In this issue…

Mozilla Hacks v2.0
The ever-popular Mozilla Hacks website has undergone a recent facelift. “We wanted to make it easier for everyone to not only enjoy the new content we publish, but also to find past articles and demos. With Firefox 3.6 just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to rediscover Hacks!” Mozilla Hacks includes tutorials, updates on web standards, and technology demos — a great place to stay up to date on current web innovations and technology.

Introduction to Firebug screencast
Rob Campbell has released the first in a series of screencasts in which he introduces some of the basic features of Firebug. “I plan on making more of these in the near future highlighting some of the features of Firebug 1.5 and some of the other, lesser known things you can do.” The video is available in both Ogg and Mpeg4 formats through Rob’s weblog.

Design community spotlight: Hamu
John Slater has posted an interview with Hamu, a prolific and talented contributor to the Mozilla Creative Collective. “One of my favorite Creative Collective artists is Hamu, who lives in Beijing and has posted 29 Firefox-inspired illustrations so far. His work is an interesting blend of modern cartoons and traditional Chinese styles, so I decided to get in touch and find out more about his inspirations and process. He gave some great answers, so be sure to read the interview and check out his full gallery at the MCC.”

Help wanted: rebuilding the Plugin directory
Les Orchard is working on expanding Mozilla’s Plugin Check page to cover not only Firefox, but to cover and help users of as many browsers as possible. “As it turns out, that’s a tall order: Competing browsers offer entirely different models of collecting information on installed plugins, and the plugins themselves reveal inconsistent information from one to the next. This makes a common detection scheme across browsers and plugins somewhat challenging. To address these issues, the Webdev team has started work on building a new Plugin Directory.” For further information about this project, what’s involved, and how you can help, check out Les’ blog post and the Plugins Directory page on the Mozilla Wiki.

Do we need extension dependencies?
Dave Townsend is looking for feedback about extension dependencies and whether Firefox should continue supporting that feature or not. “The support is currently very limited and when a user tries to use an add-on that depends on something they don’t have they are pretty much left in the cold. While we tell them it requires something we don’t tell them what it requires or give them an easy way to download and install it.” Very few extensions currently make use of this feature, raising the question whether the cost of supporting the feature is worth it. If you have thoughts about this, please head over to Dave’s weblog and jump into the discussion.

Experiments with audio
For the past month David Humphrey has been working with some audiophile friends on a project to expose audio spectrum data to JavaScript from Firefox’s audio element. In his most recent blog post about their experiments, he includes a video of an interesting demo. “Corban Brook wrote a Cooley-Tukey FFT algorithm in JavaScript to work with the raw data in real time. He then wrote a very cool visualization in Processing.js, and the end product is nothing short of amazing.” You can read more on David’s weblog, and see the video of the demo on Vimeo.

Jetpack 50-line challenge winner
Mozilla Labs announced the winner of the Jetpack 50-Line Code Challenge last week. “With over 50 entrants to the 50-line challenge, there were more than enough good jetpacks to choose from. Jetpack developers continue to forge ahead in creating new and different jetpacks. It was difficult deciding between all the entries.” The top three are Makoto Terada’s JetpackFeatureInstaller, Davide Ficano’s JetColorTab, and Aurélien Manca’s JetTabs. More information is available on the Labs weblog.

Doing more with data
“Firefox users: Did you know that you have a private database that contains all your browsing information? Well, you do. And here’s the thing: only you have access to it; it’s under-utilized; you probably didn’t even know it existed.” Mike Morgan has written a great article about this little-known feature of Firefox, what’s being done with it now, and what could be done with it in the future.

SUMO 2010 roadmap
The Firefox Support team has posted their primary objectives for the SUMO project in 2010. These have expanded from three to four main areas of focus for the coming year, and include: user experience, insights and metrics, contributor experience, and platform quality. Based on these focus areas, the team has developed a roadmap for SUMO in 2010, which you can view through David Tenser’s blog post.

Software releases
* Firefox 3.5.7 and 3.0.17
* Firefox 3.6 RC
* Firefox for Maemo RC2
* Firebug 1.5b9
* Jetpack 0.7
* Prism 1.0b3pre
* SeaMonkey 2.0.2
* GetPersonas 2.1

Upcoming events
* Jan 13 – Mountain View – Firefox Mobile Meetup
* Jan 22 – Testday: Firefox 3.6 Website Compatibility
* Feb 5 – Testday: AMO + SUMO
* Feb 6+7 – Brussels – FOSDEM 2010
* Feb 19 – Testday: OS Testing with Mobile Firefox
* Mar 5 – Learn how to testscript your add-ons
* Mar 19 – Improve the quality of QMO
* Apr 2 – Litmus 2 development review

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, announcements, events, or software releases you would like to have included in our next issue, please send them to: about-mozilla[at]mozilla.com.

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