Mozilla at the Israel Internet Society Conference 2012

On Tuesday i attended the Israel Internet Society Conference 2012.

I spent most of my time at the Mozilla Israel booth – giving away buttons and stickers, and, more importantly, telling many people about Mozilla’s mission and about the importance of the open web. Our booth was one of the most popular attractions in the event’s hallways. (This is the right place to say a big Thank You to the Mozilla Creative Collective for designing the wonderful posters, buttons and all the other eye-catching stuff. You give Mozilla’s great principles and projects the beautiful and fun look that they deserve.)

Standing like that and telling person after person that Mozilla is not a commercial company and that it’s concerned with far more important things than Firefox’s market share is very satisfying and sobering.

Right-to-left: Elad Alfassa, Amir Aharoni, Tomer Cohen

Right-to-left: Elad Alfassa, Amir Aharoni, Tomer Cohen. Mozilla Israel is an open community, which is friendly to other open projects, so in addition to Mozilla Firefox swag, Elad gave out Fedora CDs and i gave out Wikipedia stickers.

We tried to give special attention to Mozilla’s mobile projects – first and foremost, the rewritten version of the mobile Firefox for Android, which is not yet complete, but getting there; we also got some people to install a preview version (Aurora) of the mobile browser. I’m happy to see that there are quite a lot of open-minded people who are willing to try another interesting browser, even though it’s not completely polished it and even though the default kinda works. Some people who expressed interest in education were very also impressed when i showed them that the Mobile Firefox, though still not being release-quality, is able to render Hebrew poetry very well – something that the built-in Webkit browser is not able to do.

The famous poem "Only About Myself" by Rachel, rendered correctly in Mobile Firefox.

The famous poem "Only About Myself" by Rachel, rendered correctly in Mobile Firefox.

The same poem, rendered incorrectly by the Mobile Webkit browser. That's the one that's just called "Browser" or "Internet" on your phone.

The same poem, rendered incorrectly by the Mobile Webkit browser. That's the one that's just called "Browser" or "Internet" on your phone.

You see, you usually don’t need correct rendering of the special characters needed to display Hebrew poetry if you only use the web to write email and read news, but if you are a school student who wants to prepare the homework or a commuter who likes to read poetry on a train, you’ll be able to do it with Firefox, but not with Webkit (the Opera browser is broken in this regard, too). This is more than a small and unimportant feature that happens to work correctly; this is a demonstration of the fact that Mozilla developers think that it’s important to support all languages, all scripts and all standards – for all people.

And of course there were all those people who said “Why should I bother with Firefox if Chrome is faster?”. It was very pleasant to tell them that the claim that Chrome is faster is mostly a myth, (although it required some mental preparation), but we emphasized that Chrome, though it’s a nice open source project, is mostly developed by an advertising company, which has particular requirements and focuses on particular goals, while Firefox focuses on standards and users. (I’ll publish a post that explains why the claim that Google Chrome is faster is a myth very soon.)

Firefox Home, the app for synchronizing desktop Firefox with iPhone, was a hit, too, and a few people installed it on their iPhones right at the booth.

This was a very satisfying day.

Right-to-left: Elad Alfassa, Tomer Cohen and the special guest Simon Montagu - one of the wizards who make exotic Unicode fonts and right-to-left text work in Firefox

Right-to-left: Elad Alfassa, Tomer Cohen and the special guest Simon Montagu - one of the wizards who make exotic Unicode fonts and right-to-left text work in Firefox

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3 Responses to “Mozilla at the Israel Internet Society Conference 2012”


  1. 1 Liran 2012-02-26 at 01:58

    I was there bugging you a little :)
    It really was the only interesting booth at the conference.
    By the way I’m really impressed from Aurora running on my SGS1 ICS as opposed to the current Firefox on android market.
    It’s really improved a lot and I eagerly wait to see what it will soon become as a more stable release.

    I tried to make the move to Aurora on my PC as well but unfortunately the Lastpass addon that I use on a daily basis doesn’t support it.

    • 2 Tomer Cohen 2012-02-26 at 13:22

      Hi Liran,

      I tried to locate the beta branch of LastPass which might work better on Aurora, and was unable to locate any. Personally, I don’t find a reason to use such addons, as Firefox internal Password Manager and Firefox Sync together provides most of the features of LastPass without the need to trust 3rd parties. It might be possible to set the addon to compatible using Add-on Compatibility Reporter, but I am not sure if it would be enough to set it to compatible.

      P.S., If you like Mozilla and the open web and located in Israel, please join us!

  2. 3 Vito Smolej (@vitosmo) 2012-02-26 at 18:57

    Great reading, Amir.

    btw, we get questions about LastPass regularly on Mozilla Support. MaybeSync deserves more visibility — its such an easy sell…

    Shalom

    smo


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