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February 24 2014

February 23 2014

February 21 2014

February 18 2014

February 17 2014

February 14 2014

Shutting down things asynchronously

This blog entry is part of the Making Firefox Feel As Fast As Its Benchmarks series. The fourth entry of the series was growing much too long for a single blog post, so I have decided to cut it into bite-size entries. A long time ago, Firefox was completely synchronous. One operation started, then finished, […]

February 12 2014

Will Firefox Really Have Ads?

There has been a lot of sensational writing by a number of media outlets over the last 24 hours in reaction to a post by Darren Herman who is VP of Content Services. Lots of people have been asking me whether there will be ads in Firefox and pointing out these articles that have sprung […]

February 11 2014

Firefox Automation report – week 1/2 2014

I promised to keep up with our updates over the last week but given a major breakage in the freshly released version of Mozmill 2.0.4, I had a full week of work to get the fix out. I promise that during this week I will write reports for the weeks in January. Highlights With the […]

February 10 2014

What documentation belongs on MDN?

On Friday, I blogged about how to go about ensuring that material that needs to be documented on the Mozilla Developer Network site gets taken care of. Today, I’m going to go over how you can tell if something should be documented on MDN. Believe it or not, it’s not really that hard to figure [...]

Updated Console Keyboard Shortcuts in Firefox

“keyboard” by Mark Lane on Flickr Cmd-Alt-K on OS X or Ctrl-Shift-K on Linux or Windows will now always focus the console input line. It will no longer close the entire toolbox and you’ll have to use one of the … Continue reading →

February 07 2014

Getting on the developer documentation team’s radar

If you’re a contributor to the Firefox project—or even a casual reader of the Mozilla Developer Network documentation content—you will almost certainly at times come upon something that needs to be documented. Maybe you’re reading the site and discover that what you’re looking for simply isn’t available on MDN. Or maybe you’re implementing an entire [...]

February 05 2014

Keeping select cookies

Issues with cookies: A lot of websites set cookies to do things that you may not like. A lot of websites set cookies to provide a convenience, like keeping you logged in across sessions. Some websites require cookies in order…

Is my data on the disk? Safety properties of OS.File.writeAtomic

If you have been writing front-end or add-on code recently, chances are that you have been using library OS.File and, in particular, OS.File.writeAtomic to write files. (Note: If you have been writing files without using OS.File.writeAtomic, chances are that you are doing something wrong that will cause Firefox to jank – please don’t.) As the […]

February 04 2014

WIP: Home Page Customization in Firefox for Android

In Firefox 26, we released a completely revamped version of the Firefox for Android Home screen, creating a centralized place to find all of your stuff. While this is certainly awesome, we’ve been working to make this new home screen customizable and extensible. Our goal is to give users control of what they see on their home screen, including interesting new content provided by add-ons. For the past two months, we’ve been making steady progress laying the ground work for this feature, but last week the team got together in San Francisco to bring all the pieces together for the first time.

Firefox for Android has a native Java UI that’s partially driven by JavaScript logic behind the scenes. To allow JavaScript add-ons to make their own home page panels, we came up with two sets of APIs for storing and displaying data:

  • HomeProvider.jsm holds basic data storage APIs, which allow add-ons to save data to specific datasets.
  • Home.jsm contains new APIs to add new panels to the home page, including specifying which kinds of views to make in these panels, and which datasets should back those views.

During the first half of our hack week, we agreed on a working first version of these APIs, and we hooked up our native Java UI to HomeProvider data stored from JS. After that, we started to dig into the bugs necessary to flesh out a first version of this feature.

  • Chenxia recently landed a new page in settings to allow users to manage their home panels, and she has been working on a patch to allow them to install new panels from this settings page (bug 942878).
  • Lucas has been working on a patch series to allow add-ons to auto-install new panels to about:home (bug 964375). He also has patches to add images to dynamic views using the Picasso image loading library (bug 963046).
  • Sola (one of our awesome interns), added support for a galley view layout in dynamic panels (bug 942889).
  • Josh (our other awesome intern), is working to support folder views in dynamic panels, similar to our built-in bookmarks panel (bug 942295), and he also added support for handling clicks on these dynamic views (bug 963721).
  • Michael has been working on an RSS add-on to demo (and dogfood) these new APIs.
  • I’ve also started exploring how add-ons will authenticate users (bug 942281), as well as ways to help them sync data in a battery/storage/network-friendly way (bug 964447).

