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Marco Zehe: WordPress accessibility team member, Gutenberg contributor

snein, 22/12/2019 - 13:00

My recent frequent blogging about Gutenberg has led to some really productive changes.

One change is that my profile on now shows that I am also contributing to the accessibility effort. The accessibility team mostly consists of volunteers. And now, I am one of them as well.

I also started contributing more than issues to Gutenberg. I can also review and label issues and pull requests now. There are some exciting changes ahead that I helped test and review in the past few days, and I promise I’ll blog about them once they are in an official plugin release.

It is my hope that my contributions will help bring the accessibility forward in a good direction for all. I’d like to thank both the other members of the WordPress accessibility team as well as the maintainers of Gutenberg for welcoming me to the community.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Cameron Kaiser: RIP, Chuck Peddle

sn, 21/12/2019 - 21:29
I never got the pleasure to have met him in person, but virtually any desktop computer owes a debt to him. Not only the computers using the the 6502 microprocessor he designed, but because the 6502 was so inexpensive (especially compared against the Intel and Motorola chips it competed with) that it made the possibility of a computer in everybody's home actually feasible. Here just in the very room I'm typing this, there is a Commodore 128D, several Commodore SX-64s (with the 8502 and 6510 respectively, variants of the 6502 with on-chip I/O ports), a Commodore KIM-1, a blue-label PET 2001, an Apple IIgs (technically with a 65816, the later WDC 16-bit variant), an Atari 2600 (6507, with a reduced address bus), an Atari Lynx (with the CMOS WDC WD65SC02), and an NEC TurboExpress (Hudson HuC6280, another modified WDC 65C02, with a primitive MMU). The 6502 appeared in fact in the Nintendo Famicom/NES (Ricoh 2A03 variant) and Super Nintendo (65816) and the vast majority of Commodore home computers before the Amiga, plus the Atari 8-bit and Apple II lines. For that matter, the Commodore 1541s and 1571s separate and built-into the 128D and SX-64s have 6502 CPUs too. Most impactful was probably its appearance in the BBC Micro series which was one of the influences on the now-ubiquitous ARM architecture.

I will not recapitulate his life or biography except to say that when I saw him a number of years ago in a Skype appearance at Vintage Computer Festival East (in a big cowboy hat) he was a humble, knowledgeable and brilliant man. Computing has lost one of its most enduring pioneers, and I think it can be said without exaggeration that the personal computing era probably would not have happened without him.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Marco Zehe: Recap: The web accessibility basics

sn, 21/12/2019 - 13:00

Today, I am just quickly going to recommend you an old, but all-time reader favorite post of mine I published 4 years ago. And it is as current today as it was then, and most of it already was in the year 2000. Yes, I’m talking about the basics of web accessibility.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Daniel Stenberg: Summing up My 2019

sn, 21/12/2019 - 00:41

2019 is special in my heart. 2019 was different than many other years to me in several ways. It was a great year! This is what 2019 was to me.

curl and wolfSSL

I quit Mozilla last year and in the beginning of the year I could announce that I joined wolfSSL. For the first time in my life I could actually work with curl on my day job. As the project turned 21 I had spent somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000 unpaid spare time hours on it and now I could finally do it “for real”. It’s huge.

Still working from home of course. My commute is still decent.


Just in November 2018 the name HTTP/3 was set and this year has been all about getting it ready. I was proud to land and promote HTTP/3 in curl just before the first browser (Chrome) announced their support. The standard is still in progress and we hope to see it ship not too long into next year.


Focusing on curl full time allows a different kind of focus. I’ve landed more commits in curl during 2019 than any other year going back all the way to 2005. We also reached 25,000 commits and 3,000 forks on github.

We’ve added HTTP/3, alt-svc, parallel transfers in the curl tool, tiny-curl, fixed hundreds of bugs and much, much more. Ten days before the end of the year, I’ve authored 57% (over 700) of all the commits done in curl during 2019.

We ran our curl up conference in Prague and it was awesome.

We also (re)started our own curl Bug Bounty in 2019 together with Hackerone and paid over 1000 USD in rewards through-out the year. It was so successful we’re determined to raise the amounts significantly going into 2020.

Public speaking

I’ve done 28 talks in six countries. A crazy amount in front of a lot of people.

In media

Dagens Nyheter published this awesome article on me. I’m now shown on the internetmuseum. I was interviewed and highlighted in Bloomberg Businessweek’s “Open Source Code Will Survive the Apocalypse in an Arctic Cave” and Owen William’s Medium post The Internet Relies on People Working for Free.

When Github had their Github Universe event in November and talked about their new sponsors program on stage (which I am part of, you can sponsor me) this huge quote of mine was shown on the big screen.

Maybe not media, but in no less than two Mr Robot episodes we could see curl commands in a TV show!


I’ve participated in three podcast episodes this year, all in Swedish. Kompilator episode 5 and episode 8, and Kodsnack episode 331.


I’ve toyed with live-streamed programming and debugging sessions. That’s been a lot of fun and I hope to continue doing them on and off going forward as well. They also made me consider and get started on my libcurl video tutorial series. We’ll see where that will end…


I figure it can become another fun year too!

