Guest post: India uses Firefox Nightly: Kick off on May 1, 2017

Biraj Karmakar This is a guest post by Biraj Karmakar, who has been active promoting Mozilla and Mozilla software in India for over 7 years. Biraj is taking the initiative of organizing a series of workshops throughout the country to convince technical people to (mozillians or not) that may be interested in getting involved in Mozilla to use Firefox Nightly.

 

 

In my last blog, I have announced that Mozilla India is going to organize a special campaign on Firefox Nightly Usage in India. RSVP here.

Everything is set. Gearing up for the campaign.

#INUsesFxNightly_fb

BTW Recently we have organized one community call on this campaign. You can watch it to know more about how to organize events and technical things.

  • How to get involved:
    • Online Activities
      • Telling and inviting friends!
      • Create the event in social media!
      • Writing about it on Facebook & Twitter.
      • Posting updates on social media when the event is running.
      • Running an online event like webinar for this campaign. Please, check the event flow.
      • Blog posting regarding Firefox Nightly technical things, features and events.
    • Offline Activities
      • Introduction to Mozilla
      • Introduction to Firefox Nightly Release cycle details
      • Why we need Firefox Nightly users?
      • Showing various stats regarding firefox
      • Installing Nightly on participant’s PC
      • WebCompat on Firefox Nightly
      • How they can contribute in Nightly (QA and Promotion)
      • Swag Distribution
  • Duration of Campaign: 2 months
  • Total Number of offline events: 15 only. 
  • Hashtag: #INUsesFxNightly
  • Duration of each event: 3-5 hours

Swag is ready! 

 

IMG_20170425_174228.jpg

Swag for offline events

For requesting swag, please read here.

Also, we have the budget for these events. You can request it. Know more here .

Other than that if you want to know more about activity format, event flow, resource and more thing, please read the wiki.

If you have a special query, please send a mail to Biraj Karmakar [brnet00 AT gmail DOT com]. Don’t forget to join our telegram group for a realtime chat. 

Release Notes for Nightly

release notes for NightlyEvery day, multiple changesets are merged or backed out on mozilla-central and every day we compile a new version of Firefox Nightly based on these changes so as to provide builds that our core community can use, test and report feedback on.

This is why we historically don’t issue release notes for Nightly, it is hard to maintain release notes for software that gets a new release every day. However, knowing what happens, what’s new, what should be tested, has always been a recurring request from our community over the years.

So as to help with this legitimate request, we set up a twitter account that regularly informs about significant new features, and we also have the great “These weeks in Firefox” posts by Mike Conley every two weeks. These new communication channels certainly did improve things for our community over the last year.

We are now going a step further and we just started maintaining real release notes for Nightly at this address: Release Notes for Firefox Nightly

But what does it mean to have release notes for a product released every day?

It means that in the context of Project Dawn, we have started monitoring all the commits landing on mozilla-central so as to make sure changes that would merit a mention in Firefox final release notes are properly documented. This is something that we used to do with the Aurora channel, we are just doing it for Nightly instead and we do that several times a week.

Having release notes for Nightly of course means that those are updated continuously and that we only document features that have not been merged yet to Beta. We also do not intend to document unstable features or features currently hidden behind a preference flag in about:config.

The focus today is Firefox Desktop, but we will  also  produce release notes for Firefox Nightly for Android at a later stage, once we have polished the process for Desktop.

These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 14

Highlights

Friends of the Firefox team

(Give a shoutout/thanks to people for helping fix and test bugs. Introductions)

Project Updates

Add-ons

Activity Stream

  • 1.8.0 released to Test Pilot with more customization: editing top sites, showing 2 rows
  • Initial Pocket integration discussion targeting 57 as in-addition or replacing highlights
  • Greening of exported system add-on on pine branch to reduce starring efforts
    • Thanks aki for tweaking build configs
  • Progress with mozilla-central patches adding react / redux / reselect with related licenses, data storage / reducer framework, Places query optimizations

Electrolysis (e10s)

  • Still on target to ship e10s-multi (4 content processes) in 55
    • A bunch of work is also being uplifted to 54 to support this. If it turns out that we pass our release criteria on 54 on beta, we may consider turning on e10s-multi to some non-zero segment of our release population in 54. More details here.
  • a11y support currently targeting Firefox 55

Firefox Core Engineering

  • Doug Thayer is also working on porting the Gecko Profiler to a WebExtension! 🎉🎉🎉
  • Client-side stackwalking:
    • The client-side machinery for sending stacks in crash pings (M+C) — and using pingSender to send it right away — has landed in 55. All but two of those bugs have been uplifted to Aurora 54.
    • We’re working on the server-side processing for crash stacks to identify top crashers during 53 release.
  • Updater:
    • The Update Agent is going to begin as just a continuation of the download of the update, targeted for 55.

