This is my report on activities of the Mozilla Foundation for the week ending February 16, 2007.

Projects for the week

Here’s a partial listing of what I and others at the Foundation did this past week:

  • Grants and related activities. This was a big week for Mozilla Foundation-funded projects. Charles Chen finished up his project to create test cases for WAI ARIA live regions; this work promises to help advance the cause of enhancing accessibility for web-based applications that make heavy use of dynamic updating, and is receiving some good feedback. Shortly thereafter Alexander Surkov finished his project to improve XForms accessibility, and we approved a new project in which he’ll work on implementing the IAccessible2 accessibility API for Windows in Mozilla code. IAccessible2 is an extremely strategic technology from the point of view of accessibility; for a more in-depth discussion see the newsgroup message by Aaron Leventhal and blog posts by Rich Schwerdtfeger of IBM and Peter Korn of Sun. We also approved another project for Gijs Kruitbosch to improve the accessibility of the ChatZilla IRC client; this is important for present and future Mozilla developers who use screen readers and other assistive technologies and who want to participate more fully in developer discussions. Finally, in non-accessibility news Henri Sivonen will be presenting at XTech 2007 on his Mozilla Foundation-funded work to create an HTML5 conformance checker.

    Next action(s): More preparations for the CSUN conference.

  • CA certificates. We’re making some progress on creating a published list of CA certificates in Mozilla products (bug 333272).

    Next action(s): I need to work with Gerv to make sure we have bugs filed for all current requests from CAs to have their root CA certificates included in Mozilla products.

Upcoming activities

  • I’ll be in New York City on February 23 to visit David Boswell of the Mozdev Community Organization.
  • Gerv will be attending Mozilla-related activities at the FOSDEM conference in Brussels February 24–25.
  • I’ll be at the Mozilla offices in Mountain View on March 13 and 14.
  • I’ll be attending the CSUN accessibility conference in Los Angeles on March 21 and 22.
  • Along with Aaron Leventhal I’ll be attending a United Nations event in New York City on March 26 to discuss Mozilla accessibility-related topics; this is in association with the Global Initiative on Inclusive Information and Communications Technologies (G3ICT).

Random notes

Robert O’Callahan coined the phrase “XUL dark matter” to describe the many XUL-based applications that apparently being developed for use in corporate intranets and are for the most part not very visible to the outside world. It’s not an intranet application per se, but another XUL-based application appeared in the heavens recently: The digital music service eMusic released a technology preview of its new download manager. Because eMusic sells DRM-free music in MP3 format, it’s relatively popular among Linux users, and XUL offers a way for eMusic to offer a cross-platform application.

(Incidentally, note that the eMusic download manager is distinct from Songbird, another XUL-based digital music application. The focus of the eMusic DLM is strictly on supporting browsing of the eMusic web site and downloads of eMusic tracks, while Songbird has a much broader focus on discovery and downloading of digital music on the wider web.)