Posts tagged with "working at opera"
I had some fun. I caught up with friends, and I had a hard time too.
Je passerai 5 jours à Rabat, et apart la reéunion je participerai dans un mini-conference à l'Université Mohammed V des Ingénieurs (avec mon ami Robin Berjon, et peut-être des autres).
Et si on trouve des utilisateurs d'Opera ou de My.Opera là-bas, ils sont aussi invités à une soirée de discussion, peut-etre prendre un verre ou quelque chose à manger, et discuter Opera. (La technologie - au niveau musical je suis malheureusement presque nul).
Pour moi, c'est une éspéce d'aventure, car je ne sais pas beaucoup de comment les gens utilise le Web au Maroc. Je sais qu'il y a des telecabines et des cybers, mais est-ce que tout le monde ont des portables avec Opera déjà installé, ou veulent quelque chose comme opera mini, ou s'interesse pas trop au Web, ou construisent leurs propres browsers?? Y-a-t-il miliers de bloggeurs là-bas, ou millions, ou des dizaines?
Alors, si vous êtes de Maroc et peut me dire quelque chose d'utile, ecrivez-moi SVP (en me tutoyant, je ne suis pas un type formel d'habitude). Si vous serez à Rabat Mercredi ou Jeudi soir et veux parler et prendre un verre avec quelqu'un qui travaille pour Opera, pareil... (Vous trouverez mon addresse email facilement en cherchant).
I got a new version of Opera yesterday - the latest and greatest hot-off-the-build-machine internal "we haven't checked whether this works yet but we know it is different to the last build" test version.
Which is always a scary thing to do. Backup everything everywhere (which is something that should be doneregularly anyway, of course), install new stuff and make some escape branches just in case, and then fire it up.
So far, so good...
Ademas, el grupo que escribe las pautas "Practicas mejores para la Web Movil" se encontraran en Gijon, el 25-29 Octubre, entonces yo tambien voy alli. Estaré bastante ocupado ya, pero si hay una possibilidad de encontrar gente, por qué no aprovecharla?
(No sé cuanta gente leen mis mensajes en español. Se puede ver, tambien, dónde estaré en el mundo hispanohablante en el foro...)
Working more than eight hours in a day is hard. I get compensated today with a comfortable bed, a good meal, nice wine.
Today I know two women were buried. One, I never knew. The friend of a friend, she was known in some way to many. A life extinguished prematurely, a person who is clearly missed. I see my friends' pain, and understand a little of what I have been like in the past, when I could not share something that hurt so.
The other was a friend. I have lost friends before, but I have never been able to imagine this. She was murdered, apparently by the man who was supposed to have been her lover, the one person who, of his own free choice, was meant to protect her from harm.
I can't understand. I can believe that she is gone in my head, but in my heart she is still somewhere there, complaining about work, looking forward to a holiday, wanting to do something and instead putting it off for some obligation, writing quietly, thinking about tomorrow or last week.
I can't find it in me to forgive and forget. I simply do not care what happens to him. I don't want him to die, or be killed, because that cannot bring her back, cannot take away the pain of the people who love her. I think I hope he lives a long time, and knows what he has done. Maybe he will realise, maybe he will one day understand and learn something. What other good can come of such a tragedy, such a waste of a life, the loss of a friend, a sister, a daughter, a loving person loved, with hopes and dreams and ideas and life?
As long as one person remembers her smile, the way she opened the door or shrugged her shoulders or disappeared into her thoughts, she is still with us. Her body lies with her grandmother in a place I may never go, but her memory is free to visit.
Words can only reflect the emptiness inside. We can do no more than go on loving, caring for ourselves, our lives, and the people around, those who have graced our lives with a moment, with years of their life.
And if anyone has any say in it, I would like to have a week of good news please.
I went to Finland for Assembly. I went with friends to Estonia for a few days. I came back to Finland. I met up with more friends here. Gorm, Velmu, p01, Cooper's, Anna, Yitzhaq, Georgi, Detroit, Chou, Antti, Mediumgeek, Balder, thanks.
