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Mozilla: OpenPGP in Thunderbird, Firefox Extension Workshop, Add-ons and Marketing

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Moz/FF
  • OpenPGP in Thunderbird

    It is a pretty rare event to see a nearly 21-year-old bug be addressed—many projects are nowhere near that old for one thing—but that is just what has occurred for the Mozilla Thunderbird email application. An enhancement request filed at the end of 1999 asked for a plugin to support email encryption, but it has mostly languished since. The Enigmail plugin did come along to fill the gap by providing OpenPGP support using GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG or GPG), but was never part of Thunderbird. As part of Thunderbird 78, though, OpenPGP is now fully supported within the mail user agent (MUA).

    The enhancement request actually asked for Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) support; PGP is, of course, the progenitor of OpenPGP. The standards effort that resulted in OpenPGP started in 1997. Back in 1999, PGP was the only real choice for email encryption, though the initial version of GnuPG had been released a few months before the request.

    Early on, the main concerns expressed in the bug tracker were about the legality of shipping cryptographic code. The US government's attempts to restrict the export of cryptographic systems, known as the "crypto wars", were still fresh in the minds of many. It was not entirely clear that adding "munitions-grade crypto" to a MUA like Thunderbird was legal or wise. Early in 2000, the US revised its export-control regulations, which removed that particular concern.

    There was work done toward adding support for OpenPGP and Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME), which is another email encryption standard, over 2000 and 2001, but the code never actually landed. Thunderbird (called "mailnews" in those days) was in fire-fighting mode; fixing bugs and getting basic functionality working took precedence over new features like encryption. There was also a need to design a reasonable plugin mechanism.

    Eventually, Enigmail showed up, which took some of the pressure off the Mozilla developers. Enigmail could be used on all of the supported platforms for Thunderbird to encrypt and decrypt PGP-style email (either inline or PGP/MIME) using GnuPG. Its initial maintainer, Ramalingam Saravanan, updated the bug with new information about Enigmail several times.

    In the bug, multiple people suggested that Enigmail be incorporated into Thunderbird and the Enigmail developers were not opposed. In 2003, Patrick Brunschwig, who was a new maintainer for the plugin, said that doing so would help in getting rid of some of the "hacks" that were done to make Enigmail work with Thunderbird. But nothing like that ever happened.

  • To Eleventy and Beyond

    In 2018, we launched Firefox Extension Workshop, a site for Firefox-specific extension development documentation. The site was originally built using the Ruby-based static site generator Jekyll. We had initially selected Jekyll for this project because we wanted to make it easy for editors to update the site using Markdown, a lightweight markup language.

    Once the site had been created and more documentation was added, the build times started to grow. Every time we made a change to the site and wanted to test it locally, it would take ten minutes or longer for the site to build. The builds took so long that we needed to increase the default time limit for CircleCI, our continuous integration and continuous delivery service, because builds were failing when they ran past ten minutes with no output.

  • Mozilla Addons Blog: Add-ons interns: developing software and careers

    For the last several years, Mozilla has participated in the Google Summer of Code and Outreachy internship programs. Both programs offer paid three-month internship opportunities to students or other industry newcomers to work on a programming project with an open source organization. This year, we were joined by Lisa Chan and Atique Ahmed Ziad, from Outreachy and Google Summer of Code, respectively.

    With mentorship from addons.mozilla.org (AMO) engineers Bob Silverberg and Andrew Williamson, Lisa built a Homepage Curation Tool to help our editorial staff easily make changes to the AMO homepage. Atique was mentored by Firefox engineers Luca Greco and Rob Wu, and senior add-on admin reviewer Andreas Wagner, and he developed a privileged extension for Firefox that monitors the activity of other installed extensions. This prototype is the starting point of a new feature that will help extension developers, add-on developers, and Firefox engineers investigate bugs in extensions or in the browser’s WebExtensions APIs.

  • The internet needs our love

    It’s noisy out there. We are inundated with sensational headlines every minute, of every day. You almost could make a full-time job of sorting the fun, interesting or useful memes, feeds and reels from those that should be trashed. It’s hard to know what to pay attention to, and where to put your energy. With so much noise, chaos and division, it seems that one of the only things we all have in common is relying on the internet to help us navigate everything that’s happening in the world, and in our lives.

    [...]

    You probably don’t know the name Mozilla. You might know Firefox. But we’ve been here, fighting for a better internet, for almost twenty years. We’re a non-profit backed organization that exists for the sole purpose of protecting the internet. Our products, like the Firefox browser, are designed with your privacy in mind. We’re here to prove that you can have an ethical tech business that works to make the internet a better place for all of us. We stand for people, not profit.

    But we can’t fight this fight alone. Big tech has gotten too big. We need you. We need people who understand what it is to be part of something larger than themselves. People who love the internet and appreciate its magic. People who are looking for a company they can support because we are all on the same side.

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WordPress 5.6 Second Beta and WordPress Survey

  • News – WordPress 5.6 Beta 2 – WordPress.org

    WordPress 5.6 beta 2 is now available for testing! This software is still in development, so we recommend that you run this version on a test site.

  • News – Take the 2020 WordPress Annual Survey (and view the 2019 results)! – WordPress.org

    For many years, WordPress enthusiasts have filled out an annual survey to share their experiences and feelings about WordPress. Interesting results from this survey have been shared in the annual State of the Word address and/or here on WordPress News. This survey helps those who build WordPress understand more about how the software is used, and by whom. The survey also helps leaders in the WordPress open source project learn more about our contributors’ experience. To ensure that your WordPress experience is represented in the 2020 survey results, Take the 2020 Annual Survey! (English) You can also take the survey in French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish! The survey will be open for at least 6 weeks, and results will be posted on this blog. [...] The WordPress Professionals group consists of those who: work for a company that designs/develops websites; use WordPress to build websites and/or blogs for others; design or develop themes, plugins, or other custom tools for WordPress sites; or are a designer, developer, or other web professional working with WordPress. This WordPress Professionals group is further divided into WordPress Company Pros (those who work for a company that designs/develops websites) and WordPress Freelancers/Hobbyists (all other professional types) subgroups.

FreeBSD 12.2

  • FreeBSD 12.2-RELEASE Announcement

    The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 12.2-RELEASE. This is the third release of the stable/12 branch.

  • October 2020

    27 October: FreeBSD 12.2-RELEASE is now available. Please be sure to check the Release Notes and Release Errata before installation for any late-breaking news and/or issues with 12.2. More information about FreeBSD releases can be found on the Release Information page.

Also: This summer in KDE-FreeBSD | [bobulate]

Games: Stadia, Graveyard Keeper and Wildermyth

  • Stadia Pro for November has Sniper Elite 4, Risk of Rain 2, Republique and new releases | GamingOnLinux

    Google has announced the latest set of Stadia Pro games, along with new titles about to release like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Watch Dogs: Legion. PLUS news of Ubisoft+ coming to Stadia soon. What is Stadia? A quick primer for people not following: it's a game streaming service that uses Debian Linux under the hood along with the Vulkan graphics API. Playable on Linux in Chromium / Chrome browsers. You can either buy games, or subscribe to Stadia Pro to claim games each month (or do both).

  • Graveyard Keeper - Game Of Crone expansion is out now | GamingOnLinux

    Graveyard Keeper - Game Of Crone is an expansion to the medieval graveyard building and management sim that's like a morbid take on Stardew. This fresh expansion adds in another bunch of hours (6-12 they said approximately) to play through, along with a whole new story to follow where you help a bunch of escaped prisoners build up a camp. "You’ll have to help the escaped prisoners of the Inquisition survive in the wilderness by providing them with everything they need. To develop their camp to a fortified settlement while keeping in mind its benefits. To protect those who entrusted you with their lives, from the sword and fire. And also - to untangle the circumstances of the cruel game, which turned into the Great Blast and the return of the Ancient Curse."

  • Papercraft styled tactical-RPG 'Wildermyth' has a big new campaign out | GamingOnLinux

    Wildermyth is the character-driven, procedurally-generated tactical RPG with an art style resembling papercraft and it's brilliant. Now it's also bigger with a big campaign update out. In Wildermyth you play through various generated campaigns, each of which mixes things up like characters and events and so every play-through is different. You're supposed to see it as something resembling a classic tabletop RPG experience. Mixing together a party-based RPG with overworld exploration, random events and tactical turn-based combat there's a lot to love about it.

  • Godot Web export progress report #3

    Howdy Godotters! It's-a me! Fabio! It is time for an update on the Godot export for the Web. In the last few months, a lot has been going on regarding the Godot export for the Web. Most of the enhancements mentioned in the previous report have now been merged into the master branch, and backported to 3.2 (included in 3.2.4 beta 1). This sadly does not yet include the virtual keyboard support, since implementing it without impacting the experience on touchscreen-enabled devices that also have a physical keyboard has proven harder than expected. There is great news, though, on the other topic mentioned in that report, which is... GDNative support on HTML5 exports! Additionally, a new prototype version of the Godot Web Editor is now available for you to try out.

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