One Year At INRIA
I have been working for INRIA for one year now. I am still alive, though extremely busy… and it is high time to give a quick update.
About My Work
timesheets.js: I have been hired to develop a FLOSS, cross-browser implementation of SMIL Timing and SMIL Timesheets. I learned a lot about SMIL and I believe that we are bringing a modern approach of SMIL, reusing HTML/SVG and CSS wherever possible. Most use cases so far are related to multimedia annotations but I think the true power of this technology is to design interactive slideshows in a declarative way — i.e. relying on a standard W3C markup.
My contract has just been extended a bit to work on a wysiwyg editor for timesheets. I am rushing to deliver something usable, I hope I will be able to write another blogpost about this when it is ready.
As this work was a research program focussing on XML edition, I learned a lot on XML and XML editors. I am pretty disappointed by most XML editors so far, mainly because they are often misused — I am more and more convinced that an HTML-based, template-oriented document processing tool-chain would suit most needs.
I was accepted as a member of the SYMM Working Group at W3C. Not as fancy as being part of the HTML5 WG but still, that means something to me.
I wrote a paper that has been accepted by the DocEng2011 conference, which will take place in Mountain View in September.
I have been working a whole year with a non-free OS! Now, I have a lot to say about MacOSX… and I am happily getting back to GNU/Linux. I have to admit that there are a few OSX features that I would like to see in GNU/Linux, though.
The Bad Part
I thought I could still work on Kompozer while at INRIA. Unfortunately, I had absolutely no time to take any vacation during this year and very little free time to work on other free projects.
Just to make it clear:
- yes, the KompoZer project is stalled at the moment since I am the only regular developer and I am too busy;
- no, there is no so-called “successor” for KompoZer; there are other projects which address the same needs but with another codebase…
- yes, I am still interested in finishing the job I have been doing on KompoZer, i.e. backporting the codebase to comm-central / SeaMonkey.
I think dom2text editors are not relevant any more for modern web development. They are still useful and appreciated to learn the basics of web design, a wysiwyg CSS editor can be useful as well, but they will never be an alternative to text2dom editors like DreamWeaver™ or Komodo.
I am convinced that wysiwyg HTML editors should be focussed on content instead of presentation. I am thinking of a “Web Processing Suite” that could be a real-world alternative to word processors and slideshow editors, and we need a modern, stable, community-maintained editor for that. This has always been my main motivation with KompoZer, and after my work at INRIA I have a pretty sharp idea of what a “Web Processor” should look like.
The Best Part
I am not looking for any job at the moment. I have just signed a 6-month contract with Mozilla and I will start working with Ehsan Akhgari on the <editor> back-end in mid-July.
Needless to say, I am more than thrilled about this new challenge. More on this subject soon. :-)