04.22.08

Camino 1.6 Spanish is coming

Posted in Camino at 3:47 am by

Many of you have noticed that we shipped Camino 1.6 without a Spanish localization.

Let me assure everyone that both the Camino development team and the Camino localizers were unhappy about this, too. However, all Camino work—development and localization—is done by volunteers, and schedules of volunteers do not always line up. This was exactly the case with our Spanish localization; it wasn’t going to be ready in time for us to ship Camino 1.6 as planned last week. We knew this in advance, and while we always hate to ship a Camino release without a language included in the previous version, we needed to ship 1.6 and we did have 10 other languages ready.

As of this evening, the Spanish translation is nearly complete, and the first review indicates there is not much more work to be done. I can’t promise you a new Camino 1.6 Multilingual build that includes Spanish by the end of the week, but it is safe to say that you’ll see Spanish in the Multilingual build very soon.

As always, if you’re concerned about the status of the translation of Camino in your language, please stop by the caminol10n project and see how you can help. You don’t need to have many computer/software skills, and some languages just need reviewer/proofreaders—the only skill required for that task is your language and the ability to use Camino!

We thank all of our Spanish-speaking users for their patience, and we do hope to deliver the Spanish localization very soon.

Putting code where your heart is?

Posted in Links, Open Source, Software at 2:37 am by

Marc “uwog” Maurer, a leading AbiWord developer, on AbiWord’s 2008 Google Summer of Code projects:

Interestingly, we did receive quite a few applications about improving OOXML support, while we got zero OpenDocument related proposals. Apparently the support for the OpenDocument ISO standard isn’t strong enough in the F/OSS community to actually make an effort to improve support for it. Even when paid. Food for thought.

Both sad and disturbing for advocates of truly free and open standards for document formats (of which I am one).

04.17.08

This ✈ has reached its cruising altitude

Posted in Camino at 11:32 pm by

If you’re reading this, it means we’ve survived yet another major release of Camino. Today we released Camino 1.6 (codenamed ✈) after about 10 months of development. Our fearless leader has already written about most of the major new features in the release, but you can also check out our freshly-updated Features page. It has been a long(er-than-expected) journey, but we’re proud of all the work and are pleased to offer you a new stable release.

The road to Camino 1.6 began in May 2007, when Mark Mentovai cut the CAMINO_1_5_BRANCH for Camino 1.5 security releases and the first fixes for 1.6 landed on the MOZILLA_1_8_BRANCH even as we finished work on Camino 1.5. Over the course of nearly a year thereafter, Camino contributors fixed nearly 400 “bugs” (problems or new features), and 18 different people contributed patches for this release (with Stuart Morgan leading at 153 fixes). Big thanks to the half of that list of patch contributors who aren’t regular Camino developers; every little (or big, like multiple accounts support for the Keychain) fix helps make Camino a better browser.

If you remember back to my Camino 1.5 wrap-up, the number of bugs fixed in Camino 1.6 is lower, but this was designed to be a smaller release. The fact that the number is not that much lower shows that Camino 1.6 ended up being a bigger release than you might otherwise expect from a 0.1 increase in version number (we played the late-stage version number “game” before, but we opted not to do it again). No matter which way you look at it, Camino 1.6 is another major accomplishment for our all-volunteer, all-free-time development team.

Thanks to the efforts of our fabulous localization teams, Camino 1.6 is available in 10 different localizations in addition to US English, with Spanish expected to join that list soon. Sadly, we had a few languages that shipped in Camino 1.5 disappear on us, so if your language is missing, please stop by the caminol10n mailing list and see how you can help bring these localizations back. (The work doesn’t require much specialized computer/software knowledge, and some of the existing localizers have volunteered to mentor new or revived localizations. Last year new contributors successfully revived the Norwegian localization, which was in Camino 0.8 but disappeared from Camino 1.0; you and a friend can bring Camino to thousands of users in your language!)

Again this year I went to bed last night while our fearless webmaster Samuel Sidler stayed up to put the finishing touches on the home page, the Features page, and dozens of other bits around the website. Aside from some afternoon connection issues, the website update felt like it went more smoothly than 1.0 or 1.5 did (I guess it helps when you’re not completely re-designing a site or adding tons of new support content :-) ). Special thanks to Stuart for his last-minute debugging and testing during today’s release.

What’s next? Those of us who have been working on the website and other release details are going to take a rest for a while. Most of the development team, which had only a few things left for 1.6 after last month’s Beta 4, have been slowly ramping up to work on Camino 2.0. There’s not much visibly new over Camino 1.6 in the nightly builds yet (lots of Gecko changes, and Tabsposé is there but hidden), but there are some great new features already in progress that you should be seeing in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, enjoy Camino 1.6 and let us know what you think!

04.16.08

Feeling Old

Posted in History, Life at 3:43 am by

I’m feeling old tonight. I read (via John Gruber) that Stan Flack, co-founder of MacCentral (and later MacMinute), had died.

As I read the posts from his former co-workers and friends in the Mac community, I began to wonder…had it really been nearly 15 years since I’d started following the Mac web? I remember when MacCentral switched from publishing every-other-day to daily, I remember how MacCentral would always commemorate Remembrance Day (Stan was Canadian; it’s Armistice Day or Veterans Day to the rest of us), and I remember the tiny little icons that MacCentral used in the early days to help differentiate the story type.

In fact, it’s those little icons (part of a bygone era on the web, and perhaps happily so) that are the reason I’m writing this at all. Shortly after a redesign in which they disappeared, I sent a little note to MacCentral’s feedback address politely lamenting their demise. Much to my surprise, I later received a response from none other than Stan Flack, Publisher of MacCentral, himself. The email is lost to the depths of time, but I recall him thanking me for the feedback, explaining why the icons went away, adding that he missed them a bit, too, and he’d look to see if there were other ways to use them (or something to that effect). The top guy responding to inconsequential feedback himself. I can’t claim to have known him, but from reading what others have written, that was the kind of person Stan Flack was.

As for those little icons, maybe it’s just my mind, but I’ve always thought that MacCentral’s post-redesign site logo and, later, its site icon () were reminiscent of those little globe-like icons that made reading only the stories I was interested in so easy. Those days seem so long ago and far away now….

And so, feeling older and with a sadness over the untimely passing of one the Mac web’s pioneers and enduring figures, I offer my happy memories of one of the greatest Mac news sites during the golden age of the Mac web, and of the man behind it, and I offer my condolences to the family and friends of Stan Flack.

Posts from some of Stan Flack’s friends and former co-workers:

04.15.08

Counting commands

Posted in Camino, Life at 2:06 pm by

Just because I need a break right now and sometimes it’s fun to play along with Planet Mozilla: what does a Camino QA lead/website peer/tester/sometimes-hacker’s command-line history look like?

[Qalaat-Samaan:dev/trunk/mozilla] smokey% uname -a
Darwin Qalaat-Samaan.local 9.2.2 Darwin Kernel Version 9.2.2: Tue Mar 4 21:17:34 PST 2008; root:xnu-1228.4.31~1/RELEASE_I386 i386
[Qalaat-Samaan:dev/trunk/mozilla] smokey% history | awk '{a[$3]++ } END{for(i in a){print a[i] " " i}}' | sort -rn | head
24 make
11 cvs
10 cd
8 open
6 history
5 edit
4 patch
3 diffscrape
2 touch
1 svn
1 ls
1 cp

Notes:

  1. This is the sum for my six current active Terminal tabs from the tail end of One License to Rule Them All (Phase 2) on (I had to quit Terminal once I had the fix mostly complete because of some sort of corrupted environment setting). For the morbidly curious, there are another 11 open tabs for other branches and trees I haven’t built since restarting Terminal.
  2. If there were some way to track Coda saves and MediaWiki edits…that would tell the tale!
  3. Pretty much every launch of Camino to test something goes through Troubleshoot Camino these days, so all of those would-have-been open path/to/one/or/another/Camino.app commands are also missing.
  4. Thanks to bz for tcsh variant; otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to play along and take this needed break. :)

04.11.08

One License to Rule Them All (Phase 2)

Posted in Camino, Life at 1:40 am by

Over a year ago, I filed bug 368091 to make it possible for Toolkit’s copy of license.html (about:license) to serve as a licence file appropriate for all mozilla.org projects, not just the then-Corporation Fire/Thunder pair. (That bug was itself the result of a September 2006 bug to fix the XPFE copy of license.html to stop telling Camino and SeaMonkey users their official binaries were released under the Corporation EULA, which in turn was the result of a June 2006 bug to clarify the licensing references for Camino.)

For a long time bug 368091 sat unloved, with the neglect punctuated by brief flurries of activity which generally ended with exasperation and stalemate over seemingly mutually incompatible requirements. In the meantime the two copies of license.html grew to three, and every change to about:license had to be made either three or six times across mildly-forked copies of the file. This was no fun for anyone involved, including branch drivers approving changes for licensing compliance. Finally, after Stefan Hermes filed a bug last month about bad redirects on mozilla.org (and indirectly about bad URLs in SeaMonkey following its switch to Toolkit), I decided to post an interim patch for 368091 just to get the discussion moving again. Several weekends (and two additional patches for 368091 and one for Thunderbird), we’re down to only two copies of license.html on the trunk, and the Toolkit copy is now suitable for all mozilla.org applications. Phase 2 is complete!

