In this issue…

App tabs in Firefox 4 beta
There’s a new feature coming to Firefox 4 that creates a new kind of browser tab known as an “App Tab”. The idea behind App Tabs is that some web sites are more like applications than web pages, such as Google Docs, webmail, Twitter, and web-based feed readers. These are sites that people often keep open all the time, and App Tabs makes that easier and more efficient to do. Alex Faaborg has put together a video introducing App Tabs, which you can watch over on his weblog.

Fun with fast JavaScript
Vlad Vukićević has put together a couple of web application examples that show off what can be done with Mozilla’s improved JS engine and the capabilities that will be present in Firefox 4. “The first example shows a simple web-based Darkroom that allows you to perform color correction on an image. The HTML+JS is around 700 lines of code, not counting jQuery. The second example is based on some work that Dave Humphrey and others have been doing to bring audio manipulation to the web platform.” You can read more about these examples at Vlad’s blog.

Mozilla and user engagement
Jane Finette is leading a drive to expand Mozilla’s user engagement efforts. “Over the coming weeks and months we’re going to be examining and expanding the ways we connect with our Firefox users; increasing the ways people can connect, find product know-how and get to know the organization. At the same time, we want to create more, easy ways for people to get involved and participate in Mozilla. We would love your thoughts and input. Many of you reading this have been demonstrative in building the Mozilla movement this far, and you are some of the most experienced people out there who know how to widen participation in the project and spread Firefox.” If you would like to get involved, see Jane’s post to find out how to get started.

Firefox live user support
“Live Chat tends to be one of the most popular areas that new support community members assist with, so it’s a great place to actively work with a wide variety of people who love Firefox. Anyone with an active account can answer individual questions from users. People who receive help through chat are most often very grateful for getting personalized help, and in some cases we have had satisfied users come back to help others. It’s easy even for people without support experience to help out — we have a wide variety of questions and an even wider variety of people to collaborate with.” Read more about the Live Chat system and how you can get involved on Matthew Middleton’s weblog.

Thunderbird quick filter screencast
“After the release of Thunderbird 3.0, the guys at Mozilla Messaging re-examined the ‘Quick Search’ feature from Thunderbird 2. It was fast but somewhat opaque, but it did allow people to find messages within the current folder. The team found out that people loved this feature and they decided to make it even better.” William Duyck writes more and has put together a great video about the new Quick Filter feature in Thunderbird 3.1.

New Firefox 4 tab closing behavior
Frank Yan, one of Mozilla’s current interns, has written up a post explaining the new (and highly improved) tab closing behavior that is coming to Firefox 4. “The best user interface anticipates actions that you want to perform and never gets in your way. When planning out the new tabbed browsing features for Firefox 4, this principle guided our focus. One of the things we think Google Chrome really nailed is its tab closing behavior: when you close a tab with the mouse, the remaining tabs shift or resize so that the next tab’s close tab button moves right under your cursor. This way, you can click the same spot to close the next tab. We now do the same in Firefox 4, so it will be super easy to close a whole row of tabs without moving your cursor a pixel.”

Help redesign the WebQA “Contribute” page
Stephen Donner is looking for help and ideas towards improving the WebQA “Contribute” page. “The current WebQA page isn’t the best it could be. So, what would you change about it? If you’re a contributing community member, what about the page (if anything) helped draw you/retain you? Please do leave feedback; I’ll really take it to heart as I work through the Contribute redesign — it’s really important to increase visibility and get more people looking at and helping to shape our web apps.”

Add-on icon voting continues
Voting is still open for the Add-on icon makeover contest. Developers nominated 83 of their add-ons to receive an icon makeover, and now it’s time to cast your vote. Choose up to 5 add-ons in the voting booth with missing icons or graphics that could use some work. Our illustrator will work with the winners to produce shiny new icons of which they can be proud. Voting ends August 6, 2010 at 11:59pm Pacific time. Please vote only once each for up to 5 add-ons.

Contacts design challenge winners
Mozilla Labs launched a new design challenge in June, focusing on their explorations in the social space. Students and UX practitioners from all around the world participated and the Best in Class honors and People’s Choice award have now been bestowed. Read more about this challenge and its winners on the Mozilla Labs weblog.

First Bugzilla user meet-up
This Wednesday, August 4th, the first quarterly Bugzilla user and administrator meet-up will be taking place, hosted at the WikiMedia Foundation in San Francisco. This is a group for anybody who uses or administers Bugzilla. Max Kanat-Alexander will be there talking about Bugzilla development, demoing new features, and answering any questions people might have about Bugzilla. There will also be a general group discussion, this time focusing on project management. For more information, and to RSVP for this week’s event, see the meet-up page on Upcoming.

Foxkeh wallpaper creator
To demonstrate some of the advantages of SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), the Mozilla Japan team has put together a “Foxkeh’s Wallpaper Creator” web application. You can choose which Foxkeh image and background to use, and also change the size, position, and transparency of the various elements. Head over to Foxkeh’s Wallpaper Creator now and create custom wallpapers for your desktop, laptop, and mobile devices!

Software releases
* Firefox 4 beta update
* Firefox Input 1.6
* Firefox Home
* Jetpack SDK 0.6

Upcoming events
* Aug 4, San Francisco, Bugzilla meet-up
* Aug 7, New York, Mozilla Drumbeat NYC
* Aug 14-15, Taipei, COSCUP/GNOME.Asia
* Oct 1-2, New York City, Open Video Conference
* Oct 28-29, Toronto, FSOSS
* Nov 4-6, Barcelona, Drumbeat Festival 2010
* Nov 5-7, Free Society Conference and Nordic Summit (FSCONS)

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.

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