Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Moz/FF

Mozilla: Firefox Performance, 'Sponsored' 'Content' and More

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Firefox Performance Update #7

    G’day folks, just another Firefox Performance Update coming down the pike1 for you, so strap in.

  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 37
  • Design of Task-Graph Generation

    Almost two years ago, Bug 1258497 introduced a new system for generating the graph of tasks required for each push to a Firefox source-code repository. Work continues to modify the expected tasks and add features, but the core design is stable. Lots of Firefox developers have encountered this system as they add or modify a job or try to debug why a particular task is failing. So this is a good time to review the system design at a high level.

    A quick note before beginning: the task-graph generation system is implemented entirely in the Firefox source tree, and is administered as a sub-module of the Build Config module. While it is designed to interface with Taskcluster, and some of the authors are members of the Taskcluster team, it is not a part of Taskcluster itself.

  • Firefox will show sponsored content that’s personalized but private

    Mozilla plans to add sponsored content to its Firefox browser in a bid to increase and diversify its revenue stream.

    Since the start of the year, the company has been showing some Firefox users links to recommended content on its New Tab page. Some proportion of the recommendations are sponsored, with content producers paying to be included in the list of recommendations. Those links are now also available in the nightly and beta releases. In Firefox 60, due to ship on May 9th, the feature will roll out to all Firefox users around the world.

  • Firefox to feature sponsored content as of next week

    The Mozilla Foundation has revealed that links to sponsored posts have started to appear in its Firefox browser and pledged to deliver them without invading users' privacy.

    Mozilla flagged it would add sponsored links to its browser in January 2018, after the 2017 acquisition of web-clipping service Pocket brought with it the technology to do so.

    Now it turns out the organisation has already squeezed in a few sponsored links on the “Firefox New Tab” and has added the functionality to Firefox nightly builds and Beta releases.

    Pocket-powered sponsored links will now “… go fully live in May to Firefox users in the US with the Firefox 60 release.”

Mozilla and Chrome/Chromium News

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
  • Working for Good: Metrofiets Cargo Bikes

    The web should be open to everyone, a place for unbridled innovation, education, and creative expression. That’s why Firefox fights for Net Neutrality, promotes online privacy rights, and supports open-source tech around the globe. We strive to make the online community a better place. We also know people everywhere work tirelessly to improve their own communities. In this series, we’re profiling businesses that work to make the world better—and use Firefox to support a healthy, open, and safe internet.

  • Mozilla All-Hands Tips

    Twice a year, Mozilla gathers employees, volunteers, and assorted hangers-on in a single place to have a week of planning, working, and socializing. Being as distributed an organization as we are, it’s a bit rare to get enough of us in a single place to generate the kind of cross-talk and beneficial synergistic happenstances that help us work smarter and move in more-or-less the same direction. These are our All Hands events.

  • metricsgraphics movements
  • A Privacy-Conscious Approach to Sponsored Content

    Content on the web is powerful. It enables us to learn new things, discover different perspectives, stay in touch with what’s happening in the world, or just make us laugh. Making sure that stories like these—stories that are worth your time and attention—are discoverable and supported is central to what we care about at Pocket.

    It’s important for quality content like this to thrive—and a critical way it’s funded is through advertising. But unfortunately, today, this advertising model is broken. It doesn’t respect user privacy, it’s not transparent, and it lacks control, all the while starting to move us toward low quality, clickbait content.

  • Ryan Harter: PSA: Don't use approximate counts for trends

    Counting stuff is hard. We use probabilistic algorithms pretty frequently at Mozilla. For example, when trying to get user counts, we rely heavily on Presto's approx_distinct aggregator. Roberto's even written a Presto Plugin and a Spark Package to allow us to include HyperLogLog variables in datasets like client_count_daily.

  • TenFourFox FPR7b3 available

    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 7 beta 3 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). This version includes some last-minute tuning to garbage and cycle collection frequency, a couple more hosts for basic adblock, and (the big change) a major fix to DOM keyboard events which caused some sites to fail to respond to keyboard input (like this Applesoft BASIC implementation in JavaScript -- thanks Martin Kuka&ccaron for the more easily debugged test case). There are also some additional security fixes and there will be a few more prior to release on or about May 8.

