Warping it up!

Fini Alring’s Glossy Tech Zine

Ten Years Ago Today: Netscape Source Code Liberated

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Mozilla MascotToday marks ten years since Netscape Communications Corporation announced its intention to release the source code of the then in-development Netscape Communicator 5.0, heralding the beginning of what would become the Mozilla project. At the same time, Netscape stopped charging for Netscape Navigator 4.0 and Netscape Communicator Standard Edition 4.0.

On Monday 23rd February 1998, mozilla.org was launched to coordinate development of the open-source code. The actual release of the Netscape Communicator 5.0 source code took place on Tuesday 31st March 1998.

Mitchell Baker, who has been involved with the Mozilla project from the outset, is asking for ideas of how to celebrate Mozilla’s tenth anniversary year.

Ten Years Ago Today: Netscape Announces Free Communicator Source Code Release – MozillaZine

Firefox 3.0 Alpha 1

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

Only a few weeks since Firefox 2.0 was launched for the public, Mozilla organization has released the first alpha build of what is to be known as Firefox 3.0 in a years time. NOTE: This is not for public use, and should only be used in development for testing cutting edge technology features.

Gran Paradiso Alpha 1, an early developer milestone based on the Gecko 1.9 branch, has been released. Gran Paradiso, a mountain group located in Italy, is also the project codename for Firefox 3. There are no significant user interface changes. Core layout and rendering changes include use of Cairo as the default graphics library, use of Cocoa Widgets for MAC OSX builds and new SVG elements.

For more details, refer to Gran Paradiso Alpha 1 Release Notes.

ActionScript VM contributed to Mozilla Foundation

Friday, November 10th, 2006

Good news for Mozilla products, soon we could gain as much as 10x performance boost on our JavaScripts / ECMAScripts.

SAN FRANCISCO — November 7, 2006 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) and the Mozilla Foundation, a public-benefit organization dedicated to promoting choice and innovation on the Internet, today announced that Adobe has contributed source code for the ActionScript™ Virtual Machine, the powerful standards-based scripting language engine in Adobe® Flash® Player, to the Mozilla Foundation. Mozilla will host a new open source project, called Tamarin, to accelerate the development of this standards-based approach for creating rich and engaging Web applications.

The Tamarin project will implement the final version of the ECMAScript Edition 4 standard language, which Mozilla will use within the next generation of SpiderMonkey, the core JavaScript engine embedded in Firefox®, Mozilla’s free Web browser. As of today, developers working on SpiderMonkey will have access to the Tamarin code in the Mozilla CVS repository via the project page located at www.mozilla.org/projects/tamarin/. Contributions to the code will be managed by a governing body of developers from both Adobe and Mozilla.

“Adobe’s work on the new virtual machine is the largest contribution to the Mozilla Foundation since its inception,” said Brendan Eich, chief technology officer, Mozilla Corporation, and creator of JavaScript. “Now web developers have a high-performance, open source virtual machine for building and deploying interactive applications across both Adobe Flash Player and the Firefox web browser. We’re excited about joining the Adobe and Mozilla communities to advance ECMAScript.”

Roadmap
The Tamarin project is just getting started so the roadmap is not yet fully developed, but some of the technical goals include:

  1. Integrating the Tamarin VM and garbage collector within SpiderMonkey
  2. Using the SpiderMonkey compiler to generate code for Tamarin
  3. Porting the just-in-time compiler to new hardware platforms
  4. Completing the self-hosting ECMAScript 4 compiler

Release: Mozilla Firefox 2.0

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

I am pleased to report that Mozilla has just released Firefox 2.0, I plan to write a couple of articles about extensions and new technology used in the new release, but only future will tell when I get it done.

From the press release:

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. – Oct. 24, 2006 – – Mozilla today released Firefox® 2, a major update to its popular and acclaimed free, open source Web browser. Firefox is developed by an international community of contributors working together under the umbrella of the Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit, public-benefit organization dedicated to improving the Internet experience for people everywhere.

In less than two years, tens of millions of people worldwide have discovered the easier, faster and safer online experience that Firefox provides. Translated into more than 35 languages at its release, Firefox 2 is available in a native language version for more people around the world than any other Web browser.

Firefox 2 is immediately available for Windows, Mac or Linux operating systems as a free download from www.getfirefox.com.

