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Moz/FF

Mozilla: Virtual Reality in Mixed Reality, Taskcluster Development

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Mozilla: Extensions, 'Things'. Firefox DevEdition, WebRender, Rust

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Moz/FF
  • Apply to Join the Featured Extensions Advisory Board

    Are you an extensions enthusiast? Do you want to help people find excellent ways to improve their browsing experience? If so, please consider applying to join our Featured Extensions Community Board!

    Every six months, we assemble a small group of dedicated community members to help nominate and select new featured extensions for addons.mozilla.org (AMO) each month. Their picks help millions of Firefox users discover top-quality extensions.

  • Build your own web things with the Things Framework

    A web thing has a Web Thing Description which describes the device’s capabilities, and exposes a Web Thing REST API and/or WebSocket API, so that it can be monitored and controlled. The Thing Description provides machine-readable metadata about a device and its available properties, actions and events. The Web Thing API lets a client read and write its properties, request actions and subscribe to its events.

    You can get started today by turning Android things into web things using our Java web thing library, or if you prefer to build things with Python or NodeJS, we also have you covered there. We have some early examples of how to build web things using WiFi-enabled microcontrollers like the ESP8266, and a serial gateway adapter for chipsets with more constrained resources. We’re releasing these libraries at a very early stage of development so that you can provide us with feedback and help us to help you build better web things.

    In the coming days we’ll be blogging about how to use each of these new web thing libraries, to help you get hands-on building your own devices.

    These are still experimental technologies in the process of standardisation at the W3C, but we hope our early open source implementations will help developers try out the Web of Things and help us to improve it.

  • Firefox DevEdition 60 Beta 14, April 20th

    We are happy to let you know that Friday, April 20th, we are organizing Firefox DevEdition 60 Beta 14 Testday. We’ll be focusing our testing on: Search Suggestions, Site Storage Redesign UI and Web Compatibility.

  • WebRender newsletter #18

    WebRender’s 18th newsletter is here, with its usual share of bug fixes and a few performance improvements. Just after the previous newsletter was published, Patrick Walton landed an experimental integration of pathfinder’s text renderer in WebRender, that can draw native-looking text on Mac using the GPU. The pathfinder integration is taking shape although it is behind a compile time flag for now and there’s some work left to support native-looking text on Windows and Linux.

  • Rust pattern: Rooting an Rc handle

    I’ve decided to do a little 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.

Mozilla Leftovers: Data Collection, Containers, WebAssembly Studio

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Moz/FF
  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 36
  • Data Collection at Mozilla: Browser Errors

    The first step was to find out how many errors we’d be collecting. One tool at our disposal at Mozilla is Shield, which lets us run small studies at targeted subsets of users. In this case, I wanted to collect data on how many errors were being logged on the Nightly channel.

  • Use Firefox Focus to keep Facebook contained on your mobile device

    Most of us signed up for Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family. We didn’t sign up to share our personal information with mysterious third-party organizations. That’s why we created the Facebook Container, which lets you use Facebook on your desktop or laptop without sharing personal info with third parties outside of Facebook. Firefox Focus for iOS and Android can give you similar privacy protection when you’re using Facebook on the go. Here’s how it works.

  • Sneak Peek at WebAssembly Studio

    WebAssembly.Studio is an online IDE (integrated development environment) that helps you learn and teach others about WebAssembly. It’s also a Swiss Army knife that comes in handy whenever working with WebAssembly.

    

    We started working on WebAssembly Studio in late December 2017, in an attempt to merge two existing tools that we had developed: WasmExplorer and WasmFiddle. Since then, thanks to several contributors who jumped into the project early, we’ve made quite a bit of progress. We’ve merged those two tools and added several new features. Our beta (more like an alpha) release is now live at https://webassembly.studio and we are very interested in your feedback.

Mozilla: Accessibility, Rust, Internet Health Report

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Moz/FF
  • Introducing the Accessibility Inspector in the Firefox Developer Tools

    The built-in Firefox Developer Tools just received a new family member. The Accessibility Inspector allows you to inspect your website’s exposure to assistive technologies.

  • This Week in Rust 229

    Always wanted to contribute to open-source projects but didn't know where to start? Every week we highlight some tasks from the Rust community for you to pick and get started!

  • Rust all-hands (dev-tools stuff)

    Last week (sigh, the week before last now) we held an 'all-hands' event in Berlin. It was a great event - fantastic to meet so many Rust people in real life and really energising to see how much is being planned and implemented. There is a blog post describing the whole event on the Rust blog.

    In this post I want to summarise some of the important dev-tools stuff that happened. Our planning and notes from some meetings is in the dev-tools team repo.

  • Notes v4 with multi-note support

    Multi-note support is now available in the new Test Pilot Notes v4 update. This was the most requested feature after going through all of the user research and feedback. You may also notice more UX changes to make Notes feel more like the rest of Firefox by following the Photon design system guidelines.

  • Mark Surman: A scandal, a napkinand the health of the internet

    Today marks the launch of Mozilla’s first full edition of the Internet Health Report, an open source effort to explore the state of human life on the internet.

    As we put our final touches on the report, the United States scrambled to prepare for testimony by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, following revelations about user data obtained by Cambridge Analytica. The conversation: what should the Senate and Congress ask him?

