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Emma Irwin: Diversity & Inclusion in Open Source Community Call #2

Mozilla planet - wo, 04/04/2018 - 05:20

April 4th ! 9 AM PDT (link to your time)

Learn about the Coral Project, Blind Reviews and more! Ask for help, offer help and share your work building inclusive communities for feedback and sharing.

Ways to join:

Join the discussion and stay in touch by joining our D&I Discussion Group. If you would like to present on future calls please reach out to me directly!

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Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Karl Dubost: 20 Years Ago… a source code

Mozilla planet - wo, 04/04/2018 - 02:00

So by now, you all know that Mozilla turned twenty. What was March 31, 1998 in California, for this news was April 1st in France when we arrived at the office. The April fool day is not a very trustable day in term of news (which is kind of ironic where the expression fake news took another meaning.); Meanings are fluid.

So I sent an email to an alumni mailing-list of work colleagues from our previous workplace (A French Web agency where we all started to code websites in between 1995 and 1997. There are stories) on April 1st, 1998.

La vraie nouvelle du jour

c'est le code source de Netscape.

http://www.mozilla.org/download.html

Which can be roughly translated as "The real news today. It's the Netscape source code." The answer to my message arrived a bit later that day with a very prosaic and down to earth question from one of my ex-colleagues.

My question might be a bit dumb, but what is the purpose of having Netscape source code?

This is a difficult question to answer. Specifically 20 years ago. There were plenty of open source projects already. But the concept of open source was not as known or marketed as it is today. Now, most of the major browsers have their code opensource and the topics related to "open source" have moved from the technology sphere to the society sphere.

And for most of the people behind a computer moving the cursor toward a button and clicking, the relevance of open source is as distant as the concept of nuclear fission when they push the switch to put the light on. And probably, it's fine… until something bad is happening and it's too late.

It was a good reminder for me today on what we often assume to be natural today where not just a quarter of a lifetime ago. This goes along with a younger generations of Web developers who were born after the Web and don't have the same assumptions about Web architecture ideas.

Happy anniversary Mozilla.

Otsukare!

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Ehsan Akhgari: Why do people dislike online ads?

Mozilla planet - wo, 04/04/2018 - 01:29

As part of my research on the various aspects of online advertising, one of the questions I have looked into is: why people dislike online ads?  In this post, I’m planning to go over my findings as to the underlying reasons, again, similar to the earlier post, trying to avoid using the ad industry jargon as much as possible.  Needless to say, none of this should be taken as official Mozilla position or policy.

Do people dislike online ads?

The short answer to that question is, very much so.  PageFair’s 2017 adblock report is very telling here (note that it reports data as of December 2016).  Key interesting facts to know from that report are:

  • 11% of the Internet population across desktop and mobile were blocking ads as of December 2016.
  • This number is increasing at an accelerating rate.
  • Mobile ad blocking is more common in Asia and Pacific, desktop ad blocking is more common elsewhere.
  • The growth rate of ad blocking on mobile has surpassed desktop.
  • Ad blocking growth rate on desktop continues to grow even though overall desktop usage is declining.
  • Usage in each market can be a lot higher, such as 18% overall in the US, 24% in Canada, 29% in Germany, 58% in Indonesia, etc.
Ads that people love

A discussion about why people dislike online ads often begins with the negative aspects of online advertising, and we’ll look at them.  But let’s first talk about other kinds of ads, the kind that people seem to love!  There are many different types of ads that people seem to respond positively to, and not only that, but in some cases even actively seek and remember even years later after viewing.  The examples vary depending on the country and the culture, but to give an example from the United States, the Super Bowl ads come to mind.  There are similar examples in other countries.  An interesting feature of these types of ads is that even though they can cause various controversies from time to time, people seem to actively seek them out, talk about them, and sometimes even enjoy watching them.  I remember ads of this category that I have watched many years ago.  Another interesting feature of these types of ads is that it’s very rare for people to find them online!

Ads that annoy people

There is unfortunately an abundance of various kinds of annoying ads on the Web.  Could annoying ads be the reason people dislike online ads?

This at least seems like a plausible explanation, therefore I decided to look into various reasons why people may consider ads annoying.  There has been a lot of research done around this topic in the literature, and there are some common findings based on that.  Some researchers have found that people find visually animating content (such as animations and videos) more distracting than static content, and when such animations are used in advertisement, people would find ads more annoying.  Others have found that people find ads that get in the way of something that they were trying to do more annoying than other ads (e.g., ads that obscure page content, open pop-ups, stick to the sides of the page, etc. annoy people more than ads that are merely placed next to the content that people want to read and interact with).  Another common reason in what annoys people about ads is their performance implications by slowing down page load times.

But the more interesting (and not entirely surprising) aspect of this research is how subjective the annoyance factors can be.  It seems that different people, sometimes at different times, would find different types of advertisement more annoying, but there is a lot of nuance associated with it.  At the very least, it seems that the way people engage with the content they’re interacting with can affect what types of ads they may find annoying, that is, if they’re highly involved with the content they’re viewing, the ads which they may find annoying may be different from if they only have a lower level of involvement.

Ads that scare people

One major difference between online ads and advertisements in other media is that some people may fear ads that they view online, due to the possibility of the ads delivering malware.  The PageFair 2017 adblock report is also a good source of information about this aspect of why people dislike online ads.  Almost as many people block ads to prevent being infected by malware and viruses as they do because they find ads intrusive.

Note that the people who are scared of ads have a good reason for their reservations.  The phenomenon of serving malware through ads (malvertising) has been well documented for many years in the news, and many highly popular and respectable websites (such as The New York Times and The Onion, and apps such as Spotify) have been caught serving malware through ads.  The way that these attacks work is relatively simple: the attackers convince an ad network somehow (either by subverting their IT infrastructure, or more commonly through social engineering) to serve their ads, containing the malicious code on a large number of websites that the ad network places ads on.  This, in addition to the fact that some malware served through ads doesn’t cause a visible side effect when it runs, makes seeing ads a really scary experience for some people, because they have no good way to ensure the safety of their devices when browsing the web (or using Internet enabled apps powered by ads!).

As a side note, it’s interesting to note that there is a gender disparity on the motivations to block all ads.  More women block ads out of the fear of getting infected by malware than men, and more men block ads because they find ads overly intrusive.  As I mentioned in the beginning, there is a large disparity in adblocking between desktop and mobile in most markets.  The State of Mobile Ad Blocking in 2017 report by GWI showed that women in the US seem to be less likely to be aware of the possibility of ad blocking on mobile compared to men.  Similar differences are also observed among age groups.  I have wondered whether there are gaps in public education around some of these topics which might help explain some of these results, although I haven’t been able to find much on the topic yet.

Ads that follow people

Many people who have shopped online have had the experience of looking for something to buy, and then being followed by ads for that thing for days (or weeks, sometimes months!) afterwards.  This is known as behavioral retargeting in the ad industry.  The premise for this is as follows: the advertiser is looking for consumers who are interested to buy a product, such as a shirt.  They would like to show ads for their shirt to people who would be a good target audience for buying a shirt.  In the offline world, if the advertiser were to place such an ad looking for a custom target audience, they would probably look for print magazines specializing in fashion, attire and such, based on the assumption that a subset of people who would buy and read such magazines would probably be interested in buying a shirt.  In the online world, however, the online ad industry offers a more lucrative option: showing ads for the shirt to people who have before shown real interest in buying a shirt, possibly a shirt of the same kind, color, size, etc. as the one the advertiser is looking to promote!  What could be better than this?!  The way the online ad companies do this is typically by tracking users from their online shopping carts through everywhere else on the Web as they browse, so that they can detect who abandoned a shopping cart without buying the products in it, what was in the cart, where that user is going now, which advertisers are interested to show ads for those abandoned products, and match up the two.

This is of course something that people hate a lot.  There are obvious reasons why people find this practice highly annoying.  For one thing, these ads typically don’t stop when you eventually buy the shirt in the end!  And sometimes there is not even a meaningful distinction between “shopping cart being abandoned” and “shirt being purchased”, simply because your connection may be spotty when you press Checkout, so you may go back and add the same product to the cart again and finish the checkout process after retrying.  To you, what happened was you just bought a shirt; but to the ad industry, what just happened was you just bought a shirt; and you expressed implicit interest in more shirts (due to that first shopping cart that got “abandoned” when you reloaded the hypothetical page).  More importantly, people don’t want to be reminded of every purchase decision they make online continually.  For example, women who experience miscarriage have to go through the horrific experience of being targeted as pregnant women for ad targeting afterwards.  You can imagine many other similar examples, and there is no recourse for people who find themselves in a situation like this.

Another aspect of retargeting which is less tangible but equally important is the issue of privacy.  The existing sophisticated ad targeting options on the various online ad platforms are powered by the massive amounts of data collected and shared between these platforms.  This data is often collected without the consumer’s knowledge and informed consent, and its collection and storage raises a lot of concerns.  The data, when combined and analyzed, can reveal facts about the individuals that most people consider highly private or are themselves unaware of.  Lately Facebook has been in the spotlight for the privacy implications of their data collection practices, although they’re hardly the only company involved in such practices.

Why do people dislike online ads?

After looking at all the above factors, the big question remains: why do people dislike online ads?  There is no simple answer, but it has been argued that the mass adoption of adblockers by the general population has happened as a result of ad retargeting.  This is really interesting, since as you can see above, there are certainly other reasons why people would block ads, and if you ask why adblocker users do block ads, they don’t really tell you anything about ad retargeting being the primary reason, but if you look at adblocker adoption trends, that has clearly followed the invention of ad retargeting.  Note that many of the other problems discussed above predate ad retargeting (and so do adblocker tools).

This was certainly surprising to me, so I tried to learn a bit more about the reasons.  In marketing, there is a theory behind why advertising works known as the signaling theory.  In short, the reason that advertising works is that an ad delivers a signal about a product or a brand to the viewer, in exchange for their attention.  The signal delivers information about the firm behind the product or brand, for example how big the marketing campaign behind a product is, whether a firm views a brand as a long-term consumer facing brand, whether a firm is ready to support a product in the market through supplying spare parts, services and such in the long term, etc.  The attention is the viewing focus that the viewer devotes to the ad to implicitly extract the signal out of the ad.

