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Moz/FF

Open Source Doesn’t Make Money Because It Isn’t Designed To Make Money

Filed under
Moz/FF
OSS

We all know the story: you can’t make money on open source. Is it really true?

I’m thinking about this now because Mozilla would like to diversify its revenue in the next few years, and one constraint we have is that everything we do is open source.

There are dozens (hundreds?) of successful open source projects that have tried to become even just modest commercial enterprises, some very seriously. Results aren’t great.

I myself am trying to pitch a commercial endeavor in Mozilla right now (if writing up plans and sending them into the ether can qualify as “pitching”), and this question often comes up in feedback: can we sell something that is open source?

I have no evidence that we can (or can’t), but I will make this assertion: it’s hard to sell something that wasn’t designed to be sold.

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Firefox Wayland By Default Diverted To Fedora 31

Filed under
Red Hat
Moz/FF

The plans to ship the Wayland-ized Firefox by default in Fedora 30 have been thwarted and will now have to wait until Fedora 31 to try again.

For a while now there's been the firefox-wayland package available for Fedora users to try the Wayland-native version of Firefox rather than having to run through XWayland when firing up this default web browser on Fedora Workstation. With Fedora 30 the developers were hopeful the Wayland Firefox version was finally in good enough shape to ship it by default, but that's not the case.

Read more

Mozilla: Hiring a Vice President From Facebook, Homepage for the JavaScript Specification and More

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Welcome Lindsey Shepard, VP Product Marketing [Ed: Hiring from Facebook (under criminal investigation for privacy infringement crimes) for VP role. Worst Mozilla hire since it put a Microsoft person -- yes, the company that puts back doors in everything and is most cooperative with the NSA (started PRISM) -- in charge of "security".]

    Most recently, Lindsey headed up corporate-level marketing for Facebook Inc., including leading product marketing for Facebook’s core products: News Feed, News, Stories, Civic Engagement, Privacy and Safety. Before joining Facebook, Lindsey led marketing at GoldieBlox, a Bay Area start-up focused on bridging the gender gap in STEM.

  • A Homepage for the JavaScript Specification

    Ecma TC39, the JavaScript Standards Committee, is proud to announce that we have shipped a website for following updates to the JavaScript specification. This is the first part of a two-part project aimed at improving our information distribution and documentation. The website provides links to our most significant documents, as well as a list of proposals that are near completion. Our goal is to help people find the information they need in order to understand the specification and our process.

    While the website is currently an MVP and very simple, we have plans to expand it. These plans include a set of documentation about how we work. We will experiment with other features as the need arises.

    The website comes as part of work that began last year to better understand how the community was accessing information about the work around the JavaScript specification. We did a series of in-person interviews, followed by a widely distributed survey to better understand what people struggled with. One of the biggest requests was that we publish and maintain a website that helps people find the information they are looking for.

  • A look at Mozilla's data science tooling, Google's Season of Docs, and more news

    Mozilla released Iodide, a new tool for publishing data science. Still in very early alpha, Iodide is a tool designed to help scientists write interactive documents. It is similar, but not exactly equivalent to Jupyter Notebooks or R Markdown in RStudio. Brendan Colloran shares all the technical details in a post on the Mozilla Hacks blog.If you want explore Iodide yourself, Mozilla has a demo site available.

  • QMO

    We are happy to let you know that Friday, March 29th, we are organizing Firefox 67 Beta 6 Testday. We’ll be focusing our testing on: Anti-tracking (Fingerprinting and Cryptominers) and Media playback & support.

    Check out the detailed instructions via this etherpad.

Vivaldi and Firefox Compared, TenFourFox FPR13 Now Available

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Moz/FF
  • Vivaldi vs. Firefox: A user's perspective

    However, it has yet to win over the spot as my default browser. For that, I rely on Firefox. But why? I decided to use both browsers side-by-side for a few weeks to find out what it is about Vivaldi that prevents me from making the switch on a permanent basis. The end results, surprisingly, had me even more confused as to which I should be running (I'll confess what tipped the scales in a moment.).

    [...]

    At this point, Vivaldi does a good job of mimicking the efficiency of Firefox. There's little more customization to be done. And yet, Firefox is still my default. Why? What is it about Firefox that makes me select it over Vivaldi? Unfortunately, the answer lies in one particular aspect that is not likely to change.

    You see, as an advocate of open source software, with all things being equal I will always go with the open source option. Now, if Vivaldi had the upper hand over Firefox with a particular feature or usability that I couldn't get with the open source equivalent, I'd happily set Vivaldi as my default (as I'm not a purist). But until said time, the open-source browser remains as my default.

    What does that say? Simple. With a few quick tweaks, Vivaldi is as efficient and solid a browser as Firefox. Outside of being open source, there is nothing Firefox can do that Vivaldi cannot mimic. Truth be told, if we're looking at a feature-for-feature comparison, Vivaldi easily comes out on top.

    Now, if Vivaldi were to shift to an open source license, I'd kick Firefox off that "Default" curb and go about my day, humming Spring's melody. Until then, Vivaldi will only come out to play for testing, or when Firefox Nightly (which is the version I use at the moment) has problems with a particular site.

  • Cameron Kaiser: TenFourFox FPR13 available

    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 13 final is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). I added Olga's minimp3 patch for correctness; otherwise, there are no additional changes except for several security updates and to refresh the certificate and TLD stores. As usual it will go live Monday evening Pacific time assuming no difficulties.

    I have three main updates in mind for TenFourFox FPR14: expanding FPR13's new AppleScript support to allow injecting JavaScript into pages (so that you can drive a web page by manipulating the DOM elements within it instead of having to rely on screen coordinates and sending UI events), adding Olga's ffmpeg framework to enable H.264 video support with a sidecar library (see the previous post for details on the scheme), and a possible solution to allow JavaScript async functions which actually might fix quite a number of presently non-working sites.

AFS For Linux 5.1 Would Have Pleased Firefox/SQLite But Was Rejected As Untested Crap

Filed under
Linux
Moz/FF

The Andrew File-System (AFS) continues to evolve as a distributed file-system. Over the past year and a half there's been a lot of activity to AFS in the mainline Linux kernel, including material slated for the in-development Linux 5.1 kernel but then Linus Torvalds ended up having to un-pull the changes.

Should you be wanting to run the Mozilla Firefox web browser from this distributed file-system or other applications relying upon the SQLite embedded database, the process should be smoother once this new file-system driver code lands. AFS in the material for Linux 5.1 was going to have fine-grained locking that satisfies the likes of Firefox and SQLite. There's also other work to "improve the life of desktop applications" with other file locking fixes, silly-rename support, and other changes.

Read more

Mozilla: Christchurch, Mozilla Foundation and These Weeks in Firefox

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Mozilla statement on the Christchurch terror attack

    Like millions of people around the world, the Mozilla team has been deeply saddened by the news of the terrorist attack against the Muslim community in Christchurch, New Zealand.

    The news of dozens of people killed and injured while praying in their place of worship is truly upsetting and absolutely abhorrent.

  • VP search update — and Europe

    A year ago, Mozilla Foundation started a search for a VP, Leadership Programs. The upshot of the job: work with people from around the world to build a movement to ensure our digital world stays open, healthy and humane. Over a year later, we’re in the second round of this search — finding the person to drive this work isn’t easy. However, we’re getting closer, so it’s time for an update.

    At a nuts and bolts level, the person in this role will support teams at Mozilla that drive our thought leadership, fellowships and events programs. This is a great deal of work, but fairly straightforward. The tricky part is helping all the people we touch through these programs connect up with each other and work like a movement — driving to real outcomes that make digital life better.

    While the position is global in scope, it will be based in Europe. This is in part because we want to work more globally, which means shifting our attention out of North America and towards African, European, Middle Eastern and South Asian time zones. Increasingly, it is also because we want to put a significant focus on Europe itself.

  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 55

Mozilla: Iodide and Edoardo Viola, Mozillian of the Month

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Mozilla releases Iodide, an open source browser tool for publishing dynamic data science

    Mozilla wants to make it easier to create, view, and replicate data visualizations on the web, and toward that end, it today unveiled Iodide, an “experimental tool” meant to help scientists and engineers write and share interactive documents using an iterative workflow. It’s currently in alpha, and available from GitHub in open source.

    “In the last ten years, there has been an explosion of interest in ‘scientific computing’ and ‘data science’: that is, the application of computation to answer questions and analyze data in the natural and social sciences,” Brendan Colloran, staff data scientist at Mozilla, wrote in a blog post. “To address these needs, we’ve seen a renaissance in programming languages, tools, and techniques that help scientists and researchers explore and understand data and scientific concepts, and to communicate their findings. But to date, very few tools have focused on helping scientists gain unfiltered access to the full communication potential of modern web browsers.”

  • Rep of the Month – February 2019

    Please join us in congratulating Edoardo Viola, our Rep of the Month for February 2019!

    Edoardo is a long-time Mozillian from Italy and has been a Rep for almost two years. He’s a Resource Rep and has been on the Reps Council until January. When he’s not busy with Reps work, Edoardo is a Mentor in the Open Leadership Training Program. In the past he has contributed to Campus Clubs as well as MozFest, where he was a Space Wrangler for the Web Literacy Track.

