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Mozilla News: Performance, Marnie Pasciuto-Wood, Tracking Protection, CSS Grid, Firefox 59 Beta 10 Testday Today

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Moz/FF
  • Firefox Performance Update #1

    In an attempt to fill the shoes of Ehsan’s excellent Quantum Flow Newsletters1, I’ve started to keep track of interesting performance bugs that have been tackled over the past little while.

    I don’t expect I’ll be able to put together such excellent essays on performance issues in Firefox, but I can certainly try to help to raise the profile of folks helping to make Firefox faster.

  • Welcome Marnie to the Test Pilot Team!

    Late last year, the Test Pilot team welcomed a new engineering program manager, Marnie Pasciuto-Wood. In this post, Marnie talks about what it’s been like joining Mozilla and what keeps her busy and inspired outside of work.

  • A Perspective: Firefox Quantum’s Tracking Protection Gives Users The Right To Be Curious

    In the physical world, we don’t wear our ID on our foreheads. This is convenient because we can walk around with a reasonable expectation of privacy and let our curiosity take us to interesting places. That shoe store you sauntered into because they had a pair that caught your eye has no idea who you are, where you live, or anything about you. More importantly, any attempt by that shoe store to have an employee follow you around would not only be impractical, but would be met with some serious side-eye from potential customers.

  • CSS Grid for UI Layouts

    CSS Grid is a great layout tool for content-driven websites that include long passages of text, and it has tremendous value for a variety of traditional UI layouts as well. In this article I’ll show you how to use CSS Grid to improve application layouts that need to respond and adapt to user interactions and changing conditions, and always have your panels scroll properly.

  • Firefox 59 Beta 10 Testday, February 16th

    We are happy to let you know that Friday, February 16th, we are organizing Firefox 59 Beta 10 Testday. We’ll be focusing our testing on Find Toolbar and Search Suggestions.

Mozilla Development

Filed under
Development
Moz/FF
  • Feasibility of low-level GPU access on the Web

    As the talks within WebGPU community group progress, it becomes apparent that the disagreements lie in more domains than simply technical. It’s about what the Web is today, and what we want it to become tomorrow.

  • Alternatives to vertical tabs

    For the longest time I've used vertical tabs in Firefox and I still find it odd that people don't use it more. It's a simple fact that a horizontal tab strip doesn't scale too well when you get lots of tabs.

  • Asking Questions

    Will posted a great article a couple weeks ago, Giving and Receiving Help at Mozilla. I have been meaning to write a similar article for a while now. His post finally pushed me over the edge.

    Be sure to read Will's post first. The rest of this article is an addendum to his post.

Mozilla Leftovers

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Moz/FF
  • Easy Passwords is now PfP: Pain-free Passwords

    With the important 2.0 milestone I decided to give my Easy Passwords project a more meaningful name. So now it is called PfP: Pain-free Passwords and even has its own website. And that’s the only thing most people will notice, because the most important changes in this release are well-hidden: the crypto powering the extension got an important upgrade. First of all, the PBKDF2 algorithm for generating passwords was dumped in favor of scrypt which is more resistant to brute-force attacks. Also, all metadata written by PfP as well as backups are encrypted now, so that they won’t even leak information about the websites used. Both changes required much consideration and took a while to implement, but now I am way more confident about the crypto than I was back when Easy Passwords 1.0 was released. Finally, there is now an online version compiled from the same source code as the extensions and having mostly the same functionality (yes, usability isn’t really great yet, the user interface wasn’t meant for this use case).

  • Announcing the Reality Redrawn Challenge Winners!

    I’m delighted to announce the winners of Mozilla’s Reality Redrawn Challenge after my fellow judges and I received entries from around the globe. Since we issued the challenge just two months ago we have been astonished by the quality and imagination behind proposals that use mixed reality and other media to make the power of misinformation and its potential impacts visible and visceral.

    If you have tried to imagine the impact of fake news – even what it smells like – when it touches your world, I hope you will come to experience the Reality Redrawn exhibit at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. Our opening night runs from 6-9pm on May 17th and free tickets are available here. Keep an eye on Twitter @mozilla with the hashtag #RealityRedrawn for more details in the coming weeks. After opening night you can experience the exhibit in normal daily museum hours for a limited engagement of two weeks, 10am-5pm. We will be looking to bring the winning entries to life also for those who are not in the Bay Area.