For example, when you see a billboard ad for a car on the highway, in addition to what the ad is explicitly telling you through the advertising message, it is also sending you a signal.  Most people realize that billboard advertisements cost a lot of money.  So if you see the same ad on the billboard while driving on the highway every day for a month, that gives you an idea on the amount of money the firm behind the car has been willing to spend on the ad campaign.  The signal that sends gives you an idea about how long that firm is likely to stay in business, how likely it will be for the firm to be able to support you as a customer should you choose to buy a car from them, and so on.  Contrast that same advertising with the same message, only delivered in a different venue, where everyone realizes it would be very cheap for the firm to place an ad.  For example, an a print ad, if it were literally the same advertisement just printed on a piece of paper and hand-delivered to your home address, would send a very different signal, especially if you knew all of your neighbors also received the same ad (but probably not people in other neighborhoods in the same city).  The signal that such an ad would send is that the firm behind the car doesn’t want to spend a lot of money advertising this car, so there must be a reason for it — maybe they aren’t willing to support the car for a long time in the market, or maybe the firm is in financial trouble, or maybe they don’t have a good marketing team, etc.  But it’s unlikely that the second ad would make you want to consider buying that car.  In fact, you would probably spend very little time dealing with that ad in the first place, as most people classify such ads as junk mail.

Armed with the knowledge of signaling theory, now you can go back and look at online ads from the perspective of what signals they deliver.  In the offline world, the print media which is respectable and has an established reader based is often a desirable place for people to place ads in.  And the desirability directly corresponds to how expensive it is to place ads there, since those ads deliver a higher signal.  But in the online world, ironically, the websites of the same media often take part in ad networks that practice ad retargeting, typically at a low cost.  This is why you can see ads for the dreaded shirt in the above example on the websites of respectable publications such as The New York Times!  And if you were before looking to buy rechargeable batteries, those ads would show up there, and so on.  Through that over time people see ads for any and everything on such respectable websites coming from known and unknown brands alike, they establish a cost estimate for how expensive it can be to place ads on these sites.  And since the retargeting behavior effectively happens everywhere on the Web these days, it’s very easy to set up these patterns as you use the Web as a normal user.  Another good example of ads that deliver a very low signal are social media ads.  It’s very difficult, if possible, for the user to distinguish an ad for a product created by an established firm from an ad for a product created by someone in their basement, especially given that the ads are often created through guides that are designed to teach people how to create well-performing ads, so the advertisement itself may look legitimate, but there is no more signal being delivered that the user can base their future decisions on.  A perfect example of this was seen last week when Facebook chose to place full-page newspaper ads in order to apologize for their data privacy scandal, and not use their own advertising network!  This is also due to the high amount of signal carried by those ads (“See how much money we are willing to spend on apologizing?  We must be taking this scandal seriously.”) where had they placed billions of online ads delivering the same message, they would be sending a very different signal.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that any high-signal ad will be loved by people, but I think this mostly suggests the reverse: any form of low-signal ad is going to hated by people!  We have many examples of these types of ads both from the offline and online world: junk mail, email spam, retargeted online ads, highly targeted and personalized ads, etc.  When you’re about to ask people for their attention to show them an ad, you’d better be providing them with some useful signal (and of course, not malware!).

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

The Mozilla Blog: How Do You Feel About Facebook? Take the Survey.

Mozilla planet - ti, 03/04/2018 - 19:38

There’s been a lot in the news lately about how 50 million Facebook users had their information used by Cambridge Analytica, a private company, without their knowledge.

TAKE THE SURVEY

The conversation since — both online and off — has been all over the board. Some people were not at all surprised by the story, saying this has been common practice for a while. Others were shocked, worried their personal information could be used for nefarious purposes. And still others seem not to really notice the news at all.

Which left us wondering, how do most people feel about this news and about Facebook in general? We put together a fun, quick survey to try and find out how people are feeling right now. It’ll take about three minutes of your day.

TAKE THE SURVEY

We’ll use this survey to understand how we can better support and advocate for you and your personal information online. We promise not to use any of your personally identifying information on targeted ads. We promise not to sell this data to any third parties. And we promise to share the results of this survey back with you in a transparent and open way.

The post How Do You Feel About Facebook? Take the Survey. appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

How Do You Feel About Facebook? Take the Survey.

Mozilla Blog - ti, 03/04/2018 - 19:38

There’s been a lot in the news lately about how 50 million Facebook users had their information used by Cambridge Analytica, a private company, without their knowledge.

TAKE THE SURVEY

The conversation since — both online and off — has been all over the board. Some people were not at all surprised by the story, saying this has been common practice for a while. Others were shocked, worried their personal information could be used for nefarious purposes. And still others seem not to really notice the news at all.

Which left us wondering, how do most people feel about this news and about Facebook in general? We put together a fun, quick survey to try and find out how people are feeling right now. It’ll take about three minutes of your day.

TAKE THE SURVEY

We’ll use this survey to understand how we can better support and advocate for you and your personal information online. We promise not to use any of your personally identifying information on targeted ads. We promise not to sell this data to any third parties. And we promise to share the results of this survey back with you in a transparent and open way.

