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Moz/FF

Mozilla: Rust, Telemetry and More

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Moz/FF
  • This Week in Rust 241

    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.

  • Another one bites the Rust

    Rust was the primary reason we dropped source parity for TenFourFox also (though there were plenty of other reasons such as changes to the graphics stack, the hard requirement for Skia, Electrolysis and changes to ICU; all of this could have been worked around, but with substantial difficulty, and likely with severe compromises). Now that Firefox 52ESR, the last ESR to not require Rust support, is on its last legs, this marks the final end of "Warpzilla" and Firefox on OS/2. SPARC (and apparently Solaris in general) doesn't have rustc or cargo support either, so this is likely the end of Firefox on any version of Solaris as well. Yes, I use Firefox on my Sun Ultra-3 laptop with Solaris 10. There are probably other minor platforms just hanging on that will wink out and disappear which I haven't yet discovered.

  • Faster Event Telemetry with “event” Pings

    Event Telemetry is the means by which we can send ordered interaction data from Firefox users back to Mozilla where we can use it to make product decisions.

    For example, we know from a histogram that the most popular way of opening the Developer Tools in Firefox Beta 62 is by the shortcut key (Ctrl+Shift+I). And it’s nice to see that the number of times the Javascript Debugger was opened was roughly 1/10th of the number of times the shortcut key was used.

  • State of Mozilla Support: 2018 Mid-year Update – Part 2

    Last time we had a closer look at a metrics-based report analysis from the Analysen & Tal agency that took a deep dive into support.mozilla.org’s historical data.

    Today, we are going to continue sharing external insights into our community and support model with a summary of the comparative study conducted for us by a team of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design from Denmark. While we were not exactly looking for the essence of hygge, we found quite a few interesting nuggets of wisdom and inspiration that we’d like to share with you below. You can find the presentation here.

  • Making calls to WebAssembly fast and implementing anyref

    As you can see, the C++ step that was originally required to call wasm from JS has been completely eliminated!

    This resulted in massive speedups over a variety of different situations: when a wasm function is directly / indirectly / polymorphically called, or used as a getter/setter, or called by Function.prototype.call/apply, when the call is missing required arguments, etc. Here's a brief summary of the results, but there might be a full-blown blog post about these optimizations coming on Mozilla Hacks at some point in the future.

Mozilla: Dark Theme Darkening, Google Tier 1 Search in Firefox for Android Nightly, Google's Attitude

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Moz/FF
  • Dark Theme Darkening: Better Theming for Firefox Quantum

    Project Dark Theme Darkening was part of Michigan State University’s Computer Science capstone experience. Twenty-four groups of five students were each assigned an industry sponsor based on preference and skill set. We had the privilege of working with Mozilla on Firefox Quantum’s Theming API. Our project increases a user’s ability to customize the appearance of the Firefox browser.

  • Google Tier 1 Search in Firefox for Android Nightly

    Bug 975444 is one of the most-duped web compat bugs, which documents the fact that the version of Google Search that Firefox for Android users receive is a less rich version than the one served to Chrome Mobile. And people notice (hence all the dupes).

    In order to turn this situation around, we've been working on a number of platform interop bugs (in collaboration with some friendly members of the Blink team) and have hopes in making progress towards receiving Tier 1 search by default.

    Part of the plan is to sniff out bugs we don't know about (or new bugs, as the site changes very quickly) by exposing the Nightly population to the spoofed Tier 1 version for 4 weeks (which should be July 27, 2018). If things get too bad, we can back out the addon earlier.

  • Google to developers: We take down your extension - because we can

    Not sure why Google chose the wrong email address to contact me about this (the account is associated with another email address) but luckily this email found me. I opened the extension listing and the description is there, as is the icon. What’s missing is a screenshot, simply because creating one for an extension without a user interface isn’t trivial. No problem, spent a bit of time making something that will do to illustrate the principle.