  • MDN Changelog for January 2018
  • Mozilla reveals Project Things IoT open-source framework
  • Mozilla’s new Things Gateway is an open home for your smart devices
  • Mozilla launches Raspberry Pi-powered 'Project Things' to unite smart home kit
  • Mozilla releases Internet of Things gateway solution
  • Mozilla’s open gateway project can stop tech giants from controlling IoT ecosystem
  • Forging Better Tools for the Web

    2017 was a big year for Firefox DevTools. We updated and refined the UI, refactored three of the panels, squashed countless bugs, and shipped several new features. This work not only provides a faster and better DevTools experience, but lays the groundwork for some exciting new features and improvements for 2018 and beyond. We’re always striving to make tools and features that help developers build websites using the latest technologies and standards, including JavaScript frameworks and, of course, CSS Grid.

  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 220
  • L10N Report: February Edition
  • Opera 51 Released: It’s 38% Faster Than Firefox Quantum 58

    Its developers claim that the new version, based Chromium 64, is around 38% faster...

Mozilla’s IoT software for the Raspberry Pi gets major rev

Filed under
Linux
Moz/FF

Mozilla has released an improved 0.3 version of its open source, Linux-based Things Gateway software for setting up a home automation gateway on the Raspberry Pi, featuring a new rules engine and improved voice support.

In July, Mozilla announced a Project Things Internet of Things project for a decentralized open source gateway that uses standard web technologies. The software is designed to comply with the W3C’s Web of Things (WoT) standard. The project previously released an early version of a Things Gateway stack that runs on a Raspberry Pi. Now, it’s introducing a new release (v.0.3) of the gateway software, along with a tutorial to help users get started.

Read more

Mozilla Leftovers

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Moz/FF
  • These Weeks in Dev-Tools, issue 3

    These Weeks in Dev-Tools will keep you up to date with all the exciting dev tools news. We plan to have a new issue every few weeks. If you have any news you'd like us to report, please comment on the tracking issue.

  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 31
  • Understanding Extension Permission Requests

    An extension is software developed by a third party that modifies how you experience the web in Firefox. Since they work by tapping into the inner workings of Firefox, but are not built by Mozilla, it’s good practice to understand the permissions they ask for and how to make decisions about what to install. While rare, a malicious extension can do things like steal your data or track your browsing across the web without you realizing it.

    We have been taking steps to reduce the risk of extensions, the most significant of which was moving to a WebExtensions architecture with the release of Firefox 57 last fall. The new APIs limit an extension’s ability to access certain parts of the browser and the information they process. We also have a variety of security measures in place, such as a review process that is designed to make it difficult for malicious developers to publish extensions. Nevertheless, these systems cannot guarantee that extensions will be 100% safe.

  • Janitor project - Newsletter 10

    We hope you’ve had a smooth start into the year, and wish you all the best in your life and projects. This is your recurrent burst of good news about Janitor.

  • Switch from Chrome to Firefox in just a Few Minutes

    You’ve heard about how fast the new Firefox is. You’ve heard it’s made by people who want the web to be awesome for everyone. You like that, you’re curious to try, but you hesitate. Moving from Chrome to Firefox seems like work. Fussy, computer-y IT work. Ugh. ”What about all my “stuff”? I don’t want to set all this up again.”

Mozilla: Security, NASA, Brazil, Compatibility, Rust

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Moz/FF
  • Unsanitary Firefox gets fix for critical HTML-handling hijack flaw

    Mozilla has patched a nasty security bug in Firefox, affecting versions 56, 57 and 58, and their point updates.

    The CVSS-8.8-rated flaw means that if an attacker can get a user to open a malicious document or link, remote code execution becomes a possibility – allowing spyware, ransomware and other nasties to be installed and run.

  • Open by Design: How NASA Innovates to Take on the Universe, with Steven Rader

    As Mozilla rethinks how we do open, thinking strategically about how we work with contributors and others throughout the product lifecycle (and sharing some of our approaches, well, openly), we thought it would be good to take a look at how NASA engineers use open innovation as an valuable tool.