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Steve Fink: Running taskcluster tasks locally

sn, 21/12/2019 - 00:04
Work right from your own home! It can be difficult to debug failures in Taskcluster that don’t happen locally. Interactive tasks are very useful for this, but interactive tasks broke during the last migration — a relevant bug is bug 1596632, which is duped to a just-fixed bug, so maybe it works now?. I recently […]
Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Firefox UX: People who listen to a lot of podcasts really are different

fr, 20/12/2019 - 23:17
Podcast Enthusiasts and Podcast Newbies

Podcasts are quickly becoming a cultural staple. Between 2013 and 2018, the percent of Americans over age 12 who had ever listened to a podcast jumped from 27% to 44%, according to the Pew Research Center. Yet just 17% of Americans have listened to a podcast in the past week. So we wanted to know: What distinguishes people who listen to podcasts weekly, or even daily, from people who only listen occasionally? Do frequent and infrequent podcast listeners have different values, needs and preferences? To put it another way, are there different kinds of podcast listeners?

To explore this question, Mozilla did a series of surveys and interviews to understand how people listen to podcasts — how often they listen, how many shows they listen to, what devices they use, how they discover content, and what features of the listening experience matter most to them. Here’s what we found.

There is a subset of dedicated, frequent podcast listeners…and they listen a lot

We released a short survey on podcast listening habits to a representative of sample of Americans (as recruited through Survey Monkey) and a targeted group of audio-enthusiasts (distributed via subReddits such as r/podcast and r/audiodrama and Mozilla’s social media accounts). In this survey, we asked people how often they listen to podcasts:

How often do you listen to podcasts (across all devices)?

 people listen never or always.

We found that 38% of our survey respondents listen to podcasts daily. Note that we asked this question for each device (i.e., How often do you listen on your phone? On a smart speaker? etc.) The graph above shows the highest listening frequency each person. For example, someone who listens on Alexa a few times a month and on a phone daily would be classified as a daily listener. This could result in an underestimate of each respondent’s overall listening frequency.

A bimodal pattern is emerging: People tend to either listen very infrequently (a few times a month) or very frequently (every day). At first, we found it surprising that podcast listenership in our survey was much more common than in Pew’s results. However, when we separated out the results by the Survey Monkey panel (which is roughly comparable to the general U.S. population) and our Reddit and social media channels, here’s what we found:

How often do you listen to podcasts (across all devices)?

We saw our Reddit users were much heavier podcast listeners than the general population

In the Survey Monkey panel, 56% of people at least occasionally listen to podcasts, which is still higher than Pew’s findings, but more more comparable. In contrast, only 91% of the people who accessed the survey via Reddit and Mozilla’s social media channels listen to podcasts at least occasionally, and 62% say they listen daily.

The listening distribution of these two populations are inverted. People who follow podcasting-related social media tend to listen a lot. This may seem like an obvious connection, but it suggests that we may find some interesting results if we look at the daily listeners and other podcast listeners separately.

Frequent and infrequent podcast listeners use different technologies

Smartphones are by far the dominant devices for podcast listening. But when we split apart listeners by frequency, we see that smartphone listening is more dominant among daily listeners, whereas laptop and desktop listening is more dominant among monthly listeners: 38% of podcast listeners use smartphones to listen daily; conversely, 27% of podcast listeners use laptops or desktops to listen a few times a month. We also found that frequent podcast listeners are more likely to use multiple types of devices to listen to podcasts.

How often do you listen to podcasts on these different devices?

Smartphones are dominant devices

This chart shows how often people listen to podcasts on particular types of devices (smartphones, laptops or desktops, smart speakers) for survey respondents who listen to podcasts at least a few times a month (n = 575).

This distinction in technology use also plays out when we look at the apps/software people use to listen. Apple Podcasts/Apple iTunes is the most popular listening app across all listeners. However, daily listeners use a broader distribution of apps. This could indicate that frequent listeners are experimenting to find the listening experience that best fits their needs. Monthly listeners, on the other hand, are much more likely to listen in a web browser (and may not even have a podcasting app installed on their phone at all). YouTube is popular across all listeners, but proportionately more common with infrequent listeners.

Which podcasting apps do you use?

Apple podcasts continues to have a dominant position in the market

This chart displays podcast listeners, segmented by listening frequency, and the apps that they use. (Note that we didn’t explicitly ask how often people use each app. But we do know that, for example, of the 310 survey respondents who listen to podcasts daily, 85 use Apple Podcasts/Apple iTunes). For all listeners, Apple Podcasts/iTunes is the most popular platform. For weekly and monthly users, YouTube and web browsers are the next most popular platforms.

Why might infrequent listeners be more likely to listen in web browsers and on platforms like YouTube? Perhaps newer and infrequent podcast listeners haven’t developed listening routines, or haven’t committed to a particular device or app for listening. If they are accessing audio content ad hoc, the web may be easier and more convenient than using an app.

In addition to this broad scale survey data, we can learn more from in-depth interviews with podcast listeners. Podcasting newbies and podcast enthusiasts have different behaviors — but what about their values? To dig into this question, we interviewed seven people who self-define as podcast enthusiasts, as well as drawing from fieldwork over the summer in Seattle and three European cities to understand listening behaviors. We learned a few key things from those studies, particularly around how people think about subscriptions, and how they learn about new podcasts.

“Subscriptions” don’t fully capture how people actually listen

While avid podcast listeners may subscribe to a long list of shows (up to 72 among the people we interviewed), they tend to be devoted to a smaller subset of shows, typically between 2 and 10, that they listen to on a regular basis. With these “regular rotation” shows, listeners catch new episodes soon after they are released and might even go back and re-listen to episodes multiple times. For listeners who have a core set of shows in their regular rotation, diving into a completely new podcast requires a significant amount of mental effort and time.

