Camino 2008 in Review

Posted in Camino, Life at 8:01 pm by

As the year comes to a close, it’s time once again for my annual look back on what we’ve done as the Camino Project.

  1. We followed up on 2007’s Camino 1.5 with Camino 1.6 in April, providing our users with a significant upgrade based on the stable MOZILLA_1_8_BRANCH, with features like the scrolling tab bar, automatic software updates, and improved AppleScript support. We’ve continued to release security and stability updates on an almost-monthly basis since then, and the Multilingual version of Camino 1.6.x currently ships with 14 languages.
  2. As Gecko 1.9 began to stabilize for Mac embedders, we released two milestones, Alpha 1 and Beta 1, on the road to Camino 2. We continue to knock out some of our most requested features and hope to deliver a solid 2.0 release in early 2009. Sean Murphy, Stuart Morgan, and Jeff Dlouhy all have contributed major features so far.
  3. We had the second of what now can be characterized as “annual” contributor meetings, again following WWDC in June. In addition to the gang in San Francisco, Desmond Elliott and I joined in remotely (alleviating fears from some that I did not, in fact, exist ;) ).
  4. As with every year, people come and go. While a number of older contributors have had to cut back their time spent on Camino, we were delighted to welcome new contributors this summer and fall.
    • Christopher Henderson and Ilya Sherman joined the team in 2008; both jumped in and made an immediate impact. Christopher arrived with a full content zoom patch and soon became adept at all-purpose extermination, and Ilya jumped in to our unloved download window code, breathing some life into the old Growl patch along the way.
    • In addition, Bryan Atwood returned with the Flashblock whitelist, and Philippe Wittenbergh, who has provided graphics, design, and CSS-wrangling for some time time now, stepped in to fill more of the shoes left by Jon Hicks (who was snapped up by some other browser developer).
    • We were delighted to add Catalan to the languages shipping in the Multilingual version of Camino 1.6.x, and as the year came to a close we heard from teams looking to add Galician and Turkish localizations in future releases.
  5. It was not a good year for tinderboxen, alas.
    • Both the long-serving binus and the hard-working maya (which had served as the first Universal tinderbox in the Mozilla world), finally succumbed to boot failure.
    • maya’s replacement, a 1.24 GHz G4 Mac mini, also succumbed to tinderbox disease late in the year, after stints serving as the primary tinderbox for both Sunbird and Camino while our respective Xserves were down for about two months for unexplained failures. (Did I mention it was a bad year for tinderboxen?)
    • Thankfully, binus’s replacement, cb-minibinus01 has been a model citizen. As a result of all the excitement, Samuel Sidler and I learned more about tinderbox-wrangling than we ever wanted to know! (Please join me in knocking on wood in the hopes not to curse us with more tinderbox disasters in 2009.)
  6. Our localization teams successfully transitioned from AppleGlot+ADViewer to iLocalize this year, in the final run-up to Camino 1.6. After a couple of years with unreliable AppleGlot versions and annoying Intel strings bugs, the iLocalize solution was a welcome breath of fresh air. These hard-working people bring you Camino in more than a dozen languages, complete with localized release notes for each release. If Camino is not currently available in your language, drop by the caminol10n project website, join the mailing list, and learn how you can help!

I think that covers most of the major events of this year—and I managed not to be so long-winded this time around! 2008 has been another good year for the Camino Project. Camino 2.0 Beta 1 has a number of new features I’m really excited to be using, and 2009 promises to bring more good things to Camino users.

Thanks to everyone in the Camino community—our developers, our testers, our localizers, users, and friends—for a great 2008. Happy New Year and welcome to 2009!


Camino 2008 Week 50-51

Posted in Camino at 12:41 am by

…or, “Two weeks, two releases, and lots of other fun.”

  • First and foremost, we released Camino 1.6.6 on Tuesday in sync with the Gecko release. Special thanks to Marcello Testi and the entire caminol10n team for the quick turn-around when we switched the order of Camino 1.6.6 and Camino 2.0 Beta 1. As usual, Stuart Morgan was my partner in crime on this release, and Samuel Sidler kept the webserver happy during and after the release.
  • In addition to his role on the release team, Stuart performed his usual complement of reviews and super-reviews. He also finally got to land his patch to prevent stray frames of QuickTime (and other plug-in) content from persisting when switching tabs and polished off the fix to enable beginning drags of background tabs with a single click.
  • Sean Murphy collaborated with Stuart on the fix for dragging background tabs and performed several reviews.
  • Bryan Atwood finished up his work on the exceptions list for “Block Flash animations” (aka the Flashblock whitelist) early last week, and he also returned to an old bug about hiding Flashblock placeholders for Flash animations already hidden by ad-blocking.
  • Several of Christopher Henderson’s outstanding patches landed over the past two weeks, including the tab height fix that was one of the blockers for Camino 2.0 Beta 1. He was also the reviewer of record on many patches.
  • The past two weeks saw not only Ilya Sherman’s first Camino patch land, but also his second. In between exams and winter break, he continued to poke various download-related bugs.
  • Chris Lawson finished several patches during the recent weeks, including one that cleans up how we construct bookmark names for entries in the Address Book collection, bringing both saner behavior and improved localizability.
  • The past two weeks felt a little like a never-ending race to me; I think that’s related to serving as driver and release-master for two releases in two weeks, with last week including both pushing a release live and building another! When not doing that, I helped Sam and Chris L. chase down a regression in Gecko that broke Wells Fargo’s insane login form. Over the weekend I decided it would be relaxing (!) to make another foray into Objective-C-land, and with some great code originally written by Simon Fraser and Chris L. as a guide, a stylesheet from Philippe Wittenbergh, and Christopher H.’s help, I got our Aqua <select> override working and ready for review.