I ate raw cloudberries, drank them in cider, and in a strong liquor. I have only ever had them as a sweet liqueur before. I saw Suomenlinna, Tallinn's old town, three cemeteries in two countries. I realised I had never consciously looked through an islamic section in a cemetery before, and wondered why have a road between orthodox and other christian graves. I never quite made it to several beaches, but did dip my toes in various bits of the Baltic. I drank at an Australian bar, an "Australian-like" (how??) bar, and didn't bother paying to go into another one. I ate at an African restaurant and drank tonic in the Depeche Mode bar, spoke french in a finnish kebab house, bought a new Astérix (well, two - they were cheaper than I had dreamed of) and read old stories. I lit a candle in a hole in a rock, and was gladdened by one on top of a rock. I travelled by plane, train and car, by hydrofoil and ferry-boat, by tram and on foot.
I came here to sit in a yard in the countryside by a piece of rock, with a couple of friends and a few words. To pay a debt never contracted with a couple of coins, to have a quiet drink and see some flowers and trees.
I came here to see a place I never saw before, to find something new, to look for something I may have lost, to search for answers to questions left unasked.
I came here to work, to sleep, to wake up and talk to people and work until I slept again.
I've been busy for a while. Time to return.
Still, it is fun. I get to talk to people whose brain has gone to sleep although their body is still walking around, but I get to talk to people who are making cool new stuff. I did some demos of how easy it is to make a "sidebar" in Opera, and finally finished and uploaded a countdown timer, as well as having an unflattering photo taken as I was woken up.
Which means that I need to take it easier next week. Hang out in Tallinn, have a look, maybe go to Riga maybe not. Depends on how the network is around Tallinn
Afterwards I will get to see a new country - we have planned to spend a couple of days in Talinn, Estonia, to make up for our lost weekend. So I should find some time to resurrect my SVG map that let you interactively say where you have been. (The code is the easy part. The hard bit is gettting the data in the first place).
At some point I am also going to visit a friend's grave in Finland. It's not quite so much fun as geeking out and having drinks with people, but it is important to me (and some other close friends of his who are going). I don't go to a lot of graves or anything, although cemeteries are pretty relaxing places. But this involves some important unfinished business.
Anyway, if you're passing through Helsinki at that time and interested in the gathering, come and say hello (Opera is a sponsor and will have a stand, so we should be easy enough to find). Likewise if you're interested in a chat over a beer in Talinn on the 7th or 8th of August, or have a recommendation for where to do that, please let me know (search engines know my email address). I have never been there before, so I am looking forward to it.
Since the presentation I gave as part of my job interview for Opera, all my presentations have been done using "OperaShow" - which is really nothing more than taking advantage of the fact that Opera implements the @projection media type defined for CSS in the late 1990's. I apply a style sheet, switch to projection mode, and voilà! As an added bonus, I can link a different, mobile style sheet, and make mobile-friendly slides as part of the same presentation. Not slides relying on having powerpoint in a high-end device in your pocket - they work fine with Opera mini on all kinds of phones, and they are exactly the same file I am using to project onto the big screen. Keeping to the rule of not sending a phone more than 20k in total, of course.
I used to use W3C's slidemaker, a simple tool in PERL that would take an HTML page, and turn it into a set of pages designed for presentation at various sizes, linked together, or Fundaación Sidar's version of it that had a few nicer features such as supporting multiple languages better. I even worked on the code for them, adding some accessibility features and other functionality. There are a number of newer tools that break a page into something that can be used for projecting - Dave Raggett's Slidy, Eric Meyer's S5, Hoylen Sue's JackSVG, are among those I have personally looked at but never used "in action".
The benefit of all these tools is that they are based on standard formats - HTML, XHTML or SVG. You can take the basic slides, and manipulate them using any tool you like, or edit their source in a text editor. You can look at them in any kind of browser.
And yet, in a couple of weeks, I am supposed to talk about the benefits of standards - how they make things simple for users and authors, and more importantly cheaper for developers, by supporting a choice of tools not a monopoly lock-in. And they ask for my slides in Powerpoint.
Sorry folks, you're going to have to have it in an open standard format. I haven't had a copy of powerpoint since I last uninstalled it more than 5 years ago. I haven't missed it, either as an author (I can use standards that are easier to work with) or reader (if someone feels obliged to send me a powerpoint, after cursing themm for the bandwidth I can open it in Open Office if I have to). I certainly don't feel the urge to go out and buy it, just so I can make it hard to share my talks, yet no easier to protect them if I were so inclined.
