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Moz/FF

Firefox fights back

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Moz/FF

Inside Mozilla, CEO Chris Beard and his team are preparing to outmaneuver Google’s Chrome browser. The battle begins in November, with their release of Firefox 57.

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Software: mtPaint, Suricata, Gabedit, Mozilla, LibreOffice, and GNU Binutils

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GNU
LibO
Software
Moz/FF
  • mtPaint – A Lightweight Paint Software for Digital Photos

    mtPaint is an open source paint application for both Linux and Windows developed for the purpose of creating and manipulating pixel images.

    It was developed from scratch by Mark Tyler and maintained by Dmitry Groshev. If you hadn’t heard about it prior to reading this article it is probably because before its latest update in June 2016, its last update was in 2011!

    Update frequency not withstanding, mtPaint has a focus on being memory friendly and its latest update came with a handful of both new and improved features.

  • Suricata 4.0 released!

    We are thrilled to announce Suricata 4.0. This is a major new release, improving detection capabilities, adding new output options and more protocols.

  • Suricata 4.0 released
  • Gabedit: the Portal to Chemistry

        

    Many chemistry software applications are available for doing scientific work on Linux. I've covered several here in previous issues of the magazine, and of them have their own peculiar specialties—areas where one may work better than another. So, depending on what your research entails, you may need to use multiple software packages to handle all of the work. This is where Gabedit will step in to help you out.

  • How Could You Use a Speech Interface?

    Last month in San Francisco, my colleagues at Mozilla took to the streets to collect samples of spoken English from passers-by. It was the kickoff of our Common Voice Project, an effort to build an open database of audio files that developers can use to train new speech-to-text (STT) applications.

    What’s the big deal about speech recognition?

    Speech is fast becoming a preferred way to interact with personal electronics like phones, computers, tablets and televisions. Anyone who’s ever had to type in a movie title using their TV’s remote control can attest to the convenience of a speech interface. According to one study, it’s three times faster to talk to your phone or computer than to type a search query into a screen interface.

    Plus, the number of speech-enabled devices is increasing daily, as Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod gain traction in the market. Speech is also finding its way into multi-modal interfaces, in-car assistants, smart watches, lightbulbs, bicycles and thermostats. So speech interfaces are handy — and fast becoming ubiquitous.

  • LibreOffice 5.4 Released with ‘Significant New Features’

    LibreOffice 5.4 serves as the final major release in the LibreOffice 5.x series (meaning LibreOffice 6.x will be next). The update is said to add “significant new features in every module” and (as always) improved Microsoft Office file compatibility.

  • LibreOffice 5.4 released with new features for Writer, Calc and Impress

    The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 5.4, the last major release of the LibreOffice 5.x family, immediately available for Windows, macOS and Linux, and for the cloud. LibreOffice 5.4 adds significant new features in every module, including the usual large number of incremental improvements to Microsoft Office file compatibility.

  • GNU Binutils 2.29 Released

    Binutils 2.29 is now available as well as a Binutils 2.28.1 point release.

    Binutils 2.29 brings a lot for MIPS and SPARC users. MIPS improvements for Binutils 2.29 include support for microMIPS eXtended Physical Addressing (PXA), microMIPS Release 5 ISA for assembly/disassembly, support for the Imagination interAptiv MR2 CPU, and support for the MIPS16e2 ASE assembly/disassembly.

  • AMD Ryzen 3 Rolls Out, Linux Benchmarks Coming

Firefox Stress-Tested Tabs-Wise

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Moz/FF
  • Firefox 55 is ridiculously good at handling thousands of tabs

    Firefox 55, due for release at the start of August, will feature a series of improvements to the browser’s responsiveness when multiple tabs are open.

    This work is part of something called Quantum Flow, a Mozilla engineering project to fine-tune and tweak the browser’s overall performance.

  • The New Firefox and Ridiculous Numbers of Tabs

    I've got a Firefox profile with 1691 tabs.

    I started trying to write down why, but gave up for now. It was becoming an overly long exploration of product design and the future of the web.

Firefox 'Phones Home', Speech Recognition Project

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Moz/FF
  • Firefox marketshare revisited

    I posted a couple weeks ago about Chrome effectively having won the browser wars. The market share observations in the blog post were based on data provided by StatCounter. Several commenters criticized the StatCounter data as inaccurate so I decided to take a look at raw installation data Mozilla publishes to see whether it aligns with the StatCounter data.

    [...]

    Firefox tries to contact Mozilla once a day to check for security updates. This is called the “updater ping”. The ADI number is the aggregate number of these pings that were seen on a given day and can be understood as the number of running Firefox installs on that day.

