But one of the ways that I believe people express their appreciation to the rest of humanity is to make something wonderful and put it out there.
—Steve Jobs (date unknown, as played at the opening of the Steve Jobs Theater, September 12, 2017)
When I read this1 the other day, my first thought was of Camino.
We were often asked by outsiders why we worked on Camino, and why we persisted in building Camino for so long after Safari, Firefox, and Chrome were launched. In the minds of many of these people, our time and talents would have been better-spent working on anything other than Camino. While we all likely had different reasons, there were many areas of commonality; primarily, and most importantly, we loved or enjoyed working on Camino. Among other reasons, I also liked that I could see that my efforts made a difference; I wasn’t some cog in a giant, faceless machine, but a valued member of a strong, small team and a part of a larger community of our users who relied on Camino for their daily browsing and livelihoods. It was a way to “give back” to the world (and the open-source community) for things that were useful and positive in my life, to show appreciation.
We were making something wonderful, and we put it out there for the world to use.
1 Part of a heretofore publicly-unheard address from Steve Jobs that was played at the opening of the Steve Jobs Theater and the Apple fall 2017 product launches. ↩︎
Some years ago now, long after nearly all web standards people had adopted Firefox or Safari, the great CSS guru Eric Meyer was (still) a Camino user. In that capacity, I interacted with him a few times in my role as a member of the Camino team.
Today I join with the global community of those who knew or were influenced by the Meyers in presenting a #663399Becca border on افكار و احلام (and background on the main ardisson.org landing page) as a mark of remembrance for their young daughter who tragically passed away last Saturday.
I have no more words.
(Via Jon Hicks)
Periodically I glance at the statistics for افكار و احلام, and as I did so today at breakfast, I noticed some referrer activity from another author’s response to one of my old posts.
I glanced back at my old post and re-read it; although it was nearly a year-and-a-half old, the post still resonated with me as strongly today as then, and it remains just as timely and relevant today.
So for today’s Sunday Re-Read, I offer up again September 2010’s If not me… for thoughtful reading.
No, افكار و احلام hasn’t been taken over by a band of rogue German speakers in my absence. Instead, this post is just a little preview of a surprise that’s coming in Wednesday’s Camino release for German-speaking users:
Danke to Mehmet and Tobias for all the hard work these past few weeks to make this possible!
(As always, if you’d like to help provide Camino in your language, please stop by the caminol10n mailing list to get involved; you and a friend can bring Camino to thousands of users!)
On February 13, 2002, Dave Hyatt et al. released the first downloadable build (version 0.1) of Chimera, a new web browser for Mac OS X. Eleven major releases later, Camino turned ten today.
Ten years is almost an eternity in “web time”. In February 2002, state-of-the-art for Mac web browsers was Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for Macintosh, version 5.1. The OmniGroup’s NeXTSTEP-born OmniWeb (perhaps version 4?) was the only web browser built using Cocoa. Upstart classic Mac browser iCab (version 2.7.1 Preview) had jumped to Mac OS X, Opera had released version 6, and Netscape’s offering was version 6.2.1, based on Gecko 0.9.4.1. Aside from OmniWeb, all of the browsers were written using the Carbon API derived from the classic Mac OS, and most still supported Mac OS 9. Today’s three leading Mac browsers, Apple’s Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome, were months to years away from starting development. Camino, née Chimera, was thus the first web browser born on Mac OS X.
In those last ten years, dozens of people—first mostly at Netscape and then from the young Mac open-source community—have written code for Camino, hundreds have contributed translations, graphics, bug reports, and user support, for thousands of users. I joined the team, starting as a lowly bug triager, in early 2005—only three years into the browser’s life, as surreal as that seems from this vantage point. It’s been a blast, although certainly frustrating at times. For me, it’s also been a real privilege to work with all the talented developers who have contributed to Camino over the years and with the support team that’s had our back, but especially to make something that so many people have installed on their Macs and rely on daily. While the future and the next ten years for Camino are uncertain, I’m immensely proud of what all of us have accomplished and built on the foundations that Chimera 0.1 provided ten years ago.