Several people we interviewed use subscriptions as a “save for later” feature, storing shows that they might want to listen to some day. But having a long list of aspirational podcasts can be overwhelming. One listener, for example, only wants shows “to be in front of me when I’m in the mood…So I’m trying be meticulous about subscribing and unsubscribing. They should have a different action that you can do, like your list of ‘when I’m ready for something new.’”

Relationships with podcasts come and go. As one listener described it, every day, “I’m going to eat breakfast. But I definitely have gone through phases in my life. Every morning I eat oatmeal….And then suddenly I hate that…I kind of feel like my podcast listening comes and goes and waves like that.”

One listener we interviewed is more of a grazer, roaming from show to show based on topics she is currently interested in: “I’ll just jump around, and I’ll try different things…I usually don’t subscribe.” For her, the concept of subscription doesn’t fit her listening patterns at all.

These themes indicate that perhaps the notion of “subscription” isn’t nuanced enough to capture the complex and dynamic ways people develop and break relationships with podcast content.

Word of mouth and podcast cross-promotion are powerful ways to discover content

Podcast enthusiasts use many strategies to figure out what to listen to, but one strategy dominates: When we asked podcast enthusiasts how they discover new content, every single person brought up word of mouth. The interviewees all also found cross-promotion — when podcast hosts mention another show they enjoy — to be effective because it’s a recommendation that comes from a trusted voice.

The podcast enthusiasts we spoke with described additional ways they discover content,  including browsing top charts, looking to trusted brands, finding recommendations on social media, reading “best of” lists, and following a content producer from another medium (like an author or a TV star) onto a podcast. However, none of these strategies were as common, or as salient, as word of mouth or cross-promotion. Methods of content discovery can reinforce each other, producing a snowball effect. One listener noted, “I might hear it from like the radio. Sort of an anonymous source first, and then I hear it from a friend, ‘Like oh I heard about that. You just told me about it. I should definitely go check it out now.’” If listeners hear about a show from multiple avenues, they are more likely to invest time in listening to it.

Word of mouth goes both ways and podcast listeners’ enthusiasm for talking about podcasts isn’t limited to other fanatics. They often recommend podcasts to non-listeners, both entire shows and specific episodes that are contextually relevant. For example, one interviewee noted that, “Whenever I have a conversation about something interesting with someone I’ll say, ‘Oh I heard a Planet Money about that’ and I will refer them to it.” For frequent podcast listeners, podcast content serves as a kind of conversational currency.

What does this all mean?

Podcast listeners are not a homogenous group. Product designers should consider people who listen a little and people who listen a lot; people who are new to podcasts and people who are immersed in podcast culture; people who are still figuring out how to listen and people who have built strong listening habits and routines. These distinct groups each bring their own values and preferences to the listening experience. By considering and addressing them, we can design listening products that better fit diverse listening needs.

We also asked about listening behaviors beyond just podcasts. To learn more about that, check out our companion post, Listening: It’s not just for audio.

A sketch of two podcast presenters arguing

Sketch by Jordan Wirfs-Brock


Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Firefox UX: Listening: It’s not just for audio

fr, 20/12/2019 - 18:53
Understanding how people listen

When we first set out to study listening behaviors, we focused on audio content. After all, audio is what people listen to, right? It quickly became apparent, however, that people also often listen to videos and multimedia content. Listening isn’t just for audio — it’s for any situation where we don’t (or can’t) use our eyes and thus our ears dominate.

Why do we care that people are listening to videos as a primary mode of accessing content? Because in the past, technologists and content creators have often treated video, audio and text as distinct content types — after all, they are different types of file formats. But the people consuming content care less about the media or file type and more about the experience of accessing content. With advances in web, mobile, and ubiquitous technology, we’re seeing a convergence in media experience. We anticipate this convergence will continue with the emergence of voice-based platforms.

How do we know people are “listening” to video?

In our survey on podcast listening behaviors (find out more in our companion blog post), we asked what apps people use to listen. YouTube was the second most popular app, with 24% of podcast listeners. Only Apple Podcasts had more listeners:

Which of these do you use to listen to podcasts?

Youtube is the second most popular channel for podcasts, after Apple Podcasts.

We found that 38% of our survey respondents listen to podcasts daily. Note that we asked this question for each device (i.e., How often do you listen on your phone? On a smart speaker? etc.) The graph above shows the highest listening frequency each person. For example, someone who listens on Alexa a few times a month and on a phone daily would be classified as a daily listener. This could result in an underestimate of each respondent’s overall listening frequency.

Our survey also showed that YouTube and web browsers are more popular with infrequent podcast listeners and are often used as a secondary app. (More here!)

We found the prevalence of YouTube as a listening platform surprising, so we conducted a follow-up survey to get more information on the range of things people listen to in addition to podcasts. In this survey, deployed via the Firefox web browser, we asked which listening related activities people do at least once a month. Here’s what we found:

60% of people surveyed listen to podcasts at least once a month.

In the Survey Monkey panel, 56% of people at least occasionally listen to podcasts, which is still higher than Pew’s findings, but more more comparable. In contrast, 91% of the people who accessed the survey via Reddit and Mozilla’s social media channels listen to podcasts at least occasionally, and 62% say they listen daily.

We found that 60% of survey respondents said they “listen” to streaming videos at least once a month (note that we explicitly used the word listen, not watch). Of the range of listening activities we asked about, “listening” to streaming videos was more popular than listening to podcasts or listening to radio. In fact, it was more popular than every activity except listening to streaming music.

How and why are people listening to video?

We were also curious about how often people listen to video content, what platforms they use to listen to video content, and why they listen to video content.

We asked people how often they do various listening activities (listening to streaming music, listening to podcasts, listening to content on a smart speaker, listening to streaming videos, etc.) and then sorted them based on frequency:

People listen to music a lot; audio books are pretty rare.

