Mozilla 24

Posted in Mozilla, Event, English, Mandriva at 5:51 pm by François Bancilhon

Last Saturday I participated in Mozilla24 a cyber and physical event organized by the Mozilla foundation. The overall event took place in France, Japan, Thailand and the US. The panel discussion I was in was only (I assume for time zone reasons) in France, Japan and Thailand.

In France, it was held at ENST (a Telecommunication Engineering School in Paris), in a rather ugly auditorium (like most auditoriums of French engineering schools). It seemed from the pictures on the screen that they had found similarly ugly places in Japan and Thailand. Which means the glitter was in the technology rather than in the setting.

The technology was indeed impressive: good and clear communication around the globe, possible interaction between the sites and good quality sound and video. On the other hand, there were lots of people busy pulling wires and frantically typing on keyboards, so I assume there was a lot of work behind the seemingly effortless exercise.

Participants in France were OpenOffice.org (Charles Schulz), Wikimedia (Pierre Beaudoin), Mozilla Europe (Tristan Nitot) and Mandriva (yours truly).

Tristan was his usual mix of fun, kindness and smart and told us some cute stories on the beginning of Mozilla in France, when life was tough (it is much better now). He had given each presenter a list of questions to answer and to my surprise everyone followed the scenario he had provided.

In my presentation, I explained the three key words which drive our strategy: simple, innovative and open. Simple as in “take technology to the masses by making it simple”, innovative as “include innovations in the distro to take them mainstream” and open as in “open source, free software and open standards”. Then I went to our focus on bringing Linux to emerging markets via OEM relationships, as we are doing today for instance in Brazil and Argentina.

I had a question on fighting Microsoft in emerging markets. This is a good question: we indeed met them recently when they offered $3 licenses to a prospect we were talking to in an emerging market country (more on this soon)! I had another question on the multiplicity of distros: 5 years from now, will there still be many distros? Our vision is we should see convergence on the lower layers of the distro, i.e., the core components and the added value of a specific distro should move up in the software stack.


Firefox in updates and a policy change

Posted in Mozilla, Security Updates, Products, English, Mandriva at 6:55 pm by Vanessa

You can now get the latest version of Firefox for your Mandriva Linux 2006 system directly from the Security Updates.

Frédéric Crozat, who maintains Mozilla packages and is the GNOME developer (among other things) for Mandriva, explains:

“Mozilla is not supporting 1.0.x versions of Firefox and Thunderbird anymore. We had shipped 1.0.6 versions of both applications with Mandriva Linux 2006.0 and were able to provide security fixes in sync with version 1.0.8, but now we suddenly found ourselves unsafe. We decided to break our no-backports rule for Firefox and Thunderbird for that reason.”

So there you go, next time you type MandrivaUpdate in your console as root, Firefox will suddenly be safer and more featureful. Kiosk users will benefit from the Firefox update plus the Thunderbird update very soon. UPDATE : Mozilla(TM) Pack is available on Kiosk

Frédéric says it’s likely that a special policy will be implemented for Mozilla software also in Mandriva Linux 2007, resulting in very reactive updates. Although very beneficial for you, dear user, Mozilla’s strategy results in very complicated maintenance of applications that depend on Firefox as a platform, such as Galeon or Epiphany. Another reason to use Konqueror and KHTML some of you will say ;).

In the meantime, run that MandrivaUpdate command already and get Firefox!

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