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Chrome, Mozilla and Firefox Leftovers

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Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Chrome 84 Beta: Web OTP, Web Animations, New Origin Trials and More

    Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Learn more about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 84 is beta as of May 28, 2020.

  • Chrome 84 Beta Brings Better Web Animations API, Experimental WebAssembly SIMD

    Following the recent Chrome 83 release, Chrome 84 has now been promoted to beta.

    The Chrome 84 Beta is bringing Web OTP API (SMS Receiver API) support on Android, significant improvements to its Web Animations API implementation, WebAssembly SIMD support with a 128-bit value type is now available via the Origin trials (experimental functionality) along with a Cookie Store API, Idle Detection API, and other trial features.

  • Should you buy a Chromebook?

    With more and more people buying laptops to work or learn from home, a lot of folks are probably looking into the prospect of switching to a lighter, cheaper Chromebook instead of a traditional Windows or Mac laptop. Chromebooks come at a wide range of price points and with a variety of features, but the big question for most people is about Chrome OS itself. How hard is it to switch? What are Android apps like? Does Linux support really work, and how well? Do Chromebooks make good tablets? Can I use Firefox on one? We'll cover as much of that as we can in this post.

  • Firefox features for remote school (that can also be used for just about anything)

    Helping kids with school work can be challenging in the best of times (“new” math anyone?) let alone during a worldwide pandemic. These Firefox features can help make managing school work, and remote summer classes if those are on your horizon, a little easier.

  • The influence of hardware on Firefox build times

    I recently upgraded my aging “fast” build machine. Back when I assembled the machine, it could do a full clobber build of Firefox in about 10 minutes. That was slightly more than 10 years ago. This upgrade, and the build times I’m getting on the brand new machine (now 6 months old) and other machines led me to look at how some parameters influence build times.

    [...]

    The XPS13 being old, it is subject to thermal throttling, making it slower than it should be, but it wouldn’t beat the 10 years old desktop anyway. Macbook Pros tend to get into these thermal issues after a while too.

    I’ve relied on laptops for a long time. My previous laptop before this XPS was another XPS, that is now about 6 to 7 years old, and while the newer one had more RAM, it was barely getting better build times compared to the older one when I switched. The evolution of laptop performance has been underwelming for a long time, but things finally changed last year. At long last.

    I wish I had numbers with a more recent laptop under the same OS as the XPS for fairer comparison. Or with the more recent larger laptops that sport even more cores, especially the fancy ones with Ryzen processors.

  • Writing inside organizations

    My team keeps snippets, which kinda-sorta feels like a blog-like interface for sharing context. We keep our snippets in a google doc largely because it has a low barrier to entry and it's a fast solution. However, I find that keeping snippets in a doc really limits the value I personally get from keeping a weekly log. Ostensibly, the value to writing snippets is keeping my team up to date on my work. However, I find that the secondary personal benefits are the ones that keep me motivated to write updates.

  • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: May 2020 Edition

    IMPORTANT: Firefox 78 is the next ESR (Extended Support Release) version. That’s a more stable version designed for enterprises, but also used in some Linux distributions, and it remains supported for about a year. Once Firefox 78 moves to release, that content will remain frozen until that version becomes unsupported (about 15 months), so it’s important to ship the best localization possible.

  • Mozilla’s journey to environmental sustainability

    The programme may be new, but the process has been shaping for years: In March 2020, Mozilla officially launched a dedicated Environmental Sustainability Programme, and I am proud and excited to be stewarding our efforts.

    Since we launched, the world has been held captive by the COVID-19 pandemic. People occasionally ask me, “Is this really the time to build up and invest in such a large-scale, ambitious programme?” My answer is clear: Absolutely.

  • Mozilla Privacy Blog: An opportunity for openness and user agency in the proposed Facebook-Giphy merger

    Facebook is squarely in the crosshairs of global competition regulators, but despite that scrutiny, is moving to acquire Giphy, a popular platform that lets users share images on social platforms, such as Facebook, or messaging applications, such as WhatsApp. This merger – how it is reviewed, whether it is approved, and if approved under what sort of conditions – will set a precedent that will influence not only future mergers, but also the shape of legislative reforms being actively developed all around the world. It is crucial that antitrust agencies incorporate into their processes a deep understanding of the nature of the open internet and how it promotes competition, how data flows between integrated services, and in particular the role played by interoperability.

