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[Job] Help create the Windows version of Framer – React developer in Amsterdam

TL;DR: Framer are looking for a React developer based in Amsterdam to create the Windows version of the app with help from my team. Apply here.

Framer is only available on OSX

One of the things that annoy me the most is operating system dependence. It is frustrating to see a great new tool you want to use but it isn’t available on your platform. Not everyone can afford Apple hardware or wants to do everything in Windows or Android. I personally use several operating systems and it annoys me that I can’t use the same tool stack. Instead you need to learn different ones for each OS (Keynote/Powerpoint anyone?). It feels like the 90s.

That’s why I was happy when Framer contacted me and asked me to help them find someone to work on the Windows version of their great tool. The great news is that you’re not only going to work for a cool company. You also get to work directly with our team here to ensure that the port is going to be a great product. At Microsoft we have a dedicated team helping people to port apps. This team has deep insight into what to do and what to avoid to create an app that takes advantage of the things Windows 10 offers.

So, if you are:

  • A React Native developer who wants to build a great, well-used app for a big community
  • Have Windows experience and supporting more than Chrome/OSX in your WebView
  • Look for a full-time position in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Apply now, and we can soon bridge another support gap that that is well over-due.

This is a short time offer, Framer are looking to hire someone ASAP and bring out the Windows version within a few months. The new Framer version is close to Alpha release internally.

View full post on Christian Heilmann

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asm.js performance improvements in the latest version of Firefox make games fly!

The latest version of Firefox which launched last week includes a major update to the user interface as well as to features like Sync. Another area in which this release brings significant improvements is in asm.js performance, which as we will see below is very important for things like games. To put that aspect of Firefox’s performance in context, we’ll take a look at benchmark results comparing Firefox to other browsers, which show that Firefox is faster at executing asm.js code.

asm.js speedups

asm.js is a subset of JavaScript that is very easy to optimize and is particularly useful for porting code in C or C++ to the Web. We’ve blogged about how Firefox can optimize asm.js code using 32-bit floating point operations, which, together with all the other work on optimizing asm.js, allows it to run at around 1.5x slower than the speed of the same C/C++ when compiled natively. So, while not quite native speed yet, things are getting very close. At the time of that blog post those optimizations were only on nightly builds, but they are now reaching hundreds of millions of Firefox users in Firefox 29, which is now the release version of Firefox.

Another important set of asm.js optimizations concern startup speed. As blogged about by Luke a few months ago, Firefox performs ahead of time (AOT) compilation and can cache the results, for significant speedups in startup times. Those optimizations also shipped to users in Firefox 29.

Web browser comparisons

Now that all those optimizations have shipped, it’s interesting to look at up-to-date browser comparisons on asm.js code. The above graph shows the Emscripten benchmark suite running the latest stable versions of Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox on Windows 8.1. Lower numbers are better in all the results here, which are real-world codebases compiled to asm.js (see notes in the graph).

Unity, Emscripten and asm.js

asm.js is a subset of JavaScript, so it is just one of many styles of JavaScript out there. But it represents an important use case. As we announced at GDC, Unity, one of the most popular game creation tools on the market, will support the Web by using Emscripten to compile their engine to asm.js.

But videos are no substitute for the real thing! You can try the games shown there in your browser right now, for instance with Unity’s recently released Angry Bots demo. If you run those in the latest version of Firefox, you’ll see many of the asm.js optimizations mentioned earlier in action. For example, if you visit one of those links more than once then asm.js caching will allow it to avoid recompiling the game (so it starts up faster), and also gameplay will be smoother due to faster asm.js execution.

Being able to execute asm.js-style code efficiently makes it possible for games like this to run well on the Web, without proprietary, nonstandard plugins. That’s why it’s exciting to see more asm.js optimizations reach Firefox users in Firefox 29. And while benchmark results can sometimes seem like nothing more than abstract numbers, speedups on asm.js benchmarks directly improve things like games, where performance is extremely important and very noticeable.

(Thanks to Marc Schifer for helping with the benchmark measurements.)

View full post on Mozilla Hacks – the Web developer blog

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Firefox OS Simulator – previewing version 3.0

Three months ago we were proud to release the 1.0 version of the Firefox OS Simulator. We’ve made a lot of progress since, and version 2.0 came out about a month ago (latest official version). Now, moving forward, we’d like to present and introduce you to a preview of the upcoming 3.0 version!

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We discussed whether we should talk about this new version yet, since it’s a bit rough around the edges, but we decided to give it a go for two reasons:

  • We’re Mozilla. We do things in the open, and we share our progress. Because we want you to know what’s going on and to be able to come along with us in the process
  • It gives you an unique opportunity to test it out, give feedback, contribute and much more before it’s released

New features in the preview

We’ve listened to the feedback and have tried to target the most common features being requested and well-needed. New features include:

  • Push to Device
  • Rotation simulation
  • Basic geolocation API simulation
  • Manifest validation
  • Stability fixes for installation and updates to apps
  • Newer versions of the Firefox rendering engine and Gaia (the UI for Firefox OS)

Push to Device

This means that if you have an existing device supporting Firefox OS, connected via USB, you will be able to push apps installed in the Firefox OS Simulator directly to that device.

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Please note:

  • Remote debugging has to be enabled on the device, via
    Settings > Device information > More Information > Developer > Remote debugging
  • On Linux (at least Ubuntu), you must create the file /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules as root and then add a manufacturer-specific entry for the device as described by Android’s Setting up a Device for Development. Example for one of our test devices:entry:
    SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}==" 19d2", MODE="0666", GROUP="plugdev"
  • Not complete Windows support yet. Planned to make it into the final release.
  • Make sure you have the latest version of Firefox OS on your device (especially due to recent fixes like bug 842725)

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Rotation simulation

There’s now a feature to rotate the simulator, get events and more, to adapt your contents to both portrait and landscape. Supports the mozorientationchange event.

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Basic geolocation API simulation

The simulator now also supports geolocation, so you can test it in your app, and read out longitude and latitude values.

Coming soon: an enhancement that lets you specify the geolocation to provide!

Manifest validation

When you add an app to the Firefox OS Simulator, it also does a quick validation of your manifest file for errors and warnings, including problems that prevent installing the app in the Simulator, usage of APIs that the Simulator doesn’t yet simulate (not all APIs in there yet), and missing properties that are required by the Marketplace or devices.

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Downloading the preview

We have all the versions of the Firefox OS Simulator on our FTP server, under its working name r2d2b2g. Here are the direct links to the installation files (installs as an extension in Firefox)

Once installed, it will be available in Firefox in the Tools > Web Developer menu:

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Give us feedback!

Please let us know in the comments here or by filing a bug. Hopefully you will like the improvements and they will benefit you with developing apps!

Getting started with Firefox OS & building Open Web Apps

To get started, we have had a number of articles here on Mozilla Hacks previously:

Additionally we have some other resources:

View full post on Mozilla Hacks – the Web developer blog

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