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Friday, December 26, 2008

Firefox for Mobile Devices

I'd like to share a little bit old presentation about Mobile Firefox.

From: mobileportland, 2 months ago

Firefox For Mobile Devices
Dietrich Ayala's presentation at May 2008 meeting of Mobile Portland

SlideShare Link

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Firefox+ Summit




I attended Firefox+ Summit at Whistler, Canada. It was a great time in my life because I met Mozilla folks who I had known the name only and talk about some issues I have wondered.

This occasion was held to celebrate Firefox3 release and talk about the future plan of Firefox3.1 and the current issues.

About 400 Mozilla peoples joined the summit coming from all over the World. They are involved in the various projects such as AMO(Add-ons), QA, Localization, Gecko, JavaScript, Mobile, UX, evangelist, messaging, SVG, MDC, and so on.

How could all peoples come together for Mozilla?

Mozilla is now making an effort to keep the freedom of the Web and Internet, because many companies are trying to change the web in their own unique ways by spreading proprietary technologies. Those approaches look like gorgeous and helpful for the users, but they hurt the Web. Although Mozilla is just a nonprofit corporation, but there are countless contributors and volunteers. So I believe that we can change the Web in a standard and open way although those activities are a little bit slow and require more consensus.

Let's make the Web a better place.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Firefox Seoul Party for celebrating the release of Firefox3

Mitchell Baker, chair of the Mozilla foundation and Gen Kanai, Asia marketing manager, visited Korea to attend the OECD ministerial meeting during June 17th ~ 18th and give talks in the Future of Global Web Technology conference on June 19th.

Coincidentally, Mozilla had officially released Firefox3 in this period of time, so the Mozilla Korea Community hosted a Firefox Seoul party to celebrate the release of Firefox3. They also attended the party, so it made the event more exciting for the community.

Before the party, I had the opportunity to have dinner with Mitchell Baker and Gen Kanai. I heard about the story of how Mitchell started her career in IT and was involved in the Mozilla project. It was an awesome story. I think she embodies the history of the Web herself.

I was also pleased to meet Gen, although we had not met each other,  because I had seen his talk in the Lift conference and read his blog. So I felt like I was meeting people I was already acquainted with. In addition, he has already written about the Mozilla Korea Community activities and the unique situation of using ActiveX controls in Korea in  his blog. So I'd like to thank him for his efforts.


There were some events during the party. Firstly, we enjoyed an interesting video of introducing the new features of Firefox3 and some photos of the Mozilla Korea Community activities.

Secondly, we had a Q&A time with Michell Baker. She kindly gave us answers about many questions regarding Mozilla/Firefox despite the late time and busy schedule. It left me wondering where she got her power & passion.

As the chair of the Mozilla foundation, she has striven to make the people all over the world access the Web equally without any restrictions. So I think that those efforts make her more powerful and active.

Thanks, Mozilla for keeping the Web for everyone; I will also help Mozilla spread Firefox.

Photo by Gen Kanai

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Latest looks of Fennec (Mobile Firefox)

The plan of Mobile Firefox was announced in October last year and the Mozilla community is now very busy to develop Mobile Firefox.

Fennec is the code name of Mobile Firefox, which is a desert fox. You may have seen a fennec in TV animation. The size of fennec is smaller than normal fox and it has big ears. So I think the name of Fennec seems to be suited well for Mobile Firefox.

The Mozilla Community opened the source code of Fennec and a guide of how to build it. It is a little bit intricate to build it because it is not merged into the Mozilla trunk.

After build and run, you can see the following appearance.

Fennec (Mobile Firefox) on N810


Flock: Editing Bookmark

The basic features of browser were already implemented such as the navigation bar and bookmark menu. But, panning is a little bit slow and zooming is not working in the latest code.

Fennec can be built in Maemo Scratchbox and run on XULRunner so I'll post a way of how to build and run in N810 later. It would be helpful if you give any feedbacks to the Mozilla community after testing Fennec.

References

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My N810 delivered from the US.

I bought a Nokia N810 from Amazon. Actually, there are not any Internet shopping mall selling N810 in Korea. So I was obliged to buy a N810 from oversea shopping mall.
Anyway, I am very satisfied with N810. It may be my favorite toy.

N810 uses the maemo platform that is based on linux 2.6, GTK+, Matchbox and other open source softwares. Scratchbox is used for its development environment that supports a cross platform development environment. So the user can implement an application without knowing how to use a tool chain for specific target devices.

And many applications can be installed from the repository using debian packaging & repository system.

I think it's true open mobile platform based on Linux. Because Nokia gave their governance of hildon to the GNOME community.

First, I'd like to build XUL Runner and run Fennec (Mozilla Mobile).
It seems to be able to compiled on N810 and Windows Mobile6. So I'll check the status and give a feedback to the community.

:-)

References

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Camera Interface on Mobile Platform

Mozilla platform is trying to support device APIs for mobile environment.
Some people call them native interface

I already posted a blog on device APIs

The Mozilla community started to discuss what the device APIs should be supported through the news group and Mozilla wiki.

