Goings On – 2012 So Far

Mozilla Croatia Community

So far this year it has been busy and exciting for me. So in reverse chronological order, here are some things I have been up to recently.

Briks Is 6

I meant to call out the 5 year anniversary last year but it slipped by as I was too busy. Six is better, it rhymes! I set up Briks Software this month 6 years ago. Briks is a Web Consultancy that specialises in all things Mozilla and sometimes beyond. We do Add-ons, XULRunner apps, bug fixes, mobile work, and more. We’ve worked on projects large and small, with big companies and startups. Briks is not a 1-person show, I like to call it a Mozilla Development Collective. I’ve had various folks come on board per-project over the 6 years and quite frankly Briks would not have been so successful without them. There are 2 people that I would like to give a special shout-out to. Chris Neale is the glue that keeps everything together, from the web site to design to graphics to listening to me ramble on Skype all day. David McNamara is a coder who can whip something up before you can say ‘digital drifter’. See his recent profile on Bonjour Mozilla!.

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Spreading The Word

For the past few years I’ve been wandering around attending technology events and speaking at many of them. As I work from a home office, I get a lot out of this from the perspective of breaking the daily routine and being social. At the start of this year I stepped back and made a conscious decision to slow down in 2011, both for personal reasons and as well to focus on client projects at Briks. Now I’m itching to get back on the road!

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Pretty Install

There was a plan to turn the Firefox add-on install dialog into a doorhanger dialog (bug 588266). This has been abandoned in favour of an approach using tabs (bug 643020). Rather than let the work for the former approach go to waste, we are releasing it as an add-on.

USAGE:

  • It only works for remote installs. For local installs, the current dialog shows.
  • Clicking anywhere outside the doorhanger dismisses it and cancels the install.
  • Switching to a new tab or window when the doorhanger is open cancels the install.

If you feel like it is an experiment worth pursuing further, the source is available on github.

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Xultris : Mobile Add-on Game Goodness

While I’m not a gamer in general, I do love retro-games. I’ve been thinking that on Mobile, games provide great opportunities for Firefox add-on developers. They are a great way to spend that short bus ride, for example. I think there should be a Games category on Mozilla Add-ons. At Briks we wanted to showcase this with some fun games, so are going about porting a couple of the wonderful distractions from games.mozdev.org. First up, the Tetris clone Xultris.

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Collecting Add-ons In More Applications

If you are an add-on fan and missed the Mozilla Add-ons blog post about the new Add-on Collector release (1.1), be sure and go and read it:

Add-on Collector now supports Thunderbird, Seamonkey, and Mobile

This is a project that Dave and I at Briks really enjoy working on. The challenge for this release was making it work with Thunderbird (TB) 2, and mobile support. Thunderbird 2 uses the Mozilla 1.8 branch which meant that the Add-on window overlay code was different. We threw away the overlay bindings and built them from scratch. It’s rarely fun supporting old platforms, but when we started the port TB3 was not out yet. TB3, and Seamonkey (SM), in comparison was a breeze as the toolkit code is the same as Firefox 3.x. Thanks to Igor Velkov for the SM patch.

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