilla is announcing 15 new Fellows in the realms of science, advocacy, and media.

Fellows hail from Mexico, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Uganda, the United States, and beyond. They are multimedia artists and policy analysts, security researchers and ethical hackers.

Over the next several months, Fellows will put their diverse abilities to work making the Internet a healthier place. Among their many projects are initiatives to make biomedical research more open; uncover technical solutions to online harassment; teach privacy and security fundamentals to patrons at public libraries; and curtail mass surveillance within Latin American countries.

 

<Meet our Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows>

 

The 2017 Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows

Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows are talented technologists who are passionate about privacy, security, and net neutrality. Fellows embed with international NGOs for 10 months to work on independent research and project development.

Past Open Web Fellows have helped build open-source whistle-blowing software, and analyzed discriminatory police practice data.

Our third cohort of Open Web Fellows was selected from more than 300 applications. Our 11 2017 Fellows and host organizations are:

Sarah Aoun | Hollaback!

Carlos Guerra | Derechos Digitales

Sarah Kiden | Research ICT Africa

Bram Abramson | Citizen Lab

Freddy Martinez | Freedom of the Press Foundation

Rishab Nithyanand | Data & Society

Rebecca Ricks | Human Rights Watch

Aleksandar Todorović | Bits of Freedom

Maya Wagoner | Brooklyn Public Library

Orlando Del Aguila | Majal

Nasma Ahmed | MPower Change

Learn more about our Open Web Fellows.

 

<Meet our Mozilla Fellows in Science>

Mozilla’s Open Science Fellows work at the intersection of research and openness. They foster the use of open data and open source software in the scientific community, and receive training and support from Mozilla to hone their skills around open source, participatory learning, and data sharing.

Past Open Science fellows have developed online curriculum to teach the command line and scripting languages to bioinformaticians. They’ve defined statistical programming best-practices for instructors and open science peers. And they’ve coordinated conferences on the principles of working open.

Our third cohort of Open Science Fellows — supported by the Siegel Family Endowment — was selected from a record pool of 1,090 applications. Our two 2017 fellows are:

Amel Ghouila

A computer scientist by background, Amel earned her PhD in Bioinformatics and is currently a bioinformatician at Institut Pasteur de Tunis. She works on the frame of the pan-African bioinformatics network H3ABionet, supporting researchers and their projects while developing bioinformatics capacity throughout Africa. Amel is passionate about knowledge transfer and working open to foster collaborations and innovation in the biomedical research field. She is also passionate about empowering and educating young girls — she launched the Technovation Challenge Tunisian chapter to help Tunisian girls learn how to address community challenges by designing mobile applications.

Follow Amel on Twitter and Github.

 

Chris Hartgerink

Chris is an applied statistics PhD-candidate at Tilburg University, as part of the Metaresearch group. He has contributed to open science projects such as the Reproducibility Project: Psychology. He develops open-source software for scientists. And he conducts research on detecting data fabrication in science. Chris is particularly interested in how the scholarly system can be adapted to become a sustainable, healthy environment with permissive use of content, instead of a perverse system that promotes unreliable science. He initiated Liberate Science to work towards such a system.

Follow Chris on Twitter and Github.

Learn more about our Open Science Fellows.

 

<Meet our Mozilla Fellows in Media>

This year’s Mozilla Fellows cohort will also be joined by media producers.  These makers and activists have created public education and engagement work that explores topics related to privacy and security.  Their work incites curiosity and inspires action, and over their fellowship year will work closely with the Mozilla fellows cohort to understand and explain the most urgent issues facing the open Internet. Through a partnership with the Open Society Foundation, these fellows join other makers who have benefited from Mozilla’s first grants to media makers. Our two 2017 fellows are:

Hang Do Thi Duc

Hang Do Thi Duc is a media maker whose artistic work is about the social web and the effect of data-driven technologies on identity, privacy, and society. As a German Fulbright and DAAD scholar, Hang received an MFA in Design and Technology at Parsons in New York City. She most recently created Data Selfie, a browser extension that aims to provide users with a personal perspective on data mining and predictive analytics through their Facebook consumption.