    On January 31, we'll hear from Steve Rader, the Deputy Manager for NASA's Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI). We'll learn how a large, bureaucratic organization tasked with the wildest innovation goals became more nimble and innovative by identifying and effectively working with outside collaborators, and what lessons might apply to us as we innovate in the open at Mozilla.

  • Rep of the Month – January 2018

    Cynthia is digital communications strategist and front-end developer with expertise on technical consulting, user and staff training and customer service in IT and Telecom segments. She has been a part of the Mozilla community for a long time and and her work has made a big push into Mozilla’s mission through local community efforts.

  • MDN browser compatibility data: Taking the guesswork out of web compatibility

    The most powerful aspect of the web is also what makes it so challenging to build for: its universality. When you create a website, you’re writing code that needs to be understood by a plethora of browsers on different devices and operating systems. It’s difficult.

    To make the web evolve in a sane and sustainable way for both users and developers, browser vendors work together to standardize new features, whether it’s a new HTML element, CSS property, or JavaScript API. But different vendors have different priorities, resources, and release cycles — so it’s very unlikely that a new feature will land on all the major browsers at once. As a web developer, this is something you must consider if you’re relying on a feature to build your site.

  • In Rust, ordinary vectors are values

    I’ve been thinking a lot about persistent collections lately and in particular how they relate to Rust, and I wanted to write up some of my observations.

Mozilla: Rust, Privacy and More

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Moz/FF
  • Where’s Rust headed in 2018? Ask the community.

    2017 was a big year for the Rust systems programming language. Now, members of the open source project are looking to consolidate last year’s progress – making Rust easier to learn and use – and publish the first major update to the stable 2015 Rust release.

    “We’re making Rust a much nicer place to be,” said Aaron Turon, a Rust core team member and engineering manager at Mozilla. “We’re working to create a more productive environment for programmers – especially those new to the language.”

  • The 2018 Rust Event Lineup

    Every year there are multiple Rust events around the world, bringing together the community. Despite being early in the year, we’re excited to be able to highlight several events that are already being organized!

  • This Week in Rust 219

    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.

  • Retrospective: Looking Glass

    In December, we launched a tv show tie-in with Mr. Robot, Looking Glass, that alarmed some people because we didn’t think hard enough about the implications of shipping an add on that had the potential to be both confusing and upsetting. We’re deeply sorry for this and we understand why it’s important for us to learn and grow from this experience. As mentioned last month, we conducted a post-mortem to better understand how and why this happened and how we can do better.

  • Mozilla Reps Community: Rep of the Month – December 2017
  • Mozilla Security Blog: Preventing data leaks by stripping path information in HTTP Referrers

    To help prevent third party data leakage while browsing privately, Firefox Private Browsing Mode will remove path information from referrers sent to third parties starting in Firefox 59.

Mozilla: Internet Health, Progressive Web Apps and More

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla’s Public Policy Impact on Internet Health

    Rest assured, in 2018, we will invest heavily in shaping public policy issues that contribute to and advance a healthy internet. We’ll continue our leadership on multi-year issues like privacy and security. We’ll keep fighting the critical ongoing battles like copyright reform and net neutrality. And we’re looking at emerging topics related to openness and decentralization, understanding and fighting back against the future of gatekeeper control of our internet. We also have incredible depth left to be explored on how we perceive and experience trust online, and who around the world really gets included and can take full advantages of the opportunities of the internet. Some of the policy issues we tackle will be major headlines, even more so in 2018 than they were in 2017 – issues like competition, artificial intelligence, and intermediary liability. And we will be there. Across the board, in 2018, we will engage in public policy wherever we can to promote a healthy, open, trusted internet.

  • Progressive Web Apps are here. What’s the big deal?

    The web is the largest software platform ever, a great equalizer that works on any device, anywhere. The more it can do, the better off we’ll be. That’s the thinking behind Progressive Web Apps (PWA), mobile-friendly websites that can almost everything native apps can do, and they’re coming to Firefox for Android.

