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Friday, January 14, 2011

Mozilla delivers latest Firefox 4 beta | Browsers & Add-Ons | Macworld

Mozilla delivers latest Firefox 4 beta | Browsers & Add-Ons | Macworld

Mozilla on Friday shipped Firefox 4 Beta 9, perhaps the last it will release before it pushes toward a final version now planned to ship by the end of February.

The newest beta includes fewer major changes than its Dec. 22 predecessor, with just a pair of performance improvements—one to the code that handles the browserʼs bookmarks and history list — called out by Mozilla.

According to Mozilla, Beta 9 sports 662 bug fixes or changes, less than half of the 1,400 it made in Beta 8, which launched a little over three weeks ago.
Although Mozilla picked up the pace between Beta 8 and 9—the interval between Beta 7 and 8 was six weeks—the company is pushing developers to get the code in shape for a “release candidate,” the last major milestone before the browser is deemed good enough to officially ship.
Earlier this week, Mozillaʼs head of platform engineering said there were still too many “hard blocker” bugs—flaws that would prevent Firefox 4 from final release—and urged “press hard” toward a February finish line. In a follow-up blog post Thursday, Johnathan Nightingale, the director of Firefox development,
called on all programmers to reevaluate their blocking bugs.

Saying that developers must take a “hard look at our blocker list,” Nightingale added that, “at this point, very few bugs are worth holding back that much awesome.”
Nightingale said that as of Thursday, 143 hard blocker bugs remained, and detailed which flaws fit into the category. “A hard blocker is a failure of a core part of our release criteria, e.g. a crash, a memory leak, a performance hit, a security issue, a [user interface] breakage that canʼt be recovered from, an incompatibility we canʼt stomach,” he said.

Itʼs unclear if Mozilla will do a 10th beta.

Although Firefox Beta 10 remains on a still-current schedule that shows on Mozillaʼs Web site, on Monday Damon Sicore, who leads the companyʼs engineering group, hinted that Beta 9 might be the last.
“If we canʼt get [bugs] to zero in reasonable time, weʼll repeat [a tenth beta],” he said on a Firefox developers mailing list .
By Mozillaʼs schedule, Beta 9 was nearly a month late.

After Firefox wraps up its beta cycle, Mozilla will issue at least one release candidate to shake out any final bugs. The schedule does not show a target ship date for the release candidate.

Nightingale said that he wanted to see a release candidate soon.
“Firefox 4 is good for the Web, good for our users, and puts the heat on other vendors to up their own game,” he said in his blog post yesterday. “We need to ship it ASAP—we want release candidates in weeks, not months.”

Mozillaʼs biggest rival is also nearing release candidate on its next browser. According to several online sources, Microsoft will deliver the release candidate of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) later this month, perhaps on Jan. 28.

Microsoft has said it will ship the final edition of IE9 before the end of March.
Firefox currently accounts for 22.8 percent of all browsers used worldwide, a drop of two percentage points since its peak in November 2009. Internet Explorerʼs 57.1 percent share during December 2010 was 5.6 percentage points lower than the same time the year before.

iOS 4.3 Sneak Preview + New iPhone On Verizon

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jon Stewart Celebrates iPhone Arrival On Verizon, Trashes AT&T

Firefox 4: Path to Shipping - | Google Groups

Mozilla Firefox IconImage via WikipediaFirefox 4: Path to Shipping - | Google Groups

We've worked tremendously hard on Firefox 4, and it's time to ship it. I'm seeing the same burst of excitement and activity that we've seen in the endgame of every release. Over the past several days, component leads have again reduced their blockers by identifying hard blockers and those we can live without. We've around 160 hard blockers remaining, and historically it has taken us six weeks to reach RC once we have 100 blockers left. We must press hard now.

To Finish:
1) We have to reach Release Candidate status as quickly as possible, ideally finishing the hard blockers by the beginning of February and shipping final before the end of February. We'll need your help to balance these targets against the need to build a high quality product.

2) Bug counts demand another beta. We'll drive the beta bugs to zero and ship another beta. If we can't get them to zero in reasonable time, we'll repeat, deliberately. It depends on how quickly we can drive down the list of hard blockers that need beta feedback. This is our top development priority, since it pushes the rest of our schedule.

3) We need *everyone* to help in testing. Specifically: Do not disable Flash, Silverlight, or other major plugins as we need as many people testing these as possible. Windows users: We need to know if you are affected by hardware acceleration causing crashes or other issues. Don't just assume that someone else has filed a bug already. Make sure. Ask someone if you don't know how. This is very important.