Joana Varon

Joana is Executive Directress and Creative Chaos Catalyst at Coding Rights, a women-run organization working to expose and redress the power imbalances built into technology and its application. Coding Rights focuses on imbalances that reinforce gender and North/South inequalities.

 

Meet more Mozilla fellows. The Mozilla Tech Policy Fellowship, launched in June 2017, brings together tech policy experts from around the world. Tech Policy Fellows participate in policy efforts to improve the health of the Internet. Find more details about the fellowship and individuals involved. Learn more about the Tech Policy Fellows.

The post Mozilla Announces 15 New Fellows for Science, Advocacy, and Media appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

The Mozilla Blog: Mozilla Announces 15 New Fellows for Science, Advocacy, and Media

Mozilla planet - wo, 13/09/2017 - 14:59
These technologists, researchers, activists, and artists will spend the next 10 months making the Internet a better place

 

Today, Mozilla is announcing 15 new Fellows in the realms of science, advocacy, and media.

Fellows hail from Mexico, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Uganda, the United States, and beyond. They are multimedia artists and policy analysts, security researchers and ethical hackers.

Over the next several months, Fellows will put their diverse abilities to work making the Internet a healthier place. Among their many projects are initiatives to make biomedical research more open; uncover technical solutions to online harassment; teach privacy and security fundamentals to patrons at public libraries; and curtail mass surveillance within Latin American countries.

 

<Meet our Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows>

 

The 2017 Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows

Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows are talented technologists who are passionate about privacy, security, and net neutrality. Fellows embed with international NGOs for 10 months to work on independent research and project development.

Past Open Web Fellows have helped build open-source whistle-blowing software, and analyzed discriminatory police practice data.

Our third cohort of Open Web Fellows was selected from more than 300 applications. Our 11 2017 Fellows and host organizations are:

Sarah Aoun | Hollaback!

Carlos Guerra | Derechos Digitales

Sarah Kiden | Research ICT Africa

Bram Abramson | Citizen Lab

Freddy Martinez | Freedom of the Press Foundation

Rishab Nithyanand | Data & Society

Rebecca Ricks | Human Rights Watch

Aleksandar Todorović | Bits of Freedom

Maya Wagoner | Brooklyn Public Library

Orlando Del Aguila | Majal

Nasma Ahmed | MPower Change

Learn more about our Open Web Fellows.

 

<Meet our Mozilla Fellows in Science>

Mozilla’s Open Science Fellows work at the intersection of research and openness. They foster the use of open data and open source software in the scientific community, and receive training and support from Mozilla to hone their skills around open source, participatory learning, and data sharing.

Past Open Science fellows have developed online curriculum to teach the command line and scripting languages to bioinformaticians. They’ve defined statistical programming best-practices for instructors and open science peers. And they’ve coordinated conferences on the principles of working open.

Our third cohort of Open Science Fellows — supported by the Siegel Family Endowment — was selected from a record pool of 1,090 applications. Our two 2017 fellows are:

Amel Ghouila

A computer scientist by background, Amel earned her PhD in Bioinformatics and is currently a bioinformatician at Institut Pasteur de Tunis. She works on the frame of the pan-African bioinformatics network H3ABionet, supporting researchers and their projects while developing bioinformatics capacity throughout Africa. Amel is passionate about knowledge transfer and working open to foster collaborations and innovation in the biomedical research field. She is also passionate about empowering and educating young girls — she launched the Technovation Challenge Tunisian chapter to help Tunisian girls learn how to address community challenges by designing mobile applications.

Follow Amel on Twitter and Github.

 

Chris Hartgerink

Chris is an applied statistics PhD-candidate at Tilburg University, as part of the Metaresearch group. He has contributed to open science projects such as the Reproducibility Project: Psychology. He develops open-source software for scientists. And he conducts research on detecting data fabrication in science. Chris is particularly interested in how the scholarly system can be adapted to become a sustainable, healthy environment with permissive use of content, instead of a perverse system that promotes unreliable science. He initiated Liberate Science to work towards such a system.

Follow Chris on Twitter and Github.

Learn more about our Open Science Fellows.

