In this issue…

“Firefox Goes Mobile” design challenge
The Mozilla Creative Collective has launched its first design challenge. The goal of the new Firefox Goes Mobile challenge is to create the official promotional emblem of the mobile version of Firefox (which is getting closer and closer to release). The winning image will be used on everything from websites like and to schwag like t-shirts and stickers. If you’re a designer, this is a great way to get involved and make a big impact on a really important project. To find out more, see John Slater’s blog post.

Extend Firefox contest ends soon!
The October 2nd deadline for the Extend Firefox 3.5 contest is coming up fast. If you have a great idea for a Firefox add-on but haven’t got around to creating it, now is the perfect time. The AMO team has posted links to a host of different resources that will help you get started, including the Mozilla Developer Center, add-on development documentation, and add-on development tutorials. Check out the Mozilla Add-ons Blog for these links and much more.

Mozilla Service Week challenge
Mozilla Service Week starts in just a few days, and the momentum continues to build. “The community has stepped up to pledge over 8,400 hours of service and our localization community just rolled out the Korean, Polish, and Shqip versions of We also now have volunteer opportunities posted in 79 countries.” Mary Colvig has posted all the details about Mozilla Service Week, inviting everyone to take part. Don’t forget to pledge your hours on the Mozilla Service Week site!

OneWebDay: Sep 22
Chelsea Novak is heading up Mozilla’s OneWebDay efforts. “OneWebDay is a chance to reflect on how amazing the web is and to think about how we can move it forward, making it awesome for everyone. The web has a profound effect on how we live and work. As a OneWebDay partner, Mozilla and Mozilla Service Week want you to take action. Mozilla Service Week was created with the goal of helping not-for-profit organizations in need. OneWebDay is a great opportunity to extend those good deeds to anyone who could use a hand experiencing a better web. Everyone can help.”

Design Mozilla’s OneWebDay poster
The OneWebDay team is looking for help in designing Mozilla’s 2009 OneWebDay poster. Chelsea has posted instructions and further details on her weblog, including the deadline which is this Friday, Sep 11. “Not only will the winning design have the glory of having their art plastered all over cubicles, workspaces, local stores, coffee shops, community centres and libraries, but we’ll also send some Mozilla swag your way. Please help us out.”

Join our Test Pilot program
The Mozilla Labs Test Pilot project is launching its first test very soon, and we need more people to join the program and take part. The upcoming test is to understand user behaviors after opening or closing a tab. “Tabbed browsing is now the standard interface offered by all major web browsers, and it has been argued that the browsing experience becomes difficult to manage when more than a handful of tabs are opened.” For this study, you will contribute to the design of a key feature of Firefox, helping us determine the best default behavior for tabs. “When you interact with tabs, Test Pilot will automatically record what you do and when you do it. (It will not record which websites you visit.)” For more information and to get involved with this exciting new project, see the Mozilla Labs weblog.

Designing apps for mobile devices
“Designing a portable application to run on many different mobile devices is a challenge. Screen sizes and pixel densities are different, making it difficult to create the One Great Layout. In addition, mobile devices can change screen orientation, from portrait to landscape and back again.” Mark Finkle writes about how using a markup-based UI language like XUL, with it’s support for CSS, comes in handy in this situation. Fennec (Firefox Mobile) is being designed and tested to run on a wide variety of different devices, which include several screen sizes, pixel densities, and orientation requirements. “Layout support in XUL and media query support in CSS really do the heavy lifting for us. The Fennec UI is the same on all these devices, but we have some layout constraints and CSS rules that allow us to morph the UI as the screen changes.” Mark’s post continues on to explain how the team does this, and includes some code samples.

Fennec: API changes + add-on prefs
Some of the Mozilla platform APIs have been reimplemented for use with Fennec (Firefox Mobile). “There are times when the default platform behavior is not desirable on mobile devices. When that happens, we could hack up our own system, or we could re-implement the platform APIs to suit our needs. We try to do the latter.” Mark’s post talks about nsIAlertsService, nsIPromptService, nsIDownloadManagerUI, and window.openDialog(), all of which have been reimplmented for use in Fennec. Mark goes on to discuss add-on options handling in a follow up post, which also needs to be handled slightly differently in Firefox Mobile.

Building add-ons for Fennec
Fennec (Firefox Mobile) 1.0 is going to be released soon, and while there has been a lot of great testing and feedback, there’s one area where these are still lacking: add-on development for the mobile browser. “We need more developers working on Fennec add-ons. We have a small but growing collection of Fennec-specific add-on developer resources. These documents have been, and will continue to be updated. Fennec for Maemo and Fennec for Windows Mobile both support add-ons. In fact, the same add-on could be used on both platforms. So get out there and start building.”

Firefox: Helping users keep plugins updated
“Starting with the upcoming releases of Firefox 3.5.3 and Firefox 3.0.15, Mozilla will warn users if their version of the popular Adobe Flash Player plugin is out of date. Old versions of plugins can cause crashes and other stability problems, and can also be a significant security risk. For now our focus is on the Adobe Flash Player both because of its popularity and because some studies have shown that as many as 80% of users currently have an out of date version.” For further information about this new initiative, see the Mozilla Developer News weblog.

Chicago add-ons meetup: Sep 29
In addition to the upcoming meetup in Miami, Florida on September 15th, the Mozilla Add-ons team has announced another meetup that will take place in Chicago on September 29th. There’s no cost for these meetups and both will be packed with great sessions. Full details are available on the Mozilla wiki.

about:mozilla hiatus
This will be the last about:mozilla newsletter for two weeks, as publication will be halted while I’m on vacation. Regular weekly publishing will resume on September 29th, 2009.

Upcoming events
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*

* Sep 10 – Online – Tbird 3 beta 4 test day
* Sep 11 – Online – OneWebDay poster design deadline
* Sept 14-21 – Everywhere! – Mozilla Service Week
* Sep 15 – Miami, FL – Add-ons meetup
* Sep 16 – Mountain View, CA – Firefox 3.6 live testing
* Sep 22 – Everywhere – One Web Day
* Sep 29 – Chicago, IL – Add-ons meetup
* 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

Developer calendar
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 about:mozilla
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]

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