Mozilla demotes Firefox OS as push notifications appear in Firefox 44

Firefox OS has lost its first-class status in the Mozilla fold, with breakage now acceptable for the mobile operating system.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Mozilla has downgraded its support of Firefox OS, with developers getting the go-ahead to safely ignore issues on the mobile operating system when committing code to other Mozilla projects.

Firefox OS will now be supported as a Tier 3 project, leaving the community around the project to fix any issues that appear.

"That other teams won't be backed out and yelled at by sheriffs for breaking b2g tests, and that the FirefoxOS team will be responsible for fixing such breakage," wrote Mozilla developer Fabrice Desré in a post to the Mozilla developer mailing list. "I want to thank all the people from various corners of the platform that helped us so far. I guess I'll have to bribe you now!"

The change means Firefox OS will have the same level of support as OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD, which Mozilla states "may or may not work at any time, and often have little test coverage".

At the same time, Mozilla released Firefox 44 overnight, with the newest addition being support for H.264 videos. A system decoder for the codec is available, turning on WebM/VP9 codec support for systems that do not support H.264, supporting brotli compression, and allowing Web Push notifications.

To show Web Push notifications, a site needs to gain the user's permission, but, once allowed, is able to show notifications even when the site is not open in the browser.

"This means you can close your email tab and still find out when a new message arrives," wrote Mozilla developer Dan Callahan in a blog post. "That's a huge win for memory usage, performance, and battery life."

According to Callahan, the browser hands over a different identifier to each website, with payloads encrypted with a keypair held by the browser.

Users are able to revoke permission from the content pane of the Firefox control panel, or to turn off Web Push totally, the dom.push.enabled flag in the about:config page can be set to false.

Last week, former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich announced the Brave web browser, a Chromium-based browser that is paired with a private cloud to replace ads found on websites with ones that Brave claims are anonymous and better suited to users.

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