 

<Meet our Mozilla Fellows in Media>

This year’s Mozilla Fellows cohort will also be joined by media producers.  These makers and activists have created public education and engagement work that explores topics related to privacy and security.  Their work incites curiosity and inspires action, and over their fellowship year will work closely with the Mozilla fellows cohort to understand and explain the most urgent issues facing the open Internet. Through a partnership with the Open Society Foundation, these fellows join other makers who have benefited from Mozilla’s first grants to media makers. Our two 2017 fellows are:

Hang Do Thi Duc

Hang Do Thi Duc is a media maker whose artistic work is about the social web and the effect of data-driven technologies on identity, privacy, and society. As a German Fulbright and DAAD scholar, Hang received an MFA in Design and Technology at Parsons in New York City. She most recently created Data Selfie, a browser extension that aims to provide users with a personal perspective on data mining and predictive analytics through their Facebook consumption.

Joana Varon

Joana is Executive Directress and Creative Chaos Catalyst at Coding Rights, a women-run organization working to expose and redress the power imbalances built into technology and its application. Coding Rights focuses on imbalances that reinforce gender and North/South inequalities.

 

Meet more Mozilla fellows. The Mozilla Tech Policy Fellowship, launched in June 2017, brings together tech policy experts from around the world. Tech Policy Fellows participate in policy efforts to improve the health of the Internet. Find more details about the fellowship and individuals involved. Learn more about the Tech Policy Fellows.

The post Mozilla Announces 15 New Fellows for Science, Advocacy, and Media appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Dave Townsend: New Firefox and Toolkit module peers

Mozilla planet - di, 12/09/2017 - 23:44

Please join me in welcoming another set of brave souls willing to help shepherd new code into Firefox and Toolkit:

  • Luke Chang
  • Ricky Chien
  • Luca Greco
  • Kate Hudson
  • Tomislav Jovanovic
  • Ray Lin
  • Fischer Liu

While going through this round of peer updates I’ve realised that it isn’t terribly clear how people become peers. I intend to rectify that in a coming blog post.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Cameron Kaiser: BlueBorne and the Power Mac TL;DR: low practical risk, but assume the worst

Mozilla planet - di, 12/09/2017 - 23:01
Person of Interest, which is one of my favourite shows (Can. You. Hear. Me?) was so very ahead of its time in many respects, and awfully prescient about a lot else. One of those things was taking control of a device for spying purposes via Bluetooth, which the show variously called "forced pairing" or "bluejacking."

Because, thanks to a newly discovered constellation of flaws nicknamed BlueBorne, you can do this for real. Depending on the context and the flaw in question, which varies from operating system to operating system, you can achieve anything from information leaks and man-in-the-middle attacks to full remote code execution without the victim system having to do anything other than merely having their Bluetooth radio on. (And people wonder why I never have Bluetooth enabled on any of my devices and use a wired headset with my phone.)

What versions of OS X are likely vulnerable? The site doesn't say, but it gives us a couple clues with iOS, which shares the XNU kernel. Versions 9.3.5 and prior are all vulnerable to remote code execution, including AppleTV version 7.2.2 which is based on iOS 8.4.2; this correlates with a XNU kernel version of 15.6.0, i.e., El Capitan. Even if we consider there may be some hardening in contemporary desktop versions of macOS, 10.4 and 10.5 are indisputably too old for that, and 10.6 very likely as well. It is therefore reasonable to conclude Power Macs are vulnerable.

As a practical matter, though, an exploit that relies on remote code execution would have to put PowerPC code somewhere it could execute, i.e., the exploit would have to be specific to Power Macs. Unless your neighbour is, well, me, this is probably not a high probability in practice. A bigger risk might be system instability if an OS X exploit is developed and weaponized and tries spraying x86 code at victim systems instead. On a 10.6 system you'd be at real risk of being pwned (more on that below). On a PowerBook G4, they wouldn't be able to take your system over, but it has a good chance of getting bounced up and down and maybe something damaged in the process. This is clearly a greater risk for laptops than desktop systems, since laptops might be in more uncontrolled environments where they could be silently probed by an unobserved attacker.

The solution is obvious: don't leave Bluetooth on, and if you must use it, enable it only in controlled environments. (This would be a good time to look into a wired keyboard or a non-Bluetooth wireless mouse.) My desktop daily drivers, an iMac G4 and my trusty Quad G5, don't have built-in Bluetooth. When I need to push photos from my Pixel, I plug in a USB Bluetooth dongle and physically disconnect it when I'm done. As far as my portable Power Macs in the field, I previously used Bluetooth PAN with my iBook G4 for tethering but I think I'll be switching to WiFi for that even though it uses more power, and leave Bluetooth disabled except if I have no other options. I already use a non-Bluetooth wireless mouse that does not require drivers, so that's covered as well.

Older Intel Mac users, it goes without saying that if you're on anything prior to Sierra you should assume the worst as well. Apple may or may not offer patches for 10.10 and 10.11, but they definitely won't patch 10.9 and earlier, and you are at much greater risk of being successfully exploited than Power Mac users. Don't turn on Bluetooth unless you have to.

Very Soon Now(tm) I will be doing an update to our old post on keeping Power Macs safe online, and this advice will be part of it. Watch for that a little later.

Meanwhile, however, the actual risk to our Power Macs isn't the biggest question this discovery poses. The biggest question is, if the show got this right, what if there's really some sort of Samaritan out there too?

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla VR Blog: SHA Hacker Camp: Learning a byte about Virtual Reality on the Web

Mozilla planet - di, 12/09/2017 - 22:59
 Learning a byte about Virtual Reality on the Web

SHA (Still Hacking Anyways) is an nonprofit, outdoor hacker-camp series organized every four years. SHA2017 was held this August 4-8 in Zeewolde, Netherlands.

@SHA2017Camp That was the #SHA2017 :-D pic.twitter.com/GWlSiIHdDC

— Ram (@ram_gurumukhi) August 9, 2017

Attended by more than 3500 hackers, SHA was a fun, knowledge-packed four-day festival. The festival featured a wide range of talks and workshops, including sessions related to Internet of Things (IoT), hardware and software hacking, security, privacy, and much more!

Ram Dayal Vaishnav, a Tech Speaker from Mozilla’s Indian community, presented a session on WebVR, Building a Virtual-Reality Website using A-Frame. Check out a video recording of Ram’s talk:

Head on over to Ram’s personal blog to catch a few more highlights from SHA2017.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mike Hoye: Cleaning House

Mozilla planet - di, 12/09/2017 - 22:32

Current status:


Current Status

When I was desk-camping in CDOT a few years ago, one thing I took no small joy in was the combination of collegial sysadminning and servers all named after cities or countries that made a typical afternoon’s cubicle chatter sound like a rapidly-developing multinational diplomatic crisis.

Change management when you’re module owner of Planet Mozilla and de-facto administrator of a dozen or so lesser planets is kind of like that. But way, way better.

Over the next two weeks or I’m going to going to be cleaning up Planet Mozilla, removing dead feeds and culling the participants list down to people still actively participating in the Mozilla project in some broadly-defined capacity. As well, I’ll be consuming decommissioning a number of uninhabited lesser under- or unused planets and rolling any stray debris back into Planet Mozilla proper.

With that in mind, if anything goes missing that you expected to survive a transition like that, feel free to email me or file a bug. Otherwise, if any of your feeds break I am likely to be the cause of that, and if you find a planet you were following has vanished you can take some solace in the fact that it was probably delicious.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Air Mozilla: Rust Berlin Meetup September 2017

Mozilla planet - di, 12/09/2017 - 18:45

Rust Berlin Meetup September 2017 Talks: An overview of the Servo architecture by Emilio and rust ❤️ sensors by Claus

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Air Mozilla: Rust Berlin Meetup September 2017

Mozilla planet - di, 12/09/2017 - 18:45

Rust Berlin Meetup September 2017 Talks: An overview of the Servo architecture by Emilio and rust ❤️ sensors by Claus

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Hacks.Mozilla.Org: Experimenting with WebAssembly and Computer Vision

Mozilla planet - di, 12/09/2017 - 17:17

This past summer, four time-crunched engineers with no prior WebAssembly experience began experimenting. The result after six weeks of exploration was WebSight: a real-time face detection demo based on OpenCV.

By compiling OpenCV to WebAssembly, the team was able to reuse a well-tested C/C++ library directly in the browser and achieve performance an order of magnitude faster than a similar JavaScript library.

I asked the team members—Brian Feldman, Debra Do, Yervant Bastikian, and Mark Romano—to write about their experience.

Note: The report that follows was written by the team members mentioned above.

WebAssembly (“wasm”) made a splash this year with its MVP release, and eager to get in on the action, we set out to build an application that made use of this new technology.

We’d seen projects like WebDSP compile their own C++ video filters to WebAssembly, an area where JavaScript has historically floundered due to the computational demands of some algorithms. This got us interested in pushing the limits of wasm, too. We wanted to use an existing, specialized, and time-tested C++ library, and after much deliberation, we landed on OpenCV, a popular open-source computer vision library.

Computer vision is highly demanding on the CPU, and thus lends itself well to wasm. Building off of some incredible work put forward by the UC Irvine SysArch group and Github user njor, we were able to update outdated asm.js builds of OpenCV to compile with modern versions of Emscripten, exposing much of OpenCV’s core functionality in JavaScript callable formats.

Working with these Emscripten builds went much differently than we expected. As Web developers, we’re used to writing code and being able to iterate and test very quickly. Introducing a large C++ library with 10-15 minute build times was a foreign experience, especially when our normal working environments are Webpack, Nodemon, and hot reloading everywhere. Once compiled, we approached the wasm build as a bit of a black box: the module started as an immutable beast of an object, and though we understood it more and more throughout the process, it never became ‘transparent’.

The efforts spent on compiling the wasm file, and then incorporating it into our JavaScript were worthwhile: it outperformed JavaScript with ease, and was significantly quicker than WebAssembly’s predecessor, asm.js.

We compared these formats through the use of a face detection algorithm. The architecture of the functions that drove these algorithms was the same, the only difference was the implementation language for each algorithm. Using web workers, we passed video stream data into the algorithms, which returned with the coordinates of a rectangle that would frame any faces in the image, and calculated an FPS measure. While the range of FPS is dependent on the user’s machine and the browser being used (Firefox takes the cake!), we noted that the FPS of the wasm-powered algorithm was consistently twice as high as the FPS of the asm.js implementation, and twenty times higher than the JS implementation, solidifying the benefits of web assembly.

Building in cutting edge technology can be a pain, but the reward was worth the temporary discomfort. Being able to use native, portable, C/C++ code in the browser, without third-party plugins, is a breakthrough. Our project, WebSight, successfully demonstrated the use of OpenCV as a WebAssembly module for face and eye detection. We’re really excited about the  future of WebAssembly, especially the eventual addition of garbage collection, which will make it easier to efficiently run other high-level languages in the browser.

You can view the demo’s GitHub repository at github.com/Web-Sight/WebSight.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Air Mozilla: Martes Mozilleros, 12 Sep 2017

Mozilla planet - di, 12/09/2017 - 17:00

Martes Mozilleros Reunión bi-semanal para hablar sobre el estado de Mozilla, la comunidad y sus proyectos. Bi-weekly meeting to talk (in Spanish) about Mozilla status, community and...

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Air Mozilla: Martes Mozilleros, 12 Sep 2017

Mozilla planet - di, 12/09/2017 - 17:00

Martes Mozilleros Reunión bi-semanal para hablar sobre el estado de Mozilla, la comunidad y sus proyectos. Bi-weekly meeting to talk (in Spanish) about Mozilla status, community and...

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla Open Innovation Team: Mozilla running into CHAOSS to Help Measure and Improve Open Source Community Health

Mozilla planet - di, 12/09/2017 - 16:39

This week the Linux Foundation announced project CHAOSS, a collaborative initiative focused on creating the analytics and metrics to help define the health of open source communities, and developing tools for analyzing and improving the contributor experience in modern software development.

credit: Chaoss project

Besides Mozilla, initial members contributing to the project include Bitergia, Eclipse Foundation, Jono Bacon Consulting, Laval University (Canada), Linaro, OpenStack, Polytechnique Montreal (Canada) Red Hat, Sauce Labs, Software Sustainability Institute, Symphony Software Foundation, University of Missouri, University of Mons (Belgium), University of Nebraska at Omaha, and University of Victoria.