    The list of questions is long.What do we do about the data of up to 87 million people floating around, unrecoverable? Can artificial intelligence help address suspicious behaviour around elections? What are Facebook’s responsibilities to users and the public? Unsurprisingly, it was also quite scattered. We do not yet have a collective mental map of how issues like these connect.

  • The Internet has serious health problems, Mozilla Foundation report finds

    Of particular concern were three issues:

    • Consolidation of power over the Internet, particularly by Facebook, Google, Tencent, and Amazon.
    • The spread of "fake news," which the report attributes in part to the "broken online advertising economy" that provides financial incentive for fraud, misinformation, and abuse.
    • The threat to privacy posed by the poor security of the Internet of Things.

Mozilla: DevTools, Firefox Reality, Md Shahbaz Alam, Health of the Internet, CLDR

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Moz/FF
  • Improving DevTools’ performance, one iteration at a time

    Firefox Quantum, released last November, was a very important milestone for Firefox. Huge performance gains were achieved by replacing parts of the engine with bits of Servo, written in Rust. But the technology shift did not stop at that: the developer tools –the inspector, the console, etc.– are being re-programmed using modern web technologies: JavaScript and React.

    However, when the new developers tools were released with Firefox Quantum, some of you noticed that they were being slower and not as good as the old ones performance-wise. This was somewhat expected, as they were initial versions – and they have been getting better in the months following Quantum’s release.

    The DevTools team has made performance a priority, they are working on it, and we –the web developers– can now start to reap some results.

  • The Design of Firefox Reality

    For web designers and developers, the arrival of a new platform and a new web browser can be fraught with excitement but also with anxiety. There are new technical constraints, new interaction techniques, and the visual patterns worn smooth by decades of print and web design must be revisited with new eyes. This post summarizes the excitement and anxiety that we face while bringing Firefox Reality to stand-alone augmented and virtual reality headsets.

  • Rep of the Month – March 2018

    Please join us in congratulating Md Shahbaz Alam, our Rep of the Month for March 2018!

  • A Scandal, a Napkin and the Health of the Internet

    Today marks the launch of Mozilla’s first full edition of the Internet Health Report, an open source effort to explore the state of human life on the internet.

    As we put our final touches on the report, the United States scrambled to prepare for testimony by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, following revelations about user data obtained by Cambridge Analytica. The conversation: what should the Senate and Congress ask him?

    The list of questions is long. What do we do about the data of up to 87 million people floating around, unrecoverable? Can artificial intelligence help address suspicious behaviour around elections? What are Facebook’s responsibilities to users and the public? Unsurprisingly, it was also quite scattered. We do not yet have a collective mental map of how issues like these connect.

  • CLDR as source of key internationalization data in Firefox: milestones achieved and next steps

Mozilla: Rust, Firefox Performance and MDN

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  • The Rust Team All Hands in Berlin: a Recap

    Last week we held an “All Hands” event in Berlin, which drew more than 50 people involved in 15 different Rust Teams or Working Groups, with a majority being volunteer contributors. This was the first such event, and its location reflects the current concentration of team members in Europe. The week was a smashing success which we plan to repeat on at least an annual basis.

    The impetus for this get-together was, in part, our ambitious plans to ship Rust, 2018 edition later this year. A week of work-focused facetime was a great way to kick off these efforts!

    We’ve also asked attendees to blog and tweet about their experiences at the #RustAllHands hashtag; the Content Team will be gathering up and summarizing this content as well.

  • Proposal: Knowledge Base Spring Cleaning at SUMO – June 2018
  • Firefox Performance Update #5

    And here we are with another Firefox Performance Update!

    This performance update is brought to you by perf.html! perf.html is our web-based profile analysis tool. We use it to analyze profiles gathered with the Gecko Profiler Add-on which helps us figure out why Firefox is feeling slow or sluggish. It’s probably the most important performance tool in our toolbox.

  • MDN Changelog for March 2018
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More in Tux Machines

Thunderbolt 3 in Fedora 28

  • The state of Thunderbolt 3 in Fedora 28
    Fedora 28 is around the corner and I wanted to highlight what we did to make the Thunderbolt 3 experience as smooth as possible. Although this post focuses on Fedora 28 for what is currently packaged and shipping, all changes are of course available upstream and should hit other distributions in the future.
  • Thunderbolt 3 Support Is In Great Shape For Fedora 28
    Red Hat developers have managed to deliver on their goals around improving Thunderbolt support on the Linux desktop with the upcoming Fedora 28 distribution update. This has been part of their goal of having secure Thunderbolt support where users can authorize devices and/or restrict access to certain capabilities on a per-device basis, which is part of Red Hat's Bolt project and currently has UI elements for the GNOME desktop.

New Heptio Announcements

Android Leftovers

New Terminal App in Chome OS Hints at Upcoming Support for Linux Applications

According to a Reddit thread, a Chromebook user recently spotted a new Terminal app added to the app drawer when running on the latest Chrome OS Dev channel. Clicking the icon would apparently prompt the user to install the Terminal app, which requires about 200 MB of disk space. The installation prompt notes the fact that the Terminal app can be used to develop on your Chromebook. It also suggests that users will be able to run native apps and command-line tools seamlessly and securely. Considering the fact that Chrome OS is powered by the Linux kernel, this can only mean one thing. Read more