Monthly Archives: July 2011

Mozilla Plans Chrome OS Competitor “Boot to Gecko”

Mozilla is in the early stages of planning a project that would not only compete with Google’s Chrome OS, but would go a bit beyond. Boot to Gecko—named for Firefox’s Gecko rendering engine—would be a bit of Android-based software (primarily the kernel, drivers and other low-level bits, I assume) designed to boot hardware to the web in order to run a web-based operating system.

Mozilla believes that the web can displace proprietary, single-vendor stacks for application development. To make open web technologies a better basis for future applications on mobile and desktop alike, we need to keep pushing the envelope of the web to include — and in places exceed — the capabilities of the competing stacks in question.

Mozilla wants to develop new APIs that would allow web-based applications to access hardware such as USB, Bluetooth, cameras, SMS, NFC and telephony. These would, of course, have a “privilege” system to ensure that potentially malevolent applications wouldn’t be able to access the hardware without your consent.

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. Google, with Chrome OS, seems to be primarily interested in the development of cheap hardware that boots into a browser. Mozilla, on the other hand, is currently more focused on enhancing web applications to make that sort of device more viable. And some of the APIs would likely be implemented in full-featured mobile operating systems like Android and iOS sooner or later.

Boot to Gecko []

PHP to Deprecate MySQL Extension in Favor of MySQLi and PDO

The PHP project is working toward “softly” deprecating the mysql extension and its associated functions in favor of the newer (and more secure) mysqli and PDO extensions. They won’t be adding E_DEPRECATED errors for the extension in PHP 5.4, but will consider it in…

BlogBuzz July 23, 2011

Minimus: The OS X JavaScript and CSS Minifier

Users like fast websites. That’s one of the universal rules of web development. To attain faster speeds, it’s common to use a process known as “minification” to compress the file size of JavaScript and CSS. Yahoo developed one of the most commonly-used tools for…

Adding and Tracking Social Buttons

It seems like every website has social media buttons on them now. The ones leading the pack of late seem to be Twitter, Google +1 and the Facebook Like widget. This introduces one problem: loading times. Your pages are calling JavaScript files hosted on…

Easy CSS Sprites with Sprite Cow

CSS sprites are a commonly used technique to decrease page load times. One of the biggest hassles when setting them up, though, is figuring out the coordinates for the images in your sprite. (The other is rebuilding the sprite when you want to add…

BlogBuzz July 9, 2011

Where to Find Free Fonts for CSS @font-face

If you’ve discovered the magic that is the CSS @font-face property, then you have likely run into one of its biggest problems: while there are plenty of free fonts online, not many are licensed with terms that allow you to use them with @font-face.…

BlogBuzz July 2, 2011

MacRabbit isn’t Dead!

Users of Espresso and CSSEdit have been complaining for some time about the lack of updates to the software. In a surprise announcement, MacRabbit (the developer) announced that Espresso 2 is on the way and that CSSEdit’s functionality is being rolled into it. The…