Interview with Brandon Waterloo about contributing to Firefox (Part 2/3)

14 March, 2013 § 1 Comment

I sat down yesterday with Brandon Waterloo. Brandon is one of the MSU students working on multitouch gestures for Firefox. I asked Brandon about his experience and what he thought about contributing to open-source software.

Check out the video below for the interview (3m 13s):

I also got a chance to interview the other two students working on the project, Bill de Araujo and Ray Heldt. I posted Bill’s interview previously and will be posting Ray’s interview shortly.

Interview with Bill de Araujo about contributing to Firefox (Part 1/3)

12 March, 2013 § 2 Comments

I sat down today with Bill de Araujo. Bill is one of the MSU students working on multitouch gestures for Firefox. I asked Bill about his experience and what he thought about contributing to open-source software.

Check out the video below for the interview (1m 31s):

I also got a chance to interview the other two students working on the project, Brandon Waterloo and Ray Heldt. I’ll be posting their interviews in the coming days.

By golly, we’re getting somewhere… (cross-post)

6 February, 2013 § Leave a comment

Raymond HeldtRaymond Heldt wrote up a great, and funny, blog post covering the current progress of the MSU Capstone project to implement Safari-style pinch-to-zoom for desktop Firefox. While working on the project, the students learned that there are similar plans to implement this feature for Firefox on Windows Metro.

The Windows Metro implementation is planning to use off-main-thread compositing and B2G’s AsyncPanZoomController implementation. The students are pushing ahead on their <canvas> based approach, since OMTC and AsyncZoomPanController are not fully ported to desktop builds.

Below is a snippet of Raymond’s post.

Well, the day started out with another abandon-my-attempt-at-implementing-something-because-it-already-got-it-taken-care-of-without-me moment, but beyond that, I was happy with my contributions today.

A scaling screenshot on pinch-to-zoom has been implemented (no thanks to myself), but for some absolutely insane reason, sometimes that screenshot gets drawn over the webpage’s content, sometimes not (although you can see animation through the “holes” of a webpage where they put advertisement boxes). Michigan State’s website scales fine, scales fine, Yahoo! sometimes scales fine DEPENDING ON WHICH CURRENT EVENT STORY IS CURRENTLY BEING DISPLAYED!!!, and then there’s websites that don’t hide the content and cover up the animation, like Amazon and Google and our CSE498 page on Michigan State’s website. Weird, I know.

But anyway, back to what I did. Figuring out some algorithms for x- and y- offset, I was able to get zooming relative to the center of the screen (adjusting for scrolling) instead of from the top-left corner. …

Head over to Raymond’s blog to read the full post.

Presentations and Documents and Research, Oh My! (cross-post)

18 January, 2013 § Leave a comment

One of the MSU Capstone team members, Brandon Waterloo, wrote up a nice blog post giving an update on the progress of their work implementing some multitouch gestures for desktop Firefox.

The latter half of the past week, as well as most of this week, consisted (will consist) primarily of working on our project plan document and our presentations. On the 23rd, we’ll be giving team status reports, talking about the status of our machines, our project plan document, etc. These will be short, only about five minutes.

Beginning on the 28th, the various capstone teams will begin presenting their project plans. This is mostly just a brief version of the project plan document. This will be about a fifteen minute presentation. I’m slightly concerned that we can’t stretch our material out to fifteen minutes, because our project is pretty simple to explain–touch gestures for Firefox on Mac OS X. There’s not a whole lot more to say, except to explain the specifics of what we’ll be doing.

Read the rest of the blog post at Brandon’s post, “Presentations and Documents and Research, Oh My!”

Left-to-right: Raymond Heldt (HeldtNotHelt), Brandon Waterloo (we11ington), Bill de Araujo (spartanfire)

Left-to-right: Raymond Heldt (HeldtNotHelt), Brandon Waterloo (we11ington), Bill de Araujo (spartanfire)

A new semester, a new capstone project

11 January, 2013 § 3 Comments

This is the first week of a new semester at Michigan State University, and with that brings a new group of students who will be working on a senior capstone project with Mozilla.

This semester the students will be focusing on multitouch gestures within the browser. They’ll start out the semester by fixing a few good-first-bugs, then they’ll move on to adding some gestures to standalone image and video documents. The final step of the project will be to focus on improving our pinch-to-zoom for webpages in Firefox.

As the semester progresses, the students will be blogging their progress on their own blogs (I may crosspost them here from time to time):

Brandon Waterloo:
Raymond Heldt:
Bill de Araujo:

Here’s to a great semester!

Status Update 9 of Reader Mode for desktop Firefox

3 December, 2012 § 15 Comments

This is the final week for the students working on the Reader Mode project for Firefox. The students will be presenting their final work on Friday to a panel of judges at Michigan State’s Design Day.

Reader mode now mostly works at prototype-level functionality. There is still some more work and lots more testing to do.

The team has asked for help with testing on Windows & Linux, as well as switching tabs. When a tab is switched to, the document is parsed for its readability score. We want to make sure that we don’t regress tab switching times as well as increase memory usage by the introduction of the feature.

I pushed their current patch to our Try servers so you can help test. When it is finished building, they should be available to download and play with here*. After downloading the build, go to about:config and set reader.enabled=true.

*Update: I have heard from at least one person that the Windows build isn’t working correctly.

Without further ado, here is the team’s project overview video.

The team also is planning on tweaking the size of the toolbar button so it doesn’t stretch the URL bar vertically. This is a subtle bug that you can see in the team’s project video.

Further work for Reader Mode will include moving the in-page adjustments to a toolbar at the top of the page, as well as adding a Sepia color mode.

The team updated the current work-in-progress patch on the meta bug.

Status Update 8 of Reader Mode for desktop Firefox

13 November, 2012 § 3 Comments

This post was guest authored by Matt Vorce, one of the students working on the reader-mode project.

This past week we continued to finish up some changes to our reader mode page. We are now working on moving some common files to toolkit so they can be referenced by desktop and mobile in the same location.

This will require us to convert the .js files to a .jsm. After doing that we will import the files as a resource.

As far as buttons go for reader mode we are only including the buttons for styling the page for the time being. We are also going to display the reader page in the current tab and not pursue an overlay/lightbox for the time being.

Here is a video of the current functionality (interaction workflow is not final):

The team updated the current work-in-progress patch on the meta bug.

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