Social API for All

Mozilla

Firefox Beta is taking the next step in making the Firefox Social API available to all Web developers.

Last year, Mozilla partnered with Facebook to develop and introduce the Social API. Earlier this year, we continued to refine the feature and extended that support to additional providers. The Social API is exciting because it offers users a way to interact with websites and Web apps in richer ways – it makes them more than “just a tab”. We’ve always thought these capabilities should be exposed to all websites, and in Firefox Beta, we’re making that a reality.

Firefox allows any website to prompt users to activate and make use of the Social API toolbar buttons, sidebar, chat windows, panels, notifications, and a brand-new Social API feature: the share panel. The activation mechanism is dead-simple, and makes it easy for users to enable these features directly from your website with only a couple of clicks. For developers, hooking into the API couldn’t be easier: social panels and sidebars just load URLs on your website, where you have full control over how things look and work.

We’re going to continue to improve the Social API documentation that you can find here. Stay tuned for future posts with more information about how to best make use of the Firefox Social API!

- Gavin Sharp, Lead Firefox Engineer

New Firefox OS Videos Highlight How HTML5 Gives Developers Freedom to Innovate without Boundaries

Mozilla

As we move closer towards the launch of the first consumer Firefox OS phones, more and more developers are eager to find out what developing apps for Firefox OS entails and how they can get started.

We’ve created a series of short videos to whet developers’ appetite, and make it easier for them to get up and running developing apps.

The first video, entitled “Firefox OS for developers – the platform HTML5 deserves”, is posted here on our Hacks blog. It features Open Web Advocate, Daniel Appelquist from Telefónica Digital / W3C and Mozilla’s Principal Developer Evangelist, Christian Heilmann, as they discuss the freedom HTML5 offers app developers and some of the first steps to take to start innovating with Web apps and publishing them to the Firefox Marketplace.

We hope you find the first installment helpful and look forward to hearing your feedback.

Look out for more videos to follow soon – enjoy!

Test all WebRTC Features in Firefox Beta

Mozilla

The latest Firefox Beta is ready for download and testing and includes includes WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications) capabilities to enable developers to easily integrate real-time communications , including voice and video calls and file sharing, across the Web.

  • WebRTC: Firefox Beta includes WebRTC components that enable developers to easily integrate real-time communications across the Web, whether on websites or mobile web apps. The components DataChannels and PeerConnection along with GetUserMedia enable the Web with Real Time Communication capabilities including video calls and file-sharing between browsers.
  • OdinMonkey: Firefox Beta includes OdinMonkey, an asm.js optimization module for Firefox’s JavaScript engine, that allows developers to deliver gaming performance that rivals native speeds without the need for plugins and enables developers to create visually compelling and fast gaming experiences on the Web. Together with Epic, Mozilla recently showcased this by porting Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 to the Web and demonstrating Epic Citadel running in the browser.
  • HiDPI support for Windows: For Windows users, Firefox Beta includes HiDPI support. Firefox Beta now follows Windows’ display scaling options to render text larger on high resolution displays.
  • Web Notifications API: Now developers can create simple notifications for Web apps using this Web Notifications API. With the notifications API, developers can alert Firefox Beta users to a specific event, such as a new email or Tweet.
  • Font Inspector:  The Font Inspector allows developers to see what fonts are being used on a specific Web page, to make adjustments or matches based on the type of design. The Font Inspector displays the font with editable “Abc” placeholder text, names the typeface and shows the @font-face CSS.  The Font Inspector allows developers to visualize font usage for the selected element and it supports pages that use the new web fonts.

For more information:

Firefox Beta now includes WebRTC on by default

Mozilla

Earlier this year, we announced that getUserMedia was the first component of WebRTC to be enabled by default in Firefox and following this we announced WebRTC interoperability with Chrome. getUserMedia allows camera and microphone stream capture.

Now the latest release of Firefox Beta includes the remaining WebRTC components, PeerConnection and DataChannels, on by default. PeerConnection allows the Firefox browser to set up real-time audio/video calls, and DataChannels allow browsers to share almost any kind of data (text, video files, html pages) peer-to-peer, either during or outside a video call, for example, by dragging an item into a chat window. DataChannels are used today to reduce latency in real-time games by allowing gaming apps to connect peer-to-peer. And with WebRTC now on by default in Firefox Beta, developers can test WebRTC much more widely than before because Firefox users won’t have to enable WebRTC in their preferences.

In upcoming releases you can expect to see:

  • TURN support — which enables two WebRTC end points to connect even when the NATs at both ends would otherwise cause the call to fail
  • Audio/video improvements
  • Android support

To test WebRTC now, you can download Firefox Beta here and refer to the WebRTC page on MDN. We’re pleased to turn WebRTC on by default in Firefox Beta and look forward to seeing what innovative apps developers create with it.

Maire Reavy
Product Lead, Firefox Platform Media

Firefox, Heal Thyself

Johnathan Nightingale

This week’s release of Firefox includes the beginning of a pretty cool feature. The Firefox Health Report is a new system we’ve built to log basic health information about your browser (time to start up, total running time, number of crashes, &c), and then give you tools to understand that information and fix any problems you encounter. The initial report is pretty simple, but it will evolve and grow in the coming months. You’ll be able to use it as a window into many aspects of your browser’s performance and health, both in absolute terms, as well as in comparison to the global Firefox user base.