Many of these patches are still waiting to land, so unfortunately there’s nothing to show in Nightly yet. But stay tuned, exciting things are coming soon!

February 02 2014

What have I been working on? (2014/01)

January is over, what have I done with it? Well, to start with I’ve been working with the fantastic people from Firefox DevTools. We’re preparing a new feature for the App Manager and I’m really thrilled to be a part of this. I’m not going to disclose what it is yet until I have something […]

January 29 2014

New version of Firefox complete with the Social API

Today we are shipping a new version of Firefox complete with the Social API and a preview of our first integration with Facebook. The uptake during Beta was great and we got lots of feedback.  We will be staging our promotion and marketing as we monitor adoption from our GA users and watch their feedback.  You will see progressively more marketing activity over the coming months. We are also working with other providers, and will have multi-provider support in Firefox soon.

Getting this far has been a great team effort.  Adding another open API to our platform, which will allow many players to innovate, is exciting.  If you are like me, your behavior in the browser has evolved over the last few years - we spend a lot more time on certain tabs than we use to.  Pinned tabs was a first expression of this.  The Social API takes this a step further, and allows high usage sites to put relevant information closer to your fingertips.  I hope we see email, news, and finance services implemented this way as well.  Of course, as we get more partners, the requirements on the API will change, and the product will evolve.

Thanks to all the teams for the efforts in getting this feature to launch; it has been a great cross-group effort.  We have a lot more work to do to make it successful, and will be working closely with our partners as they roll out services on the API.  Having the API in Firefox is a great start, but the real success will come from services our users find truly compelling; the Facebook Messenger integration is excellent, and puts us on the right path.

You can check out the announcement on the Mozilla blog here.

Congratulations team!

Firefox 17 launches with click-to-play plugin blocks for old AdobeReader, Flash, and Silverlight

The biggest addition in this release, in my opinion, is click-to-play plugins, announced back in October. In short, the addition means Mozilla will now prompt Firefox users on Windows with old versions of Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Microsoft Silverlight (more will be added eventually).

Mozilla is essentially merging together the idea of click-to-play plugins (don’t load plugins until they’re clicked) with the concept of a blocklist (a list of addons and plugins that are disabled). As such, click-to-play blocklisted plugins consist of a list of plugins that Mozilla deems unsafe for its Firefox users. Instead of completely disabling what’s on the list, however, the company will prevent them from running when the page loads: you’ll have to click first.

Here’s how the feature looks:

The prompt tells you that the plugin is vulnerable and thus Firefox has stopped it from loading automatically. If there is an update available, you will be prompted to update the plugin, but you will still also be able to use it, if you want to, by clicking on the blocked grey box.

Additionally, if plugins are blocked on the currently-viewed Web page, Mozilla will feature a blue icon to the left of the address bar for more information. Here’s how the menu looks when opened up:

Although this feature is enabled by default, you can set it to work for all plugins, not just old ones, in the about:config preference “plugins.click_to_play” (set to true). While this is not an all-purpose plugin management system, it should still be useful as a prevention mechanism against drive-by attacks (such as urging users to click on a video link that is almost never what it claims to be or hiding in ads on a legitimate website) targeting plugins that are known to be vulnerable.

There are of course other Firefox 17 features worth noting; here’s the
official changelog:

  • NEW: Click-to-play blocklisting implemented to prevent vulnerable plugin versions from running without the user’s permission.

  • CHANGED: Updated Awesome Bar experience with larger icons.

  • CHANGED: Mac OS X 10.5 is no longer supported.

  • DEVELOPER: JavaScript Maps and Sets are now iterable.

  • DEVELOPER: SVG FillPaint and StrokePaint implemented.

  • DEVELOPER: Improvements that make the Web Console, Debugger and Developer Toolbar faster and easier to use.

  • DEVELOPER: New Markup panel in the Page Inspector allows easy editing of the DOM.

  • HTML5: Sandbox attribute for iframes implemented, enabling increased security.

  • FIXED: Over twenty performance improvements, including fixes around the New Tab page.

  • FIXED: Pointer lock doesn’t work in web apps (769150).