On the left are activities tend to do rarely (50% of audiobook listeners say they do this a few times a month or less). On the right are activities that people tend to do daily (more than 60% of streaming video listeners say they do this daily). Note that “listening” to videos, either on the TV or on the web, falls in the middle. People are split pretty evenly between doing this a few times a week and doing them daily.

We also asked open-ended questions about the type of content people listen to and why they listen. People use streaming video as a listening platform for three main reasons: (1) access to content, (2) adaptability to environmental contexts, (3) integration of features that aren’t common in podcasting apps.

Content: Access to content you can’t get anywhere else, and it’s all in one place

Our survey respondents noted that lots of audio-focused content that is only available on YouTube or on the web. People pointed to video and audio podcasts (“A lot of podcasts are only uploaded to YouTube nowadays”) as well as lectures, debates, old radio programs, movies and TV. People valued both the availability of this content as well as the convenience of being able to listen to multiple types of content (audio or otherwise) in one place. As one person commented, “I can seamlessly switch from audio content (podcasts) to video content.”

Context: In situations where you simply can’t watch, you listen to video

One survey respondent listens to news from YouTube videos while driving. Another person says a, “web browser allows me to listen at work in another tab.” In both of these situations, the person is listening in order to multitask and because they can’t use their eyes to watch the video. We also got a lot of comments about transitioning between watching and listening, or between devices as people move from contexts where they can use their eyes to contexts where they can’t. One person wrote, “My dream scenario: start watching a video on my computer then pick up my phone and continue listening to the audio part of this video, then come back to my computer and continue with video.”

Features: Platforms like YouTube have features that aren’t common in podcasting apps

Many survey respondents also noted features that they valued from YouTube that aren’t available in some popular podcasting apps, like recommendations of what to listen to next, being able to comment on episodes, being able to pick up where they left off, and being able to manage playlists. One YouTube listener highlighted, “The fact that I get to comment on the content, rather than something like Apple’s Podcast app which doesn’t allow for discussion or feedback either to other listeners or to the creators.” Another pointed out, “Ability to bookmark and share at specific times.” Many of these features exist in some form in podcasting apps, but aren’t standard or aren’t as integrated into the listening experience.

What are the implications of listening to video?

As product designers and content producers, we tend to think about content in terms of media types — is this video, audio or text? But people experience media in a much more fluid manner. There is a flexibility inherent in a multimedia or multi-modal experience that allows people to listen, or watch, or read, or do any combination of the three when it best suits them. For example, one person uses YouTube as a listening platform because of the “auto-captions which I can export for future reading and citation.” Another listener treats video elements as supplementary to audio, noting: “I also like the added visual stimulation when I want it.” Instead of deciding “I need to watch a video now” or “I need to listen to audio content now,” people make media decisions based on what information is in content and how they can fit it into their lives.

Listening to video sketch

Sketch by Jordan Wirfs-Brock

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla VR Blog: How much is that new VR headset really sharing about you?

fr, 20/12/2019 - 15:06
How much is that new VR headset really sharing about you?

VR was big this holiday season - the Oculus Go sales hit the Amazon #1 electronics device list on Black Friday, and the Oculus Quest continues to sell. But in the spirit of Mozilla's Privacy Not Included guidelines, you might be wondering: what personal information is Oculus collecting while you use your device?

Reading the Oculus privacy policy, they say that they process and collect information like

  • information about your environment, physical movements, and dimensions
  • location-related information
  • information about people, games, content, apps, features, and experiences you interact with
  • identifiers that may be unique to you
  • and much much more!

That’s…a lot of data. Most of this data, like processing information about your physical movements is required for basic functionality of most MR experiences. For example, to track whether you avoid an obstacle in BeatSaber, your device needs to know the position of your head in space.

There’s a difference between processing and collecting. Like we mentioned, you can’t do much without processing certain data. Processing can either happen on the device itself, or on remote servers. Collecting data implies that it is stored remotely for a time period beyond what’s necessary for simply processing it.

Mozilla’s brand promise to our users is focused on security and privacy. So, while testing the Oculus Quest for Mozilla Mixed Reality products, we needed to know what kind of data was being sent to and from the device during a browsing session. The device has a developer mode that allows you to access advanced features by connecting it to your computer and using Android Debug Bridge (adb). From there, we used the developer mode and `adb` to install a custom trusted root certificate. This allows us to inspect the connections in depth.

So, what is Facebook transmitting from your device back to Facebook servers during a routine browsing session? From the data we saw, they’re reporting configuration and telemetry data, such as information about how long it took to fetch resources. For example, here’s a graph of the amount of data sent over time from the Oculus VR headset back to Facebook.

How much is that new VR headset really sharing about you?<figcaption>Bytes sent to Facebook IPs over time</figcaption>

The data is identified by both an id, which is consistent across browsing sessions, and a session_id. The id appears to be linked to the device hardware, because linking a Facebook account didn’t change the identifier (or any other information as far as we detected).

In addition to general timing information, Facebook also receives reports on more granular, URL level timing information that uses a unique URL ID.

"time_to_fetch": "1", "url_uid": "d8657582", "firstbyte_time": "0",

Like computers, mixed reality (MR) devices can collect data on the sites you visit and applications you interact with. They also have the ability to collect and transmit large amounts of other data, including biometrically-derived data (BDD). BDD includes any information that may be inferred from biometrics, like gaze, gait, and other nonverbal communication methods. 6DOF devices like the Oculus Quest track both head and body movement. Other devices, like the MagicLeap One and HoloLens 2, also track gaze. This type of data can reveal intrinsic characteristics about users, such as their height. Information about where they look can reveal details about a user’s sexual preferences and powerful insights into their psychology. Innocuous data like facial movements during a task have been used in research to predict high or low performers.