Actually a big part of what people do is gaming. Fair enough, there are a lot of people who like gaming. But Opera came here as a sponsor playing an active part. Some people came and ran games competitions. We came and ran a competition for making widgets. Which are not that much of a stretch, but are cool. And put up a heavy-duty games machine for the best one that gets done this weekend.
I've slept for two nights on a shelf, been up to see the sunrise, given a talk about standards and an online tutorial from 2am, eaten only junk food for two days, written a few widgets (most are rubbish for playing around, but I like my SVG clock), given away t-shirts and squeeze-balls, cleaned up around something close to a shanty-town (but in a real shanty-town there are people who care more about keeping it clean), and even been outside a couple of times.
A few people here have done some really cool stuff (apart from the crew who put the event on - they have actually done a really great job. The only thing I can fault them on is the food available here - not a piece of fruit to be seen without walking a mile). Some neat widgets, people doing standard geek stuff (world record for making a picture, playing huge multi-player games, sleeping on their keyboards, sitting until teir eyes are falling out of their heads and they are seeing triple), lots of people being helpful in almost anything you can think of, and Arne.
Arne is a tradition. Maybe it started in 2001 when Arne forgot his lunch, and his mum came in to give it to him walking around yelling "Arne", since it is hard to find someone if you don't get teh systems that are used to organise places. Maybe it was because he was underage and being told off for something. (That's not hard in Norway). Maybe it was because he had run off with some other girl, and his poor distraught girlfriend was wailing for him, back in '97. (But I don't think so. It isn't that kind of gig. There are maybe 15% women here, which is high, and they are generally girlfriends, but they are generally unlikely to have to chase their boyfriends down).
So somehow or other, as is the way, the gathring got a tradition. Calling for Arne. Which happens throughout the day and more particularly the night, as 5000 people call out. There are t-shirts. There are official announcements about him.
One day I'll come to the gathering, in a decade or two, saying "Hi, I want to get in free. I deserve to, I am Arne".
In the meantime it's fun. And there are nice people here. If I hae to work overtime, it isn't a bad way to do it.
It's a geek thing I guess, since there is a unix command (you can do it in DOS/Windows now, too) called
ping. That sends a little bit of information to some other computer on the net, and measures how long it takes to get back, if it does.
I think it comes from submarines, where they send a "ping" and measure how long it takes to bounce off another submarine. At least, that's what they do in submarine movies. I have no real idea about what happens in a real submarine.
When I am using a dodgy voice connection - either a bad phone line or a bad VoIP line, I use it too. If I say "ping" and the other person says "pong" as soon as they hear it, on a good line it is more or less instant. But on a bad line it can take several seconds, which is pretty noticeable. (People who are used to IRC often say "pong" instead of "yes" when you ping them, too).
Recently we got a ping-pong table at work. No, not some technical spec, an actual object with a net where 2 or 4 people hit a little plastic ball back and forth. It's great for a brain-starter if I am feeling extra slow, and it can be suprisingly energetic (or maybe I am even less fit than I feared).
I'm a long way from the best player at Opera, although I am not the worst either. It seems that people can learn pretty quickly to play reasonably well, although only some of course are really really good. I watched the CEO playing today after lunch - I suspect we're somewhere about the same level. But he's taller than me, so probably has better reach. Mostly I play people who beat me by a little. But after a beer and a couple of glasses of wine on friday night I managed to win three games in a row, playing doubles. Perhaps it was my partner.
This morning, coming in to work fairly early and going to get a coffee, I could hear the ping-pong table. Only nobody was playing - it was like a ghost sound. I wonder if I have heard it before and not noticed, or if it will just come and go, or if I will never hear a phantom ping-pong game again.
So long as I get a turn at it every so often, I don't mind. It did wake me up again today, after lunch. Although I lost 21-18 to someone who apparently hasn't played for a few years.
I'm trying to write some articles. It takes time, which is why I am still doing it late on Saturday night. They're fun, but hard work. And then I hand them in and they get edited. On rare occasions something I write gets published where other people read it. Most recently an article on the mobile web was published by .Net, an english magazine that the general public can actually read.
