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Moz/FF

New TenFourFox and Mozilla Firefox Team News

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Moz/FF
  • TenFourFox FPR16 SPR1 available

    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release "16.1" (SPR 1) is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). As noted, this is a pure security update and there are no user-facing changes; the big under-the-hood change of those is that we are now pulling entirely from 68ESR, including locale data, certificate roots and so forth. There is also a small update to the ATSUI font blacklist. Assuming no issues, it will go live Monday evening Pacific time as usual.

  • Chris H-C: Four-Year Moziversary

    We gained two new team members, Travis and Beatriz. And with Georg taking a short break, we’ve all had more to do that usual. Glean‘s really been working out well, though I’ve only had the pleasure of working on it a little bit.

    Instead I’ve been adding fun new features to Firefox Desktop like Origin Telemetry. I also gave a talk at a conference about Data and Responsibility. Last December’s All Hands returned us to Orlando, and June brought me to Whistler for the first time. We held a Virtual Work Week (or “vorkweek”) a couple of weeks ago when we couldn’t find a time and the budget to meet in person, and spent it planning out how we’ll bring Glean to Firefox Desktop with Project FOG. First with a Prototype (FOGotype) by end of year. And then 2020 will be the year of Glean on the Desktop.

Firefox Reality Top Picks - Bringing You New Virtual Reality Experiences Weekly

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Moz/FF

So you bought yourself a fancy VR headset, you’ve played all the zombie-dragon-laser-kitten-battle games (we have too!) and now you’re wondering… what else is there? Where can I find other cool stuff to explore while I have this headset strapped to my face? We felt the same way, so we built Firefox Reality to help you in your quest for the most interesting, groundbreaking and entertaining virtual reality content on the Web.

The real promise of VR is the ability to immerse yourself into countless other places and perspectives - both real and imaginary - and to experience things you’ve never done before. Our Top Picks page is a great place to start exploring, with fresh recommendations coming weekly so you always have new content to check out. Of course, if you want to explore on your own, you can use Firefox Reality for that too.

Firefox Reality Top Picks is the start of what we hope will evolve into a thriving and sustainable ecosystem connecting creators, VR content, and audience.

Read more

Also: Faster Layouts with CSS Grid (and Subgrid!)

Mozilla: Glean SDK, Localisation, Reps and Security

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Moz/FF
  • This Week in Glean: Glean on Desktop (Project FOG)

    The Glean SDK is doing well on mobile. It’s shipping in Firefox Preview and Firefox for Fire TV on Android, and our iOS port for Lockwise is shaping up wonderfully well. Data is flowing in, letting us know how the products are being used.

    It’s time to set our sights on Desktop.

    It’s going to be tricky, but to realize one of the core benefits of the Glean SDK (the one about not having to maintain more than one data collection client library across Mozilla’s products) we have to do this. Also, we’re seeing more than a little interest from our coworkers to get going with it already : )

    One of the reasons it’s going to be tricky is that Desktop isn’t like Mobile. As an example, the Glean SDK “baseline” ping is sent whenever the product is sent to the background. This is predicated on the idea that the user isn’t using the application when it’s in the background. But on Desktop, there’s no similar application lifecycle paradigm we can use in that way. We could try sending a ping whenever focus leaves the browser (onblur), but that can happen very often and doesn’t have the same connotation of “user isn’t using it”. And what if the focus leaves one browser window to attach to another browser window? We need to have conversations with Data Science and Firefox Peers to figure out what lifecycle events most closely respect our desire to measure engagement.

    And that’s just one reason. One reason that needs investigation, exploration, discussion, design, proposal, approval, implementation, validation, and documentation.

    And this reason’s one that we actually know something about. Who knows what swarm of unknown quirks and possible failures lies in wait?

  • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: October Edition

    As explained in detail in the previous l10n report, cycles are starting to shorten towards the goal of 4 weeks. While Firefox 70 is going to be released in a few days, on October 22, the deadline to ship any update in Firefox 71 will be on November 19.