    Currently Giphy is integrated with numerous independent social messaging services, including, for example, Slack, Signal, and Twitter. A combined Facebook-Giphy would be in a position to restrict access by those companies, whether to preserve their exclusivity or to get leverage for some other reason. This would bring clear harm to users who would suddenly lose the capabilities they currently enjoy, and make it harder for other companies to compete.

Beaker Browser 1.0 Beta

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OSS
Web

I recently reviewed the Beaker Browser. About a week after that review was published, the devs released Beaker 1.0 Beta. And that changes almost everything I had observed in the previous article.

This made me do an entire article on the new Beaker Browser.Here’s what’s been changed!

One of the most significant changes to Beaker is the introduction of a new protocol. Up to now, Beaker has used the Dat protocol to distribute content. Beta 1.0 replaces Dat with Hypercore.

One of the components is Hyperdrive version 10, which was released the same days as Beaker. Hyperdrive is “a POSIX-like filesystem implementation, written in Node.js, that’s designed to be the storage layer for fast, scalable, and secure peer-to-peer applications.”

Read more

WWW: Curl, Mozilla Phoning Home, LMS for WordPress and Libre Graphic Meeting/Webstream

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Web
  • Daniel Stenberg: curl ootw: –socks5

    --socks5 was added to curl back in 7.18.0. It takes an argument and that argument is the host name (and port number) of your SOCKS5 proxy server. There is no short option version.

  • How does the Glean SDK send gzipped pings

    Within the Glean SDK, the glean-core Rust component does not provide any specific implementation to perform the upload of pings. This means that either the language bindings (e.g. Glean APIs for Android in Kotlin) or the product itself (e.g. Fenix) have to provide a way to transport data from the client to the telemetry endpoint.

    Before our recent changes (by Beatriz Rizental and Jan-Erik) to the ping upload system, the language bindings needed to understand the format with which pings were persisted to disk in order to read and finally upload them. This is not the case anymore: glean-core will provide language bindings with the headers and the data (ping payload!) of the request they need to upload.

    The new upload API empowers the SDK to provide a single place in which to compress the payload to be uploaded: glean-core, right before serving upload requests to the language bindings.

  • Create interactive content in WordPress with the H5P plugin

    WordPress is best known as a website content management system, but it also a great learning management system (LMS) for delivering online courses. If that is what you are looking for out of WordPress, then H5P should be the top plugin on your list.

    H5P is a way to create and share interactive HTML5 content, including presentations, games, quizzes, forms, and more, in a browser. You can download a wide variety of content types from H5P's Examples and Downloads page, or you can create unique content to embed in your WordPress site.

    H5P provides plugins and integrations for WordPress, Moodle, Drupal, Canvas, Brightspace, Blackboard, and more. In this article, I will show how to use H5P in WordPress to create a reading comprehension quiz for students.

  • Libre Graphic Meeting online 2020 Livestream

    After Canada, Germany, Spain, Brazil and more; the famous Libre Graphic Meeting 2020 was finally happening in France! But unfortunately, due to the worldwide pandemic, the in real life event was canceled. The event was then converted into an online event and I decided to contribute with offering a livestreaming session: a Krita digital painting workshop. I'll share on this one some step by step for my speedpainting technique; the theme: "Here be dragons".

    If you want to participate, connect to the program page on Friday 29 May, 15h00 (Paris Time); a "LIVE" button will be available on the top to access the video stream and you'll get also documentation on how to chat to interact with me during the livestream. It's free, open access, and the content of the video will be shared later under an open license.

CMS-Centric FOSS Funding

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OSS
Web
  • London-based New Vector nabs €4.1 million for ‘Matrix’, its decentralised comms ecosystem

    Today New Vector, who is behind new collaboration solutions used by European governments and organisations alike, has announced raising approximately €4.1 million from Automattic Inc. This new investor brings both the financial backing and experience of being the parent company of web publishing and e-commerce platforms WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Jetpack, and enterprise WordPress VIP.

    New Vector, founded in 2017, is on a mission to enable governments, businesses and individuals to run their own secure communication infrastructure, while interconnecting via the global Matrix network. So far the startup has developed Riot, the flagship Matrix-based messaging app, and Modular, the leading Matrix-based hosting platform. New Vector, formed by the team who created Matrix, also provides significant development to the Matrix open source project (an open network for secure, decentralised communication which lets organisations and individuals run their own collaboration apps).

  • Automattic pumps $4.6M into New Vector to help grow Matrix, an open, decentralized comms ecosystem
  • Headless CMS company Strapi raises another $10 million
  • Open-Source 'Headless' CMS Company Strapi Raises $10 Million

    Strapi — the open-source “headless” content management system (CMS) — announced it raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Index Ventures. Including this round of funding, the company has raised a total of $14 million.

    Previously, Strapi raised $4 million in seed funding in October 2019 with Accel and Stride.VC. And the company also hired former Docker head of community Victor Coisne as VP of marketing and the company also announced plans to open its first U.S. office in San Francisco.

Vivaldi Web Browser Gives Users More Privacy Options with Startpage

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Web

In an attempt to put user privacy first, the Vivaldi web browser now features Startpage as a search engine option. Users will be able to enable Startpage with a few mouse clicks if they care about their privacy when surfing the Internet.

With the latest release, Vivaldi already adopted more privacy-oriented features for its power users with new build-in tracker and ad blockers. Now, Vivaldi wants to offer users private search results without third-party tracking.

Read more

Best Linux Text-Based Browsers

Filed under
Linux
Web

In the past, the Internet was mostly made up of simple pages and text. These pages could be accessed by low powered computers that used slow dial up connections. People used text-based browsers to visit sites and surf the Internet. Over time, things have progressed greatly and now, the world of Internet has become fully graphical.Powerful browsers such as Chrome and Firefox have introduced and a huge transition in the world of browsing. Even so, text-based web browsers are still alive and kicking; specifically, in Linux. Users of Linux consider themselves to be Command Line experts, and often prefer to do their work through the help of the terminal, rather than using the GUI.

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Internet: IndieWeb, Tor, DMARC and Moodle

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Web
  • This Week in the IndieWeb celebrates six years of weekly newsletters!

    First published on 2014-05-12, the newsletter started as a fully-automatically generated weekly summary of activity on the IndieWeb’s community wiki: a list of edited and new pages, followed by the full content of the new pages, and then the recent edit histories of pages changed that week.

    Since then the Newsletter has grown to include photos from recent events, the list of upcoming events, recent posts about the IndieWeb syndicated to the IndieNews aggregator, new community members (and their User pages), and a greatly simplified design of new & changed pages.

  • New Release: Tor 0.4.3.5

    Tor 0.4.3.5 is the first stable release in the 0.4.3.x series. This series adds support for building without relay code enabled, and implements functionality needed for OnionBalance with v3 onion services. It includes significant refactoring of our configuration and controller functionality, and fixes numerous smaller bugs and performance issues.

  • Nearly 1 Million Domains Use DMARC, but Only 13% Prevent Email Spoofing

    Valimail says a total of 933,000 domains had published DMARC records in January 2020, up from 784,000 domains in July 2019. The adoption of DMARC increased by 70% compared to the previous year and by 180% compared to two years ago.

    However, only 13% of the 933,000 domains are configured with the quarantine or reject enforcement policies.

    “Worse, that percentage has generally declined over time, although it has remained level in the past twelve months. The inescapable conclusion: interest in DMARC is growing, but DMARC expertise is not keeping pace,” Valimail wrote in its report.

  • The Certified Moodle Partner Network: a pledge of guarantee

    Moodle is the world’s most popular learning management system (LMS), used by countless schools, universities, not-for-profit organisations and companies to respond to their education and training needs. To date, Moodle is being used by almost 200 million learners worldwide Many of these users are supported by our Certified Moodle Partner Network.

Mozilla and the Internet

Filed under
Moz/FF
Web
  • [Mozilla's Eric Rescorla] What the heck happened with .org?

    If you are following the tech news, you might have seen the announcement that ICANN withheld consent for the change of control of the Public Interest Registry and that this had some implications for .org. However, unless you follow a lot of DNS inside baseball, it might not be that clear what all this means. This post is intended to give a high level overview of the background here and what happened with .org. In addition, Mozilla has been actively engaged in the public discussion on this topic; see here for a good starting point.

    [...]

    During this period the actual name registrations were handled by a series of government contractors (first SRI and then Network Solutions) but the creation and assignment of the top-level domains was under the control of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which in practice, mostly meant the decisions of its Director, Jon Postel. However, as the Internet became bigger, this became increasingly untenable especially as IANA was run under a contract to the US government. Through a long and somewhat complicated series of events, in 1998 this responsibility was handed off to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which administers the overall system, including setting the overall rules and determining which gTLDs will exist (which ccTLDs exist is determined by ISO 3166-1 country codes, as described in RFC 1591). ICANN has created a pile of new gTLDs, such as .dev, .biz, and .wtf (you may be wondering whether the world really needed .wtf, but there it is). As an aside, many of the newer names you see registered are not actually under gTLDs, but rather ccTLDs that happen to correspond to countries lucky enough to have cool sounding country codes. For instance, .io is actually the British Indian Ocean’s TLD and .tv belongs to Tuvalu.

    One of the other things that ICANN does is determine who gets to run each TLD. The way this all works is that ICANN determines who gets to be the registry, i.e., who keeps the records of who has which name as well as some of the technical data needed to actually route name lookups. The actual work of registering domain names is done by a registrar, who engages with the customer. Importantly, while registrars compete for business at some level (i.e., multiple people can sell you a domain in .com), there is only one registry for a given TLD and so they don’t have any price competition within that TLD; if you want a .com domain, VeriSign gets to set the price floor. Moreover, ICANN doesn’t really try to keep prices down; in fact, they recently removed the cap on the price of .org domains (bringing it in line with most other TLDs). One interesting fact about these contracts is that they are effectively perpetual: the contracts themselves are for quite long terms and registry agreements typically provide for automatic renewal except under cases of significant misbehavior by the registry. In other words, this is a more or less permanent claim on the revenues for a given TLD.

  • Heads-Up to RSS Reader Authors

    NetNewsWire 5.0.1 for iOS is delayed due to an apparently new, or newly-enforced, issue: if an RSS reader includes default feeds, Apple will ask for documentation that says you have permission to include those default feeds.

  • Why Forking HTML Into A Static Language Doesn't Make Sense

    A bigger issue is that defining a static fork of HTML is easy, but persuading Web developers to use it is where the real problem lies, and that is immensely difficult and no-one has any good ideas for how to do it. Of course, if you do find a way to persuade Web developers to avoid features you don't like, there isn't much value in defining a specific "static subset" of HTML.

Free Software on the Web: Mozilla, Drupal, TYPO3 and More

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Web
  • SpiderMonkey Newsletter 4 (Firefox 76-77)

    SpiderMonkey is the JavaScript engine used in Mozilla Firefox. This newsletter gives an overview of the JavaScript and WebAssembly work we’ve done as part of the Firefox 76 and 77 Nightly cycles.

  • William Lachance: A principled reorganization of docs.telemetry.mozilla.org

    I’ve been thinking a bunch over the past few months about the Mozilla data organization’s documentation story. We have a first class data platform here at Mozilla, but using it to answer questions, especially for newer employees, can be quite intimidating. As we continue our collective journey to becoming a modern data-driven organization, part of the formula for unlocking this promise is making the tools and platforms we create accessible to a broad internal audience.

    My data peers are a friendly group of people and we have historically been good at answering questions on forums like the #fx-metrics slack channel: we’ll keep doing this. That said, our time is limited: we need a common resource for helping bring people up to speed on how to use the data platform to answer common questions.

    Our documentation site, docs.telemetry.mozilla.org, was meant to be this resource: however in the last couple of years an understanding of its purpose has been (at least partially) lost and it has become somewhat overgrown with content that isn’t very relevant to those it’s intended to help.

  • Contegix Welcomes Jon Pugh as Director of Product, Open Source for BlackMesh Drupal Offerings

    Contegix is committed to supporting the Drupal and Open Source DevOps communities, and is demonstrating that commitment by investing in the OpenDevShop platform. Contegix will continue to offer its BlackMesh Drupal support services to organizations with highly complex and secure deployments.

