Category Archives: Open Source

IBM and Red Hat get with OpenStack

Open Stack

Open Stack

 

OpenStack filled in some key checkmarks this week as it adds IBM and Red Hat to its roster of corporate backers.  As GigaOM reported last week, the two tech giants will join the nascent OpenStack Foundation as Platinum members along with AT&T, Canonical, Hewlett-Packard, Nebula, Rackspace, and Suse.

The gelling of the foundation is important as OpenStack evolves from an effort driven by Rackspace and NASA, to a broad-based coalition. Its goal is to provide an open-source cloud platform alternative to Amazon Web Services.

A number of companies including  Cisco, Cloudscaling, Dell, Dreamhost, Morphlabs, Netapp and Piston Cloud Computing (see disclosure) are joining as Gold members — bringing the total of foundation members to 18, for now. That number will likely grow as the foundation evolves,  said Mark Collier, VP of business development for Rackspace.

Citrix, which was an OpenStack backer but then pushed its CloudStack as a rival platform, was not mentioned in the foundation news. Citrix employees are still working with OpenStack particularly around Xen hypervisor support, said Jonathan Bryce, Rackspace Cloud founder and OpenStack board member.

Platinum members pay $500,000 per year to participate with a minimum three-year committment.  Gold Members pay an amount pegged at .025 percent of their revenue but at least $50,000 and capped at $200,000, according to the foundation wiki. 

Collier insisted that the big spenders will not be able to big foot the foundation, however. ”Inclusion is not based on how much money you give but on the technical merit of your proposals,” he said.

OpenStack partisans seek broad-based foundation

When Rackspace announced plans for the foundation last fall,  OpenStack adherents were enthusiastic but vigilant. The important thing to them was that the foundation not be driven by any single company or cadre of big companies. Many cited the Apache and Eclipse Foundations as models for OpenStack to emulate. One reason IBM is such an important addition is because of its work in making the Eclipse Foundation a success — largely by ceding control over the open-source Java IDE to an outside body.

OpenStack took that to heart, according Bryce, and will borrow from both Apache and Eclipse models. “When you take the core principles of Apache — how developers are respected and empowered along with some Eclipse concepts around investing in the [broader] ecosystem, we think we’ll drive things forward,” Bryce said.

Expect more talk about the foundation, its governance, and its roadmap to come at next week’s OpenStack Spring Conference.

Disclosure: Piston is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.

Mozilla firefox 10 released

firefox v10

Another major release by mozilla for firefox on 31th Jan 2012. A gift to firefox lovers with this new version 10.0 . I would like to share some of the key update and few unresolved issues still pending in firefox.

New features in firefox 10.0

  1.  The forward button is now hidden until you navigate back.
  2. Most add ons are compatible with firefox by default now (Good news for add on junkies).
  3. Anti-aliasing for webgl is now implemented (see bug 615976)
  4. CSS3 3D-transforms are now supported (see bug 505115)
  5. HTML 5 New <bdi> element for bi-directional text isolation, along with supporting CSS properties (see bugs 613149 and 662288)
  6. Full Screen APIs allow you to build a web application that runs full screen (see the feature page)
  7. For developers mozilla has added IndexedDB APIs to more closely match the specification.
  8. Inspect too with content highlighting, included new CSS style Inspector.

Fixed issues

  1. Mac OS X only – after installing the latest Java release from Apple, Firefox may crash when closing a tab with a Java applet installed.
  2. Some users may experience a crash when moving bookmarks

Known Unresolved issues

  1. Two-digit browser version numbers may cause a small number of website incompatibilities (see 690287)
  2. If you try to start Firefox using a locked profile, it will crash
  3. For some users, scrolling in the main GMail window will be slower than usual.
  4. Firefox notifications may not work properly with Growl 1.3 or later which has been fixed in firefox 11
  5. Silverlight video may not play on some Macintosh hardware

These are the highlighted new feature, fixed issues and known unresolved issues. This dedication of the firefox developed made firefox one of the best browser in the whole world.

 

Firefox 4 After One Day

Firefox 4 for desktop launched yesterday and the reports says that within 24 hours of being announced it had been downloaded 7.1 million times. This is in addition to the more than 3 million people who were already running the release candidate that became the final version of Firefox 4. Firefox 4 is blazingly fast, cleverly intuitive to use, and for the first time, will be delivered consistently across desktops and mobile devices when Firefox 4 for Android and Maemo lands in the next couple of weeks.

Beyond the obvious, Firefox 4 more profoundly starts the redefinition of the “browser” – from a piece of code traditionally used to simply view, and link to static information, to a trusted environment we live our online lives in, and which we rely on to securely engage with information, applications, friends, colleagues and so much more.

As we do so much more online, we must expect so much more from our browser environment. We should expect it to know who we are, wherever we go. We should expect it to remember such simple things as history, passwords, open tabs, open applications – and remember those on our behalf, wherever we go online, on any device, and without the need to re-enter anything. We should expect it to move at human speed, while being completely customizable and yet so simple and intuitive, anyone can use it. We should expect it to enable us to live in the level of privacy and security WE choose to, everywhere WE go.

