In this issue…
- New Mozilla Developer Preview
- Firefox “Lorentz” beta
- Dramatic Firefox stability improvements
- Web Made Movies project
- Personas & AMO miscellany
- Video and OpenGL layers
- SpiderMonkey changes
- Standardized “extension bar” UI
- Assisted starring of oranges
- Software releases
- Developer calendar
- About about:mozilla
New Mozilla Developer Preview
The fourth pre-release of the Gecko 1.9.3 platform — the core of Firefox and other Mozilla projects — has been released and is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. Mozilla plans to release a Developer Preview every 2-3 weeks. This fourth release includes user interface changes, web developer changes, improvements for the new out of process plugins support, performance enhancements, and several platform changes. You can get more detail about this release, and links to download the software, at the Mozilla Developer News site.
Firefox “Lorentz” beta
A beta of the Firefox “Lorentz” project is now available for download and testing. This release takes the out of process plugins work from the Mozilla Developer Previews and builds it on top of Firefox 3.6.3. “This beta offers uninterrupted browsing for Windows and Linux users when a problem causes a crash in any Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime or Microsoft Silverlight plugin instance. If a plugin crashes or freezes when using Firefox “Lorentz”, it will not affect the rest of Firefox. Users can submit a plugin crash report, and then reload the page to restart the plugin and try again.” Users are encouraged to download and test Firefox “Lorentz” on their favorite websites and to provide feedback by filing a bug or through the feedback form.
Dramatic Firefox stability improvements
“Over the past five months, Firefox has seen a 40% improvement in stability. While the Firefox development community continues to focus its efforts on stability and performance (i.e., 100% improvement is still being strived for), we’re proud to highlight the most recent numbers. How did we calculate that 40% improvement? We took a look at the Crash Reports data, along with an estimated ratio of daily crash instances to active daily users of Firefox.” Read the full report at the Mozilla Blog of Metrics.
Web Made Movies project
Mark Surman has blogged about Web Made Movies, one of the early Drumbeat projects. Web Made Movies is described as “A documentary about the future of the web, told by the people of the web.” “I’m also excited by the proposed partnership between filmmakers (submitting footage and episodes) and hackers (creative innovative HTML5 video interfaces). The idea is not only to create an online documentary series, but also invent an open source approach to cinema.” The project has posted a “teaser” videoblog, and is looking for examples of new internet technology, applications or content that will shape the open web of the future. For more details, check out Mark’s weblog.
Personas & AMO miscellany
Ryan Doherty has posted an update about various things going on in and around the Personas project. These include some review queue changes, addressing mature content complaints, a proposed “flagging” feature, how daily users are counted (and how that will be changing), and some new AMO site design mockups. Get all the details at the Mozilla Add-ons Blog.
Video and OpenGL layers
The new OpenGL layers backend has been enabled by default for fullscreen video on Minefield. “I talked a while ago about layers, and how we are going to be using it to accelerate composition of web pages across all platforms,” writes Bas Schouten. “There’s more news on that front! Recently we landed a first version of the OpenGL layers backend on trunk. That backend included all the necessary code to use OpenGL for both image upscaling and YUV to RGB color space conversion.”
Jeff Walden has blogged about an upcoming change to SpiderMonkey, in which the the “__count__” property will be removed. “SpiderMonkey for some time has included a little-known, little-publicized, and little-used property named __count__ on all objects. This property stored the count of the number of enumerable properties directly on the object. It’s sort of a convenient way ot check property counts. Unfortunately, __count__ has a number of problems.” Support for this property has been removed from SpiderMonkey and, as a consequence, will also be removed from the next version of Firefox based on trunk Mozilla code. Jeff’s post has more information.
Standardized “extension bar” UI
The Jetpack team is working on a new experimental API. “One usability enhancement we will be offering to extension authors is a ‘Single UI Element’ API. This API will allow extension authors to expose a UI element that represents their extension in a common, standardized extension bar.
A presence in the extension bar will maximize both the user experience and discoverability of extensions. This does not mean we are removing the ability of the developer to modify the interface of Mozilla apps. Developers will continue to have the ability to interact with our application UI in the same ways they do now.”
Assisted starring of oranges
“As a good citizen in the Mozilla developer community, you need to watch the tree, and star any random oranges with bug numbers, and put a comment inside the relevant bugs with a link to the log of the orange in order to help debugging the problem. That’s too much work, and worse, it’s repetitive and boring. Last weekend, I got sick of it, and decided to hack Tinderboxpushlog to make this a bit easier. That work is now deployed on Markus’ instance of Tinderboxpushlog for you all to enjoy.” Read more about these new features on Ehsan’s weblog.
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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13 Apr 2010 deb comments off