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Moz/FF

Mozilla Thunderbird 68.0 Released with Many New Features and Improvements

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Moz/FF

Many months in the works, the Mozilla Thunderbird 68.0 release if finally here, bringing lots of new features and improvements. Highlights include the ability to mark all folders of an email account as read, improved filter logging and support for running filter periodically, TCP keepalive support for the IMAP protocol, as well as OAuth2 authentication support for Yandex.

Also new is the ability to link to attachments in an email instead of uploading them, support for selecting language packs in Advanced Options, a policy engine that allows for customized enterprise deployments of Thunderbird using a cross-platform JSON file or Windows Group Policy, and complete Unicode support for MAPI interfaces, including MAPISendMailW.

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Also: Thunderbird 68.0 Released As A Big Update For The Mozilla Mail Client

Mozilla, Rust and More Programming Picks

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Development
Moz/FF
  • Mozilla VR Blog: New Avatar Features in Hubs

    It is now easier than ever to customize avatars for Hubs! Choosing the way that you represent yourself in a 3D space is an important part of interacting in a virtual world, and we want to make it possible for anyone to have creative control over how they choose to show up in their communities. With the new avatar remixing update, members of the Hubs community can publish avatars that they create under a remixable, Creative Commons license, and grant others the ability to derive new works from those avatars. We’ve also added more options for creating custom avatars.

    When you change your avatar in Hubs, you will now have the opportunity to browse through 'Featured' avatars and ‘Newest’ avatars. Avatars that are remixable will have an icon on them that allows you to save a version of that avatar to your own ‘My Avatars’ library, where you can customize the textures on the avatar to create your own spin on the original work. The ‘Red Panda’ avatar below is a remix of the original Panda Bot.

  • QMO: Firefox 69 Beta 14

    As you may already know, Friday August 16th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox 69 Beta 14.

  • Async Stack Traces in Rust

    One neat result of Rust’s futures and async/await design is that all of the async callers are on the stack below the async callees. In most other languages, only the youngest async callee is on the stack, and none of the async callers. Because the youngest frame is most often not where a bug’s root cause lies, this extra context makes debugging async code easier in Rust.

  • Facebook's HHVM Begins Seeing Rust Rewrite

    Facebook's HHVM implementation that started off as a high performance PHP5 implementation but is now just focused on powering their own Hack programming language is beginning to see some of its code rewritten in Rust.

    HHVM 4.20 was released on Tuesday and with this release they have been transitioning some of their code from OCaml to Rust.

  • Things I Learnt from a Senior Software Engineer

    year ago, I started working full-time at Bloomberg. That’s when I imagined writing this post. I imagined myself to be full of ideas that I could spit out on paper when the time comes. Just one month in, I realised it won’t be that easy: I was already forgetting things I learnt. They either became so internalized that my mind tricked me into believing I always knew them1, or they slipped my mind.

    That’s one of the reasons I started keeping a human log. Every day, whenever I came across an interesting situation, I logged it. All thanks to sitting next to a senior software engineer, I could closely observe what they were doing, and how it was different from what I would do. We pair-programmed a lot, which made doing this easier. Further, in my team culture it’s not frowned upon to “snoop behind” people writing code. Whenever I sensed something interesting going on, I’d roll around and watch what was happening. I always had the context, thanks to regular standups.

    I sat next to a senior software engineer for a year. Here’s what I learnt.

  • Quansight Labs Dask Update

    Finally, there's been a push for a more coordinated effort towards project maintenance and development by core Dask maintainers at Quansight, Anaconda, and NVIDIA. As part of this effort, we spend a portion of our work week on day-to-day project maintenance tasks (e.g. responding on issues, reviewing pull requests, fixing CI systems, etc.) as well as working on contributions that require significant amounts of time or expertise to implement (e.g. large-scale refactoring, adding new features, writing documentation, etc.). Today, Dask users typically get a quicker response from a core maintainer when opening an issue or pull request, in part, because of these efforts. I, and perhaps other core maintainers, hope to write more about this process in the future.

  • Little Trouble in Big Data – Part 3

    We have shown how a simple “How do I use mmap()?” mentoring project has grown beyond its initial scope and how we have used mmap, Eigen,parallel_for/parallel_reduce, flow graphs [maybe replace these two with Intel Thread Building Blocks] and zlib to nicely make the problem tractable. This has shown a nice set of performance improvements whilst at the same time keeping the disk and RAM usage within feasible limits.

TenFourFox FPR16b1 available

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Moz/FF
Web

FPR16 got delayed because I really tried very hard to make some progress on our two biggest JavaScript deficiencies, the infamous issues 521 (async and await) and 533 (this is undefined). Unfortunately, not only did I make little progress on either, but the speculative fix I tried for issue 533 turned out to be the patch that unsettled the optimized build and had to be backed out. There is some partial work on issue 521, though, including a fully working parser patch. The problem is plumbing this into the browser runtime which is ripe for all kinds of regressions and is not currently implemented (instead, for compatibility, async functions get turned into a bytecode of null throw null return, essentially making any call to an async function throw an exception because it wouldn't have worked in the first place).

This wouldn't seem very useful except that effectively what the whole shebang does is convert a compile-time error into a runtime warning, such that other functions that previously might not have been able to load because of the error can now be parsed and hopefully run. With luck this should improve the functionality of sites using these functions even if everything still doesn't fully work, as a down payment hopefully on a future implementation. It may not be technically possible but it's a start.

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Mozilla: WebAssembly Interface Type, Bryce and Brady, FPR16

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Moz/FF
  • WebAssembly Interface Types: Interoperate with All the Things!

    People are excited about running WebAssembly outside the browser.

    That excitement isn’t just about WebAssembly running in its own standalone runtime. People are also excited about running WebAssembly from languages like Python, Ruby, and Rust.

  • Support.Mozilla.Org: Introducing Bryce and Brady

    I’m thrilled to share this update with you today. Bryce and Brady have joined us last week and will be able to help out on Support for some of the new efforts Mozilla are working on towards creating a connected and integrated Firefox experience.

    They are going to be involved with new products, but also they won’t forget to put extra effort in providing support on forums and as well as serving as an escalation point for hard to solve issues.

  • FPR16 delays

    FPR16 was supposed to reach you in beta sometime tomorrow but I found a reproducible crash in the optimized build, probably due to one of my vain attempts to fix JavaScript bugs. I'm still investigating exactly which change(s) were responsible. We should still make the deadline (September 3) to be concurrent with the 60.9/68.1 ESRs, but there will not be much of a beta testing period and I don't anticipate it being available until probably at least Friday or Saturday. More later.

Mozilla Firefox in Kazakhstan

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla takes action to protect users in Kazakhstan

    Today, Mozilla and Google took action to protect the online security and privacy of individuals in Kazakhstan. Together the companies deployed technical solutions within Firefox and Chrome to block the Kazakhstan government’s ability to intercept internet traffic within the country.

    The response comes after credible reports that internet service providers in Kazakhstan have required people in the country to download and install a government-issued certificate on all devices and in every browser in order to access the internet. This certificate is not trusted by either of the companies, and once installed, allowed the government to decrypt and read anything a user types or posts, including intercepting their account information and passwords. This targeted people visiting popular sites Facebook, Twitter and Google, among others.

    “People around the world trust Firefox to protect them as they navigate the internet, especially when it comes to keeping them safe from attacks like this that undermine their security. We don’t take actions like this lightly, but protecting our users and the integrity of the web is the reason Firefox exists.” — Marshall Erwin, Senior Director of Trust and Security, Mozilla

  • Protecting our Users in Kazakhstan

    In July, a Firefox user informed Mozilla of a security issue impacting Firefox users in Kazakhstan: They stated that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Kazakhstan had begun telling their customers that they must install a government-issued root certificate on their devices. What the ISPs didn’t tell their customers was that the certificate was being used to intercept network communications. Other users and researchers confirmed these claims, and listed 3 dozen popular social media and communications sites that were affected.

    The security and privacy of HTTPS encrypted communications in Firefox and other browsers relies on trusted Certificate Authorities (CAs) to issue website certificates only to someone that controls the domain name or website. For example, you and I can’t obtain a trusted certificate for www.facebook.com because Mozilla has strict policies for all CAs trusted by Firefox which only allow an authorized person to get a certificate for that domain. However, when a user in Kazakhstan installs the root certificate provided by their ISP, they are choosing to trust a CA that doesn’t have to follow any rules and can issue a certificate for any website to anyone. This enables the interception and decryption of network communications between Firefox and the website, sometimes referred to as a Monster-in-the-Middle (MITM) attack.

    We believe this act undermines the security of our users and the web, and it directly contradicts Principle 4 of the Mozilla Manifesto that states, “Individuals’ security and privacy on the internet are fundamental and must not be treated as optional.”

Using WebThings Gateway notifications as a warning system for your home

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Moz/FF

Ever wonder if that leaky pipe you fixed is holding up? With a trip to the hardware store and a Mozilla WebThings Gateway you can set up a cheap leak sensor to keep an eye on the situation, whether you’re home or away. Although you can look up detector status easily on the web-based dashboard, it would be better to not need to pay attention unless a leak actually occurs. In the WebThings Gateway 0.9 release, a number of different notification mechanisms can be set up, including emails, apps, and text messages.

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Announcing Rust 1.37.0

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Development
Moz/FF

The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.37.0. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

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Mozilla's WebThings Gateway now available for Turris Omnia router

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Moz/FF

The first step for adding devices is to put them in a mode that is receptive to a new pairing, one at a time, then to tell the Gateway web application to scan for them. Once they are recognized (and renamed to something that makes more sense to the user), there are a number of different options. The device state can be queried (e.g. is a door open or a light on) or changed, for example; some devices may require an add-on in order to access them. Users can also create a floor plan of their house to place icons of the devices in the right locations.

Beyond that, there is a rules engine where automated changes can be programmed. So if the user wants a certain light to go on or off at a specific time, for example, that can be done. The interface is icon oriented, which should make it easier for less technical users. There is also an experimental Smart Assistant feature that allows voice or typed commands like "turn on the kitchen light" to be handled. The voice data is sent to Google's voice assistant API; the text commands are handled locally on the Gateway device. It is not clear why the assistant is not using Mozilla's speech-processing engine.

New for version 0.9 is a Notifier add-on that will send an email or SMS text message based on rules that the user specifies, so motion sensor activity could trigger a text message, for example. Accompanying the Gateway release is the 0.12 release of the WebThings Framework. It has made some changes to the Web Thing API to more closely align it with the recent W3C WoT Thing Description draft.

Centralizing IoT handling on a system controlled by the user is an admirable goal. The IoT world has so far proven to be an insecure morass of competing lock-in plays, or so it seems to this cynical observer. Wresting control of the devices from the manufacturers and placing it in the hands of their owners seems like an excellent step forward. Hopefully Mozilla sticks with this project for the long haul and that it gets the community support that it surely deserves—and needs.

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Mozilla: Secure Connections, Localisation and Latest on Rust

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla revamps Firefox's HTTPS address bar information

    Mozilla plans to make changes to the information that the organization's Firefox browser displays in its address bar when it connects to sites.

    Firefox displays an i-icon and a lock symbol currently when connecting to sites. The i-icon displays information about the security of the connection, content blocking, and permissions, the lock icon indicates the security state of the connection visually. A green lock indicates a secure connection and if a site has an Extended Validation certificate, the name of the company is displayed in the address bar as well.

    Mozilla plans to make changes to the information that is displayed in the browser's address bar that all Firefox users need to be aware of.

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

    We’re quickly approaching the deadline for Firefox 69. The last day to ship your changes in this version is August 20, less than a week away.

    A lot of content targeting Firefox 70 already landed and it’s available in Pontoon for translation, with more to come in the following days. Here are a few of the areas where you should focus your testing on.

  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 299

Mozilla, OSS and Development

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Development
Moz/FF
OSS
  • Mozilla VR Blog: Custom elements for the immersive web

    From the Mixed Reality team, we keep working on improving the content creator experience, building new frameworks, tools, APIs, performance tuning and so on.
    Most of these projects are based on the assumption that the users have a basic knowledge of 3D graphics and want to go deep on fully customizing their WebXR experience, (eg: using A-Frame or three.js).
    But there are still a lot of use cases where content creators just want very simple interactions and don’t have the knowledge or time to create and maintain a custom application built on top of a WebXR framework.

    With this project we aim to address the problems these content creators have by providing custom elements with simple, yet polished features. One could be just a simple 360 image or video viewer, another one could be a tour allowing the user to jump from one image to another.

  • Mozilla Reps Community: Reps OKRs for second half of 2019

    Here is the list of the OKRs (objective and Key Results) that the Reps Council has set for the second half of 2019

  • Building a non-breaking breakpoint for Python debugging

    This is the story of how our team at Rookout built non-breaking breakpoints for Python and some of the lessons we learned along the way. I'll be presenting all about the nuts and bolts of debugging in Python at PyBay 2019 in San Francisco this month. Let's dig in.

  • Excellent Free Books to Learn X86 Assembly

    An assembly language is a low-level programming language for a computer, or other programmable device. Assembly language is used by almost all modern desktop and laptop computers. It is as close to writing machine code without writing in pure hexadecimal. It is converted into executable machine code by a utility program referred to as an assembler.

  • A comprehensive guide to agile project management

    With a focus on continuous improvements, agile project management upends the traditional linear way of developing products and services. Increasingly, organizations are adopting agile project management because it utilizes a series of shorter development cycles to deliver features and improve continually. This management style allows for rapid development, continuous integration (CI), and continuous delivery (CD).

    Agile project management allows cross-functional teams to work on chunks of projects, solving problems and moving projects forward in shorter phases. This enables them to iterate more quickly and deliver more frequent updates.

    The agile methodology provides a higher level of quality improvements on an incremental basis instead of waiting to distribute finished projects. And agile project management works. For example, PWC reports agile projects are 28% more successful than traditional project methodologies.

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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!