Category: Plugins

Playing WebM in Safari with plugins

As you‚Äôre no doubt aware, HTML5 video is this year‚Äôs big thing ‚ÄĒ but there‚Äôs a dis¬≠pute going on about which should become the default stan¬≠dard video codec. The cur¬≠rent nascent de fac¬≠to stan¬≠dard is H.264, but recent¬≠ly the new WebM for¬≠mat is gain¬≠ing traction.

I‚Äôve no idea how the web video for¬≠mat war will end. My pref¬≠er¬≠ence is that a free, non-patent encum¬≠bered, high-qual¬≠i¬≠ty video codec will become the stan¬≠dard, and WebM is the best fit for that descrip¬≠tion. Despite the recent announce¬≠ment by the MPEG LA, the patent pool which con¬≠trols licens¬≠ing of H.264, that it will always be free for ‚Äėvideo deliv¬≠ered to the inter¬≠net with¬≠out charge‚Äô, that still does¬≠n‚Äôt make it free-as-in-speech, and still not free-as-in-beer for any¬≠one want¬≠i¬≠ng to build a busi¬≠ness around video encoding/decoding (which includes, if I‚Äôm not mis¬≠tak¬≠en, bundling it with a brows¬≠er). All that said, my pref¬≠er¬≠ence is mean¬≠ing¬≠less in the face of so many vest¬≠ed busi¬≠ness interests.

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Five plugins (and a theme) to improve Textpattern

Fol¬≠low¬≠ing on from my pre¬≠vi¬≠ous post, I thought I‚Äôd explore in a lit¬≠tle more detail how I like to opti¬≠mise my Textpat¬≠tern instal¬≠la¬≠tion when start¬≠ing a new site. While TXP has a pret¬≠ty good set¬≠up out of the box, there are a few more steps I like to take to real¬≠ly make it zing.

Bear in mind that I‚Äôve only real¬≠ly noticed the pow¬≠er of TXP in the last year or so, and there may be a heap of oth¬≠er plu¬≠g¬≠ins that I‚Äôm unaware of; list¬≠ed below are just my favourites that I‚Äôve dis¬≠cov¬≠ered so far.

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Links Round-Up: Firefox, Microsoft, Yahoo

The last month has seen me com¬≠plete¬≠ly immersed in User Expe¬≠ri¬≠ence the¬≠o¬≠ry and Infor¬≠ma¬≠tion Archi¬≠tec¬≠ture for my new role, and it‚Äôs been a very hec¬≠tic time. While that has¬≠n‚Äôt stopped me from keep¬≠ing an eye on devel¬≠op¬≠ments on the web, it‚Äôs giv¬≠en me less time to write about them.

Here’s a quick round-up of a few links that have grabbed my inter­est over the past weeks; I’d like to write more about them, but time forbids.

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IE8‚Äôs WebSlices ‚ÄĒ another practical Microformat

One of the new fea¬≠tures already announced for IE8 is Web¬≠Slices; essen¬≠tial¬≠ly, the abil¬≠i¬≠ty to sub¬≠scribe to any part of a web page, even if it does¬≠n‚Äôt have an RSS feed. It sounds some¬≠what sim¬≠i¬≠lar to Fire¬≠fox‚Äôs Micro¬≠sum¬≠maries fea¬≠ture*, although it‚Äôs a) eas¬≠i¬≠er to imple¬≠ment, b) more flex¬≠i¬≠ble, and c) not buried in the brows¬≠er where no-one could ever find it.

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Immediate uses for Microformats

One of the hard¬≠est things about Micro¬≠for¬≠mats is explain¬≠ing their ben¬≠e¬≠fits to peo¬≠ple. You can say ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a stan¬≠dard¬≠ised for¬≠mat of mark¬≠ing-up con¬≠tent, which is both human and machine read¬≠able!‚ÄĚ until you‚Äôre blue in the face, but until you can show peo¬≠ple a prac¬≠ti¬≠cal ben¬≠e¬≠fit they usu¬≠al¬≠ly remain unmoved.

Luck¬≠i¬≠ly there are a few tools out there which will help you show off the ben¬≠e¬≠fits of using Micro¬≠for¬≠mats, and involve lit¬≠tle work from you.

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My favourite features in Firefox 3 are in Opera

I‚Äôve been play¬≠ing with the Fire¬≠fox 3 nightlies for quite a while now so the first beta release did¬≠n‚Äôt real¬≠ly hold any great sur¬≠pris¬≠es for me. The updat¬≠ed ren¬≠der¬≠ing engine is fast and clean, and it‚Äôs got lots of nice new fea¬≠tures which make it a treat to use. Most of my favourite new fea¬≠tures are already in Opera 9.5, how¬≠ev¬≠er; and one that isn‚Äôt could real¬≠ly do with the Opera touch.

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Older

Aside

I‚Äôve updat¬≠ed my Speak¬≠ing page to include more con¬≠fer¬≠ences, more videos, and a lit¬≠tle on my speak¬≠ing require¬≠ments and pref¬≠er¬≠ences. I‚Äôm plan¬≠ning to cut down on the num¬≠ber of talks I give in 2014 (twelve is too many), but am always open to inter¬≠est¬≠ing offers and oppor¬≠tu¬≠ni¬≠ties, so please get in touch if you‚Äôre organ¬≠is¬≠ing an event.

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