Password Manager changes

Last week there were quite a few meetings being held to refine the Firefox 3 product requirements. One area of particular interest to me, identity and password management, is firming up nicely. There are a lot of interesting features people have been asking for, and the Password Manager will need some significant changes to support them.

I’ve already been working on the first phase of updating Password Manager. The code is being reworked to be more modular and cleaner — as well as being converted from C++ to Javascript. Although this creates a framework for new features, the end goal for this first phase is simply parity with the existing implementation.

Once that’s done, it should be easy to bolt on some new backends for password storage. For example, integration with the OS X Keychain, and moving Mozilla’s own storage from a text file (signons.txt) to MozStorage. Also, extension developers would now be able to deliver their own backends without hacking on Password Manager.

As for other new features, it depends on how the product requirements shape up to see how things are prioritized. A quick summary of items currently under consideration:

* UI improvements to password management, entry, and use.
* Investigate what the browser’s role might be in an OpenID or CardSpace system.
* Improving the security of password-based authentication

And, of course, fixing some of the existing password manager bugs!

Ceci n’est pas une iPhone

Last week I got a new gadget, a Nokia N800 Internet Tablet. I’ve been yearning for a device like this for some time, but hadn’t found anything I liked… I’ve looked at cellphone-type devices, but they all seem to suck. The long-rumored Apple iPhone had seemed like a possible contender, but it’s still months away and carries a hefty price tag. I first saw the N800’s predecessor (the N770) at the Firefox Summit a few months ago, and after some research decided it was the kind of device I wanted to try.

This is not an iPhone.

More info and my impressions after the jump… Continue reading Ceci n’est pas une iPhone

This is not a cat post.

I don’t want to become some kind of crazy cat person, so this post will be about a dog instead. 🙂

Just before the holiday break we had an afterwork gathering here at Mozilla HQ to have a little fun… Dan Mills brought in his Wii (Rayman Raving Rabbids is highly amusing!), but the star of the party was Samantha. She’s the pet dog of our office manager, and is a frequent visitor to the workplace. Samantha got quite a workout rolling a basketball around the office!

(Youtube)

A bit of bling

[Did I just use the word “bling”? I’m so, so, sorry.]

The Mozilla offices have been humming with activity this week, with the influx of folks arriving for the Firefox Summit. We’ve been having some fascinating discussions on a variety of topics and ideas for the future. On that note, a few weeks ago I wrote up some thoughts I had for an evolution of Firefox 2’s Live Titles (aka “microsummaries”), in the form of adding graphics to a traditionally text-based feature. [Wonder Twin powers activate.]

Here’s a mockup of what Graphical Microsummaries might look like:

UI mockup of how this feature might look

Chromatabs followup

I’ve received quite a few useful comments from last week’s posting of Chromatabs, and I thought it might be nice to summarize some of it. Personally, I’m satisfied — though not thrilled — with the extension. The idea has merit, but the implementation exposed some issues… Which is exactly what it was supposed to do, as a labs.mozilla.org prototype! Here’s some of the common comments:

Continue reading Chromatabs followup

You are in a maze of twisty little tabs, all alike.

I had this idea for tweaking tabs floating around my head for a while, and last week I finally decided to implement it. The result is Chromatabs, and the UI aspects of it are discussed on today’s labs.mozilla.org posting.

I thought I’d write a bit more here about how it’s implemented, because it’s doing a few interesting things under the hood…
Continue reading You are in a maze of twisty little tabs, all alike.