Form Autofill

Mobile

  • The Fennec team reports better push support for account sign-in verification
  • The Fennec team has also fixed a regression preventing Nightly and Aurora users from syncing history, tabs, etc

Photon

Privacy/Security

Search

  • Not much changed since last meeting: hi-res favicons and one-offs are almost ready to land and search suggestions are soon going to become opt-out.
  • Miscellaneous fixes still happening.

Storage Management

  • Engaging with SV for testing, front-end devs moved to Photon now.

Test Pilot

  • Snooze Tabs did a release last week!
  • Activity Stream, Tab Center and Pulse did releases this week
  • Min Vid playback queues coming next week
  • Test Pilot release going out today which uses mozAddonManager much more, fixing many weird corner case bugs
    • The non-mozAddonManager code path still works for older Firefox, but will be removed soonish
  • Finalized our Q2 OKRs
  • As requested, Brown Bag about Screenshots engineering and product roadmap coming soon

Here are the raw meeting notes that were used to derive this list.

Want to help us build Firefox? Get started here!

Here’s a tool to find some mentored, good first bugs to hack on.

Guest post: India uses Firefox Nightly – A Campaign especially for India

Biraj Karmakar This is a guest post by Biraj Karmakar, who has been active promoting Mozilla and Mozilla software in India for over 7 years. Biraj is taking the initiative of organizing a series of workshops throughout the country to convince technical people to (mozillians or not) that may be interested in getting involved in Mozilla to use Firefox Nightly.

 

 

Fellow mozillians, I am super excited to inform you that very soon we are going to release a new campaign in India  called “India uses Firefox Nightly“. Behind this campaign, our mission is to increases Firefox nightly usages in India.

Why India?

As we all know we have a great Mozilla community around India. We have a large number of dedicated students, developers and evangelists who are really passionate about Mozilla.

We have seen that very few people in India actually know about Firefox Nightly. So we have taken an initiative to run a pilot campaign for Firefox Nightly throughout India.

Firefox Nightly, as a pre-release version of Firefox targeting power-users and core Mozilla contributors, is a glimpse of what the future of Firefox will be for hundreds of millions of people. Having a healthy and strong technical community using and testing Nightly is a great way to easily get involved in Mozilla by providing a constant feedback loop to developers. Here you can test lots of pre-release features.

So it needs a little bit of general promotion, which will help bring a good number of tech-savvy, power-users who may become new active community members.

Few Key points

Time Frame: 2 months Max              Hashtag: #INUsesFxNightly

Event Duration: 3 – 5 Hours              Total events: 15

Who will join us: We invite students, community members, developers, open source evangelists to run this campaign.

Parts of Campaign

Online activities:

Mozillians spread the message of this campaign around India as well as through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), blogs, promotional snippets, email, mailing list, website news items etc.

Offline activities:

Here, any community member or open source enthusiast can host one event in their area or join any nearby event to help organizers. The event can be held at a startup company, Schools, Universities, Community centres, Home, Cafés.

Goals for this initiative

Impact:

  • 1000 Nightly Installed
  • 20 New Active Contributors

Strength:

  • 30 Mozillians run events (2 mozillians per event)
  • 500 Attendees

 

BTW have you tried Firefox Nightly yet, download it now?

 

More details will come soon. Stay tuned!

 

We need many core campaign volunteers who will help us to run this initiative smoothly. If you are interested in joining the campaign team, please let me know.

Have design skills? We need a logo for this campaign, please come and help us here.

These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 13

Highlights

 

Friends of the Firefox team

Project Updates

Add-ons

Activity Stream

  • timspurway reports that the team has re-evaluated their schedule for landing in Nightly – new estimate puts Activity Stream in Fx57

Electrolysis (e10s)

Firefox Core Engineering

Form Autofill

Mobile

  • The team ran user testing of Prox v2, which emphasizes local sights, events, and multiple sources – full conclusions upcoming!
  • Firefox for Android 53 coming soon with RTL support for Urdu, Persian, Hebrew and Arabic!
  • Activity Stream is going live for 50% of the Firefox for Android Nightly audience this week. All Nightly users will see a setting to opt-in / opt-out (Settings -> Advanced -> Experimental Features).