I got a copy from a friend who had seen it. Naturally, it had been edited a little by the magazine. It may have contained a spelling error, or some tortured sentece they wanted to simplify. Mostly they did a good job, actually improving the way things were said. But a couple of the changes rankled a bit with me. One of them was a question of style - I had written about a scruffy guy looking for a cheap bed on his mobile, which they left alone, and then
the girl with the heavy make-up and the cute little phone could actually be cursing the Web site that won't let her change her river cruise ticket for a Trabant hire-car in Budapest.
It came through the editing process as a girl looking at celebrity gossip in some magazine. It might be true that English readers weren't going to know what a Trabant is, or that the example seemed crazy. But the net effect was to drive a stereotype that I actively tried to avoid. My writing is not free of stereotypes, But I try to avoid some of them for one reason or another.
The other was more serious, and the sense of the edited version was almost directly opposite to what I had written, and something I was very unhappy to see. I immediately asked for a correction, and was told that they would indeed provide one in issue 150, for which I am grateful.
But they could have shown me the text before publishing it. As I said when I submitted the article, I would have liked to review any changes - precisely for this reason. Instead, some number of people will see my name (and picture) next to something that I regard as a stupid thing for anyone to say, and of those people I suspect a good number won't actualy read the correction. If I didn't know that there is quite a lot of confusing or even sloppy journalism around, and people are used to it happening, I would be more upset. But there is not a lot I can do about it.
In theory I can take legal action, pointing out that associating some statement with me is detrimental to my reputation. Since they published text that made it seem like I think Internet Explorer is a good browser, it is probably an easy enough case to make. But it probably isn't that important, and a published correction given rapidly and in good grace is probably better than arguing about it. And arguing about things in court that don't have some clear material importance is only good for lawyers.
So, back to writing some more pieces. One is on the mobile web, again. But they ask for camera-ready copy, in other words presumably all errors are my fault, and they aren't planning to sub-edit it. The other one will probably get sub-edited - I hope that if they make changes I get to see them this time.
Comme toujours, c'etait interessant. Je bossait pas mal d'heures - plus que quand je travaillais pour W3C même, avec plus investi, parce que maintenant j'ai des responsibilités en plus, et c'est plus important comme opportunité de discuter avec des gens importants a ce que je cherche a faire.
Comme toujours je suis sorti la plupart des soirs, si non toujours trop tard, ni me suis-je couché assez tôt, en générale. Mais bon, les matins je me suis reveillé pour recommencer.
Comme toujours j'ai vu des amis, y compris ceux qui je n'ai pas assez vu recemment. Mais cette année j'avais en plus la chance de rencontrer quelques amis qui je n'ai pas vu depuis plusiers années, et qui m'ont manqué dans ces temps.
Et j'ai nagé. Pas beaucoup - je suis maintenant en troisième (de trois) chez Opera cette année, sans avoir vraiment fait assez. En plus, il faisait froid dans l'eau. Mais bon, c'est mieux ça que le fin de la semaine, quand je suis tombé un peu malade.
Merci à W3C pour l'evènement, à Koalie et tous qui ont aidé pour l'organiser. J'attends la prochaine...
(et merci Libby pour la photo)
Widgets and things
Twitter, blogs, comments...
Twitter is quick, but not always great. I always wanted a blog made up of comments - and this link category is a step in making one :)
WYSIWYG Editors and HTML
Response to well-written blog explaining why "WYSIWYG Editors hate HTML5". I agree there are problems, I think there are solutions available.
WYSIWYG Editors and HTML, pt 2
Further exploration of how things really are and what can usefully be done.
JAWS got it wrong. Just handing over the keyboard is stupid - even if the role itself is not.
Entrevista con Jan Standal
Respuestas a los comentarios sobre una entrevista de Jan Standal (de Opera).
Opera Brasil na Noruega
Fotos que quero (e não)
(Muchos comentarios, un articulo)
Una conversación sobre la Web Móvil
Improving accessibility - what do we need?
It's not about one magic solution - this is a complex problem and lots of things need to be done.
Unite geolocation app
Cool ways to manage your own location data
Código abierto y Opera
Porque ser abierto no es la diferencía entre exito y la muerte.
HTML - a new standard
CSSquirrel suggests that listening to more people would make HTML better. I agree, but there are people who already influence HTML and should think about how they can do it better.
Walking in an exoskeleton, and why it isn't necessary
There is a big difference between (disabled) people achieving something, and expecting that everyone should do things "like us".