Open to Choice, accessibility, add-ons, Drumbeat, language packs, design challenges, Jetpack, help wanted, and more…
In this issue…
- Open to Choice
- Accessibility and browser choice
- About.com Reader’s Choice awards
- Add-ons and private browsing mode
- Drumbeat: February update
- “What is Open?” campaign
- Language pack vs. official localization
- Home Tab design challenge voting
- Resource Packages specification
- Testers wanted: Thunderbird 3.1b1
- Jetpack project status
- Refining the Mozilla.org homepage
- Updating add-ons for SeaMonkey 2
- Jetpack for Learning, phase 3
- Mozilla BiH logo contest!
- Mozilla Philippines community
- Software releases
- Upcoming events
- Developer calendar
- About about:mozilla
Open to Choice
Microsoft, working towards fulfilling its settlement with the European Commission, has started to roll out tests of the new Browser Choice Screen in parts of Europe. John Lilly and Mitchell Baker have written a short letter about why choices that we make matter greatly, and why browser choice matters now more than ever. “The choices we make determine the quality of our life, and how we see the world. The Web browser has become one of the most critical and trusted relationships in our modern lives — with nearly perfect knowledge of everything we do. It is the lens through which we look at the virtual world, and the medium by which we connect, learn, share, and collaborate. The browser you choose is responsible for providing you with the necessary tools to manage your online life, and to protect your privacy and security.” Read more at John’s blog and at the new Open to Choice website.
Accessibility and browser choice
Related to the Microsoft Browser Choice Screen, Marco Zehe has written a post warning screen reader users that not all browsers will work for them. “The only choice you have is to install Mozilla Firefox as an alternative to MS Internet Explorer. While you can, in theory, install the other browsers as well, and some of their marketing statements sound pretty shiny, none of them will work with your assistive technology! Please spread the word to your friends and warm them accordingly. You can help them avoid unnecessary frustration.”
About.com Reader’s Choice awards
There is still some time left to vote for Firefox in the 2010 About.com Reader’s Choice Awards. The nominations are in and Firefox is a finalist in the “Best Major Desktop Browser“, “Best Mac Browser” and “Best Mobile Browser” categories. You can vote through Feb 25 as many times as you would like, so please vote and tell your friends! You can also vote for your favorite Firefox add-ons in several categories — see the Mozilla Blog for more info and links.
Add-ons and private browsing mode
Ehsan Akhgari has written a blog post discussing changes to the AMO add-on submission policy to reflect that extensions should honor Private Browsing mode in order to be listed publicly on AMO. “While most extensions will not need any modifications for supporting Private Browsing (because they don’t record any data revealing users’ browsing activities), there are some which require some changes, and we appreciate that the change cannot happen overnight. We’ve tentatively decided to give a two-month grace period to add-on authors before we actively start rejecting extensions incompatible with Private Browsing mode.” Ehsan is also looking for help building a tool for checking Private Browsing compatibility in extensions.
Drumbeat: February update
Mark Surman has posted the February update for the Drumbeat project, outlining the progress that’s been made over the last month, including notes about participation, projects, events, and the website. The project is really picking up steam, with local drumbeats being planned, projects being proposed, and the community of contributors growing every day. Check out Mark’s post for all the news, and find out how to get involved.
“What is Open?” campaign
Chelsea Novak has written in about a new “What is Open?” campaign, in which we’re asking Mozilla contributors to think about and talk about why they care, why they participate, and why the open web matters. “As we work to grow the Mozilla community, we want to explain what you’re feeling to everyone — your neighbors, your co-workers, your grandparents. We want them to understand the open web and we need the help of the Mozilla community in making that story crystal clear. Tell us what an open web means to you and why you’re a part of the Mozilla project. We’re going to collect your words, photos and art to build a campaign to tell the world what open means later this year.”
“Once you’re done, spread the word about this project by sharing your words, art or even music on your social network of choice, tagging it with the #mozopen tag. We’ve provided a ‘tweet this’ option, but anything tagged with #mozopen will show up in the gallery.”
