In this issue…
- New Mozilla accessibility projects
- Firefox 3.5 privacy features
- Spread Firefox affiliates program
- Join the Community Triage Team!
- Friday: Firefox security testday
- Firefox 3.5 launch t-shirt!
- Live tracking Firefox 3.5 adoption
- Firefox hacks, continued
- How to make community members stick
- Improving accessibility through ARIA
- Faces of the web video revolution
- What’s next for testdays
- Upcoming events
- Developer calendar
- About about:mozilla
New Mozilla accessibility projects
Two new Firefox-related accessibility projects have been started, courtesy of special funding from the Mozilla Corporation. The first is a project by the Paciello Group to build upon their previous work towards making the Firebug developer tool more accessible, with a particular focus on the Firebug releases intended for use with Firefox 3.5. The second is a project by Silvia Pfeiffer to start the implementation phase of her project related to the accessibility of open video formats. Silvia previously produced a report on video accessibility issues with Ogg and related formats, and will be working with Chris Double and other developers to implement changes to Firefox’s new open video support. Frank Hecker has written about these two projects, and about the Mozilla accessibility strategy in general, in a recent post on his weblog.
Firefox 3.5 privacy features
Many people don’t realize that Firefox 3.5 includes several features devoted specifically to protecting and enhancing user privacy. Alex Faaborg has written about these features in some detail. “Now users have considerably more control over their privacy, both proactively and retroactively. There are five new privacy features introduced to Firefox with the 3.5 release.” These features include Private Browsing mode, Clear Recent History, Forget about this site, simplified privacy options, and control over what appears in the location bar search results. Alex’s post goes on to talk about user profiles as a privacy tool, as well as what’s next for Firefox and privacy.
Spread Firefox affiliates program
Since July 1st, 2009, every download you generate from your Firefox 3.5 Affiliate buttons gives you an opportunity to be rewarded as an active member of the Spread Firefox Affiliates Program. Everyone with more than five downloads in a quarter will be entered into a reward pool. We will randomly award ten individual Affiliates each quarter with rewards like a Flip video camera, an iPod Touch or Nano, Amazon gift certificates, and exclusive Top Fox t-shirts. Awardees will be notified by email, so please make sure your email address in Spread Firefox is up to date! For more information about this new rewards program, see Laura’s weblog post.
Join the Community Triage Team!
Carsten Book and Chris Hofmann are heading up the formation of a brand new Community Triage team to help identify Firefox crash and critical bugs. “Focus of this team should be on unconfirmed Crash (and Critical) bugs that are filed every day. Doing this daily allows us to find regressions/crashes sooner and faster and also allows us to create a testcase for this Crash before a site changes.” Many crash bugs are also frequently missing key information, and the triage team will help fill in those blanks to make a bug more useful. Bug triage is an absolutely vital task, and is a great way to get involved with Mozilla community and development. If you’re interested possibly joining this team, sign up on the mailing list.
Friday: Firefox security testday
MozQA is holding a Security Testday for Firefox 3.5 on Friday, July 10th. We have recently updated our security test cases and added some new ones for Firefox 3.5. The QA team will be available to help get you started and answer questions in the #testday channel on irc.mozilla.org, QMO forums, and dev-quality newsgroup. Security Testday is an all-day event, and is a really great way to get involved with Firefox development. More information, including how to prepare for the event, is available on the event page.
Firefox 3.5 launch t-shirt!
“Firefox 3.5 is finally here! And what better way to celebrate the launch than with the brand new 3.5 t-shirt. We had a lot of fun last year with an open call for designs that led us to the official Firefox 3 shirt. But this time around, we tried something different. Inspired by the concept of a tag cloud, we turned to the community for help in coming up with a collection of words that best described Firefox. We then used these words to create a stylized typographic visualization of what Firefox 3.5 is all about – highlighting some of the key features and goodness that’s baked into the browser.” You can buy the t-shirt over at the Mozilla Store, and read more about it at Tara’s weblog.