    For FPR8 the original plan was to get a decent implementation of CSS grid support working, but same-site cookies have risen in priority as they are now being required as a security measure on many sites including one I personally use frequently. If there is time left once that particular major upgrade is functional, I will then work on CSS grid and (as it slowly progresses) native date-time pickers. The FAQ is also dreadfully out of date, so I'll be spending some time on that too.

  • Chrome 67 Beta: WebXR Origin Trial, Generic Sensors

    Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. View a complete list of the features in Chrome 67 on ChromeStatus.com.

  • Chrome 67 Beta Adds "Formdata" Event, Arbitrary Precision Integers

    Following the release of Chrome 66 earlier this month, Google developers working on the Chrome/Chromium web-browser have officially promoted Chrome 67 to beta.

    The Chrome 67 beta release comes with the Generic Sensor API for accessing generic sensors like accelerometer/gyroscope/motion devices, WebXR / VR improvements, web pages can now process mouse events, support for arbitrary precision integers, and other JavaScript/API enhancements.

Mozilla: Unboxing the Talos, Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge, Rust and Mixed Reality

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Unboxing the Talos II: it's here!

    This post is being written in TenFourFox FPR7 beta 3. More about that in a day or two, because today a big container arrived at my P.O. box. I had to put the rear seats down to get it into my 2018 Honda Civic Si Sedan.

  • Vote for the Winners of the Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge

    Thank you to everyone who submitted extensions to the Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge!

    Our judges reviewed more than 100 submissions and have selected the finalists for each prize category. Now, it’s time for the add-on community to vote for the winners. Use Firefox Beta or Firefox Developer Edition and take these extensions for a test drive (many of the APIs used are not yet available on Firefox 59, the current release), then vote for your favorites here. (And hey, if you really love an extension, maybe consider writing a review?)

  • An alias-based formulation of the borrow checker

    Ever since the Rust All Hands, I’ve been experimenting with an alternative formulation of the Rust borrow checker. The goal is to find a formulation that overcomes some shortcomings of the current proposal while hopefully also being faster to compute. I have implemented a prototype for this analysis. It passes the full NLL test suite and also handles a few cases – such as #47680 – that the current NLL analysis cannot handle. However, the performance has a long way to go (it is currently slower than existing analysis). That said, I haven’t even begun to optimize yet, and I know I am doing some naive and inefficient things that can definitely be done better; so I am still optimistic we’ll be able to make big strides there.

  • This week in Mixed Reality: Issue 04

    This week has been super exciting on the Mixed Reality team. We announced a preview of Hubs by Mozilla and shipped out a new version of the Unity WebVR exporter tool.

Mozilla: Localization, VR, WebAssembly and More

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Localization Workshop in Kolkata (November 2017)

    Last November, Jeff, Peiying and I (flod) headed to Kolkata for the last of our planned localization workshops. The group of languages represented at the event included Bengali (both Bangladesh and India), Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Tamil and Telugu. If you’re surprised by the number of languages, consider that India alone has 22 languages listed in the Indian Constitution, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg, with a much larger variety of languages spoken, and sometime officially recognized at the State level.

  • Making a Web Thing on the ESP8266

    Today I’m going to walk you through creating a simple Web Thing using an inexpensive off-the-shelf ESP8266 board.

    The power of web things comes from their ability to connect the digital world of web pages with the physical world of things. We recently released the Things Framework, a collection of software intended to make it easy to create new web things. The relevant library for this example is the webthing-esp8266 library, which makes easy it to connect Arduino-programmed ESP8266 boards with the Web of Things. We hope that this lowers the barrier to creating compelling experiences with our gateway and the Web Thing API.