Fortunately, even though its privacy policy would allow it to, today Facebook does not appear to collect any of this MR-specific information from your Oculus VR headset. Instead, it focuses on collecting data about timing, application version, and other configuration and telemetry data. That doesn’t mean that they can’t do so in the future, according to their privacy policy.

In fact, Facebook just announced that Oculus VR data will now be used for ads if users are logged into Facebook. Horizon, Facebook's social VR experience, requires a linked Facebook account.

In addition to the difference between processing and collecting explained above, there’s a difference between committing to not collecting and simply not collecting. It’s not enough for Facebook to just not collect sensitive data now. They should commit not to collect it in the future. Otherwise, they could change the data they collect at any time without informing users of the change. Until BDD is protected and regulated, we need to be constantly vigilant.

How much is that new VR headset really sharing about you?

Currently, BDD (and other data that MR devices can track) lacks protections beyond whatever is stipulated in the privacy policy (which is regulated by contract law), so companies often reserve the right to collect and disseminate all the information they might possibly want to, knowing that consumers rarely read (let alone comprehend) the legalese they agree to. It’s time for regulators and legislators to take action and protect sensitive health, biometric, and derived data from misuse by tech companies.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Daniel Stenberg: My 28 talks of 2019

fr, 20/12/2019 - 12:49
<figcaption>CS3 Sthlm 2019</figcaption>

In 2019 I did more public speaking than I’ve ever than before in a single year: 28 public appearances. More than 4,500 persons have seen my presentations live at both huge events (like 1,200 in the audience at FOSDEM 2019) but also some very small and up-close occasions. Many thousands more have also seen video recordings of some of the talks – my most viewed youtube talk of 2019 has been seen over 58,000 times. Do I need to say that it was about HTTP/3, a topic that was my most common one to talk about through-out the year? I suspect the desire to listen and learn more about that protocol version is far from saturated out there…

Cities <figcaption>Nordic APIs Summit 2019</figcaption>

During the year I’ve done presentations in

Barcelona, Brussels, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Mainz, Prague, Stockholm and Umeå.

I’ve did many in Stockholm, two in Copenhagen.

Countries <figcaption>Castor Software Days 2019</figcaption>

During the year I’ve done presentations in

Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Spain and Sweden.

Most of my talks were held in Sweden. I did one streamed from my home office!

Topics <figcaption>JAX 2019</figcaption>

14 of these talks had a title that included “HTTP/3” (example)

9 talks had “curl” in the title (one of them also had HTTP/3 in it) (example)

4 talks involved DNS-over-HTTPS (example)

2 talks were about writing secure code (example)

Talks in 2020 <figcaption>FOSDEM 2019</figcaption>

There will be talks by me in 2020 as well as the planning . Probably just a little bit fewer of them!

Invite me?

Sure, please invite me and I will consider it. I’ve written down some suggestions on how to do this the best way.

<figcaption>At GOTO10 early 2019</figcaption>

(The top image is from Fullstackfest 2019)

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Karl Dubost: Week notes - 2019 w51 - worklog - Last week

fr, 20/12/2019 - 09:00

At the end of this week, I will be out of work until January 2nd. I'm looking forward the next 10 days from 21 to 31. But first… work!

  • Monday morning, robot move. I did a bit of diagnosis on the incoming bugs. The pile was high and I didn't check if it was my turn. If Ksenia needs my help, I'll redo a bit more.
  • I'm trying also to clean up my tabs. Things I had put there for reading later. A kind of « clean the desk » style before starting the new year.
  • Reminder: This is a good list to keep an eye on. The Webcompat-related Gecko core bugs
46439 Added the touchforcechange event to the Handling Events chapter. what? Reading


Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: December Edition

fr, 20/12/2019 - 03:57

Please note some of the information provided in this report may be subject to change as we are sometimes sharing information about projects that are still in early stages and are not final yet. 

New community/locales added
  • Kabardian
New content and projects What’s new or coming up in Firefox desktop

Firefox 72 is currently in Beta. The deadline to ship localization changes in this version is approaching fast, and will be on December 24th. For the next version, the deadline will be on January 28th.

Most of the new strings are in the onboarding and Content Feature Recommendations (CFR). You can see them in the What’s New panel in the app menu.

What’s new or coming up in mobile

There is a lot going on with mobile these days, especially in regards to the transition of Firefox for Android browser (internal name Fennec) to a brand new browser (currently Firefox Preview, internal name Fenix).

Since the transition is expected to happen some time early 2020 (exact plans are still being discussed internally), we wanted to make a call to action to localizers to start now. We are still waiting for the in-app language switcher to be implemented, but since it is planned for very soon, we think it’s important that localizers get access to strings so they can complete and test their work in time for the actual release of Fenix (final name to be determined still).

The full details about all this can be found in this thread here. Please reach out directly to Delphine in order to activate Fenix in Pontoon for your locale (requests from managers only please), or if you have any questions.

Looking forwards to the best localized Android browser yet!

What’s new or coming up in web projects

We added a few more pages recently. Though some pages are quite long, they do contain a lot of useful information on the advantages of using Firefox over other browsers. They come in handy when you want to promote Firefox products in your language.


