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Moz/FF

Mozilla: Localization, VR, WebAssembly and More

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  • 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

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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

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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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  • 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.
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More in Tux Machines

Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

  • Debian XU4 images updated
    I've updated my Debian images for the ODROID XU4; the newest build was done before stretch release, and a lot of minor adjustments have happened since then.
  • Parrot 4.0 Ethical Hacking Linux Distro Released
  • FBI says Russians hacked [sic] hundreds of thousands of home and office routers

    The warning followed a court order Wednesday that allowed the FBI to seize a website that the hackers [sic] planned to use to give instructions to the routers. Though that cut off malicious communications, it still left the routers infected, and Friday’s warning was aimed at cleaning up those machines.

  • FBI tells router users to reboot now to kill malware infecting 500k devices

    Researchers from Cisco’s Talos security team first disclosed the existence of the malware on Wednesday. The detailed report said the malware infected more than 500,000 devices made by Linksys, Mikrotik, Netgear, QNAP, and TP-Link. Known as VPNFilter, the malware allowed attackers to collect communications, launch attacks on others, and permanently destroy the devices with a single command. The report said the malware was developed by hackers [sic] working for an advanced nation, possibly Russia, and advised users of affected router models to perform a factory reset, or at a minimum to reboot.

Software and Games: KStars, Opera, OpenStack, MariaDB and More

  • KStars 2.9.6 is Released!
    I'm glad to announce the release of KStars 2.9.6 for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. This is a minor bugfix release.
  • Opera 54 Browser Enters Beta with News on the Speed Dial, Update & Recovery Menu
    Opera has promoted its upcoming Opera 54 web browser to the beta channel, giving us a glimpse of what to expect from the final version, due for release sometime next month. Based on the open-source Chromium 67.0.3396.18 web browser, Opera 54 recently entered beta stages of development with a plethora of new features and improvements, among which we can mention a new Update & Recovery Opera menu page that makes it easier for users to update the web browser and reset it to its default state, including the ability to clear temporary data, such as cookies.
  • OpenStack at a Crossroads
    The OpenStack of a few years ago is dead, however. What has emerged from the hype cycle is a materially different foundation, mission and software stack, with a great deal of change still ahead of it.
  • The OpenStack Foundation grows beyond OpenStack
    The OpenStack Foundation has made a considerable change to its development process and governance structure by introducing two open source projects that are not part of the OpenStack cloud platform. This week, the organization launched version 1.0 of Kata Containers - a runtime system with an emphasis on speed and security, enabling users to boot a VM in as little as five seconds - and introduced a brand new project called Zuul, spinning out the software development and integration platform that has been used by the OpenStack community internally since 2012.
  • Oracle nemesis MariaDB tries to lure enterprise folk with TX 3.0
    Open-source database biz MariaDB has upped the ante in its war against Oracle, promising enterprise customers better compatibility with – and easier migration from – Big Red. The Finnish firm's latest offering, MariaDB TX 3.0, released for GA today, extends the number of use cases to include temporal processing and advanced data protection for sensitive and personally identifiable information, as well as Oracle compatibility. The broad aim is to tap into customers' grumbles over legacy vendor lock-in, while convincing the bigger customers that they can move to an open-source database without compromising performance.
  • The Humble Monthly Bundle just added two great Linux games
    For those that are interested, you can secure a copy of two great Linux games in the current Humble Monthly Bundle. Just added today are: Get Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth
  • SC-Controller 0.4.3 Released, Support Steam Controller & Sony DS4 Over Bluetooth
    For those looking to manage your Steam Controller and other supported Linux gaming peripheral input devices outside of Steam, there is a new release of the independently-developed SC-Controller Linux user-space software. While Linux 4.18 is bringing the Steam Controller kernel driver, for those looking for a Steam Controller solution right now to enjoy this excellent gaming controller for now outside of Steam, SC-Controller fills that void.

Huawei, Fuchsia and More

  • Huawei will no longer allow bootloader unlocking (Update: Explanation from Huawei)

    "In order to deliver the best user experience and prevent users from experiencing possible issues that could arise from ROM flashing, including system failure, stuttering, worsened battery performance, and risk of data being compromised, Huawei will cease providing bootloader unlock codes for devices launched after May 25, 2018. [...]"

  • Fuchsia Friday: How ad targeting might be a hidden cost of Fuchsia’s structure
     

    Fuchsia, by its nature, comes with the potential for a handful of new opportunities for ad targeting. Let’s peer into the dark side of Fuchsia’s innovative features.

  • iPhone Quarter, ZTE Troubles, Facebook Troubles, Nokia Come-back
     

    So the past month or two? The Quarterly results cycle came in. The item often of great interest is the Apple iPhone performance. 52.2 million iPhones shipped and that gives roughly a flat market share compared to the year before, so about 14%-15%. I'll come and do the full math later of the quarterly data. That race is no longer in any way interesting.

    But two Top 10 smartphone brands ARE in the news. One who is facing imminent death and the other who is making a miraculous return-from-dead. So imminent death and current Top 10 brand first. ZTE. The Trump administration has put a massive squeeze on ZTE and the company is in serious trouble of imminent collapse. Then bizarrely, Trump reversed course and felt he needed to protect CHINESE employment (???) and after yet another typical Trump-mess, we now are at a Never-Neverland where Trump's own party Republicans are revolting against their President and well, ZTE may end up a casualty of this mess. We'll keep an eye on it.

  •