14 May, 2013 § Leave a Comment
This past Monday I gave a presentation at the Mobile Monday Detroit meeting about Firefox OS. Thanks to some great screen recording software by TechSmith, I also recorded it
I’ve also made the slides available online for those who just want to read (press ‘s’ on your keyboard to see my speaker notes, you may have to allow pop-ups).
Mobile Monday Detroit is a monthly meetup that gets people together to talk about activity in the mobile space. Many topics cover Android and iOS, so it was really cool to snag a spot on the podium and give a talk about one of the ‘alternative’ operating systems. Also presenting this week was Randy Nunez from Ford who gave a talk about the various open source mobile operating systems and Chris Peplin from Ford who talked about the Open XC API for cars that Ford is working on.
If you live in southeast Michigan you should try to make it out to one of the meetings. More information can be found at the Mobile Monday Detroit Meetup page.
13 May, 2013 § 5 Comments
Well, we were “jamun”. This past week we shut off the Jamun project branch of Australis and moved our focus to the UX branch.
What does all this mean?
In a nutshell, this means that the Australis customization rewrite has progressed enough to the point that we feel it is ready to start getting much broader testing. We’re in the final stretch of the project, and we want our changes to reach testers at a faster pace.
Here’s where we stand today:
* Most customization workflows are possible. Not all UI migrations are complete.
* Most polish on the edges isn’t there. It does however look pretty close on Windows and Mac now.
* Some final graphics are missing, but they’re not far away.
Wait, wait, what are we talking about here?
Ah, okay, I’ll take a step back. A while back, in fact, a looooong time ago… there was a presentation from the Firefox UX team about a new browser UI refresh and rewrite of our customization workflows. It turns out that many users don’t know that Firefox is customizable. Some users accidentally customize their browser and don’t know what went wrong. Then, there’s this super-tiny super-expert user group that has figured out how to customize Firefox and they *adore* it.
So, what are we doing about it?
Well, the first thing that we’re doing is making entering and exiting customization of Firefox much easier. No longer will a user have to right-click on a special portion of a toolbar and choose “Customize…”. This was way too hard to find for the vast majority of users. We’ve left that same entry point there, but we’ve also created a very visible “Customize” button.
Sounds good, where is this Customize button though?
Great question! Another goal of Australis is to unify the user experience between Windows, OS X, and Linux. On Windows and Linux, Firefox has an “Application Menu” in the top-left corner of the browser. We’ve moved this menu to the right-side of the navigation toolbar and it will now be visible on all three platforms. We’ve also been hard at work trying to make this menu easy to use and navigate. The Customize button is located at the bottom of this menu.
Another really cool thing about this menu is that it will be customizable. When you enter Customization mode, you’ll be able to add, remove, and rearrange items in the menu as well as items on the toolbars.
Here’s a screenshot of what the Customization mode looks like today on Windows:
As I mentioned earlier, all of this is still very much a “work-in-progress”, so it’s expected that people will find bugs and rough edges. If you’d like to play with it today, you can download the UX Nightly builds and give it a run. The UX Nightly builds will update daily with new changes to the customization.
Please let us know about any bugs that you find by filing a bug in Bugzilla in the Firefox::Theme or Firefox::Toolbars component (and mark the bug as blocking bug 770135). If you don’t feel comfortable doing the above, then just leave a comment on this blog post and I or someone else will file the bug for you.
11 May, 2013 § Leave a Comment
If you haven’t heard about Firefox OS before, or would like to learn more about it, you should come to this month’s Mobile Monday Detroit. I’ll be presenting at the meeting about Mozilla’s motivations for Firefox OS, how we’re opening up mobile hardware, and roadmap for the future.
It has been estimated that in the next 10 years, five billion people will gain access to the internet. Many of these people will be accessing the internet using mobile connection exclusively.
One of the main goals of Firefox OS is to provide a device to people that brings with it the full web as compared to the limited subset of the web that is currently accessible on more basic feature phones. This also means providing web applications better access to hardware, so application developers can provide rich environments comparable to that of other mobile phone operating systems.
As we build these hardware APIs, we have been working very hard to standardize them and push for other browsers to adopt them. You can follow along with the progress of the WebAPI project by visiting our wiki. All of the FirefoxOS roadmaps, feature lists, etc can all be viewed online. This project really defines openness
Mobile Monday Detroit is hosted at Compuware’s headquarters in downtown Detroit, at One Campus Martius. The event will start at 5:30pm and run until 8pm. Food and drinks will be provided. Please RSVP (it’s free!) if you plan on attending so the organizers will have a good idea of how much food to order.
Randy Nunez from Ford will also provide information on a variety of additional open source mobile OS platforms that are catching the attention of the developer community.
10 March, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I’m excited to announce that I will be presenting at MobiDevDay Detroit on May 4th on the topic of Firefox OS.
FirefoxOS is Mozilla’s new mobile operating system, based entirely on web technology. FirefoxOS will bring full device capabilities to the web stack, allowing web developers to create immersive experiences in a cross-platform and device agnostic manner.
This talk will briefly cover the motivations of FirefoxOS and then dive in to the new technology and APIs that are being opened up to developers who are looking to create apps for FirefoxOS.
MobiDevDay Detroit was the first conference of its kind. Now in its third year, MobiDevDay is dedicated to bringing the world of Mobile to Michigan’s Software Developer Community. We hope to grow MobiDevDay Detroit into the most important polyglot Mobile Developer conference in the world.
MobiDevDay Detroit 2013 will be held at the Cobo Conference Center on May 4th.
Breakfast, Lunch and Free Parking will be provided.
Register today for the conference before it sells out. I’ll share more details about my talk as the date gets closer.
8 March, 2013 § 16 Comments
There’s another new feature in today’s build of Firefox Nightly that I want to call attention to.
In Firefox Aurora, web developers can adjust the speed that HTML5 videos are playing at using the
mediaElement.playbackRate API. This API lets websites control the speed that videos play at, whether they are in slow-motion, normal, or high-speed.
The menu, implemented by darkowlzz, allows the user to change the playback to one of four speeds:
- Slow Motion (0.5×)
- Normal Speed
- High Speed (1.5×)
- and … Ludicrous Speed (2×)
I should note that there is still one remaining bug with the feature. Videos that are switched to the non-default playback speed will not switch back to Normal Speed using the context menu. This bug is on file and will need to be fixed before we can ship this feature on our Release channel. A simple workaround is to seek the video, as that will reset the playback speed.