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Just a longtime Mozilla user since M4, currently running Thunderbird 3.1.x, SeaMonkey 2.1 beta and Minefield 4bX nightly builds on a Windows XP/Kubuntu AMD64 dual-boot machine, and SeaMonkey 2.0.X on Windows Vista. I've never written Mozilla code but I file bugs and kvetch on blogs and update this wiki and MDC.

Maybe I can get the tech writing and community development job at Mozilla.

My main blog at

Linux web apps

I followed Marketplace/Mozillian_Preview, trying it with Firefox nightly profiling

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:16.0) Gecko/16.0 Firefox/16.0a1 ID:20120608040226
  • Improved and fixed wiki page.
  • Following instructions, I installed and also
    • bug 763354 Install button should switch to green installing, then fade animation color to installed. I was looking for something underneath where the doorhanger "OK to install" appeared. Also after installation, you can click the marketplace [Installed] button again and it switches to [Installing...]
    • Enhancement (maybe bug 745924 or bug 740922?): after installation, surely there should be something on the Marketplace web page to let me run the app?! If it's a web app why can't I see it in my web browser? The desktop integration is neat, but not what I expect from a "web app"
  • In Kubuntu 12.04, the app is added to the Kickoff menu (the "Start menu" equivalent in the KDE Plasma Desktop GUI), but known bug 760748: it's in the section Lost and Found because the app's .desktop file lacks a Categories line.
  • Each app installs 3+MB of stuff in ~/.http;sitehost, should be ~/.local/share/mozilla_apps/http;sitehost (I updated bug 763183).
  • Tried running app, it started up but exited.
    • bug 763358 upon running from console, console first displays
      webapprt-stub:8885): GLib-CRITICAL **: g_slice_set_config: assertion `sys_page_size == 0' failed
    • bug 763360 Private Joe window starts to appear then console displays
      ###!!! ABORT: X_ShmPutImage: BadMatch (invalid parameter attributes); 6 requests ago: file /builds/slave/profiling-lnx64-ntly/build/toolkit/xre/nsX11ErrorHandler.cpp, line 157<br/>###!!! ABORT: X_ShmPutImage: BadMatch (invalid parameter attributes); 6 requests ago: file /builds/slave/profiling-lnx64-ntly/build/toolkit/xre/nsX11ErrorHandler.cpp, line 157
  • BUG: some of the command-line options for the webapp runtime (~/.app origin -help) may not make sense

Semantic MediaWiki now has Semantic MediaWiki and Semantic Forms (an the add-on for the add-on) installed. SMW lets you annotate links and values in wiki pages, so you can indicate why a page has "Firefox 8" or "Kanai" or "Blocked" or "2008-11-04" in it — these are values for properties like Property:Feature version or Property:Surname or eventstartdate. You can then browse and query on these. It's way less than a database and way more human-readable text.

I'm interested because I've worked on SMW and helped sites like use it (for events, releases, features).

  • Dria is using feature properties to generate a form to enter/edit product features, and to query them.
  • User:Ppapadeas is using this to track events.
  • Someone added semantic annotations to the {{Remobox}} user template, so you can show people and e.g. sort by surname

Special:Properties hints at how SMW features are in use on the wiki.

Some sample queries /SMW/examples

Expanding the scope of Firefox

I spend most of my time in the browser. This leads to some ideas:

Everything should be a browser-like app running on XULRunner

  • XULRunner advocacy I want all desktop apps to share one XULRunner runtime. Memory/disk/paging isn't free

Update 2011

OK, that didn't happen, although some Linux distributions ship a XULRunner package.

How about Ship Thunderbird, BlueGriffon, Songbird, etc. as XULRunner apps that reuse the Firefox runtime !?

Places as a file manager

I got the little green OLPC kid laptop, whose Sugar UI tries to come up with a different metaphor for files (see Sugar Journal design), then struggles to make this work in a world where all the kid's interaction with the web comes through browsing.

Then I read about the Firefox tablet idea from TechCrunch.

Places is already a different metaphor for URL management, so...

/Places as a next-gen file manager

Mail folders and messages in Firefox

Just as files and directories on-disk should be first-class items in Firefox with a Places view, so should mail messages and mail folders. Firefox 4.0 has all kinds of things becoming specialized tabs in Firefox like about:addons, why not mail? (At least a file:/// URL can show up in Firefox and you can tag it and add it to bookmarks and a tab group.)

I filed this as enhancement bug 610536 - should be a Mail folders sidebar and folder & message tabs in Firefox. I put some great benefits and rationale in the bug. But Joshua Cranmer immediately set it as a dupe of bug 252425 - provide Thunderbird as extension for Firefox, which is marked WONTFIX. Oh well.

Firefox <-> Platform mapping

/Firefox - Platform mapping

This should go in Releases

All my subpages

(This uses the nifty Special:Prefixindex and FULLPAGENAME magic word):
Skierpage/BugsSkierpage/Firefox - Platform mappingSkierpage/Places as a next-gen file manager
Skierpage/SMW/examplesSkierpage/SMW/testSkierpage/SMW queries
Skierpage/SM 2.2 update notesSkierpage/no page/subsubpage