Firefox 4, education, support, accessibility, CSS, builds, SpiderMonkey, unit tests, Thunderbird, and more…
In this issue…
- Firefox 4 product plan
- Fellowship: Education for the open web
- Mozilla and the Korean web
- You, two minutes, and Firefox support
- Accessibility team roundup
- Standardizing XUL flexible boxes in CSS
- What do you want to know about builds?
- Further SpiderMonkey changes
- Universal manifest format for unit tests
- Webdev explains the download button
- View source as musical innovation
- New Thunderbird Enterprise mailing list
- Software releases
- Developer calendar
- About about:mozilla
Firefox 4 product plan
Mike Beltzner presented an early product plan for Firefox 4 yesterday, sharing the team’s vision for the next version of Firefox and talking about the various projects that are underway towards making that vision a reality. “Usually software producers don’t present these sorts of plans in public until they’re finalized, but Mozilla is a little different. We work in the open, socializing our plans early and often to gather feedback and build excitement in our worldwide community. That said: please understand that these plans are fluid and are likely to change. As with past releases, we use dates to set targets for milestones, and then we work together to track those targets. We always judge each milestone release against our basic criteria of quality, performance, and usability, and we only ship when it’s ready.” Beltzner has posted both the video of and slides for his presentation.
Fellowship: Education for the open web
Mozilla Drumbeat and the Shuttleworth Foundation have announced a joint fellowship focused on “education for the open web”. “Our aim is to find someone with solid, scalable and fresh ideas on how open learning and the open web intertwine. Once we find this person, we will back them with a year’s salary, project funding and all the connections, horn-tooting, coaching and love that we can muster.” The call for proposals has been posted on both the Shuttleworth Foundation and Mozilla websites, and is open to anyone currently living in Europe or Brasil. The deadline for submissions is June 7, 2010.
Mozilla and the Korean web
Channy Yun has posted about a recent speech given by Lucas Adamski, Mozilla’s Director of Security Engineering, in a seminar about the Security of Internet Banking at COEX, Seoul. “It is a very important period for the Korean web to move forward. Over 160 people participated in this conference with many security experts and governmental representatives, who listened carefully to advice of international experts as like Bruce Schneier, chief security officer of British Telecom (BT) and Lucas.” Read more about this event on the Mozilla Korea weblog.
You, two minutes, and Firefox support
“If everyone reading Planet Mozilla helped just one person in the Firefox support forum per day, there wouldn’t be a single user with their question left unanswered. And answering one question generally takes less than two minutes!” Firefox support is provided entirely by our volunteer community, but they need more help. If you know anything about Firefox and have even only a few minutes to spare, please head over to the Firefox support forums and help answer some of our users’ questions.
Accessibility team roundup
Marco Zehe has posted a summary of what the Mozilla Accessibility team has been working on, including De-XPCOM-ing the Accessible module, Event management, HTML5 form element enhancements, and UI work, among other things. You can read Marco’s full report on his weblog.
Standardizing XUL flexible boxes in CSS
Robert O’Callahan writes, “Tab Atkins is working on a new draft spec for XUL-style ‘flexible boxes’ in CSS. One issue that has come up is whether the XUL concept of ‘preferred widths’ is essential or not. It would be really useful if XUL developers could contribute to the thread in www-style with feedback on that and other issues in related threads. If you have something to say about how you use flexboxes, now’s the time to contribute and ensure your needs are addressed!”
What do you want to know about builds?
Mozilla’s build & release team has been quite involved in recent buildbot development, helping to make it scale across multiple machines. They’re now starting to look at ways to export the detailed data generated by these systems in a way that’s useful to more people, and they’re looking for feedback. “I can think of two main classes of interfaces we could set up: a query-type interface where you poll for information that you are interested in, and a notification system where you register a listener for certain types (or all!) events. What would be the best way for us to make this data available to you? Some kind of REST API? A message or event brokering system? pubsubhubbub? Is there some type of data or filtering that would be super helpful to you?” Get involved with this discussion on Chris Atlee’s post.
Further SpiderMonkey changes
Universal manifest format for unit tests
Alice Nodelman, part of Mozilla’s auto-tools team, is working on developing a universal manifest format for all Mozilla unit tests. The problem, she explains, is that each type of unit test uses its own manifest file format, there’s a different manifest file reader for each type of manifest, and each manifest has to be hacked separately to expand functionality. The team has collected proposed formats to the Universal Manifest Project wiki. “One thing we don’t want to do here is design in a bubble. While there are benefits to the auto-tools team in terms of code re-use, centralizing bug fixes and such, the biggest consumer of these tests are developers. Our goal is to keep our test harnesses as simple and as easy-to-use as possible while making them extensible and flexible for whatever the future holds. Feedback is both requested and highly appreciated.”
Webdev explains the download button
The Firefox download button, which handles and directs millions of download requests each day, more complex than you might think. Frederic Wenzel writes, “On a small website, the server would just fetch the file and hand it to you. But if you handle millions of downloads a day like we do, a single server can’t handle it all by itself, so it gets more complicated. In order to provide you with downloads, updates, etc., as fast and conveniently as possible, Mozilla collaborates with a number of mirror providers that have volunteered to host Firefox and other downloads on our behalf, thus sharing the load of our numerous downloads between a number of servers all over the world. For some years now, we have been running a bundle of software called ‘Bouncer‘ to handle our downloads for us.” Read more about Bouncer on Frederic’s blog.
View source as musical innovation
New Thunderbird Enterprise mailing list
“Wayne Mery has done the Thunderbird community a great service with a bunch of hard work over the last few weeks chartering, setting up, and working on associated collateral for the new tb-enterprise mailing list. To quote his announcement: ‘It is hoped that this focused mailing list will spawn a strong and vibrant community that will provide mutual support for everyday tasks based on first-hand experience, and that it will be a venue that leads to better tools, documentation, options, and functionality for Thunderbird in the enterprise.’” See Wayne’s full post for more details.
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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11 May 2010 deb comments off