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Upgrading to Vista

I decided to upgrade my desktop to Windows Vista Ultimate last week. I had previously said I wasn’t upgrading to Vista, but I couldn’t resist since it was free from TigerWare. After a little trouble with the installation (it didn’t finish installing and would BSOD on every boot) I got it working. I like it, but I’m mainly making this blog post to share some tips I had to figure out.

  • iTunes – Apparently Apple hasn’t updated most of their software to be compatible with Vista. If you actually purchase music legally, you may not be able to play it on Vista until you run the iTunes Repair Tool for Vista.
  • Administrative Shares – After I upgraded to Vista, I wasn’t able to connect to \\justin2\c$ like usual. It turns out local administrators can’t access stuff over the network unless you create a registry key as described here.
  • User Account Control – In Vista, anytime you do something that requires administrative permission (which is apparently a lot of stuff), Vista comes up with a box that just asks you to continue (if you are logged in as an administrator). This was really annoying, so I decided to turn it off (Control Panel » User Accounts and Family Safety » User Accounts » Turn User Account Control on or off). It turns out this is a big mistake, because now some software can’t get permission to things, which I found out when trying to install Adobe Reader and it couldn’t write to my temp directory.

South Korean sadness

Gen Kanai of Mozilla Japan has a really interesting article on the state of the Internet in South Korea.

Information Systems and Decision Sciences

When I first applied to LSU, my major was Computer Science. I swapped a few times between Computer Science and Computer Engineering before my first semester even started, but as soon as it did start I went with Information Systems and Decision Sciences. I didn’t know much about it, but I liked the idea. I had heard bad things about LSU Computer Science from everyone, and the business part of ISDS appealed to me because I don’t know much about it and am interested in learning, whereas I already know a lot about programming and I don’t intend to be a code monkey my whole life.

Tonight, I became sure of my decision to major ISDS with the first class period of ISDS 3100, which is the first real course relating to the major. It’s a bit of an unorthodox course in that it’s from 6-9pm on Thursdays and there is a corporate IT guest speaker each class. The content of the course is very exciting, as are the real life examples of what we’re talking about that I use every day.

I’m also taking ISDS 3075 this semester, which is an internship class that allows me to get credit for my work with Mozilla. My other classes are various business requirements from 7:30am-10:30am Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, as well as another night class on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00-7:30pm.

Firefox Flicks

If you’ve never been to Firefox Flicks, I recommend you check it out. It’s got some great user-submitted Firefox commercials – some of them are hilarious. 4 of them (Billy’s Browser, This is Hot, Web for All, and Daredevil) are going to air a bit in Boston and San Francisco on cable networks. See the full press release here.

Also, I don’t think I mentioned it before, but my name is in the Firefox 2 credits. It’s over a minute into them, so I took a screenshot for you because you’re impatient. Yes, you. It’s sorta interesting that I actually know who most of the people in that long list are and met many of them at the summit.

I have some other stuff to talk about, but I’ll make a different post on that later.

Reviewing the Review Process

This is my first planet.mozilla.org post, so you might not know who I am. I’m Justin Scott (fligtar) and I’m an AMO developer, currently working on the developer/admin pages of the Remora project.

Recently, there’s been a lot of feedback through various channels on the AMO reskinning, “spyware” toolbars, and other issues, and I get the feeling that users think their comments are falling upon deaf ears, or not even falling in audible range. This is not the case. AMO 1.0/2.0 is frozen so that our development efforts can be focused on Remora, which you may confuse with us not caring about fixing problems with it. Issues brought up in bug reports, IRC, and other channels are definitely being considered and implemented in Remora.

Last week at the Firefox 2 Summit, we came up with a solution to many of these problems that will raise the quality bar and also increase the transparency of the add-on review process. This new system will divide addons.mozilla.org into two sections: a public area (similar to the current AMO) and a sandbox area. The graphic below is a basic summary of how it will work.

We hope that this process will:

  • Eliminate approval delays for updates to trusted extensions
  • Keep add-ons that are not ready for prime-time out of the general public area
  • Automatically run security checks on all submitted add-on code and flag for security review if triggered
  • Provide a home for Mozilla Labs creations not ready for mass use

While in the sandbox, regular users will be able to install and test the add-ons and then write reviews as to whether the add-on works and should be pushed to the public site. After several of these reviews, an AMO editor will review the add-on and the public reviews and make a decision to send it to the public area or keep it in the sandbox. We expect that some add-ons will stay in the sandbox forever, such as those automatically generated by certain websites.

Please see our meeting notes in the Meeting Notepad or append to the Idea Dump for any ideas you may have regarding the development of Remora.