MOST IMPORTANT: We must ship the best possible product we can. If a blocker needs more time, tell release drivers and component leads immediately. If you disagree with a blocking call, say so loudly. Do not be timid. This is your product, we need you to own it.
I know you're all tired and stressed. You all do incredible work every day, and you've built an amazing product. Stay focused. Be nice to each other. Firefox 4 is gonna kick ass, and you should be fiercely proud of it.
All my best,


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Verizon to begin offering iPhone 4 in February | Phones | iOS Central | Macworld

Image representing Verizon as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseVerizon to begin offering iPhone 4 in February | Phones | iOS Central | Macworld

iPhone users in the U.S. will soon have a choice of carrier for Apple’s smartphone. Verizon announced Tuesday that it will begin providing wireless service for the iPhone 4 in early February.

What Verizon's network can -- and can't -- give iPhone users
Analyst: Verizon iPhone on track for March 2011 debut
“Two industry innovators are coming together,” Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told reporters at a New York press event announcing the Verizon-Apple deal.

Since its 2007 debut, the iPhone has used AT&T as its sole service provider in the U.S. AT&T will continue to provide wireless service for the iPhone, though the carrier’s exclusive relationship with Apple comes to an end with Tuesday’s announcement.

The iPhone 4 available through Verizon will be a CDMA model, which allows it to work on that carrier’s network. (It's the same standard used by Sprint.) iPhones available through AT&T use the GSM standard (as does T-Mobile). Existing iPhone customers who want to switch from AT&T to Verizon will need to buy a new phone in addition to changing their wireless carrier.

A CDMA iPhone will mean some compromises for users—most notably, the inability of CDMA-based technologies to simultaneously support voice and data connections. That’s the same limitation that faced users of the original iPhone connecting to AT&T’s EDGE network. CDMA is also used primarily in North America and a few other countries, meaning the Verizon iPhone may not be an attractive option for globe-trotting smartphone users.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

MPU 041: Writing “Mac at Work” « Mac Power Users

MPU 041: Writing “Mac at Work” « Mac Power Users

In this episode David and Katie talk about David’s book, "Mac at Work". David explains how he bumbled his way through the publishing process and the tools he used to write the book.

The Tools:
These folks produce the best Mac Podcast on the web. This is also an excellent episode on David Sparky's new book about using the Mac at Work
John H. Armwood

iPad 2 on the Way, Digg Founder Spills - PCWorld

Behold the iPad in All Its Glory.Image via WikipediaiPad 2 on the Way, Digg Founder Spills - PCWorld

011 8:35 am

Digg founder Kevin Rose blogged this week that Apple will announce the iPad 2 in the next three or four weeks -- maybe even February 1.

Social news aggregation pioneer Rose, who has his information "on good authority," says the second edition of Apple's tablet will boast back and front cameras, plus an even better display (initially he wrote of a retina display, but amended his post to add that another source said the display will have a higher dpi but won't technically be a retina display."

Rose warned: "If you're thinking of buying an iPad, hold off for now." (His blog post is actually based on his new paid monthly newsletter called Foundation.)

2011 TECH PRIORITIES: Finding a place for iPads in the enterprise

While many have expected the iPad 2 to feature two cameras in order to exploit Apple's Facetime video chat technology, Apple watcher

Joe White of the AppAdvice website says it will be challenging for Apple to boost the iPad's already stellar resolution without increasing the 9.7-inch screen size.

Network World blogger Yoni Heisler has also been tracking iPad 2 feature rumors, noting the latest speculation about everything from a smaller bezel to wide-range speakers. Some say the iPad 2 will be powered by a dual-core processor.

Buzz around an impending iPad 2 launch was fueled this past week at the CES 2011 conference in Las Vegas by the appearance of what was reported to be an iPad 2 shell and an iPad 2 case with a hole in the back, presumably for a camera to peek through.

PRODUCT ROUNDUP: 2010's most popular iPad apps

Rose's estimate for the iPad 2's launch on Feb. 1, if accurate, would come the week following the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, which Apple is not attending. The first version of the Apple tablet debuted in April, and the company sold more than a million of them in the first month.

Industry watchers see no end to Apple's tablet domination anytime soon, even in the enterprise. Forrester analyst Ted Schadler says Apple has infiltrated the enterprise by way of enthusiastic consumers taking their devices to work and spreading the word. Some estimates have Apple selling as many as 28 million iPads by the end of this year.

The iPad rumors should really pick up, if as expected, Verizon next week reveals its iPhone plans, since so much Apple gossiping energy has been spent on that in recent months. Verizon this week issued an invitation to a mysterious event in New York City on Feb. 3.

Of course, speculation about the next iPhone itself, maybe the iPhone 5, will also keep Apple in the headlines. Industry watchers have been figuring on a spring or summer unveiling for the latest and greatest smartphone.

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