  • Common Voice: Mozilla Is Creating An Open Source Speech Recognition System

Mozilla launches Project Things IoT framework on Raspberry Pi

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Linux
Moz/FF

Mozilla unveiled “Project Things,” which builds upon standard web technologies and the Web of Things project, and released code that runs on a Raspberry Pi.

In March of last year, a few months after Mozilla announced it was shutting down its Firefox OS project for Linux-based mobile phones, it unveiled four Firefox OS based “Connected Devices” projects for the Internet of Things. The Connected Devices project has since shut down, but a website is still available for others to advance the code. Instead, Mozilla turned its IoT team toward an existing Web of Things (WoT) project aimed at developing a decentralized, open source IoT framework built as much as possible using existing World Wide Web technologies.

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Mozilla News: Firefox Focus for Android, $2 Million Prize to Decentralize, and Ad Blocking

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Moz/FF
  • Firefox Focus for Android Promises to Block Annoying Ads, Protect Users' Privacy

    Mozilla announced today that the Firefox Focus web browser that the Open Source company launched last year for iPhone and iPad devices is now also available for Android.

    Designed from the ground up to be simple, fast, and always private, the Firefox Focus mobile app for Android doesn't feature tabs and it's free of any visual clutter that might get in your way when surfing the Internet from your mobile device. It comes built-in with an ad blocker that promises to block annoying ads.

  • A $2 Million Prize to Decentralize the Web. Apply Today

    Mozilla and the National Science Foundation are offering a $2 million prize for big ideas that decentralize the web. And we’re accepting applications starting today.

    Mozilla believes the Internet is a global public resource that must be open and accessible to all. In the 21st century, a lack of Internet access is far more than an inconvenience — it’s a staggering disadvantage. Without access, individuals miss out on substantial economic and educational opportunities, government services and the ability to communicate with friends, family and peers.

    Currently, 34 million people in the U.S. — 10% of the country’s population — lack access to high-quality Internet connectivity. This number jumps to 39% in rural communities and 41% on Tribal lands. And when disasters strike, millions more can lose vital connectivity right when it’s needed most.

  • Google, Mozilla both say they sped up the web today. One by blocking ads. One with ads

    Mozilla's announced that its “Firefox Focus” ad-busting browser has made it to Android.

    Focus has been available on iOS since late 2016. The browser's lead feature is hiding traces of web searches so that ads can't follow you around the web. Mozilla feels doing so enhances privacy and speeds up surfing as you won't be downloading all the background ad-serving cruft built into web pages.

    Now it's released the browser for Android, and fair enough too given that iOS' market share now trails that of Google's mobile OS.

Chromium, Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox

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Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Chromium Mus/Ozone update (H1/2017): wayland, x11

    Since January, Igalia has been working on a project whose goal is to make the latest Chromium Browser able to run natively on Wayland-based environments. The project has various phases, requires us to carve out existing implementations and align our work with the direction Chromium’s mainline is taking.

    In this post I will provide an update on the progresses we have made over 2017/H1, as well as our plans coming next.

    In order to jump straight to the latest results section (including videos) without the details, click here.

  • Browse Against the Machine

    I head up Firefox marketing, but I use Chrome every day. Works fine. Easy to use. Like most of us who spend too much time in front of a laptop, I have two browsers open; Firefox for work, Chrome for play, customized settings for each. There are multiple things that bug me about the Chrome product, for sure, but I‘m OK with Chrome. I just don’t like only being on Chrome.

  • Firefox hogs less memory and gets a speed bump in its latest update

    In an attempt to even the playing field with competitors, Mozilla Firefox stepped up its game Tuesday by releasing an update that will increase browser speeds and cut down on memory usage.

    Firefox 54 has opened up its upper limit of processes from one to four, although users can customize it to be more by entering “about:config” in the address bar and adjusting the settings themselves.

    This new version of Firefox feels faster and it scores higher on an online browser speed test than Chrome or Safari, even after opening 20 tabs, although it still gives the old loading sign on all of the pages. Firefox product vice president Nick Nguyen calls this upgrade “the largest change to Firefox code in our history,” according to his blog post detailing the changes.

  • [Older] Firefox memory usage with multiple content processes

    My previous measurements found that four content processes are a sweet spot for both memory usage and performance. As a follow up we wanted to run the tests again to confirm my conclusions and make sure that we’re testing on what we plan to release. Additionally I was able to work around our issues testing Microsoft Edge and have included both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Firefox on Windows; 32-bit is currently our default, 64-bit is a few releases out.

