Category: Plugins

Playing WebM in Safari with plugins

As you’re no doubt aware, HTML5 video is this year’s big thing — but there’s a dispute going on about which should become the default standard video codec. The current nascent de facto standard is H.264, but recently the new WebM format is gaining traction.

I’ve no idea how the web video format war will end. My preference is that a free, non-patent encumbered, high-quality video codec will become the standard, and WebM is the best fit for that description. Despite the recent announcement by the MPEG LA, the patent pool which controls licensing of H.264, that it will always be free for ‘video delivered to the internet without charge’, that still doesn’t make it free-as-in-speech, and still not free-as-in-beer for anyone wanting to build a business around video encoding/decoding (which includes, if I’m not mistaken, bundling it with a browser). All that said, my preference is meaningless in the face of so many vested business interests.

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Five plugins (and a theme) to improve Textpattern

Following on from my previous post, I thought I’d explore in a little more detail how I like to optimise my Textpattern installation when starting a new site. While TXP has a pretty good setup out of the box, there are a few more steps I like to take to really make it zing.

Bear in mind that I’ve only really noticed the power of TXP in the last year or so, and there may be a heap of other plugins that I’m unaware of; listed below are just my favourites that I’ve discovered so far.

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Links Round-Up: Firefox, Microsoft, Yahoo

The last month has seen me completely immersed in User Experience theory and Information Architecture for my new role, and it’s been a very hectic time. While that hasn’t stopped me from keeping an eye on developments on the web, it’s given 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’s WebSlices — another practical Microformat

One of the new features already announced for IE8 is WebSlices; essentially, the ability to subscribe to any part of a web page, even if it doesn’t have an RSS feed. It sounds somewhat similar to Firefox’s Microsummaries feature*, although it’s a) easier to implement, b) more flexible, and c) not buried in the browser where no-one could ever find it.

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Immediate uses for Microformats

One of the hardest things about Microformats is explaining their benefits to people. You can say “It’s a standardised format of marking-up content, which is both human and machine readable!” until you’re blue in the face, but until you can show people a practical benefit they usually remain unmoved.

Luckily there are a few tools out there which will help you show off the benefits of using Microformats, and involve little work from you.

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My favourite features in Firefox 3 are in Opera

I’ve been playing with the Firefox 3 nightlies for quite a while now so the first beta release didn’t really hold any great surprises for me. The updated rendering engine is fast and clean, and it’s got lots of nice new features which make it a treat to use. Most of my favourite new features are already in Opera 9.5, however; and one that isn’t could really do with the Opera touch.

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Aside

I’ve updated my Speaking page to include more conferences, more videos, and a little on my speaking requirements and preferences. I’m planning to cut down on the number of talks I give in 2014 (twelve is too many), but am always open to interesting offers and opportunities, so please get in touch if you’re organising an event.

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