For the curious, toolkit/content/license.html is now pre-processed before being packed into toolkit.jar, which ensures the copy of the license in toolkit.jar is devoid of application- or organization-specific EULA blocks. Firefox now takes toolkit/content/license.html, pre-processes it to include the Mozilla Corporation EULA block, stuffs that file in browser.jar, and sets up a chrome override so that about:license’s chrome URL (chrome://global/content/license.html) is overridden with the chrome URL for the Firefox-specific version. Thunderbird currently strips out the “about:license” fragments of all of the anchors in toolkit/content/license.html and ships a stand-alone file instead of shipping a stand-alone forked copy of license.html; after bug 428144, Thunderbird will also post-process in its EULA block. If you’re building a browser-type application, you can use the Firefox model to build your own license file; if you’re building a non-browser application, the Thunderbird model (most of Phil Ringnalda’s original “ship a stand-alone file” work in bug 339117 plus my patches from bug 427316 and bug 428144) should work well for you.

When I started filing these bugs back in June of 2006, I never intended that “one license to rule them all” would turn into what appears to be an obsession (at that point, I certainly didn’t expect I would fix any of the bugs along the way, let alone most of them). For over a year bug 368091 has been my #2 tab—perhaps that should have clued me in to the borderline obsession—and I’m delighted that I can finally close that tab. We’re not quite done with the quest to drive the number of license files on the trunk to one—XPFE (and thus Camino) still has a copy, but its days are numbered once I’m done with Camino 1.6 release work—and there are a couple of other follow-ups to finish, but we’ve completed the hard part of the trek.

This has been an interesting journey for me, and I extend thanks to everyone who helped out along the way—Gerv Markham and Frank Hecker at the Foundation, Robert Kaiser, Chris Thomas, and Stefan Hermes from SeaMonkey, Phil Ringnalda from Thunderbird (who, among other things, kept reminding us that any solution had to work for non-browser apps), Reed Loden on the www.mozilla.org side of things, Benjamin Smedberg for finally driving me to the correct solution, code review, and the SunOS tinderboxen bustage fix, and Samuel Sidler for getting things rolling (perhaps I should be cursing him instead? ;) ).

Stay tuned for Phase 3, coming in a few weeks, and then our long international nightmare will be over. :)

04.06.08

Camino 2008 Week 13/14

Posted in Camino at 11:41 pm by

Just a brief reminder that the student application deadline for the 2008 Summer of Code is Monday, April 7.

  • Since the last update two weeks ago, we’ve released two new betas. As usual, Stuart Morgan was chasing down the last bug fixes, Mark Mentovai did the build-wrangling, and I handled pushing all the changes to the website and to software update.
  • In addition to chasing down the last few beta blockers, Stuart has also been alternating between working on the few remaining code bugs for 1.6, starting to clean up regressions on the trunk caused by Core changes, triaging the 2.0 bug list, and doing other fun code cleanup. He also snuck in a patch to support a couple of multi-touch gestures produced by Apple’s new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro trackpads.
  • Chris Lawson, working with Philippe Wittenbergh’s river of error reports, got Camino trunk building again with the 10.5 SDK (we last verified 10.5 SDK compatibility before we made compiler warnings fatal, so the problems were only warnings about deprecated functions).
  • Our fearless leader, Mike Pinkerton, wrote a brief note in honor of Mozilla.org’s 10th anniversary. For more of his remembrances of the decade, you can read (or listen to) his interview with the Mozilla Digital Memory Bank or watch his Google TechTalk.
  • Sean Murphy finished his work to prevent Camino from completely overwriting corrupt WebSearchEngines.plist files and continued his investigation of a new feature we’re tentatively planning for Camino 2.0.
  • In addition to my work on the two betas, I worked on finishing up the set of files that our localization teams will need to translate for the ✈ release (Mark had the final word on the text, as always). In between working on updating the website so that it will be ready for the release of 1.6, I’ve written a few small patches to Gecko’s Mac font defaults. I also spent some time this weekend working on the “one license to rule them all” problem and made Thunderbird generate its license.html file from the shared Toolkit file, reducing the number of copies of the license file from three to two. Once we make the shared Toolkit file sufficiently generic, we can reduce that number down to one.

As the pilots say, we’re going through our pre-flight checklist right now, and we expect ✈ to be cleared for takeoff in about a week, depending on the schedule for the next Gecko release. In the meantime, please let us know if you find any problems in Camino 1.6 Beta 4.