With the combined expertise from academic researchers and practitioners from industry the CHAOSS metrics committee aims to “define a neutral, implementation-agnostic set of reference metrics to be used to describe communities in a common way.” The analytical work will be complemented by the CHAOSS software committee, “formed to provide a framework for establishing an open source GPLv3 reference implementation of the CHAOSS metrics.”

Mozilla’s Open Innovation strategist Don Marti will be part of the CHAOSS project’s governance board, which is responsible for the overall oversight of the Project and coordination of efforts of the technical committees.

As a member of CHAOSS, Mozilla is committed to supporting research that will help maintainers pick the right open source metrics to focus on — metrics that will help open source projects make great software and provide a rewarding experience for contributors.

If you want to learn more about how to participate in the project have a look at the CHAOSS community website: https://chaoss.community.

Mozilla running into CHAOSS to Help Measure and Improve Open Source Community Health was originally published in Mozilla Open Innovation on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Chris H-C: Two Days, or How Long Until The Data Is In

Mozilla planet - di, 12/09/2017 - 15:29

Two days.

It doesn’t seem like long, but that is how long you need to wait before looking at a day’s Firefox data and being sure than 95% of it has been received.

There are some caveats, of course. This only applies to current versions of Firefox (55 and later). This will very occasionally be wrong (like, say, immediately after Labour Day when people finally get around to waking up their computers that have been sleeping for quite some time). And if you have a special case (like trying to count nearly everything instead of just 95% of it) you might want to wait a bit longer.

But for most cases: Two Days.

As part of my 2017 Q3 Deliverables I looked into how long it takes clients to send their anonymous usage statistics to us using Telemetry. This was a culmination of earlier ponderings on client delay, previous work in establishing Telemetry client health, and an eighteen-month (or more!) push to actually look at our data from a data perspective (meta-data).

This led to a meeting in San Francisco where :mreid, :kparlante, :frank, :gfritzsche, and I settled upon a list of metrics that we ought to measure to determine how healthy our Telemetry system is.

Number one on that list: latency.

It turns out there’s a delay between a user doing something (opening a tab, for instance) and them sending that information to us. This is client delay and is broken into two smaller pieces: recording delay (how long from when the user does something until when we’ve put it in a ping for transport), and submission delay (how long it takes that ready-for-transport ping to get to Mozilla).

If you want to know how many tabs were opened on Tuesday, September the 5th, 2017, you couldn’t tell on the day itself. All the tabs people open late at night won’t even be in pings, and anyone who puts their computer to sleep won’t send their pings until they wake their computer in the morning of the 6th.

This is where “Two Days” comes in: On Thursday the 7th you can be reasonably sure that we have received 95% of all pings containing data from the 5th. In fact, by the 7th, you should even have that data in some scheduled datasets like main_summary.

How do we know this? We measured it:

Screenshot-2017-9-12 Client "main" Ping Delay for Latest Version(1).png(Remember what I said about Labour Day? That’s the exceptional case on beta 56)

Most data, most days, comes in within a single day. Add a day to get it into your favourite dataset, and there you have it: Two Days.

Why is this such a big deal? Currently the only information circulating in Mozilla about how long you need to wait for data is received wisdom from a pre-Firefox-55 (pre-pingsender) world. Some teams wait up to ten full days (!!) before trusting that the data they see is complete enough to make decisions about.

This slows Mozilla down. If we are making decisions on data, our data needs to be fast and reliably so.

It just so happens that, since Firefox 55, it has been.

Now comes the hard part: communicating that it has changed and changing those long-held rules of thumb and idées fixes to adhere to our new, speedy reality.

Which brings us to this blog post. Consider this your notice that we have looked into the latency of Telemetry Data and is looks pretty darn quick these days. If you want to know about what happened on a particular day, you don’t need to wait for ten days any more.

Just Two Days. Then you can have your answers.

:chutten

(Much thanks to :gsvelto and :Dexter’s work on pingsender and using it for shutdown pings, :Dexter’s analyses on ping delay that first showed these amazing improvements, and everyone in the data teams for keeping the data flowing while I poked at SQL and rearranged words in documents.)

 


Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

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