  • firefox/compare.lang
  • firefox/windows-64-bit.lang
  • firefox/welcome/page5.lang


  • firefox/campaign-trailhead.lang
  • firefox/new/trailhead.lang
  • firefox/products/developer-quantum.lang
WebThings Gateway

This is a brand new product. The Mozilla WebThings is an open platform for monitoring and controlling devices over the web. It is a software distribution for smart home gateways focused on privacy, security and interoperability.Essentially, it is a smart home platform for bridging new and existing Internet of Things (IoT) devices to the web in a private and secure way.

More information can be found on the website. Speaking of the website, there is a plan to make the site localizable early next year. Stay tuned!

The initial localized content was imported from GitHub, content localized by contributors. Once imported, the localized content is by default in “translated” state. Locale managers and translators, please review these strings soon as they go directly to production.

What’s new or coming up in SuMo

This past month has been really busy for the community and for our content manager, we got new and updated articles for Firefox 71 on desktop and the release of many products on mobile: Firefox Preview and Firefox Lite.

Following is a selection of interesting new articles that have been translated:

Newly published localizer facing documentation Style Guides: Obsolete:

The Mozilla Localization Community page on Facebook has shut down. To find out how this decision was reached, please read it here.


Three localization events were organized this quarter.

  • The Mozilla Nativo Workshop was held on the 28th – 29th of October in Antigua Guatemala. Localizers from nine localization communities attended the event.
  • The Bengali localization workshop took place in Dhaka, Bangladesh on the 9th – 10th of November. The details of the event were well documented by two l10n contributors in their blogs:  Tanha Islam and Monirul Alom.

    Bengali localization community

The weekend event was widely reported in the local press and social media in Bengali:

  • The Arabic localization meetup was organized in Tunis, Tunisia on the 6th – 7th of December. The hosting community welcomed visiting localization contributors from Bahrain, Jordan, and Palestinian territories. During the two day workshop, the attendees discussed major challenges facing the geographically distributed community, identified better ways to collaborate, and steps and process to onboard and retain new contributors.

Want to showcase an event coming up that your community is participating in? Reach out to any l10n-driver and we’ll include that (see links to emails at the bottom of this report)

Friends of the Lion

  • Kudos to Safa, one of the Arabic locale managers, who single handedly reviewed more than 500 pending suggestions, reviewed and updated the usage of Mozilla brands in Firefox desktop product. He is also leading the effort to improve communications between community members and new contributor onboarding process. Keep up with the good work!

Know someone in your l10n community who’s been doing a great job and should appear here? Contact on of the l10n-drivers and we’ll make sure they get a shout-out (see list at the bottom)!

Useful Links Questions? Want to get involved?

Did you enjoy reading this report? Let us know how we can improve by reaching out to any one of the l10n-drivers listed above.

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Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Firefox UX: How people really, really use smart speakers

to, 19/12/2019 - 23:05

More and more people are using smart speakers everyday. But how are they really using them? Tawfiq Ammari, a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan, in conjunction with researchers at Mozilla and Yahoo, published a paper which sheds some light on the question. To do this, he gathered surveys and user logs from 170  Amazon Alexa and Google Home users, and interviewed another 19 users, to analyze their daily use of voice assistants.

Users of both Google Home and Alexa devices can access a log showing all the interactions they’ve had with their device. Our 170 users gave us a copy of this log after removing any personal information, which meant we could understand what people were really using their devices for, rather than just what they remembered using their devices for when asked later. Together, these logs contained around 259,164 commands.

We collected 193,665 commands on Amazon Alexa which were issued between May 2015 and August 2017, a period of 851 days. On average, the datasets for our 82 Amazon Alexa users span 210 days. On the days when they used their VA, Alexa users issued, on average,18.2 commands per day. We collected 65,499 commands on Google Home between September 2016 and July 2017, a period of 293 days. On average, the datasets for each of the 88 Google Home users spans 110 days. On days when they used their VA,Google Home users issued, on average, 23.2 commands per day with a median of 10.0 commands per day.

For both Amazon Alexa and Google Home, the top three command categories were listening to music, hands-free search, and controlling IoT devices. The most prevalent command for Amazon Alexa was listening to music, while Google Home was used most for hands-free search. We also found a lot of items in the logs reflecting that both devices didn’t often understand queries, or mis-heard other conversation as commands — that’s 17% in the case of Google Home and 11% in the case of Alexa, although those aren’t quite comparable because of the way that each device logs errors.

People used their smart speakers for all sorts of searches. For example, some of our respondents use VAs to convert measurement units while cooking. Others used their VAs to look up trivia with friends. Users also searched for an artist who sang a particular song, or looked for a music album under a specific genre (e.g., classical music).

The third largest category was controlling Internet of Things (IoT) devices, making up about 10% of the Google Home commands and about 17% of the Alexa commands. These were most frequently turning smart lights on and off, although also included controlling smart thermostats and changing light colors. Users told us in interviews that they were frustrated by some of the aspects of IoT control. For example, Brad told us that he was frustrated that when he asked the smart speaker in his kitchen to “turn the light off,” it wouldn’t work. He had to tell it to “turn the kitchen light off”.

We also found a long list of particular uses of smart speakers: asking for jokes, weather reports, and setting timers or alarms, for example. One thing we found interesting was that on both platforms there were nearly twice as many requests to turn the volume down than requests to turn the volume up, which suggests that default volume levels may be set too high for most homes.

Despite their use of voice assistants, our interviewees had some real concerns about their voice assistants. Both Amazon Alexa and Google Home provide user logs where users can view their voice commands. They both also provide a feature to “mute” their VAs.  While most of our survey respondents were aware of the user history logs (~70%), more than a quarter of our respondents did not know that they could delete entries in their logs and only a small minority (~11%) had viewed or deleted entries in their logs.

