Mozilla survey, Thunderbird, Prospector, Army of Awesome, Open Data, P2PU, QMO, Labs, Popcorn, and more…
In this issue…
- State of Mozilla survey
- New experimental Thunderbird add-on
- Prospector experiment progress
- Army of Awesome now more awesome
- Open Data Competition: Dec 17th deadline
- School of Webcraft: call for courses
- QMO 3.0 launched
- Universal subtitles success story
- Thunderbird FLOSS manual complete
- Labs Night London report
- Open Web App Manifests v0.2
- New Mozilla Labs newsletter
- Butter up your Popcorn
- about:mozilla holiday hiatus
- Software updates
- Upcoming events
- Developer calendar
- About about:mozilla
State of Mozilla survey
Recently we posted our annual “State of Mozilla” report, which describes what we have been working on and our plans for the immediate future. Mitchell Baker is hoping to get your feedback about the plans laid out in the report. “We’ve put together a short survey. I hope you will take 15 minutes and help me understand how well the State of Mozilla reflects your view of Mozilla. The survey has a place to write your thoughts as well as respond to specific questions. Please help us make Mozilla the best we can be!”
New experimental Thunderbird add-on
“A while ago we ran a survey, and found out that two thirds of the people who download Thunderbird expected us to give them an email address as part of Thunderbird. They’re quite surprised to find that we don’t. Here is our first attempt to fix that. In partnership with our friends at Tucows/Hover, we’ve built a new account creation feature, which allows new users to set up new email accounts easily. The add-on replaces the default New Mail Account dialog with a new dialog which allows people to purchase a new personalized email address.” Read more about this new add-on in Blake Winton’s post on Mozilla Labs.
Prospector experiment progress
Edward Lee has posted an update about Mozilla Labs’ newest experiment. “Our first Prospector experiment, Speak Words, helps you quickly find the websites you love. It immediately suggests the rest of the word after you type just one letter and highlights the result so you are ready to go. We would like to make the experience even better by not just showing the result but also loading the website as a preview. With Instant Preview, results that get highlighted in the Awesome Bar suggestions will automatically start loading, so by the time you confirm that the first result is the one you want, the page may be ready for you to use.” Instant Preview is best used with Speak Words, and the easiest way to get both is by installing Lab Kit on a Firefox 4 beta.
Army of Awesome now more awesome
The Firefox Support team has updated the Army of Awesome page with some changes to help and recognize contributors. “We’ve made it easier for you to choose which tweets to respond to and also added a stats section that features our top tweeters. Each tweet on the page now shows how many replies it has received. This has by far been our top request, since contributors want to respond to tweets that don’t have replies yet. We’ve also used this area to recognize contributors for being first to respond.” William Reynolds has written more about this project over on the Firefox Support blog.
Open Data Competition: Dec 17th deadline
The Mozilla Labs and Metrics teams would like to remind everyone that the submission deadline for the first Mozilla Open Data Visualization Competition is coming up fast! “Submit your entries by December 17th for a chance at a $300 Amazon gift card and a set of all 4 Edward Tufte books! We’ve already received some great entries, and our panel of judges looks forward to seeing the rest of the submissions.” Visit the official competition page for all the information you need, including how to download the data and take part in this competition.
School of Webcraft: call for courses
Peer to Peer University (P2PU) is looking for mentors to submit course proposals for the January semester of the School of Webcraft. “The School of Webcraft offered 15 classes last semester; the goal for the January semester is to double that number to 30 and to offer more classes in languages other than English. Volunteer mentors will guide groups of peers through a 6-10 week learning experience around topics related to the open web and web standards. You don’t have to be a braniac mega-expert to run a course — you just have to be curious, motivated and eager to learn alongside other passionate people. And all course organizers will receive support in peer-learning facilitation and designing the course structure from the P2PU orientation team.” If you’re interested in participating as a course mentor, you should share your course idea with the P2PU team using their form before Wed, Dec 22.
QMO 3.0 launched
The Mozilla QA team has launched a brand new version of the QMO website. “The two biggest features are the addition of User Accounts and Team Members and Forums. Users can join their favorite teams and communicate within them with employees as well as like-minded Mozilla testers! Another great thing about the release is that it sets a strong base for some bigger and better things in QMO‘s future. So, take a look at it and join in on the conversations. A big thanks to Craig Cook for developing the theme and structure, Shyam Mani for his IT guru-ism and Al Billings for his WP Community coordination and UX work for this release.”
