In this issue…
- State of Mozilla report
- Mozilla Foundation: November update
- Facebook Mozilla Security quiz
- Thunderbird 3 and accessibility
- Component directory lockdown in Firefox 3.6
- Jetpack for Learning deadline
- Camino 2.0 released
- Help the Camino project
- Redesigning Firefox’s add-ons manager
- New localization metrics reports
- Optimized Firefox Support start page
- Upcoming events
- Developer calendar
- About about:mozilla
State of Mozilla report
Last week Mozilla posted its audited financial statements and tax form for 2008, as well as a FAQ about these financial documents. Mitchell Baker has written about these on her blog, also discussing the state of the larger Mozilla project, its accomplishments throughout 2008 and 2009, and what the future looks like for Mozilla and the Internet as a whole. “The Internet remains an immense engine of social, civic and economic value. The potential is enormous. There is still an enormous amount to be done to build openness, participation and individual opportunity into the developing structure of the Internet. Hundreds of millions of people today trust Mozilla to do this. This is an accomplishment many thought was impossible. We should be proud. We should also be energized to do more and to try new things. It’s a big challenge. It’s important.”
Mozilla Foundation: November update
Mark Surman has posted a Mozilla Foundation status update, covering the current state of the Foundation’s programs, communications projects, community recruiting, and organizational development. Included is information and near-term plans for Mozilla Education, the Drumbeat project, and Mozilla Foundation 2010 planning. Mark has posted further about the Drumbeat project, where he discusses the “year one” plans in more detail.
Facebook Mozilla Security quiz
Mozilla released a brand new application on Facebook last week, a five question quiz designed to teach users some quick tips about how to stay safe online. “Facebook applications are notorious for capturing lots of data about the user. That’s simply not how we roll at Mozilla. We took the extra step of hashing the Facebook user ID to ensure that if you take the quiz all of your personal data will stay with you. The only thing we’ll know is how quiz-takers (in aggregate) scored on the quiz.” If you have a Facebook account, go take the quiz and find out if you’re a security ninja or a security newbie!
Thunderbird 3 and accessibility
Thunderbird 3 is going to be released soon, and Marco Zehe has posted an extensive article about the software’s much-improved accessibility. “Thunderbird 3 is based on the Gecko 1.9.1 platform, which is the same version that Firefox 3.5 is based on. As such, Thunderbird 3 has learned all the great new features of the platform, many of which have a significant impact on users with disabilities.” Marco’s post goes over all of these new features in detail.
Component directory lockdown in Firefox 3.6
In an effort to reduce Firefox crashes, the development team is changing how some third party software works with Firefox. These changes “should eliminate a good chunk of crashes without sacrificing our extensibility in any way. In the process, we’ll also be giving users greater control over the code that runs in the browser.” For Firefox users, this won’t change anything — add-ons should simply continue to work properly. For Firefox component developers, however, there are some minor changes required. “If you’re already packaging your additions as an XPI, installed as an add-on, it’s business as usual. If you have been dropping components directly, though, you’ll need to change to an XPI-based approach.” A migration document is available on the Mozilla Developer Center that outlines the changes required. Further information is available on the Mozilla Security weblog.
Jetpack for Learning deadline
Just a reminder that the Jetpack for Learning design challenge deadline is November 27. “Help turn the open Web into a rich learning environment as part of the Jetpack for Learning Design Challenge sponsored by the Mozilla Foundation with support from the MacArthur Foundation.” Get all the details at the Jetpack for Learning website.
Camino 2.0 released
Mike Pinkerton and the Camino project team have announced the release of Camino 2.0. “This release represents the culmination of over a year of hard work by our developers, testers, and localizers and easily surpasses the high quality bar we have set in past releases. I want to stress that this is a product of our community, including our users, who provided valuable bug reports and feedback along with way. I am constantly impressed with the community’s enthusiasm for the project and the care and thought they put into every feature.” Check out Mike’s blog post for more information.
Help the Camino project
Following up on the release of Camino 2.0, Smokey Ardisson has written a post that clears up some misconceptions about Camino, and tells you how you can help with the project. “The Camino Project is made up of a small, diverse group of volunteers who work on Camino on nights, weekends, and other bits of spare time. Our developers range from pilots to students and software developers. Because we’re a small team, everyone has a chance to make an impact, and having more people can make a noticeable difference in our progress.” See Smokey’s post for details about how you can get involved with the Camino project.
Redesigning Firefox’s add-ons manager
Jennifer Boriss is working on a new project to redesign the Firefox add-ons manager. “The add-ons manager has been largely unchanged since 2007, and it badly needs a redesign. One reason is that it has several usability problems that would provide significant benefit to users if fixed. However, a successful redesign must not only fix problems, but add functionality. This is because the scope and functionality of add-ons has increased dramatically and will continue to expand in future versions of Firefox.” Boriss’ post goes over the project in much more detail, and she’s looking for feedback and suggestions.
New localization metrics reports
The Mozilla Metrics team has developed new localizer metrics reports to show the growth and usage data for each Firefox locale. “For the first time, our community of l10n volunteers will have a more comprehensive set of data points to help measure the progress and spread of their work. By providing both locale and geographic location information, these reports illustrate the impact that each localization team is having.” More information, including links to sample reports, is available through Seth Bindernagel’s blog post.
Optimized Firefox Support start page
David Tenser and the Firefox Support team have launched a new optimized start page designed to improve users’ experience when using the Firefox Support website. “The preliminary site statistics indicate that the impact of the new start page is even bigger than we anticipated. So far, the start page shows a 3% decrease of bounce rate, which is pretty fantastic. This translates to an improved user experience for 400,000 Firefox users (annually)!” David’s blog post describes some of the major changes and provides links for further details and information.
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.
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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24 Nov 2009 deb