  • Introducing Hubs: A new way to get together

    Today, we’re excited to share a preview release of Hubs by Mozilla, a new way to get together online within Mixed Reality, right in your browser. Hubs is the first experiment we’re releasing as part of our Social Mixed Reality efforts, and we think it showcases the potential for the web to become the best, most accessible platform to bring people together around the world in this new medium.

  • Enabling Social Experiences Using Mixed Reality and the Open Web

    Today, Mozilla is sharing an early preview of an experiment we are calling “Hubs by Mozilla”. Hubs is an immersive social experience that is delivered through the browser. You simply click on a web link to begin interacting with others inside virtual reality.

  • How does dynamic dispatch work in WebAssembly?

    WebAssembly is a stack-based virtual machine and instruction set, designed such that implementations can be fast and safe. It is a portable target for the compilation of languages like C, C++, and Rust.

    [...]

    But C, C++, and Rust all have some capability for dynamic dispatch: function pointers, virtual methods, and trait objects. On native targets like x86, all these forms compile down into a jump to a dynamic address. What do these forms compile down into when targeting WebAssembly?

  • BlinkOn 9: Working on the Web Platform from a cooperative

    Last week, I attended BlinkOn 9. I was very happy to spend some time with my colleagues working on Chromium, including a new developer who will join my team next week (to be announced soon!).

    This edition had the usual format with presentations, brainstorming, lightning talks and informal chats with Chromium developers. I attended several interesting presentations on web platform standardization, implementation and testing. It was also great to talk to Googlers in order to coordinate on some of Igalia’s projects such as the collaboration with AMP or MathML in Chromium.

Mozilla: Rust, Security, Things Gateway, Firefox and More

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Rust pattern: Precise closure capture clauses

    This is the second in a series of posts about Rust compiler errors. Each one will talk about a particular error that I got recently and try to explain (a) why I am getting it and (Cool how I fixed it. The purpose of this series of posts is partly to explain Rust, but partly just to gain data for myself. I may also write posts about errors I’m not getting – basically places where I anticipated an error, and used a pattern to avoid it. I hope that after writing enough of these posts, I or others will be able to synthesize some of these facts to make intermediate Rust material, or perhaps to improve the language itself.

  • This Week in Rust
  • Mozilla publishes recommendations on government vulnerability disclosure in Europe

    As we’ve argued on many occasions, effective government vulnerability disclosure (GVD) review processes can greatly enhance cybersecurity for governments, citizens, and companies, and help mitigate risk in an ever-broadening cyber threat landscape. In Europe, the EU is currently discussing a new legislative proposal to enhance cybersecurity across the bloc, the so-called ‘EU Cybersecurity Act’. In that context, we’ve just published our policy recommendations for lawmakers, in which we call on the EU to seize the opportunity to set a global policy norm for government vulnerability disclosure.

  • Testing Strategies for React and Redux
  • K Lars Lohn: Things Gateway - a Virtual Weather Station
  • Firefox DevEdition 60 Beta 14 Testday Results

    As you may already know, last Friday – April 20th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox DevEdition 60 Beta 14.

    Thank you all for helping us make Mozilla a better place: gaby2300, micde, Jarrod Michell, Thomas Brooks.

  • Supporting Same-Site Cookies in Firefox 60

    Firefox 60 will introduce support for the same-site cookie attribute, which allows developers to gain more control over cookies. Since browsers will include cookies with every request to a website, most sites rely on this mechanism to determine whether users are logged in.

    Attackers can abuse the fact that cookies are automatically sent with every request to force a user to perform unwanted actions on the site where they are currently logged in. Such attacks, known as cross-site request forgeries (CSRF), allow attackers who control third-party code to perform fraudulent actions on the user’s behalf. Unfortunately current web architecture does not allow web applications to reliably distinguish between actions initiated by the user and those that are initiated by any of the third-party gadgets or scripts that they rely on.

  • Enterprise Policy Support in Firefox

    Last year, Mozilla ran a survey to find out top enterprise requirements for Firefox. Policy management (especially Windows Group Policy) was at the top of that list.

