Ben’s Story of Firefox OS

Like my good old colleague Ben Francis, I too have a lot to say about Firefox OS.

It’s been little over a year since my team and I moved away from Firefox OS and the ill-fated Connected Devices group. Over the course of last year, each time I think about the Firefox OS experience, I arrived at different conclusions and complicated, sometimes emotional, belives. I didn’t feel I am ready to take a snapshot of these thoughts and publish it permanently, so I didn’t write about it here. Frankly, I don’t even think I am ready now.

In his post, Ben has pointed out many of the turning points of the project. I agree with many of his portrayals, most importantly, lost of direction between being a product (which must ship fast and deliver whatever partners/consumers wanted and used to) and a research project (which involves engineering endeavors that answer questions asked in the original announcement). I, however, have not figured out what can be done instead (which Ben proposed in his post nicely).

Lastly, a final point: to you, this might as well be another story in the volatile tech industry, but to me, I felt the cost of people enormously whenever a change was announced during the “slow death” of Firefox OS.

People moves on and recovers, including me (which fortunately wasn’t nearly being hit the hardest). I can only extend my best wishes to those who had fought the good fight with.

Big5 與 WHATWG Encoding Standard

到了 2017 年還是要講 Big5 編碼……這篇算是 But 的 Big5-UAO 從頭說起的續篇。

WHATWG Encoding Standard 是一個用 WHATWG 名義發表,試圖最後一次解決規範瀏覽器對 Web 的不同編碼的行為的規格書,還有提供標準的 DOM API。大約幾年前開始,規格書的編輯就和 MozTW 社群這邊討論,想要知道要如何產生一個統一的 Web 使用的 Big5 字碼表。

XKCD: 標準規範

討論滿攏長的,總之最後的結論是因為在 Web 上沒有看到顯著的使用 Big5-UAO 編碼的網站,所以 Web 應該使用基於 Big5-HKSCS 的字碼表。那個字碼表後來也就和 Encoding Standard 一起被發表出來且實作在 Firefox 43 中。

當初其實和 but 一樣有點錯愕(或是哀傷)的,不過想想台灣(或是台灣的原 Big5-UAO 使用者)比起香港能夠先拋棄 Big5,到一種 Web 上量不到有使用狀況的情況,其實是一種成就啊。Big5-UAO 在 PTT 等環境的使用對使用者來說也是近乎透明的(由 BBS Client 直接支援),也算對這個字碼表的地位的重要承認。

會突然想起這事,後來也發現是因為跟 HKSCS 有關:#whatwg 上面在問 Encoding Standard 表的重複對應問題,研究之後發現是因為 Big5-HKSCS 沒有處理,把變成重複編碼只對應到單一的 Unicode 字碼導致的。原本 Big5 的重複文字有兩個,會對應到 CJK Compatibility Ideographs 去。

我昨天也就順手更新了 MozTW 網站上那份 Mozilla 系列與 Big5 中文字碼文件(不知為何後來就變成我維護了)。希望這次是最後一次更新了。相關的討論都有在那份文件上連結,可供參考。

Emoji for all Firefox users!

Back in June I worked on a desktop Firefox feature that would bundle the Emoji One font on Linux and Windows Firefox installs. By bundling the font (which converted to the right format for Gecko), Firefox users on Windows XP/7/8 and Linux can see color Emoji instead of blank tofu or black-and-white system default glyphs.

Today, this feature reaches release, on Firefox 50.

Wikipedia on Emoji, Firefox 49 on Windows 7

Before: Wikipedia on Emoji, Firefox 49 on Windows 7

Wikipedia on Emoji, Firefox 50 on Windows 7

After: Wikipedia on Emoji, Firefox 50 on Windows 7

Special thanks to Jonathan Kew on helping me address the issues found in the Gecko graphics code and font format conversion. Enjoy and try it on your browser 😁😁😁!