    Talking about Firefox 71, congratulations to Catalan (Valencian) (ca-valencia), Tagalog (tl), and Triqui (trs) for reaching an important milestone: with this version, they will move to Beta, and then will be officially released on December 3. Thanks to them, Firefox 71 will be shipping with 96 localizations.

    We have also added two new locales to Nightly in 71: Bodo (brx) and Tibetan (bo). If you speak one of these languages and want to help, head to Pontoon!

  • Mozilla Reps Community: Reps of the Month – September 2019

    Jyotsna is a Mozilla Rep and a Tech Speaker from Bangalore, India. The majority of her contributions goes to Add-ons, from building PrivateX to being an Add-ons Content Reviewer and a judge in the Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge. She was also highlighted as a Friend of Add-ons in the last quarter of 2018 on the Add-ons blog. Besides all this, she mentored new extension developers in her local community and joined the Featured Extensions Advisory Board.

  • Mozilla: Firefox 70 brings you these new security indicators

    Mozilla and Google Chrome developers discussed removing EV SSL indicators in the address bar in August because the indicators don't convey anything about the security and authenticity of a site.

    Google removed the EV indicators in Chrome 77, released in September, and Mozilla will do the same in Firefox 70, out later this month. This version removes the traditional green padlock icon plus the site owner's name from the address bar. The padlock for EV sites will now be the same as any normal HTTPS site.

Mozilla: web-ext, Facebook-like business model and Rust at Microsoft GitHub

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Moz/FF
  • Developing cross-browser extensions with web-ext 3.2.0

    The web-ext tool was created at Mozilla to help you build browser extensions faster and more easily. Although our first launch focused on support for desktop Firefox, followed by Firefox for Android, our vision was always to support cross-platform development once we shipped Firefox support.

  • Get recommended reading from Pocket every time you open a new tab in Firefox

    Thousands of articles are published each day, all fighting for our attention. But how many are actually worth reading? The tiniest fraction, and they’re tough to find. That’s where Pocket comes in.

  • This Week in Rust 308

    Hello and welcome to another issue of This Week in Rust! Rust is a systems language pursuing the trifecta: safety, concurrency, and speed. This is a weekly summary of its progress and community. Want something mentioned? Tweet us at @ThisWeekInRust or send us a pull request. Want to get involved? We love contributions.

Improved Security and Privacy Indicators in Firefox 70

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Moz/FF
Security
Web

The upcoming Firefox 70 release will update the security and privacy indicators in the URL bar.

In recent years we have seen a great increase in the number of websites that are delivered securely via HTTPS. At the same time, privacy threats have become more prevalent on the web and Firefox has shipped new technologies to protect our users against tracking.

To better reflect this new environment, the updated UI takes a step towards treating secure HTTPS as the default method of transport for websites, instead of a way to identify website security. It also puts greater emphasis on user privacy.

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Mozilla: Firefox, Monitor and Search Engine Add-ons

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Moz/FF
  • has google won the browser wars? – should Mozilla build their own SmartPhones?

    on the desktop: one refuses to believe it.

    on mobile: should Mozilla start building their own SmartPhone and ship Firefox.apk per default?

  • Why you should review your credit report after a data breach

    When significant data breaches happen where high risk data is at stake, there’s often a lot of talk about credit reports. Some companies that have been hacked may even be required to provide credit monitoring to their customers as part of their breach notification requirements. Whether the breached company provides credit monitoring or not, security experts recommend you check your credit reports for suspicious activity. To protect your identity, they also recommend you freeze your credit. Here’s what that means and why it’s important.

  • Search Engine add-ons to be removed from addons.mozilla.org

    For the last eleven years, Firefox Search Engine add-ons have been powered by OpenSearch. With the recent implementation of the search overrides API, a WebExtensions API that offers users more controls for opting into changes, Mozilla intends to deprecate OpenSearch and eventually remove it from Firefox. Search Engine add-ons will be removed from AMO on December 5, 2019.