Happy Tenth Birthday, Camino!
Someday—in my lifetime—will you please make the current, native, recommended
.sdef scripting definition format less buggy than the old, less powerful, and implicitly not recommended
Thank you. That is all.
In many ways, 2011 mirrored 2010. For me, 2011 was even more exhausting than 2010, and that once again served to limit my contributions to Camino; for Camino itself, 2011 was again a year of transitions, as we continued to bid fond farewells to familiar faces and began to see the shape of things to come.
- First and foremost, we finally shipped the long-awaited Camino 2.1, bringing a significant under-the-hood upgrade to all of our users, as well as a completely-rewritten autocomplete system for the location bar. The new version shipped in only six languages, but our hard-working localization teams are readying three more languages for Camino 2.1.1.
- In addition to Camino 2.1, we released three security updates for Camino 2.0 and three milestones on the road to 2.1, for a total of seven releases shipped in 2011.
- At the end of March, Mozilla announced the end of Gecko embedding, and as a result, we issued a blog post on the future of Camino.
- We found ourselves very fortunate that there was no tinderbox excitement in 2011; the most exciting change in that area of the project was when I finally turned off Camino 2.0.x builds in December.
- While there were no large website projects (or problems!) in 2011, we did do a significant update of the site content, both text and images, to coincide with the Camino 2.1 release. In addition, Samuel Sidler started a special project that he has yet to complete.
- Once again the composition of our development team shifted as life and job changes impacted the free time of our all-volunteer team. In particular, this resulted in a virtual hiatus in the spring as many of these changes coincided. Thus, for most of 2011, only Stuart Morgan and I were actively working on Camino code—and not always regularly even then. Philippe Wittenbergh continued to help out with graphics and design, as well as QA and user support, where Chris Lawson pitched in as well. I enjoyed spending more time working on Camino code but sadly found myself stretched thin due to my older build and release, website and documentation, and support responsibilities.
Coming so close on the heels of Camino 2.1 and after such an exhausting year, this summary feels a little bit like it’s just a quick rehash of my Camino 2.1 release post—perhaps, for once, this annual post is an abbreviated one. Still, it provides an overview of the year’s major events in the world that surrounds our favorite web browser. As always, I want to thank the entire Camino community—developers, testers, localizers, users, and friends—for all of the help and support in 2011; Camino could not have made it this far without your contributions.
2012 is the year in which Camino turns 10, which is both exciting and bittersweet. I remain hopeful for the future over the coming year and look forward to diving back in to Camino work as the holidays wind down (and, in particular, shipping Camino 2.1.1 soon). If you want to help build the future of Camino, please do join our development discussion list—perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions is to help develop your favorite browser? So here’s to 2012; together, let’s make it a great year for Camino!
Scripting is the new literacy. A hundred years ago, the dividing line was the ability to read and write. Today, it’s between people who can code simple things, and those who can’t. It’s so liberating to have an idea and be able to bend the computer to your will. I’ve found that of the most rewarding experiences in life is to create something that provides a useful function for other people. There’s an intrinsic goodness in it, like how I imagine what a true craftsman would put into a chair, table or door. You build it for the ages.
While I disagree strongly with the beginning of the quoted passage, and somewhat with the end, the middle rings true with me. I enjoy being able to write simple things to help me accomplish a task, and sometimes those pieces of “software” are even useful to others. Like many before me, I started finding my way around the Camino codebase and attempting to pick up Objective-C and Cocoa in part to fix things that bugged me, to bend Camino to my will (to paraphrase Matt).1 And although I’ve gotten great satisfaction out of fixing some bugs that have bothered me or have required some persistent debugging to fix, the most rewarding fixes—then and now—have been ones that have helped out others. It certainly isn’t saving the world, but if some code I write solves a problem someone else is having and makes their life just a little bit better or easier, it’s time well-spent.