The post How Do You Feel About Facebook? Take the Survey. appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla GFX: WebRender newsletter #17

Mozilla planet - ti, 03/04/2018 - 18:32

Bonsoir ! WebRender’s seventeenth newsletter is here. The biggest highlight of this couple of weeks is without hesitation the landing of Jeff’s blob image invalidation work. Months of hard work went into what grew into a reimplementation of a decent portion of FrameLayerBuilder for blob images and will improve SVG rendering performance quite a bit in WebRender as soon as it will be enabled by default. See the first item in the list of Gecko changes for more details.

Notable WebRender changes
  • Glenn fixed a shadow clipping bug.
  • fschutt made compiling the debug render shaders optional to improve startup time.
  • Josh updated the freetype dependency.
  • Botond implemented taking backface-visibility into account during hit-testing.
  • Kvark improved the frame capture tool.
  • Martin fixed a border clipping issue.
  • Simon updated serde.
  • Glenn unified the text-shadow and blur filter implementation.
  • Glenn implemented handling box shadow stretch modes per-axis to avoid allocating huge render tasks for very long/thin elements.
  • Kvark prevented incorrectly reusing frame ids from previous frames in render tasks.
  • Glenn made mipmap generation optional (it can be very slow and it is on the critical path so we are better off downscaling on the image decoder side).
  • Nical fixed a bug causing elements to disappear under certain conditions.
  • Martin added hit-testing support in wrench.
  • fschutt sped up allocating images in wrench.
  • Nical removed an old scrolling workaround in wrench made unnecessary by the transaction API.
  • Sotaro fixed the way TEXTURE_RECT sampling is handled in the shader (important for some video code paths).
  • Glenn removed the brush line shader and converted line decorations to use clip sources (fixes some edge cases and improves batching).
  • Glenn implemented rendering text shadows in screen space.
  • TyOverby and Kats updated the bincode dependency.
Notable Gecko changes
  • Jeff landed blob image invalidation.

    This gives us the ability to do proper invalidation and layerization for inline SVG with blob images. For example, the animation on http://snapsvg.io/demos/#game can now run asynchronously. It also means that we further avoid some the performance problems that FrameLayerBuilder has (this site runs much better with blob invalidation, and this site as well for example).

  • Sotaro implemented presenting through direct composition in some cases.

  • Sotaro enabled skia-gl canvas on Mac.
  • Sotaro enabled D2D canvas on Windows.
  • Kats reduced the number of WebRenderScrollLayerData item created for transformed items (perf improvement) and fixed a followup bug.
  • Kats enabled more tests.
  • Sotaro fixed a rendering bug when ANGLE is disabled on Windows.
  • Andrew fixed an intermittent crash happening under memory pressure.
  • Martin fixed a hit-testing bug with fixed-position elements.
  • Jeff fixed a crash with zero-sized blob images.
  • Jeff fixed another crash.
  • Lee fixed a crash related to the memory management of fonts.
  • Kats disabled WebRender-side mipmap generation.
  • Kats disabled QR tests on beta since WebRender isn’t available there yet.
  • Kats ensured crash reports properly tell whether WebRender is enabled.
  • Nical improved the memory management of images.
  • Jeff avoided computing a scale for 3d-transformed elements. and fixed a followup bug.
  • Jeff fixed uninitialized app-units-per-dev-pixels scale factor.
Enabling WebRender in Firefox Nightly

In about:config, just set “gfx.webrender.all” to true and restart the browser. No need to toggle any other pref.

Note that WebRender can only be enabled in Firefox Nightly. We will make it possible to enable it on other release channels as soon as we consider it stable enough to reach a broader audience.

Reporting bugs

The best place to report bugs related to WebRender in Gecko is the Graphics :: WebRender component in bugzilla. It is possible to log in with a github account.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla VR Blog: Firefox Reality: Bringing the Immersive Web to Mixed Reality Headsets

Mozilla planet - ti, 03/04/2018 - 15:03
 Bringing the Immersive Web to Mixed Reality Headsets

Today we are proud to announce Firefox Reality, a new web browser designed from the ground up for stand-alone virtual and augmented reality headsets. We took our existing Firefox web technology and enhanced it with Servo, our experimental web engine. From Firefox, we get decades of web compatibility as well as the performance benefits of Firefox Quantum. From the Servo team (who recently joined the Mixed Reality team), we will gain the ability to experiment with entirely new designs and technologies for seeing and interacting with the immersive web. This is the first step in our long-term plan to deliver a totally new experience on an exciting new platform.

Here’s an early video of our web engine and test UI:

In the coming weeks, we will release regular updates on our work, including:

  • Details of the design process, from paper sketches to headset prototyping
  • Sneak peeks of Firefox Reality running on a variety of pre-release headsets
  • New capabilities for artists, designers, and developers of immersive experiences
  • Integration of Servo, along with experimental extensions to the WebGL graphics APIs
  • An experimental computer-vision pipeline using WebAssembly
  • Device, gesture, and voice-interaction features

And much more!

Firefox Reality is designed and engineered specifically for the next generation of standalone VR and AR headsets, but during initial development our source code will also run in Developer Mode on Daydream and Gear VR devices. As of today, we’re releasing source code and developer builds for a variety of platforms. Updates will continue to be published here on the blog, as well as our Twitter account. If you are interested in learning more about or contributing to Firefox Reality, then reach out.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

The Mozilla Blog: Mozilla Brings Firefox to Augmented and Virtual Reality

Mozilla planet - ti, 03/04/2018 - 15:00

Today, we primarily access the Internet through our phones, tablets and computers. But how will the world access the web in five years, or in ten years, and how will the web itself grow and change?