Firefox’s New WebSocket Inspector

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Moz/FF

The Firefox DevTools team and our contributors were hard at work over the summer, getting Firefox 70 jam-packed with improvements. We are especially excited about our new WebSocket inspection feature, because you told us in feedback how important it would be for your daily work.

To use the inspector now, download Firefox Developer Edition, open DevTools’ Network panel to find the Messages tab. Then, keep reading to learn more about WebSockets and the tricks that the new panel has up its sleeve.

But first, big thanks to Heng Yeow Tan, the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) student who’s responsible for the implementation.

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Announcing Rustup 1.20.0

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Development
Moz/FF

The rustup working group is happy to announce the release of rustup version 1.20.0. Rustup is the recommended tool to install Rust, a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

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Also Mozilla: Karl Dubost: This is not a remote work

Chrome users gloriously freed from obviously treacherous and unsafe uBlock Origin

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Google
Moz/FF
OSS
Web

Thank you, O Great Chrome Web Store, for saving us from the clearly hazardous, manifestly unscrupulous, overtly duplicitous uBlock Origin. Because, doubtlessly, this open-source ad-block extension by its very existence and nature could never "have a single purpose that is clear to users." I mean, it's an ad-blocker. Those are bad.
Really, this is an incredible own goal on Google's part. Although I won't resist the opportunity to rag on them, I also grudgingly admit that this is probably incompetence rather than malice and likely yet another instance of something falling through the cracks in Google's all-powerful, rarely examined automatic algorithms (though there is circumstantial evidence to the contrary). Having a human examine these choices costs money in engineering time, and frankly when the automated systems are misjudging something that will probably cost Google's ad business money as well, there's just no incentive to do anything about it. But it's a bad look, especially with how two-faced the policy on Manifest V3 has turned out to be and its effect on ad-blocker options for Chrome.

It is important to note that this block is for Chrome rather than Chromium-based browsers (like Edge, Opera, Brave, etc.). That said, Chrome is clearly the one-ton gorilla, and Google doesn't like you sideloading extensions. While Mozilla reviews extensions too, and there have been controversial rejections on their part, speaking as an add-on author of over a decade there is at least a human on the other end even if once in a while the human is a butthead. (A volunteer butthead, to be sure, but still a butthead.) Plus, you can sideload with a little work, even unsigned add-ons. So far I think they've reached a reasonable compromise between safety and user choice even if sometimes the efforts don't scale. On the other hand, Google clearly hasn't by any metric.

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Mozilla: Firefox, Rust and XUL Extensions

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Moz/FF
  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 66
  • How to speed up the Rust compiler some more in 2019

    In July I wrote about my efforts to speed up the Rust compiler in 2019. I also described how the Rust compiler has gotten faster in 2019, with compile time reductions of 20-50% on most benchmarks. Now that Q3 is finished it’s a good time to see how things have changed since then.

  • Extensions in Firefox 70

    Welcome to another round of new additions and changes to extensions, this time in Firefox 70. We have a new API, some improvements on existing APIs, and some great additions to Firefox Developer Tools to make it easier to debug your extensions.

    [...]

    We’ve made a few improvements to the downloads API in Firefox 70. By popular request, the Referer header is now allowed in the browser.downloads.download API’s headers object. This allows extensions, such as download managers, to download files for sites that require a referrer to be set.

    Also, we’ve improved error reporting for failed downloads. In addition to previously reported failures, the browser.downloads.download API will now report an error in case of various http 4xx failures. This makes the API more compatible with Chrome and gives developers a way to react to these errors in their code.

  • Last version

    Yesterday I released Mail Redirect 0.10.5, which may very well be the last version of Mail Redirect, at least in this form. The version contains some small bug fixes, with relation to compatibility with other extensions, Cardbook and Thunderbird Conversations to be precise.