  • January 2018 CA Communication

    Mozilla has sent a CA Communication to inform Certificate Authorities (CAs) who have root certificates included in Mozilla’s program about current events related to domain validation for SSL certificates and to remind them of a number of upcoming deadlines.

  • Everything you need to know about privacy may just be on Reality TV

    One of the most prevalent and frightening things that women have to deal with online is the threat of stalking and severe harassment. Having been frequent targets of abuse, online harassment and stalking for the better part of a decade, it is clear that over the past few years, the Kardashian-Jenner clan have become experts in privacy because they’ve been forced to— these women have learned the hard way that they need to be in control of information about their private lives.

  • FOSDEM, Rust, and Debugging

    I’ve recently switched groups at Mozilla to start working full-time on improving Rust debugging.

Mozilla: Firefox 59, Survey of Screen Sizes, Update About Moderators

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Moz/FF
  • Extensions in Firefox 59

    The development team behind the WebExtensions architecture is no exception, landing a slew of new API and improvements that can now be found in Firefox 59 (just released to the Beta channel).

  • Firefox 59 Beta 6 Testday, February 2nd

    We are happy to let you know that Friday, February 2nd, we are organizing Firefox 59 Beta 6 Testday.

  • How to make a chart of your users' window sizes

    In preparation for the MDN redesign I examined our analytics to get an idea of how wide our users’ browser windows were. I wanted window widths, not screen sizes and I thought a chart would tell a more compelling story than a table.

  • An Update about Moderators, Administrators, and our new team member

    Throughout the years, we have been extremely lucky to have an amazing array of great people joining us and contributing in many various ways. There has been some spam here and there, we’ve had some people getting very emotional and unhappy about various aspects of SUMO or Mozilla, but so far we have had relatively few cases that needed Administrator investigation.

    Obviously, all that luck does not mean that interpersonal conflicts on different levels do not happen right now or will not happen in the future. We acknowledge this fact and want to be prepared for such moments, as infrequent as they are. Staying a step ahead of potential problems will help us provide you with a SUMO community experience you all can enjoy and be a part of.

Browsers: Firefox on Amazon, Firefox 59, and New Chrome

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Get Firefox on your Amazon Fire TV, now with Turbo Mode

    Amazon Fire TV users! Here at Mozilla, we believe you should have the ability to watch what you want or view the web how you want. Firefox for Fire TV, our browser for discovering and watching web video on TV, is here on Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV stick. You can launch popular video websites, like YouTube or Vimeo, load any website address and search the web for videos to play full screen on your TV, all from the comfort of your couch.

  • Firefox 59 Might Ship With Working Wayland Support

    Besides Firefox 59 being the release doing away with GTK2 support, this next Mozilla web-browser release might be the one to achieve working native Wayland support.

    For seven years there has been Bug 635134 for tracking a Firefox Wayland port so the web-browser would play nicely on this next-gen alternative to the X.Org Server.

  • Google Chrome 64 Rolls Out to Desktops with Meltdown and Spectre Patches

    Google has promoted its Chrome 64 web browser to the stable channel today for Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms, finally bringing the patches for the Meltdown and Spectre timing attacks.

    Chrome 64 has been in beta phase for the past six weeks, though it's been in development since the end of October 2017. It's the first release of the web browser to ship with security fixes to address the Meltdown and Spectre timing attacks. Google has detailed these patches earlier this month.

  • Google Chrome 64 is rolling out to Windows, Mac and Linux

    Google has started to roll out the latest version of its browser, Chrome 64, to Windows, Mac and Linux devices. The update will arrive to users throughout the next few days or weeks and comes with some handy features and important mitigation related to the Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities.

  • Chrome 64 rolling out to Mac, Windows, Linux w/ CPU mitigations, improved pop-up blocker, sitewide audio muting
  • Chrome 64, GCC 7.3, Librem 5 Phone Progress and More

    Chrome 64 is now available for Linux, Mac and Windows, featuring a stronger ad blocker and several security fixes, including mitigations for Spectre and Meltdown. See the release updates for more info.

  • Google: Chrome 64 is out now, giving you tougher pop-up blocker, Spectre fixes

    Google has released Chrome 64 for Windows, Mac, and Linux, bringing a stronger pop-up blocker, over 50 security fixes, and more mitigations for the Spectre attack.