We believe that the future of the web will be heavily intertwined with virtual and augmented reality, and that future will live through browsers. That’s why we’re building Firefox Reality, a new kind of web browser that has been designed from the ground up to work on stand-alone virtual and augmented reality (or mixed reality) headsets.

(If you love mixed reality – or even if you are just a curious bystander – you can read our announcement post here.)

So why are we creating a browser for mixed reality?

Here at Mozilla, it’s our mission to ensure that the Internet is an open and accessible resource that puts people first. Currently, the world can browse the open web using our fast and privacy-focused Firefox browser, but continuing that mission in a rapidly changing world means constantly investing our time and resources into new and emerging technologies – and realities.

Mozilla has always been on the frontlines of virtual and augmented reality (see our work with WebVR, WebAR and A-Frame), and this is a mixed reality browser that is specifically built to tackle the new opportunities and challenges of browsing the immersive web.

Why is this important?

This is the first cross-platform browser for mixed reality.

Other solutions for browsing and accessing the web on stand-alone headsets exist, but they are closed, and platform specific. Firefox Reality will be independent and will work on a wide variety of devices and platforms.

This is the only open source browser for mixed reality.

Just like our Firefox browser for the desktop, all of Firefox Reality is open source. Not only does this make it easier for manufacturers to add the browser to their platform, but it provides a level of transparency that our users have come to know and expect from Mozilla.

This is a browser that is built by a company that respects your privacy.

We take privacy very seriously at Mozilla. Mixed reality is still new. We don’t yet have all the answers for what privacy looks like in this new medium, but we are committed to finding the solution. We will continue to build on the proven permissions model of the web platform, which provides even more protection than native apps provide. The Mozilla values will guide us as we create Firefox Reality, just as they do with every product we create.

This is a browser that will be fast.

We know fast. We have decades of experience with web compatibility and last year we released Firefox Quantum – a browser that was rebuilt for speed. All of that knowledge, technology, and experience will allow us create a best-in-class browser for mixed reality headsets.

This is a browser that is built for the future.

Mixed reality is the wild west. How do you type? How do you express emotion? How do you view the billions of existing 2D web pages as well as new 3D content? How do you communicate? Who maps the world and who controls what you see? Can we build on our work with voice recognition and connected devices to create a better browsing experience? We love tackling these questions. Everything is new again, and we are constantly building and experimenting to find the right answers.

Browsers are the future of mixed reality.

The future of mixed reality is about delivering experiences, not about building applications.  There shouldn’t be friction moving from one experience to another. Firefox was the first browser to implement WebVR – an open standard for sharing and enjoying virtual reality content through a web URL. This lays the groundwork for creating and delivering immersive experiences using a method that is as simple as opening a web page.

If you’d like to learn more, or view a demo of Firefox Reality running on the HTC Vive Focus, check out our Mixed Reality Blog. You can also follow us on Twitter, where we will provide updates on when Firefox Reality will be available on headsets. Until then, stay tuned. Exciting things are coming.

 

The post Mozilla Brings Firefox to Augmented and Virtual Reality appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla Brings Firefox to Augmented and Virtual Reality

Mozilla Blog - ti, 03/04/2018 - 15:00

Today, we primarily access the Internet through our phones, tablets and computers. But how will the world access the web in five years, or in ten years, and how will the web itself grow and change?

We believe that the future of the web will be heavily intertwined with virtual and augmented reality, and that future will live through browsers. That’s why we’re building Firefox Reality, a new kind of web browser that has been designed from the ground up to work on stand-alone virtual and augmented reality (or mixed reality) headsets.

(If you love mixed reality – or even if you are just a curious bystander – you can read our announcement post here.)

So why are we creating a browser for mixed reality?

Here at Mozilla, it’s our mission to ensure that the Internet is an open and accessible resource that puts people first. Currently, the world can browse the open web using our fast and privacy-focused Firefox browser, but continuing that mission in a rapidly changing world means constantly investing our time and resources into new and emerging technologies – and realities.

Mozilla has always been on the frontlines of virtual and augmented reality (see our work with WebVR, WebAR and A-Frame), and this is a mixed reality browser that is specifically built to tackle the new opportunities and challenges of browsing the immersive web.

Why is this important?

This is the first cross-platform browser for mixed reality.

Other solutions for browsing and accessing the web on stand-alone headsets exist, but they are closed, and platform specific. Firefox Reality will be independent and will work on a wide variety of devices and platforms.

This is the only open source browser for mixed reality.

Just like our Firefox browser for the desktop, all of Firefox Reality is open source. Not only does this make it easier for manufacturers to add the browser to their platform, but it provides a level of transparency that our users have come to know and expect from Mozilla.

This is a browser that is built by a company that respects your privacy.

We take privacy very seriously at Mozilla. Mixed reality is still new. We don’t yet have all the answers for what privacy looks like in this new medium, but we are committed to finding the solution. We will continue to build on the proven permissions model of the web platform, which provides even more protection than native apps provide. The Mozilla values will guide us as we create Firefox Reality, just as they do with every product we create.

This is a browser that will be fast.