Universal subtitles success story
“To help launch last month’s beta version of ‘the world’s simplest subtitling tool,’ Mozilla Drumbeat and Universal Subtitles asked for your help. The challenge: kick the tires on the new tool by using it to subtitle 10,000 videos by the end of the year. We’re now over 40% of the way toward that goal, with 4,179 videos submitted as of today. The early verdict: the tool works, really is ridiculously simple to use, and is already being adopted by high-profile partners like Wikimedia Commons and MIT. Even more impressive, it has a growing community of inspiring users behind it.” Read more about the Universal Subtitles project and find out how you can help at Matt Thompson’s weblog.
Thunderbird FLOSS manual complete
The FLOSS Manuals team has announced the completion of the Thunderbird Manual. “You can browse the manual online, generate PDFs of individual chapters or generate a complete manual which can be printed or saved to a PDF (or other format). Remember, this is an online, collaborative project — if you spot errors or omissions just jump in and fix them!”
Labs Night London report
Desigan Chinniah has posted a round-up of the recent Mozilla Labs Open Web Game night held in London, England. “Over 150 gamer geeks packed out Bar Music Hall in Shoreditch, London — braving the cold to enjoy an evening of talks, demos and general chit-chat about gaming on the Open Web. The audience were provided with an awesome lineup as our speakers delivered cool gaming talks, demos and discussions.” Check out Desigan’s post for more info, including links to speakers’ blog posts and slides. And don’t forget, the Game On Competition deadline is coming up in January!
Open Web App Manifests v0.2
The Mozilla Labs team is hard at work on Open Web Apps, pushing towards an initial release early next year. Right now they’re looking for your feedback on the application manifest format, which they have recently revised. “Application manifests are small JSON documents that describe applications: These documents express both how an application should be displayed in the users’ browser and what it can do. Defining the syntax of these documents has been a high priority for us, given that they are an important integration point for app developers, app stores and browser vendors.” You can read more about the manifests and leave your feedback on the Mozilla Labs weblog.
New Mozilla Labs newsletter
A new Mozilla newsletter has been born! You can now subscribe to the Mozilla Labs newsletter in order to stay up to date on the latest and greatest Mozilla Labs activities and experiments. “This newsletter is a bit different to the average newsletter — it’s more like an email update Mozilla staff send out to folks like you, who are interested in the latest Labs experiments, stuff we are working on and things we are thinking about. We don’t have a preset schedule for this newsletter — sometimes you will get a few emails a week and sometimes you won’t hear from us for a few weeks in a row. You can subscribe to the newsletter from any page on http://mozillalabs.com — the signup box is in the lower righthand corner.”
Butter up your Popcorn
Al Macdonald and the other folks at Bocoup are hard at work on the next release of popcorn.js and the first release of the Graphical User Interface for developing popcorn pages they call “Butter”. “The goal for butter is that anyone with a video anywhere on the web can build HTML5 video pages that incorporate other elements of the web — allowing non-developers to create what my fellow Mozillian Tristan Nitot has dubbed ‘Hypervideo’.”
“In the new version of popcorn, we are moving all of the functionality from the previous version into plugins. This is a timely step towards a more open infrastructure that will allow any developer to write a plugin that will work with popcorn.js, and then by extension, Butter. So while the first plugins we have developed are for popular sites and services such as Twitter, Flickr and Wikipedia, now anyone can create a plugin to support identica, open street maps, or whatever new thing the web churns out tomorrow.” Read more about Popcorn and Butter at Brett Gaylor’s weblog.
about:mozilla holiday hiatus
This is the final about:mozilla newsletter for 2010, as I’ll be halting publication for the duration of the winter holidays here in North America. Regular publication will begin again in early 2011, so stay tuned! Thanks to everyone for reading, and as always you are invited to send your feedback about the newsletter to deb-at-mozilla-dot-com. I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday, and we’ll see you in 2011.
* Dec 15, Sunnyvale, Bugzilla Users & Administrators Group meeting
* Dec 17, Open Data competition deadline
* Jan 7, Mobile add-on competition deadline
* Jan 11, Game On! competition deadline
* Feb 5-6, Brussels, FOSDEM 2011
* April 9-10, Bulgaria Web Summit 2011
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.
You can also subscribe to the email version!
14 Dec 2010 deb