    As Google promised last year, Chrome 64 introduces a stronger pop-up block to protect against sneaky tactics that lead users to unwanted content through redirects.

    The abusive experiences that the blocker targets are practices often used by shadier sections of the web, including ads or parts of a page that create bogus site warnings and error messages, 'close' buttons that that do something other than close a page element, and play buttons that open third-party sites offering to download an app.

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KDE/Qt: Qt Contributor Summit 2018, Integrating Cloud Solutions with Qt, FreeBSD, and Konsole

  • Qt Contributor Summit 2018
    One bit especially interesting is the graphics stack. Back in Qt 5.0, Qt took the liberty of limiting the graphics stack to OpenGL, but the world has changed since: On Windows the only proper stack is Direct3D 12, Apple introduced Metal and recently deprecated OpenGL and Vulkan is coming rather strong. It looks like embracing these systems transparently will be one of the most exciting tasks to achieve. From a KDE & Plasma perspective I don’t think this is scary, OpenGL is here to stay on Linux. We will get a Framework based on a more flexible base and we can continue pushing Plasma, Wayland, Plasma Mobile with confidence that the world won’t be crumbling. And with a bit of luck, if we want some parts to use Vulkan, we’ll have it properly abstracted already.
  • Integrating Cloud Solutions with Qt
    These days, using the cloud for predictive maintenance, analytics or feature updates is a de facto standard in the automation space. Basically, any newly designed product has some server communication at its core. However, the majority of solutions in the field were designed and productized when communication technology was not at today’s level. Still, attempts are being made to attach connectivity to such solutions. The mission statement is to “cloudify” an existing solution, which uses some internal protocol or infrastructure.
  • KDE on FreeBSD – June 2018
    It’s been a while since I wrote about KDE on FreeBSD, what with Calamares and third-party software happening as well. We’re better at keeping the IRC topic up-to-date than a lot of other sources of information (e.g. the FreeBSD quarterly reports, or the f.k.o website, which I’ll just dash off and update after writing this).
  • Konsole’s search tool
    Following my konsole’s experiments from the past week I came here to show something that I’m working on with the VDG, This is the current Konsole’s Search Bar. [...] I started to fix all of those bugs and discovered that most of them happened because we had *one* search bar that was shared between every terminal view, and whenever a terminal was activated we would reposition, reparent, repaint, disconnect, reconnect the search bar. Easiest solution: Each Terminal has it’s own search bar. Setuped only once. The one bug I did not fix was the Opening / Closing one as the searchbar is inside of a layout and layouts would reposition things anyway. All of the above bugs got squashed by just moving it to TerminalDisplay, and the code got also much cleaner as there’s no need to manual intervention in many cases. On the review Kurt – the Konsole maintainer – asked me if I could try to make the Search prettier and as an overlay on top of the Terminal so it would not reposition things when being displayed.

LibreOffice 6.0 Is Now Ready for Mainstream Users and Enterprise Deployments

LibreOffice 6.0.5 is here one and a half months after the LibreOffice 6.0.4 point release to mark the open-source office suite as ready for mainstream users and enterprise deployments. The Document Foundation considers that LibreOffice 6.0 has been tested thoroughly and that it's now ready for use in production, enterprise environments. Until now, The Document Foundation only recommended the LibreOffice 6.0 office suite to bleeding-edge users while urging enterprises and mainstream users to use the well-tested LibreOffice LibreOffice 5.4 series, which reached end of life on June 11, 2018, with the last point release, LibreOffice 5.4.7. Read more

LibreOffice 6.0 Is Now Ready for Mainstream Users and Enterprise Deployments

The Document Foundation informed Softpedia today about the general availability of the fifth point release of the LibreOffice 6.0 open-source and cross-platform office suite for all supported operating systems. LibreOffice 6.0.5 is here one and a half months after the LibreOffice 6.0.4 point release to mark the open-source office suite as ready for mainstream users and enterprise deployments. The Document Foundation considers that LibreOffice 6.0 has been tested thoroughly and that it's now ready for use in production, enterprise environments. Read more Direct: The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 6.0.5