    For the past few months we’ve been working to build that support into Firefox in the form of a policy engine. The policy engine adds desktop configuration and customization features for enterprise users to Firefox. It works with any tool that wants to set policies including Windows Group Policy.

  • any.js

    Thanks to Ms2ger web-platform-tests is now even more awesome (not in the American sense). To avoid writing HTML boilerplate, web-platform-tests supports .window.js, .worker.js, and .any.js resources, for writing JavaScript that needs to run in a window, dedicated worker, or both at once. I very much recommend using these resource formats as they ease writing and reviewing tests and ensure APIs get tested across globals.

  • Alex Gibson: My fifth year working at Mozilla

    Today marks my fifth year working for Mozilla! This past year has been both fun and frantic, and overall was a really good year for both Mozilla and Firefox. Here’s a run down a few of the things I got to work on.

Mozilla: Virtual Reality in Mixed Reality, Taskcluster Development

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Building Bold New Worlds With Virtual Reality

    From rich text to video to podcasts, the Internet era offers an array of new ways for creators to build worlds. Here at Mozilla, we are particularly excited about virtual reality. Imagine moving beyond watching or listening to a story; imagine also feeling that story. Imagine being inside it with your entire mind and body. Now imagine sharing and entering that experience with something as simple as a web URL. That’s the potential before us.

  • This Week in Mixed Reality: Issue 3

    This week we’re heads down focusing on adding features in the three broad areas of Browsers, Social and the Content Ecosystem.

  • New to me: the Taskcluster team

    At this time last year, I had just moved on from Release Engineering to start managing the Sheriffs and the Developer Workflow teams. Shortly after the release of Firefox Quantum, I also inherited the Taskcluster team. The next few months were *ridiculously* busy as I tried to juggle the management responsibilities of three largely disparate groups.

  • Taskcluster migration update: we're finished!

    Over the past few weeks we've hit a few major milestones in our project to migrate all of Firefox's CI and release automation to taskcluster.

    Firefox 60 and higher are now 100% on taskcluster!

Mozilla's large repository of voice data will shape the future of machine learning

Filed under
Moz/FF

Mozilla's open source project, Common Voice, is well on its way to becoming the world’s largest repository of human voice data to be used for machine learning. Common Voice recently made its way into Black Duck's annual Open Source Rookies of the Year list.

What’s special about Common Voice is in the details. Every language is spoken differently—with a wide variation of speech patterns, accents, and intonations—throughout the world. A smart speech recognition engine—that has applications over many Internet of Things (IoT) devices and digital accessibility—can recognize speech samples from a diverse group of people only when it learns from a large number of samples. A speech database of recorded speech from people across geographies helps make this ambitious machine learning possible.

Read more

Mozilla News and Development

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Firefox Performance Update #6

    These updates are going to shift format slightly. I’m going to start by highlighting the status of some of the projects the Firefox Performance Team (the front-end team working to make Firefox snappy AF), and then go into the grab-bag list of improvements that we’ve seen landing in the tree.

  • Announcing cargo src (beta)

    cargo src is a new tool for exploring your Rust code. It is a cargo plugin which runs locally and lets you navigate your project in a web browser. It has syntax highlighting, jump to definition, type on hover, semantic search, find uses, find impls, and more.

  • Things Gateway - Series 2, Episode 1
  • Firefox Data engineering newsletter Q1 / 2018

    As the Firefox data engineering teams we provide core tools for using data to other teams. This spans from collection through Firefox Telemetry, storage & processing in our Data Platform to making data available in Data Tools.

    [...]

    Most centrally, the Telemetry portal is now the main entry point to our tools, documentation and other resources. When working with Firefox data you will find all the important tools linked from there.

  • Working for Good: Metalwood Salvage of Portland

    The web should be open to everyone, a place for unbridled innovation, education, and creative expression. That’s why Firefox fights for Net Neutrality, promotes online privacy rights, and supports open-source tech around the globe. We strive to make the online community a better place. We also know people everywhere work tirelessly to improve their own communities. In this series, we’re profiling businesses that work to make the world better—and use Firefox to support a healthy, open, and safe internet.

