Mozilla's Firefox browser is a true community effort. Though Mozilla itself employs 45 full-time developers, there are an additional 1,000 community code contributors to the Firefox project with over 20,000 nightly testers and 500,000 beta testers to ensure the core developers can offload much of the test load so that they can spend more time on core development. With over 50 million daily users and 125 million total users, Firefox has a huge presence on the web.
With so many users Mozilla feels it has a huge responsibility as a guardian of the web for the 21st Century, suggested Chris Blizzard in a presentation he gave at the SCALE conference this week. Chris' slides are online and tell the story of an organization that takes its role as a community platform - with the aspiration to be an essential facility - very seriously.
Turner's team didn't scrap the toolbar entirely, but based on user feedback, they did make it much less intrusive. Why look at the buttons when users really want the Web, they reasoned. Letting the toolbars dissolve away when they're at rest is one method for making the most of the screen. Tapping a translucent icon (shown solid here) could bring the command buttons back.… Read more
Mozilla has published a new version of Firefox to address lingering security concerns. The most noticeable problem that Version 18.104.22.168 (for Windows and Mac) hopes to fix are program crashes and corruption of stored passwords.
Other remedies include sealing up a variety of security holes, including browser history and navigation stealing, holes related to multiple file inputs, and URL token stealing.
Opera should be bracing for impact.
Like Opera's cell phone browser, Opera Mini (video), both newcomers are free. However, Opera Mobile, which serves Windows Mobile and Symbian S60 phones, is a commercial product that smartphone users may not want to pay for when handed alternatives gratis.
How does Opera plan to keep current customers and attract new ones when consumers face a choice between paying $24 and $0? I asked the Opera folks if they would consider making Opera Mobile free in anticipation of or in response to oncoming competition.
"The mobile Web is blossoming, and we are strongly positioned to take advantage of its growth," Tatsuki Tomita, Opera's senior vice president of consumer products, responded. "While we watch the industry closely, we have not yet determined the end-user model for Opera Mobile."
What a nicely toned, safely vague statement! It's one any company would be expected to make when challenged on two fronts by a competitive freeware surge. Yet with actual working, marketable products for a range of devices and a business plan that reaches into corporate pockets, Opera is well-positioned. For now.… Read more
And the beat goes on. As XiTi Monitor's data shows, Firefox has been on a European tear, gaining ground at a 20 percent clip to take 28 percent market share in Europe. The loser in the battle? Internet Explorer.
The data also shows that Firefox users upgrade more often than Internet Explorer (with the majority of IE users sticking with pre-IE7 versions). There's a clear reason: People use Firefox by choice (they must download it, after all) and IE by Microsoft/PC manufacturer fiat. Most users take what is given to them and never think twice about it...… Read more
After making noise with the reintroduction of its Firefox add-ons directory last year, Mozilla is taking a step closer to integrating it with the upcoming beta of Firefox 3, which is set to go out to beta testers next week. Ryan Wagner over at Cybernet News writes that one of the biggest additions to the public betas of Firefox 3 has been the newly integrated add-on directory, which made its way into the prebeta nightly builds earlier this week. Users can search through add-ons within the settings dialog without visiting Mozilla's site. The feeds are still linked up to … Read more
An attacker exploiting this flaw … Read more
If you're a Google Docs user you're probably used to keeping a separate window or set of tabs open for your document source list. What if you could kill that extra tab or open window and manage everything from the sidebar of your browser instead?
Interaction designer Sandosh Vasudevan has come up with gDocsBar (download), a solution that rolls up all the functionality you'd find on the home screen of Google Docs and puts it the side bar of your browser, meaning it can be summoned and dismissed in an instant.
The sidebar features a search-as-you-type box … Read more