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Mozilla: WebRender, Dexterity in Depth, WebThings and Departure of Ronaldo Lemos

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla GFX: Challenge: Snitch on the glitch! Help the Graphics team track down an interesting WebRender bug…

    For the past little while, we have been tracking some interesting WebRender bugs that people are reporting in release. Despite best efforts, we have been unable to determine clear steps to reproduce these issues and have been unable to find a fix for them. Today we are announcing a special challenge to the community – help us track down steps to reproduce (a.k.a STR) for this bug and you will win some special, limited edition Firefox Graphics team swag! Read on for more details if you are interested in participating.

  • Mike Hoye: Dexterity In Depth

    I’m exactly one microphone and one ridiculous haircut away from turning into Management Shingy when I get rolling on stuff like this, because it’s just so clear to me how much this stuff matters and how little sense I might be making at the same time. Is your issue tracker automatically flagging your structural blind spots? Do your QA and UX team run your next reorg? Why not?

    This all started life as a rant on Mastodon, so bear with me here. There are two empirically-established facts that organizations making software need to internalize.

    The first is that by wide margin the most significant predictive indicator that there will be a future bug in a piece of software is the relative orgchart distance of the people working on it. People who are working on a shared codebase in the same room but report to different VPs are wildly more likely to introduce errors into a codebase than two people who are on opposite sides of the planet and speak different first languages but report to the same manager.

    The second is that the number one predictor that a bug will be resolved is if it is triaged correctly – filed in the right issue tracker, against the right component, assigned to the right people – on the first try.

    It’s fascinating that neither of the strongest predictive indicators of the most important parts of a bug’s lifecycle – birth and death – actually take place on the developers’ desk, but it’s true. In terms of predictive power, nothing else in the software lifecycle comes close.

  • WebThings Gateway Goes Global

    Today, we’re releasing version 0.11 of the WebThings Gateway. For those of you running a previous version of our Raspberry Pi build, you should have already received the update. You can check in your UI by navigating to Settings ➡ Add-ons.

  • Thank You, Ronaldo Lemos

    Ronaldo Lemos joined the Mozilla Foundation board almost six years ago. Today he is stepping down in order to turn his attention to the growing Agora! social movement in Brazil.

    Over the past six years, Ronaldo has helped Mozilla and our allies advance the cause of a healthy internet in countless ways. Ronaldo played a particularly important role on policy issues including the approval of the Marco Civil in Brazil and shaping debates around net neutrality and data protection. More broadly, he brought his experience as an academic, lawyer and active commentator in the fields of intellectual property, technology and culture to Mozilla at a time when we needed to step up on these topics in an opinionated way.

    As a board member, Ronaldo also played a critical role in the development of Mozilla Foundation’s movement building strategy. As the Foundation evolved it’s programs over the past few years, he brought to bear extensive experience with social movements in general — and with the open internet movement in particular. This was an invaluable contribution.

Mozilla: Q&A, Firefox/Gecko Codebase and Spying (Glean)

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Moz/FF
  • I’m a (senior) staff engineer panel

    Last week, my colleague Chenxia Liu and I arranged a panel at our Berlin all-hands meeting called AMA: I’m a (senior) staff engineer. Our goal for this panel was to provide a Q&A session where staff and senior staff engineers could share their stories what that a typical day in that role looks like, how their career progressed to that level and their advice for others interested in the role.

    [...]

    Everyone company’s career ladder for individual contributors is different. At Mozilla, the change for senior engineer to staff engineer is the progression where the role changes to be substantially more self-directed. You aren’t just landing code to address issues identified by your manager or peers. Your role is to determine what problems the team should focus on. What value will solving these problems bring to the business? How can you elevate the work of your team from a technical perspective? How can you level the skills of early career engineers on your team? As a result, the promotion to staff engineer requires promotion paperwork to be approved by higher level of management than the individual’s direct manager.

    Ahead of the panel, we reached out to five staff or senior staff engineers and asked them to participate. We reached out to people from several geographies and domains of expertise within the company and also different demographics. The day before panel, Chenxia arranged a lunch with the panellists so we could share the logistics of the panel, proposed initial questions and allow the panellists to get to know each other a bit before the session. We also shared a doc in a company wide channel where attendees could add questions before the session.

  • ESLint now turned on for all of the Firefox/Gecko codebase

    About 4 years and 2 months ago, Dave Townsend and I landed a couple of patches on the Mozilla codebase that kick-started rolling out ESLint across our source code. Today, I’ve just landed the last bug in making it so that ESLint runs across our whole tree (where possible).

    ESLint is a static analyser for JavaScript that helps find issues before you even run the code. It also helps to promote best practices and styling, reducing the need for comments in reviews.

    Several Mozilla projects had started using ESLint in early 2015 – Firefox’s Developer Tools, Firefox for Android and Firefox Hello. It was clear to the Firefox desktop team that ESLint was useful and so we put together an initial set of rules covering the main desktop files.

    Soon after, we were enabling ESLint over more of desktop’s files, and adding to the rules that we had enabled. Once we had the main directories covered, we slowly started enabling more directories and started running ESLint checks in CI allowing us to detect and back out any failures that were introduced. Finally, we made it to where we are today – covering the whole of the Firefox source tree, mozilla-central.

    Along the way we’ve filed over 600 bugs for handling ESLint roll-out and related issues, many of these were promoted as mentored bugs and fixed by new and existing contributors – a big thank you to you all for your help.

  • Extending Glean: build re-usable types for new use-cases

    The philosophy of Glean has always been to offer higher-level metric types that map semantically to what developers want to measure: a Timespan metric type, for instance, will require developers to declare the resolution they want the time measured in. It is more than just a number. The build-time generated APIs will then offer a set of operations, start() and stop(), to allow developers to take the measurements without caring about the implementation details or about the consistency of times across platforms. By design, a Timespan will record time consistently and predictably on iOS, Android and even desktop. This also empowers the rest of the Glean ecosystem, especially pipeline and tooling, to know about the quality guarantees of the types, their format and, potentially, ways to aggregate and visualize them.

Firefox 73 Is Now Available for All Supported Ubuntu Releases

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Moz/FF
Ubuntu

Released earlier this week, on February 11th, the Firefox 73 open-source web browser introduces various enhancement to make your browsing experience more enjoyable. Among these improvements, we can mention the ability to add a custom default zoom level that applies to all web content.

Firefox comes with a 100% zoom level by default, but now it can be changed to whatever suits your needs thanks to a new “Default zoom” dropdown menu implemented in the Zoom section under “Language and Appearance” settings.

Read more

Mozilla: Privacy, NextDNS, Vista 10 and Spyware

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Moz/FF
  • What watching “You” on Netflix taught us about privacy

    We’re not sure if we can consider “You” a guilty pleasure considering how many people have binged every episode (over 43 million), but it certainly ranks up there right next to ASMR videos. There’s something oddly compelling about listening to and watching someone like Joe Goldberg who is just a regular, well, Joe (or psychopath), uncover everything there is to know about his “love” obsession Guinevere Beck through a few simple online searches.

    In reality, the whole premise of the show kind dissolves with the most basic of digital privacy setting, which is why it feels good to know with a few simple tweaks, someone like Joe could never snoop in on our lives and thus makes the whole experience of watching “You” completely voyeuristic.

    Season one, episode one kicks off with Beck, a struggling poet living in Manhattan, wandering into a bookstore to find a Paula Fox book. Joe, the clerk, immediately sets his eyes on the ingenue and starts building a mental profile of her based on her body language and reading preferences.

    It’s not long after their first encounter when we happen upon our first privacy tip. After soliciting his help to find the book, she checks out at the register and hands him her credit card. He thinks it’s because she wants him to know her name, we think it’s because she’s a struggling poet and probably needs the cash she has in her wallet to be liquid in case of emergencies, but anyway.

  • Firefox 73 Released With Security Fixes, New DoH Provider, More

    Mozilla has released Firefox 73 today, February 11th, 2020, to the Stable desktop channel for Windows, macOS, and Linux with bug fixes, new features, and security fixes.

    Included with this release are new features such as a default zoom setting, high contrast theme improvements, and NextDNS as a new DoH provider.

    Windows, Mac, and Linux desktop users can upgrade to Firefox 73.0 by going to Options -> Help -> About Firefox and the browser will automatically check for the new update and install it when available.

  • things one hates about Windows 10 – Thunderbird as default mail program for firefox mail sharing links

    use GNU Linux on a daily basis on all machines. run windows virtualized for various tasks and as a gaming station.

    but also have to support clients using Win 10.

    So here is why one would NOT use it.

    What the Open Source community shall do better: listen to the users and create high quality well tested reliable secure robust fast sleak software that makes the everyday life better for millions and millions.

  • Karl Dubost: Week notes - 2020 w06 - worklog - Finishing anonymous reporting

    Cleaning up emails. And let's restart coding for issue #3140 (PR #3167). Last week, I discussed with mike, if I should rebase the messy commits so we have a cleaner version. On one hand, the rebase would create a clean history with commits by specific sections, but the history of my commits also document the thought process. For now I think I will keep the "messy informative" commits.

Mozilla: Async Interview, EU Digital Services Act and Firefox for Android

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Moz/FF
  • Niko Matsakis: Async Interview #6: Eliza Weisman

    Hello! For the latest async interview, I spoke with Eliza Weisman (hawkw, mycoliza on twitter). Eliza first came to my attention as the author of the tracing crate, which is a nifty crate for doing application level tracing. However, she is also a core maintainer of tokio, and she works at Buoyant on the linkerd system. linkerd is one of a small set of large applications that were build using 0.1 futures – i.e., before async-await. This range of experience gives Eliza an interesting “overview” perspective on async-await and Rust more generally.

  • Mozilla Mornings on the EU Digital Services Act: Making responsibly a reality

    On 3 March, Mozilla will host the next installment of Mozilla Mornings – our regular breakfast series that brings together policy experts, policymakers and practitioners for insight and discussion on the latest EU digital policy developments.

    In 2020 Mozilla Mornings is adopting a thematic focus, starting with a three-part series on the upcoming Digital Services Act. This first event on 3 March will focus on how content regulation laws and norms are shifting from mere liability frameworks to more comprehensive responsibility ones, and our panelists will discuss how the DSA should fit within this trend.

  • FAQ for extension support in new Firefox for Android

    There are a lot of Firefox applications on the Google Play store. Which one is the new Firefox for Android?

    The new Firefox for Android experience is currently available for early testing on the Firefox Preview Nightly and Firefox Preview production channels.

    In February 2020, we will change which Firefox applications remain available in the Play store. Once we’ve completed this transition, Firefox Preview Nightly will no longer be available. New feature development will take place on what is currently Firefox Preview.

    We encourage users who are eager to make use of extensions to stay on Firefox Preview. This will ensure you continue to receive updates while still being among the first to see new developments.

    [...]

    GeckoView is Mozilla’s mobile browser engine. It takes Gecko, the engine that powers the desktop version of Firefox, and packages it as a reusable Android library. Rebuilding our Firefox for Android browser with GeckoView means we can leverage our Firefox expertise in creating safe and robust online experiences for mobile.

Firefox Release 73.0

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Moz/FF

Version 73.0, first offered to Release channel users on February 11, 2020

We'd like to extend a special thank you to all of the new Mozillians who contributed to this release of Firefox.

Today’s Firefox release includes two features that help users view and read website content more easily, quickly. Like all accessibility improvements, these features improve browsing for everyone.

Read more

Also: Firefox 73.0

Microsoft flirts with new anti-trust challenge with new Start Menu-based Edge ads

Filed under
Microsoft
Moz/FF
Legal

Microsoft originally implemented the “Suggested” section on the Windows 10 Start Menu as a way to advertise its official apps; but in the latest listing, Microsoft has gone beyond self-promotion.

Microsoft’s recent extensive advertising is becoming hard to ignore, which has prompted many users to disable the ads. Those who haven’t done so may have noticed the most recent one takes a dig at a competitor browser.

The listing displays “Still using Firefox? Microsoft Edge is here”, to all users of the former- even with the latter already installed. The ad provides a link to download the chromium-based browser.

Read more

Also: Windows 7: a major bug prevents turning off or restarting the PC

Google's Chrome and Mozilla Firefox: HTTPS, Firefox 73, TenFourFox FPR19, Firefox for Android, Extensions in Firefox 73 and Firefox 73 New Contributors

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Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Google Chrome to start blocking downloads served via HTTP

    Google has announced a timetable for phasing out insecure file downloads in the Chrome browser, starting with desktop version 81 due out next month.

    Known in jargon as ‘mixed content downloads’, these are files such as software executables, documents and media files offered from secure HTTPS websites over insecure HTTP connections.

    This is a worry because a user seeing the HTTPS padlock on a site visited using Chrome might assume that any downloads it offers are also secure (HTTP sites offering downloads are already marked ‘not secure’).

  • Mozilla Firefox 73 Is Now Available for Download, Here’s What’s New

    The Mozilla Firefox 73 open-source web browser is now available to download for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, Windows, and macOS.