Users also worried about whether their voice assistant was “listening all the time.” This was particularly contentious when family members and friends became “secondary users” of the voice assistant just by being in the same physical space. For example, Harriet told us that her “in-laws were mortified that someone could hack in and see what I’m doing, but what are they going to learn?”

Other users were worried about how their data was being processed on cloud services and shared with third party apps. John noted that he was concerned about how VAs “reach out to…third party services” when for example asking about the weather. He was concerned that he knew very little about what information is sent to third party services and how these data are stored.

While Mozilla has no plans to make a smart speaker, we do think it’s important to share our research as part of our mission to ensure that the Internet is a public resource, open and accessible to all. As more people install voice assistants in their homes, designers, engineers, and policy makers need to grapple with issues of usability and privacy. We take an advocacy stance, arguing that as personal assistance become part of people’s daily experiences, we have the responsibility to study their use, and make design and policy recommendations that incorporate users’ needs and address their concerns.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

The Firefox Frontier: Survive the holidays at home with our tech support guide

to, 19/12/2019 - 19:13

Ah, the holiday season. It’s the time of year when we celebrate with family and friends, eat delicious meals, and repeat that magical phrase: did you try turning it on … Read more

The post Survive the holidays at home with our tech support guide appeared first on The Firefox Frontier.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mike Hoye: Over The Line

to, 19/12/2019 - 16:54


[ This first appeared over on the Mozilla community discourse forums. ]

You can scroll down to the punchline if you like, but I want to start by thanking the Mozilla community, contributors, industry partners and colleagues alike, for the work everyone has put into this. Hundreds of invested people have weighed in on our hard requirements, nice-to-haves and long term goals, and tested our candidates with an eye not just to our immediate technical and community needs but to Mozilla’s mission, our tools as an expression of our values and a vision of a better future. Having so many people show up and give a damn has a rewarding, inspiring experience, and I’m grateful for the trust and patience everyone involved has shown us in helping us get this over the line.

We knew from the beginning that this was going to be a hard process; that it had to be not just transparent but open, not just legitimate but seen to be legitimate, that we had to meet our hard operational requirements while staying true to our values in the process. Today, after almost a year of research, consulting, gathering requirements, testing candidate stacks and distilling everything we’ve learned in the process down to the essentials, I think we’ve accomplished that.

I am delighted and honored to say that we have one candidate that unambiguously meets our institutional and operational needs: we have decided to replace IRC with Riot/Matrix, hosted by Modular.IM.

While all of the candidates proved to be excellent team collaboration and communication tools, Riot/Matrix has distinguished itself as an excellent open community collaboration tool, with robust support for accessibility and community safety that offers more agency and autonomy to the participants, teams and communities that make up Mozilla.

That Matrix gives individual community members effective tools for both reporting violations of Mozilla’s Community Participation Guidelines (“CPG”) and securing their own safety weighed heavily in our decision-making. While all of the candidates offered robust, mature APIs that would meet the needs of our developer, infrastructure and developer productivity teams, Riot/Matrix was the only candidate that included CPG reporting and enforcement tooling as a standard part of their offering, offering individual users the opportunity to raise their own shields on their own terms as well as supporting the general health and safety of the community.

Riot/Matrix was also the preferred choice of our accessibility team. Mozilla is committed to building a company, a community and a web without second class citizens, and from the beginning the accessibility team’s endorsement was a hard requirement for this process.

Speaking personally, it is an enormous relief that we weren’t forced to make “pick-two” sort of choice between community safety, developer support and accessibility, and it is a testament to the hard work the Matrix team has done that we can have all three.

Now that we’ve made our decision and formalized our relationship with the Modular.IM team, we’ll be standing up the new service in January. Soon after that we’ll start migrating tooling and forums over to the new system, and as previously mentioned no later than March of next year, we’ll shut down

Thank you all for your help getting us here; I’m looking forward to seeing you on the new system.

– mhoye

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla VR Blog: Browsing from the Edge

to, 19/12/2019 - 16:52
Browsing from the Edge

We are currently seeing two changes in computing: improvements in network bandwidth and latency brought on by the deployment of 5G networks, and a large number of low-power mobile devices and headsets. This provides an opportunity for rich web experiences, driven by off-device computing and rendering, delivered over a network to a lightweight user agent.

As we’ve improved our Firefox Reality browser for VR headsets and the content available on the web kept getting better, we have learned that the biggest things limiting more usage are the battery life and compute capabilities of head-worn devices. These are designed to be as lightweight, cool, and comfortable as possible - which is directly at odds with hours of heavy content consumption. Whether it’s for VR headsets or AR headsets, offloading the computation to a separate high-end machine that renders and encodes the content suitable for viewing on a mobile device or headset can enable potentially massive scenes to be rendered and streamed even to low-end devices.

Browsing from the Edge

Mozilla’s Mixed Reality team has been working on embedding Servo, a modern web engine which can take advantage of modern CPU and GPU architectures, into GStreamer, a streaming media platform capable of producing video in a variety of formats using hardware-accelerated encoding pipelines. We have a proof-of-concept implementation that uses Servo as a back end, rendering web content to a GStreamer pipeline, from which it can be encoded and streamed across a network. The plugin is designed to make use of GPUs for hardware-accelerated graphics and video encoding, and will avoid unnecessary readback from the GPU to the CPU which can otherwise lead to high power consumption, low frame rates, and additional latency. Together with Mozilla’s Webrender, this means web content will be rendered from CSS through to streaming video without ever leaving the GPU.

