In this issue…

Add-on Developer Hub launched
The addons.mozilla.org team has announced the launch of the new Add-on Developer Hub. The Hub is a one-stop-shop for add-on developers to find out why they’d want to make an add-on, how to make an add-on, and to manage their add-on listings. The Hub includes new documentation, a search system that lets you search all the best add-on development resources from one convenient spot, developer tools, and new community features. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to create a Firefox add-on, the Developer Hub should be all you need to get started.

New PluginCheck page needs more testers
Following up on the new Flash Detection on the What’s New page, the Webdev team is developing an upgrade to the Plugin Finder Service (PFS2). An initial version of the new service is available, and the team needs your help. “Please hit our testing server’s PluginCheck. We will be able to capture information about plugins and help fill out the PFS2 database. See an issue? Look through current bugs and leave feedback in Bugzilla.”

Further, Blair McBride writes, “Firefox 3.6 will have this integrated to make sure users know when they have an outdated plugin installed, without having to manually visit the PluginCheck page. Whenever you load a page that uses a plugin that is out of date, you’ll get a warning. Additionally, the Plugins tab of the Extension Manager will indicate which of your plugins are out of date.”

Lightweight themes now in Firefox 3.6
Mozilla Links has posted a great story about the new lightweight theme feature that has been added to Firefox 3.6. Lightweight themes are based on the extremely successful Mozilla Labs Personas project, and allow you to customize your Firefox toolbar and status bar backgrounds. Most exciting is that the GetPersonas.com site, which hosts tens of thousands of themes by thousands of artists, now fully supports the new system in Firefox 3.6. If you would like to play with this new feature, you’ll have to download and install the latest nightly version of Firefox 3.6 and then head over to GetPersonas.com.

Tab matching in the location bar
Alexander Limi, part of the Firefox user experience team, has written an article about a new feature currently slated for inclusion in Firefox 3.7. “One of the minor tweaks we want in Firefox is the ability to switch tabs using the location bar. This proposal is based on existing work from Alex Faaborg and thoughts from Madhava Enros and Aza Raskin around putting tabs in the location bar, and doesn’t stray very far from their proposals.” Alexander’s post goes on to talk about some additional tweaks and changes they want to try. If you have any further suggestions for improvements or additions to the proposal, you are welcome to leave comments on the Tab Matching wiki page.

First Test Pilot study results
“Over the past weeks, we’ve been sifting and analysing the data from the Test Pilot tabs study, and working with Blake Cutler from the Mozilla Metrics team to generate graphs of interesting statistics about tab usage.” The Test Pilot team recently posted an analysis page showcasing a few of those graphs. “We should be cautious about drawing conclusions too quickly from this data. For instance, just because it’s very common for someone to have three tabs open doesn’t mean that we need to start optimizing the browser for the three-tabs use case. These visualizations are just a starting point. We hope that looking at them will spark some ideas which can be turned into hypotheses. The next step is not to jump into designing interfaces, but rather to design experiments to test our hypotheses.”

A glimpse into the future of browser security
The Mozilla Security team has been working on turning the Content Security Policy (CSP) specification into working Firefox code. The CSP is a framework to protect websites from cross-site scripting and other related attacks. “We are happy to report that the work is nearly finished, and we have some preview builds available for you to try out. We’re thrilled to have received so much great feedback from other browser vendors, web site administrators, and security researchers and we’re very proud of the design that has come out of that discussion.” For further information about CSP, see Brandon Sterne’s full blog post.

Processing.js project back underway
David Humphrey recently blogged about some ongoing projects at Seneca College, one of which is focusing on completing the work John Resig started to port the Processing language to JavaScript (aka “processing.js“). David and his team are looking for help, and he invites anyone who would like to get involved to contact him. “The most exciting aspect remains that it’s all community developed, from Mozilla to C3DL to processing to processing.js. That’s how you build the software stack of the future.”

Device orientation documentation
Eric Shepherd has finished writing the documentation for the new device orientation support that has been added to Firefox 3.6. “This is going to be a very cool technology. Obviously it’s especially useful for mobile users, but laptop users may get some use out of it as well. It has a lot of potential both for user experience improvements (such as rotating the user interface based on the orientation of a mobile device) and for web gaming.”

Building online communities: Jen Burton
In John Slater’s ongoing Q&A series with notable online community builders, he spoke with Jen Burton, the community manager at Digg. “In her job wrangling thousands of Digg community members and their daily interactions with the site, Jen has accumulated quite a bit of wisdom that she was kind enough to share.”

Upcoming events
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.

* Oct 8 – San Francisco – Labs Night
* Oct 13 – Mountain View – Bay Area Add-ons Meetup
* Oct 15 – Online – Jetpack contest deadline
* Oct 16 – Online – Firefox Goes Mobile design deadline
* Oct 29-30 – Toronto – Free Software and Open Source Symposium
* Oct 30 – Online – Testscripting with MozMill
* Nov 7-8 – Sofia, Bulgaria – DevGarage

Developer calendar
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 about:mozilla
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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