Live tracking Firefox 3.5 adoption
There are two interesting online applications that are tracking and displaying the total downloads and adoption of the recently released Firefox 3.5 browser. The first of these is brought to us by whos.amung.us, and it tracks overall marketshare of Firefox 3.5 in comparison to the other browsers, including Firefox 3. The second project was put together by Daniel Einspanjer, who built a site that displays recent and total downloads by country, as well as a live map displaying where people are downloading Firefox 3.5 in real-time.
Firefox hacks, continued
The Firefox Hacks team continues to bring us articles and demos for new Firefox 3.5 features. Recent articles include: synchronous XHR requests in Firefox 3.5, another great CSS media query demo, new CSS3 properties in Firefox 3.5, exploring music with the audio tag, and the text-shadow spotlight demo. Check out the Firefox Hacks weblog for all these new demos and more.
How to make community members stick
David Tenser has written a blog post in which he attempts to unravel some of the mystery behind building and growing communities — a topic very much at the heart of the Mozilla project and everything we do. Some of the motivators he identifies (through an examination of his personal experiences with Mozilla) include: a belief in the project’s mission, a feeling of belonging to the community, a desire to give something back, valuing the experience gained through participation, being recognized and appreciated for the contributions made, and feeling pride for being responsible for an important piece of the project. If you’re thinking about how to grow and develop the community around your project or piece of the project, David’s post is well worth reading.
Improving accessibility through ARIA
“Accessibility is a pretty hairy issue in web development. When attempting to determine if your site is accessible, there are so many standards and recommendations to follow. Well, now there is a new standard from the W3C called WAI-ARIA (Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications). The simplest definition of ARIA is adding UI semantics via HTML element attributes. Simply, you add things to specific HTML elements to give screen readers a better understanding of your content.” Ryan Doherty has written an article that goes over four parts of the ARIA spec. “This is just a quick overview of ARIA and its uses, but I’m really excited about the possibilities it creates.” Read more at Ryan’s weblog.
Faces of the web video revolution
Robert O’Callahan writes, “There’s a lot of press these days about the HTML5 video tag and the struggle for universal unencumbered video and audio codecs — much of it associated with the Firefox 3.5 launch. I wonder how many people know that the Firefox video implementation is almost entirely due to just a few people in the Mozilla office in Newmarket (New Zealand) — Chris Double, Matthew Gregan, Chris Pearce, and to a lesser extent, me. (Justin Dolske did the controls UI, but I’m not sure where he lives!)” Robert goes on, “It’s a great privilege to have the opportunity to really shake up the world for the better, with a very small team, in a relatively small amount of time.”
What’s next for testdays
Aakash Desai is looking for feedback and input about how Mozilla Testdays could be changed and improved. “I’m pretty proud of the work that’s been done so far by the Mozilla QA community since we re-started Testdays on a bi-monthly basis. With that said, what would you like to see out of Testdays that you haven’t seen already? I’d love to hear anything, especially comments and concerns, about what the Mozilla community has seen so far and would like/like not to see again!” Read Aakash’s full post and leave your feedback and ideas on his weblog.
The Mozilla community is organizing an increasing number of events and meetups all the time, and we include a list of these here every week. If you have events you would like listed, send them along to: about-mozilla*at*mozilla.com.
* Fri, Jul 10 – Online – Firefox 3.5 Security Testday
* Wed, Jul 15 – Mountain View – Mozilla Crash Reporting and Analysis
* Fri, Jul 24 – Munich – Open Source Meeting
* Fri, Jul 24 – Online – Testing a Mozilla Web Property
* Fri, Aug 7 – Online – Testscripting with MozMill 1.2
* Sept 14-21 – Everywhere! – Mozilla Service Week
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 or announcements you would like to have included in our next issue, please send them to: about-mozilla[at]mozilla.com.
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07 Jul 2009 deb comments off