In this issue…
- WOFF submitted to W3C
- CSS 3 flexible box model
- Pontoon: web localization toolkit
- Marketing survey results
- Customizable tab bar
- Thunderbird news
- Menu item usage study
- MDC to MDN transition begins
- Fennec 1.1 start page
- User testing Test Pilot
- Mozilla Labs & open ideation
- Firefox theme project status
- SUMO & Twitter experiment
- Software releases
- Upcoming events
- Developer calendar
- About about:mozilla
WOFF submitted to W3C
David Baron recently posted that the WOFF (Web Open Font Format) has been submitted to the W3C. “WOFF is a wrapper around TrueType / OpenType / OpenFont Format fonts, and represents and emerging consensus on font formats for the Web, supported by browser vendors and by a significant number of type foundries. The submission to the W3C was made by three W3C members (all browser vendors): Microsoft, Mozilla, and Opera, and the specification was written by Jonathan Kew (Mozilla), Tal Leming (Type Supply), and Erik van Blokland (LettError).”
CSS 3 flexible box model
Jérémie Patonnier wrote an article for the Mozilla Hacks blog in which he describes the CSS 3 flexible box model in detail, including how it works and why it’s valuable to web developers. “By default, the traditional CSS box model distributes boxes vertically depending on the HTML flow. With the flexible box model, it’s possible to specify the order explicitly. You can even reverse it. Usually the flexible box model is exactly what you need if you want to create fluid layouts which adapt themselves to the size of the browser window or elastic layouts which adapt themselves to the font size.” Jérémie’s article goes on to talk about horizontal or vertical distribution, reversed distribution, explicit distribution, box sizing, and managing overflow.
Pontoon: web localization toolkit
Zbigniew Braniecki, part of Mozilla’s localization drivers team, has recently been writing about a new web localization toolkit project called Pontoon. “Pontoon is a toolset that allows for rich content localization. It’s a very alpha mode tool, so be kind, but I think it’s ready to get the first round of feedback.” Zbigniew’s article contains more information about how Pontoon works, including a short video demonstrating the current version of the software.
Marketing survey results
“We set out this year to focus on growing marketing contribution — in particular, create new learning opportunities and ways to contribute, develop roles, create tools to help you promote and a better means of recognition. Our first step was to figure out the size of the community marketing team, what sort of marketing work people are interested in and how we can improve the experience via a short survey. The findings are now in — thanks to all 541 of you who took the time to fill out the survey!” Read about this survey’s results and what they mean over at Mary Colvig’s weblog.
Customizable tab bar
Dão Gottwald is working on developing toolbar customization features for the Firefox tab bar, and is close to adding those changes to the development version of Firefox. In the meantime, Dão has posted some screenshots of these new features as a sneak preview.
The Thunderbird team has posted two bits of news this week. In the first, they outline ongoing work being planned for after the current development cycle. “As we’re nearing the end of the Thunderbird 3.1 cycle, the usual questions about what’s next have started popping up. With help from drivers, I’ve put together a wiki page that describes, in general, what we expect things to look like going forward.”
In the second piece of news the team announces plans to “sunset”, or stop development on and support for, Thunderbird 2. “Thunderbird 18.104.22.168 is the last planned security and stability update for Thunderbird 2.0.0.x. While the Mozilla product strategy continues to focus on the individual end-user, Mozilla will continue to work with downstream enterprise-oriented distributors and support vendors to enable extended support for otherwise legacy releases.”
Menu item usage study
The Metrics team has been analyzing data from a recent Test Pilot study of menu item usage, and have posted a new article in the series. “Last post, we identified the most and least commonly used menu items. Today, we will answer another question: how many different menu items do people actually use? It’s a simple questions, but one that could be critical to the proposal to condense the menu bar into a single application button.” Read more at the Blog of Metrics.
MDC to MDN transition begins
Eric Shepherd, Mozilla’s developer documentation lead, has posted about upcoming changes to the Mozilla Developer Center. “We’re working building the new Mozilla Developer Network, which will unify all our developer support and documentation services under one umbrella. This will make finding the resources that you need easier than ever. While work is ongoing on designing the Mozilla Developer Network web presence, we’ve taken an initial step to help make it easier to find all this content by redesigning the Mozilla Developer Center’s main page to help route people to the right sites.”
Fennec 1.1 start page
The next version of mobile Firefox (codenamed Fennec) will include a new start page. Through this new start page, the browser will provide a couple of things that are of interest when you start up: the tabs you had open the last time you were using the browser, and (if you have Weave installed) quick access to the tabs you have or just had open on your other computers, such as the one on your desk. In addition, “we’re also taking advantage of having your attention for a second to show you a maximum of two recommended add-ons that you don’t yet have installed. While looking for add-ons is not necessarily a start-up task, add-ons are a huge part of what makes Firefox such a great fit for its users, so interjecting quickly to show people what’s new and worthwhile seems like a reasonable thing to do.” For more about the new start page, see Madhava’s blog post.
User testing Test Pilot
The Mozilla Labs team recently sat down with six volunteers to do some user testing, asking them to go through the steps of installing Test Pilot and submitting test results. “What we found was extremely valuable. The same problems happened again and again. Six users may not seem like enough to give you useful information, but believe me, after you’ve seen the fourth or fifth user in a row trip over the exact same usability problem, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how high a priority it is.” Jono’s blog post goes on to talk about what they learned about Test Pilot by doing these studies, and finishes up with a list of useful tips for people who would like to do similar user studies.
Mozilla Labs & open ideation
Mayumi Matsuno recently joined Mozilla to help with Mozilla Labs product marketing. “As one of my first projects, I’m evaluating areas where Mozilla Labs can further live up to its brand and ensure that it is doing its part to push the boundaries of the web experience. To avoid developing this in a black hole, I wanted to open up the conversation to get your ideas. To kick it off, let’s explore the concept of open ideation. The goal is for the community to discuss and identify the ideas which should be developed into prototypes and, based on results, potentially incorporated into Firefox and/or the web browsing platform. But what is the most effective way for Mozilla Labs to accomplish this?” To read more, and to take part in the discussion, see Mayumi’s post on the Mozilla Labs weblog.
Firefox theme project status
Stephen Horlander has posted a quick update about the new Firefox Theme project, including links to an updated wiki page and an extended timeline. Stephen’s post includes screenshots of recent Mac and Windows theme progress, notification panel styles, and some other experimental ideas.
SUMO & Twitter experiment
“Support on Twitter is fun. At least that’s the conclusion of the Twitter experiment we held earlier this month with a few of our most active SUMO community memebers. In fact, we’ve been so overwhelmed with positive feedback that we knew we had to work quickly to make it possible for more of you to participate. If you want to help Firefox users but only have a little time, Twitter is ideal for you.” Check out Kadir’s blog post on the Firefox Support blog to read more and to learn how to get involved.
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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27 Apr 2010 deb