In this issue…
- Help support Universal Subtitles
- The Mozilla 2010 t-shirt: vote now!
- Fennec 1.1 features
- Fennec on Android
- Status bar and add-on icons
- Revitalizing caching
- Mozilla and the W3C
- Build Your Own Browser project
- Experiments with interactive audio
- Thunderbird Quick Filter Bar extensions
- animateMotion SVG element
- Tbird 3.1 RC 1 schedule: feedback wanted
- Software releases
- Upcoming events
- Developer calendar
- About about:mozilla
Help support Universal Subtitles
The Universal Subtitles project needs to raise $25,000 to get started, and if you donate now the Mozilla Drumbeat project will match your donation dollar for dollar. The project is an initiative to “create an open subtitling standard that lets any video client find matching subtitles, as well as tools to make creating subtitles easy.” Chelsea Novak has posted more about the initiative and the call for donations, including a simple but extremely powerful video that clearly demonstrates why this project is so important.
The Mozilla 2010 t-shirt: vote now!
“Our latest challenge on the Creative Collective was to design the official Mozilla 2010 t-shirt, an exclusive item that will be printed and distributed to active contributors around the world. We received over 700 submissions from the community, which were reviewed carefully and narrowed down to the top 5. Voting has already begun, and it’s up to you to decide the winner. Please take a moment to help us by voting for your favorite design. Voting will end on Friday May 14th at 11:59pm (PST). We’re excited to see which design wins!”
Fennec 1.1 features
Fennec 1.1, which has recently gone into beta, includes some new features. Mark Finkle blogged about the new context menus: “Using a long tap (aka tap-n-hold), or right-click on desktop versions, you can get a context menu to appear. We intentionally designed the context menu system to be simple and minimalistic.” Madhava Enros posted about Fennec’s new “Save as PDF” feature, which makes it easier to print and save webpages with your mobile device. “On current mobile devices it’s rarely straightforward to print, and dealing with a saved folder of HTML, CSS, and images isn’t really what’s called for. Fennec 1.1 tries to fill this void with a Save As PDF option in the new site menu.”
Fennec on Android
“Over the last few months, we’ve made some great progress on bringing Firefox to Android,” writes Vlad Vukićević. “Michael Wu, Brad Lassey, Alex Pakhotin and I have been focusing on getting a build ready that’s usable by a broader set of people, and we’re now ready to get that build out there. This build should be considered ‘pre-alpha’, so there are some warnings and caveats.” Read more at Vlad’s blog, which includes notes about Weave Sync compatibility, Troubleshooting, and Installation & Feedback.
Status bar and add-on icons
Jennifer Boriss has written about some of the user experience work she’s doing related to Firefox’s status bar and add-on icons. “One of the major goals in redesigning Firefox is presenting a simpler, cleaner, and smaller user interface. This process has meant looking critically at each part of the interface and how it’s being used. This process led us to an obvious candidate for chrome reduction: the status bar.”
Boriss goes on to discuss the possibility of making add-on icons (which add-on developers often place in the status bar) be modifiable, movable objects that the user can control. “Since we can’t know what these icons will do, we can’t make decisions about their placement based on functionality. Why not give users the ability to modify their placement, just as users can modify the bookmarks on their toolbar and buttons on their UI? It seems inconsistent that we’ve been giving users easy control of so many objects in the Firefox UI, but not the placement of add-on icons.”
“Apparently, there are only two hard problems in computer science: cache invalidation and the naming of things (or so Phil Karlton’s dictum goes). Earlier this month, we invited representatives of Twitter, Facebook, SproutCore, Palm’s webOS, Microsoft’s ‘Office On The Web’, Yahoo, and Google to talk to us about the former problem (amongst other things), though we learned something about the latter. Caching is an important issue to get right on the web, not least of all because of the proliferation of web applications on mobile devices. The goals of our caching summit were to identify use cases that would help us move forward with caching and with HTTP request efficiency.” Read more of Arun Ranganathan’s post about the caching summit — as well as about what Mozilla has planned in terms of working with web developers — on the Mozilla Hacks weblog.
Mozilla and the W3C
David Baron, one of Mozilla’s developers and our representative to the W3C Advisory Committee, has started writing about part of his work related to the W3C. “I wanted to start blogging about one of the ways Mozilla interacts with the W3C: reviews of charters and proposed recommendations in the Advisory Committee (which has one representative per W3C member company). Sometimes I find these somewhat awkward to write, since the W3C requires a single response on behalf of Mozilla. So I want to blog about these reviews to let the Mozilla community know how we’re interacting with the W3C and have the chance to provide feedback about that interaction. Additionally, I think blogging about these reviews provides some more visibility into the W3C process.” David goes on to talk about the review of the Web Applications WG Charter, which you can read on the Mozilla Standards weblog.
Build Your Own Browser project
Carsten Book (aka: Tomcat) has posted about a new pilot Mozilla project called “BYOB (Build Your Own Browser)“, which is now in a beta state and ready for testing and feedback. “The Build Your Own Browser application generates installer files for a lightly customized version of Firefox that can be publicly distributed. These customized versions of Firefox are licensed under the Mozilla Public License (MPL), and the installer files and their contents are subject to the restrictions outlined in the Mozilla Trademark Policy.” BYOB is a fun project because it makes it easy for anyone (not just companies, but smaller groups like sports teams, schools, user groups, etc.) to create a custom build of Firefox that includes relevant links and a preset Persona. The BYOB team is looking for feedback, so please contact them if you have any questions about BYOB or suggestions for how the project could be improved.
Experiments with interactive audio
David Humphrey has been experimenting with Mozilla’s extensible platform — working with multi-touch, sound, video, and WebGL, among other things — and has recently posted about progress they have been making. “David’s work is important,” writes Chris Blizzard, “because it’s showing where the web is going, and where Mozilla is helping to take it. It’s not enough that we’re working on HTML5, which we’re about finished with, but we’re trying to figure out what’s next. Mozilla’s platform, Gecko, is a huge part of why we’re able to experiment and learn as fast as we can. And that’s reflected in what’s possible here. It’s a web you can see, touch and interact with in new ways.”
David’s post includes a clear call to action. “We want to keep going, and we need help. We need help from those within Mozilla, the W3C, and other browsers to get this stuff into shipping browsers. We need the audio, digital music, accessibility, and web communities to come together in order to help us build js audio libraries and more sample applications. Let’s make audio a scriptable part of the open web.” Read more on David’s weblog, and find out how you can get involved.
Thunderbird Quick Filter Bar extensions
The Thunderbird team has landed the previously discussed Quick Filter Bar interface in time for Thunderbird 3.1 beta 2. “Although the Quick Filter Bar already contains dangerously high levels of awesome, we made sure to make it extensible so you can cram even more awesome in. As an example, I have created an extension that enables you to ‘pivot’ based on the currently selectd message(s). In its most straightforward manner of operation, you can click on an e-mail address in the message reader header and pivot by that e-mail address. Out of the box, this will show you all the messages in the current folder sent by that user.” Read more about the Quick Filter Bar and this extension on Andrew Sutherland’s blog.
animateMotion SVG element
Daniel Holbert has posted about the newly added support for the animateMotion SVG element. “The animateMotion element allows for much more flexibility in SVG animations. Mozilla’s nightly builds have supported animation of most SVG attributes and properties for a while now, but animateMotion gives authors the added ability to effortlessly animate an element to move along any arbitrary path.” Daniel’s post includes a simple demo (Firefox nightly build required) to show the sorts of things you can do with this new feature.
Tbird 3.1 RC 1 schedule: feedback wanted
The Thunderbird drivers have proposed a schedule for getting to Thunderbird 3.1 RC1. If you are involved with Thunderbird development or localization, you should look at the schedule in Simon’s post and give the team feedback.
* May 8 – Drumbeat in Berlin!
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, announcements, events, or software releases you would like to have included in our next issue, please send them to: about-mozilla[at]mozilla.com.
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04 May 2010 deb