    I already started trying to make Mail Redirect compatible with Thunderbird 71.0a1, when the Thunderbird developers announced that support traditional XUL-overlay add-ons, which Mail Redirect is, will be dropped in Thunderbird 72. This means that any effort I put in the add-on now with relation to compatibility with future Thunderbird versions will stop working in a month or so, so that won’t do any good.

    The good thing is that XUL-overlay add-ons will beep working in this major ESR-release, so Mail Redirect 0.10.5 will keep on working in Thunderbird 68., and will only stop working in Daily and Beta and in the next major Thunderbird release 76, which is planned to be released somewhere in july, I think.

    I haven’t decided what to do with Mail Redirect. In order to keep on working in Thunderbird 72+, I need to convert it to a WebExtension Experiment, but that will be a major rewrite and the future of WebExtension Experiments isn’t clear either. Thunderbird developers indicated that support for WebExtension Experiments will also be dropped somewhere in the future, so I’m not quite convinced yet that it will be worth the effort.

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Excellent Utilities: cheat.sh – community driven cheat sheet

This is a series highlighting best-of-breed utilities. We’re covering a wide range of utilities including tools that boost your productivity, help you manage your workflow, and lots more besides. There’s a complete list of the tools in this series in the Summary section. Erik Karlsson, one of our regular contributors, has curated the finest free books that help you learn whatever programming language takes your fancy. There’s everything covered from C, C++, Java, Python, R, and much more. Link: Excellent Free Books to Master Programming. The books offer an exceptional amount of information. But sometimes you’ll need some very specific information that you can access instantly. Erik is currently curating his recommendations for high quality free programming tutorials. But until they’re ready, we are showcasing a utility that offers an alternative to programming tutorials. Step forward cheat sheets with cheat.sh. What makes cheat.sh special? It offers unified access to the best community driven cheat sheets repositories of the world. cheat.sh uses selected community driven cheat sheet repositories and information sources, maintained by thousands of users, developers and authors all over the world. Besides covering 58 programming languages, it also offers cheat sheets for more than 1,000 Linux commands, and access to information from Stack Overflow. Read more

Games: LinuxGSM, Boxtron, Total War: WARHAMMER II

  • Need an easy way to manage a Linux game server? LinuxGSM is great and recently passed 100 supported titles

    A project that perhaps isn't as well known as it should be: LinuxGSM makes managing Linux game servers easy and they recently hit a fun milestone. It supports running servers for games like 7 Days to Die, Barotrauma, various Counter-Strike versions, Don't Starve Together, Minecraft and a ton more. Starting way back sometime in 2012, the lead developer Daniel Gibbs emailed in to notify us that they recently hit a huge milestone for the project as it now supports over 100 different games. There's a number of other ways to run game servers but the point of LinuxGSM is that each game is tweaked and tested by them, with an easy to run installer and script to manage all parts of it. Running updates, getting notifications sent to various places like Discord, Telegram, Email and more when it's having issues is simple to setup.

  • Boxtron, the Steam Play compatibility tool for DOSBox brings more improvements in another update

    The Speedy Staging 0.5.3 of Boxtron is out, further improving this Steam Play compatibility tool for DOSBox gaming on Linux. As a reminder of the what and why: Just like how Proton enables you to play Windows games in the Linux Steam client, Boxtron is a tool that can be manually added to the Linux Steam client to run a native version of DOSBox. It's supposed to give you the best experience possible with DOS games on Steam. Rather than running them through Proton you get lower input lag, working Steam integration, better fullscreen support and so on.

  • You can now grab the Gotrek and Felix DLC for Total War: WARHAMMER II free

    Just a quick tip for Total War: WARHAMMER II fans this Monday morning, as you can now grab the previously White Dwarf Magazine exclusive DLC Gotrek and Felix for free. While they're only for Total War: WARHAMMER II, if you own both Total War: WARHAMMER titles they are also available in the expansive Mortal Empires campaign.

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