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Moz/FF

Mozilla: Glean SDK, Localisation, Reps and Security

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Moz/FF
  • This Week in Glean: Glean on Desktop (Project FOG)

    The Glean SDK is doing well on mobile. It’s shipping in Firefox Preview and Firefox for Fire TV on Android, and our iOS port for Lockwise is shaping up wonderfully well. Data is flowing in, letting us know how the products are being used.

    It’s time to set our sights on Desktop.

    It’s going to be tricky, but to realize one of the core benefits of the Glean SDK (the one about not having to maintain more than one data collection client library across Mozilla’s products) we have to do this. Also, we’re seeing more than a little interest from our coworkers to get going with it already : )

    One of the reasons it’s going to be tricky is that Desktop isn’t like Mobile. As an example, the Glean SDK “baseline” ping is sent whenever the product is sent to the background. This is predicated on the idea that the user isn’t using the application when it’s in the background. But on Desktop, there’s no similar application lifecycle paradigm we can use in that way. We could try sending a ping whenever focus leaves the browser (onblur), but that can happen very often and doesn’t have the same connotation of “user isn’t using it”. And what if the focus leaves one browser window to attach to another browser window? We need to have conversations with Data Science and Firefox Peers to figure out what lifecycle events most closely respect our desire to measure engagement.

    And that’s just one reason. One reason that needs investigation, exploration, discussion, design, proposal, approval, implementation, validation, and documentation.

    And this reason’s one that we actually know something about. Who knows what swarm of unknown quirks and possible failures lies in wait?

  • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: October Edition

    As explained in detail in the previous l10n report, cycles are starting to shorten towards the goal of 4 weeks. While Firefox 70 is going to be released in a few days, on October 22, the deadline to ship any update in Firefox 71 will be on November 19.

    Talking about Firefox 71, congratulations to Catalan (Valencian) (ca-valencia), Tagalog (tl), and Triqui (trs) for reaching an important milestone: with this version, they will move to Beta, and then will be officially released on December 3. Thanks to them, Firefox 71 will be shipping with 96 localizations.

    We have also added two new locales to Nightly in 71: Bodo (brx) and Tibetan (bo). If you speak one of these languages and want to help, head to Pontoon!

  • Mozilla Reps Community: Reps of the Month – September 2019

    Jyotsna is a Mozilla Rep and a Tech Speaker from Bangalore, India. The majority of her contributions goes to Add-ons, from building PrivateX to being an Add-ons Content Reviewer and a judge in the Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge. She was also highlighted as a Friend of Add-ons in the last quarter of 2018 on the Add-ons blog. Besides all this, she mentored new extension developers in her local community and joined the Featured Extensions Advisory Board.

  • Mozilla: Firefox 70 brings you these new security indicators

    Mozilla and Google Chrome developers discussed removing EV SSL indicators in the address bar in August because the indicators don't convey anything about the security and authenticity of a site.

    Google removed the EV indicators in Chrome 77, released in September, and Mozilla will do the same in Firefox 70, out later this month. This version removes the traditional green padlock icon plus the site owner's name from the address bar. The padlock for EV sites will now be the same as any normal HTTPS site.

Mozilla: web-ext, Facebook-like business model and Rust at Microsoft GitHub

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Moz/FF
  • Developing cross-browser extensions with web-ext 3.2.0

    The web-ext tool was created at Mozilla to help you build browser extensions faster and more easily. Although our first launch focused on support for desktop Firefox, followed by Firefox for Android, our vision was always to support cross-platform development once we shipped Firefox support.

  • Get recommended reading from Pocket every time you open a new tab in Firefox

    Thousands of articles are published each day, all fighting for our attention. But how many are actually worth reading? The tiniest fraction, and they’re tough to find. That’s where Pocket comes in.

  • This Week in Rust 308

    Hello and welcome to another issue of This Week in Rust! Rust is a systems language pursuing the trifecta: safety, concurrency, and speed. This is a weekly summary of its progress and community. Want something mentioned? Tweet us at @ThisWeekInRust or send us a pull request. Want to get involved? We love contributions.

Improved Security and Privacy Indicators in Firefox 70

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Moz/FF
Security
Web

The upcoming Firefox 70 release will update the security and privacy indicators in the URL bar.

In recent years we have seen a great increase in the number of websites that are delivered securely via HTTPS. At the same time, privacy threats have become more prevalent on the web and Firefox has shipped new technologies to protect our users against tracking.

To better reflect this new environment, the updated UI takes a step towards treating secure HTTPS as the default method of transport for websites, instead of a way to identify website security. It also puts greater emphasis on user privacy.

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Mozilla: Firefox, Monitor and Search Engine Add-ons

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Moz/FF
  • has google won the browser wars? – should Mozilla build their own SmartPhones?

    on the desktop: one refuses to believe it.

    on mobile: should Mozilla start building their own SmartPhone and ship Firefox.apk per default?

  • Why you should review your credit report after a data breach

    When significant data breaches happen where high risk data is at stake, there’s often a lot of talk about credit reports. Some companies that have been hacked may even be required to provide credit monitoring to their customers as part of their breach notification requirements. Whether the breached company provides credit monitoring or not, security experts recommend you check your credit reports for suspicious activity. To protect your identity, they also recommend you freeze your credit. Here’s what that means and why it’s important.

  • Search Engine add-ons to be removed from addons.mozilla.org

    For the last eleven years, Firefox Search Engine add-ons have been powered by OpenSearch. With the recent implementation of the search overrides API, a WebExtensions API that offers users more controls for opting into changes, Mozilla intends to deprecate OpenSearch and eventually remove it from Firefox. Search Engine add-ons will be removed from AMO on December 5, 2019.

Firefox’s New WebSocket Inspector

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Moz/FF

The Firefox DevTools team and our contributors were hard at work over the summer, getting Firefox 70 jam-packed with improvements. We are especially excited about our new WebSocket inspection feature, because you told us in feedback how important it would be for your daily work.

To use the inspector now, download Firefox Developer Edition, open DevTools’ Network panel to find the Messages tab. Then, keep reading to learn more about WebSockets and the tricks that the new panel has up its sleeve.

But first, big thanks to Heng Yeow Tan, the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) student who’s responsible for the implementation.

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Announcing Rustup 1.20.0

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Development
Moz/FF

The rustup working group is happy to announce the release of rustup version 1.20.0. Rustup is the recommended tool to install Rust, a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

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Also Mozilla: Karl Dubost: This is not a remote work

Chrome users gloriously freed from obviously treacherous and unsafe uBlock Origin

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Google
Moz/FF
OSS
Web

Thank you, O Great Chrome Web Store, for saving us from the clearly hazardous, manifestly unscrupulous, overtly duplicitous uBlock Origin. Because, doubtlessly, this open-source ad-block extension by its very existence and nature could never "have a single purpose that is clear to users." I mean, it's an ad-blocker. Those are bad.
Really, this is an incredible own goal on Google's part. Although I won't resist the opportunity to rag on them, I also grudgingly admit that this is probably incompetence rather than malice and likely yet another instance of something falling through the cracks in Google's all-powerful, rarely examined automatic algorithms (though there is circumstantial evidence to the contrary). Having a human examine these choices costs money in engineering time, and frankly when the automated systems are misjudging something that will probably cost Google's ad business money as well, there's just no incentive to do anything about it. But it's a bad look, especially with how two-faced the policy on Manifest V3 has turned out to be and its effect on ad-blocker options for Chrome.

It is important to note that this block is for Chrome rather than Chromium-based browsers (like Edge, Opera, Brave, etc.). That said, Chrome is clearly the one-ton gorilla, and Google doesn't like you sideloading extensions. While Mozilla reviews extensions too, and there have been controversial rejections on their part, speaking as an add-on author of over a decade there is at least a human on the other end even if once in a while the human is a butthead. (A volunteer butthead, to be sure, but still a butthead.) Plus, you can sideload with a little work, even unsigned add-ons. So far I think they've reached a reasonable compromise between safety and user choice even if sometimes the efforts don't scale. On the other hand, Google clearly hasn't by any metric.

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Mozilla: Firefox, Rust and XUL Extensions

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Moz/FF
  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 66
  • How to speed up the Rust compiler some more in 2019

    In July I wrote about my efforts to speed up the Rust compiler in 2019. I also described how the Rust compiler has gotten faster in 2019, with compile time reductions of 20-50% on most benchmarks. Now that Q3 is finished it’s a good time to see how things have changed since then.

  • Extensions in Firefox 70

    Welcome to another round of new additions and changes to extensions, this time in Firefox 70. We have a new API, some improvements on existing APIs, and some great additions to Firefox Developer Tools to make it easier to debug your extensions.

    [...]

    We’ve made a few improvements to the downloads API in Firefox 70. By popular request, the Referer header is now allowed in the browser.downloads.download API’s headers object. This allows extensions, such as download managers, to download files for sites that require a referrer to be set.

    Also, we’ve improved error reporting for failed downloads. In addition to previously reported failures, the browser.downloads.download API will now report an error in case of various http 4xx failures. This makes the API more compatible with Chrome and gives developers a way to react to these errors in their code.

  • Last version

    Yesterday I released Mail Redirect 0.10.5, which may very well be the last version of Mail Redirect, at least in this form. The version contains some small bug fixes, with relation to compatibility with other extensions, Cardbook and Thunderbird Conversations to be precise.

    I already started trying to make Mail Redirect compatible with Thunderbird 71.0a1, when the Thunderbird developers announced that support traditional XUL-overlay add-ons, which Mail Redirect is, will be dropped in Thunderbird 72. This means that any effort I put in the add-on now with relation to compatibility with future Thunderbird versions will stop working in a month or so, so that won’t do any good.

    The good thing is that XUL-overlay add-ons will beep working in this major ESR-release, so Mail Redirect 0.10.5 will keep on working in Thunderbird 68., and will only stop working in Daily and Beta and in the next major Thunderbird release 76, which is planned to be released somewhere in july, I think.

    I haven’t decided what to do with Mail Redirect. In order to keep on working in Thunderbird 72+, I need to convert it to a WebExtension Experiment, but that will be a major rewrite and the future of WebExtension Experiments isn’t clear either. Thunderbird developers indicated that support for WebExtension Experiments will also be dropped somewhere in the future, so I’m not quite convinced yet that it will be worth the effort.

Critical Security Issue identified in iTerm2 as part of Mozilla Open Source Audit

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Mac
Moz/FF
Security

A security audit funded by the Mozilla Open Source Support Program (MOSS) has discovered a critical security vulnerability in the widely used macOS terminal emulator iTerm2. After finding the vulnerability, Mozilla, Radically Open Security (ROS, the firm that conducted the audit), and iTerm2’s developer George Nachman worked closely together to develop and release a patch to ensure users were no longer subject to this security threat. All users of iTerm2 should update immediately to the latest version (3.3.6) which has been published concurrent with this blog post.

Founded in 2015, MOSS broadens access, increases security, and empowers users by providing catalytic support to open source technologists. Track III of MOSS — created in the wake of the 2014 Heartbleed vulnerability — supports security audits for widely used open source technologies like iTerm2. Mozilla is an open source company, and the funding MOSS provides is one of the key ways that we continue to ensure the open source ecosystem is healthy and secure.

iTerm2 is one of the most popular terminal emulators in the world, and frequently used by developers. MOSS selected iTerm2 for a security audit because it processes untrusted data and it is widely used, including by high-risk targets (like developers and system administrators).

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Firefox 71: new kiosk mode for the browser

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Moz/FF

Mozilla plans to integrate kiosk mode functionality in version 71 of the Firefox web browser that users of the browser may launch from the command line.

First requested more than 17 years ago, work on integrating a kiosk mode in the Firefox web browser started five months ago. Current Firefox Nightly versions support the new mode already.

Kiosk mode refers to a special display mode that launches the browser without interface elements in fullscreen. It is different from the browser's fullscreen mode that users can activate with a tap on the F11-key on the keyboard. F11 switches the browser to fullscreen and removes interface elements by default, but these can be displayed by moving the mouse to the top; additionally, another tap on F11 exits fullscreen mode again and restores the default browsing mode.

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Also: Future OpenPGP Support in Thunderbird

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More in Tux Machines

Red Hat and SUSE Servers: Boston Children’s Hospital, IBM and SUSE in High-Performance Computing (HPC)

  • How Boston Children’s Hospital Augments Doctors Cognition with Red Hat OpenShift

    Software can be an enabler for healers. At Red Hat, we’ve seen this first hand from customers like Boston Children’s Hospital. That venerable infirmary is using Red Hat OpenShift and Linux containers to enhance their medical capabilities, and to augment their doctors cognitive capacity.

  • Entry Server Bang For The Buck, IBM i Versus Red Hat Linux

    In last week’s issue, we did a competitive analysis of the entry, single-socket Power S914 machines running IBM i against Dell PowerEdge servers using various Intel Xeon processors as well as an AMD Epyc chip running a Windows Server and SQL Server stack from Microsoft. This week, and particularly in the wake of IBM’s recent acquisition of Red Hat, we are looking at how entry IBM i platforms rate in terms of cost and performance against X86 machines running a Linux stack and an appropriate open source relational database that has enterprise support. Just as a recap from last week’s story, the IBM i matchup against Windows Server systems were encouraging in that very small configurations of the Power Systems machine running IBM i were less expensive per unit of online transaction processing performance as well as per user. However, on slightly larger configurations of single socket machines, thanks mostly to the very high cost per core of the IBM i operating system and its integrated middleware and database as you move from the P05 to P10 software tiers on the Power S914, the capital outlay can get very large at list price for the Power iron, and the software gets very pricey, too. The only thing that keeps the IBM i platform in the running is the substantially higher performance per core that the Power9 chip offers on machines with four, six, or eight cores. Such processors are fairly modest by 2019 standards, by the way, when a high-end chip has 24, 28, 32, or now 64 cores, and even mainstream ones have 12, 16, or 18 cores. If you want to see the rationale of the hardware configurations that we ginned up for the comparisons, we suggest that you review the story from last week. Suffice it to say, we tried to get machines with roughly the same core counts and configuration across the Power and X86 machines, and generally, the X86 cores for these classes of single socket servers do a lot less work.

  • Rise of the Chameleon – SUSE at SC19

    The impact of High-Performance Computing (HPC) goes beyond traditional research boundaries to enhance our daily lives.  SC19 is the international conference for High Performance Computing, networking, storage and analysis taking place in Denver November 17-22.  SUSE will once again have a strong presence at SC19 – and if you are attending we would love to talk to you!  Our SUSE booth (#1917) will include our popular Partner Theater as well as a VR light saber game with a Star Wars themed backdrop.  We will showcase SUSE’s HPC core solutions (OS, tools and Services) as well as AI/ML, Storage and Cloud open source products.  Plus, during the gala opening reception we will premier our new mini-movie “Sam the IT Manager in The Way of the Chameleon: The Quest for HPC” which you don’t want to miss (we’ll provide the popcorn)!

today's howtos

Why we shouldn’t blame ourselves for the Linux desktop’s microscopic marketshare

Well, that was three interesting articles on the same topic on the same day, namely, billionaires. And read in turn they explain exactly why the Linux Desktop is still at such a marginal market share, and why that’s not because we, who work hard on it, are failures who have been doing the wrong thing all the time. It is in the first place policies, bought with money, that allowed people to build monopolies, taxing individuals and so becoming even more rich and powerful. However, what it is about, is the question: why is Bill Gates not in jail for life with all his wealth stripped off? He’s a criminal, and his crime has directly harmed us, the people working on free software, on the Linux Desktop. So, to make things painfully clear: Bill Gates made it so that his company would tax every computer sold no matter whether it ran Windows or not. If a manufacturer wanted to sell computers running Windows, all the computers it sold were taxed by Microsoft. He would get paid for the work a Linux distribution was doing, and the Linux distribution would not get that money. Read more

Software: Gscan2PD, GIMP and LibreOffice

  • Gscan2PDF 2.6.0 Released with import-all Option

    The official Gscan2PDF PPA has made the new release packages for all current Ubuntu releases, and their derivatives, including Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.04, Ubuntu 19.10, Linux Mint 18.x and 19.x

  • 5 Tools That Allow You to Make a Free Logo

    2. Gimp Unlike Tailor Brands, GIMP is more of a photo editor which means that it comes with way more tools and features. If you want to do more than logo designing, then GIMP is your right choice. It comes with a customizable interface that not only covers cosmetics, but also the behavior of the various tools that it has. There are photo enhancement tools that help you to get rid of image distortions, colors, and other imperfections. Another benefit is support for multiple file formats viz. JPEG, PSD, PNG, and GIF.

  • Community Member Monday: Celia Palacios

    I am a Mexican old-guard user of Linux since 2001. I studied Electronic Engineering, and I have been working in that field since 1989. I learnt all sorts of Linux stuff because I love to learn by myself. In addition, I love to read historical detective novels, lots of science fiction, and go to the movies with my husband. I love philosophy, symbolism and many alternative ideas about everything. I also like to have long, friendly debates about everybody’s presumptions (or assumptions?). I try to be open-minded, specially in this times when everyone’s getting polarized Mexico about our President. I used to be an athletic gal, but now I am a total coach-potato! Thanks, Netflix!