  • It’s time to give Firefox a fresh chance

     

    After spending some quality time comparing the actual experience of using Chrome, Safari, and Firefox across a variety of websites, I’m confident in saying browser benchmarks are profoundly uninformative. The truth is that performance differences are not substantial enough to be noticed. If anything, you’re most likely to clash with “only works in Chrome” incompatibilities, but that’s kind of the whole reason for me to avoid Chrome: someone has to keep using the alternatives so as to give them a reason to exist.

Mozilla News

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • No-Judgment Digital Definitions: App vs Web App

    Just when you think you’ve got a handle on this web stuff, things change. The latest mixup? Apps vs Web Apps. An app should be an app no matter what, but there is a difference between the two. Let’s find out what it is.

  • Friend of Add-ons: Viswaprasath Ks

    Please meet our newest Friend of Add-ons, Viswaprasanth Ks! Viswa began contributing to Mozilla in January 2013, when he met regional community members while participating in a Firefox OS hackathon in Bangalore, India. Since then, he has been a member of the Firefox Student Ambassador Board, a Sr. Firefox OS app reviewer, and a Mozilla Rep and Tech Speaker.

    In early 2017, Viswa began developing extensions for Firefox using the WebExtensions API. From the start, Viswa wanted to invite his community to learn this framework and create extensions with him. At community events, he would speak about extension development and help participants build their first extensions. These presentations served as a starting point for creating the Activate campaign “Build Your Own Extension.” Viswa quickly became a leader in developing the campaign and testing iterations with a variety of different audiences. In late 2017, he collaborated with community members Santosh Viswanatham and Trishul Goel to re-launch the campaign with a new event flow and more learning resources for new developers.

  • Virtual Reality at the Intersection of Art & Technology

    This is the second video in our four part series around creators, virtual reality, and the open web. As we laid out in the opening post of this series, virtual reality is more than a technology, and it is far more than mere eye-candy. VR is an immensely powerful tool that is honed and developed every day. In the hands of a creator, that tool has the potential to transport audiences into new worlds and provide new perspectives.

  • Hello wasm-pack!

    As Lin Clark emphasizes in her article about Rust and WebAssembly: the goal of WebAssembly is not to replace JavaScript, but to be an awesome tool to use with JavaScript. Lots of amazing work has been done to simplify crossing the language boundary between JavaScript and WebAssembly, and you can read all about that in Alex Crichton’s post on wasm-bindgen. This post focuses on a different type of JavaScript/Rust integration: package ecosystem and developer workflows.

Mozilla: Decision in Oracle v. Google Fair Use Case, VR, Web Demystified, Rust

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Decision in Oracle v. Google Fair Use Case Could Hinder Innovation in Software Development

    The technology industry was dealt a major setback when the Federal Circuit recently decided in Oracle v. Google that Google’s use of Java “declaring code” was not a fair use. The copyright doctrine of Fair Use impacts a developer’s ability to learn from and improve on the work of others, which is a crucial part of software development. Because of this ruling, copyright law today is now at odds with how software is developed.*

    This is the second time in this eight year case that the Federal Circuit’s ruling has diverged from how software is written. In 2014, the court decided that declaring code can be copyrighted, a ruling with which we disagreed. Last year we filed another amicus brief in this case, advocating that Google’s implementation of the APIs should be considered a fair use. In this recent decision, the court found that copying the Java declaring code was not a protected fair use of that code.

  • An Open Call to Storytellers: Make Something Amazing With Virtual Reality and the Open Web

    The mixed reality team at Mozilla devoted two years to brainstorming and experimenting to find a way to bring virtual reality to the web. That’s because we believe the web is the best possible platform for virtual and augmented reality. The ability to share and access virtual experiences with a URL is a game-changer; the key needed to take this amazing technology and make it mainstream.

  • A new video series: Web Demystified

    We don’t have to tell you that video is a key channel for sharing information and instructional skills especially for students and developers who’ve grown up with YouTube. At Mozilla, we’ve always been a leader in supporting the open technologies that bring unencumbered video into the browser and onto the web.

  • This Week in Rust 230
Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

openSUSE Tumbleweed Is Now Powered by Linux Kernel 4.17, KDE Plasma 5.13 Landed

As of today, the openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling operating system is now powered by the latest and most advanced Linux 4.17 kernel series, which landed in the most recent snapshot released earlier. Tumbleweed snapshot 20180615 was released today, June 17, 2018, and it comes only two days after snapshot 20180613, which added the Mesa 18.1.1 graphics stack and KDE Plasma 5.13 desktop environment, along with many components of the latest KDE Applications 18.04.2 software suite. Today's snapshot 20180615 continued upgrading the KDE Applications software suite to version 18.04.2, but it also upgraded the kernel from Linux 4.16.12 to Linux 4.17.1. As such, OpenSuSE Tumbleweed is now officially powered by Linux kernel 4.17, so upgrading your installs as soon as possible would be a good idea. Read more

today's howtos and leftovers

OSS Leftovers

  • Using Open Source Software in a SecDevOps Environment
    On 21 June 2018 the Open Source Software3 Institute is hosting a discussion that should be of high interest to enterprise technologists in the DC/Northern Virginia, Maryland area. From their invite: Come hear from our panelists about how the worlds of Open Source Software and the Secure Development / Operations (SecDevOps) intersect and strengthen one another. SecDevOps seeks to embed security in the development process as deeply as DevOps has done with operations, and Open Source Software is a major factor in Security, Development, and Operations. Tickets are free, but you need to register soon because seating is limited.
  • TenFourFox FPR8b1 available
    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 8 beta 1 is now available (downloads, release notes, hashes). There is much less in this release than I wanted because of a family member in the hospital and several technical roadblocks. Of note, I've officially abandoned CSS grid again after an extensive testing period due to the fact that we would need substantial work to get a functional implementation, and a partially functional implementation is worse than none at all (in the latter case, we simply gracefully degrade into block-level divs). I also was not able to finish the HTML input date picker implementation, though I've managed to still get a fair amount completed of it, and I'll keep working on that for FPR9. The good news is, once the date picker is done, the time picker will use nearly exactly the same internal plumbing and can just be patterned off it in the same way. Unlike Firefox's implementation, as I've previously mentioned our version uses native OS X controls instead of XUL, which also makes it faster. That said, it is a ghastly hack on the Cocoa widget side and required some tricky programming on 10.4 which will be the subject of a later blog post.
  • GNU dbm 1.15
    GDBM tries to detect inconsistencies in input database files as early as possible. When an inconcistency is detected, a helpful diagnostics is returned and the database is marked as needing recovery. From this moment on, any GDBM function trying to access the database will immediately return error code (instead of eventually segfaulting as previous versions did). In order to reconstruct the database and return it to healthy state, the gdbm_recover function should be used.

Server: GNU/Linux Dominance in Supercomputers, Windows Dominance in Downtime

  • Five Supercomputers That Aren't Supercomputers
    A supercomputer, of course, isn't really a "computer." It's not one giant processor sitting atop an even larger motherboard. Instead, it's a network of thousands of computers tied together to form a single whole, dedicated to a singular set of tasks. They tend to be really fast, but according to the folks at the International Supercomputing Conference, speed is not a prerequisite for being a supercomputer. But speed does help them process tons of data quickly to help solve some of the world's most pressing problems. Summit, for example, is already booked for things such as cancer research; energy research, to model a fusion reactor and its magnetically confined plasma tohasten commercial development of fusion energy; and medical research using AI, centering around identifying patterns in the function and evolution of human proteins and cellular systems to increase understanding of Alzheimer’s, heart disease, or addiction, and to inform the drug discovery process.
  • Office 365 is suffering widespread borkage across Blighty
     

    Some users are complaining that O365 is "completely unusable" with others are reporting a noticeable slowdown, whinging that it's taking 30 minutes to send and receive emails.