2014: Mozilla Hacks looks back

Wherever you live, it’s a season of work holidays, school vacations, year-end blog posts, and lists. The Hacks blog will be back in early January 2015 to continue writing for developers about the products and technologies created by Mozilla and by builders of the Open Web around the world.

In the (chronological) list below, we celebrate some 2014 milestones and memorable moments for Mozilla, Firefox, and the web platform:

  • The new improved Firefox Sync launched early in 2014, built atop Firefox Accounts. Here’s a deeper look at the new Sync protocol.
  • Mozilla worked with the Apache Cordova team to integrate Firefox OS with Cordova’s open source device APIs, enabling mobile app developers to access native device functions from JavaScript, and release Cordova apps for the Firefox OS platform. Cordova is the underlying software in Adobe PhoneGap: the integration made it possible for PhoneGap developers to easily port their apps to the Firefox Marketplace.
  • Mozilla Research made great progress on Servo, a prototype browser engine. Servo is written in Rust, a systems programming language designed to support concurrency and parallelism for modern hardware. Another Big Milestone for Servo—Acid2 was reported in the spring.
  • Australis was the codename for our major redesign of the Firefox Desktop browser, which launched in late April. Designer Stephen Horlander wrote a post about the process, titled (Re)Designing Firefox.
  • The summer release of Firefox 31 brought new capabilities for game developers, including access to emscripten for compiling to JavaScript. In Resources for HTML5 game developers, we described some of the tools and techniques for coding and debugging sophisticated, performant HTML5 games. On the Mozilla blog, we featured the first commercial games to leverage asm.js, demonstrating the readiness of HTML5 as a game platform.
  • In October, we shared a Preview of Firefox Hello, a WebRTC-powered voice/video chat service.
  • As part of the festivities surrounding Firefox’s 10th birthday, Mozilla Research launched MozVR to help bring virtual reality to the Web. Grab your oculi and hold on to your hats.
  • At the same time, the Firefox Developer Tools team released Firefox Developer Edition, the first browser created specifically for developers. Though still in its early days, the Developer Edition features Valence, an integrated add-on to let you develop and debug your app across multiple browsers and devices, as well as WebIDE, providing an editing environment for app development and remote debugging.
  • The evolution of asm.js continued with the release of Massive, an open source benchmarking tool that measures asm.js performance specifically. You can run Massive here.
  • Mozilla and partners announced the formation of the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) and launched the Let’s Encrypt initiative. Let’s Encrypt is a new Certificate Authority that’s free, automated, and open. It’s due to arrive in summer 2015.
  • Our friends at Telenor introduced Gonzo, an ongoing project which explores the use of Firefox OS as an embedded platform. Telenor engineer and Firefox OS evangelist Jan Jongboom is hacking together a wireless camera and sharing what he learns along the way.
  • Firefox OS Expands to Nearly 30 Countries – It’s been an expansive year. At last count, Firefox OS is now up and running on 16 smartphones offered in 29 countries. And in December news, Mozilla and KDDI announced the release of Japan’s first Firefox OS smartphone, which went on sale on December 25. The Fx0 is the first high-spec Firefox OS smartphone and it’s a beauty!

If you’re interested in writing for the Hacks blog in 2015, we’d love to hear from you. Email us. In the meantime, have a safe and hacky holiday!

About Havi Hoffman

Content wrangler & cat herder on the Developer Relations team. Also Mozilla Hacks blog editor and Mozilla Tech Speakers program co-founder.

More articles by Havi Hoffman…


  1. marcel

    I said goodbye to Firefox on Android because of tinted bar blocking the top of the page. The last drop was the forced choice for tablet layout while I prefer the phone layout.

    Now on Opera which not as refined but it just do I want and browsing is full screen.

    On PC I still use Nightly and I am happy with that for years now.

    January 4th, 2015 at 02:51

  2. آموزش مسائل جنسی

    tanx . is very nice

    January 6th, 2015 at 08:27

  3. Albert

    Nice list :)

    I just saw on the latest planing notes (wiki) this comment:
    “No significant change in Hello feedback for 35: Still very, very low amounts of feedback. Most negative (non-prompted) feedback people who don’t want it. One comment on the branding (Telefonica/O2). ”

    Wondering where this feedback comes from, as the two blog post (in future releases) I read had comments disabled. I think it’s a great and promising new tool – e.g. one of my friends refuses to use Skype, but when I showed him “Hello” we finally video chatted again. I already advertise it among my peers :)

    January 11th, 2015 at 04:14

    1. Ivan

      I didn’t understand why FFHello doesn’t have “text chat feature’…

      I would suggest use it at the company I work in, but without text there is no way to ‘compete against Skype’…

      January 15th, 2015 at 03:37

      1. Albert

        Hey Ivan,
        It still doesn’t. My assumption is, it’s because this is first of all a WebRTC feature. Maybe the chat will come once the Video/Audio has been adjusted a bit further. It just landed in stable this week.

        There is this feature request bug:

        Simply log into bugzilla and add yourself to the CC list to keep up-to-date regarding the implementation ;)

        BTW, another feature request which might be interesting for you/your company is group video chats: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1102386

        January 15th, 2015 at 04:48

      2. Albert

        I assume it’s because this was primarily a WebRTC feature. It also just came out of beta into the stable v35.

        there is a feature request bug you can follow by signing in and CCing yourself:

        and a second one that might be of interest for you:

        January 15th, 2015 at 07:05

        1. Ivan

          Albert, thanks for the feedback… I will be stay tuned :)

          January 22nd, 2015 at 09:01

  4. dheerendra

    videos are not loading in firefox simulator. It is showing the error “load videos on the memory card”. I know its a irrelevant comment for this post but you have closed the comment in the firefox OS simulator post. Please give me solution regarding this problem. Thanks in advance :)

    January 15th, 2015 at 09:19

    1. Havi Hoffman [Editor]

      @dheerendra – sorry, this is not the right channel for debugging your issue. The Simulator is now integrated into Firefox Dev Tools as Web IDE – Please be sure you’re using the most up-to-date version of the Firefox Developer Browser. Thanks for your interest. You might try asking here: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/products/firefox-os or on Stack Overflow if this is an issue you are having while developing an app, but be sure to provide more context and info about your device and what you are doing when you receive the error message.

      January 20th, 2015 at 08:00


    thanks for this notify .my favorite browser for ever

    January 17th, 2015 at 02:35

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