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Mozilla News

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  • Exciting Improvements Delivered Today in Firefox for Desktop and Android

    Today we’re proud to announce the initial rollout of multi-process Firefox for Desktop to our general audience. With this, we’re taking a major step forward in improving Firefox for Desktop. Users should experience a Firefox that is less susceptible to freezing and is generally more responsive to input, while retaining the experience and features that users love.

    In Firefox 48, we aim to slowly enable multi-process Firefox (also known as Electrolysis or e10s) for release users, starting with one percent and ramping up to nearly half the Firefox Release if things go as expected. e10s promises to offer a major improvement to your browsing experience by separating Web content and Firefox UI processes. This means when a web page is consuming a large part of your computer’s processing power, your tabs, buttons and menus won’t lock up. Wondering if your Firefox instance has enabled e10s? Type “about:support” into the URL bar. If e10s is active, you’ll see “1/1 (Enabled by default)” under the Multiprocess Windows line item.

  • Announcing the Second Cohort of Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows

    That’s why Ford Foundation and Mozilla launched the Open Web Fellows program two years ago: To empower a network of leaders capable of defending the open web. The Open Web Fellows program places bright technologists and activists on the front lines of the open internet movement. Last year, Ford and Mozilla placed six fellows at leading NGOs like Amnesty International and the ACLU, where they used their tech savvy to fight for issues like freedom of expression and gender equality online.

Future of Mozilla

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  • Servo Is Planning For More GPU-Accelerated WebRender Improvements

    As mentioned in today's This Week in Servo newsletter, their Q3 roadmap plans have been published.

    Among the work to be tackled by Mozilla developers working on the next-generation Servo layout engine this quarter includes finishing the development of WebRender, experiments around WebRender 2, Stylo as the sryle system in Gecko integration work, and continuing with the Servo nightly builds support. There's also work around Promise API, Autolander migration, Android work, auto-updating, JavaScript error reporting, Web Font loading, performance improvements, correcting more layout bugs, etc. You can see the current road-map via this GitHub page.

  • What Happens to Mozilla and its Deal with Yahoo?

    In late 2014, many observers were flummoxed to see that Yahoo and Mozilla had announced a "strategic five-year partnership" agreement which would make Yahoo the primary search option for Firefox. Mozilla was up for renewal negotiations for its deal with Google, which had historically subsidized more than 90 percent of Mozilla's revenues, to the tune of more than $300 million per year at times. In return, for lots of money, Google got primary search placement in the Firefox browser over the years.

    Last week, though, Verizon,announced its intention to purchase Yahoo for $4.8 billion. What are the implications for Mozilla and its deal? Here are the details.

Firefox vs. Flash

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  • Firefox to start blocking Flash content in August

    In Firefox 48, Mozilla will enable a new Firefox plug-in blocklist by default. Initially the blocklist will be small, mostly containing URLs of Flash SWF files that have been identified by Mozilla as supercookies (i.e. cookies that are very hard to shake off) or fingerprinting files (i.e. they scan your system and create a unique fingerprint, again usually for tracking purposes).

  • Firefox sets kill-Flash schedule

    Mozilla yesterday said it will follow other browser markers by curtailing use of Flash in Firefox next month.

    The open-source developer added that in 2017 it will dramatically expand the anti-Flash restrictions: Firefox will require users to explicitly approve the use of Flash for any reason by any website.

    As have its rivals, Mozilla cast the limitations (this year) and elimination (next year) as victories for Firefox users, citing improved security, longer battery life on laptops and faster web page rendering.

Mozilla News

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  • Firefox is latest browser to kill off Adobe Flash support

    MOZILLA HAS become the latest browser company to turn off the ageing Adobe Flash plug-in.

    The Firefox browser will turn off "not essential" Flash content by default starting in August, but sites that require the plug-in for heritage functionality will be excepted.

    "These and future changes will bring Firefox users enhanced security, improved battery life, faster page load and better browser responsiveness," said Mozilla in a blog post.

  • Mozilla’s Dave Herman on Building an Open Source Research Lab

    Listen to a very interesting talk by Dave Herman, Director of Strategy at Mozilla Research, explaining how research and practice can better talk to each other. Among other things, Dave is the author of the popular book “Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript.”

    His thesis for this talk is: “An open research lab is a research group that engages directly with the market and works via open collaboration to close the feedback loop between ideas and practice.”

Rust Spreading

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  • Fedora 25 Planning For Proper Rust Support

    There are some new feature proposals to talk about for Fedora 25, which will be officially released around November.

