November 29, 2005

Firefox 1.5 - Today's the day!

For all you Firefox user's out there:
Mozilla's Firefox 1.5 release imminent. In this case, "imminent" means tonight (afternoon Pacific Time).

This release holds worlds of promise for the future of web technology. Native support for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) will allow web site authors to use the SVG language to display two dimentional drawings (logos, maps). To the average user that may seem pointless since raster/bitmap formats can already display those kind of things fine. The advantage SVG has over a GIF or a JPEG image is that it can have other XML embedded in it. Imagine a map that actually has each address stored "under the hood" or an organizational flow chart that also carries the contact info for each employee. Those are some of the basic things that could be done with SVG. It's also highly scriptable (via JavaScript) and in many ways is seen as a possible replacement for Flash.

In addition to that wonderful piece of technology the CSS compatibility with the latest standards has improved, JavaScript now sports a 1.6 version number (and all the new features that comes with it), and the browsers a good bit faster when going backwards and forwards between places you've already been.

I've been using Firefox 1.5 since the Deer Park Alpha 1 stage, and have been pleased ever since.

I hope you'll all take the time to upgrade. I think it'll be well worth your time.

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 08:43 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 08, 2005

More licensing thoughts...

I still have mixed thoughts about the whole thing. There are times when I find the copyleft licenses (GPL, LGPL, and MPL) reasonable and enticing (who wants to give their code away to a competitor?), but at the same time those licenses become the competitor and decide what even the original developer can do with the code.

The statement that sums up the Free Software Foundations "copyleft" thinking (and the part of all this that concerns me) is, "Proprietary software developers have the advantage of money; free software developers need to make advantages for each other." [1] I see the point, but that way of thinking creates a very distinct "us vs. them" atmosphere that I think licenses like the Apache License avoid.

Just more musings.

[1] Quote found in "To LGPL or not to LGPL."

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 08:33 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack