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Here Are the 9 Open Source Projects Recently Funded by Mozilla

Mozilla, the open source champion that makes the Firefox Web browser, announced that it has funded nine community projects to the tune of $585,000 in the second quarter of this year as part of a support program launched last fall.

That program, dubbed MOSS for Mozilla Open Source Support, was created to officially formalize an existing grant program.

"The Mozilla Open Source Support program is designed to recognize and celebrate communities who are leading the way with open source projects that contribute to our work and the health of the Web," the company announced last October . "It encompasses both: a) a 'give back' element for open source and free software projects that Mozilla relies on; and b) a 'give forward' component for supporting other projects where financial resources from Mozilla can make our entire community more successful."

Last week, the organization announced that in Q2 2016 it has awarded $585,000 to nine open source projects.

"Last quarter's Mozilla Open Source Support (MOSS)-awarded projects are diverse, but they have one thing in common: they believe in innovation for public benefit," Mozilla said in a blog post last week. "Projects like Tails, PeARS and Caddy are paving the way for the next wave of openness, which is why Mozilla has allocated over $3.5 million to the MOSS initiative in support of these and other open source projects. We're excited to share the program's progress this quarter, which includes $585,000 in awards, nine new projects supported and two new tracks launched."

The two new tracks are: Mission Partners for projects that advance the Mozilla mission; and Secure Open Source, "which works on improving the security of open source software by providing manual source code audits for important and widely-used pieces of free software." They join the original track, Foundational Technology, for projects featuring technology already used by Mozilla, for which the Q2 awards were made.

Here are brief descriptions of the nine Foundational Technology projects:

  • PyPy: $200,000. PyPy is a fast, compliant alternative implementation of the Python language (2.7.10 and 3.3.5). It has several advantages and distinct features concerning speed, memory usage, compatibility and a stackless mode.
  • Tor: $152,500. Tor is a system for using a distributed network to communicate anonymously and without being tracked. This award will be used to significantly enhance the Tor network's metrics infrastructure so that the performance and stability of the network can be monitored and improvements made as appropriate.
  • Tails: $77,000. Tails is a secure-by-default live operating system that aims at preserving the user's privacy and anonymity. This award will be used to implement reproducible builds, making it possible for third parties to independently verify that a Tails ISO image was built from the corresponding Tails source code.
  • Caddy: $50,000. Caddy is an HTTP/2 Web server that uses HTTPS automatically and by default via Let's Encrypt. This award will be used to add a REST API, web UI, and new documentation, all of which make it easier to deploy more services with TLS.
  • Mio: $30,000. Mio is an asynchronous I/O library written in Rust. This award will be used to make ergonomic improvements to the API and thereby make it easier to build high performance applications with Mio in Rust.
  • DNSSEC/DANE Chain Stapling: $25,000. This project is standardizing and implementing a new TLS extension for transport of a serialized DNSSEC record set, to reduce the latency associated with DANE and DNSSEC validation. This award will be used to complete the standard in the IETF and build both a client-side and a server-side implementation.
  • Godot Engine: $20,000. Godot is a high-performance multi-platform game engine which can deploy to HTML5. This award will be used to add support for Web Sockets, WebAssembly and WebGL 2.0.
  • PeARS: $15,500. PeARS (Peer-to-peer Agent for Reciprocated Search) is a lightweight, distributed web search engine which runs in an individual's browser and indexes the pages they visit in a privacy-respecting way. This award will permit face-to-face collaboration among the remote team and bring the software to beta status.
  • NVDA: $15,000. NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) is a free, open source screen reader for Microsoft Windows. This award will be used to make sure NVDA and Firefox continue to work well together as Firefox moves to a multi-process architecture.

"Mozilla is proud to support the open source community of which we are a part and from which so many benefit," the organization said. "We look forward to enabling even more OS maintenance, improvement and innovation through MOSS, so please apply! The committee meets next in early September, so get your applications in by the end of August."

Developers interested in doing that can access the Foundational Technology application here, Mission Partners here and Secure Open Source here.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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