    Scheduled to be released by Mozilla on February 11th, the Firefox 73 release can now be downloaded from the official servers for all supported platforms and architectures. Linux users can get the binaries for 64-bit and 32-bit systems, as well as a Snap package and the source tarball.

    This is the final version that will also be released by Mozilla tomorrow. If you can’t wait until then, or until Firefox 73 will land in the stable software repositories of your favorite GNU/Linux distribution, you can get a head start by downloading the official binaries.

  • TenFourFox FPR19 available

    Due to a busy work schedule and $REALLIFE, TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 19 final is just now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). This version is the same as the beta except for a couple URL bar tweaks I meant to land and the outstanding security updates. If all goes well, it will go live tomorrow Pacific time in the evening.

  • The 7 best things about the new Firefox for Android

    The biggest ever update to Firefox for Android is on its way. Later this spring, everyone using the Firefox browser on their Android phones and tablets will get the update. Your favorite features — like your history, bookmarks, saved logins, and tab sharing — will stay the same.

  • Extensions in Firefox 73

    As promised, the update on changes in Firefox 73 is short: There is a new sidebarAction.toggle API that will allow you to open and close the sidebar. It requires being called from a user action, such as a context menu or click handler. The sidebar toggle was brought to you by Mélanie Chauvel. Thanks for your contribution, Mélanie!

    On the backend, we fixed a bug that caused tabs.onCreated and tabs.onUpdated events to be fired out-of-order.

  • Firefox 73 new contributors

    With the release of Firefox 73, we are pleased to welcome the 19 developers who contributed their first code change to Firefox in this release, 18 of whom were brand new volunteers!

Mozilla: Dzmitry Malyshau, Tantek Çelik and VR Team

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Developer Talks Up WGPU As Their WebGPU Implementation In Rust

    Mozilla developer Dzmitry Malyshau has provided an update on WGPU, their implementation of WebGPU built off GFX-RS and Rust for next-gen graphics and compute on the web.

    For supporting W3C's WebGPU as the future web API for graphics and compute, Mozilla developers have been pursuing WGPU as their Rust-based implementation. WGPU in turn with GFX-RS can then be accelerated by the host using Vulkan, Apple's Metal, Direct3D 11/12, or potentially even OpenGL in the future.

  • Tantek Çelik: Local First, Undo Redo, JS-Optional, Create Edit Publish

    For a while I have brainstormed designs for a user experience (UX) to create, edit, and publish notes and other types of posts, that is fully undoable (like Gmail’s "Undo Send" yet generalized to all user actions) and redoable, works local first, and lastly, uses progressive enhancement to work without scripts in the extreme fallback case of not being installed, and scripts not loading.

    I’d like to be able to construct an entire post on a mobile device, like a photo post with caption, people tags, location tag etc. all locally, offline, without any need to access a network.

    This is like how old email applications used to work. You could be completely offline, open your email application (there was no need to login to it!), create a message, add attachments, edit it etc., click "Send" and then forget about it. Eventually it synced to the network but you didn’t worry or care about when that step would happen, you just knew it would eventually work without you having to tend to it or watch it.

    I want to approach this from user-experience-first design perspective, rather than a bottom-up protocol/technology/backend first perspective. For one, I don’t know if any existing protocols actually have the necessary features to support such a UX.

  • Mozilla VR Blog: Visual Development in Hello WebXR!

    This is a post that tries to cover many aspects of the visual design of our recently released demo Hello WebXR! (more information in the introductory post), targeting those who can create basic 3D scenes but want to find more tricks and more ways to build things, or simply are curious about how the demo was made visually. Therefore this is not intended to be a detailed tutorial or a dogmatic guide, but just a write-up of our decisions. End of the disclaimer Smile

Mozilla: Firefox/Mozilla People and FOSDEM Turning 20

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Moz/FF
  • Brrrlin 2020: a SUMO journal from All Hands

    The intensity an event of this scale is able to build is slightly overwhelming (I suppose all the introverts reading this can easily get me), but the gratification and insights everyone of us has taken home are priceless.

    The week started last Monday, on January 27th, when everyone landed in Berlin from all over the world. An amazing group of contributors, plus every colleague I had always only seen on a small screen, was there, in front of me, flesh and bones. I was both excited and scared by the number of people that suddenly were inhabiting the corridors of our conference/dorm/workspace.

    The schedule for the SUMO team and SUMO contributors was a little tight, but we managed to make it work: Kiki and I decided to share our meetings between the days and I am happy about how we balanced the work/life energy.

