Slides from Brendan Eich's Mozilla Futures Talk at Developer Day Now Available

Monday March 1st, 2004

Last Friday saw the first Mountain View Mozilla Developer Day since the formation of the Mozilla Foundation. The Foundation's press release about the event gives an overview of the talks that took place and James "Kovu" Russell has posted a review of some of the presentations.

The slides from Brendan Eich's Mozilla Futures session are the first be available online. In the presentation, the Mozilla Foundation's Chief Architect outlined Mozilla's strengths and weaknesses and described a future strategy plan. Proposals include accelerating work on integrating SVG, implementing support for more scripting and programming languages (such as JavaScript 2, Python and Perl 5), creating a XUL builder plug-in for the Eclipse platform, improving native widget and desktop integration and setting up a new site with programmer documentation. Collaboration with Opera and Apple to advance Web standards was also floated and several possible end-user innovations were discussed.

#20 Single-threaded, & the utility of SVG

by leafdigital

Wednesday March 3rd, 2004 3:32 AM

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I think browsers have been (essentially) single-threaded as you describe since the dawn of time. I'm not saying that's necessarily a good thing but it may be a difficult situation to move away from; if you make a humungous chunk of single-threaded code multi-threaded it is probably going to suck and a lot of things are probably going to break. (Possibly including things like user javascripts, etc.)

IMO this will not be a major problem in Mozilla once Mozilla is split into separate processes. You mention newsgroup reader and composer - well, once we've all moved to Thunderbird for news reading and Nvu for composing, these programs will get their own thread(s).

BTW this is a response to a different post, but I really don't think SVG should be seen as a Flash competitor; it should be seen as a GIF/PNG competitor. I see the primary use of SVG as efficiently creating scalable graphics (ordinary stills) on web pages.

For example, SVG (if it were available) should probably be used for:

* boxes, curves, etc. that are part of the web site's layout, which are currently done with gif/pngs [should be done with inline SVG, or SVG files for background-images]

* fancy font tricks that are currently done using header .gifs (with or without nasty css background replacement tricks) [should be done with inline SVG in conjunction with downloadable fonts; I am unsure as to the state of implementation here, this is one important problem area]

* graphs, charts, and diagrams [should be done with inline SVG for very simple graphs or external files for more complex images]

* any other graphics for which vector creation is appropriate or rescalability is important; as time moves on and screen resolutions become much more variable than today, this would include most images that aren't sourced from photographs; illustrations, icons, etc. [should generally be done with external files]