As we head into Christmas week and New Year’s, we’re definitely planning on slowing down a bit. For those of you who celebrate a holiday this week, we’ll have an early present for you (if you aren’t celebrating this week, consider it simply a random late-December gift from all of us ;-) ).

Also on the subject of scheduling notes, I don’t expect to produce a weekly update this week, but I’ll be back at the end of the year with my annual year-in-review.


Fun Monday Landings

Posted in Camino at 2:17 am by

It’s been a crazy day today (er, yesterday already) here, but there were a number of important patch landings I wanted to mention, if only quickly.

  • The crash that has been plaguing 10.4 users for quite some time, and which I wrote about last month, should finally be fixed on Gecko 1.9.0, meaning the December 16 Camino 2.0b1pre nightly builds should now be safe for users of Mac OS X 10.4.11!
  • At long last, we have built-in support for the Flashblock whitelist, via a new “Flash Exceptions List” button in Web Features. Thanks to Bryan Atwood, who has worked on this patch since he implemented the original Flashblock integration back before Camino 1.5. Finally our release schedule, our reviewers’ schedules, and Bryan’s free time were able to be in sync. ;-) Those of you who have been using custom rules in userContent.css should migrate your whitelists to the new Flash Exceptions List, where they’ll be easier to edit and will prevent any potential conflicts between the two lists.
  • The Stuart MorganSean Murphy collaboration produced a patch to enable starting the dragging of background tabs with a single click, and it also landed today.
  • Themers take note: After Christopher Henderson’s patch to support full-size site icons in the tab bar landed today, the tab bar is now 24px high. If you have any tab themes, you’ll need to update the various pieces of the tab bar to use 24px high images for Camino 2.0.

As a result of all of these landings, we’re now frozen for Camino 2.0 Beta 1. If you notice any new bugs that we’ve overlooked in these features, please let us know. This means that, barring any unforeseen problems, we should be able to have Camino 2.0 Beta 1 ready in the near future.


WordPerfect meets Spotlight

Posted in Software at 1:59 am by

Because of my involvement with the libwpd and NeoOffice projects, and as a long-time WordPerfect user (5.1/6.0/3.1/3.5.x), I often get asked how Spotlight can find the contents of users’ old WordPerfect files, particularly WordPerfect for DOS and WordPerfect for Windows documents of switchers. There wasn’t an easy answer for a long time. Starting in the fall of 2002, libwpd and its utilities have supported translating (and obviously reading the text content from) an increasing number of WordPerfect file formats (thanks to the efforts of William Lachance, Marc uwog Maurer, and Fridrich Štrba). Since June 2005 Gero Herrmann’s WordPerfect Spotlight importer has allowed Spotlight to index WP-Mac documents (version 2.1 and higher) and metadata. However, the former didn’t talk to Spotlight, and the latter only supported indexing the file formats of WordPerfect for Macintosh.

The obvious solution to this problem was to tie libwpd and the WordPerfect Spotlight importer together, which is what Gero Hermann has now done in version 2.0 of his importer. While Mac WordPerfect documents will produce more metadata, the text content of WordPerfect documents from any platform (at least since version 4.2, which is the earliest non-Mac document version supported by libwpd) will now be available to Spotlight.

Note that if you already have WP documents on your Mac, Spotlight has already tagged them with a dummy kMDItemContentType, something like dyn.ah62d4rv4ge81s6de, which will prevent Spotlight from using any newly-installed importer, like version 2.0 of the WordPerfect Spotlight importer, to index the text content of the file. Unfortunately the only way to fix this seems to be to completely delete and recreate your LaunchServices database and then trigger a full Spotlight reindex—and even then, Spotlight will not always re-assign the correct content type, for reasons that are not yet clear to me.

To delete and recreate your LaunchServices database and then trigger a full Spotlight reindex, use the following Terminal commands:

`locate lsregister` -kill -r -all local,system,user

sudo mdutil -E /

I’ll update this post if I learn of a better way to fix this situation.

Spotlight, meet WordPerfect; WordPerfect, welcome to the wonderful :P world of full-text searches.


Welcome hendy and ilya!