    The latest self-contained change that is proposed for Fedora 25 is Rust compiler support. In particular, the hope is to package up the LLVM-based Rust compiler and its Cargo build system and offer them via the main Fedora repository. The current plan is for packaging Rust 1.10 and Cargo 0.11.

  • Mozilla Will Begin “Rusting” Of Its Firefox Browser On August 2

    Mozilla is all set to launch multi-processing functionality in the new update. The new version–Firefox 48–is scheduled for a release on August 2. Firefox 48 will have some of its components coded in Rust, a programming language developed by Mozilla.

Shipping Rust in Firefox

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  • Shipping Rust in Firefox

    It’s hard to believe it’s been almost seven years since Mozilla Research first began sponsoring the development of Rust, at the time little more than an ambitious research experiment with a small but devoted community. Remarkably, despite a long history of inventions and discoveries, Rust’s key principles have remained constant. The Rust core team’s original vision—a safe alternative to C++ to make systems programmers more productive, mission-critical software less prone to memory exploits, and parallel algorithms more tractable—has been central to Mozilla’s interest in backing the Rust project and, ultimately, using Rust in production.

  • Firefox 48 Will Take The First Rust Code Into Production

    Mozilla will be taking their first Rust programming language code into production with Firefox 48.

    Beyond the Servo/Browser.html tech preview that's now shipping nightly, another goal of Mozilla developers for 2016 has been to ship at least one Servo/Rust component within the Gecko engine / Firefox. With Firefox 48, they are stepping along on that crusade with shipping their first Rust production code.

Mozilla News (Rust, Yahoo)

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  • Announcing Rust 1.10

    The Rust team is happy to announce the latest version of Rust, 1.10. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

  • Rust 1.10 Programming Language Update

    Version 1.10 of the Rust programming language is now available.

    Rust 1.10 brings the -C panic=abort flag as their most-requested feature for yielding 10% smaller binaries and about 10% faster compilation time. Rust 1.10 also brings the new cdylib crate type for compiling Rust as a dynamic library to be embedded in another language. Rust 1.10 also has build system changes to allow it to be built with Rust 1.9 and that trend will continue to be supported for future releases.

  • Buyer beware: Mozilla deal demands up to $1 billion after Yahoo’s sale, Recode says

    According to a contract seen by Recode, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer struck a deal with Mozilla in 2014 specifying annual payments of $375 million to the browser creator in exchange for Yahoo's search engine appearing in the default position on Firefox. That $375 million price tag will be paid out every year until 2019 one way or another—even if Mozilla doesn’t like the company that buys Yahoo and decides to walk away.

    Of course, if Mozilla decides it likes whichever company buys the embattled search giant, then payments continue as before and the new owner of Yahoo’s search engine retains the default position on the browser.

Web Browsers

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  • WebVR Shell: Google Is Making Every Website On The Web Viewable In VR

    Boosting its efforts in the virtual reality technology, Google has brought the WebVR APIs to its Chrome web browser. In near future, one should expect a richer web full of VR-enabled websites that a person can explore using a VR headset.

  • Context Graph: It’s time to bring context back to the web

    The largest button on a modern browser is the back button. Trips to the web are short. Enter a search, get a result, click back, then try again. This feels backwards (forgive the pun!). What if there was a better forward button? One that helps you understand a topic better or find alternative solutions to a problem you’re solving? What if web browsers were immediately useful instead of demanding input when you launched them? Browsers could do so much more, through a better understanding of your behavior and by using the experience of people at human-scale to give you content that enriches your life, regardless of whom you know or where you live.

  • Mozilla Is Looking To Build A Recommendation System: Context Graph

    If Mozilla didn't already have their hands full with enough projects, the latest they are looking to engage in is a recommendation system to potentially upset the likes of Facebook and Google when it comes to looking for similar sites/resources.

  • This Coder Shows How To Play Games Inside A PDF File

    A GitHub user named Omar Rizwan has found a way to put games in PDF files. He even coded his own game after taking help from a tutorial. Rizwan has put the details of this Horrifying PDF Experiments on his repository.

Servo Nightly for GNU/Linux

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Servo Night Builds Begin, Linux Packages Coming

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The Mozilla developers working on the Servo browser layout engine and the Browser.html HTML-based web UI have kept to their goal of making a tech preview available in June.

