Monthly Archives: July 2009

WebKitGTK+ progress, and a new browser!

Long time, no blog. I have apparently been slacking for a very high number of versions, now, so I better start doing something about it!

My last blog was about 1.1.7, and we are now at 1.1.11, so let me try to get a quick summary of important changes since 1.1.17:

  • Lots of fixes have been made on the scrolling code, which now behaves more like you would expect from a GTK+ widget, and notifications to web applications are also working now
  • Thanks to the awesome zecke, you can embed arbitrary GTK+ widgets using the <object> and <embed> tags, using the create-plugin-widget signal
  • WebKitNetworkRequest received a lot of the love it was asking for, and is now very useful for tracking the HTTP conversation
  • Xan has done awesome work on a11y, and we may have enough done before 2.28 to make WebKitGTK+ be accepted, but that remains to be seen; if you care about that, now is a good time to go to https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=25531 and help out!
  • XSS auditor, a new feature built to improve WebKit’s security is now enabled
  • Copying and pasting has seen many improvements
  • WebKitGTK+ no longer has hackish content sniffing, since we now have that implemented into libsoup!

In other news, WebKitGTK+ seems to have gained another application for its ecosystem: Uzbl, which promises to be a good browser for people who like to work with the UNIX way. It doesn’t really appeal to my GNOMEr ‘I like things that just work’ heart, but it looks like a tool that may appeal to people who prefer building their work environments from various different pieces, so that it works exactly like they want to. I am very happy to see WebKitGTK+ is making it possible for people to write such tools!

On Living in Cambridge

So, after GCDS, I was going to go to Debconf, and it seemed like a good idea to just stay in Europe, to avoid additional plane costs, and get to experience life in one of the Collabora offices for a while, too.

Working at the office has been great! I got to experience the meeting room, the front office, and am now staying at the back office, working close to Alban, Davyd, Sjoerd, and Will. It’s been a very good opportunity to get to know everyone a bit better, specially since I only knew a handful of Collaborans up to now. My colleague Sumana has an awesome post about how it feels like working from the front office. I am having a very good time here, learning how to use the espresso machine, making messes with salad sauses, and more!

It’s not the first time I come to the UK, but it is indeed the first time I come to England, so it was a new experience at various levels to me. I guess I’m also being affected by the fact that I am re-reading The Lord of The Rings, this time in English instead of in Portuguese – a nice gift I got from my dear significant other! Now, some funny facts about my personal experience with Cambridge.

  • I keep thinking ‘Hobbit holes!’ everytime I get near to the place where I’m staying, kindly hosted by Alban and Marco
  • There’s a contact lens cleaning thing in the bathroom called ‘SAUFLON’, but I keep reading ‘SAURON’ for some reason
  • Everything seems to be miniaturized; I saw small watermelons, small avocados, small whole chickens, and a variety of smallish stuff in the super market
  • The aisle we come through when going from the back of the office building into King’s Parade makes me think like I’m inside a Harry Potter movie

More to come!

On GCDS

Here are some notes about my experience with GCDS:

Spain is a very interesting country. My impression regarding Las Palmas matches that of Lucas, by the way, that it looks very similar to Salvador, although it’s more windy, and also very greyish/brownish. Some of the buildings are very similar to buildings you would see in Brazil, too. It was the first time I saw wind turbines for power generation.

The conference was really good, in many ways. Thanks to those who organized it, and also to all those who attended it! I had never been to a GUADEC before, so I don’t really have an idea of how GCDS compared to previous GUADECs, though =). Before I speak more of what I enjoyed, some notes about what I disliked: the organization seemed to be a bit improvised at times, I would have preferred that the university be the only venue, and the networking infra-structure lacked – you could hardly get a connection that worked, and I kept getting disconnected. Comparing those points to the other conference I usually go to which is comparable in size and complexity (Debconf), GCDS leaved a lot to be desired.

Now for the good points: most talks were very in-depth, and of high quality, the fact that KDE people were around meant it was a great opportunity to share, and discuss. I was able to meet lots of people I have talked to only on IRC, not only from KDE, GNOME, and WebKit, but also many work colleagues =). We were many Collaborans going around at GCDS!

I also met long-time friends, and made new ones, which I think is always the most important part of such conferences. I wanted to do so many things that by the time the conference ended, I had this feeling that I did none of them completely. I specially wanted to have spent more time with the WebKit guys, for instance. The parties were always very good, even though I think talking is more important than dancing when you have a lot of geeks around who you are not going to see for a while. I do enjoy dancing, though, and can say the KDE crowd excels in this regard =). I have consistently failed to drink enough to forget about bits of the night, which is good, too!

To sum it up, I really loved coming to this GCDS, and really look forward to taking part on more editions! Now, I’m going to spend some days working at Cambridge, hosted by my colleagues Marco and Alban (thanks!), and then I’ll be showing up at debconf9 with some more Collaborans. Fun times ahead!

Firefox 3.5 lançado!

O Firefox 3.5 foi lançado, e essa é uma boa notícia. Significa que os navegadores livres e/ou que respeitam padrões abertos continuam deixando comendo poeira os navegadores legados com o Internet Explorer (especialmente o 6, que ninguém merece, né?).

Entre outras coisas, o Firefox 3.5 tem performance de javascript muito melhor, parecida com a do Epiphany 2.27.3, e suporta bastante coisa de HTML5, incluindo as tags de audio e vídeo. Muito importante com relação a isso, é que ele suporta por padrão os formatos abertos (assim como a WebKitGTK+, que usa GStreamer, mas o suporte às tags ainda não funciona 100%). Tem algumas páginas muito interessantes para acompanhar a ‘adoção’ da nova release: http://downloadstats.mozilla.com/.

As pessoas devem saber da minha relação de amor é ódio com a Mozilla – mesmo hoje o navegador não se integra bem com meu GNOME, a API de embedding deixa muito a desejar, mas ninguém pode negar que o Firefox foi o que trouxe um clima de abertura para a Web, e exigiu que todos começassem a se preocupar com padrões, desempenho e qualidade. Se você usa um sistema operacional proprietário, largue logo os navegadores proprietários e use uma coisa que presta! =)