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Frank Hecker

Resident of Ellicott City and Howard County, Maryland, systems engineer, and occasional blogger.

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I previously posted some information on the Mozilla Foundation’s grants and related expenditures in 2006. Since then I’ve been expanding our internal database of information about such expenditures, and have now gotten to the point where I can provide the same information for 2007. I’ll continue updating this post in the remainder of the year as we add new projects.

Background

In my previous post I provided information important to understanding the Mozilla Foundation’s grant and grant-related activities. See the post for the full details; here’s a brief recap of the two most important points:

  • There’s a difference between what we consider to be grants (made to US-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations or non-US equivalents as part of a formal grant agreement) and related expenditures (contracts with individuals or organizations to perform certain work, or travel sponsorship of individuals). This post covers both categories.

  • There’s a difference between the Mozilla Foundation’s activities and the community program (sometimes referred to as community giving) run by the Mozilla Corporation. This post covers only Foundation expenditures.

For more on the history behind the Mozilla Foundation’s grants and related activities, see my original blog post from July 2006.

Now to the details on items we funded in 2007 to date. We made the following expenditures that we consider to be grants as defined above, with grantees as noted:

(Note that some of our conference sponsorships were done as grants as well; however for simplicity I’ve included those with the other conference-related expenditures listed below.)

The next category covers software development and related activities, mostly through contracts with individuals:

  • Produce a Java-based conforming HTML5 parser that implements error reporting as needed by the HTML5 conformance checker, and an HTML5 parser library for Java applications as a drop-in replacement for XML parsers (Henri Sivonen). For more information see the Validator.nu HTML parser project page.

  • Enhance the OpenSSL cryptographic library and Apache mod_ssl SSL/TLS module to support sending of OCSP responses to Firefox and other web browsers as part of the SSL/TLS protocol exchange (Open Source Software Institute). For more information see the OpenSSL code changes and Apache bug 43822.

  • Improve scriptability in Camino and provide a new way to extend the browser using AppleScript (Peter Jaros). (Note that this project was a proposed Summer of Code project that ended up being co-funded by the Mozilla Foundation and the Camino project instead.) For more information see the original proposal and the associated bugs.

  • Implement the IAccessible2 accessibility API for Windows in Mozilla (Alexander Surkov). For more information see the IA2ToGecko page.

  • Create a Firefox extension to simulate the appearance of web pages to someone with colorblindness (Jörg Dotzki). For more information see the colorblind simulator project page.

  • Implement techniques for improved keyboard navigation to active elements on a web page (Leo Spalteholz). This was another proposed Summer of Code project for which we didn’t have a slot, and subsequently decided to fund ourselves.

  • Complete implementation of the Accerciser interactive test tool for testing Firefox and other applications supporting the AT-SPI accessibility API on Linux and the GNOME desktop (Eitan Isaacson). For more information see the associated GNOME Journal article.

  • Optimizing Firefox for pointer and switch access (Steve Lee). (Note that 2007 funding was a continuation of previous funding made in 2006.) This project addresses accessibility for people with physical dexterity or mobility problems (as opposed to much accessibility work, which relates to blind users); for more information see the Jambu project page.

  • Enhance the Fire Vox screen reader extension for Firefox to support WAI ARIA widgets, and thus become the first assistive technology to fully support ARIA with Firefox (Charles Chen). For more information see the WIA AIRA live regions page on the Mozilla Developer Center site.

  • Complete the implementation of the Collection interface for GNOME’s Assistive Technology Service Provider Interface (AT-SPI) to provide performance and functionality improvements to support Firefox accessibility on Linux (Ariel Rios). For more information see GNOME bug 326516.

  • Enhance the Orca open source screen reader for Linux to support Firefox, including the ability to navigate using web page elements and initial support for ARIA (landmarks only) (Scott Haeger). For more information see the dependency tree for GNOME bug 423348.

  • Migrate Orca to use pyatspi, a new standard Python client library for the GNOME AT-SPI accessibility interface (Eitan Isaacson). For more information see Eitan Isaacson’s blog post.

  • Implement various enhancements to Orca as used with Firefox, including performance enhancements and bug fixes (Eitan Isaacson). For more information see GNOME bugs 448848, 446277, and 491862, as well as the blog post referenced in the last item.

  • Enhance Orca to improve the quality of Braille output to match those of proprietary screen readers (including support of contracted Braille, also known as Grade 2 Braille) (Eitan Isaacson).

  • Evaluate the feasibility of porting the GNOME AT-SPI accessibility interface from ORBit to D-Bus, in order to ensure that the accessibility infrastructure used by Firefox on Linux is as up to date as possible (Codethink Ltd). For more information see the associated project page.

The final category comprises conferences and other events for which the Mozilla Foundation either provided sponsorship or paid travel and related costs for Mozilla contributors, or both:

Summary

Between the three categories of expenditures above (grants, contracts for development, and conference and travel sponsorship) we’ve approved funding of approximately half a million dollars thus far in 2007 we approved funding of over $700K in 2007. Note that these are not final numbers, and may differ somewhat from the numbers actually reported for 2007 in our filings next year in 2008. (In particular, not all the money authorized has yet been spent, and may not be spent in 2007 because some contracts are still in progress and payments are contingent on additional milestones being completed.) Note that these numbers may differ somewhat from the numbers actually reported for 2007 in our filings, because not all the grants and related expenditures approved in 2007 were actually paid in 2007.

In general we’ve continued the trends started in 2006, including an emphasis on funding accessibility-related projects (which accounted for almost three quarters of all expenditures). It’s too early to tell how much we’ll spend in total in 2007 on grants and related expenditures, but we’ll quite possibly double the amount spent in 2006. (As noted above, I’ll update this report as appropriate.) In 2007 we more than doubled the amount spent in 2006. As we move into 2008 we’ll be funding projects in more areas as well.