In this issue…
- Major update coming to Firefox 3
- Mozilla VP on Firefox Mobile
- Become a Mozilla Test Pilot!
- Bespin 0.4 released
- Tomorrow! Service Week online workshop
- Community marketing and Firefox 3.5
- MozCamp Europe: call for speakers
- Improving Mozilla Web localization
- How many Firefox users use add-ons?
- Tim Roberts on building communities
- Camino: phishing and malware protection
- Firefox startup performance
- Recent press
- Upcoming events
- Developer calendar
- About about:mozilla
Major update coming to Firefox 3
Users with the latest version of Firefox 3 will now be getting an offer to update to Firefox 3.5. If you’re running Firefox 3.0.13 you will see the offer in the next couple of days, or you can manually request the update by selecting “Check for Updates” in the “Help” menu. For more information about Firefox 3.5 and this major update, please see the original DevNews announcement.
Mozilla VP on Firefox Mobile
Lifehacker recently published an extensive interview with Jay Sullivan, Mozilla’s VP of Mobile and the person heading up the Firefox Mobile (aka “Fennec”) project. The interview covers topics ranging from how he organizes his day, the connection between Fennec and the Mozilla Labs’ Weave project, the state of Fennec development, to working with various device manufacturers. You can read the full interview at Lifehacker.
Become a Mozilla Test Pilot!
Mozilla Labs has announced the new Test Pilot project, which includes the release of the first Test Pilot add-on for Firefox 3.5. “We are looking for Firefox users of all levels of skill and technical knowledge to help improve Firefox and Labs experiments. If you are interested in helping Mozilla make your Web experience better, join the Test Pilot team now!” As a Test Pilot, you will try out the newest features and user interface ideas before anyone else, and your input will contribute back to the product design. The Test Pilot project announcement includes all the details about the program and how you can get started.
Bespin 0.4 released
The Bespin team has released a new version of the service, which now includes social and collaboration features. “We have worked with many remote teams during our coding careers and trying to do code reviews and pair programming has always been painful. Since Bespin’s all about coding in the cloud, how about using the cloud to make this a little easier?” Joe Walker did the majority of the work on these features, and he has posted about the implementation and how to use it.
Tomorrow! Service Week online workshop
Mozilla Service Week — a week during which the Mozilla Community is rallying to donate their time and skills to help change people’s lives and make the Web better for everyone — is taking place Sept 14-21 and coming up soon! Join us tomorrow, Wednesday August 19th at 9am Pacific, and take part in our online workshop where we will show you how you can get involved and contribute to or promote Service Week. The workshop will be held online, and you’ll be able to dial in by phone, Skype, or watch on Air Mozilla. All the details are available over on Mary’s weblog. We hope to see you there!
Community marketing and Firefox 3.5
The Marketing team spent some time early this year figuring out new ways to grow the community of marketing contributors and how to make engagement in that community more interactive and meaningful. They used the Firefox 3.5 launch as an opportunity to jump start the team, kicking off the year with a set of activities focused on these two primary goals. Now that the Firefox launch is done, Mary Colvig has posted an article examining the success of these efforts, asking for further feedback about how things could be improved even more in the future.
MozCamp Europe: call for speakers
Brian King is helping organize the Developer track for Mozilla Camp Europe, being held this year in Prague on October 3-4. The team is still looking for people to give talks at the conference, and now is your chance to step forward and secure a speaking slot. There are a number of ways to do this, either by leaving a comment on Brian’s post, adding yourself to the wiki page, or emailing Brian directly. If you don’t see any topics on the wiki page that interest you, you can also suggest other possible topics for inclusion.
Improving Mozilla Web localization
Frédéric Wenzel took part in a recent meeting in Berlin, Germany, where the Mozilla localization drivers team met to talk about localization on the Web. “In a small series of three blog posts, I would like to point out what the ‘pain points’ are for Web L10n at Mozilla, and start a discussion on how to fix them.” Frédéric has published all three of these blog posts, and they’re available here: Part 1 – What’s Wrong?, Part 2 – Organizational Challenges, and Part 3 – Challenges for Tools. If you’ve ever been part of or just interested in Mozilla’s localization efforts, you should read these posts and take part in the discussion around them.
