Category Archives: Software

Using a Flame as my main phone, day 3

Days that take Sole to want to get rid of the stable build and want to go to Nightly so she can fix the little things here and there that annoy her: 1.

Days that she spends “distracted” with a Jewels-style game: 1.

Hence the jump from day 1 to 3.

I went and compared the stable version with the Nightly version I had flashed on the other Flame and most of the bugs were gone. So I figured that since what I actually want is to “scratch my itches” (another terrible software metaphor) what I’ll do is flash a recent Gecko and work with my custom build of Gaia where I can do whatever I want. WHATEVER. I. WANT. YES.

(Sending a patch and getting it accepted will be an entirely different matter, but maybe I’ll convince everyone that using .ANI files on the home screen is a good idea)*.

I’m kind of getting acquainted to the one-button navigation, but sometimes I sorely miss Android’s BACK button. I’m not sure if that’s because the apps don’t open new links in the right way or why it’s that, but I find that going back to where I was takes me more time than I’d like it to take. I’m not sure how will new users find this workflow–maybe I’m conditioned to find it not as cool but new people love it, so I’m not complaining much about it until I investigate on the best way to open links… but before that, I need to update Gaia!

* Hi, if you thought I was serious, you’ve just been trolled.

Using a Flame as my main phone, day 1

Today I finally got a Flame to use as my main phone (what they call dogfooding, but it sounds atrocious to me). I had been using a Flame for testing since June or so, but I kept flashing nightly builds and let me tell you… it’s risky at least.

Sadly I was busy attending other matters (namely the DevTools meetup which is happening this week at the London office) so I didn’t have much of a chance to experiment on the phone.

My main goal was basically flash it with an updated version of the operating system, since the Flame comes with 1.3 and I wanted to use 2.x. Then I took my SIM card out of my Android Nexus 5 and put it into the Flame. Bam, it works. Including data! No need to tinker with GPRS and APN settings and what not. Sweet! I already even got a spam call advising me on how to claim compensation on that accident I never had. Yay!

I also imported some of my contacts from my Google account. The importer lets you connect to GMail and then loads the contacts, and you can go through the list to choose which ones to import. Good time for some pruning of old contacts I haven’t spoken to in a while :-P
There were some weirdnesses on the rendering but I didn’t file a bug yet as I want to compare with the other phone and a freshly flashed version and see if the weirdnesses have been fixed or not.

I can also confirm that the Twitter “app” (it’s actually more like a glorified bookmark for for FxOS is as terrible as usual. I keep internally whispering to myself: OAuth, Oauth, tokens, rate limits each time I try to use the Twitter app and get frustrated by how badly it works on every single mobile browser, so as to scare myself and avoid writing my own client with support for offline and push notifications.

Now I have to find out how to configure the alarm clock. If it doesn’t work I’ll be late to the office tomorrow—it won’t be my fault! :P

Oh and before you ask: no one at Mozilla is forcing us to use this or that phone. This is just done on my own volition because other platforms keep creeping me out and I’d rather contribute to something I can trust.

PS I don’t actually have any grand plan for writing a long series of posts on my experiences on using the Flame as my main phone so don’t get too excited, teehee!

Extensible Web Summit Berlin: notes and thoughts on some of the sessions

As mentioned on this previous post, I attended the Extensible Web Summit past week in Berlin, where I also gave a lightning talk.

We collaboratively wrote notes on the sessions using this etherpad-like installation. Question: how are we going to preserve these notes? who owns OKSoClap?

Since writing everything about the summit in just one post would get unwieldy, these are my notes and thoughts on the sessions I attended afterwards.
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Extensible Web Summit Berlin 2014: my lightning talk on Web Components

I was invited to join and give a lightning talk at the Extensible Web Summit that was held in Berlin past week, as part of the whole series of events.

The structure of the event consisted in having a series of introductory lightning talks to “set the tone” and then the rest would be a sort of unconference where people would suggest topics to talk about and then we would build a timetable collaboratively.

My lightning talk

The topic for my talk was… Web Components. Which was quite interesting because I have been working/fighting with them and various implementations in various levels of completeness at the same time lately, so I definitely had some things to add!

I didn’t want people to get distracted by slides (including myself) so I didn’t have any. Exciting! Also challenging.

These are the notes I more or less followed for my minitalk:
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Keeping clean

A week or so ago James Coglan tweeted this:

It reflects perfectly why I didn’t get too much into Python other than writing isolated scripts that worked well with themselves and didn’t require extra packages, because installing them was a pain and different in each system (compiling, package managers, other package managers, eggs, pip, bla, bla). And then there was the virtualenv solution, but that adds another layer of managing that I have to deal with. I just want to get things done and be able to distribute them in a manner that makes it easy for other people to use my software.

This reminded me that I had to spend a whole afternoon a while ago trying to make some brew-installed packages operate in harmony with other libraries/binaries in my system. It was so tedious and fuzzy I can’t even remember what the problem was actually. Just the notion that installing all the software and making it all available into a global scope === bad, because different versions will require other different versions. And either everything works in harmony and life is beautiful, or you spent a rainy afternoon feeling miserable because of the weather and the incompatible binaries.
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