  • FIXED: Page scrolling on sites with fixed headers (780345).

  • Apart from the usual performance improvements, and the sandboxing of iframes, the next most important thing is that support for OS X 10.5 Leopard has been dropped. If you’re still using the ancient OS X version, you can keep using Firefox 16, but that’s about it. This follows in Google Chrome’s footsteps, which did the same back in September.

    If you’re a Web developer, you may want also to check out Firefox 17 for developers. Also, the Social API is out with the release of Firefox 17.
Reposted by02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Firefox OS

Firefox OS is all over the tech news and for good reason:  Mozilla's finally given web developers the platform that they need to create apps the way they've been creating them for years -- with CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.  Firefox OS has been rapidly improving, adding features and APIs to provide device control and other standard mobile functionality.  Much is not known about Firefox OS, however, and here are a few items you may find interesting!

The Firefox Marketplace is Open Source

Everyone knows that the components of Firefox OS are open source.  Not many know this fact:  the Firefox Marketplace is a Django-based application, code-named 'zamboni', used not only for the Marketplace but also for AMO (Add-Ons). Like Firefox OS' gaia (the web-based operating system) zamboni is freely available on GitHub.  This means that you could fork zamboni, update the design, and create your own store for HTML5 apps!

You Can Buy a Test Device

Firefox Phone
Everything Mozilla does is open so it is common knowledge that you can create your own Firefox OS build if you have a supported device.  What many people may have missed is the announcement of a test device available for purchase from  Geeksphone.  While the Firefox OS Simulator does a good job of allowing users to test apps get the general gist of the platform, there's nothing like having a comparative-hardware device to test with.  Even if you don't plan on creating your own Firefox OS apps, it's still nice to have a test device around to test your own websites.

Loads of APIs are Being Implemented

For the skeptics who don't believe the HTML5 spec provides enough device control:  think again.  Mozilla has been rolling out dozens of WebAPI features to allow access to all types of device APIs:  Battery, Camera, Contacts, WebSMS, Storage, Vibration, Settings, Alarm, Browser, and many more.  Each API is either planned, in development, or completed, and may be available on different types of devices (desktop, tablet, mobile).  Bookmark the WebAPI chart to keep track of where each API is in its development stage!

Install Apps from Any Domain!

Mozilla doesn't hold users hostage when it comes to installing new apps; instead of needing to jump over to the device's app store app, Mozilla provides a JavaScript API for installing web apps from any allowed domains:
var manifestLocation = ""; // your domain here
var installRequest = navigator.mozApps.install(manifestLocation);

installRequest.onsuccess = function(data) {
// App installed successfully!

installRequest.onerror = function(err) {
// App couldn't be installed!
console.log("Install error!");
It's incredibly liberating to allow installation from outside an app store; no more tyranny, no more unnecessary proprietary crap.

Web Activities!

The amazing Mozilla Hack Blog recently introduced Web Activities:  a system for adding context-specific controls within an app.  The screen where a user would see a Web Activity would look like this:
Activity Menu
Web Activities provide a system by which you can specify the desired input result and a callback based on the activity's success and failure.  Code for said activity and result could look like:
var pick = new MozActivity({
name: "pick",
data: {
type: ["image/png", "image/jpg", "image/jpeg"]


pick.onsuccess = function () {

// Create image and set the returned blob as the src
var img = document.createElement("img");
img.src = window.URL.createObjectURL(this.result.blob);

// Present that image in your app
var imagePresenter = document.querySelector("#image-presenter");

pick.onerror = function () {

// If an error occurred or the user canceled the activity
alert("Can't view the image!");
Web Activities are relatively new so they'll take a bit of playing around with to get the full picture of how they work and what role they can play for your app. Robert Nyman has created a Firefox OS Boilerplate App which shows how you can use these.

The Browser App is Created with... HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

All of Firefox OS' native apps are written with basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript -- the same way you'll be creating your own apps.  Don't believe me?  Check out the source for yourself!  Browsers are a complex beast to create but Firefox OS' browser app shows that HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are ready for prime time device app performance!
There will no doubt be more information about Firefox OS on this blog.  The tidbits above should give you an advantage over other developers, allowing you to get started with advanced APIs, stores, and more!
Reposted from David Walsh's blog :)
Reposted by02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01
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