Issue #25 - February 15, 2012
Hi folks. Sorry for the longer than usual issue but a kerfuffle over WebKit's feature prefixes and their potential implementation in competing browsers broke out! The good news? It's safely in its own section.. ;-) - Peter.
News and Latest Developments
Mozilla has released a roadmap of the strategies and developments for the Firefox browser project over 2012. Highlights include an in-built PDF viewer, the next generation IonMonkey JS engine, and 'silent' updates.
PeepCode always puts out great (paid) tech screencasts and their latest is about browser caching using HTML5 technologies. It's an hour long and they brought in W3C committee member Ben Schwarz to show us how it's done.
Articles and Tutorials
Google engineer Gregg Tavares presents an excellent set of code-driven demonstrations of WebGL's 2D oriented features, such as image manipulation. Very handy stuff.
A demonstration of using HTML5 Web Notifications in Chrome (as you may have seen if you use the IM features in Gmail) along with a GitHub repository for learning how to do it for yourself.
To better support zooming and hi-res displays, both on desktop and mobile devices, the WebKit team is adding subpixel layout support by changing the rendering tree to use subpixel units called 'LayoutUnits' instead of integers. Learn more here.
Metro style apps in Windows 8 have all the performance benefits of IE10 when showing Web content. In Metro style apps, Web content is always JIT compiled and hardware-accelerated.
Zynga, the famous Facebook-oriented developer of titles like Farmville, has set its sights on HTML5 as the future of Web based game development and ReadWriteWeb interviews Zynga Germany's CTO Paul Bakaus about their approach to HTML5.
A Focus on The WebKit Prefixes Commotion
Boring title, sure, but at the latest meeting of W3C's CSS Working Group (CSSWG), Tantek Celik of Mozilla notes that not supporting some '-webkit' prefixed CSS properties is 'no longer an option' for Mozilla. Representatives from Microsoft and Opera agreed.
Chris Eppstein says 'the CSS Working Group needs to stop rearranging deck chairs for a while and plug the giant holes first.' He argues that we need new APIs and new CSS functionality to help solve the problem from the outside in, as jQuery did for DOM manipulation.
Scott Gilbertson of Webmonkey weighs in with a contrarian view that browser makers aren't the problem but that Web developers and that they should stop designing sites targeting WebKit only.
Dustin hopes this fiasco will 'kill the W3C and CSS Working Group standardization process' as the reason things like the -webkit prefix are even necessary is because 'the W3C and the CSS Working Group are ineffective, failed organizations.'
For A List Apart, Lea Verou presents some sane and practical advice regarding the treatment of proprietary features and their standardization. Probably a good place to leave this for now, too :-)
AppMobi, the HTML5 game development tools company, has released playMobi, a cross-platform HTML5-based game development, deployment and monetization SDK. It includes support for interactive leaderboards, badges, in game purchases, and gameplay analytics.
Code and Libraries
Annoyingly I missed this last week but it's too useful to miss.. the popular Modernizr browser capabilities library has a 'supercharged' new release. This post sums up some of the improvements.
Lea Verou has come up with an elegant solution for moving an element in a circle (while keeping it level) using CSS transformations alone.
Google's developers are naturally keen to use Google+ as a venue for communication, and their latest is a 'Chrome Developers' group as 'a place for Chrome developers to meet, share, and discuss the latest in web development.'