We know fast. We have decades of experience with web compatibility and last year we released Firefox Quantum – a browser that was rebuilt for speed. All of that knowledge, technology, and experience will allow us create a best-in-class browser for mixed reality headsets.

This is a browser that is built for the future.

Mixed reality is the wild west. How do you type? How do you express emotion? How do you view the billions of existing 2D web pages as well as new 3D content? How do you communicate? Who maps the world and who controls what you see? Can we build on our work with voice recognition and connected devices to create a better browsing experience? We love tackling these questions. Everything is new again, and we are constantly building and experimenting to find the right answers.

Browsers are the future of mixed reality.

The future of mixed reality is about delivering experiences, not about building applications.  There shouldn’t be friction moving from one experience to another. Firefox was the first browser to implement WebVR – an open standard for sharing and enjoying virtual reality content through a web URL. This lays the groundwork for creating and delivering immersive experiences using a method that is as simple as opening a web page.

If you’d like to learn more, or view a demo of Firefox Reality running on the HTC Vive Focus, check out our Mixed Reality Blog. You can also follow us on Twitter, where we will provide updates on when Firefox Reality will be available on headsets. Until then, stay tuned. Exciting things are coming.

 

The post Mozilla Brings Firefox to Augmented and Virtual Reality appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Air Mozilla: Mozilla Weekly Project Meeting, 02 Apr 2018

Mozilla planet - mo, 02/04/2018 - 20:00

Mozilla Weekly Project Meeting The Monday Project Meeting

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Air Mozilla: Mozilla Weekly Project Meeting, 02 Apr 2018

Mozilla planet - mo, 02/04/2018 - 20:00

Mozilla Weekly Project Meeting The Monday Project Meeting

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla Addons Blog: Extensions in Firefox 60

Mozilla planet - mo, 02/04/2018 - 16:59

Many people read this blog because they’ve written extensions for Firefox in the past. Others, though, know some HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and have been thinking about writing their first extension. Either way, now is the perfect time to jump into the WebExtensions ecosystem.

That’s because we’re having a contest! Develop an extension for Firefox and enter it into the Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge by April 15, 2018. Your extension could win you a brand-new Apple iPad Pro or a $250 gift card to Amazon.

And if you want to make your extension even better, consider using some of the new WebExtensions API discussed below. These new and improved API are available in Firefox 60, recently released to the Beta Channel.

A Profusion of Theme Properties

Since “Best Dynamic Theme” is one of the award categories for the Firefox Quantum Extension Challenge, let’s start with improvements to Themes. Release 60 adds a pile of new items to the list of elements that can be themed, doubling the number of individual components.  These include:

  • tab_line – Line color of the selected tab.
  • tab_selected – Background color of the selected tab.
  • popup – The background color of popups (such as the arrow panels).
  • popup_border – The border color of popups.
  • popup_text – The text color of popups.
  • tab_loading – The color of the tab loading indicator and the tab loading burst.
  • icons – The color of toolbar icons.
  • icons_attention – The color of toolbar icons in attention state such as the starred bookmark icon or finished download icon.
  • frame_inactive – The same as “accentcolor”, but only applied to inactive windows, provided for Chrome compatibility.
  • button_background_active – The color of the background of pressed toolbar buttons.
  • button_background_hover – The color of the background of toolbar buttons on hover.
  • toolbar_field_separator – The color of separators inside the URL bar (also available in Firefox 59; note that in Firefox 58 it was implemented under toolbar_vertical_separator)
  • toolbar_vertical_separator – The color of the separator next to the application menu icon (also available in Firefox 59; note that in Firefox 58 it corresponds to the color of separators inside the URL bar).

Also new for Firefox 60, the headerURL property is no longer mandatory, removing a somewhat arbitrary condition that made themes a bit clunky in the past.

Remember, the contest awards a prize for the best Dynamic Theme, so use the theme API to control and change the various UI elements in creative ways. Want an awesome tutorial that talks about Dynamic Themes? Check out the video below.

More Tab Features

Consistent with each release since Quantum 57, tabs remain a focus of WebExtension growth and improvement. Several bigger features will land in release 61 (expert Bugzilla miners are likely aware of them already), but Firefox 60 still offers a number of important items:

Improving Debugging and Development

Several new additions landed that make the debugging and development of extensions easier, including:

Proxy Improvements

The proxy API is quickly maturing, and Firefox 60 adds more functionality by adding the asynchronous proxy.onRequest API.  This API is ideal for extensions looking to deal with proxy requests in a background script.  Details are still being documented on MDN at the time of this writing but should be available soon.

Network Extensions Get DNS

Extensions now have access to Firefox’s DNS service to resolve hostnames. The new browser.dns() API takes a hostname string (with optional parameters) and resolves it to a DNS record for that hostname. To use this new API, your extension must declare the “dns” permission.

Dynamic Keyboard Shortcuts

Two new API were added to the Commands namespace that allow extensions to change their keyboard shortcuts at runtime. The first, commands.update, allows an extension to change the shortcut key and/or description associated with a command, while the second, commands.reset, reverts a command back to the keyboard shortcut and description originally specified in the manifest file.

