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Moz/FF

Mozilla/WWW: TenFourFox, Markdown, DOM, Firefox Spying ("Glean") and Apple Monopoly

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Moz/FF
Web
  • TenFourFox FPR20b1 available

    When using FPR20 you should notice ... absolutely nothing. Sites should just appear as they do; the only way you'd know anything changed in this version is if you pressed Command-I and looked at the Security tab to see that you're connected over TLS 1.3, the latest TLS security standard. In fact, the entirety of the debate was streamed over it, and to the best of my knowledge TenFourFox is the only browser that implements TLS 1.3 on Power Macs running Mac OS X. On regular Firefox your clue would be seeing occasional status messages about handshakes, but I've even disabled that for TenFourFox to avoid wholesale invalidating our langpacks which entirely lack those strings. Other than a couple trivial DOM updates I wrote up because they were easy, as before there are essentially no other changes other than the TLS enablement in this FPR to limit the regression range. If you find a site that does not work, verify first it does work in FPR19 or FPR18, because sites change more than we do, and see if setting security.tls.version.max to 3 (instead of 4) fixes it. You may need to restart the browser to make sure. If this does seem to reliably fix the problem, report it in the comments. A good test site is Google or Mozilla itself. The code we are using is largely the same as current Firefox's.

  • Moving to Markdown

    I'm writing this only for those who follows this blog via RSS feed and probably wonders why they had many notifications on their RSS reader. Sorry, this thing happen when upload a new version of my website. So, what's new on this new website? Not much, nothing changed visually... But everything changed under the hood!

  • Semantic markup, browsers, and identity in the DOM

    HTML was initially designed as a semantic markup language, with elements having semantics (meaning) describing general roles within a document. These semantic elements have been added to over time. Markup as it is used on the web is often criticized for not following the semantics, but rather being a soup of divs and spans, the most generic sorts of elements. The Web has also evolved over the last 25 years from a web of documents to a web where many of the most visited pages are really applications rather than documents. The HTML markup used on the Web is a representation of a tree structure, and the user interface of these web applications is often based on dynamic changes made through the DOM, which is what we call both the live representation of that tree structure and the API through which that representation is accessed.

    Browsers exist as tools for users to browse the Web; they strike a balance between showing the content as its author intended versus adapting that content to the device it is being displayed on and the preferences or needs of the user.

    Given the unreliable use of semantics on the Web, most of the ways browsers adapt content to the user rarely depend deeply on semantics, although some of them (such as reader mode) do have significant dependencies. However, browser adaptations of content or interventions that browsers make on behalf of the user very frequently depend on the persistent object identity in the DOM. That is, nodes in the DOM tree (such as sections of the page, or paragraphs) have an identity over the lifetime of the page, and many things that browsers do depend on that identity being consistent over time. For example, exposing the page to a screen reader, scroll anchoring, and I think some aspects of ad blocking all depend on the idea that there are elements in the web page that the browser understands the identity of over time.

  • Chris H-C: This Week in Glean: A Distributed Team Echoes Distributed Workflow

    I was recently struck by a realization that the position of our data org’s team members around the globe mimics the path that data flows through the Glean Ecosystem.

  • Apple May Soon Let You Set Third-Party Mail, Browser Apps as Default on iOS: Report

    Apple has always had its own apps set as defaults in cases like the music player and the browser, Apple Music and Safari respectively. But, this might change soon. Reportedly, Apple is considering allowing third party apps to be set as defaults on iOS. Apple is also debating whether to allow third-party music apps on the HomePod speaker, something would mean allowing users to stream music via Spotify, which is one of Apple Music's rivals. No decision has been made by the company as of now.

Mozilla: EU Policy, Localisation and More

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Moz/FF
    The new EU digital strategy: A good start, but more to be done

    In a strategy and two white papers published today, the Commission has laid out its vision for the next five years of EU tech policy: achieving trust by fostering technologies working for people, a fair and competitive digital economy, and a digital and sustainable society. This vision includes big ambitions for content regulation, digital competition, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity. Here we give some recommendations on how the Commission should take it forward.

    We welcome this vision the Commission sketches out and are eager to contribute, because the internet today is not what we want it to be. A rising tide of illegal and harmful content, the pervasiveness of the surveillance economy, and increased centralisation of market power have damaged the internet’s original vision of openness. We also believe that innovation and fundamental rights are complementary and should always go hand in hand – a vision we live out in the products we build and the projects we take on. If built on carefully, the strategy can provide a roadmap to address the many challenges we face, in a way that protects citizens’ rights and enhances internet openness.

    However, it’s essential that the EU does not repeat the mistakes of the past, and avoids misguided, heavy handed and/or one-size-fits-all regulations. The Commission should look carefully at the problems we’re trying to solve, consider all actors impacted and think innovatively about smart interventions to open up markets and protect fundamental rights. This is particularly important in the content regulation space, where the last EU mandate saw broad regulatory interventions (e.g. on copyright or terrorist content) that were crafted with only the big online platforms in mind, undermining individuals’ rights and competition. Yet, and despite such interventions, big platforms are not doing enough to tackle the spread of illegal and harmful content. To avoid such problematic outcomes, we encourage the European Commission to come up with a comprehensive framework for ensuring that tech companies really do act responsibly, with a focus on the companies’ practices and processes.

