Saturday, 30 April 2005


My manager in Utah recently asked me here in Auckland and another person in India for help with a browser problem. I figured out the cause with the help of a person in Austria. An engineer in Germany will apply the fix, but I also alerted some people in Mountain View to the problem.

Wednesday, 27 April 2005

Cairo Status

All my supporting patches have been checked into the trunk. It should be possible to build with cairo on Linux by running configure --enable-default-toolkit=cairo-gtk2 and get results similar to what I posted last week (better, actually, since I've fixed some image rendering bugs).

Tuesday, 26 April 2005

Star Wars

Viewing the episode 3 trailer, I'm struck by the way Palpatine refers to the "Dark Side". Why don't the Sith put a more positive spin on their agenda? Surely PR is a Dark Side power. Here's a tip to get you started, guys: "Jedi for a Free Choice".

Saturday, 23 April 2005

Glimpse Of The Future

One of the big initiatives in 1.9 will be an overhaul of our graphics infrastructure. We're planning to rip out a lot of our existing graphics code and base everything on cairo. This will give us modern 2D graphics capabilities (such as filling, stroking and clipping to paths, general affine transforms, and ubiquitious support for alpha transparency) and also, via Glitz, acceleration using 3D graphics hardware. It will also mean we can use a single rendering pipeline for HTML/CSS, canvas and SVG, so that SVG effects can be applied to HTML content.

Building on work by Vladimir Vukićević and Stuart Parmenter, I've managed to get basic functionality working on cairo, to the point where the browser is semi-usable:


Obviously there are still some glitches, and right now the speed is best described as somewhere between "glacial" and "proton decay", but at least things are working well enough that we can start identifying particular bugs and fixing them.


There's been lots of speculation about which browser will get Acid2 working first. I'd put my money on Safari. The problem is that we're late in the Gecko 1.8/Firefox 1.1 release cycle and there are a couple of bugs that would be quite a lot of work to fix, and introduce significant risk, and they're just not as important as other work that we have long planned for 1.8 and some other strategic work that I'll blog about soon. We will get to it in 1.9.

I'm sure some will seize on this as an opportunity to say "Gecko developers don't care about standards" ... they're simply wrong, as anyone can tell by looking at the huge number of standards compliance bugs we fix in every release. And keep in mind that if everyone's #1 priority was always standards compliance, Firefox would never have happened.

Monday, 18 April 2005


Last weekend our family went to Rangitoto Island on Saturday morning. It's a wonderful trip; the ferry ride to and from the island is great, the climb to the top is easy, the summit views magnificent, and the 600-year-old volcanic island itself is a unique and fascinating environment. Being mostly black lava, it does get hot on a sunny afternoon so I recommend doing as we did, taking the 9:15am ferry from downtown and the 12:45pm return ferry.

The summit outlook over Auckland and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf are incredible, and my photos can't do it justice. I offer you one photo from the track, looking back to Auckland City.


Saturday, 2 April 2005

April Curmudgeon

I loathe April Fool's Day. For an information junkie like me, it's the day when the world conspires to put sugar in your gas tank.