    The methodology for the test is the same as previous runs, I used the atsy project to load 30 pages and measure memory usage of the various processes that each browser spawns during that time.

Mozilla Launches Campaign, Releases Firefox 54

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Moz/FF
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More in Tux Machines

Linux Foundation: OpenContrail, SDNs, ONAP

  • Juniper Flips OpenContrail To The Linux Foundation
    It’s a familiar story arc for open source efforts started by vendors or vendor-led industry consortiums. The initiatives are launched and expanded, but eventually they find their way into independent open source organizations such as the Linux Foundation, where vendor control is lessened, communities are able to grow, and similar projects can cross-pollinate in hopes of driving greater standardization in the industry and adoption within enterprises.
  • Juniper Hands OpenContrail SDN to Linux Found. Before It's Too Late
    After failing to develop a community around the project and receiving pushback from a major backer, Juniper may be saving Contrail from becoming irrelevant
  • CableLabs Announces Two Open Source Projects for NFV
    SNAPS is an overarching program at CableLabs to facilitate the adoption of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) within the CableLabs’ community. The organization says it spearheaded SNAPS to fill in gaps within open source to ease the adoption of SDN and NFV for its cable members.
  • Bell becomes first operator to launch ONAP in production
    Canadian telecommunications company Bell announced it has become the first company to launch an open source version of the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) in production. The announcement was noted by Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking and orchestration at the Linux Foundation, in a company blog post. According to Joshipura, the news marks a first step toward using ONAP as a common platform across Bell’s network as the company re-aligns itself to follow a multi-partner DevOps model.

OSS/Sharing Leftovers

  • Chrome 64 Beta: stronger pop-up blocker, Resize Observer, and import.meta
  • Chrome 64 Beta Brings Stronger Pop-Up Blocker, JavaScript Improvements
    Ahead of the holidays Google has pushed out the Chrome 64 beta to all supported platforms.
  • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache® Hadoop® v3.0.0 General Availability
    The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, today announced Apache® Hadoop® v3.0.0, the latest version of the Open Source software framework for reliable, scalable, distributed computing.
  • Open source science: Scientists researching rice plant genetics agree to not file for patents
    The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a nonprofit established in the 2014 Farm Bill with bipartisan congressional support, awarded a $1 million Seeding Solutions grant to University of California, Davis (UC Davis) to study the genetics of rice plants. Together with researchers at the University of North Carolina and collaborators, the team will develop and implement a chemistry-driven gene discovery approach to identify genes that modulate root traits.
  • Lytro could open source their light-field photo sharing platform
  • Lytro considering open source light field photo sharing platform
    Lytro is reportedly considering an open source solution after announcing it would no longer support its sharing platform for Lytro cameras’ ‘living images.’
  • When Waze Won't Help, Palestinians Make Their Own Maps
    If you want to drive the 15 or so miles from Jerusalem to the city of Jericho, in the Palestinian Territories, Google Maps will tell you: “Can’t find a way there.” Waze will issue a warning: “Caution: This destination is in a high risk area or is prohibited to Israelis by law.” If you press “Confirm Drive” nonetheless, the app will direct you, just not all the way. When you pass from Israel into the West Bank, part of the occupied Palestinian Territories, Waze’s directions simply end. To keep going, you need to change your setting to allow access to “high risk” areas. Even then, GPS coverage tends to be limited.
  • Using Gmail with OAUTH2 in Linux and on an ESP8266
    One of the tasks I dread is configuring a web server to send email correctly via Gmail. The simplest way of sending emails is SMTP, and there are a number of scripts out there that provide a simple method to send mail that way with a minimum of configuration. There’s even PHP mail(), although it’s less than reliable.
  • Simplicity Before Generality, Use Before Reuse
    A common problem in component frameworks, class libraries, foundation services, and other infrastructure code is that many are designed to be general purpose without reference to concrete applications. This leads to a dizzying array of options and possibilities that are often unused or misused — or just not useful. Generally, developers work on specific systems; specifically, the quest for unbounded generality rarely serves them well (if at all). The best route to generality is through understanding known, specific examples, focusing on their essence to find an essential common solution. Simplicity through experience rather than generality through guesswork.
  • What Ruby Needs
    Of all of the questions we receive at RedMonk, one of the most common concerns programming languages. Whether from members of a given community or a commercial entity, the desire is to better understand a given language’s trajectory and the context around it. Is it going up or down, and what are the reasons for that direction? And, of course: can that direction be meaningfully changed? Recently, we’ve received several such inquiries around Ruby. For those with an interest in the language, then, the following is a quick public summary of the answers we’ve been providing privately.
  • HTML 5.2 is done, HTML 5.3 is coming
    Today W3C releases HTML 5.2. This is the second revision of HTML5, following last year’s HTML 5.1 Recommendation. In 2014 we expressed a goal to produce a revision roughly every year; HTML 5.2 is a continuation of that commitment. This Recommendation like its predecessor provides an updated stable guide to what is HTML. In the past year there has been a significant cleanup of the specification. We have introduced some new features, and removed things that are no longer part of the modern Web Platform, or that never achieved broad interoperability. As always we have also fixed bugs in the specification, making sure it adapts to the changing reality of the Web. Many of the features added integrate other work done in W3C. The Payment Request API promises to make commerce on the Web far easier, reducing the risks of making a mistake or being caught by an unscrupulous operator. New security features such as Content Security Policy protect users more effectively, while new work incorporated from ARIA helps developers offer people with disabilities a good user experience of their applications.

