Thursday, December 06, 2007

MicroB's spellchecker extension

These past days, I've been testing the just released version of Spellcheck extension for MicroB, and I'd say that even with all MicroB UI constraints for addon development including no XUL, XBL, overlay (no extensible UI) it is a great work.

Follows some usability scenarios that could be improved, though (spellcheck has to be installed).
  1. Through "about:config" page, set the "layout.spellcheckDefault" to '2' and go to default browser home page.
  2. Install the russian dictionary, and change you default input method language to Russian as well.
  3. Mistype any word in Russian and it won't get underlined (indication a mistyping), once the default 'en-US' dictionary is the one in use.
  • It is not possible right now to users to switch the a dictionary w/out having to mistype any word in the currently used dictionary language, double tap it, and change the dictionary from the prompted Select dialog. Suggestions ?
  1. I am a user and I want to know what is the currently used dictionary , how to do this ? Only going to 'about:config' and searching for 'spellcheker.dictionary' value.
  • Couldn't it get indicated in any of the dialogs' title that spellchecker prompts out ?

--Antonio Gomes
tonikitoo at gmail dot com

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A better google search experience on Microb with Greasemonkey

After installing Greasemonkey addon on MicroB, my n800 browsers much better: first I showed how users could better youtube from MicroB, and now just a quick update on how users can also better google search on your device: mine install google greasemonkey script, for example, add videos, images and wikipedia top 5 search results alongside normal google searches.. All this through AJAX !!!! It ends up like:

--Antonio Gomes
tonikitoo at gmail dot com

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A better youtube experience on MicroB with Greasemonkey

Some Greasemonkey scripts can help those who use to watch youtube videos from the MicroB Browser to get a better experience on that:

Video download in yellow and blockflash2 in red.

YousableTube options in green.

Btw, to install Greasemonkey itself on MicroB just tap here.

--Antonio Gomes
tonikitoo at gmail dot com

Monday, November 12, 2007

Browser-extras: great project even with all issues.

Better than surfing on the Web from everywhere is doing it all on your way ! On that regard, Firefox is really a pioneer: its robust Addon backend and online support make possible to customize your browsing experience in a few clicks. think that Browser-extras project is a way to go in order to get MicroB closer to Firefox.

From an user point of view, I see it as a really great and promissing initiative but how about from a MicroB extension developer's prospective ?

Some differences between MicroB's Addon system and Firefox' one make extension development for MicroB a bit more painful then it should: Firefox counts on some built-in mozilla technologies that are disabled in compile time in microb-engine:

  • XBL (XML Binding Language): "an XML-based markup language used to declare the behavior and look of XUL Widgets and XML Elements".
  • XUL: Firefox' UI language.
  • Overlay: "XUL files used to describe extra content in the UI".
  • XPI support: only .deb

We lack manpower to improve this development environment specifically ... =/ But the project is on regardless that, work is being done, and some results are already out there.

--Antonio Gomes
tonikitoo at gmail dot com

Thursday, August 30, 2007

MicroB community development building

Some nice ongoing work happening around MicroB Browser (mozilla for maemo): Browser-Extras is a good example:
  • Nice Firefox extensions for MicroB: follow it here ;)


ps: pics from leoz' blog.

--Antonio Gomes

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Trip to São Carlos (SP/Br) and Mozilla Community Build Brazil Event

So, since Monday (Jun/25) I've been in São Carlos (São Paulo) in order to get in touch with Marcio Galli (taboca - thanks for the hospitality) and brainstorm about some ideas we have. In resume, what I can say is it was very productive trip.

Marcio has been involved with web technologies and mainly Mozilla stuff since early Netscape times (back to 1997 or so), so his background in his area is notable. Basically, we talked about some general MiniMo issues, like usability and features, as well as ways of pushing it to Linux devices (maybe OpenMoko ?).

In that sense, I could show him MiniMo running on the n800 device, and I asked him about what could be done (UI-wise) to improve n800 users' web surfing experience. I got good input on this, and I hope to be packing them up in minimo 0.21 for maemo soon.

The last day (Jun/27) was the best one. I got some minimo upstream Linux specific bugs under my responsibility, which is great and will take me definitively to the XUL world. Furthermore, Offline Browsering and OS Firefox were subjects of a nice talk we had in taboca's office. I will be blogging about it specifically soon as well. Loooooots of ideas came up .....

Happily, I could also participate to the Mozilla Community Build Brazil, an community effort event which intends to learn more about Internet habits of specific countries and find out local ways to spread and increase market share of Firefox in them. It is been headed by Asa and JT from Mozilla. Here are some pics of it. They realized, for example, the potential of orkut in Brazil, and so why not making "Firefox as an easier Orkut tool" for almost 20 million users here ;).

Btw, I will be working on a Firefox extension for orkut my free time (more about it later on) !!!

--Antonio Gomes
tonikitoo at gmail dot com

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Minimo 0.2 on OLPC

Today Francisco Keppler and I took a free time off to check the feasibility of running Minimo on OLPC and these what we got:

minimo on OLPC

hack hack hack ...

Nice, isn't it ? Results are really promissing: minimo fits to the environment, scrolls fast and it is now very user friendly. Well, it is basically a raw version on minimo 0.2 (pulled down from MOZILLA_1_8_BRANCH on Mozilla CVS) running on a debian running a OLPC hardware (by francisco keppler).

ps: a HOWTO is coming ...
ps2: minimo maemo port 0.2 is coming soon as well ;)

Monday, March 26, 2007

BOSSA - Browser Lunch BOF

During the BOSSA conference we had a very productive discussion about browser trends in mobile/embedded market, some Mozilla plans in this regard (not only minimo=), as well as ideas for pushing minimo on linux embedded, SoC projects (???) and so on. It was there Ilias, Henry, Anderson and I (from INdT) and Chris Hoffman and Marcio Galli (from Mozilla).
  • Porting some WinCE specific features to linux:
    • Context sensitive menus (partially done)
    • minimo/components/gps/
    • minimo/components/softkb (ported to maemo already)
    • minimo/components/phone/
    • minimo/components/device/
  • SoC:
    • "webpage content summary": a graph model of a single web page is made up of hundreds of basic elements that are linked to each other in a very complex manner. Such structure is similar to the whole Internet, which is also made up of many interrelated web pages. The main point here is applying Information Retrieval techniques into webpages, providing a content zoomed page. Focus: reduced screen mobile devices.
    • Development of mobile web applications which use FOF for relationship networks.
  • Joey Project: Marcio, Doug and Chis are behind this.
  • Launching Minimo 0.2 . They believe minimo has reached a mature enough stage so that it can get launched ... lets wait ! ;)
  • "Local web served widgets as a means to access the OS built-in apps and
    functions". It rocks, but I can talk much ... ;)
  • Usability improvements of minimo for not-so-educed-screen devices, like n800 and n770. Some SVG stuff already done by Marcio, and already available at newest minimo maemo port releases. What else do we need ?
Well, time to put hands on them.

--Antonio Gomes

Sunday, March 18, 2007

BOSSA conference was a success

From March 12th to 14th, BOSSA conference took place in Porto de Galinhas, Pernambuco, Brazil, one of the sites of INdT. It was a great experience for all who attended, from both the technical and non-technical point of views: high quatily talks during the days, and *free* dinners, parties and delicious food and drinks after that.
  • 1st Day:
    • Milko Boic's talk about "Building Digital Media Solutions with Helix DNA Client" - specially the demos part - showed how powerful this open source multimedia framework is. However, what really paid me attention was its robust plugin-able capabilities. After the talk, I came to him and asked if he was aware of any work being done around an embeddable Helix based plugin for mozilla browsers, and he said there are some already , and I am going to follow them :-).
    • Chris Hoffman's talk about "Minimo: lessons learned, and New directions for Mozilla Mobile Development" was the best of the day (at least for me). He pointed out
      • the evolution of Minimo and Firefox in the market share;
      • pictures of minimo getting mature since its conception;
      • some problems of web sites design in the mobile world;
      • plans of mozilla for for reduced resource devices. VERY COOL !!!
  • 2nd Day:
    • Win Taymans (Gstreamer), John (J5) Palmieri (D-Bus Desktop Glue - reshaping our thinking of application development from embedded to the desktop) and the showman Marcelo Oliveira/INdT (Canola) both proofed how simple and efficient their technologies are.
    • Furthermore, Chis Hoffman (Mozilla), Marcio Galli (Mozilla), Ilias (INdT) and I (INdT) had a productive talk about how we can push minimo and mozilla to linux based embedded devices during a "Browser Lunch BOF". Btw, I am going to blog about in separate.
    • Juho Paasonen (Interaction design in open source environment: introducing the Movial Widescreen UI) was very interesting as well, showing some cool GL-like stuff.
  • 3rd Day:
    • Johan Bilien (latest evolutions on Hildon) and Johan Dahlin
      (PyGTK) were the highlights.

To be continued ... =)

--Antonio Gomes

Friday, March 09, 2007

Patching minimo

Dougt from MiniMo has improved and checked in a patch I sent to him applied against the spatial navigation mozilla extension.

** new minimo maemo port release is coming.

** we are heading to BOSSA 2007 =) !!!!!

--Antonio Gomes