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Thursday, February 19 2009

Code editors in Mozilla apps

The main problem when designing a Mozilla-based development tool is the lack of a decent code editor. Here’s a quick overview of the existing solutions.

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Monday, February 9 2009

FOSDEM 2009

Ymai's last contribution to the KompoZer project FOSDEM’s about having good local beers and meeting contributors from everywhere in Europe and beyond — I sure like this concept! It was the first time I attended to this event and I didn't expect so many keynotes in such little time, so I had to make some cruel choices. Here are the three projects I focused on.

Fennec alpha2

I have to say I was very skeptical about Fennec performances at the MozCamp in Barcelona. A lot of code optimization has been done since, and now I believe Fennec can become responsive enough for mobile devices. Like Christian said in his keynote:

Fennec is faster, it’s not fast yet.

Fennec is about to replace Firefox on my EeePC:

  • getting the best of the “small” screen — well, 7" sure is much better than a smartphone screen, but it’s tiny compared to the 23" screen I have on my desktop…
  • because of the very small keyboard, drag gestures on the touchpad are much more handy than using keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl+Tab or Alt+Arrows
  • quick startup — though Firefox’s startup time was already correct on this netbook.

I like the idea of having a stripped-down browser on my netbook, then adding features with extensions. The fun part will be to find a way to implement new features while keeping an intuitive, efficent UI. I guess I should start with the bookmarks!

SeaMonkey 2 alpha2

The SeaMonkey guys have done an impressive work since version 1.1. There are many enhancements but most of the work has been done “under the hood”: the app has been ported from xpfe to the new toolkit and it’s built on the latest Mozilla core (Gecko 1.9.1).

We’ll try to work together to finish porting KompoZer to Gecko 1.9.1. The idea would be to merge KompoZer with SeaMonkey Composer (good old MOZ_STANDALONE_COMPOSER preprocessing definition?) so SeaMonkey Composer could benefit from KompoZer’s new features, while KompoZer could be built as a standalone application directly on SeaMonkey’s code base.

KaiRo, you know where to reach me. ;-)

KompoZer 0.8 alpha1

I’ve published the first alpha version of KompoZer 0.8 just before leaving for the FOSDEM, and I’ve had very interesting discussions with KompoZer users about the ergonomy of the application and the future of the project. This will be detailed in another post.

Nukeador and me talking about CSS templates

Last but not least, I’m glad I’ve finally met Yves Mairesse (aka Ymai) in person. Yves is an active member of KompoZer’s bug chasing patrol since the very beginning of the project, and he’s also the author of the most famous French-speaking KompoZer tutorial. Merci encore pour la Chimay Bleue !