In short, we should expect our browser to answer to no one but us!

Mozilla is a community of nearly 50,000 contributors worldwide who come together to build a better Internet that is free, open and accessible to all. If you are one of the more than 400 million users of Firefox already, or if you are brand new to Firefox, welcome to 4, we hope you enjoy the freedom.

 

By

Gary Kovacs

Mozilla Launched Social Media Toolkit

Today Mozilla announced the launch of the Social Media Toolkit.

The Mozilla Social Media Toolkit is a set of tools that allows you to leverage social media to market Mozilla and Firefox in your region and beyond.  The toolkit contains everything you’ll need from best practices, tips and tricks, to design assets for both Facebook and Twitter.

Are you a Mozillian that has a community or localized Mozilla/Firefox social media account?  Or are you interested in setting one up?  Then this toolkit is for you!

Go check out the toolkit! together we can see an increase in the Mozilla social media space!

SDK For Yahoo! Messenger IM Released

This is a big day for Yahoo! Messenger. Yahoo! announced that they’ve opened up the Yahoo! Messenger platform for developers. This exciting SDK will allow developers to use the Yahoo! Messenger platform to create innovative new applications and services.

Yahoo! tried to make their SDK as simple to use as possible. They’ve exposed a new REST API for the Yahoo! Messenger platform — the same API that they use with thei own products. So they know that it’s rock solid. In fact, all you need is a little knowledge of HTTP and JSON and you’ll be up and running in no time, no matter what programming environment you’re using. The SDK contains all keys Yahoo! Messenger features that you’ve come to expect, including real-time presence, contact-list management, instant messaging, file transfers, and user-image management.

Please make sure you read the documentation that Yahoo! included. This document provides best practices, guidelines for using the service, Messenger logos (including our beloved Smiley), and test cases to make sure your application is working properly.

Finally, note that they’re rolling out the SDK in most of Asia, as well as India, initially. The reason we chose this region is the dynamic nature of instant messaging in this market. There are some crazy and wonderful things with Yahoo! Messenger coming out of this corner of the world.

For those of you in the rest of the world don’t worry; we have plans to roll out this program on a larger scale very soon.

Here’s a list of handy links:

Get Firefox Home on Your iPhone!

Firefox Home, a free application, is now available for download on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

Firefox Home provides access to your Firefox desktop history, bookmarks and open tabs on your iPhone. Get up and go and have exactly what you are looking for on the Web on your iPhone or iPod Touch. Firefox Home uses your browser data, securely synced from Firefox on your desktop to the cloud, to let you search and browse quickly and efficiently. You can view the sites you want directly in Firefox Home, open them in Mobile Safari or share them with friends via email. Your Firefox data is private and only you have access to it.

Quick Start:

If you have Firefox Sync on your desktop, skip to step #3.

  1. Install Firefox Sync, a free add-on for Firefox, on your desktop.
  2. Restart Firefox and follow prompts to create an account with both a password and a secret phrase.
  3. Go the App Store on your iPhone and search for “Firefox Home” or install it directly from iTunes.
  4. Launch Firefox Home on your iPhone. You’ll be prompted to enter your Firefox Sync account info. Enter your username, password and Secret Phrase and tap “Done.”
  5. Enjoy!

More detailed set-up instructions are available, as well as a answers to frequently asked questions.

Firefox 4 Beta 1 Launched

Firefox 4 Beta 1 is now ready to download and test! This first version gives an early look at what’s planned for Firefox 4. Stay tuned, because there is more to come and mozilla plan to release new beta versions every two to three weeks. Your feedback is essential to help shape the product which is why they’re launching now to hear from you early in their development process.

Firefox 4 Beta 1 includes dozens of major features and improvements – by testing them early they’ll be able to respond to your feedback for future versions of Firefox. Once you download Firefox 4 Beta 1, you’re part of our beta program and will receive regular updates as more features launch.

If you are using a Windows PC, the most noticeable new feature will be the look of the browser. Mozilla moved the tabs to the top to make it easier to focus on the web content and easier to control the tools in your Web browser. Also, if you have Windows 7 or Windows Vista the Menu bar was replaced with a single Firefox button so you can get to the most used options with just one click. These changes will be coming soon for Mac and Linux.

There is a lot more to this beta than a facelift on Windows, including:

  • New Add-Ons Manager: gives you more space to manage your Add-Ons, Themes and Plugins. Customizing your browser has never been easier!
  • HD Video: Watch hardware-accelerated, super-smooth, HD-quality HTML5 video on YouTube using the new WebM format.
  • Privacy improvements: Mozilla always puts privacy first, and this latest beta fixes flaws in some Web standards that could expose your browser history.
  • Crash Protection: Experience uninterrupted browsing (now available on all platforms) – when a plugin crashes or freezes, you can resume browsing by simply refreshing the page.
  • Performance: We know that performance is important. In this version, we focused on improving responsiveness at start-up and during page loads. This is just the beginning for performance improvements in Firefox 4.