Mozilla, Firefox and Security on the Net

Filed under
Moz/FF
Security
  • A Look Back at the History of Firefox

    In the early 1990s, a young man named Marc Andreessen was working on his bachelor’s degree in computer science at the University of Illinois. While there, he started working for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. During that time Sir Tim Berners-Lee released an early form of the web standards that we know today. Marc was introduced to a very primitive web browser named ViolaWWW. Seeing that the technology had potential, Marc and Eric Bina created an easy to install browser for Unix named NCSA Mosaic). The first alpha was released in June 1993. By September, there were ports to Windows and Macintosh. Mosaic became very popular because it was easier to use than other browsing software.

    In 1994, Marc graduated and moved to California. He was approached by Jim Clark, who had made his money selling computer hardware and software. Clark had used Mosaic and saw the financial possibilities of the internet. Clark recruited Marc and Eric to start an internet software company. The company was originally named Mosaic Communications Corporation, however, the University of Illinois did not like their use of the name Mosaic. As a result, the company name was changed to Netscape Communications Corporation.

    The company’s first project was an online gaming network for the Nintendo 64, but that fell through. The first product they released was a web browser named Mosaic Netscape 0.9, subsequently renamed Netscape Navigator. Internally, the browser project was codenamed mozilla, which stood for “Mosaic killer”. An employee created a cartoon of a Godzilla like creature. They wanted to take out the competition.

  • Firefox Send – Securely Transfer Large Files for Free

    We have covered several file sharing applications over time with apps like Wormhole, EasyJoin, and Android File Transfer For Linux. Today, we introduce you to Firefox’s recently released file sharing service, Firefox Send.

    Firefox Send is a free, encrypted file sharing service that enables you to privately share files up to 1GB (and files up to 2GB using a Firefox account) with privileged parties. How does it work? Upload the files that you want to share and send the link to the recipients who just have to click the download button.

    Send uses end-to-end encryption coupled with an extra layer of security that you can advantage of by password-protecting the links. That way, people who are able to access the download link will not be able to use.

  • Why is no one signing their emails?

     

    It seems to me that there is a fairly easy solution to verify the author of an email: sign it with a digital signature. Either S/MIME or PGP will do. I don’t even care about encryption here, just signing to prevent phishing.

Mozilla: Doubling the Number of Content Processes in Firefox, SELinux With Firefox and Mobile Ports

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Doubling the Number of Content Processes in Firefox

    Over the past year, the Fission MemShrink project has been working tirelessly to reduce the memory overhead of Firefox. The goal is to allow us to start spinning up more processes while still maintaining a reasonable memory footprint. I’m happy to announce that we’ve seen the fruits of this labor: as of version 66 we’re doubling the default number of content processes from 4 to 8.

    Doubling the number of content processes is the logical extension of the e10s-multi project. Back when that project wrapped up we chose to limit the default number of processes to 4 in order to balance the benefits of multiple content processes — fewer crashes, better site isolation, improved performance when loading multiple pages — with the impact on memory usage for our users.

    Our telemetry has looked really good: if we compare beta 59 (roughly when this project started) with beta 66, where we decided to let the increase be shipped to our regular users, we see a virtually unchanged total memory usage for our 25th, median, and 75th percentile and a modest 9% increase for the 95th percentile on Windows 64-bit.

  • Use Selinux with Firefox.
  • Get better password management with Firefox Lockbox on iPad [Ed: Apple in is NSA PRISM. There are back doors and data-sharing, passwords included.]

    We access the web on all sorts of devices from our laptop to our phone to our tablets. And we need our passwords everywhere to log into an account. This is why we made Firefox Lockbox, a way to securely track your Firefox passwords and access them anywhere.

  • Mozilla Firefox Lite Android App Officially Unveiled In India

    After getting a soft launch last year, Mozilla has officially launched the Firefox Lite Android version at an event in India.

    Additionally, Mozilla has collaborated with various companies such as Times Internet, DB Digital and MoMagic to enhance its presence in India.

    [...]

    For those who don’t know, Firefox Lite is now available in 15 markets in Asia including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

    Lite-er versions of apps have been quite prevalent in developing countries such as India, where such apps prove apt for low-end smartphones catering to tier 2 and tier 3 segments, which could also prove beneficial for Mozilla.

Mozilla: Firefox Send, Task Configuration at Scale and More

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Use Firefox Send to safely share files for free

    Moving files around the web can be complicated and expensive, but with Firefox Send it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of services that let you send files for free but you often run up against small file sharing sizes or have to deal with links that don’t expire, leaving your information online indefinitely. Many of these tools can provide extra control and privacy, but only after you pay for a subscription.

  • Task Configuration at Scale

    A talk I did for the Automationeer’s Assemble series on how Mozilla handles complexity in their CI configuration.

  • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: Iodide: an experimental tool for scientific communication and exploration on the web

    In the last 10 years, there has been an explosion of interest in “scientific computing” and “data science”: that is, the application of computation to answer questions and analyze data in the natural and social sciences. To address these needs, we’ve seen a renaissance in programming languages, tools, and techniques that help scientists and researchers explore and understand data and scientific concepts, and to communicate their findings. But to date, very few tools have focused on helping scientists gain unfiltered access to the full communication potential of modern web browsers. So today we’re excited to introduce Iodide, an experimental tool meant to help scientists write beautiful interactive documents using web technologies, all within an iterative workflow that will be familiar to many scientists.

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More in Tux Machines

Python 3.4.10 and Python 3.5.7 Released

  • Python 3.4.10 is now available
    Python 3.4.10 is the final release in the Python 3.4 series. As of this release, the 3.4 branch has been retired, no further changes to 3.4 will be accepted, and no new releases will be made. This is standard Python policy; Python releases get five years of support and are then retired.
  • Python 3.5.7 is now available

Open Source Doesn’t Make Money Because It Isn’t Designed To Make Money

We all know the story: you can’t make money on open source. Is it really true? I’m thinking about this now because Mozilla would like to diversify its revenue in the next few years, and one constraint we have is that everything we do is open source. There are dozens (hundreds?) of successful open source projects that have tried to become even just modest commercial enterprises, some very seriously. Results aren’t great. I myself am trying to pitch a commercial endeavor in Mozilla right now (if writing up plans and sending them into the ether can qualify as “pitching”), and this question often comes up in feedback: can we sell something that is open source? I have no evidence that we can (or can’t), but I will make this assertion: it’s hard to sell something that wasn’t designed to be sold. Read more

OSS Leftovers

  • What OpenDSP Means to the Future
    Open source software to standardize grid-edge technology.
  • These Emulators Bring WWII Cipher Machines Like Enigma To Your PC
    Alan Turing, the popular mathematician and computer scientist, developed Bombe, a device used for cracking Enigma codes and played a major role in World War II. GCHQ isn’t the first to bring emulators of code-breaking devices. If CodeChef’s emulator looks tedious, you can try this web-based Enigma emulator from Summerside Makerspace or this Enigma Simulator desktop app by Terry Long. Do give these online emulators from WWII a try and tell us about your experience in the comments section.
  •  
  • GNU Health installer 3.4.1
    The GNU Health installer (gnuhealth-setup) has been updated to 3.4.1.
  • AWS’ contribution to Elasticsearch may only further entrench the open source vendor and cloud war
    Last week, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced it was launching an open source value-added distribution for search and analytics engine Elasticsearch. As AWS evangelist Jeff Barr put it, the launch would “help continue to accelerate open source Elasticsearch innovation” with the company “strong believers in and supporters of open source software.” Yet for industry-watchers and those sympathetic to the open source space, this has been seen as the latest move in a long-running spat between the developers and software vendors on one side, and the cloud behemoths – in particular AWS – on the other. So who is right? Previous moves in the market have seen a lot of heat thrown in AWS’ direction for, as the open source vendors see it, taking open source code to which they have not contributed and selling software as a service around it. MongoDB, Confluent and Redis Labs were the highest profile companies who changed their licensing to counter this threat, with reactions ranging from understanding through gritted teeth to outright hostility.
  • Andes Technology Strengthens the RISC-V EasyStart Alliance to 15 ASIC Design Service Partners
    As the first public CPU IP company in Asia, specializing in low-power, high-performance 32/64-bit processor IP cores and SoC design platform, Andes Technology Corporation (TWSE:6533) created a RISC-V promotion program called the “EasyStart” in July, 2018. The goal of the RISC-V EasyStart program is to help Andes’ design service partners catch the emerging opportunity in RISC-V based SoC design and development. The expanding global alliance now has 15 members and is on the way to its target 20 members in the near future. The alliance in alphabetical order includes Alchip, ASIC Land, BaySand, CMSC, EE solution, INVECAS, MooreElite, PGC, SiEn (Qingdao) Semiconductor, Silex Insight, Socle , XtremeEDA and 3 unnamed partners. These companies cover foundry process technologies from 90nm to 10nm and some provide both SoC design and turn-key service. The alliance partners will use Andes qualified V5 RISC-V processor cores to provide their end customers total RISC-V design service solutions.

Audiocasts/Shows: GNU/Linux on ARM, GNU World Order and Linux Action News

  • How usable is desktop Linux on ARM?
  • gnuWorldOrder_13x12
  • Linux Action News 97
    We try out the latest GNOME 3.32 release, and why it might be the best release ever. New leader candidates for Debian emerge, we experience foundation inception, and NGINX is getting acquired. Plus Android Q gets an official Desktop Mode, the story behind the new Open Distro for Elasticsearch, and more!