Platform UI and other Platform Audibles

Privacy/Security

Project Mortar (PDFium)

  • evelyn reports that the front-end work for Mortar is almost done! A few bugs remaining, but it’s getting pretty polish-y.
  • The team is currently dealing with process separation work, and waiting on this bug to land which will allow us to create a special type of JS-implemented plugin
  • The team is also tackling the printing engine as well, as we want to make sure we print PDFs as accurately as possible
  • Blocked on spinning up QA help for manual testing, but we will first add more automation test and compare the result of pdf.js to understand how much improvement we gain. (Thanks to bsmedberg’s suggestion!)
  • Talking to release team on release to-dos, and how best to keep the system add-on up to date

Quality of Experience

  • New preferences organization should land sometime this week
  • Engineers now mostly segueing into Photon stuff (which should will probably get its own section in future meetings?).

Search

  • Phase 1 of the hi-res favicons work should land before the next meeting.
  • The last big issue with one-off search buttons in the awesomebar is very close to landing.
  • Various miscellaneous fixes for the search and location bars.

Sync / Firefox Accounts

  • Fixes:
    • Sync will discard folder child order if the local timestamp is newer than the remote. This shows up most frequently on first syncs.
    • First sync for passwords was broken in Aurora and Nightly.
  • Push-driven sign-in confirmation is coming! Design doc in progress; should have more updates in the next meeting.
  • If you’re curious…

Storage Management

  • [fischer] The project target due date is 4/17.
  • [fischer] The implementations are almost done. The remained 3 bugs are expected to be resolved before the target 4/17.
  • [fischer] Bug 1312349: Hide the section of Offline Web Content and User Data in about:preferences
    • Because the Storage management handles appcache as well, after the Storage management completes, the Offline(Appcache) group will be hidden.
    • The pref to control hide the Offline group is browser.preferences.offlinegroup.enabled

Test Pilot

  • We are trying to track down some performance issues with the Test Pilot addon (“Test Pilot is making FF run slowly”). Any advice is welcome, ping fzzzy in #testpilot
  • First ever Test Pilot QA community event happened in Bangladesh last week!
    • Volunteers installed Test Pilot & did some manual testing of the Test Pilot addon and experiment addons
    • Event page
    • Tweets and photos of the event!

Here are the raw meeting notes that were used to derive this list.

Want to help us build Firefox? Get started here!

Here’s a tool to find some mentored, good first bugs to hack on.

These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 12

Highlights

Friends of the Firefox team

Project Updates

Add-ons

Activity Stream

Electrolysis (e10s)

Firefox Core Engineering

  • Flash
    • Running a telemetry experiment this month on 55 (nightly) to see how the Flash-as-click-to-play-by-default behaves, in advance of a 53 release Shield study
  • Crash pings on Nightly 55 and Aurora 54:
    • …are being sent by pingSender;
    • …have content crash pings;
    • …have raw stacks in those crash pings.
    • Building the ability to gather info from that data starts this week.
    • Reminder that FPO is off as of 53.
  • Main shutdown pings are going to be sent via pingSender in 55
  • Beginning work on Update Agent, which will continue downloading an update if the user’s session has ended
  • Updater
    • Simplification of Updater UI aimed at 55
    • Changes for MAR signing are unblocked (compression (LZMA) and cert (SHA-384)), aiming for land by the end of Q1.

Form Autofill

Mobile

  • Shipped Firefox Focus 3.1 with support for 20 new locales!
  • Extended the beta period for Firefox for iOS 7.0 as well as a new beta build for user testing

Platform UI and other Platform Audibles

Privacy/Security

  • Polish work for permission notifications + insecure password warning (live in 52 ?)
  • johannh is working on getting right click + autocomplete/insecure password warning behavior to work correctly for password and username fields
  • nhnt11 is working on a few polish bugs for permissions notifications
  • paolo is fixing regressions (and importantly, bug 1345449 – doorhanger won’t stay open when the browser window is minimized)

Quality of Experience

  • Will soon be handing off most of the Theme API work to the WebExtensions team to allow transitioning to the Photon work.
  • Preferences work is moving along, the patches are looking good and we are going through review cycles now.
  • Continuing to work on performance of importing data from other browsers.
    • Currently looking at a 10 times runtime improvement for bookmark import \o/ ???
    • History import improvements have landed on 54 and uplifted to 53.

Search

Sync / Firefox Accounts

  • The Mobile Bookmarks folder is now visible in the Bookmarks menu bar and toolbar after a successful Sync! This is the result of work done by the Sync and SUMO teams to help make Firefox Sync easier to use.

Test Pilot

  • Page Shot in 54 is on track.
  • Experiments updating this week:
    • Snoozetabs (adding localization and bug fixes)
    • Min Vid (adding better metrics and bug fixes).  History/Upcoming queues coming soon
    • Cliqz v2 (new UI) coming soon

Here are the raw meeting notes that were used to derive this list.

Want to help us build Firefox? Get started here!

Here’s a tool to find some mentored, good first bugs to hack on.

These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 11

Highlights

Friends of the Firefox team

Project Updates

Add-ons

Activity Stream

  • Removing dependence on Add-on SDK for landing in mozilla-central as a result of Talos testing and deprecation of APIs. Starting with API replacing / inlining, bootstrapping / loader alternatives, testing infrastructure.
  • The team has identified chunks of their project that they can land in mozilla-central independently of one another, and work is underway here
  • The team will still use the system add-on architecture where we feel we need to iterate more quickly, such as our UI code

Content Handling Enhancement

Electrolysis (e10s)

  • Planning is currently underway to do an e10s-multi experiment on a future release. Currently defining cohort sizes.
  • Native Stacks are now available for BHR on Windows, and stacks are starting to trickle in for tab switch spinners.
  • mconley found a case where we’ll show tab switch spinners when blocked by JS, even with force-painting. Working on a patch.

Firefox Core Engineering

  • Looked into “one” problematic Aurora 51 client that was messing up our graphs.
  • Looking into lack of application of hotfix for websense in 47 and 48 (despite users actually having the hotfix).
  • pingSender should be fully functional and out of QA this week. Will be used for sending crash pings on Nightly, Aurora, and Beta next week.
  • Starting to work on a background download service for updates.

Form Autofill

Mobile

  • daleharvey has the beginnings of Progressive Web App support working in Fennec, and will be posting more patches for review soon!
  • Firefox Focus 3.1 for iOS is scheduled to to ship end of the month. This release only contains locale updates. The product went from 27 to 51 supported languages!
  • Firefox for iOS 7.0 has entered the stabilization phase and is expected to ship about 4 weeks from now. This release includes a migration of the codebase to Swift 3.0, stability fixes and Top Tabs for iPad. We will be doing TestFlight beta builds in the coming weeks. You can sign up for those here!
  • Firefox for iOS 8.0 development has started. Primary focus is landing Activity Stream
  • The Mobile team has started an engineering blog!
  • Landed various improvements to Android Sync. Better uploader, smarter sync flow, with a focus on data correctness
  • Project Prox aims to have our second user test in early March. Our new build is an iteration on the previous user test, addressing user feedback such as the need for more consistent data, filters, and a map view.

Platform UI and other Platform Audibles

  • jessica and scottwu have been working on proper localization support for the Date/Time pickers
  • Styling work for the <select> dropdown has finished; riding the 54 train. Let jaws or mconley know if you see any issues.

Privacy/Security

Quality of Experience

  • Lightweight themes will soon be implemented purely through CSS variables once this bug lands
  • We are close to getting the new (Web Extension-based) themes to show up in the Add-ons Manager. This work is being tracked here
  • Blog post announcing Theming API by dolske
  • Improvements to importing are ongoing
    • Turning on automatic migration/import on nightly, aurora and early beta starting with 54
    • Running another experiment on beta 53 to see why/when people don’t like us importing their history/bookmarks from another browser (with a survey)
    • Dão added some limits so we don’t import ALL THE HISTORY all the time when importing from Chrome (currently looking at 6 months and 2000 urls as a limit)
    • Gijs tried to make history import not hang quite so much by reducing main thread communication
  • Preferences reorg/search

Search

Sync / Firefox Accounts

Test Pilot

  • Page Shot in FF 54
    • Page Shot will now be a bootstrapped addon + embedded WebExtension, and will ship as a system addon.
  • Please submit your ideas for new Firefox features!
    • We’ve simplified our Test Pilot experiment proposal form. Learn more.

Here are the raw meeting notes that were used to derive this list.

Want to help us build Firefox? Get started here!

Here’s a tool to find some mentored, good first bugs to hack on.

Fosdem 2017 Nightly slides and video

FOSDEM

FOSDEM is a two-day event organised by volunteers to promote the widespread use of free and open source software.

Every year in February, Mozillians from all over the world go to Belgium to attend Fosdem, the biggest Free and Open Source Software event in Europe with over 5,000 developers and Free Software advocates attending.

Mozilla has its own Developer Room and a booth and many or our projects were presented. A significant part of the Firefox Release Management team attended the event and we had the opportunity to present the Firefox Nightly Reboot project in our Developer room on Saturday to a crowd of Mozillians and visitors interested in Mozilla and the future of Firefox.

