Open Source

Note: While this post mostly pertains to Mozilla’s other project, Thunderbird I still felt it was important to post this here as to remind people that while Thunderbird is very different from Firefox, they are still both ‘interconnected’ within the Mozilla Foundation in regards to technical resources. Mitchel Baker, Chair of the Mozilla Foundation has posted an update on her blog about Thunderbird. She assures us that Mozilla is not ‘dropping’ Thunderbird. But, at the same time it is no longer effective for Thunderbird and Firefox to share the same technical infrastructure. Firefox and Thunderbird have diverging needs. Firefox needs to move at the speed…

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In many ways I hope I am wrong about this. Firefox is still a good browser (compared to Internet Explorer at least), but the Mozilla Developers continue to be indifferent towards the users. They have also deviated away from the original goals of keeping Firefox as small and lean as possible. In 2014, Firefox saw a drop in user base when the dramatic (and unwanted) user interface change known as Australia’s landed. Though most, if not all the changes made by this could be undone with The Classic Theme Restorer (CTR) add-on. Fastforward a year later and Mozilla Developers are still doing…

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HTML5 Firefox Plugins

With all the talk recently about the exploits in Flash and Java, users are taking a closer look at their Firefox plugins. A couple plugins users may come across that look a little odd are the ones which provide HTML5 support in Firefox. Now remember, HTML5 Video is suppose to someday replace Adobe’s Flash (for the most part YouTube has been using HTML5 since early this year) and Microsoft’s Silverlight (no longer supported, but still used). These plugins are: Open H.264 Video Codec provided by Cisco Systems – shipped starting with Firefox 33 and allows playing of H.264 encoded content natively via…

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Mozilla gags, but supports video copy protection in Firefox 38

“… Mozilla first announced it would adopt DRM in May 2014, when the head of the Mozilla Foundation, Mitchell Baker, acknowledged that copy protection ‘goes against Mozilla’s fundamental approach,’ but said that it had no choice but to hold its nose.” ‘We’ve contemplated not implementing the new iteration of DRM due to its flaws,’ Baker wrote in a May 14, 2014 blog post. But ‘a browser that doesn’t enable video would itself be deeply flawed as a consumer product.’ …” Source: Computerworld More 

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More about Extension Signing

Back in February we mentioned Extension Signing Coming Later in 2015. Recently the Mozilla Add-ons Blog posted a follow up The Case for Extension Signing. There is a lot of interesting information in this article, including this very shocking statistic which puts into prospective just how badly broken the current Mozilla Firefox add-on system is: The Web experienced by tech-savvy developers, however, is not the Web experienced by most people. While only fourteen add-ons hosted on our addons.mozilla.org site have more than a million users, and only two of those have more than 3 million, many tens of millions of users have non-hosted…

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iCups

You won’t be able to run Firefox on these, not that you can on the iPhone. For those hoping that may be things would change with the upcoming iPhone 6, they are not. From Mozilla Support: “Apple’s restrictions prevent us from bringing the current version of Firefox to iOS devices…”. What it comes down to is Apple telling Mozilla they must use the Apple web engine (WebKit) in order to have a Firefox app on iOS. Simply put Apple is telling Mozilla you can have a Firefox app on iOS, but really it is going to be mobile Safari dressed up to look like…

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Mozilla has had the Firefox OS on smartphones for a while now. Next up is tablets. Mozilla’s own Asa Dotzier, director of Firefox OS, has now provided the hardware specs of the Foxconn-made reference Firefox OS tablet. It’s very similar to the Infocus nFocus New Tab F1, which sells for around $400 USD. The tablet sports a 10.1-inch IPS multi-touch screen with a 1280 x 800 resolution that is backed by a quad-core Allwinner A31 chip clocked at 1 GHz, PowerVR SGX544MP2 graphics, and 2 GB of DDR3 memory. Other features include 16 GB of internal memory, a 2MP camera…

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However, they are not for consumers. These Firefox OS (formerly Boot to Gecko) phones are being made by a Spanish company GeekPhone for the purpose of allowing developers to create apps for the new platform. Currently there are two phones the Keon and Peak which both house 4 GB of ROM, 512 MB of RAM, a MicroSD slot, 802.11n wireless networking, light and proximity sensors, GPS, an accelerometer, as well as a camera flash. The lower end Keon has a 1GHz Qualcom Snapdragon S1 processor, 3.5-inch screen, 1,580mAh battery and a 3-megapixel camera. While the higher end Peak has a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon…

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Mozilla Engineering Manager Benjamin Smedberg had started a discussion on Google Groups about ceasing development of Windows 64-Bit builds last Friday (November 23rd). This had been purposed as well back in March of this year. Shortly before Mozilla’s Thanksgiving recess on Wednesday, Smedberg announced: Thank you to everyone who participated in this thread. Given the existing information, I have decided to proceed with disabling windows 64-bit nightly and hourly builds. Please let us consider this discussion closed unless there is critical new information which needs to be presented. The reasons for ending the development of the Windows 64-Bit builds were many but…

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I have learned a couple more thing about Waterfox and the AVG Security Toolbar. In regards to Waterfox, according to a source from the Firefox Builds forum, the Waterfox developer did partner with AVG due to the high cost of bandwidth associated with the downloads from Source Forge. Again, it is important to understand that my outrage was not that the developer choose to bundle the AVG Security Toolbar with Waterfox as the user does get the option (though not easily) to not install the toolbar. The issue I have is that when you use Waterfox’s uninstaller, it takes it…

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