Keeping Users Informed

In keeping with our mission to ensure that users are always informed and in control of what extensions are doing, a few new messages have been added to the browser interface:

Enhancing All the Action

The browserAction, pageAction, and sidebarAction are three of the most commonly used WebExtension features, and all three get some improvement in Firefox 60:

Other Improvements

The items mentioned above highlight some of the bigger and/or more visible changes that appear in Firefox 60. As always, though, many other minor or less visible improvements to WebExtensions also landed, including:

Thank You

A total of 63 features or improvements were landed for WebExtensions as part of Firefox 60 Beta. Thank you to our many contributors for this release, especially our community volunteers including: Tim Nguyen, Oriol Brufau, Richard Marti, Prathiksha Guruprasad, Vinicius Costa e Silva, Vivek Dhingra, Zhengyi Lian, Connor Masini, DW-dev, Bogdan Podzerca, and Dylan Stokes. As always, we sincerely appreciate you helping ensure that individuals have the ability to shape the Internet and their own experiences on it. If you are interested in contributing to the WebExtensions ecosystem, please take a look at our wiki.

This post is going up a bit later than normal and there are already several additions and changes to the WebExtensions API in progress for Firefox 61, so continue watching this space for more information. In the meantime, please continue to send us your feedback.

Correction
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the theme properties popup_highlight and popup_highlight_text were available in Firefox 60, and that popup and popup_text could be used to style the URL and search bar autocomplete panels. All four of those things will actually appear in Firefox 61 (which is available in the Firefox Nightly channel right now).

The post Extensions in Firefox 60 appeared first on Mozilla Add-ons Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla Turns Twenty

Nieuws verzameld via Google - mo, 02/04/2018 - 16:35
  1. Mozilla Turns Twenty  WebWire (press release)
  2. Full coverage
Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

The Mozilla Blog: Announcing $280,000 for Creative Gigabit Projects Across the U.S.

Mozilla planet - mo, 02/04/2018 - 15:03
Mozilla is supporting 14 tech-for-good initiatives in Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, and beyond

 

Today, Mozilla is awarding $280,000 to community technologists who are leveraging gigabit internet for good.

We’re providing grants to 14 projects in five American cities: Lafayette, LA; Eugene, OR; Chattanooga, TN; Austin, TX; and Kansas City. Grants range from $10,000 to $30,000.

The projects are diverse: they include a virtual reality experience that shows first-hand the drastic effects of climate change; an interactive Python curriculum for students in low-income school districts; and a program that empowers high school students as environmental watchdogs with the help of advanced mapping software.

What all these projects have in common: they tap into high-speed fiber networks to improve local education and workforce opportunities.

“Each of these promising projects leverages lightning-fast internet to make a positive impact in their communities,” says Lindsey Frost Dodson, who directs Mozilla’s gigabit initiative. “This work — being led by school districts, nonprofits, and for-profits — can create more connected, open, and innovative U.S. cities.”

These 14 grants are part of the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund, a partnership between Mozilla, the National Science Foundation, and U.S. Ignite. The Fund has granted more than $1.2 million to over 90 projects during its six-year history. Learn more about the Fund in the short film at the bottom of this post.

The Projects

 

Lafayette Gigabot Coding Initiative | Lafayette, LA This project trains elementary and middle school teachers in connected robotics and cloud-based programming. Teachers then integrate these topics into their curriculum. Led by Lafayette Parish Public Schools

 

Virtual Reality Ecoliteracy Curriculum | Lafayette, LA This project uses virtual reality to show students the real-world impacts of climate change and coastal erosion. It spotlights the plight of “climate refugees” — a displaced Native American tribe in coastal Louisiana. Led by University of Louisiana at Lafayette

 

A Community In Motion | Lafayette, LA This project trains high school students in livestream, broadcast and 4K technology, positioning them as community journalists and storytellers. Led by Youth Literacy Foundation of Acadiana

 

New Hope STEM Club Gigabot Project | Lafayette, LA For this project, middle school students will receive cloud-based programming lessons from members of the Black Male Leadership project at University of Louisiana. Led by New Hope Community Development of Acadiana

 

Giga-Scapes | Eugene, OR Using internet-connected board games, this project allows people hundreds of miles apart to play together. It also features STEM workshops for local students, taught by game-industry experts. Led by Tech Tone Graphix

 

Gigabit Residencies | Eugene, OR This project provides virtual reality and video game development training to teachers at low-income schools. Led by Lane Arts Council

 

Real Time Wetland Restoration Mapping and Analysis | Eugene, OR This project empowers at-risk students as environmental watchdogs — teens will use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to track land restoration initiatives. Led by Bethel Education Foundation

 

Educational Equity VR | Eugene, OR This projects uses virtual reality training to help eliminate teachers’ unconscious biases — and, as a result, mitigate disproportionate suspensions and expulsions for minority students. Led by Treadwell Ventures LLC

 

Opening Access to Virtual Worlds | Eugene, OR This project provides training in the fields of virtual reality and video game development for community members. Led by Eugene Public Library

 

Cross-Community Kvasir-VR | Lafayette, LA and Chattanooga, TN This project allows middle and high school students to take interactive virtual reality field trips to solar energy plants. Led by University of Louisiana at Lafayette

 

Networking the Classroom of the Future | Chattanooga, TN and Austin, TX This project uses 4K streaming to bring content from museums and research facilities into classrooms. Led by The Enterprise Center

