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Mozilla News and Developments

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Moz/FF
  • Happy BMO Push Day!
  • Lessons Learned while Designing for the Immersive Web

    It’s not necessarily more difficult – all the same design principles still apply – but it is quite different. One of the things that you have to account for is how the user perceives space in a headset – it seems huge. So instead of designing for a rectangular window inside a rectangular display, you’re suspending a window in what looks to be a very large room. The difficulty there is that people want to fill that room with a dozen browser windows, and maybe have a YouTube video, baseball game or stock ticker running in the background. But in reality, we only have these 2-inch screens to work with, one for each eye, and the pixels of just half a cell phone screen. But the perception is it’s 1,000 times bigger than a desktop. They think they’re in a movie theater.

  • Cross-language Performance Profile Exploration with speedscope

    The goal of speedscope is to provide a 60fps way of interactively exploring large performance profiles from a variety of profilers for a variety of programming languages. It runs totally in-browser, and does not send any profiling data to any servers. Because it runs totally in-browser, it should work in Firefox and Chrome on Mac, Windows, and Linux. It can be downloaded to run offline, either from npm, or just as a totally standalone zip file.

    In doing performance work across many language environments at Figma, I noticed that every community tends to create its own tools for visualizing performance issues. With speedscope, I hoped to de-duplicate those efforts. To meet this goal, speedscope supports import of profiles from a growing list of profilers:

  • How do people decide where or not to get a browser extension?

    The Firefox Add-ons Team works to make sure people have all of the information they need to decide which browser extensions are right for them. Past research conducted by Bill Selman and the Add-ons Team taught us a lot about how people discover extensions, but there was more to learn. Our primary research question was: “How do people decide whether or not to get a specific browser extension?”

  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 49
  • Friend of Add-ons: Jyotsna Gupta

    Our newest Friend of Add-ons is Jyotsna Gupta! Jyotsna first became involved with Mozilla in 2015 when she became a Firefox Student Ambassador and started a Firefox club at her college. She has contributed to several projects at Mozilla, including localization, SuMo, and WebMaker, and began exploring Firefox OS app development after attending a WoMoz community meetup in her area.

    In 2017, a friend introduced Jyotsna to browser extension development. Always curious and interested in trying new things, she created PrivateX, an extension that protects user privacy by opening websites that ask for critical user information in a private browsing window and removing Google Analytics tracking tokens. With her newfound experience developing extensions, Jyotsna began mentoring new extension developers in her local community, and joined the Featured Extensions Advisory Board.

  • This Week in Rust 259

    Hello and welcome to another issue of This Week in Rust! Rust is a systems language pursuing the trifecta: safety, concurrency, and speed.

  • Mozilla Reaffirms Commitment to Transgender Equality

Mozilla Politics

  • Why open source isn't just about code [Ed: Mozilla continues to unnecessarily alienate Firefox users who leave not because they don’t like the code or the program but because they don’t agree with company leadership using the company as a political vehicle]

    For sure. Yeah, and we've seen things like Firefox really succeed where people come together from all over the world to build a product openly, and invite contributions. And we've seen that succeed and really take down a monopoly. And we've seen this work, time and time again, in more than just code, but in businesses, in government, in science. Where people, when they work openly, when they're inviting contributions, they're more innovative, they get better ideas. And they get more buy-in from the community who wants to use them.

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today's leftovers

  • Compact Bay Trail SBC has option for third GbE port
    Axiomtek’s “CAPA84E” is a 3.5-inch Bay Trail SBC with an optional third GbE port, dual M.2 slots, plus VGA, DisplayPort, USB 3.0, SATA, and -20 to 70°C support. Axiomtek’s motto may well be: “If first you succeed, iterate until you don’t.” The king of the spinoffs has released yet another iteration of one of the first Intel Bay Trail SBCs, the CAPA841, which in 2015 was followed by the slightly scaled down CAPA840. The new CAPA84R similarly supports Bay Trail and conforms to the 3.5-inch form factor, but with a different mix of features.
  • Letting people work where they want shows how much you value them
    Open organizations are inclusive. They aren't inclusive solely because it's the right way to be but because it produces better outcomes. Inclusivitiy enables a more diverse set of viewpoints.
  • Cities agree on minimal interoperability mechanisms

    Over a hundred European cities have agreed on ‘Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms’ defining the communication between software programmes and building blocks to allow co-creation and sharing of services. The MIMs, advocated by the Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC) initiative, are “simple steps towards using new technology”, OACS chairman Martin Brynskov said on Thursday.

  • Containers On The Edge
    There are two major families for the choice of operating system and ecosystem: RTOS-based and Linux-based families. Smaller, cost-constrained devices tend to benefit from the simplicity of RTOS-based, while more full-featured and complex devices benefit from the richness of Linux (see The Shift to Linux Operating Systems for IoT for more background on the reasons for these approaches in IoT). Linux has been used in embedded devices for almost as long as it has existed (see here for an excellent timeline of early embedded Linux usage by Chris Simmons). The focus here is on Linux based products, as they have the needed functions such as access controls and memory segregation that allows for upgrading portions in a controlled fashion.
  • YouTuber Fits A Fully Functional Computer Into A Mouse
    While the YouTuber’s original plan was to squeeze a Raspberry Pi inside of a regular computer mouse but was unable to do so due to size constraints. Hence, he 3D printed a computer mouse to fit the components of the computer inside the mouse. Dubbed as “The Computer Mouse”, the device consists of a Raspberry Pi Zero W computer, a 1.5-inch color OLED LCD display with a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels, a 3D-printed mouse, a rechargeable 500 mAh battery, and a tiny Bluetooth retractable keyboard for text inputs and more complicated commands. It also has a power button at the edge to start the tiny computer. Further, it runs GNU/Linux-based operating systems such as Raspbian.
  • Microsoft Wallet for Windows Phone to be retired in February
    Support is set to end for all Windows 10 Mobile devices by the end of this year, and Microsoft is already beginning to retire apps in anticipation. In an update to the , Microsoft has noted that the app will be "officially retired" on February 28, 2019. Microsoft Wallet is the official tap-to-pay method for Windows Phones, similar to Apple Pay and Google Pay on iPhones and Android devices. The app also allows users to load up their loyalty and membership cards, allowing them all to be stored in one place.
  • mintCast 300.5 interview 5 Joe Ressington

Phoronix Test Suite Improvements

  • Making It Even Easier To Gauge Your System's Performance
    For those trying to understand their system's performance on a macro level will enjoy a new feature being introduced with Phoronix Test Suite 8.6-Spydeberg for seeing how your CPU/system/GPU/storage/network performance compares at scale to the massive data sets amassed by OpenBenchmarking.org and the Phoronix Test Suite over the past decade.
  • Phoronix Test Suite 8.6 Milestone 2 Released For Open-Source Benchmarking
    Two weeks since the initial Phoronix Test Suite 8.6 development release, the second milestone release is now available for your open-source, cross-platform benchmarking evaluation.

GNOME and KDE: GTK, KEXI, KookBook and Krita

  • Theme changes, revisited
    We’ve made a 3.24.4 release, to fix up a few oversights in 3.24.3. This release does not include the new theme yet, we will push that to the next release. We’ve also made another NewAdwaita tarball, which includes refinements based on some of the suggestions we received since last week.
  • KEXI 3.2 Beta
    Yesterday KEXI 3.2 Beta shipped, effect of improvements from entire 2018. Full info in the wiki. That's best KEXI to date! Pun intended because among other things one is especially worth mentioning, entirely new and final date/time grammar for user's SQL.
  • KookBook 0.2.1 – now actually kind of useful
    There was a snag in the KookBook 0.2.0 release, and 0.2.1 is available.
  • Krita Interview with Edgar Tadeo
    Comparing to Photoshop, I think Krita can make good digital painting that looks like it was made with a real brush. However,  PS is not a paint program, Krita’s advantage is its brushes.