As of last night, the Servo developers hit their tech preview milestone we've been looking forward to seeing for months. Nightly builds of Servo and Browser.html have begun and they are going to be making available Linux packages shortly.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Acer updates Chromebook 15 with 12-hour battery life -- $199 exclusively at Walmart
    Chromebooks are not for everyone, but for many home users, it is absolute perfection. If you live in the web browser -- as many people do nowadays -- laptops running Google's Linux-based Chrome OS are a godsend because they are maintenance free. No need for confusing OS upgrades or anti-virus software. It just works, and it works well. Since they can now run Android apps too, they could become a serious threat to Microsoft and Windows 10. One of the most attractive aspects of Chromebooks is price -- they are often quite affordable. Today, Acer refreshes its 15.6 inch Chromebook 15 with a mind-boggling 12 hours of battery life. Best of all? It starts at $199. Yes, this model will get Android app support in a future update too.
  • Of Life, Linux and Karma Angels
    Angel filed appeal after appeal only to be denied on every attempt. Texas is an "at will" employment state so being terminated for cause can mean anything. Over the next few weeks, Angel became more and more fearful of losing her house, as she had just purchased it a year before. On top of that, her HP desktop had taken a nose dive into severe brokeness and that made it extra difficult for her to look for work. I put together a decent desktop for her and installed it that day, and was a Linux computer. Angel didn't have even the slightest problem with the new machine, and she wasn't particularly good at using one. So, let's put another slash in the falsehood that Linux is too hard for the everyday user. Most of them anyway. YMMV. To her glee, the OS picked up and configured her Epson all in one without her lifting a finger to do so. She almost clapped for happiness, stating that in Windows, installing that printer had been a nightmare, even with the included driver CD. And just to pinpoint the time frame for you, it was the summer of 2006.
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided to launch on Linux in November, Mac version delayed
    Feral Entertainment has announced that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will be launching on Linux in November. Feral Interactive is currently working on the Linux port of the game. In September the game development studio announced that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided would make its way to two additional platforms: Linux and Mac. The Linux version of the game will most likely make use of OpenGL or Vulkan to power its graphics engine.
  • Mad Max: It Came From The Desert to Linux
    First of all, let me get one thing straight out of the way, so you know where I come from. I did not like the recent Mad Max movie. Like, not at all. Not that I mind the post apocalyptic theme. I used to like the older Mad Max’s just fine (probably the first one the best). The new one…meh. The Max character had virtually no back story (as thin as a sheet of paper) and he was just acting like a crazy person from beginning to end. The story’s premise was boring and just an excuse for endless and not so impressive action scenes. So there was nothing redeeming it. I know this is not the mainstream opinion of the movie (everyone apparently thought it was the best thing ever since sliced bread) so I can only attribute this phenomenon to either mass hysteria or simply a clear decrease in movie expectations. The Force Awakens‘ success, despite being a mediocre movie and certainly underwhelming compared to the original trilogy, certainly echoes the same trend. I guess you cannot beat nostalgia. Just tag a Millennium Falcon on and you get a free ride no matter how incoherent the story or the characters are.
  • Budgie Remix 16.10 Overview
  • I Switched To OpenSuse Tumbleweed :)
  • 50-day Moving Average Of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) At $76.67
  • Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT) – Is this large market cap stock undervalued?
  • Fedora 25 new features, Perl removed from Build Root
    Fedora is the fast-paced bleeding-edge distribution of Red Hat. Fedora 25 is the second release of 2016 the other being Fedora 24. Let’s discover what lies in the future of this popular Linux distribution especially among developers.
  • "dnf update" considered harmful
    Updating a Linux distribution has historically been done from the command line (using tools like Debian's apt-get, openSUSE's zypper, or Fedora's yum—or its successor dnf). A series of crashes during system updates on Fedora 24 led Adam Williamson to post a note to fedora-devel and other mailing lists warning people away from running "dnf update" within desktop environments. It turns out that doing so has never truly been supported—though it works the vast majority of the time. The discussion around Williamson's note, however, makes it clear that the command is commonly run that way and that at least some users are quite surprised (and unhappy) that it isn't a supported option.
  • Supporting UEFI secure boot in Debian
    The Debian project can be accused of many things, but jumping too quickly on leading-edge technology is not one of them. That can be seen in, among other things, the fact that there is still not a version of the distribution that supports the UEFI secure boot mechanism. But, as Ben Hutchings explained during his 2016 Kernel Recipes talk, such support is in the works, and it will be implemented in a uniquely Debian-like manner.
  • The Lenovo Yoga Book Is the Future of Laptops, But It's Missing an Operating System
    For this review I spent a week with the Android version of Lenovo’s slick new backflipping laptop. Guts-wise it’s identical to the Windows 10 variant. They both feature Intel Atom x5-Z8550 processors, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of on-device storage, and 1920 x 1200 resolution displays. The Android version starts at $500 and the Windows version starts at $550.
  • Another Broken Nexus 5
    In late 2013 I bought a Nexus 5 for my wife [1]. It’s a good phone and I generally have no complaints about the way it works. In the middle of 2016 I had to make a warranty claim when the original Nexus 5 stopped working [2]. Google’s warranty support was ok, the call-back was good but unfortunately there was some confusion which delayed replacement. Once the confusion about the IMEI was resolved the warranty replacement method was to bill my credit card for a replacement phone and reverse the charge if/when they got the original phone back and found it to have a defect covered by warranty. This policy meant that I got a new phone sooner as they didn’t need to get the old phone first. This is a huge benefit for defects that don’t make the phone unusable as you will never be without a phone. Also if the user determines that the breakage was their fault they can just refrain from sending in the old phone.

Key financial blockchain technology is open sourced

Kernel Space/Linux

  • Linux 4.9's Efficient BPF-based Profiler
    Linux 4.9 skips needing the file entirely, and its associated overheads. I wrote about this as a missing BPF feature in March. It is now done.
  • UBIFS Working On File Encryption Support
    Following EXT4 file-system encryption and F2FS per-file encryption support, the UBIFS file-system is also bringing in encryption support built off this fscrypto framework used by EXT4/F2FS. In making use of fscrypto, the UBIFS file-system encryption support is similar to the EXT4/F2FS implementations and supports not only encrypting the file contents but also the file name. In making use of this framework, it only took around one thousand lines of new code to make it happen from the kernel-side while the user-space changes for supporting UBIFS encryption are still baking. UBIFS for those out of the look is the Unsorted Block Image File-System that's built atop UBI and designed for raw flash memory media.
  • An important set of stable kernel updates
  • Linux Kernels 3.16.38, 3.12.66, 3.10.104, and 3.2.83 Patched Against "Dirty COW"
    We reported the other day that an ancient bug, which existed in the Linux kernel since 2005, was patched in several recent updates, namely Linux kernel 4.8.3, Linux kernel 4.7.9, and Linux kernel 4.4.26 LTS. One day later, the maintainers of other supported Linux kernel branches patched the bug, which is dubbed by researchers as "Dirty COW" and documented as CVE-2016-5195. As such, today we'd like to inform those of running GNU/Linux distributions powered by kernels from the Linux 3.16, 3.12, 3.10, and 3.2 series that new updates are available for their systems.
  • Linux users warned over serious vulnerability affecting many versions
  • MuQSS - The Multiple Queue Skiplist Scheduler v0.112
    It's getting close now to the point where it can replace BFS in -ck releases. Thanks to the many people testing and reporting back, some other misbehaviours were discovered and their associated fixes have been committed.
  • Linux Raid mdadm md0
    Linux Raid is the de-facto way for decades in the linux-world on how to create and use a software raid. RAID stands for: Redundant Array of Independent Disks. Some people use the I for inexpensive disks, I guess that works too!
  • On Linux kernel maintainer scalability
    LWN's traditional development statistics article for the 4.6 development cycle ended with a statement that the process was running smoothly and that there were no process scalability issues in sight. Wolfram Sang started his 2016 LinuxCon Europe talk by taking issue with that claim. He thinks that there are indeed scalability problems in the kernel's development process. A look at his argument is of interest, especially when contrasted with another recent talk on maintainer scalability.
  • First comparison of Vulkan API vs OpenGL ES API on ARM
  • Prime Indicator Plus Makes It Easy To Switch Between Nvidia And Intel Graphics (Nvidia Optimus)
    The original Prime Indicator hasn't been updated since February, 2015. André Brait forked the indicator (while also using code from the Linux Mint version), improving it with both new functionality and bug fixes, and the new app is called Prime Indicator Plus. Using the nvidia-prime package, Ubuntu users can switch between Intel and Nvidia graphics by using Nvidia Settings (under PRIME Profiles), which then requires restarting the session (logout/login) to apply the changes. Prime Indicator makes this easier, by allowing you to switch graphics from the indicator menu, including triggering the logout.
  • Features You Will Not Find In The Mesa 13.0 Release
    While Mesa 13.0 is coming along for release next month with exciting features like OpenGL 4.5 for Intel, unofficial GL 4.4/4.5 for RadeonSI/NVC0, and the addition of the RADV Radeon Vulkan driver, there is some functionality that sadly won't be found in this release. Below are some features/functionality not currently found in Mesa 13.0. Some of the mentioned items have patches floating on the mailing list that weren't merged in time while other items are more along the lines of pipe-dreams that would have been fun to see in Mesa for 2016.
  • Crucial MX300: Good Linux Performance, 525GB SSD For Only $120 USD

