Hey, cool! The Linux
T-shirts came in a women's version!
Looked like they had a bunch -- I hope they don't end up with
too many extras and regret making them, 'cause they're very nice
and I'd love to see this catch on.
(It's black, so maybe not too useful outdoors, but it looks great.)
(Followup: actually it's very thin fabric and even outdoors it's
The picnic was fun, too, and well organized.
Oracle sponsored the food.
Thanks to Google, Oracle, and the Linux Picnix crew
(Bill Kendrick, Bill Ward and whoever else helped out).
[ 23:05 Aug 07, 2004
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The Mozilla Dev Conference yesterday went well. Shaver and Brendan
showed off a new implementation they'd hacked up with Stuart allowing
Canvas API. The API looked pretty simple from the code snippet they
showed briefly, with commands for line, polygon, fill, and so forth.
It also included full transparency support.
This is all implemented in terms of Cairo.
Someone asked how this compared to SVG. The answer was to think of
Canvas as an image you can change from JS -- simpler than an SVG
Brendan was funny, playing Vanna as Shaver did the brunt of the
talking. "Ooh, that's pretty. What's that?"
Roc then gave a talk on "New Rendering Features for Gecko".
Probably what attracted the most interest there was transparency:
he has a new hack (not yet checked in) where you can add a parameter
to a XUL window to make it transparent. X only supports 1-bit
transparency, but in Windows implementation XUL windows can be
He began his talk talking about Cairo and about the changed hardware
expectations these days. He stated that everyone has 3D now, or at
least, anyone who doesn't, doesn't care about rendering and doesn't
expect much. I found that rather disturbing, given that I sure
don't want to see rendering stop working well on my laptop, and
I'd hate to see Mozilla ignore education, developing countries and
other markets where open source on cheap hardware is starting to
gain a strong foothold.
The other bothersome thing Roc talked about was high-res displays.
He mentioned people at IBM and other places using 200dpi displays,
which (as anyone who's used even 100dpi and has imperfect vision
knows) leads to tiny text and other display problems on a lot of
pages due to the ubiquity of page designers who use pixel-based
sizing. Roc's answer to this was to have an automatic x2 or x3
zoom for people at high resolutions like 200dpi. This seems to
me a very poor solution: text will either be too big or too small,
and images will be scaled weirdly. Perhaps if it's implemented as
a smart font size scaling, without any mandatory image scaling, it
could be helpful. I wish more work were going into Mozilla's text
scaling, rather than things like automatic 2x zooms. Maybe this
will be part of the work. Guess I need to seek out the bugs and get
involved before I worry too much about right or wrong solutions.
Then AaronL gave his accessibility talk, stressing that
"accessibility helps everybody" and that the minimum everyone should
do is check pages and new XUL objects for keyboard accessibility.
He talked a bit about how screen reading software works, with a demo,
color-blindness issues (don't ever use color as the only cue), and
accessibility problems with the current fad of implementing fake
menus using JS and DHTML (such menus are almost never accessible to
screen reading software, and often can't be triggered with keyboard
events either). Hopefully awareness of these issues will increase
as legislation mandates better accessibility. Aaron's talk was
unfortunately cut short because he was scheduled as the last talk
before lunch; people seemed interested and there was a lot of
information on his slides which got skipped due to time constraints.
After lunch, Nigel spoke on writing XUL applications, Bob Clary
presented an automated site testing tool he'd written (which runs
in Mozilla) to validate HTML, CSS and JS, roc spoke again on the
question of how backwards compatible and quirk-compatible Mozilla
should be, Myk presented his RSS reading addition to Thunderbird
mail, Pav gave a longer demo of the Cairo Canvas, and several
other demos were presented.
[ 10:30 Aug 07, 2004
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