Here are the slides of my presentation and this is the video recording of my talk:

With Mozilla volunteers (thanks guys!), we also heavily promoted the use of Nightly on the Mozilla booth over the two days of the event.

Mozilla booth Fosdem 2017

We had some interesting Nightly-specific feedback such as:

  • Many visitors thought that the Firefox Dev Edition was actually Nightly (promoted to developers, dark theme, updates daily).
  • Some users mentionned that they prefer to use the Dev Edition or Beta over Nightly not because of a concern about stability but because they find the updating window that pops up if you don’t update daily to be annoying.
  • People were very positive about Firefox and wanted to help Mozilla but said they lacked time to get involved. So they were happy to know that just using Firefox Nightly with telemetry activated and sending crash reports is already a great way to help us.

In a nutshell, this event was really great, we probably spoke to a hundred developers about Nightly and it was almost as popular on the booth as Rust (people really love Rust!).

Do you want to talk about Nightly yourself?

Of course my slides can be used as a basis for your own presentations to promote the use of Nightly to power users and our core community through the open source events you participate in your region or the ones organized by Mozilla Clubs!

The slides use reveal.js as a presentation framework and only need a browser to be displayed. You can download the tar.gz/zip archive of the slides or pull them from github with this command:
git clone https://github.com/pascalchevrel/reveal.js/ -b nightly_fosdem_2017

These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 10

Highlights

  • The Sidebar WebExtension API (compatible with Opera’s API) has been implemented ?
  • Preferences reorg and search project is fully underway. jaws and mconley lead a “hack-weekend” this past weekend with some MSU students working on the reorg and search projects
  • A lot of people were stuck on Firefox Beta 44, we found out about it and fixed it. Read more about it on :chuttens blog
  • According to our Telemetry, ~62% of our release population has multi-process Firefox enabled by default now ?
  • Page Shot is going to land in Firefox 54.  We are planning on making it a WebExtension so that users can remove it fully if they choose to.

Friends of the Firefox team

Project Updates

Activity Stream

Content Handling Enhancement

Electrolysis (e10s)

  • e10s-multi is tentatively targeted to ride the trains in Firefox 55
    • Hoping to use a scheme where we measure the user’s available memory in order to determine maximum content process count
    • Here’s the bug to track requirements to enable e10s-multi on Dev Edition by default

Firefox Core Engineering

Form Autofill

Go Faster

  • 1-day uptake of system add-ons is ~85% in beta (thanks to restartless), and ~72% in release (Wiki)

Platform UI and other Platform Audibles

Privacy/Security

Search

  • Fixed a glaring problem with one-off buttons in scaled (zoomed) display configurations that made the search settings button appear in a separate line.
  • We now correctly report when a search engine could not be installed due to an invalid format.
  • Some Places work mostly in preparation of support for hi-res favicons.

Sync / Firefox Accounts

Storage Management

Test Pilot

Here are the raw meeting notes that were used to derive this list.

Want to help us build Firefox? Get started here!

Here’s a tool to find some mentored, good first bugs to hack on.

These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 9

Highlights

Friends of the Firefox team

(Give a shoutout/thanks to people for helping fix and test bugs. Introductions)

Project Updates

Add-ons

  • andym wrote a blog post about WebExtensions in Firefox 53

Activity Stream

  • Activity Stream targeting to land as a feature in Firefox 56 (about:newtab, about:home)
  • Activity Stream add-on 1.3.0 released today
  • One team is working on the Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  • Another team is working on graduating the code into the codebase as per our engineering standards
    • Export scripts/processes for m-c
    • Integration testing
    • L10n, I18n, RTL
    • Accessibility
    • Talos / Performance
    • And the other various cross-team wheels that must be turned to ship a large user-facing feature in Firefox

Electrolysis (e10s)

Firefox Core Engineering

  • Crash stacks are collected in crash pings, now in 53.
  • Solved issue (thank you, releng!) for stuck 44.b1 users, so stuck users should start successfully updating. (bugs 1334220 and 1277925)
  • XPCOM symbols are no longer exported for 53+ (see dev.platform thread)
    • This prevents evil DLL injection from third-party applications which should improve stability and reliability

Form Autofill

Team meetings next week in Taipei. Chinese New Year holiday going on now ??.

Resolved bugs:

Go Faster

Platform UI and other Platform Audibles

Privacy / Security

Quality of Experience

Search

Sync / Firefox Accounts

Work continues on Bug 676563 – Bookmarks sync does not sync bookmark timestamps

Here are the raw meeting notes that were used to derive this list.

Want to help us build Firefox? Get started here!

Here’s a tool to find some mentored, good first bugs to hack on.