How many Firefox users use add-ons?
Simon Krueger, while working with the Mozilla Metrics team over the summer, was presented with the challenge of answering the question, “how many Firefox users have one add-on or more installed on their Firefox?” Simon’s research, which he has blogged about at length, has lead to the conclusion that fully one-third of Firefox users use add-ons. Justin Scott has also written about these findings. “A minimum of 33% of users having chosen to install add-ons is great news, and is higher than our previous estimates. It’s especially exciting that we have a new metric to track the success and adoption of add-ons as we launch new features and campaigns encouraging users to customize Firefox and make it their own.”
Tim Roberts on building communities
John Slater has posted another in his Q&A series with online community builders. “I chatted with Infectious founder and CEO Tim Roberts. Before starting Infectious, one of the best and most interesting design community sites around, Tim worked at companies like Odeo (where he was part of the team that created Twitter), Yahoo and Bigstep.com. As someone who knows the ins and outs of building an online community of artists, Tim’s advice was particularly relevant to what we’re trying to do with the Mozilla Creative Collective.” John’s IM chat with Tim, held a few weeks ago, is available on John’s blog.
Camino: phishing and malware protection
Recent Camino 2 nightly builds include new phishing and malware protection features. “Phishing, or criminals attempting to trick people into providing personal and financial information by using fake copies of trusted websites, and malware, or malicious software designed to take over a computer and/or steal information from a computer, are two common dangers for users of the web.” Like Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome, Camino uses the Safe Browsing service from Google for these features. For more information about these advancements, see the Camino project weblog.
Firefox startup performance
The Firefox team is doing a lot of performance improvement work lately, and they have started posting weekly updates on status and progress of the related projects. Dietrich Ayala is leading these efforts, and has written a round up of the week’s progress which includes optimization work, dead code hunting, start up timeline investigations, XPCOM work, and testing/measurement discussions. Dietrich also links to other developer blog posts, including Ryan Flint, David Dahl, and Drew Willcoxon, among others.
Mozilla’s PR team has posted another update to their “Above the Fold” weblog, outlining recent coverage about Firefox 3.5 and the upcoming Firefox 3.6. “While we received the bulk of coverage around the Firefox 3.5 launch in June, some great pieces are still being written. Last week, Financial Times writer Paul Taylor published a positive review of Firefox 3.5. In other news…last Friday, Mozilla released Firefox 3.6 alpha. There have been several positive press articles emphasizing speed improvements and new features.” Get all the links and more over at Above the Fold.
The Mozilla community is organizing an increasing number of events and meetups all the time, and we include a list of these here every week. If you have events you would like listed, send them along to: about-mozilla*at*mozilla.com.
* Wed, Aug 19 – Online – Mozilla Service Week workshop
* Wed, Aug 19 – Mountain View – Firefox code coverage
* Fri, Aug 21 – Online – Fennec 1.0 beta Testday
* Fri, Sep 4 – Online – Firefox 3.5 Testday
* Sept 14-21 – Everywhere! – Mozilla Service Week
* Fri, Oct 2 – Everywhere! – Extend Firefox contest deadline
* Oct 3-4 – Prague – Mozilla Camp Europe
For an up-to-date list of the coming week’s Mozilla project meetings and events, please see the Mozilla Community Calendar wiki page. Notes from previous meetings are linked to through the Calendar as well.
about:mozilla is by, for and about the Mozilla community, focusing on major news items related to all aspects of the Mozilla Project. The newsletter is written by Deb Richardson and is published every Tuesday morning. If you have any news or announcements you would like to have included in our next issue, please send them to: about-mozilla[at]mozilla.com.
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18 Aug 2009 deb