Leftovers: Software

  • i2pd 2.10 released
    i2pd (I2P Daemon) is a full-featured C++ implementation of I2P client. I2P (Invisible Internet Protocol) is a universal anonymous network layer. All communications over I2P are anonymous and end-to-end encrypted, participants don't reveal their real IP addresses. I2P client is a software used for building and using anonymous I2P networks. Such networks are commonly used for anonymous peer-to-peer applications (filesharing, cryptocurrencies) and anonymous client-server applications (websites, instant messengers, chat-servers). I2P allows people from all around the world to communicate and share information without restrictions.
  • Pixeluvo Review | Photo Editor for Linux & Windows
    A review of Pixeluvo, a great photo editor available on Linux and Windows. Pixeluvo is not free or open source.
  • Blit, A Retrospective On My Largest Project Ever
    I’ve always been someone who’s liked art and programming. Especially combining the two. One of my favorite genres is pixel art, or sprites as they are also known. I’ve dabbled in making a few other art programs before, but nothing like this. Originally Blit supposed to be only a sprite animation tool that had a modern look and feel, but my ideas for it grew greater (*sigh* feature creep). There are many other sprinting tools out there like GrafX2, Aseprite, (and other 2D animation programs like TVPaint). I’m not saying that it’s wrong that they make their own GUI toolkit, but it feels kind of odd. I really wanted to bring these types of programs out of the days of the Amiga. After doing some initial research, I settled on using Qt.
  • An alert on the upcoming 7.51.0 release
    In two weeks time, on Wednesday November 2nd, we will release curl and libcurl 7.51.0 unless something earth shattering happens.
  • Desktop Gmail Client `WMail` 2.0.0 Stable Released
    WMail is a free, open source desktop client for Gmail and Google Inbox, available for Linux, Windows, and Mac.
  • SpaceView: Ubuntu File System Usage Indicator
  • FunYahoo++: New Yahoo Messenger Plugin For Pidgin / libpurple [PPA]
    Yahoo retired its old Messenger protocol in favor of a new one, breaking compatibility with third-party applications, such as Pidgin, Empathy, and so on. Eion Robb, the SkypeWeb and Hangouts developer, has created a replacement Yahoo prpl plugin, called FunYahoo++, that works with the new Yahoo Messenger protocol. Note that I tested the plugin with Pidgin, but it should work with other instant messaging applications that support libpurple, like BitlBee or Empathy.
  • GCC Lands Loop Splitting Optimization
    The latest GCC 7 development code has an optimization pass now for loop splitting.
  • GCC 7 To End Feature Development Next Month
    Friday's GCC 7 status report indicates the feature freeze is coming up in just a few weeks. Red Hat developer Jakub Jelinek wrote in the latest status report, "Trunk which will eventually become GCC 7 is still in Stage 1 but its end is near and we are planning to transition into Stage 3 starting Nov 13th end of day time zone of your choice. This means it is time to get things you want to have in GCC 7 finalized and reviewed. As usual there may be exceptions to late reviewed features but don't count on that. Likewise target specific features can sneak in during Stage 3 if maintainers ok them."
  • GNU Parallel 20161022 ('Matthew') released [stable]
    GNU Parallel 20161022 ('Matthew') [stable] has been released. It is available for download at: No new functionality was introduced so this is a good candidate for a stable release.
  • GNU Health 3.0.4 patchset released
    GNU Health 3.0.4 patchset has been released !
  • guile-ncurses 2.0 released
    I am pleased to announce the release of guile-ncurses 2.0 guile-ncurses is a library for the creation of text user interfaces in the GNU Guile dialect of the Scheme programming language. It is a wrapper to the ncurses TUI library. It contains some basic text display and keyboard and mouse input functionality, as well as a menu widget and a form widget. It also has lower level terminfo and termios functionality.
  • Unifont 9.0.03 Released
    Unifont 9.0.03 is released. The main changes are the addition of the Pikto and Tonal ConScript Unicode Registry scripts.
  • PATHspider 1.0.0 released!
    In today’s Internet we see an increasing deployment of middleboxes. While middleboxes provide in-network functionality that is necessary to keep networks manageable and economically viable, any packet mangling — whether essential for the needed functionality or accidental as an unwanted side effect — makes it more and more difficult to deploy new protocols or extensions of existing protocols. For the evolution of the protocol stack, it is important to know which network impairments exist and potentially need to be worked around. While classical network measurement tools are often focused on absolute performance values, PATHspider performs A/B testing between two different protocols or different protocol extensions to perform controlled experiments of protocol-dependent connectivity problems as well as differential treatment.
  • The Domain Name System