Web developers will be interested in some of the changes we’ve made under the hood:

  • HTML5 Parser: Run the best Web apps of today and tomorrow – if a user’s browser doesn’t support HTML5, they still won’t miss out on your content.
  • WebSockets: Build real-time, online interactions like gaming and chatting.
  • IndexedDB: Use structured storage in your Web applications to speed them up or provide offline support.
  • Web Console: Peek into dynamic websites with this experimental “Heads Up Display” analysis tool.
  • Simpler Add-On Development: Authors can create Add-Ons that don’t require a restart to install, develop their Add-Ons more quickly using the new powerful Jetpack SDK, and safely connect to existing libraries using js-ctypes.
  • For a full list of Web technologies supported by Firefox check out our “big chart o’ features.”

There will be much more to test in future beta releases and not everything that you see in this beta is guaranteed to be in Firefox 4. That’s why they need your feedback to help shape Firefox 4. To make it easier to give feedback, Firefox 4 Beta includes a new Feedback Add-On. Any time you run across something you like or don’t like, just click the Feedback button and tell them about it. The Add-On also includes Mozilla Labs’ Test Pilot , and will ask you to take part in anonymous studies. You can choose to opt-out of any or all studies by managing your settings in the Feedback button (no data will be sent to Mozilla without your permission).

Help build the best Firefox ever:

  • Download Firefox 4 Beta
  • Learn more about the features
  • Submit your feedback
  • FAQ
  • Get the detailed Release Notes

Mozilla want to thank the Mozilla community of nightly testers for the amazing feedback that helped shaped Firefox 4 Beta 1.

ChromeVis a new Chrome Extension for Users with low Vision

From text that is too small to read, to user interfaces that do not offer keyboard navigation options, users with special needs face a lot of challenges when trying to access websites they are interested in. Google Chrome team believe that extensions can complement the work the team is  doing to make Google Chrome more accessible and can help users with disabilities turn the web from an often unwelcoming place to an environment they can truly enjoy.

Today Google is  launching a new category of featured extensions under the name “Accessibility”. On this page you’ll find ChromeVis a brand new extension from Google that allows users with low vision to magnify and change the color of selected text. You will also find extensions like Chrome Daltonize that can help color blind users to see more details in web pages or gleeBox that provides alternatives to actions traditionally performed via the mouse such as clicking, scrolling and selecting text fields.

All users can benefit from these extensions – not just users with disabilities. To encourage more developers to incorporate best practices in accessibility when designing extensions, Google’ve open sourced the code behind Chrome Vis and created relevant documentation. You can get more information in the Chromium blog.

One can develop a lot of great extensions to benefit users with special needs. Google plan to release a few more in the next months so stay tuned for more updates.

Firefox 3.6.6 Now Available for Download

Today, Firefox launched an update to our crash protection feature to extend the amount of time Firefox will wait before terminating unresponsive plugins.

The crash protection feature, first introduced in Firefox 3.6.4, protects Windows and Linux users from crashes and freezes caused by third party plugins such as Flash and Silverlight. When a plugin crashes, users can reload the Web page to restart the plugin and continue browsing. When a plugin freezes, making the whole browser unresponsive, Firefox 3.6.4 terminates the unresponsive plugin after waiting 10 seconds. These changes were tested with a beta audience of close to one million users.

Following the release of Firefox 3.6.4 we heard from some users, mainly those using older computers, that they sometimes expect longer periods of non-responsiveness from plugins, especially with games. For these users the default timeout of 10 seconds was too short. To address this, we increased the amount of time Firefox waits for a plugin to respond before terminating it from 10 to 45 seconds. This change has been made in Firefox 3.6.6, which was released today as an automatic update for all users.

Firefox 3.6.4 with Crash Protection Now Available

Today, Mozilla is happy to release Firefox 3.6.4, the latest security and stability release for Firefox, used by nearly 400 million people around the world to browse the Web. This release provides crash protection for Windows and Linux users by isolating third-party plugins when they crash.

Results from our beta testing show Firefox 3.6.4 will significantly reduce the number of Firefox crashes experienced by users who are watching online videos or playing games. When a plugin crashes or freezes while using Firefox, users can enjoy uninterrupted browsing by simply refreshing the page.

Mozilla recognizes that third-party plugins provide important functionality in many of today’s websites. At the same time, plugins can lead to problems for users as they browse. With the ability to automatically alert users when they have out of date plugins, and now crash protection, Firefox 3.6.4 allows users to experience all the content they love without any of the hassles. (If you’re not running Firefox, Mozilla recommends that you make a habit of visiting the Plugin Check page to keep your plugins up to date.)

At this time Firefox offers crash protection for Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime and Microsoft Silverlight on Windows and Linux computers. Support for other plugins and operating systems will become available in a future Firefox release.

All Firefox users are encouraged to upgrade for free by using the “Check for Updates” function in the Help menu, or by visiting www.firefox.com. For more information, please visit: