Category Archives: Software

Firefox now implementing the latest Custom Element spec

This week we saw bug 856140 Update document.register to adhere to the latest Custom Element spec fixed. So you can now do things such as declaring and instancing <fancy-button>s, which you couldn’t do with the previous implementation, because it would require your custom element’s name to start with an x-, following the old spec. Also, UI libraries such as Brick and other X-Tag based libraries won’t break because the callbacks are never called when web components are enabled. Those are all old bad nightmares from the past!

However the spec isn’t finalised yet–hence you can’t be done implementing something which hasn’t been written yet. And we need people to experiment with web components in Firefox and report bugs if they find them (you can file them under Product = Core, Component = DOM).

If you want to try this out, you can download a Nightly copy and follow the instructions in my Shadow DOM post to enable web components support (it’s disabled by default to prevent “breaking the world”, as Potch would put it).

Firefox OS Simulator is now a component in Bugzilla

So you can now file bugs under Product = Firefox OS, Component = Simulator.

Or look for existing bugs!

PS. Aren’t you AMAZE at my mad bugzilla skillzzz? I created direct links for you to file or search Firefox OS Simulator bugs. Ahhh, the power of query strings in URLs…!

Moz Stumbler and Mozilla location services

I learnt about this new thing back in the Mozilla Summit, a little more than a week away.

The project goals are better detailed in their site and the wiki, but basically they aim to determine if it’s feasible to provide location service data, which is something only a “privileged few” can do right now.

At this stage the project needs real data to start with, and so they’ve got a very simple app for collecting it, called MozStumbler, and a leaderboard to encourage you to “compete” and gather more data. There are some stats too.

moz stumbler app

This is totally experimental, and, as they said, “not as pretty as Ingress… yet”, but if you want to contribute you just need to download the MozStumbler app and start walking around. Then press “Stop” to upload when you’re done. A word of warning: since this is super beta, make sure you’ve got a data connection when you press Stop or you might not get your data uploaded :-P

The map shows pretty sparse regions, so what about each one of you join in and help fill in the gaps? :-)

moz stumbler map

Or you could also join in and help with some Android code!

Update: Forgot to mention that there’s also an API you can access. So the data comes in, but it can also come out :-)

I might be weird but I find this project quite enjoyable. There’s a certain thrill about walking around and seeing the number of scanned locations and wi-fi access points grow…

The unexpected wrath of the angry developer

I attended a tech meeting yesterday where I had my first experience of an angry developer complaining to me about “HTML5 is utterly broken” just because I work at Mozilla.

YAY! #achievementunlocked, as they say nowadays.

I couldn’t really figure out the exact details of what happened to this person, no matter how hard I tried. He had probably drunk a little bit too much wine, and wouldn’t stop repeating something about old flex box model, new flex box model something something, and having to update broken sites afterwards.

I tried to guessexplain to him that maybe he had been using prefixed properties, which he probably shouldn’t have done for client work, and that luckily browser makers are steering away from the whole prefixed stuff workflow because of the issues it brings with it, but I don’t believe I was loud enough to be authoritative, or that he wanted to listen either.
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Using $environment variables for configuring Vim

I didn’t manage to convince people in my team to use tabs instead of spaces, but I didn’t want to change to another editor in order to have a different profile for that, and didn’t want to be activating the “use spaces” setting each time I need to work on Mozilla code. I still wanted to use Vim and my config, so how could I have my cake and eat it too, so to speak?

Well, I thought, since I use a different computer for Mozilla stuff, the solution is easy: define a certain environment variable in my .bashrc file, and if .vimrc finds that variable, changes my profile to use spaces. Else it’s tabs and business as normal. This is how I did it:
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