In this issue…
- Firefox plugin checker launched
- New Firefox demos
- Vote now: Firefox Goes Mobile
- TestPilot tab data analysis
- Firebug features polls
- Women in Mozilla project
- Predicting Firefox growth
- New device API for Firefox 3.6
- Weave and cryptography
- Upcoming events
- Developer calendar
- About about:mozilla
Firefox plugin checker launched
Mozilla recently launched a new Plugin Checker to help users find and install updates for their browser plugins. This is an important new service because an estimated 30% of all Firefox crashes are caused by third-party plugins, and many major security vulnerabilities exploit out of date plugins. In the future this service will be integrated into Firefox itself, but for now the service is available as a web page.
New Firefox demos
Paul Rouget has put together three new demos of features that will be in an upcoming Firefox release. The first shows off the new “orientation” events in web content, but only works in devices that have accelerometers. The next shows the power of WebGL when combined with CSS3 and SVG. Finally, Paul demonstrates CSS Transition in combination with the video tag. To view these demos you will need to have the latest nightly build.
Vote now: Firefox Goes Mobile
John Slater writes, “The submission period in our Firefox Goes Mobile Design Challenge ended, and now it’s time to pick a winner. Your votes will help decide what image ends up being used on websites, t-shirts and more so be sure to scan through the full gallery between now and October 23rd.”
TestPilot tab data analysis
Andy Edmonds has been working on Mozilla Test Pilot tabs data analysis, and has published another article about his findings regarding time and the event sequencing of tab usage. Included is information about timing and event sequences, timing and sessions, and an examination of a single user’s four hour browsing session. See Andy’s article for more information.
Firebug features polls
Rob Campbell recently did some informal polling via Twitter and Rypple asking users about their favorite and least favorite features of Firebug. “The results were interesting in that they confirmed what I suspected about the majority of people using Firebug.” Rob has posted results for both the favorite features and least favorite features polls on his weblog.
Women in Mozilla project
Delphine Lebedel has announced that the new Women and Mozilla community project website has been created and launched. “The mission of WoMoz is to promote women in Mozilla and FLOSS. Amongst other tools, we have created a dedicated wiki, blog, and mailing list in order to achieve this. All three can be accessed from our main website. If you are interested in promoting women in free software and wish to help this project grow, head on over to WoMoz.”
Predicting Firefox growth
Blake Cutler, part of Mozilla’s Metrics team, has posted an article talking about some work that Eric Hergenrader did in analyzing fluctuations in Firefox usage, and how that analysis is proving useful in predicting future usage. “I have plotted actual against predicted usage. The correlation between these two lines is remarkable. Since September, the average prediction was off by just 1.63%!”
New device API for Firefox 3.6
Chris Blizzard writes, “One new feature we’re including as part of Firefox 3.6 is support for webpages to access machine orientation information if it’s available. Using the API is very simple. All you have to do is add a simple event listener.” Blizzard’s post also includes links to further information from Doug Turner, and a link to the full documentation for this new API.
Weave and cryptography
The Mozilla Labs Weave project makes use of cryptography to protect users’ data and privacy. Anant Narayanan has written an article that explains this cryptographic system in detail. “While the specs for the Weave server are available, it may take someone new a while to wrap their head around the whole scheme.” Anant goes over some basic definitions, what happens when a user first signs up for Weave, what happens when a particular “engine” is synchronized, and more.
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.
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.
If you would like to get this newsletter by email, just head on over to the about:mozilla newsletter subscription form. Fresh news, every Tuesday, right to your inbox.
20 Oct 2009 deb