Today, the GStreamer Servo plugin is available from our Github repo, and can be used to stream 2D non-interactive video content across a network. This is still a work in progress! We are hoping to add immersive, interactive experiences, which will make it possible to view richer content on a wide set of mobile devices and headsets. Contact if you’re looking for specific support for your hardware or platform!

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

The Mozilla Blog: More Questions About .org

to, 19/12/2019 - 15:16

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a set of questions about the Internet Society’s plan to sell the non-profit Public Interest Registry (PIR) to Ethos capital here on the Mozilla blog.

As the EFF recently explained, the stakes of who runs PIR are high. PIR manages all of the dot org domain names in the world. It is the steward responsible for ensuring millions of public interest orgs have domain names with reliable uptime and freedom from censorship.

The importance of good dot org stewardship spurred not only Mozilla but also groups like  EFF, Packet Clearing House and ICANN itself to raise serious questions about the sale.

As I noted in our original post, a private entity managing the dot org registry isn’t an inherently bad thing — but the bar for it being a good thing is pretty high. Strong rights protections, price controls and accountability mechanisms would need to be in place for a privately run PIR to be trusted by the dot org community. Aimed at the Internet Society, Ethos and ICANN, our questions focused on these topics, as well as the bidding process around the sale.

On Monday, Ethos CEO Erik Brooks published a blog post replying to Mozilla’s questions. The public response is appreciated — an open conversation means more oversight and more public engagement.

However, there are still critical questions about accountability and the bidding process that have yet to be answered before we can say whether this sale is good or bad for public interest organizations. These questions include:

1. For the Internet Society: what criteria, in addition to price, were used to review the bids for the purchase of PIR? Were the ICANN criteria originally applied to dot org bidders in 2002 considered? We realize that ISOC may not be able to disclose the specific bidders, but it’s well within reason to disclose the criteria that guided those bidders.

2. For Ethos: will accountability mechanisms such as the Stewardship Council and the incorporation of PIR as a public benefit corporation be in place before the sale closes? And, will outside parties be able to provide feedback on the charters for the B-corp before they are finalized? Both are essential if the mechanisms are going to be credible.

3. Finally, and possibly most importantly, for ICANN: will you put a new PIR contract in place as a condition of approving the deal? If so, will it provide robust oversight and accountability measures related to service quality and censorship issues?

We need much more information — and action — about this deal before it goes ahead. It is essential that Ethos and the Internet Society not close the PIR deal — and that ICANN does not approve the deal — until there are clear, strong provisions in place that protect service quality, prevent censorship and satisfy the dot org community.

As I wrote in my previous blog, Mozilla understands that a balance between commercial profit and public benefit is critical to a healthy internet. Much of the internet is and should be commercial. But significant parts of the internet — like the dot org ecosystem — must remain dedicated to the public interest.

The post More Questions About .org appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Hacks.Mozilla.Org: Presenting the MDN Web Developer Needs Assessment (Web DNA) Report

to, 19/12/2019 - 15:03
Meet the first edition

We are  very happy to announce the launch of the first edition of a global, annual study of designer and developer needs on the web: The MDN Web Developer Needs Assessment. With your participation, this report is intended to shape the future of the web platform.

The MDN Web DNA Report 2019.

On single-vendor platforms, a single entity is responsible for researching developer needs. A single organization gets to decide how to address needs and prioritize for the future. On the web, it’s not that straightforward. Multiple organizations must participate in feature decisions, from browser vendors to standards bodies and the industry overall. As a result, change can be slow to come. Therefore, pain points may take a long time to address.

In discussions with people involved in the standardization and implementation of web platform features, they told us: “We need to hear more from developers.”

And that is how the MDN Web Developer Needs Assessment came to be. We aspire to represent the voices of developers and designers working on the web. We’ve analyzed the data you provided, and identified 28 discrete needs. Then, we sorted them into 14 different themes. Four of the top 5 needs relate to browser compatibility, our #1 theme. Documentation, Debugging, Frameworks, Security and Privacy round out the top 10.

DNA survey fundamentals

Like the web community itself, this assessment is not owned by a single organization. The survey was not tailored to fit the priorities of participating browser vendors, nor to mirror other existing assessments. Our findings are published under the umbrella of the MDN Product Advisory Board (PAB). The survey used for data collection was designed with input from more than 30 stakeholders. They represented PAB member organizations, including browser vendors, the W3C, and industry colleagues.

This report would not exist without the input of more than 28,000 developers and designers from 173 countries. Thanks to the thousands of you who took the twenty minutes to complete the survey. Individual participants from around the world contributed more than 10,000 hours of insight. Your thoughtful responses are helping us understand the pain points, wants, and needs of people working to build the web.

Where do we go from here

The input provided by survey participants is already influencing how browser vendors prioritize feature development to address your needs, both on and off the web. By producing this report annually, we will have the means to track changing needs and pain points over time. In fact, we believe developers, designers, and all stakeholders should be able to see the impact of their efforts on the future of the web we share.

You can download the report in its entirety here:

MDN Web DNA Report

Want to learn more about MDN Web Docs? Join the MDN Web Docs community, subscribe to our weekly newsletter, or follow MozDevNet on Twitter, to stay in the know.

Got a specific question about the MDN DNA Survey? Please share your constructive feedback and questions here or tweet us under the #mdnWebDNA hashtag.

The post Presenting the MDN Web Developer Needs Assessment (Web DNA) Report appeared first on Mozilla Hacks - the Web developer blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet