HP’s Roadmap for webOS Open Source Initiative

While it’s not news that HP have begun their open sourcing efforts for webOS, the fact that they have published their official roadmap for the project, however, is. 

Back in 2011, HP decided to open source webOS. They flogged their TouchPads and made a bunch of money. They couldn’t find any buyers to sell the platform they built from the ground up. They decided their best choice was to throw open the doors and give it away for free. It’s taken just under 2 months for them to release anything, and today they have.

The HP webOS Developer Blog has posted the official announcement of their efforts in open sourcing their Javascript Application Framework – Enyo. Enyo is a completely cross-platform, open source, highly customizable and extensible application framework. Open sourcing Enyo was the first step in the roadmap, with only 5 days left before a soft deadline.

According to their press release, HP hopes to have completed open sourcing of webOS by the end of August 2012, when they release “Open WebOS 1.0″. Scratch the first entry, it’s done.

  • January: Enyo 2.0 and Enyo source code Apache License, Version 2.0 
  • February: Intended project governance model, QT WebKit extensions, JavaScript core, UI Enyo widgets
  • March: Linux standard kernel, Graphics extensions EGL, LevelDB, USB extensions
  • April: Ares 2.0, Enyo 2.1, Node services
  • July: System manager (“Luna”), System manager bus, Core applications, Enyo 2.2
  • August: Build release model, Open webOS Beta, Open webOS 1.0

Hopefully by August, HP will have completely weeded out any and all binary blobs from webOS, open sourced all the bits under the hood, and packaged it with the proper license (Enyo is licensed under Apache 2.0) that truly gives developers, enthusiasts, hobbyists, and hackers the ability to push webOS forward.

Although HP has indicated they have a good interest in using webOS in the near future, putting it all out there with a hands-off approach would likely better the chances of a bright future for webOS. Nokia did it with Maemo and there is a very strong and smart community who are still using and developing for devices that were EOL’d a long time ago. The webOS community is full of resilient, bright, and talented people who will take webOS under their wing.

All webOS needs is some new hardware. If the above image is what you have in mind and you work at HP, please walk yourself off a cliff before you ruin all the hard work Palm did.

NoScript Now Available For Firefox Mobile On Android

If you’re looking for added security when browsing on your Android device, look no further than NoScript. The popular Firefox extension has now been made available for Firefox Mobile. It’s called NoScript Anywhere.

Browsers have become extremely complex. With more and more platform-agnostic webapps appearing, users have been living and working inside a browser instead of a desktop. Google has been pushing Chromebooks that provide a full web experience using nothing more than their Chrome browser. Safari has gone mobile. Firefox has gone mobile. Opera has gone mobile. All these mobile browsers are gaining popularity, yet nobody has been addressing the issue with modern browsers: security.

NoScript allows users to selectively block Java, Javascript, Flash from executing without permission.  It provides XSS (Cross Site Scripting) and ClickJacking protection using integrated plugins. The add-on has been completely re-written to support a mobile interface. Once installed, NoScript immediately starts blocking harmful web applets using the default recommended options. More advanced settings such as whitelisting, blacklisting, and granular permissions will be editable on a desktop and can be synchronized via Firefox Sync — keeping all your devices up-to-date, whether a mobile device or full blown desktop/laptop.

NoScript Anywhere allows the plugin to be installed without restarting Firefox Mobile. It provides an option for disabling automatic playback of Flash and Java applets, instead, a placeholder can be clicked to initiate execution of the plugin.

Naturally, NoScript Anywhere is based on the extremely popular open source NoScript extension written by  Giorgio Maone,  who also created the  FlashGot Download Manager.  The work started at the beginning of 2011, it took short 9 months of incubation before being completed and available for public use.  

The majority of mobile browsers are based on WebKit, but are proprietary and different across the board by manufacturer. Android’s browser is based on Chromium, iOS’s based on Safari and BlackBerry’s based on a moldy flaming banana peel.

Firefox Mobile will hopefully become extremely popular among all smartphone users, and we will see NoScript Anywhere usage increase, making the web just a little bit safer for everybody.

Defer Banner Ads/JavaScript To Load After Page Loads

There are many times when you might want a certain banner ad to load only after you page loads fully, however, not everyone is an expert in AJAX or JavaScript for that matter to make change code and make the code efficient.

code_ninja

If you are a webmaster and have been worried about slow page load times, there is a easier way to defer certain banners or JavaScript code to load after the browser has rendered the rest of the page. This trick can be used for both inline and external JavaScript by using the "defer" attribute specified in HTML 4.01 and later.

To defer banner ads or any JavaScript code to load after the entire page has rendered, just add the attribute defer="defer" to the script tag and the browser will ignore the code within the script and load it after it has finished loading the rest of the content.

Here are some examples of using the defer attribute with a script:

//inline JS example
<script type="text/javascript" defer="defer">
//js code goes here
</script>
 
//external JS example
<script type="text/javascript" defer="defer" src="somejs.js"></script>

Using this trick will ensure that your non JavaScript content loads quickly enough so that it does not hinder a user’s browsing experience. However, it may not improve the overall page load times since the browser will continue to load the deferred JavaScript content after the rest of the page has loaded.

You will find some detailed description about Deferred JavaScript and its impact on the page rendering by visiting this informative post.

YouTube to launch online video editor

YouTube is all set to release a web-based inbuilt video editor. This will be a great news for all the video enthusiasts who are regular up-loaders at the video sharing website. Right now it will be a basic video editor having the most commonly use functions such as trimming and joining with promises of more functionalities in the future.

The feature will surely be light-weight but should suffice for the nominal video editing requirements while uploading videos to the website. The YouTube editor itself is based on JavaScript. The editor will be looking to use the capabilities of cloud computing to the maximum so as to enable users with average computers to edit videos easily. The main task of processing will be left to Google’s own systems.

More features are sure to be added to this innovative tool with time. The YouTube video editor is slated for release later today. This new concept is sure to increase the existing very large user base of YouTube.

Source : TechCrunch

HTML5 <video> Tag Support For All Browsers

Videos is a very big feature which will render Flash videos almost useless, however not every browser supports HTML5 yet, the few that do also are either development versions or beta versions.

So, as a developer how would you switch to HTML videos? Well, there is a way by using a new JavaScript API which adds support for the HTML5 <video> tag in all browsers.

The API in question is called “html5media” and makes use of jQuery to display the default HTML5 video player if the browser supports it, or defaults to Flowplayer if the browser does not support it.

This will ensure that your <video> tag will play in all browsers, irrespective of whether they support it or not, definitely a good way to start using HTML5 videos in your project.

The only downside of this API is that you will have to include a JavaScript library in all pages that you want to insert the HTML5 videos in as shown below.

HTML5 Video Support for All Browsers

Once you do that, the html5media JavaScript library will take care of displaying the videos to both HTML5 browsers as well those which do not support it.

Download and Learn more about html5media. You can also view the demo of the script in action by visiting this page on a HTML5 compliant browser and one which does not support it. The only downside of this is that your video needs to be encoded in either the h.264 codec (mp4) or Theora codec (ogv).

JaegerMonkey, Opera 10.5 Beta, Mozilla Ubiquity And 3 New Chrome Extensions [Browser Saturday]

Welcome again to our weekly column Browser Saturday, where the Techie Buzz team will try to aggregate the latest innovations and updates around the browser world. Check the previous post here.

Mozilla Developers Working On A New JavaScript Optimizer: JaegerMonkey

Mozilla developers are now working on a new JavaScript optimizer for Mozilla based browsers like Firefox. This new project, named JaegerMonkey (or JägerMonkey), will replace Mozilla’s current JavaScript optimizer TraceMonkey. JaegerMonkey will have the features of TraceMonkey and Nitro (WebKit’s JavaScript engine) both.

Developers Dave Mandelin and David Anderson have blogged about this project. David writes:

Mozilla’s JavaScript optimizer, TraceMonkey, is pretty powerful. It carefully observes loops and converts them to super-fast assembly. We call this tracing. That’s great and all, but there’s a problem: sometimes tracing doesn’t work. Loops can throw curveballs that cause tracing to stop. Especially with recursion, or lots of nesting, it can be very difficult to build good traces on complex code. Other JavaScript engines, such as Nitro (present in WebKit/Safari), take a simpler approach. Instead of compiling loops to assembly, they compile entire methods (functions) to assembly.

We’re taking the tried-and-true approach of other vendors, and bolting trace compilation on top. Once the two are interacting seamlessly, you’ll have a much more consistent and fast JavaScript performance experience.

This project is in the initial phase at the moment, and the team is very excited about it. After its implementation, Mozilla based browsers will have super fast JavaScript rendering speed, similar to WebKit based browsers. :)

Opera 10.50 Beta For Windows And Mac

Opera 10.5 Beta for Mac platform has been released. This release includes some exciting features like Growl notifications, unified tool bar and Multi-touch gestures. The Opera team has also released 10.5 beta 2 for Windows.

Where is Mozilla Ubiquity?

Erez Zukerman of DownloadSquad has posted about the current development status of Mozilla Ubiquity.   This post was widely discussed among developers, and finally Aza Raskin, the head of User Experience for Mozilla Labs, has replied Erek’s post. Raskin writes on his blog:

Ubiquity is currently on the back burner, with the core Ubiquity people now working on Jetpack (myself and Atul Varma) and Test Pilot (Jono Xia). In the next couple of months I will be focusing on a new project that incorporates some of the learnings from Ubiquity and Taskfox.

Surprisingly, this post has been removed from Raskin’s blog (though accessible using Google cache). The homepage of Ubiquity project at Mozilla Labs has been updated now, and discusses the current status of Ubiquity: The purpose of an experiment is to learn something not necessarily to make a product.

3 New & Useful Chrome Extensions try them now!

  1. SEO Site Tools: A useful extension for web professionals. Pulls tons of on-page and off-page metrics, social media stats etc. for any site.
  2. Skeet: A brand new Chrome extension for twitter users. Attractive and simple UI, feels like Twhirl!! :)
  3. Chrome Lock: This extension claims to lock Google Chrome, and hence it prevents unauthorized use of the browser when you are not at your desk. Users can set their password to unlock the browser. Unfortunately, it is not working at my end (Windows, 5.0.335.0 build 39559), but many users have posted positive reviews. :)

Also Check: Best Chrome Extensions You Should Definitely Download

Block JavaScript in Google Chrome. NoScript’s features in Chrome!

If you have just migrated to Chrome from Firefox, you may have noticed that there is no Chrome version of NoScript the popular Firefox add-on to block JavaScript on web pages. NoScript blocks JavaScript, Java, Flash, Silverlight and several other executable contents by default and gives users a choice to allow these content from trusted sources only. Hence, it makes browsing faster and safer. I can’t imagine web browsing without NoScript, and this is one of the many reasons to stick with Firefox.

If you miss NoScript in Chrome, I have good news for you: Google Chrome will have similar content filter options soon. The latest Dev channel v5.0.317.0 for Windows has an option to selectively control cookies, images, JavaScript, plug-ins and pop-ups. Users can either block this content or opt to allow only certain trusted sources.

How to block JavaScript and other contents in Chrome?

disable javascript in google chrome

If you are using Dev channel of Chrome on Windows, you can access these features by updating it to latest release. Move to Options->Under the Hood->Content settings. This setting window provides better management of images, JavaScript, plug-ins, and pop-ups.

The recommended option is to block all JavaScript and add trusted hosts as Exceptions. Although, blocking JavaScript may result into unusual rendering of web pages. You can set options for cookies, images, popups and plug-ins similarly.

content setting icon in address barYou can also control your content settings from the address bar. If there is any blocked item on the current web page, a small icon will appear in the address bar, and users can manage settings by clicking on it. This feature is similar to NoScript, where you can control settings from the status bar icon.

I hope to see this feature in stable version of Chrome soon. :)

jQuery 1.4 Released, Happy 4th Birthday jQuery

jQuery is one of the most popular JavaScript library which has made AJAX and dealing with DOM much more easier for developers. Over the years jQuery has quickly gone on to become one of the most used JS libraries.

jquery_logo

The jQuery team have released jQuery version 1.4 to developers to celebrate their 4th birthday today. jQuery comes with lots of new features and functions.

jQuery 1.4 Overview

  • Performance Overhaul of Popular Methods – jQuery developers have rewritten code for most of the earlier functions to provide with significant performance gains
  • East Setter Functions – jQuery 1.4 has added new and easy setter functions for all the objects
  • Improvements in Ajax – jQuery 1.4 introduces several significant updates to Ajax and JSON handling
  • In addition to this there are other significant changes to Attributes, Core, CSS, Effects, Events and more

Developers can find the new methods in jQuery by visiting this page. To download or learn more about jQuery 1.4 visit this page. jQuery 1.4 is also available as part of Google Ajax APIs.