Wishing you all the best this holiday season.
1 The other part of my reason for attempting to pick up coding was to provide more manpower and help keep development moving—something with which nearly all small open-source projects could use a hand. ↩
If you’re reading this, it means that we have (finally!) released 𝌙, another major version of Camino. Camino 2.1 is not a revolutionary change, but a solid update—in fact I tend to think of it exactly as hansstatus noted on Twitter. So while there may not be as many attention-grabbing changes as in past releases, Camino 2.1 is, as its Unicode glyph codename indicates, an advance.
The road to 2.1 has been longer—and I think harder—than any of the prior release journeys I’ve been a part of, dating back to the long-awaited 1.0. While work on 2.1 began even before 2.0 was done (Dan Weber’s Summer of Code autocomplete work was already on “the trunk” when 2.0 was released), things really got going in early 2010, when Christopher Henderson banished Mork history and nearly single-handedly got Camino building and running on both Gecko 1.9.1 and Gecko 1.9.2. Unfortunately, the devil was in the details, and we (mostly heroic hacker Stuart Morgan) spent an inordinate amount of time tracking regressions caused by Gecko changes that ignored or didn’t work properly in embedding clients like Camino.
Still, we pushed onward, joined for a time by Chris Peterson (who made a significant contribution after Christopher Henderson had to cut back his involvement), and with a brief return visit from Camino 2 feature hero Sean Murphy alongside contributions from Camino stalwarts Ilya Sherman, Chris Lawson, and Philippe Wittenbergh. In all, we fixed approximately 400 “bugs” (problems or new features) on the road to Camino 2.1, with 15 different people contributing (for the very first time, and I hope the last, I topped the list, with 195 fixes—although about 50 of those are website changes1). Still, it was a much longer process than we had hoped or wanted, but as I noted with the previous major release, Camino 2.1 is still a major improvement over Camino 2 and a triumph for an all-volunteer, all-free-time development team in today’s world of corporate-produced browsers.
Sadly, due to increased demands on the time of our hard-working localization teams, Camino 2.1 is going to launch with a record-low number of languages—just six—though three more will be be available again in future updates. If your language is one of those missing, please stop by the caminol10n mailing list and see how you can help bring these localizations back. (Localizing doesn’t require much specialized computer/software knowledge, and the updates required for languages that previously shipped in Camino 2 are not as comprehensive as with past releases; you and a friend can bring Camino to thousands of users in your language!)
For the first time ever, I believe, both Sam and I managed to get a full night’s sleep before a major release! The website was all ready beforehand, although we have few tweaks and changes that were safe to postpone until after the release.
The road to 2.1 has been, for me, a grueling journey, as if I were sprinting a marathon and, at times, simultaneously herding cats. Between development team changes, monkeywrench bugs, and a trying spring, I am exhausted. I am, however, incredibly grateful to everyone who has contributed to this fine new release—developers, reviewers, designers and artists, localizers, testers and bug reporters, and the rag-tag “support staff” working in Bugzilla and on the forum to address problems—and to getting Camino 2.1 shipped to our users. It has been an honor and a privilege.
I may manage to take a short break that’s actually a real break and then jump back into fixing bugs for Camino 2.1.1. Beyond that, it’s still hard to say. If you have any development experience and would like to contribute those skills and your time, please join us on our development discussion list to help us chart the future of Camino.
In the meantime, however, enjoy Camino 2.1; we hope you find it familiar but better, like an old friend fresh from new experiences.
1 At least another handful of my remaining bugs were other non-code-related changes, and by lines of code or significance of patches, though, Stuart is still going to come out ahead. ↩
It’s been a long time since I’ve made a Camino-related post (due to my new time constraints), but I wanted to pass along some good news quickly.
Sunday night Stuart and I landed the last two bugs we’d been waiting on for Camino 2.1 Beta 1, so our final preview is now code complete. There is still some release note- and website-related work to be done before we can build and ship Beta 1, but we’re close enough that you can start counting down the days!