video/audio podcast enhancements in Firefox 3

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A little under two weeks ago patches for bugs 303645, 400061 and 400064 landed in the Firefox trunk. These patches add video/audio podcast-related enhancements to the upcoming Firefox 3. Firefox 3's feed preview page now distinguishes video and audio podcast feeds from "regular feeds". It will also show all enclosures in the feed with information about the enclosure.

It's really exciting for these features to be in Firefox 3. These enhancements reduce the interface divide between Firefox and video/audio podcast consuming applications like Miro, iTunes and others. Amongst other things, it's hugely beneficial to Miro users who use Firefox.

Here's what the feed preview page looks like in Firefox 2 on Ubuntu Gutsy:

Feed preview page in Firefox 2

Here's what the feed preview page will look like in Firefox 3 on Ubuntu Gutsy:

Feed preview page in Firefox 3

I'm really excited that this is going in. At a bare minimum, it means I have to spend a lot less time fishing through view source finding enclosures.

This is my first contribution to Firefox and my first time working with Mozilla developers and other Firefox contributors. There was a lot of material to come up to speed on including build process, testing procedures, who's in charge of what, getting reviews done, ...

I want to give a shout out to Mike Beltzner who was really patient and incredibly helpful in getting the functionality landed. Also to Robert Sayre and Myk Melez who reviewed the code and suggested changes and fixes that made it much better. Also to Alex Faaborg who kicked off this mini-project back in October. And lastly all the people on #developers on IRC who helped me with issues I was having: Ventnor, biese, bz, gavin, Pike, _FrnchFrgg_ and others--Thank you all!

It was neat in that the patches landed just before the beta 3 codefreeze on my birthday. Having said that, there were a bunch of problems with the patches, many of which were sorted out and fixed by other people. Sorry about that--crappy organization on my part.

I also want to point out that this is a huge advantage that open source has over non-open source: I, as a person external to the project, can still participate in a meaningful way and help implement the functionality that matters to me. That's very empowering.

Sidenote: That show is What You Ought To Know. It's a fun show--worth subscribing to.

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