“Firefox 2 delivers the best possible online experience for people today,” said Mitchell Baker, CEO, Mozilla. “The improvements Mozilla has made to the ease of use, performance, and security in Firefox 2 reflect our ongoing, singular focus on meeting the needs of Web users all over the world.”

What’s New in Firefox 2

Improvements to the user interface, security tools and options for customization, combine to deliver a rich, engaging, safer and more productive Web browsing experience for all.

Tabbed browsing. Firefox popularized tabbed browsing, enabling multiple Web sites to be viewed as separate tabs contained within a single browser window, and improving people’s efficiency by helping them better organize their desktops. In Firefox 2, tabbed browsing has been further improved with the addition of individual close buttons on each tab, enhanced tab navigation features, and a session restore system that automatically restores previously-open windows and tabs when a new browsing session is started.

Spell checking. Modern Web sites are increasingly complex with the rollout of new, rich Internet applications, such as word processors, spreadsheets and blogging tools. Inline spell checking in Firefox 2 automatically checks for spelling errors and suggests corrections as users interact with Web sites, bringing a common desktop feature to the Web.

Search. Search is one of the most frequently used features of the Web. With Firefox 2, Mozilla improves the browser’s integrated search capabilities, making it even easier for users to find the information they are looking for. The new Search Suggestions feature dynamically updates a drop-down list of suggested search terms as users enter text into the search bar for Google, Yahoo! or Answers.com search engines.

Web feeds. Firefox users can now take better advantage of the frequently updated content offered by Web sites, with increased options for handling Web feeds. Users now see a preview of the content being offered and are given the option to subscribe to a feed as a Live Bookmark, using a Web service such as Bloglines, My Yahoo!, or Google Reader, or with a desktop application.

Identity theft protection. In addition to its award-winning safeguards for blocking drive-by installation of spyware and unwanted pop-up windows, Firefox 2 helps protect users from identity theft by quickly informing them when they surf to a questionable Web site. To protect users’ privacy, Phishing Protection is active by default with a local blacklist that updates hourly, rather than sending information to an external online service. An enhanced mode is available where users may optionally elect to have Firefox check the validity of Web sites with a third-party Web service, such as Google, prior to loading the site. Phishing Protection provides warnings, advice and guidance when Firefox encounters a Web site that appears to be fraudulent or malicious.

Proven security model. Mozilla’s open and transparent community-driven security model helps ensure Firefox provides the safest possible online experience. Thousands of security experts and technical contributors from around the world examine and analyze the Firefox source code, uncover potential threats and vulnerabilities, and work together to quickly identify and address emerging threats. This open, distributed, innovative approach to security puts people’s interests first and delivers the safest Web experience possible.

Customization. No other browser can be customized like Firefox 2. With thousands of add-ons that enhance the browser’s functionality and features, Firefox lets users personalize their Web browsers to fit their interests and style.

For more information on Mozilla Firefox 2 and how it delivers an easier, faster and safer online experience, visit www.mozilla.com/firefox/features.html.

Mozilla Firefox 2 is available now as a free download from www.getfirefox.com.

Release: Firefox 2 Beta 1 milestone

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

Firefox 2 Beta 1 is now available for download. This is the fourth developer milestone focused on testing the core functionality provided by many new features and changes to the platform scheduled for Firefox 2. Ongoing planning for Firefox 2 can be followed at the Firefox 2 Planning Center, as well as in mozilla.dev.planning and on irc.mozilla.org in #bonecho.

Please note: It is not recommended that anyone other than developers and testers download the Firefox 2 Beta 1 milestone release. It is intended for testing purposes only, normal users are encouraged to get the latest public release of Firefox.

New features and changes in this milestone that require feedback include:

  • Built in Phishing Protection
  • Search suggestions now appear with search history in the search box for Google, Yahoo! and Answers.com
  • Changes to tabbed browsing behavior
  • Ability to re-open accidentally closed tabs
  • Better support for previewing and subscribing to web feeds
  • Inline spell checking in text boxes
  • Search plugin manager for removing and re-ordering search engines
  • New microsummaries feature for bookmarks
  • Automatic restoration of your browsing session if there is a crash
  • New combined and improved Add-Ons manager for extensions and themes
  • New Windows installer based on Nullsoft Scriptable Install System
  • Support for JavaScript 1.7
  • Support for client-side session and persistent storage
  • Extended search plugin format
  • Updates to the extension system to provide enhanced security and to allow for easier localization of extensions
  • Support for SVG text using svg:textPath