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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.

Thunderbird 3 Beta 3 Available For Download

24/07/2009 Leave a comment

I am pleased to announce that Mozilla Thunderbird 3.0 beta 3 is now available for download on Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.

Improvements include:

  • Tabbed Email Messages

    Double-clicking or hitting enter on a mail message will now open that message in a New Tab window. Middle-clicking on messages or folders will open them in a Tab in the background. When quitting Thunderbird, visible tabs will be saved and will be restored when you open Thunderbird the next time. There is also a new Tab menu on the Tab toolbar to help you switch between Tabs.

  • New Message Summary View

    Selecting multiple messages will give you a summary view of the emails you have selected.

  • Column Headings

    The column headings that are displayed and the order in which they are displayed can now be set on a per-folder basis.

  • Smart Folders

    The folder pane offers a Smart Folders mode which combines special mailboxes (e.g. Inbox) from multiple accounts together.

  • Improved Gmail Integration

    Better recognition and integration of Gmail’s special folders such as Sent and Trash including non-English versions of Gmail. Thunderbird also uses All Mail as the Archives folder.

We are also testing an early version of a new Mail Account Setup Wizard to make configuring e-mail accounts in Thunderbird easier and less error-prone. Learn about how this is implemented and how it has been carefully designed with your privacy in mind, by taking the the time to read this blog post with more information.

At this point, Mozilla Thunderbird is now being handled via the new Mozilla Messaging subsidary which is responsible for Thunderbirds upkeep.

There may also be more betas along the way depending on feedback from the Mozilla community. Once again, this is a beta so comes with the usual caveat:

Do NOT use in a production environment if unsure about the stability.

There are of course many other changes included, not just the ones highlighted.

I can however say that after usage for the past few days the open source mail client has been stable.

Thunderbird 3 Beta 3 is Available For Download.

Firefox 3.5 Released!

01/07/2009 2 comments

After a year (Tuesday 17th June 2008), Shiretoko AKA Mozilla Firefox 3.5 is finally out the door and available for download now!

Featuring support for the and tags of HTML5 it will now be easier to load up a page and see embedded media such as Ogg Theora audio and video rather than having to rely to on proprietary plug-ins like Adobe Flash et al. It also features support for geolocation (which is also present in the latest builds of Fennec as well, don’t worry, you can disable it if you wish).

It also implements other features like support for other features of CSS including @font-face which means that your fonts will display correctly as the web developer intended as well as support for native JSON and the new Mozilla JavaScript runtime TraceMonkey engine which promises better results on those JS heavy apps, Gmail, Facebook etc…

Other developments in the Mozilla world include a release update for Fennec which is now at Alpha 2 status on Window Mobile and beta 2 on Maemo, the Linux-based OS for Nokia Internet Devices.

A new version of the open source Email client Thunderbird should also be forthcoming, currently in beta 2 release, it should not be long before a Release Candidate is due.

Happy Holidays: 2008

27/12/2008 Leave a comment

2008 has been a good year all round – we’ve had Firefox 3.0 released with 3.1 just around the corner, new Ubuntu Linux releases, Maemo reaching Maemo 5.0 AKA Fremantle for the Nokia Internet platform.

We’ve also had GPLv3 released from the Free Software Foundation, Professor Lawrence Lessigs book released for free for download under the Creative Commons licensing scheme and Thunderbird 3.0 is looking to make an appearance in the new year after nearly 2 years of active development since version 2.0 was released back in the April of 2006.

That’s all for now, but I’ll leave you all with a Happy Holidays and hope for a prosperous 2009 for Open Source, P2P and FL/OSS in general!

Enjoy! 🙂

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Powered By Mozilla

22/12/2008 Leave a comment

Just noticed this over at the Mozilla Project page AKA Mozilla.org

The new page details the ‘Powered by…’ Mozilla logo that appears on open source projects that use the Mozilla framework, be it a fully fledged browser like Flock. Or, part of an OS like the Maemo Operating System for the Nokia Internet tablet platform.

Powered by Mozilla

Powered By Mozilla.

Postbox: The Mozilla based PIM

09/12/2008 Leave a comment

Can’t believe I didn’t post this one before. What’s going on?!?

Introducing Postbox the Mozilla-based PIM that works with your Email, documents, photo’s and attachments.

Postbox was started up by former Mozilla Thunderbird developer Scott MacGregor and has integration with most mail including the ubiquitous Gmail as  they go onto say:

Postbox lets you organize your mail by topic so you can focus on one thing at a time. Incoming topic-related messages are automatically displayed. Anything else stays in the background until you need it. Don’t worry, an unobtrusive counter displays incoming messages by topic so you can still keep an eye on things without losing your focus.

Currently it’s on an invite release, you can signup and they’ll let you know when they’re ready.

Postbox | Introducing, Postbox..

Thunderbird 3 Beta 1 Available for Download

09/12/2008 1 comment

After nearly 20 months in development since Thunderbird 2.0 was release on April 18th 2007, Thunderbird 3.0 Beta 1 is ready to be downloaded from MozillaMessaging  😀

david ascher – » Thunderbird 3 beta 1 – a platform for innovation shapes up.