    “One of the many reasons I joined Contegix was their clear intent to support the Open Source DevOps community,” said Pugh. “That commitment is crucial for the DevShop ecosystem to thrive. Open Source is a requirement if you want to host on your own servers or use it locally.”

  • TYPO3 Updates, Magnolia Partners With BigCommerce, More Open Source News

    The TYPO3 community announced the availability of TYPO3 v10.4, also known as TYPO3 v10 LTS. The community believes this version is the most stable to date, featuring modern PHP libraries and many new enterprise features. Here’s an overview of some of the updates for key stakeholders.

  • In pursuit of open science, open access is not enough

    The struggle for control over information and knowledge looms large. When Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web, his intention was to enable researchers to share their work. Not only have our research communication tools and practices thus far fallen short of the decentralization that the Web made possible, but the evolution of the Web itself also reminds us that making vast amounts of linked data readily accessible to third parties can trigger a number of unintended consequences. The dominance of a limited number of social networks, shopping services, and search engines shows us how [Internet] platforms based on data and analytics can tend toward monopoly. In the research information space, contracts are being negotiated establishing de facto terms and conditions for how data analytics services are being provided. Learned societies are being wooed. Research assessment metrics are being proposed. Building blocks for establishing discipline portals are being assembled. The time for the academic community to act in coordination is now.

  • Minimalist HTML

    This article is about HTML5.

    Note: Some of these *might* break spec, but are so commonplace that they might as well be in here. For example, <title> is required by the HTML spec, but 99% of all browsers will make up something for you if it isn't supplied.

    Note: I wouldn't use this advicefEnergy on production websites. But for quick development, here are some tips that help me.

  • The Library of Congress is launching an open-source archive of hip-hop samples dating back more than a century

    Citizen DJ is the brainchild of Brian Foo, a 2020 Innovator-in-Residence Program at the U.S. Library of Congress. The goal of the project is simple: to provide free audio and video samples to encourage creativity through remixing.

WWW/Internet: Curl, Mozilla and WordPress

Filed under
Web
  • Daniel Stenberg: qlog with curl

    I want curl to be on the very bleeding edge of protocol development to aid the Internet protocol development community to test out protocols early and to work out kinks in the protocols and server implementations using curl’s vast set of tools and switches.

    For this, curl supported HTTP/2 really early on and helped shaping the protocol and testing out servers.

    For this reason, curl supports HTTP/3 already August 2019. A convenient and well-known client that you can then use to poke on your brand new HTTP/3 servers too and we can work on getting all the rough edges smoothed out before the protocol is reaching its final state.

  • Mozilla starts funding open source coronavirus tech projects

    Mozilla has revealed the first set of open source projects that will receive funding for developing innovative technology for use during the coronavirus pandemic.

    On Wednesday, the non-profit said that three recipients, so far, have been selected from over 160 applicants from 30 countries.

    The COVID-19 Solutions Fund Awards were opened less than two weeks ago. The scheme, launched under the Mozilla Open Source Support (MOSS) awards program, offers applicants up to $50,000 each to develop open source technology that tackles issues caused by COVID-19.

  • March Madness 2020 is cancelled (in May)

    Welcome to May 2020, where everything is terrible.

    Let's take a look at a bug reported against a site rendered irrelevant by the world we find ourselves currently living in, one where March Madness 2020 was cancelled.

    That site is bracketchallenge.ncaa.com, which I've never used, but I gather is fun cross between Pogs and college basketball. But sponsored by a Fortune 500 American bank.

    [...]

    So what are the "security flaws that allow for exploits of authentication" in non-Chrome Mobile browsers? The first rule of playing basketball pogs, it turns out, is to just fabricate nonsense. Actually, I can see why children and adults (and banks!) love March Madness so much.

  • The Future of WordPress: The Block Editor Is Here to Stay

    Soviet-style mind manipulation and propaganda for certain unnamed companies.

    It is not all negative. Far more comments are from people who are ecstatic about the current editor and the upcoming features that will expand the block system to other areas of WordPress.

    However, I felt the need to address a recent request that we stop covering the block editor. While I cannot speak for our entire staff, there are two simple truths about why I write about blocks.

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