  • Karl Dubost: Week notes - 2020 w07 - worklog - flask blueprint
  • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: February Edition
  • What’s happening on the SUMO Platform: Sprint updates

    So what’s going on with the SUMO platform? We’re moving forward in 2020 with new plans, new challenges and a new roadmap.

    We’re continuing this year to track all development work in 2 week sprints. You can see everything that is currently being worked on and our current sprint here (please note: this is only a project tracking board, do not use it to file bugs, bugs should continue to be filed via Bugzilla)

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

Filed under
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!

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GNU Emacs isn't the oldest interactive text editor for Unix—it's predated (at least) by the Vi editor—nor is it the only Emacs in existence. However, it's surely the most popular Emacs and one of the best editors available on POSIX. Or it was until fresh new editors, like Atom, VSCode, and Brackets, came to the fresh new open source landscape of today. There are so many options for robust text editors now, many of which have iterated upon Emacs' ideas and traditions, that you may well wonder whether GNU Emacs is still relevant. Read more

Devices: PicoCore, u‑blox and ESP32

  • PicoCore MX8MN is a Tiny NXP i.MX 8M Nano Computer-on-Module

    The PicoCore MX8MN Nano carries the NXP i.MX 8M Nano F&S Elektronik Systeme has announced the development of the smallest i.MX 8M based CoM yet: the PicoCore MX8MN Nano.

  • u-Blox Launches JODY-W3 WiFi 6 & Bluetooth 5.1 Module for Automotive Applications

    u‑blox has just launched JODY-W3 wireless module which the company claims to be the first automotive-grade WiFi 6 module. Apart from supporting 802.11ax WiFi with 2×2 MIMO, the module also comes with dual-mode Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity. WiFi 6 will be used for applications demanding higher bitrates such as ultra‑HD video infotainment streaming and screen mirroring, wireless back‑up cameras and cloud connectivity as well as vehicle systems maintenance and diagnostics. Bluetooth 5.1 will be used for keyless entry systems and other applications leveraging direction-finding and the longer range offered by the latest version of Bluetooth.

  • Barracuda App Server for ESP32 Let You Easily Develop Lua Apps via Your Web Browser

    We covered Real Time Logic’s open-source lightweight Minnow Server for microcontrollers last year, and now the company has released another project: Barracuda App Server for ESP32. This project is more complex and requires an ESP32 board with PSRAM to run such as boards based on ESP32-WROVER module with 4 to 8MB PSRAM. The Barracuda App server (BAS) comes with a Lua VM, and in complement with the LSP App Manager that facilitates active development on the ESP32 by providing a web interface. The Barracuda App Server runs on top of FreeRTOS real-time operating system part of Espressif free ESP-IDF development environment.

3-D Printing and Open Hardware: MakerBot, AAScan and RISC-V

  • MakerBot Targets Schools With Rebranded Printers

    MakerBot was poised to be one of the greatest success stories of the open source hardware movement. Founded on the shared knowledge of the RepRap community, they created the first practical desktop 3D printer aimed at consumers over a decade ago. But today, after being bought out by Stratasys and abandoning their open source roots, the company is all but completely absent in the market they helped to create. Cheaper and better printers, some of which built on that same RepRap lineage, have completely taken over in the consumer space; forcing MakerBot to refocus their efforts on professional and educational customers.

  • 3D-Printed 3D Scanner made to work with your phone

    An Arduino-based 3D scanner was created by an industrious 3D printing enthusiast and released open source this week for all to enjoy. This open source project was made to take out the most time-consuming component of the 3D scan process, giving said process instead to an Android phone combined with 3D-printed parts, a cheap motor, and an Arduino. This is not the first time such a system has been attempted, but it does appear to be the most complete and ready-to-roll system to date.

  • AAScan open source Arduino 3D scanner utilizes the power of your smartphone

    Using the power of Arduino and utilising the camera and powerful performance of a smartphone QLRO has created a fantastic 3D scanner aptly named the AAScan. Check out the video below to learn more about the Android 3D scanner which is open source and fully automated.

  • Video: RISC-V momentum around the world, from edge to HPC

    In this keynote talk from the 2020 HiPEAC conference, RISC-V Foundation Chief Executive Calista Redmond explains how the RISC-V open-source instruction set architecture is gathering momentum around the world, finding applications across the compute continuum from edge to high-performance computing.

  • Weekend Discussion: How Concerned Are You If Your CPU Is Completely Open?

    For some interesting Sunday debates in the forums, how important to you is having a completely open CPU design? Additionally, is POWER dead? This comes following interesting remarks by an industry leader this weekend. Stemming from discussions on Twitter about Raptor's new OpenBMC firmware with a web GUI in tow, one of the discussions ended up shifting to that of open CPU designs and the belief that secretive CPU startup NUVIA could be having an open-source firmware stack.