Category Archives: Philippines

pregi.net new Mozilla mirror in the Philippines

A few months late but I wanted to announce that the Philippine Research, Education and Government Information NETwork (PREGINET) has provided a new mirror for Mozilla in the Philippines.

http://mozilla.pregi.net/

I want to thank Bani Lara and the team at PREGINET for agreeing to host a new mirror for us in the Philippines.

In this case Mozilla provided the server hardware and PREGINET is providing the bandwidth, rackspace, power, etc.

If you know of an organization who can provide mirror server bandwidth for Mozilla anywhere in the world, please do not hesitate to get in touch.  We are always looking for more mirror capacity as this is how Mozilla’s software is distributed to all of our users around the world.

pregi.net Mozilla mirror 1125

pregi.net Mozilla mirror 1123

Firefox 4 launch party in Manila

In a few hours I’ll be leaving for Manila where my colleague Sid Stamm and I will be celebrating the Firefox launch with the Mozilla Philippines community this Saturday April 16th.

EVENT DETAILS HERE

If you are not already RSVPed and wish to attend, please contact the Mozilla Philippines community to see if there are any extra seats. The last I heard, the event was sold out.

I’ll be doing a talk about Firefox 4, Sid will be talking about some of the new security features of Firefox 4 and perhaps what we might expect later this year from the security team.

The Philippines market is a vibrant one for Mozilla, where Firefox has enjoyed being the dominant browser on the desktop since early 2009. Recently, we are seeing a growth in the popularity of Chrome in the Philippines (yugatech.com, jozzua.com), which makes for interesting discussions- it’s something I will certainly address in my presentation.

I’m really looking forward to spending time in Manila with the Philippine Mozillians.

Firefox and the open web in the Philippines

I don’t have much to say because Chin says it better than I can.

Manila Standard Today — Firefox and the open Web — 2011/january/11

Curiously, Firefox has been the number one browser in the Philippines for a year now, even without such a measure in place.

In December 2009, Firefox held a commanding 61.57 percent of the Philippine browser market, while IE, at second place, accounted for only 25.27 percent.

A year later, Firefox was still number one, at 45.42 percent, but lost market share to Google Chrome, which shot to second place with a 36.97 percent share in just one year. IE use had plummeted to only 14.4 percent of the market by December 2010.

As a long-time Firefox user, I have avoided the Chrome bandwagon for a number of reasons. Even if Firefox is not quite as fast, it has a rich set of features that I have grown to depend on, including extensions that enable me to customize the browser as I see fit. Also, the latest beta of Firefox 4 is pretty darned fast—though it is starting to look a bit too much like Chrome for my taste.

Another reason I have stuck by Firefox, even through the rough patches, is that I believe in the objectives of the non-profit Mozilla Foundation that makes the open source browser, which is to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web.

“As a non-profit organization, we define success in terms of building communities and enriching people’s lives instead of benefiting shareholders,” the foundation says on its Web site. “We believe in the power and potential of the Internet and want to see it thrive for everyone, everywhere.”

By this definition, Firefox doesn’t even need to be number one—it just needs to be big enough to influence Web trends.

In contrast, both Microsoft and Google want their browsers to be number one because this will add to their bottom line. Both will pay lip service to open standards, but it’s clear where their priorities lie.

I want a Web that is dominated by neither company, so I continue to choose Firefox.

For those of you who want to know more about the awesome Mozilla community in the Philippines, please visit http://www.mozillaphilippines.org/

Mozilla Philippines community rocks!

In the span of a few months, the brand new Mozilla community in the Philippines is active and ambitious.  A new Mozilla Philippines Community website, Five Years of Firefox in Manila, and check out the 2010 plans they have for promoting Firefox and Mozilla in the Philippines here: Mozilla Philippines Community 2010 Kick-Off.

And for photos from the 2010 kick-off meeting, be sure to visit Pics from the Mozilla Philippines 2010 Kick-Off Meeting.

Mozilla Philippines community 2010 Kick-off meeting

Filipinos Fête Five Years of Firefox

On November 26th, the newest Mozilla community, Mozilla Philippines, which started only a few weeks earlier in the Philippines, celebrated the Five Years of Firefox at the Asian Institute of Management in Manila.

Five Years of Firefox in Manila

Five Years of Firefox in Manila backdrop

Everything came together very quickly with organization driven by Regnard Raquedan, our new community leader, as well as the Filipino Campus Reps, (Ren-Ren Gabas, Allan Caeg, and Joell Lapitan among many others) who have been very active.  Sherwin Sowy of Globe Labs (a division of Globe Telecom) was kind enough to help with sponsorship and showed off a Firefox Addon that university students had recently developed which enabled the sending of web content (text or images) via SMS/MMS.

If you would like to join the new community that is growing in the Philippines to support Mozilla and Firefox, please join the Philippine Mozilla community list.

Five Years of Firefox in Manila Done!

Other blog posts on the event can be found here:

Five Years of Firefox in Manila Done! – Mozilla Philippines

Five Years of Firefox in Manila Done!

Five Years of Firefox in Manila! – a set on Flickr (Photos courtesy of Aja Lapus & Joell Lapitan)

Mozilla Firefox Turns Five

5 Years of Firefox in Manila, a Report

Happy 5th Birthday Mozilla Firefox!

2009-11-21 Five Years of Firefox in Manila – a set on Flickr:

Firefox in the Philippines

Before you read my post (below) about Mozilla’s recent activities in the Philippines, please note that the September 26-27 Tropical Storm Ketsana has caused over 100 deaths and over 340,000 affected by the flooding – the worst flooding in Manila in living memory.  Aggregated information about the floods and how to donate to those who were affected can be found at Ondoy Relief, Typhoon Ondoy, Pinoy Tumblr, Ondoy Tumblr and the Philippine National Red Cross.

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Over the weekend of Sept. 18-20, Seth Bindernagel and I traveled to Manila to begin to understand the Philippines as a growing community of Mozilla users.  We met various people in order to begin to understand the Philippines as an Internet market including domain registrars, network operators, social network service operators, web developers, a group of Spread Firefox Campus Representatives from a few of the schools local to Manila, and the attendees of the 2009 WordCamp Philippines event.

Dinner with the Mozilla Spread Firefox Campus Reps:

dinner in Quezon City

Campus representatives in the Philippines

Seth has covered a lot of the information we learned from our trip but I wanted to share a few other pieces of information as well as some photos of the places and the people we met.

Chin Wong, who writes the Digital Life column in the Manila Standard met with us and provided a good overview in his article of what we are trying to understand with regards to web usage in the Philippines.


Digital Life by Chin Wong — Filipino Firefox
DO we need a Filipino-language version of Firefox? Mozilla, maker of the world’s most downloaded browser, wants to know.

Chin provided a thoughtful response in the column wherein the first response was that most Filipinos use the Internet in English, all software in English, so a localized (Filipino) version of Firefox is not necessary. But he went on to note that:

On the other hand, I realize there might be a lot of interest in a localized browser, and that there are many more end-users out there [in the Philippines] for whom English is not their first language. After all, the most widely viewed TV shows are all in Filipino, and the most widely read newspapers aren’t the English-language broadsheets but Filipino tabloids. Certainly, folks who fit this media profile would benefit from a Filipino browser.

The majority of people we met with in the few days we were in Manila were more than happy with the English Firefox, which makes sense. These are Internet professionals, web developers, bloggers, people who’s entire academic education was in English. For people like this, an English language Firefox is most natural. But considering the nature of the Philippines, where there are multiple languages in use across the over 7000 islands, where a majority of the population has yet to get online in the first place, and considering how common it is for people to use Filipino (or Taglish) in daily conversation, Seth and I came away convinced that there is a need for a more localized version of Firefox. Exactly what that will look like should be up to the Filipinos who will make that happen, but we’re looking forward to what that may be.

In the coming days, we will be launching a Filipino community mailing list and hopefully from there a website with perhaps a forum so that Filipino users and developers can start collaborating and sharing and planning what to do with Mozilla or Firefox in the Philippines.  If you’d like more information on this new Mozilla community in the Philippines, please leave a comment and I’ll email you the details once they are running.

I am also hoping to be back in Manila for the Philippine Blog Awards, which Mozilla is co-sponsoring this year.  I look forward to meeting bloggers and Firefox users at the Blog Awards event in Manila.

Here are some photos from Seth & my trip to Manila:

Makati at dusk

Makati at dusk

The infamous traffic of Manila (on a Friday night in rush hour no less)

jeepney in traffic in Manila

Beau Lebens, Automattic

2009 WordCamp Philippines 0363

Seth Bindernagel, Mozilla

Seth Bindernagel, Mozilla

2009 WordCamp Philippines speakers on stage

2009 WordCamp Philippines speakers

Please Don’t Hurt the Web, Use Open Standards

use open standards

Seth & Beau providing entertainment as they eat Balut. (I didn’t partake.)

Seth & Beau providing entertainment

Even many of the Filipinos at dinner that night don’t eat balut…

Seth & Beau eating balut

Mozilla in the Philippines

It’s very exciting to be in Manila this week, learning about the Internet in the Philippines and trying to understand how Firefox has recently become very popular in this country.  Mozilla’s Seth Bindernagel and I will be at WordCamp Philippines 2009 on Saturday, September 19th to hear from Filipino web designers and bloggers about the web in the Philippines, Firefox in the Philippines and what Mozilla can or should do here in the Philippines.