 

Path to Python | Austin, TX and Eugene, OR This project provides an interactive Python curriculum to students in low-income schools. Led by Kiwi Compute, LLC

 

LOLA-Enabled Puppet Theaters | Chattanooga, TN and Kansas City This project uses internet-connected robotic puppets, 3D printing, and other emerging technologies to teach history in local classrooms. LOLA stands for “low latency audio visual streaming.” Led by Red Bank High School

 

LOLA in Lafayette Pilot Program | Lafayette, LA and Chattanooga, TN This project uses low latency audio visual streaming to create a cross-city learning day on Make Music Day in June 2018. The two cities will share their musical traditions. Led by Acadiana Center for the Arts

A photo from the Mozilla-funded Gigabots project in Kansas City

The post Announcing $280,000 for Creative Gigabit Projects Across the U.S. appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Announcing $280,000 for Creative Gigabit Projects Across the U.S.

Mozilla Blog - mo, 02/04/2018 - 15:03
Mozilla is supporting 14 tech-for-good initiatives in Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, and beyond

 

Today, Mozilla is awarding $280,000 to community technologists who are leveraging gigabit internet for good.

We’re providing grants to 14 projects in five American cities: Lafayette, LA; Eugene, OR; Chattanooga, TN; Austin, TX; and Kansas City. Grants range from $10,000 to $30,000.

The projects are diverse: they include a virtual reality experience that shows first-hand the drastic effects of climate change; an interactive Python curriculum for students in low-income school districts; and a program that empowers high school students as environmental watchdogs with the help of advanced mapping software.

What all these projects have in common: they tap into high-speed fiber networks to improve local education and workforce opportunities.

“Each of these promising projects leverages lightning-fast internet to make a positive impact in their communities,” says Lindsey Frost Dodson, who directs Mozilla’s gigabit initiative. “This work — being led by school districts, nonprofits, and for-profits — can create more connected, open, and innovative U.S. cities.”

These 14 grants are part of the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund, a partnership between Mozilla, the National Science Foundation, and U.S. Ignite. The Fund has granted more than $1.2 million to over 90 projects during its six-year history. Learn more about the Fund in the short film at the bottom of this post.

The Projects

 

Lafayette Gigabot Coding Initiative | Lafayette, LA This project trains elementary and middle school teachers in connected robotics and cloud-based programming. Teachers then integrate these topics into their curriculum. Led by Lafayette Parish Public Schools

 

Virtual Reality Ecoliteracy Curriculum | Lafayette, LA This project uses virtual reality to show students the real-world impacts of climate change and coastal erosion. It spotlights the plight of “climate refugees” — a displaced Native American tribe in coastal Louisiana. Led by University of Louisiana at Lafayette

 

A Community In Motion | Lafayette, LA This project trains high school students in livestream, broadcast and 4K technology, positioning them as community journalists and storytellers. Led by Youth Literacy Foundation of Acadiana

 

New Hope STEM Club Gigabot Project | Lafayette, LA For this project, middle school students will receive cloud-based programming lessons from members of the Black Male Leadership project at University of Louisiana. Led by New Hope Community Development of Acadiana

 

Giga-Scapes | Eugene, OR Using internet-connected board games, this project allows people hundreds of miles apart to play together. It also features STEM workshops for local students, taught by game-industry experts. Led by Tech Tone Graphix

 

Gigabit Residencies | Eugene, OR This project provides virtual reality and video game development training to teachers at low-income schools. Led by Lane Arts Council

 

Real Time Wetland Restoration Mapping and Analysis | Eugene, OR This project empowers at-risk students as environmental watchdogs — teens will use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to track land restoration initiatives. Led by Bethel Education Foundation

 

Educational Equity VR | Eugene, OR This projects uses virtual reality training to help eliminate teachers’ unconscious biases — and, as a result, mitigate disproportionate suspensions and expulsions for minority students. Led by Treadwell Ventures LLC

 

Opening Access to Virtual Worlds | Eugene, OR This project provides training in the fields of virtual reality and video game development for community members. Led by Eugene Public Library

 

Cross-Community Kvasir-VR | Lafayette, LA and Chattanooga, TN This project allows middle and high school students to take interactive virtual reality field trips to solar energy plants. Led by University of Louisiana at Lafayette

 

Networking the Classroom of the Future | Chattanooga, TN and Austin, TX This project uses 4K streaming to bring content from museums and research facilities into classrooms. Led by The Enterprise Center

 

Path to Python | Austin, TX and Eugene, OR This project provides an interactive Python curriculum to students in low-income schools. Led by Kiwi Compute, LLC

 

LOLA-Enabled Puppet Theaters | Chattanooga, TN and Kansas City This project uses internet-connected robotic puppets, 3D printing, and other emerging technologies to teach history in local classrooms. LOLA stands for “low latency audio visual streaming.” Led by Red Bank High School

 

LOLA in Lafayette Pilot Program | Lafayette, LA and Chattanooga, TN This project uses low latency audio visual streaming to create a cross-city learning day on Make Music Day in June 2018. The two cities will share their musical traditions. Led by Acadiana Center for the Arts

A photo from the Mozilla-funded Gigabots project in Kansas City

The post Announcing $280,000 for Creative Gigabit Projects Across the U.S. appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

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