Language pack vs. official localization
The Mozilla Localization drivers team has written a quick post explaining that due to resource constraints they often prefer to promote smaller localizations as language packs. “Coordinating the release of 75 locales takes sizable human and machine time, and managing the outreach can seem like a full-time job for more than one person. Because we field many requests by volunteers interested in becoming an official localization, we have to find what is best for us and them. That can mean promoting smaller localizations as language packs on our add-ons website. It’s not bad to be a language pack! I get the sense that somehow contributors might think it is. We don’t diminish someone’s contribution to an arbitrarily lower level if they are not an ‘official’ localization.” Read more about this on Seth Bindernagel’s blog.
Home Tab design challenge voting
The Mozilla Labs Home Tab Design Challenge has moved on to its second round of voting. “In the second round we will once again ask the wider community to cast their vote — this time on three randomly selected concepts out of the top 10. Voting will be open until midnight March 1st. If you participated in the first round, you can use your log in for the second round voting. And to say ‘thank you’ again, all registered voters in the second round have a chance to be one of five lucky people to get a fat Mozilla swag-pack (this is independent from the five swag bags from the first round).” Head over to Mozilla Labs and vote now!
Resource Packages specification
Alexander Limi has posted an update about the Resource Package specification, which has “gone through multiple rounds of refinement and improvements, and is now ready to be handed off for an initial implementation in Firefox and other browsers. Resource Packages provide a backwards-compatible, simple, efficient way to bundle up resources in a single file to make transfers faster and reduce HTTP overhead.” For further details, see Limi’s blog post, the dev.platform thread, and the Resource Package specification.
Testers wanted: Thunderbird 3.1b1
The Mozilla Messaging team is looking for help. “We are going to release Lanikai (Thunderbird) 3.1b1. I’m looking for volunteers to work on a complete test using litmus.” To participate, send email to ludovic-at-mozillamessaging.com, telling him which OS you would use to participate and three areas you would like to test. See the original post for the list of areas that need testing.
Jetpack project status
The Jetpack team made plans for a cadenced reboot release cycle: Three weeks for development followed by at least another week for debugging, triage, doc and blog writing, preparation for release. “The purpose of the first reboot release is to demonstrate the framework Atul has built. It won’t offer any high-level friendly APIs, but it can be used to build honest-to-goodness extensions.” The target release date for 0.1 is March 1st, after which the team will do releases every month or so, with more high-level APIs introduced in each.
Refining the Mozilla.org homepage
Tara Shahian is looking for feedback on a proposed plan to reorganize the Mozilla.org homepage. “Last week John Slater held a brown bag to begin discussions around reorganizing the Mozilla web universe. As part of this proposed plan, mozilla.org would become the central hub connecting all other sites…meaning that mozilla.org will play a much bigger role in telling the story of Mozilla, who we are, and why we’re here as an organization. To do this, we’re working with the Foundation, and the community, to refine mozilla.org’s homepage with a light redesign — making sure that the appropriate content is captured and presented in the best possible way.” Tara is specifically looking for your thoughts on: “What is the key content?”, “What are the calls to action?”, and “What does mozilla.org mean to you?” Head over to Tara’s weblog to take part in the discussion.
Updating add-ons for SeaMonkey 2
The AMO team has posted an article about Extensions support in SeaMonkey 2 on the Mozilla Developer Center. “SeaMonkey 2 is a big improvement from previous releases in terms of add-on support, and Firefox extension developers will find that it’s easy, sometimes trivial, to add support for SeaMonkey in their extensions.”
Jetpack for Learning, phase 3
The Jetpack for Learning Design Challenge has moved into Phase 3 in which work will continue on the ten successful projects from Phase 2, culminating in the Design Camp at SXSW on March 10-12. Brian King has posted the list of projects that have been chosen and other information about the Challenge on his weblog.
Mozilla BiH logo contest!
“If you’re a graphic designer looking to get involved with Mozilla, here’s an excellent opportunity: the Mozilla Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina needs a new logo and has launched a contest in conjunction with the Creative Collective to help make it happen. Kerim Kalamujic has posted the details on the Mozilla BiH site, so be sure to check that out if you’re interested.”
Mozilla Philippines community
Gen Kanai writes, “In the span of a few months, the brand new Mozilla community in the Philippines is active and ambitious. A new Mozilla Philippines Community website, Five Years of Firefox in Manila, and check out the 2010 plans they have for promoting Firefox and Mozilla in the Philippines here: Mozilla Philippines Community 2010 Kick-Off.” There are also photos from the community’s kick-off meeting, where it looks like everyone was having a lot of fun.
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, 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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23 Feb 2010 deb