Planet LDTP

May 06, 2015

Eitan Isaacson

Nightly running in Fedora 22

Every committed Mozillian and many enthusiastic end-users will use a pre-release version of Firefox.

In Mac and Windows this is pretty straightforward, you simply download the Firefox Nightly/Aurora/Beta dmg or setup tool, and get going. When it is installed it is a proper desktop application, you could make it your default browser, and life goes on.

In Linux, we rely much more on packagers to prepare an application for the distribution before we could use it. This usually works really well, but sometimes you really just want to use an upstream app without any gatekeepers.

The pre-release versions of Firefox for Linux comes in tarballs. You unpack them, and could run them out of the unpacked directory. But it doesn’t run well. You can’t set them as your default browser, the icon is a generic square, and opening links from other apps is a headache. In short, it’s a less than polished experience.

So here is a small script I wrote, it does a few things:

  1. It downloads the latest Firefox from the channel of your choosing.
  2. It unpacks it into a hidden directory in your $HOME
  3. It adds a symbolic link to the main executable in ~/.local/bin .
  4. It adds symbolic links for the icon’s various sizes into your icon theme in ~/.local/share/icons.
  5. It adds a desktop file to ~/.local/share/applications.

It doesn’t require root privileges, and is contained to your home directory so it won’t conflict with the system Firefox installation or touch the system libxul. Typically, you only need to run the script once per channel. After a channel is installed, they will get automatic updates through the actual app.

Nightly running in Fedora 22See the nice icon?

So, here are some commands you could copy to your terminal and have pre-release Firefox installed:

Nightly

curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/eeejay/foxlocal/master/foxlocal.py  | python - nightly

Aurora

curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/eeejay/foxlocal/master/foxlocal.py  | python - aurora

Beta

curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/eeejay/foxlocal/master/foxlocal.py  | python - beta

Release

curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/eeejay/foxlocal/master/foxlocal.py  | python - release


by Eitan at May 06, 2015 07:27 PM

April 29, 2015

Eitan Isaacson

eeejay

Now that eSpeak runs pretty well in JS, it is time for a Web Speech API extension!

What is the Web Speech API? It gives any website access to speech synthesis (and recognition) functionality, Chrome and Safari already have this built-in. This extension adds speech synthesis support in Firefox, and adds eSpeak voices.

For the record, we had speech synthesis support in Gecko for about 2 years. It was introduced for accessibility needs in Firefox OS, now it is time to make sure it is supported on desktop as well.

Why an extension instead of built-in support? A few reasons:

  1. An addon will provide speech synthesis to Firefox now as we implement built-in platform-specific solutions for future releases.
  2. An addon will allow us to surface current bugs both in our Speech API implementation, and in the spec.
  3. We designed our speech synthesis implementation to be extensible with addons, this is a good proof of concept.
  4. People are passionate about eSpeak. Some people love it, some people don’t.

So now I will shut up, and let eSpeak do the talking:


by Eitan at April 29, 2015 05:26 PM