We’ve blogged before about how we’ve built the health report with privacy in mind and what our plans for it look like, but our long term hope for the feature goes well beyond the report you see today. As the health report uncovers patterns of problems in Firefox, we can build better support information for our users. In many cases, we will be able to detect these problems before they get out of hand, and your browser can start healing itself. The health report is enabled by default in Firefox but, if you don’t want your browser health information added to the pool, you can disable data sending either from the report itself, or from the Firefox preferences window.

Firefox already protects and heals itself in numerous ways (automatically blocking insecure and unstable plugins, restoring tabs and content after crashes, detecting phishing and malware sites before they can attack) and the Firefox Health Report gives us a powerful new tool. If you’re curious about what’s going on under the hood, you can find the health report in your Help menu. If you’re not, rest assured that we’re fascinated by this stuff, and we’ll use it to make Firefox the smoothest, fastest, most excellent way for you to live your life on the web.

Johnathan Nightingale
Vice President of Firefox Engineering

‘Epic Citadel’ Demo Shows the Power of the Web as a Platform for Gaming

Mozilla

At the 2013 Game Developers’ Conference, Mozilla demonstrated how it was unlocking the Web as a platform for gaming by announcing a port of Unreal Engine 3 running in Firefox — compiled from C++ source with Emscripten, running smoothly and efficiently without the need for plugins.

Today, Epic and Mozilla are making the Epic Citadel demo available, so that you can try it out for yourself. For best results, we suggest using a newer version of Firefox Nightly (Firefox 23 or better) which includes optimizations for asm.js and support for Web Audio API. The demo will also run in Firefox 20 (the current released version) because the core technologies are just standard web technologies, but there will be some performance degradation and a lack of Web Audio-dependent audio effects. The demo will also work in other browsers but it heavily depends on the quality of the WebGL implementation, memory management and JavaScript engine.

To achieve the performance that makes these advancements possible, Mozilla developed asm.js, a highly-optimized subset of JavaScript that enables Emscripten-compiled applications to reach near-native performance.  This baseline performance enables developers to create visually compelling and fast gaming experiences on the Web.  With this technology, the Web simply becomes just another target platform for developers.

If you’re a games developer and want to learn more, please visit the new Mozilla Developer’s Network Games landing page, which we’ll be expanding in the coming weeks. The Emscripten project and information about asm.js are also useful if you’d like to take a look at what it would take to port your own games or other apps.

For a quick snapshot of what you’ll see in the Epic Citadel demo, here’s a video (now in 1080p), as well as some gameplay footage from the unreleased “Sanctuary” demo.

Enjoy!

Testing Additional Social Providers in Firefox Beta

Mozilla

Today, we begin testing new Social API providers Cliqz, msnNOW and Mixi in Firefox Beta. Weibo will be available for testing to users in China soon.

The Social API enables providers to offer features like a social sidebar, toolbar notification buttons and the ability to easily chat with your friends.

As more and more services integrate with Firefox via the Social API sidebar, it will be easy for you to keep up with friends, family, news, and events no matter where you are on the Web. For example, you can stay connected to your favorite social site or service even while you are surfing the Web, watching a video or playing a game.

To test Cliqz, upgrade to the latest Firefox Beta and then visit the Cliqz activation page and click “Install.”

To test msnNOW, upgrade to the latest Firefox Beta and then visit the msnNOW activation page and click “Turn On.”

Firefox beta users in Japan will be able to activate Mixi through their existing Mixi accounts.

We need help from our Beta testers to test the new providers before we get ready to release them to all Firefox users. To provide feedback, click “help” and then “submit feedback.”

New Social Providers in Firefox

Mozilla

Mozilla developed the Social API to enable social services and providers to integrate directly into Firefox to make users browsing experience more social, customizable and personal. The Social API makes it easy for you to keep up with friends and family without having to switch between or open new tabs.

We will expand testing with additional social providers in Firefox Nightly, including CliqZ and Mixi, MSN Now and Weibo soon.

We are really excited about the possibilities that Social API brings to the future of browsing including ways to integrate even more social providers, e-mail, finance, news and other applications and services into your Firefox experience. Stay tuned for more details and when we start beta testing the the additional social providers.

Firefox for Android Beta Comes with Open Source Fonts and HTML5 improvements

Mozilla

An update to Firefox for Android beta is ready for download and testing. This release includes custom, open source fonts and HTML5 optimizations.

  • Open Source Custom Fonts: Firefox for Android Beta comes with the custom, open source fonts Charis and Open Sans that will replace the default Android fonts for a visually appealing and clear reading experience.

  • HTML5 Compatibility Optimizations: Firefox for Android Beta includes improvements to HTML5 compatibility, as tested on HTML5test.org, the leading industry HTML5 compliance test. Firefox scores 411 and 14 bonus points (out of a total of 500).

For more information:

Firefox Beta Includes Changes to the Do Not Track Options

Mozilla

The latest Firefox Beta for Windows, Mac and Linux is ready for download and testing.

  • More Do Not Track Options: Do Not Track includes three options “Do Track,” “Do Not Track” and “no preference” to better represent user’s choice to opt-in or opt-out of online tracking. To access the Do Not Track options and indicate your preference click on “preferences” then “privacy.”
  • Restore thumbnails on new tab page: If you close a tab thumbnail on the new tab page there will be an option to “undo” and restore your thumbnail.

For more information: