In this issue…
- Mozilla Creative Collective launches
- Mozilla Service Week: Act now!
- Extend Firefox 3.5 contest
- New Mozilla Labs website
- BBC experimenting with open video
- Web accessibility and CSS3 transforms
- Jetpack developer contest
- Fennec 1 beta 3 for Maemo
- AMO upcoming projects
- Multitouch in Firefox
- Firefox accelerometer support
- Mozilla Drumbeat
- Thunderbird 3 beta 4 schedule
- Proposed Microsoft-EC settlement
- Upcoming events
- Developer calendar
- About about:mozilla
Mozilla Creative Collective launches
John Slater and Tara Shahian have announced the launch of the new Mozilla Creative Collective (MCC). “Building communities is a big part of what Mozilla is all about and key to our success as an organization. We have dedicated communities that contribute to nearly every aspect of Mozilla — from software development, to extensions, to localization, to marketing, and more — but an idea that’s traditionally lacked an organized community is visual design. And because art is such a powerful form of communication, we’re harnessing that with the Creative Collective.”
On the Mozilla Creative Collective website, users can create profiles, share their visual design work in a public gallery, mark various designs and artists as favorites, earn achievement badges, connect and collaborate with others from around the world, and much more.
The Creative Collective is also working with the Mozilla Service Week team on a Design Challenge. “We’re hoping your creativity and artistic skills can help inspire action and ultimately better the Web experience for people and organizations around the world.” The Design Challenge announcement has some ideas to spark your creativity and all the information you need to get involved now.
Mozilla Service Week: Act now!
Mozilla Service Week — a week during which the Mozilla Community is rallying to donate their time and skills to help change people’s lives and make the Web better for everyone — is taking place Sept 14-21 and coming up soon! Mary Colvig, the organizer and driving force behind the project, has written up a quick guide to what you can do right now to get involved and get started, including: register for the event, pledge some hours, share your story, blog, tweet, invite your friends to the Facebook event, put an affiliate button on your weblog, and more. If you’ve ever wanted to get involved with the Mozilla project or give back to the community and support the open web, Service Week is a perfect opportunity. Check out the site and get involved today.
Extend Firefox 3.5 contest!
The Extend Firefox contest is back, challenging developers to make the next great web experience. The contest awards prizes for developing new Firefox add-ons for the latest production release of Firefox. Last year’s contest received over 100 submissions and, with Firefox 3.5 raising the bar in terms of features, you can expect this year’s competition to be intense. For more information, see the original Extend Firefox 3.5 contest announcement. The contest is currently open and runs through October 2nd, 2009.
New Mozilla Labs website
Mozilla Labs unveiled a new website last week, including a whole new look and feel and new independent sites for each active Labs project. It’s easier than ever to stay up to date on Labs development, get involved with the projects, contribute to the design discussions, and participate by writing patches, doing testing, or helping with documentation. Mozilla Labs is always working on new and innovative projects, and is a fantastic way to get involved with the Mozilla project.
BBC experimenting with open video
The Mozilla Hacks team reports, “The BBC has a post up describing an experiment that they have put together that uses HTML5 video that works in Firefox 3.5 and Safari. The demo uses jQuery and drives a simple carousel that shows the current chapter as the video plays. It also shows subtitles as the video plays.”
Web accessibility and CSS3 transforms
Marco Zehe, part of the Mozilla Accessibility team, has posted an interesting fact about CSS3 transforms. “If you’re one of those people who likes to visually twist, rotate or tweak some text, in previous years the only real choice was to use pictures to achieve such visual effects. However, thanks to CSS3 transforms — supported in Firefox 3.5, Safari 3, and Opera 10 beta — it is now possible to use plain text and rotate, twist and tweak its looks via CSS. The big advantage: Screen readers will still read the text OK because their reading order is not influenced by the visual appearance of the text. So even text rotated by 45 or 90 degrees will appear correctly in a screen reader’s virtual buffer.”
Jetpack developer contest
Mozilla Labs is hosting a new developer contest, this time focused on the Jetpack project. “Jetpack is an experiment in using open Web technologies to enhance the browser, with the goal of allowing anyone who can build a Web site to participate. In preparation for the [upcoming 0.5] release, we are launching a Jetpack contest. For making the coolest or most interesting Jetpack, we are offering a brand new netbook (the ASUS Eee PC 1000HE). For the runner-up, we’ll send you a big package of Mozilla swag.” For more information about the upcoming Jetpack release, the contest, and how to get involved, see the contest announcement over at Mozilla Labs.
Fennec 1 beta 3 for Maemo
The Firefox Mobile team has announced the release of Fennec beta 3 for Maemo. “This release features major improvements to performance and a fancy new theme. We’ve made big improvements to kinetic panning and added the ability to scroll iframes. A lot of work has been done to make the theme more robust, taking advantage of things like media queries to support various devices, orientations, and platforms which you’ll see more of in the next Windows Mobile release.” In addition to the Maemo build, you can also download desktop builds for Windows, Mac, and Linux. If you would like to see some screenshots, Madhava Enros has put together a slideshow over on his weblog.
AMO upcoming projects
The addons.mozilla.org (AMO) team has been hard at work cranking out features like Collections and Contributions, and they have now posted about some upcoming projects. These include Collections Phase II, a new Add-on Developer Hub, Disclosure of add-on practices, and an Add-on compatibility reporter. For more information about these projects and more, see the AMO weblog.
Multitouch in Firefox
Felipe Gomes has posted an article, including a video, demonstrating the progress he’s made on developing multitouch support for Firefox during his summer internship here at Mozilla. “We’re working on exposing the multitouch data from the system to regular web pages through DOM Events, and all of these demos are built on top of that. They are simple HTML pages that receive events for each touch point and use them to build a custom multitouch experience.” Read more about Filipe’s amazing work, view the video demonstration, and see an API example over at his weblog.
Firefox accelerometer support
Doug Turner has recently added support for an orientation event to recent trunk builds of Gecko. “This new event will allow you to build applications and listen for changes in orientation.” This takes advantage of accelerometers that are a feature of many modern devices. “Right now, there is only support for the Macbook Pro. It is pretty easy to add support for different OSs. We have code for Samsung Windows Mobile devices, and for the HTC Windows Mobile devices. We still need support for Linux and for Windows. If you are interested in adding support, file a bug and start looking at the code. The API isn’t fixed and may change.”
Mark Surman has posted about the feedback and discussions around the “next million Mozillians” thread that he started last month. “Some are saying: ‘let’s clarify and communicate what we’re actually trying to achieve here.’ The best clarification so far: ‘we’re starting a drumbeat for the open web.’ Based on this, I am proposing we use ‘Drumbeat’ as an umbrella code name for the collection of new community engagement ideas being developed.” Mark has also posted the first of a series of follow-up articles around the “Drumbeat” theme.
Everyone is encouraged to read through these posts (and the “next million Mozillians” posts before them) and take part in the developing conversation. This is an essential part of the evolution of the Mozilla project, and having more people help guide and shape that future is critical for its success.
Proposed Microsoft-EC settlement
Mitchell Baker and Harvey Anderson have both posted their reactions to Microsoft’s proposed settlement in the European Commission’s tying investigation. “Asa Dotzler did an evaluation of the proposal, noting both items that appear promising and those that appear weak. In all things the implementation details — all the way to the most mind-numbing level of specificity — will have an immense impact on the proposal’s effectiveness, so we’ll have to wait and see what those details turn out to be.” Mitchell goes on to outline a few aspects where the proposal could use improvement.
“The overall point that may get lost is that — even if everything in the proposed settlement is implemented in the most positive way — IE will still have a unique and uniquely privileged position on Windows installations.” For more, see Mitchell’s and Harvey’s weblogs.
Thunderbird 3 beta 4 schedule
The Thunderbird development team has posted the freeze schedule for the upcoming Thunderbird 3 beta 4 release. “We’ve still got a lot of blockers in the list, some of them are currently un-owned. If you wish to write a patch for a bug please do so. If you can, help out with bug triage, writing test cases and test days. See the QA page for more information.” The team is also working on their documentation, and point you to Jen’s blog to find out how you can help.
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.
* Thu, Aug 27 – Mountain View – Labs Night
* Fri, Sep 4 – Online – Firefox 3.5 Testday
* Sept 14-21 – Everywhere! – Mozilla Service Week
* Fri, Oct 2 – Everywhere! – Extend Firefox contest deadline
* Oct 3-4 – Prague – Mozilla Camp Europe
* Oct 15 – Everywhere! – Jetpack contest deadline
* Nov 7-8 – Sofia, Bulgaria – DevGarage
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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25 Aug 2009 deb