In this issue…
- New Firefox 4 Beta available
- Fennec 2: the road to alpha
- Multitouch in Firefox 4 beta
- Mobile add-on developers: time to update!
- Drumbeat and the Awesome Foundation
- CSS units changes landed
- Getting started with SpiderMonkey
- Firefox 4 documentation
- New nightly-testers list!
- Test Piloting search interfaces
- Future of MathML
- Software releases
- Upcoming events
- Developer calendar
- About about:mozilla
New Firefox 4 Beta available
Fennec 2: the road to alpha
Matt Brubeck has posted an update about recent Fennec (Firefox for mobile) work. “We’re making a lot of under-the-hood changes for the next version of Fennec, and have been focused on getting basic functionality working again after some major platform changes. Now things are starting to stabilize, and we are gearing up for the first Fennec 2.0 alpha release in just a few weeks. There are still noticeable bugs in our current builds, but it is possible to use them now for testing, add-on development, and regular web browsing (if you don’t mind occasional crashes).” For lots more information about Fennec 2.0, check out Matt’s full post.
Multitouch in Firefox 4 beta
Firefox 4 Beta 3 was released last week with a new multitouch API. “This means that regular webpages are capable of using multitouch input, allowing web developers to create new interactive experiences for their websites. You can read all about it and see a really cool demo of what’s possible in Paul Rouget’s article on hacks.mozilla.org.” Felipe Gomes has written up an extensive post about the multitouch APIs, and the team is looking for feedback.
Mobile add-on developers: time to update!
“We’re nearing the release of Firefox 2.0 for Android and Nokia N900 alpha. There is huge interest from users who want to try Firefox on their device, but more importantly, these users want to install their favorite add-ons right away. Please ensure your add-on’s max version is updated to support 2.0a1.” Firefox 2.0 for mobile devices will be moving to the Electrolysis platform, meaning that chrome windows (the main application window) and content windows (web content in browser tabs) will be in separate processes. This has an impact on application and add-on code. See the 2.0 extensions wiki page to learn more.
Drumbeat and the Awesome Foundation
Matt Thompson, part of the Mozilla Drumbeat team, has written an article exploring what Drumbeat could learn from the Awesome Foundation, whose mission it is to “forward the interest of Awesome in the universe, $1000 at a time”. Drumbeat is considering a new mini-grants program for inspiring up-and-coming Drumbeat projects, so the team recently spoke with the Awesome Foundation’s Tim Hwang and Elizabeth Stark. “Their $1k ‘micro genius grants’ are helping to fund everything from post-disaster communication applications to putting stars back in London’s night sky with kites and LED lights. So what can Drumbeat learn from their experience?” Read Matt’s article for more.
CSS units changes landed
In January, Robert O’Callahan blogged about upcoming changes to CSS units in Firefox. Those changes have now landed and are slated to be included in the Firefox 4 Beta 4 release. “With these changes, 1in = 96px always. Likewise 3pt = 4px, 25.4mm = 96px, etc. This matches the behaviour of Internet Explorer, Safari and Chrome. By default, when printing, 1in is rendered as one physical inch. For other output media, all these units are scaled in a medium-dependent and platform-dependent way by default. One goal of this scaling is to give results consistent with user expectations and other applications on the system.”
Getting started with SpiderMonkey
Paul Biggar has written up a guide to SpiderMonkey for new contributors. The guide is intended “to help new members of the JS team or new contributors to SpiderMonkey to orient themselves. The first step in getting involved with SpiderMonkey is to make your first patch. This guides you through it, and at the end you should have learnt a lot of the procedures and formalisms involved with getting things done here.” The full guide is available over on the Mozilla Wiki.
Firefox 4 documentation
New nightly-testers list!
Carsten Book, part of our crack QA team, has launched a new mailing list for people who are using and helping test Firefox nightly builds. “Testing of Firefox nightly builds is a very important QA task and helps us track down regression bugs early. This is essential to ensuring quality releases of Firefox and we are very thankful for your work (testing, filing bugs, checking regression ranges). To assist you better with nightly build testing and to inform you about current focus areas that Mozilla QA is working on (for example important landings of current features) we have created a new mailing list.” You are encouraged to join the list if you are using nightly builds.
Test Piloting search interfaces
The Mozilla Labs Test Pilot team is preparing a new study. “Firefox makes search easier for people to access by offering a search box on the top right corner of the browser, and has for many years. Users can also search in the URL bar directly if they type something which is not a website address. Now, we want to explore how we can make search more accessible and easier to use. For this study, we will explore how people perform search through the Firefox browser. We will be collecting aggregate clicks on where search is being accessed: the search box, the awesome bar, context menu or the Firefox home page. Through the data, we may be able to detect certain patterns that help us improve the search interface that works best for most users. We will NOT be collecting your actual search queries or results you used for visited.” To read more and to get involved as a Mozilla Test Pilot, see the Mozilla Labs weblog.
Future of MathML
Federic Wang has written a quick outline of the current goings-on in the Mozilla MathML project, and how you can help. The project’s two top priorities are stretching of operators and mathematical fonts, as well as MathML project documentation over on MDN. Other things that need to be worked on include a handful of fairly straightforward bugs, drawing of primes, linking, refactoring and new features, mstyle, and linebreaking. If you’re interested in helping hack on or document MathML, Federic’s blog post is a great place to get started.
* Oct 1-2, New York City, Open Video Conference
* Oct 28-29, Toronto, FSOSS
* Nov 4-6, Barcelona, Drumbeat Festival 2010
* Nov 5-7, Free Society Conference and Nordic Summit (FSCONS)
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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17 Aug 2010 deb comments off