    On Tuesday we opened the week by having a conversation over the past, the current state and the future of SUMO. The community meeting was a really good way to break the ice, the whole SUMO team was there and gave updates from the leadership, products, as well as the platform team. This meeting was necessary also to lay down the foundations for the priorities of the week and develop an open conversation.

  • uBlock Origin available soon in new Firefox for Android Nightly

    Last fall, we announced our intention to support add-ons in Mozilla’s reinvented Firefox for Android browser. This new, high-performance browser for Android has been rebuilt from the ground up using GeckoView, Mozilla’s mobile browser engine and has been available for early testing as Firefox Preview. A few weeks ago, Firefox Preview moved into the Firefox for Android Nightly pre-release channel, starting a new chapter of the Firefox experience on Android.

    In the next few weeks, uBlock Origin will be the first add-on to become available in Firefox for Android Nightly. As one of the most popular extensions in our Recommended Extensions program, uBlock Origin helps millions of users gain control of their web experience by blocking intrusive ads and improving page load times.

  • It’s the Boot for TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1

    The Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol is the de facto means for establishing security on the Web. The protocol has a long and colourful history, starting with its inception as the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol in the early 1990s, right up until the recent release of the jazzier (read faster and safer) TLS 1.3. The need for a new version of the protocol was born out of a desire to improve efficiency and to remedy the flaws and weaknesses present in earlier versions, specifically in TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1. See the BEAST, CRIME and POODLE attacks, for example.

    With limited support for newer, more robust cryptographic primitives and cipher suites, it doesn’t look good for TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1. With the safer TLS 1.2 and TLS 1.3 at our disposal to adequately project web traffic, it’s time to move the TLS ecosystem into a new era, namely one which doesn’t support weak versions of TLS by default. This has been the abiding sentiment of browser vendors – Mozilla, Google, Apple and Microsoft have committed to disabling TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 as default options for secure connections. In other words, browser clients will aim to establish a connection using TLS 1.2 or higher. For more on the rationale behind this decision, see our earlier blog post on the subject.

  • FOSDEM, and All Those 20's

    I've been meaning to blog again for some time, and just looked in disbelief at the date of my last post. Yes, I'm still around. I hope I get to write more often in the future.

    Ludo just posted his thoughts on FOSDEM, which I also attended last weekend as a volunteer for Mozilla. I have been attending this conference since 2002, when it first went by that exact name, and since then AFAIK only missed the 2010 edition, giving talks in the Mozilla dev room almost every year - though funnily enough, in two of the three years where I've been a member of the Mozilla Tech Speakers program, my talks were not accepted into that room, while I made it all the years before. In fact, that's more telling a story of how interested speakers are in getting into this room nowadays, while in the past there were probably fewer submissions in total. So, this year I helped out Sunday's Mozilla developer room by managing the crowd entering/leaving at the door(s), similar to what I did in the last few years, and given that we had fewer volunteers this year, I also helped out at the Mozilla booth on Saturday. Unfortunately, being busy volunteering on both days meant that I did not catch any talks at all at the conference (I hear there were some good ones esp. in our dev room), but I had a number of good hallway and booth conversations with various people, esp. within the Mozilla community - be it with friends I had not seen for a while, new interesting people within and outside of Mozilla, or conversations clearing up lingering questions.

  • Fosdem turns 20

    I've been attending Fosdem since 2004 when I was involved with Camino. I got enticed to come by a post of Tristan. On that particular year I got enrolled by Gerv to check a few mac things. I met Patrick who was working on enigmail, and we became friends. I was hooked - and have only missed Fosdem 2015. Over the years I gave talks. I met new people, made friends. 3 years ago I became a volunteer, by accident and ran the PGP key signing party. I enjoyed being a volunteer, it was fun and gave me an orange T-shirt to grow my collection. So the year after I signed up on volunteers.fosdem.org to help clean up on the Sunday evening. It was my first time attending the fosdem fringe (CentOS dojo and Configuration Management Camp).

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10 Best Linux Terminal Emulators [2020 Edition]

Do you prefer terminal emulators over GUI? But there are times when the terminal’s decent styling seems boring. In such cases, you look for more options to customize the terminal just like we do while choosing Linux distros. If that’s the case, your wait is over as we bring the list of best terminal emulators for Linux that you can use to refresh your monotonous daily work. Along with the styling, you can also turn the single terminal into a multigrid, observing the activity of each terminal simultaneously. Read more