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Here’s to 15 Years? Already?

04/04/2013 Leave a comment

15 Years? 15 years? Ago right? 15 years since the Mozilla Project came into being. Financed at Netscape along with seed funding of $3 million USD from AOL in 2003. Releasing Firefox 1.0 in September 2004 with Thunderbird soon thereafter. Even having something to do with RSS.

Firefox, Thunderbird and others have come a long way since being launched as part of the Mozilla Project along with a whole list of other projects that still use the Mozilla framework to function.

As you may or may not know, I came into the Mozilla Project via the Netscape browser. Running it as an alternative to the browser with the blue ‘E’ and then as a complete alternative when starting out with Linux, eventually migrating over to Firefox from Netscape completely across platforms.

Around 2005/2006 I was getting used to the add-on writing process also thanks to a bare bones add-ons starter kit from Ted Mielczarek (thanks btw!) So I wrote a few add-ons using basic JavaScript/CSS and some HTML including one for forcing secure HTTPS for social sites (the EFF shortly thereafter announced HTTPSEverywhere – grrr! j/k)

Then something happened around 2007, (No, I don’t mean the Thunderbird issue!) from a certain Finnish telecommunications company talking about ‘mobile Internet tablets’ and something called MicroB which was essentially a Mozilla-based micro browser. This appeared courtesy of the Maemo project (a Nokia Debian-Linux based mobile OS) back then in 2007 for the Nokia N770 Internet tablets and then later the N800/N810 (2007 – 2008) and then the N900 (2009).

A rough history outline would be:

2007 – Mozilla based MicroB appears on the N770 platform.

2008 – The first Firefox build (along with MicroB) appears for the N800/N810.

2009 – Firefox appears for N900 platform (alongside stock MicroB, up to ver. 7.0)

2010 – Mozilla discusses the Android platform.

2011 – First public Mozilla builds appear for Android (ARMv6), later focus is switched to ARMv7 but ARMv6 included later.

2011 – Nokia launches the successor device to the N900; the N9, Firefox builds (community maintained) appear shortly afterwards.

2012 – Mozilla bring stability and speed to Firefox on Android and later start including ARMv6 allowing for legacy handset usage.

It’s been a long way and most exciting I’m looking forward now to FirefoxOS taking off as the first handsets are due to be rolled out as well as the web being the platform and more focus is shifted to HTML5 being used as the central platform especially with other HTML5-centric platforms like Sailfish and Ubuntu are looking to join in. There have been other open platforms as well including the re-formed former Nokia/Intel venture MeeGo (appearing on the N9) and later reformed into Tizen which is currently developed by Samsung.

There are also many new avenues that Mozilla is working into as the web evolves especially with the user being the central core whether it be death by check boxesuser privacy/security or playing next-gen games in the browser.

Sources:

Firefox – Twitter/Facebook

Mozilla Links

Mozilla History

Mozilla Bookmarks

Here’s to 15 Years of a Better Web | The Mozilla Blog.

Mozilla adds all recent Java versions to blocklist

28/02/2013 Leave a comment

Seeing as we all love Java /sarcasm, Mozilla has recently added the latest update (version 7 update 15 at the time of writing) to it’s add-on blocklist. They’ve been blocking Java for quite some time but only insecure past versions.

Recently, all versions were added to the blocklist which are blocked on loading the browser but can be re-enabled afterwards by the user. A guide to update and remove old Java versions from your system is also available.

The Mozilla plug-in check system is also available across Firefox and Chromium (That I have tested it in).

via Mozilla adds all recent Java versions to blocklist –.

ProxMate: Add-on for Firefox and Chrome/ium

28/02/2013 1 comment

Seeing as we’re still locked into the antiquated idea that content should be locked down and everyone who says different is a thief and a pirate, something that has come in useful on Firefox (and available for Chrome as well 😉 I was introduced to Proxmate which handles all the proxy information on their side, the add-on handles it all for you which should help. 😀

via ProxMate

Adobe springs emergency Flash update, says hackers hitting Firefox

28/02/2013 Leave a comment

That time of  again! Yes! Flash update time. a new release from Adobe has been confirmed:

“Adobe is aware of reports that CVE-2013-0643 and CVE-2013-0648 are being exploited in the wild in targeted attacks designed to trick the user into clicking a link which directs to a website serving malicious Flash content,” the advisory stated, listing the vulnerabilities by their Common Vulnerabilities & Exposures, or CVE, identifiers. “The exploit for CVE-2013-0643 and CVE-2013-0648 is designed to target the Firefox browser.”

Updates are rolling out across Win/Mac platforms.

via Adobe springs emergency Flash update, says hackers hitting Firefox – Computerworld.

“News of my Demise has been Greatly Exaggerated”…

27/06/2011 Leave a comment

And after a short hiatus, I have returned to posting! Having been away as devs are for development reasons over different platforms – Firefox, N900 and finally MeeGo and the confirmed Nokia N9 with MeeGo Harmattan 1.2 (Maemo viewers will know that Harmattan was also the code name for Maemo 6.0)

Firefox 4.0 and 5.0 have come and been released including the new Do-Not-Track feature as ell as the regular goodies under the hood for web developers.

I shall also return to regular weekly postings under this blog.

Silent Updates to Appear in Firefox 4.0

11/08/2010 Leave a comment

Mozilla is set to add silent updates circa Firefox 4.0 however, the updates will only be available on the Win32 platform and only effect minor updates such as 4.0.1, 4.0.2 etc… without user interaction. The user will STILL be notified on major version changes such as 4.0 – 5.0 etc…

Most updates, including all security updates, will be downloaded and installed automatically without asking the user or requiring a confirmation, said Alex Faaborg, a principal designer on Firefox.

“We’ll only be using the major update dialog box for changes like [version] 4 to 4.5 or 5,” Faaborg said in a late July message on the“mozilla.dev.apps.firefox” forum. “Unfortunately users will still see the updating progress bar on load, but this is an implementation issue as opposed to a [user interface] one; ideally the update could be applied in the background.”

It comes after a report from two security researchers at Google compiled a report (PDF link) on software security and stability which also went to praise Mozilla for their update mechanism being the best of the browsers prior to the arrival of Google and it’s Chromium project (Chrome browser).

Silent updates seem to be making more and more of an appearance into software these days, Adobe now uses silent updates in its PDF reader software but the user MUST enable it.

[Source]

MeeGo’s Impact

19/07/2010 Leave a comment

MeeGo (the conversion of the Maemo project as well as Moblin into a open source OS for mobile device not just MID’s) Has certainly come a long way in the space of what could be termed a few short months. In reality, it was longer but still worth it!

I look forward to what MeeGo promises to be: a lightweight, efficient, workable OS designed for the mobile platform and not encumbered with patents that others have had issues with.

The addition of Mobile Firefox (AKA Fennec) 1.1 being released also promises more in terms of what the mobile web can offer and soon offer web designers/developers as well as the future of content on the mobile platform.