Create VR on the Web using Unity3D

Mozilla’s WebVR team has just released Unity WebVR Assets. It is free to download and available now on the Unity Asset Store. This tool allows creators to publish and share VR experiences they created in Unity on the open web, with a simple URL or link. These experiences can then be viewed with any WebVR enabled browser such as Firefox (using the Oculus Rift or HTC VIVE) and Microsoft Edge (using a Windows Mixed Reality headset).

Link: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2018/02/create-vr-on-the-web-using-unity3d/

How to build your own private smart home with a Raspberry Pi and Mozilla’s Things Gateway

Last year we announced Project Things by Mozilla. Project Things is a framework of software and services that can bridge the communication gap between connected devices by giving “things” URLs on the web. Today I’m excited to tell you about the latest version of the Things Gateway and how you can use it to directly […]

Link: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2018/02/how-to-build-your-own-private-smart-home-with-a-raspberry-pi-and-mozillas-things-gateway/

MDN browser compatibility data: Taking the guesswork out of web compatibility

The most powerful aspect of the web is also what makes it so challenging to build for: its universality. When you create a website, you’re writing code that needs to be understood by a plethora of browsers on different devices and operating systems. To allow for browser compatibility data to be accessed programmatically rather than requiring developers to manually search for it, the MDN community is working on migrating the compatibility information currently stored on thousands of wiki pages to a machine-readable JSON format in a GitHub repository.

Link: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2018/02/mdn-browser-compatibility-data/

Firefox 58: The Quantum Era Continues

2017 was a big year for Mozilla, culminating in the release of Firefox Quantum, a massive multi-year re-tooling of the browser focused on speed, and laying the groundwork for 2018 releases. Here’s a roundup of some of the goodies in Firefox 58: including Off-Main-Thread Painting (OTMP) and other Gecko engine performance improvements, new support for CSS `font-display`, new Add to Home screen support in Firefox for Android, and more.

Link: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2018/01/firefox-58-the-quantum-era-continues/

Making WebAssembly even faster: Firefox’s new streaming and tiering compiler

People call WebAssembly a game changer because it makes it possible to run code on the web faster. Some speedups are already present, and some are yet to come. With streaming compilation, the browser compiles the code while the code is still being downloaded. Up until now, this was just a potential future speedup. But with the release of Firefox 58 next week, it becomes a reality. Firefox 58 also includes a new 2-tiered compiler. The new baseline compiler compiles code 10–15 times faster than the optimizing compiler. Combined, these two changes mean we compile code faster than it comes in from the network.

Link: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2018/01/making-webassembly-even-faster-firefoxs-new-streaming-and-tiering-compiler/

Using Hardware Token-based 2FA with the WebAuthn API

To provide higher security for logins, websites are deploying two-factor authentication (2FA), often using a smartphone application or text messages. Those mechanisms make phishing harder but fail to prevent it entirely. Firefox 60 will ship with the WebAuthn API enabled by default, providing two-factor authentication built on public-key cryptography immune to phishing as we know it today. The API is available today in Firefox Nightly, and it’s not too soon to start learning how to secure millions of users already in possession of FIDO U2F USB tokens.

Link: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2018/01/using-hardware-token-based-2fa-with-the-webauthn-api/

Actual Input Latency: cross-browser measurement and the Hasal testing framework

Editor’s Note: This post is also featured on the 2017 Performance Calendar. This is a story about an engineering team at Mozilla, based in Taipei, that was tasked with measuring performance and solving some specific performance bottlenecks in Firefox. It is also a story about user-reported performance issues that were turned into actionable insights. It […]

Link: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2017/12/actual-input-latency-and-the-hasal-testing-framework/