Christopher added some information regarding the device APIs in the wiki.
So you can find on-going issues to support the device APIs. They are not confirmed, so you can suggest your idea & opinion to them.

Actually, I'm interested in implementing a camera interface for Mozilla platform. This camera interface is not so important on desktop, but it plays a important role in mobile environment. Because the users can take a photo more easily using their phone.

That is a reason why Mozilla Mobile has been interested in implementing Camera API on Mozilla platform.

I think that implementing Camera API seems to be not difficult, because Mozilla already showed its video playback functionality through HTML5 element, which uses the GStreamer framework. So we can use a camera input instead of network stream. But, you should know how to use the camera input inside Mozilla.

Some of mobile platforms provide a way of using their camera input such as Windows Mobile5.0, Maemo platform. So I'd like to introduce the APIs as follows,

MaemoPlatform
There is an article which introduces how to use the Camera API
According to the article, applications can access the Camera interface through a kernel API called Video4Linux. The built-in camera present in Nokia N810 looks compatible with Video-4-Linux version 2 API from the article.

Fortunately, the Maemo platform delegates all multimedia handling to the GStreamer framework. It means that developers can use the Camera API if they know only how to use the GStreamer framework on Maeme platform.


Windows Mobile 5.0
Windows Mobile developers can manipulate the camera input through DirectShow. But It needs to know some prior knowledge of how to use COM interface.

Mozilla Mobile is planning to support the Camera interface through JavaScript. I'm not sure if Mozilla Mobile will expose the interface for the Web. Someday, the users would be able to upload their photos taken by the camera directly from Mobile Firefox to Flickr in any ways.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Real Full Browsing in Korea

LG Telelcom, the smallest of three telecom operators in Korea launched mobile full browsing service with an attractive fixed-rate plan that allows unlimited data download within 6 month and 1G bytes after then for 6,000 won ($6) per month.

Other telecom operators also have provided mobile full browsing service, but the rate plan is very expensive. For example, SK telecom charges about 3072Won(3$) per 1MB for data transfer.

The full browser was provided by Infraware that is a Korean company. It features Ajax and zoomo-in/out so the user can use most of features of the Web.

But there are still limitations of using the Internet. This service is only for browsing the Web. Other kinds of network access are limited by expensive rate such as on-line game, Internet accessible applications. There is also limitation of data download although 1G bytes is large size of data.

Anyway, this would be a significant change for mobile web in Korea. Therefore, many of the user will be able to experience real full browsing in mobile environment from now.

I'm looking forward to another new services which provide more open environment at an affordable price for users

* Reference

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bangalore is a heaven of SW engineers

I have been to Bangalore, India for a while.
I spent busy time so I couldn't write blogs for the time.
As you know, there are so many IT companies in Bangalore. Most of them are from the US, EU. So now, Bangalore is called the silicon valley of India.

Therefore, excellent SW engineers now have come to here from each state of India and even other countries. They are well educated in good universities of technology and use English well .
Indian SW companies also are developed well. They are not only carrying on outsourcing, but also are exporting their solutions such as banking, accounting, ERP. InfoSys, WiPro, and TaTa Consulting are the typical companies.

InfoSys,Bangalore

Actually, many of IT engineers & researchers moved to the US for getting a job in 80s ~early 90s because there was no good jobs for them in India at that time. As a result, some Indians had successful results. The founder of hotmail is a good example. And now, they are leading IT of the US. Microsoft can't do anything without Indian engineers.

They are now returning to India with high technologies & western corporate culture and distribute advanced SW technologies to their country. New engineers are learning and experiencing cutting-edge tchnologies, process, management skill from them.

I think Bangalore is a heaven for SW engineers. There are so many jobs in various areas. So they can find a fovoured job and easy to go to another country to get a more good job if they have enough careers and skills.

So IT areas is the most popular for Indian students and many students want to be a SW engineer.

I think that the future of Indian SW business is very bright. There are enough human resource and good education system. They have experienced various business & technical cases from the foreign companies that advanced in India.

Someday, Indian SW companies will play a more important role in IT revolution of the World.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Open Source in Asia


I'd like to introduce a presentation about open source in Asia.

The speaker is Gen Kanai who is working for Mozilla Corporation.
He talked about Mozilla community & open source activities in Asia such as:
  • Situation of Mozilla Community in Korea, China, Japan, and Taiwan
  • Three barriers to participate in Open Source Projects such as culture, language and education
  • Examples of Open Source Project in ASIA (Ruby, Red flag linux, and Dzongkha Debain Linux)
The leader of Korea Mozilla Community, Channy Yun commented the situation of Open Source Activities in Korea.

You can understand the situation of Open source in Korea from this article.

Thanks

Saturday, January 26, 2008

How to support native interfaces on the Web

I posted an article about supporting native interfaces in Mobile Firefox. Byt the way, I found information regarding my post from here. This paper explained the native interfaces I talked as sensors on device and introduced how to send their sensed data to servers via the Web.