Mozilla Leftovers

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Moz/FF
  • Five years

    On July 2, 2013, I was hired by Mozilla on the Web Compatibility team. It has been 5 years. I didn't count the emails, the commits, the bugs opened and resolved. We do not necessary strive by what we accomplished, specifically when expressed in raw numbers. But there was a couple of transformations and skills that I have acquired during these last five years which are little gems for taking the next step.

  • July’s Featured Extensions
  • Larger image support on addons.mozilla.org

    Last week, we pushed an update that enables add-on developers to use larger image sizes on their add-on listings.

    We hadn’t updated our size limits for many years, so the images on listing pages are fairly small. The image viewer on the new website design scales the screenshots to fit the viewport, which makes these limitations even more obvious.

  • Ahead of Senate vote, Mozilla endorses Brazilian Data Protection Bill (PLC 53/2018)

    As soon as this week, the Brazilian Senate may vote on Brazilian Data Protection Bill (PLC 53/2018), which was approved by the Chamber of Deputies on May 29th following nearly a decade of debate on various draft bills. While aspects of the bill will no doubt need to be refined and evolve with time, overall, Mozilla believes this bill represents a strong baseline data protection framework for Brazil, and we urge Brazilian policymakers to pass it quickly.

When Firefox Meets Chrome and Former Mozilla CEO Meets Chromium

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Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • How to Install Firefox in Chrome OS
  • Brave should have its own User-Agent, but here is how you detect it anyway

    The User-Agent string is the name that web browsers and other web clients send to web servers to identify their make and model to the server. This data is primarily used for statistical and troubleshooting purposes. The Brave web browser isn’t brave enough to have their own User-Agent and instead tries to camouflage as Google Chrome.

    Brave is a very opinionated web browser. This makes it easy to reliably detect it even without a unique User-Agent, and I’ll spend most of the article advocating for why Brave should have their own User-Agent. You can skip to the last two sections if you’re only interested in the detection code.

    Brave actually had a User-Agent of its own in the first few months of its existence, but removed it in April 2016. The history books (git commit logs) show that Brave removed the “Brave/Version” component from their User-Agent string to make it more difficult to fingerprint the browser.

  • How Larry Page Inspired Young Sundar Pichai Into Making Chrome A Success Story

    When Google Chrome was first launched in 2008, Firefox and Internet Explorer users had a good laugh looking at the new browser since it had no extensions, no theme support, nothing that competitors provided to users. But, slowly, people started turning to Google Chrome, and they liked it instantly. It was the fastest of all, pages loaded immediately, and people believed it could evolve into something big (the minimalist design helped there).

    Presently, Google Chrome stands at the top in browsers market with 60.98% market share against IE and Firefox who hold 12% and 11% share, respectively.

Mozilla: Graphs, Ads, VR and Python 3

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Moz/FF
  • Some More Very Satisfying Graphs

    The power of cleaning up old code: removing 150kb from the average “main” ping sent multiple times per day by each and every Firefox Nightly user.

  • Ad-blocker-blockers hit a new low. What's the solution?

    It may be the wrong day to slam the local newspapers, but this was what greeted me trying to click through to a linked newspaper article this morning on Firefox Android. The link I was sent was from the Riverside Press-Enterprise, but this appears to be throughout the entire network of the P-E's owners, the Southern California News Group (which includes the Orange County Register, San Bernardino Sun and Los Angeles Daily News):

  • This week in Mixed Reality: Issue 11

    This week, we're making great strides in adding new features and making a wide range of improvements and our new contributors are also helping us fix bugs.

  • Python unit tests now running with Python 3 at Mozilla

Firefox: Widmer Brothers, Mozilla Firefox 62 and More

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Moz/FF
  • Widmer Brothers and Firefox Collaborate on Open Source IPA

    Firefox is one of the world’s most successful open source software projects. This means we make the code that runs Firefox available for anyone to modify and use so long as it adheres to our licence policy. Developers and anyone else who understands code can play with Firefox code, for free.

    This approach to creation is not something that started with the internet. So long as humans have been making things there have been gearheads, chefs, quilters, crafters, brewers and all other kinds of people rebuilding, remixing, crafting and tinkering.

  • Mozilla Firefox 62 Web Browser Enters Development with New Privacy Features

    Now that Firefox 61 is out, Mozilla kicked off development on the next release of its popular open-source and free web browser, Firefox 62, which is now available for public beta testing.

    Firefox 62 promises to enhance the overall privacy of users by implementing a few new options starting with a “Clear Site Data and Cookie” button in the identity pop-up found next to the address bar. Mozilla says that this would make it easier for users to delete local browsing data for visited sites, including history, cookies, etc.

  • happy bmo push day!

Mozilla: HaveIBeenPwned and Privacy in Firefox Pre-Release

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Moz/FF
  • Firefox hooks up with HaveIBeenPwned for account pwnage probe

    Firefox has started testing an easier way for users to check whether they're using an online service that has been hacked, through integration with Troy Hunt's HaveIBeenPwned database.

    The hookup will work like this: part of a user's email address is hashed, and this hash is used to check if the address appears in HaveIBeenPwned's database of 5.1 billion email addresses linked to compromised internet accounts.

    The “Firefox Monitor” test will start with 250,000 users, mostly in the US, according to Mozilla's announcement this week.

  • Firefox Nightly: Protecting Your Privacy in Firefox Pre-Release

    As a matter of principle, we’ve built Firefox to work without collecting information about the people who use it and their browsing habits. Operating in this way is the right thing to do, but it makes it hard to infer what Firefox users do and want so that we can make improvements to the browser and its features. We need this information to compete effectively, but we have to do it in a way that respects our users’ privacy. That is why experimentation in our pre-release channels like Nightly, Beta and Developer Edition is so critical.

Mozilla: Firefox 62.0 Beta, Firefox 62.1 Stable, and More

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Moz/FF
  • Firefox 62.0 Beta Brings CSS Variable Fonts, "Clear Site Data & Cookies" Option

    Following yesterday's release of Firefox 61, Mozilla pumped Firefox 62 into the beta channel.

    Firefox 62 adds a "Clear Site Data & Cookies" button to the popup next to the address bar for making it easy to delete a site's local data for the current web-site. Firefox 62.0 beta also adds a button to the hamburger menu for toggling tracking protection, more customization options for the new tab page sections, and now supports CSS Variable Fonts.

  • Firefox 61 Makes Switching Tabs Faster on Linux

    A new version of the venerable Mozilla Firefox web browser has been released.

    Firefox 61 is a modest update. Performance improvements and bug fixes make up the bulk of the changes on offer, along with a set of tweaks to the user experience and interface.

  • Firefox 61 Released for Windows, Mac, and Linux

    Mozilla will release Firefox 61 later today. The new browser version includes new features, bugfixes, security fixes, and modifications to the Firefox UI.

  • L10N Report: June Edition
  • Chris H-C: When, Exactly, does a Firefox User Update, Anyway?

    There’s a brand new Firefox version coming. There always is, since we adopted the Rapid Release scheme way back in 2011 for Firefox 5. Every 6-8 weeks we instantly update every Firefox user in the wild with the latest security and performance…

  • If you can't do it in a day, you can't do it

    I was talking with Mark Reid about some of the problems with Coding in a GUI.

  • Workshop experience at Smashing Conf

    I hope you found something interesting out of this post. It’s not my tipical programming related post. I’m very grateful to SmashingConf for having lined up such great speakers and very practical workshops and for Mozilla to support my learning.

Mozilla: Firefox 61, Data Science, and Trust

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Improves Web Browser Security With Firefox 61 Update

    Mozilla announced the release of Firefox 61 on June 26, providing users of the open-source web browser with new features and patches for 18 security vulnerabilities.