Posted in Camino at 11:47 pm by

Sam reminded me the other day that while I’ve been writing about Christopher Henderson (hendy) and Ilya Sherman (ilya) for a while now, I’ve never actually introduced them to the Camino community.

Christopher Henderson (hendy) has been hacking on Camino since this summer, when he implemented Gecko 1.9’s full content zoom feature in Camino. Christopher’s a 24 year old recent astrophysics graduate in Christchurch, New Zealand. He’s been a user of Camino since the Chimera days, and his first Cocoa project was Sid, an astronomical timekeeping utility. Since full content zoom landed back in August, Christopher’s been tackling things related to the location bar, site icons, the bookmark bar, and other miscellaneous fixes, as well as working on implementing a full-screen mode. As he’s in New Zealand, Christoper has also been getting up in the middle of the night once a week to attend our project meetings; that’s dedication!

Ilya Sherman (ilya) has been filing bugs (or commenting in them) for a couple of years now and has recently made the jump to the development team. He writes, “I’m a student at Stanford University, majoring in puzzle-solving (or something like that…). I like complicated board games, like Settlers of Catan and Arkham Horror. Juggling, too.” Ilya’s first patch to land was bouncing the downloads folder, but he jumped into Camino development by reviving the patch to enable Growl notifications for completed downloads. When not juggling, solving puzzles, or living the college life, Ilya has also found the time to work on several other download-related patches.

Please give a very big (and belated) Camino community welcome to Christopher and Ilya!


Bouncing Downloads

Posted in Camino at 11:42 pm by

Earlier today I checked in Ilya Sherman’s patch to bounce the Downloads folder (or stack) in the Dock when a download finishes (Mac OS X 10.5 only). The new feature will be in tomorrow’s nightly build and in the forthcoming Camino 2.0 Beta 1.

This is Ilya’s first Camino patch to land, but he has several others in progress, including Growl notifications for downloads. At first glance, it seems like he may be looking to take over from Nick Kreeger as “Mr. Download” for Camino—but we’re happy to have him with us regardless of what he’s working on. :-) While we wait to see what’s next from Ilya, enjoy your bouncing Downloads folder!


Camino 2008 Week 49

Posted in Camino at 1:55 am by

We continued moving again last week, and Camino 2.0 Beta 1 is now on the horizon.

  • Stuart Morgan opened and closed the week with a round of reviews and super-reviews (spawning a patch-landing party on Saturday), hit a dead-endNS_ERROR_NOT_IMPLEMENTED in our attempt to display user-added certificate exceptions, and fixed a problem with blank Tab Overview thumbnails for XML-like pages. He and Sean Murphy also tag-teamed on a patch to support starting to drag background tabs with a single click; hopefully the patch will land early this week.
  • Sean Murphy worked on the aforementioned dragging patch this week, and he also performed several reviews.
  • Christopher Henderson was busy with his current favorite topics of the location bar, autocomplete window, and site icons, working on several patches and having others landed. URLs with non-Roman script fragments in them now show up as unescaped UTF-8 in the autocomplete window, the BBC site icon is no longer blurry, and it’s now possible to press the down arrow to display the search field menus (if the cursor is already at the right end of the field), all thanks to patches from Christopher that landed over the weekend. He also mocked up some code that would allow for displaying thumbnail previews when hovering over the tab bar.
  • Jeff Dlouhy dropped off a patch for a fade-in effect when Tab Overview thumbnails are loading, performed a number of reviews, and found a minor polish bug in the new tab dragging feature.
  • Ilya Sherman continued his trip through the review gauntlet with his download manager patches, responding to comments and spinning new patches. The first of the patches is now awaiting super-review.
  • Bryan Atwood returned this week with a new version of his patch to add a Flashblock whitelist to Camino; it’s currently awaiting review.
  • Markus Magnuson, our Swedish localizer, filed a couple of bugs on odd .nib/.strings instances he had found and he produced a patch for one of them.
  • Philippe Wittenbergh continued working on new toolbar icons for full content zoom, producing more than a dozen different variations(!) to respond to our comments and ill-defined specifications.
  • Chris Lawson’s patch to improve our discovery of feeds (and, conversely, to stop discovering P3P files as feeds!) landed this week, bringing Camino’s behavior in line with other browsers. He also worked on a couple of smaller patches during the week.
  • In between a lovely cold and the rest of life, I developed a patch to fix a bug in our AppleScript dictionary in Camino 2 (thanks in large part to superb code comments left by Peter Jaros, who also performed the patch review), created a small patch to remove some old MOZILLA_1_8_BRANCH #ifdefs, and continued to triage the list of bugs nominated to block Camino 2.0 Beta 1. It was also a fun week to be in QA, as I filed several new bugs I discovered during Saturday’s patch-landing party. :P

It was a pretty busy week for the whole team, and the work carried us several steps closer to the next milestone release on the road to Camino 2. Though we’ll surely slow down again as the holidays approach, we do hope to have Camino 2.0 Beta 1 out soon, as our fearless leader noted at the beginning of last week.