The sensor means a device that reads data from the user's physical environment. By the way, I am interested in how to get data from the native interfaces via web browser. I have not considered yet how a browser sends data to a server.
Anyway, this paper seems to be useful to extend technologies of web browser in a standard way.

Getting a location data from a GPS sensor was already realized on FirefoxDoug introduced this news in his blog and he implemented a prototype. I think it needs to be standardized

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Performance test of the microB patches

I have tested the microB patches based on Mozilla1.9(Firefox3 alpha6 pre.)

- The microB package contains more 200 patches and several patch sets.
- It is released with Firefox3 alpha6 pre. now.

Two kinds of test case are used.
- Tinderbox DHTML Test
- CSS Rendering

Target Device : PAX320, RAM 256MB

And I got the following results on TestGtkEmbed in Mozilla.

* Tinderbox DHTML Test:
The microB patched Mozilla is 2.2 % faster than Mozilla1.9 (Firefox alpah6 pre).

* CSS Rendering:
The microB patched Mozlla is 5.6 % slower (?) than Mozilla1.9

I applied the default patch set of microB to Mozilla1.9

I can't understand why the microB patches is slow in the case of CSS Rendering.

The following items are performance related patches in the default patch set.

#Performance improvements
perf_addon/attachment.cgi?id=246204.diff
perf_addon/new_cached_scale.gtk2.diff
perf_addon/bug54205.diff
perf_addon/540_BUG54340_js_malloc.diff
perf_addon/545_BUG54340_findkeyword_inline.diff
perf_addon/550_BUG54340_optimization_options.diff
perf_addon/thread_wait_block.diff
perf_addon/spidermonkey_alloc.diff
perf_addon/605_css_erros_parsing_disable.diff

There are also some patches on Cairo.

I did not go through what each patch means.

Looking forward to your opinion & thought about the results.

Thanks


p.s. There is the same article on Mozilla newsgroup.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Teach yourself Mozilla in 5 days

Mozilla project and Senecac college have worked together on Mozilla related research and development projects. And they are opening some courseworks for Mozilla and open source.

The results are now posted on the project wiki so you can find various projects and technical reports made by students. Particularly, there is the lab of "Real World Mozilla" that leads students to learn and practice how to develop on the Mozilla platform from building to testing Firefox. It is also helpful to anyone who interest on development on Mozilla because it is documented well in the wiki.

In Korea, Daum corporation and Jeju national university made a open source related course together. So I think if they make and share the results related with open source projects, it will foster the proliferation of open source culture and movements in Korea.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Ideas on supporting native interfaces in Mobile Firefox

I'd like to share my ideas on native interface support in Mobile Firefox.
These ideas are based on Christian's Mobile Goal.
http://www.christiansejersen.com/blog/2007/11/20/mobile-goals/

Goal
Provide mobile web application environment which can use native interfaces.
- It can make XUL add-ons & web applications use native interfaces
through JavaScript

Types of Native Interfaces
(Most of mobile platforms support APIs for easy of use for camera, GPS, contact, and etc..)

There are two types of native interface:
* native interfaces from hardware
- GPS
- Camera
- Phone Call

* native interfaces from application engine
(HTML5)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

libpng patch for Mobile Firefox

There are submitted patches for Mobile Firefox on the Mozilla wiki.
http://wiki.mozilla.org/Mobile/Patches

My colleague tried to apply the png patch to Mozilla and get a good result related to performance improvement.

As you know, we can build the libpng fixed point routines like the above patch.
(Use #define PNG_NO_FLOATING_POINT_SUPPORTED in mozilla/modules/libimg/png/mozpngconf.h )

In this case, he can get 8.6% performance improvement.
It's great. I think this patch is valuable to use on Mobile Firefox.

However, there is the following problem in this patch.
Mozilla handles some floating point values to get image information from the libpng so the patch commented those parts in the info_callback() function. (mozilla/modules/libpr0n/decoders/png/nsPNGDecoder.cpp)
The problem is that color management feature should get color profile information from the libpng. The following code shows the example:

void
info_callback(png_structp png_ptr, png_infop info_ptr)
{
...

if (gfxPlatform::IsCMSEnabled()) {
decoder->mInProfile = PNGGetColorProfile(png_ptr, info_ptr,
color_type, &inType, &intent);
}
...
}

We can check the value of gfx.color_management.enabled through the gfxPlatform::IsCMSEnable() method.

If the gfx.color_management.enabled is true, you can use the color profiles embedded in images to adjust the colors to match your computer's display. In this case, Mozilla should call the PNGGetColorProfile() method. But this method handles floating point values.

Fortunately, Mozilla sets the value of gfx.color_management.enabled to false as default. The PNGGetColorProfile() method is not called. Nevertheless, the patch commented this part because a user may try to set the value to true.
Anyway, the color management feature is not used basically now.


If Mobile Firefox should use the color management feature, the png patch needs more tweaks.

How do you think about that?