    The Firefox 61 milestone comes just over a month since Firefox 60 was released on May 9 and is the fourth major update of Mozilla's flagship browser thus far in 2018. Among the new features in Firefox 61 are improved performance capabilities that continue to build on the speed gains that the Firefox 57 Quantum release boasted in November 2017. In addition, tab management gets a boost in Firefox 61, enabling power users to manage browser tabs more effectively.

  • Cracking the Code — how Mozilla is helping university students contribute to Open Source

    After a year of research, Mozilla’s Open Source Student Network (OSSN), is launching a pilot program to tackle the challenges around how Open Source projects effectively support university students as they work towards their first code contribution.

    Despite an abundance of evidence that the most valuable contributions to a project often come from people under the age of 30, Open Source projects often struggle to onboard and maintain university students as new code contributors.

    Students who have expressed interest in contributing often feel intimidated, that they don’t have the appropriate skills or aren’t able to find a project, to begin with.

  • Planning Data Science is hard: EDA

    I've run into this problem a bunch of times when trying to set OKRs for major analyses. It's nearly impossible to scope a project if I haven't already done some exploratory analysis. I didn't have this problem when I was doing engineering work. If I had a rough idea of what pieces I needed to stitch together, I could at least come up with an order-of-magnitude estimate of how long a project would take to complete. Not so with Data Science: I have a hard time differentiating between analyses that are going to take two weeks and analyses that are going to take two quarters.

  • You can't do data science in a GUI

    I came across You can't do data science in a GUI by Hadley Wickham a little while ago. He hits on a lot of the same problems I mentioned in Don't make me code in your text box.

  • This Week in Rust 240

Mozilla: Release of Firefox 61, Retained Display Lists, and a New Security Tool

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Moz/FF
  • New Firefox Releases Now Available

    Even though summer is here in the northern hemisphere, we’re not taking any breaks. Firefox continues our focus on making a browser that is smarter and faster than any other, so you can get stuff done before you take that much needed outdoor stroll.

  • Firefox 61 – Quantum of Solstice

    Firefox 61 is now available, and with it come new performance improvements that make the fox faster than ever!

  • Firefox 61 Releasing Today With Performance Improvements, Accessibility Inspector

    Mozilla is on schedule with releasing Firefox 61.0 today and can already be found via their FTP mirrors.

    Firefox 61.0 has us excited due to performance improvements: This new web-browser update has furthered Quantum CSS to offer faster page rendering times with the parsing being parallelized, other rendering speed optimizations, and faster tab switching on Linux/Windows are among the performance enhancements.

  • Retained Display Lists for improved page performance

    Continuing Firefox Quantum’s investment in a high-performance engine, the Firefox 61 release will boost responsiveness of modern interfaces with an optimization that we call Retained Display Lists. Similar to Quantum’s Stylo and WebRender features, developers don’t need to change anything on their sites to reap the benefits of these improvements.

  • Scanning for breached accounts with k-Anonymity

    The new Firefox Monitor service will use anonymized range query API endpoints from Have I Been Pwned (HIBP). This new Firefox feature allows users to check for compromised online accounts while preserving their privacy.

  • Testing Firefox Monitor, a New Security Tool

    From shopping to social media, the average online user will have hundreds of accounts requiring passwords. At the same time, the number of user data breaches occurring each year continues to rise dramatically. Understandably, people are now more worried about internet-related crimes involving personal and financial information theft than conventional crimes. In order to help keep personal information and accounts safe, we will be testing user interest in a security tool that lets users check if one of their accounts has been compromised in a data breach.

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More in Tux Machines

Cloud-Native/Kubernetes/Container/OpenShift

  • 10 Key Attributes of Cloud-Native Applications
    Cloud-native platforms, like Kubernetes, expose a flat network that is overlaid on existing networking topologies and primitives of cloud providers. Similarly, the native storage layer is often abstracted to expose logical volumes that are integrated with containers. Operators can allocate storage quotas and network policies that are accessed by developers and resource administrators. The infrastructure abstraction not only addresses the need for portability across cloud environments, but also lets developers take advantage of emerging patterns to build and deploy applications. Orchestration managers become the deployment target, irrespective of the underlying infrastructure that may be based on physical servers or virtual machines, private clouds or public clouds. Kubernetes is an ideal platform for running contemporary workloads designed as cloud-native applications. It’s become the de facto operating system for the cloud, in much the same way Linux is the operating system for the underlying machines. As long as developers follow best practices of designing and developing software as a set of microservices that comprise cloud-native applications, DevOps teams will be able to package and deploy them in Kubernetes. Here are the 10 key attributes of cloud-native applications that developers should keep in mind when designing cloud-native applications.
  • Google Embraces New Kubernetes Application Standard
    Once an organization has a Kubernetes container orchestration cluster running, the next challenge is to get applications running. Google is now aiming to make it easier for organizations to deploy Kubernetes applications, through the Google Cloud Platform Marketplace. The new marketplace offerings bring commercial Kubernetes-enabled applications that can be run in the Google cloud, or anywhere else an organization wants. All a user needs to do is visit the GCP marketplace and click the Purchase Plan button to get started. "Once they agree to the terms, they'll find instructions on how to deploy this application on the Kubernetes cluster of their choice, running in GCP or another cloud, or even on-prem," Anil DhawanProduct Manager, Google Cloud Platform, told ServerWatch. "The applications report metering information to Google for billing purposes so end users can get one single bill for their application usage, regardless of where it is deployed."
  • Challenges and Requirements for Container-Based Applications and Application Services
    Enterprises using container-based applications require a scalable, battle-tested, and robust services fabric to deploy business-critical workloads in production environments. Services such as traffic management (load balancing within a cluster and across clusters/regions), service discovery, monitoring/analytics, and security are a critical component of an application deployment framework. This blog post provides an overview of the challenges and requirements for such application services.

Software: Music Tagger MusicBrainz, Pulseaudio, COPR, AV1

  • Music Tagger MusicBrainz Picard 2.0 Ported To Python 3 And PyQt5, Brings Improved UI And More
    MusicBrainz Picard version 2.0 was released after more than 6 years since the previous major release (1.0). The new version was ported to Python 3 and PyQt5 and includes Retina and HiDPI support, improved UI and performance, as well as numerous bug fixes. [...] MusicBrainz Picard 2.0 was ported to Python 3 (requires at least version 3.5) and PyQt5 (>= 5.7). The release announcement mentions that a side effect of this is that "Picard should look better and in general feel more responsive". Also, many encoding-related bugs were fixed with the transition to Python 3, like the major issue of not supporting non-UTF8 filenames.
  • Pulseaudio: the more things change, the more they stay the same
    Such a classic Linux story. For a video I'll be showing during tonight's planetarium presentation (Sextants, Stars, and Satellites: Celestial Navigation Through the Ages, for anyone in the Los Alamos area), I wanted to get HDMI audio working from my laptop, running Debian Stretch. I'd done that once before on this laptop (HDMI Presentation Setup Part I and Part II) so I had some instructions to follow; but while aplay -l showed the HDMI audio device, aplay -D plughw:0,3 didn't play anything and alsamixer and alsamixergui only showed two devices, not the long list of devices I was used to seeing. Web searches related to Linux HDMI audio all pointed to pulseaudio, which I don't use, and I was having trouble finding anything for plain ALSA without pulse. In the old days, removing pulseaudio used to be the cure for practically every Linux audio problem. But I thought to myself, It's been a couple years since I actually tried pulse, and people have told me it's better now. And it would be a relief to have pulseaudio working so things like Firefox would Just Work. Maybe I should try installing it and see what happens.
  • 4 cool new projects to try in COPR for July 2018
    COPR is a collection of personal repositories for software that isn’t carried in Fedora. Some software doesn’t conform to standards that allow easy packaging. Or it may not meet other Fedora standards, despite being free and open source. COPR can offer these projects outside the Fedora set of packages. Software in COPR isn’t supported by Fedora infrastructure or signed by the project. However, it can be a neat way to try new or experimental software. Here’s a set of new and interesting projects in COPR.
  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: AV1
    Open source supporters and companies are teaming up to offer the next general of video delivery. The Alliance for Open Media (AOMEDIA) is made up of companies like Mozilla, Google, Cisco, Amazon and Netflix, and on a mission to create an open video format and new codec called AV1. In a blog post about the AOMedia Video, or AV1, video codec, Mozilla technical writer Judy DeMocker laid out the numbers; within the next few years, video is expected to account for over 80 percent of Internet traffic. And unbeknownst to many, all of that free, high-quality video content we’ve come to expect all across the Internet costs quite a bit for the people providing it via codec licensing fees. The most common, H.264, is used all over the place to provide the compression required to send video quickly and with quality intact.
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KDE and GNOME: Kubuntu 18.04 Reviewed, Akademy, Cutelyst and GUADEC

  • Kubuntu 18.04 Reviewed in Linux ( Pro ) Magazine
    Kubuntu Linux has been my preferred Linux distribution for more than 10 years. My attraction to the KDE desktop and associated application set, has drawn from Kubuntu user, to a tester, teacher, developer, community manager and councilor. I feel really privileged to be part of, what can only be described as, a remarkable example of the free software, and community development of an exceptional product. This latest release 18.04, effectively the April 2018 release, is a major milestone. It is the first LTS Long Term Support release of Kubuntu running the “Plasma 5” desktop. The improvements are so considerable, in both performance and modern user interface ( UI ) design, that I was really excited about wanting to tell the world about it.
  • Going to Akademy
    Happy to participate in a tradition I’ve admired from afar but never been able to do myself… until this year. My tickets are bought, my passport is issued, and I’m going to Akademy! Hope to see you all there!
  • System76's New Manufacturing Facility, Ubuntu 17.10 Reaches End of Life, Google Cloud Platform Marketplace, Stranded Deep Now Available for Linux and Cutelyst New Release
    Cutelyst, a C++ web framework based on Qt, has a new release. The update includes several bug fixes and some build issues with buildroot. See Dantti's Blog for all the details. Cutelyst is available on GitHub.
  • GUADEC 2018 Videos: Help Wanted
    At this year’s GUADEC in Almería we had a team of volunteers recording the talks in the second room. This was organized very last minute as initially the University were going to do this, but thanks to various efforts (thanks in particular to Adrien Plazas and Bin Li) we managed to record nearly all the talks. There were some issues with sound on both the Friday and Saturday, which Britt Yazel has done his best to overcome using science, and we are now ready to edit and upload the 19 talks that took place in the 2nd room. To bring you the videos from last year we had a team of 5 volunteers from the local team who spent our whole weekend in the Codethink offices. (Although none of us had much prior video editing experience so the morning of the first day was largely spent trying out different video editors to see which had the features we needed and could run without crashing too often… and the afternoon was mostly figuring out how transitions worked in Kdenlive).
  • GUADEC 2018
    This year I attended my second GUADEC in beautiful Almería, Spain. As with the last one I had the opportunity to meet many new people from the extended GNOME community which is always great and I can’t recommend it enough for anybody involved in the project. [...] Flatpak continues to have a lot of healthy discussions at these events. @matthiasclasen made a post summarizing the BoF so check that out for the discussions of the soon landing 1.0 release. So lets start with the Freedesktop 18.07 (date based versioning now!) runtime which is in a much better place than 1.6 and will be solving lots of problems such as multi-arch support and just long term maintainability. I was really pleased to see all of the investment in BuildStream and the runtime from CodeThink which is really needed in the long term.

Red Hat and Fedora