Seth and I are hosting an informal evening with some of our volunteer university campus representatives on the evening of Friday, September 18th.  We are meeting at the Food Court of Gateway Mall, Cubao, Quezon City at 19:30 on Sept. 18th.  Please feel free to leave a comment or email me if you would like to join us. (Campus reps who we are already in touch over email, no need to RSVP again here.)

If you are coming to WordCamp here in Manila, we’ll see you at the event.

Seth and I will be sharing more information about what we are learning here at our respective blogs and hope to meet more Mozilla and Firefox fans here in the Philippines.

If you cannot join us this week, I will be back in early October for the Philippine Blog Awards and hope to see you there!

Bayanihan Linux in the Philippines

Did you know that the Philippine government funds a Linux distribution?  I did not until today.

Chin Wong, a columnist at the Philippine national daily newspaper, the Manila Standard Today, has a blog covering technology trends called Digital Life where he recently asked,

Do we need our own Linux?

Chin wrote about Bayanihan Linux, which is a Philippine government-funded Linux distribution based on Debian. The term ‘bayanihan’ itself, “refers to a spirit of communal unity or effort to achieve a particular objective.” Chin tried installing Bayanihan 3 times and failed with the comment:

All this was unfortunate, because Bayanihan 5 looks like a promising and modern operating system, that like Ubuntu, is based on Debian Linux. Like other modern Linux distributions, Bayanihan 5 also comes with a complete set of free and open source applications, including an office productivity suite, a powerful image-editing application, a media player and a CD burner. The interface, based on KDE , is a little busy for my taste, but is slick and easy enough to navigate. But do we really need bouncing icons attached to the mouse pointer while an application loads?

There is some effort at localization. Bayanihan’s OpenOffice, for example, is packed with templates of commonly used government forms. Firefox is set up with bookmarks to government and local news sites. But are such localized touches worth the effort of developing our own Linux distribution?

Chin also mentions that Bayanihan Linux version 5 came out in 2007 and that there has been no news about any updates. The website for the OS lists a forum for users but that is closed, which is ominous. He closes the post by asking whether there is a need for a Philippine Linux distribution. I’d love to know more about the customizations of Firefox that were made and how those decisions were made.

Firefox popular in the Philippines

Jerry Liao at the InfoChat blog at CNet Asia shares with us his findings that StatCounter is reporting Firefox more popular than Internet Explorer in the Philippines.

Philippine Internet users prefer Firefox over IE – CNET Asia Blogs: InfoChat by Jerry Liao, Philippines: Worldwide, the most popular/used browser is Internet Explorer (IE) with a market share of 66.25, followed by Firefox with 26.62, Opera with 2.82, Safari with 2.66 and Chrome with 1.19.

For Asia, IE is still king with 74.45, Firefox with 21.04, Opera with 2.35, Chrome with 1.18, and Safari with 0.76.

For the Philippines, the story is different. According to StatCounter, the most popular/used browser preferred by most Filipinos is Firefox (51.44 percent), edging IE which has 41.85.


While I’m not yet comfortable with StatCounters’ data specifically (I need to better understand their methodology), these recent findings do line up with data from Ken Kovash back at the end of 2008.

Firefox Surpassing 50% Market Share in More Regions: What’s the key takeaway here?

Our market share in the regions above has been growing like crazy. For example, since our July announcement about Indonesia, we’ve seen Firefox’s share in Indonesia pick up another 7%, Slovenia 4%, Slovakia 5%, and the Philippines an astounding 13%!

It’s great to hear that Firefox is so well-loved in the Philippines. If you know of any Philippine Firefox communities, please feel free to leave a comment. Also, if there are any Philippines-based statistics services that cover browser market share (like Net Applications or AT Internet Institute (formerly xiti monitor) , please let us know about them. We’d love to know more about the Firefox users in the Philippines.

All that said, one issue that is facing Firefox users in the Philippines is that many of them (close to 20% by Ken Kovash’s count) are still using Firefox 2, which Mozilla is no longer supporting or updating. PinoyTux and Chin Wong at the Manila Standard have both been kind enough to evangelize upgrading Philippine Firefox users to Firefox 3.

Philippines: 20% are Firefox 2 Users. | PinoyTux Weblog Whatever the reason is [for not upgrading], Firefox 3 is continuously being developed and updated so users can have safer and faster browsing. I encourage users to try and switch to Firefox 3 and hopefully this time, you Firefox 3 will stay in your computer for good. I also encourage other Filipino bloggers to join in spreading the word about Firefox 3.

Manila Standard Today — Much ado about Safari 4: Last but not least, even though Firefox 3.1 is still in beta, I’ve found it fast and stable enough for everyday use—on Linux and Mac OS X. The same just can’t be said of Google Chrome or the new kid on the block, Safari 4.