Games: SteamOS Birthday, Best Linux Games of 2017, Finding Paradise

  • It's Been Four Years Since SteamOS Began Shipping With Not Much To Show
    It was four years ago this week that Valve began shipping SteamOS, their Debian-based Linux distribution intended for Steam Machines and those wanting a gaming-oriented Linux distribution. While Valve still technically maintains the SteamOS Linux distribution, the outlook at this point is rather bleak. For our coverage from four years ago when Valve began shipping SteamOS 1.0 based on Debian Wheezy, see SteamOS Compositor Details, Kernel Patches, Screenshots, Former NVIDIA, Microsoft Developers Doing Lots Of The SteamOS Work, and The First NVIDIA GeForce Benchmarks On The SteamOS Beta.
  • 7 Best Linux Games of 2017
    We take a look at the best Linux games of 2017, ranging from AAA titles to introspective indie hits. So park your gamepad, pop your feet up, and raise a glass of something socially acceptable to what’s been another terrific year for Tux fans with twitchy thumbs!
  • Finding Paradise Available Now for PC, Mac, and Linux
    Canadian indie game studio Freebird Games has released Finding Paradise, a spiritual successor to the studio's hit game To the Moon. You can check out the game's release date trailers below, the first being slightly less of a "serious" trailer:

OSS: Blockchain, Avast, Predictions, GreenKey

  • Startup Aims to Build Open-Source Telecom Ecosystem on Blockchain
    There are 2,000+ mobile network operations in charge of providing communication services at global scale. However, the traditional infrastructure is centralized, inflexible and inaccurate. Common services like 3G/4G, Wi-Fi, BOSS mobile communications solutions and companies that use cloud-based communications solutions are often unable to render accurate content billing and distribution. Conventional mobile packages overcharge customers, not to mention that they pose concerns around data transmissions. An alternative solution to average mobile network providers could be Blockchain technology.
  • Merry Xmas, fellow code nerds: Avast open-sources decompiler
    Malware hunting biz and nautical jargon Avast has released its machine-code decompiler RetDec as open source, in the hope of arming like-minded haters of bad bytes and other technically inclined sorts with better analytical tools. As discussed as the recent Botconf 2017 in France earlier this month, RetDec provides a way to turn machine code – binary executables – back into an approximation of the original source code.
  • 10 open source predictions for 2018
    With 2017 just about done and dusted, dozens of open source experts have polished their crystal balls and made predictions about what can be expected in the open source space in 2018. Now it's our turn. (With fingers firmly crossed) here are 10 open source trends that you may – or may not – see coming to the fore next year. Some are obvious, some are frivolous, and some could just change your life.
  • Stop Calling Everything "Open Source": What "Open Source" Really Means
    "Open source" is an exciting concept in the world of software and beyond. But it shouldn't be applied to contexts where it makes no sense.
  • GreenKey to join Symphony; open source voice software
    GreenKey, creator of patented voice software with integrated speech recognition designed for the financial markets, today announced the firm has joined the Symphony Software Foundation, a nonprofit organization fostering innovation in financial services through open source software (OSS).
  • GreenKey Joins the Symphony Software Foundation; Will Open Source Voice Software
    GreenKey, creator of patented voice software with integrated speech recognition designed for the financial markets, today announced the firm has joined the Symphony Software Foundation, a nonprofit organization fostering innovation in financial services through open source software (OSS). GreenKey will release a Community Edition of its voice software development kit (SDK) that will enable banks and other financial market firms to "voice enable" any web application.