In this issue…

Web developer? Get involved!
A common theme in the responses to the recent web developer survey is that many web developers want to get involved with and help the Mozilla Project, but they’re not sure how. The Web Dev team has responded with a great post explaining not only that all our web projects are open, but also how you can contribute. If you’re a web developer who would like to help Mozilla and Firefox users while working on sites that see millions of visitors every day, check out James’ post and find out how to get started!

HTML pointer-events in Firefox 3.6
In Firefox 3.6 the pointer-events CSS property, long available as part of SVG, has been extended to apply to normal HTML as well. pointer-events are a way to control whether a mouse event should be sent to the element directly underneath the mouse pointer, or passed through to an element further down. The Hacks team has posted an article about this new property, with links to documentation and demos.

WebGL goes mobile
Vladimir Vukićević writes, “One of the goals of WebGL was always to enable the functionality on both desktop and mobile devices. This is one of the reasons why OpenGL ES 2.0 was chosen as a starting point for the capabilities exposed by the spec. We’ve had support for WebGL in Firefox desktop nightlies for a few weeks now, but soon I hope to have it enabled on Firefox for mobile devices as well.” Vlad’s post includes a video showing WebGL in action on a Nokia N900 device.

Processing for the web project
David Humphrey and a number of his students at Seneca College have been working on the Processing for the Web project, which David introduced in a blog post in early October and posted an update about last week. “Up until this past week, the majority of the work was done by a group of 9 students in my class at Seneca, Al MacDonald, and myself. However, lately we’ve seen a doubling of the community, as a whole bunch of talented developers and data visualizers has shown up looking to get involved. In addition, Didier Coutard’s students arrived on the scene this week — his students are also working on Mozilla projects in France. The influx of new people and energy is making an already great project even better, and it’s amazing to be part of it all.”

Firefox Mobile: orientation + geolocation
Firefox Mobile (aka Fennec) includes both device orientation and geolocation features. Doug Turner blogged about both of these earlier in the year, but the team has recently put together a video in which Doug demonstrates these features on a Nokia N900 device.

Adblock Plus + Firefox on Maemo
Wladimir Palant, Mark Finkle, and Madhava Enros have all blogged about the new development builds of Adblock Plus that now work with Firefox Mobile (aka Fennec) on Maemo devices. Wladimir writes, “Thanks to the work of Fabrice Desre the current Adblock Plus development build is compatible with Fennec. It won’t work in 1.0 Beta 5, you need a nightly build or Beta 6 once it is out. As it is now, the support is very basic.” For those who don’t have a mobile device that will run Firefox Mobile, Madhava’s post includes a set of screenshots showing you how it works.

Relocating Firefox’s add-ons manager
Jenny Boriss has been working on a project to improve the add-ons manager in upcoming versions of Firefox. In her most recent post about the project, Boriss proposes the idea of changing the add-ons manager from a window into a tab. “Commenters on my last post highlighted problems caused by the add-ons manager being a separate window. It can get lost among other windows, be as distracting as a pop-up ad when giving a notification, and means part of the browser UI being modified is obscured. A potential solution that I think addresses these well is moving the add-ons manager into the content area of Firefox.” Boriss’ post includes more detail about why the design should work, a rough wireframe of what it might look like, and a short list of vital design considerations.

Reflections on Mozilla Education
Frank Hecker has written a long blog post in which he reflects on the past and future of the Mozilla Education project. “The primary goal of Mozilla Education now and going forward is to help grow a new generation of Mozilla contributors by working with students and educators around the world. In the original Mozilla Education planning document we outlined another broader goal around promoting general innovation in education. As discussed in the progress report, we’ve since deemphasized that second goal and are now focusing Mozilla Education efforts primarily on the Mozilla project proper.” Frank’s post goes on to talk about possible directions and goals for Mozilla Education through 2010.

Drumbeat: visualizing the open web
The Drumbeat team is in the process of defining and launching a handful of “bootstrap projects” intended to get the project rolling. Mark Surman writes, “One that interests me personally is ‘visualize the web‘: an effort to combine art, design and data to understand the internet, how it works and what it means.” Mark’s post includes a high level summary of the project, and the wiki includes a full initial draft of the project description. “I’m currently working with Lee Rainie at Pew Internet and a few others to refine this write up and turn it into a real project. If you’re interested in helping out, or just have questions or suggestions, please comment below or get in touch. We’re doing a first brainstorming call on December 20.”

Mozilla history + national parks
Chelsea Novak and David Boswell are working on pulling together Mozilla’s history and making it more discoverable. One idea they’re working on is “to tell this history of Firefox through the parks that have been used as project code names.” David’s blog post includes a mock-up of what one of the parks pages might look like, and continues on to describe a larger purpose behind the project. “In addition to telling our history, we can also help these parks. In the mock-up, there’s a donation link that people can use if they’d like to support Namoroka. We’ve partnered with the Madagascar Fauna Group’s Save The Lemur campaign and we’ll look into similar arrangements for the other code-name parks.”

Software releases (new!)
The Mozilla Project releases a lot of software, so as of this issue of about:mozilla those releases will all be listed in this new “Software releases” section. If you have a release announcement you would like included here, please email a note to about-mozilla*at*mozilla.com.

* Thunderbird 3 RC 2
* Weave Sync beta 2
* Calendar 1.0 beta 1 progress
* Firebug 1.5 beta 6

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.

* Dec 11 – Online – Testday: SeaMonkey 2.0
* Dec 13 – Online – Jetpack 50-line challenge deadline

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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