Your search for wengo returned 44 results.

Tuesday 12 July 2011

I still don't understand

I could have titled this article "I understand even less". Asa wrote the following in a comment on an article on Gerv's blog:

We have and we will break add-on API compatibility with every release, certainly binary add-on compat

I spent part of the night thinking about it but still, "Urgh..." is the only thing that comes immediately to my mind. I'm shocked, so shocked, you could not believe how shocked I am. Bumping version numbers every six weeks for strictly declarative (xul/js/css/xbl) add-ons is one thing and breaking binary compatibility for binary-based add-ons is another one. The former case is painful but doable in a lot of cases. I still think that add-on authors (I am an add-on author) will rapidly feel the pain but that's nothing in comparison with breaking binary compatibility every six weeks...

Some years ago, I contracted for Wengo, the VoIP division of a major telecom player here in France. We took their huge pile of binary libs, encapsulated them into binary components (painful but still simpler than js-ctypes) and I built both a SIP-based VoIP add-on for Firefox and a standalone application on that basis. Quite impressive, I must say. With a mandatory recurrent six weeks XPCOM component update/rebuild/reship process, my client would never have done that work because that's impossible to sustain.

On a more personal note, some of my personal add-ons to Firefox are binary-based, and there is no way I can dedicate time every six weeks to them. Most add-on authors work on add-ons on their personal time and will be in the same case.

Add-ons are the major plus Firefox and Thunderbird has over browser competitors. That ecosystem is unique. Harming that ecosystem is a counter-productive decision of such a magnitude I am completely lost these days reading Mozilla's strategic decisions. It seems to me the path taken is an engineer's path, not a market-based one. It seems to me based on a wrong analysis of the market, the competition, the users' needs and the marketable differentiating factors.

Our PR team and our Marketing team are happy with the current system and they're the ones on the front lines of "publicity". Also, that negative publicity has already happened. It's in the past. It may happen to a much lesser degree with 6 and probably even less with 7 and eventually it goes away as the version number disappearing act finishes

I think I see what's going on here. Asa is betting on the extinction of the criticisms over time. That's why despite of the incredibly negative press world-wide, we saw no serious reaction and why no improvement has been seriously discussed. The weekly meeting minutes of Moz are, from that perspective, incredible: almost no mention of the world-wide fuss Asa generated two weeks ago. First, that's certainly not how the community feels Mozilla should react. Gerv seems to agree (see comment starting with "That is one of the most depressing things I've seen you write in a long time"). This feels like an occasion long ago when Blake Ross was forced to "discuss in Bugzilla" something he had made a decision on, and responded by posting there one single word: "discuss."

At this point, and I never thought I could say that one day, I don't trust any more Mozilla's strategy for Firefox. I don't trust any more its Product Manager for Desktop Firefox. It's not the person, it's the strategy. I'm not angry, I'm incredibly sad. During all these years, I tried to draw the attention on markets addressable by Moz and not addressable by other browsers. I failed. During all these years, I did all my best to give my opinion about how to extend the ecosystem, the true cornerstone of Firefox's success. I succeeded implementing these ideas for my own product, BlueGriffon, but I failed for Firefox. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry.

At this point, I think the CEO of Mozilla should talk, loud and clear, and talk about this more with both the community and the users. Enough with corporate blah-blah, and I could say corporate bullshit.

Monday 4 April 2011

La fin est proche:-)

J'approche à grands pas de BlueGriffon 1.0... Je commence à être coutumier de ces projets de longue haleine, complexes, lourds et porteurs. Le Nitot va encore dire des horreurs sur moi :-) Composer, Nvu, Wengophone, PlanRestau et quelques autres. A chaque fois, le niveau d'angoisse monte peu à peu. Je n'ai pas derrière moi des équipe de build, de release, de QA, de marketing. Je sais que la fatigue aidant, une erreur se glissera tôt ou tard dans le process, une erreur qui ajoutera encore à l'angoisse et à la fatigue. C'est malheureusement inévitable mais bon, ça fait partie du boulot !

Pour l'instant, le feedback sur BlueGriffon est excellent et cela fait un plaisir intense. Il va falloir que je planifie une BlueGriffon 1.0 Party, que j'espère aussi sympa et décontractée que celle qui avait eu lieu pour Nvu 1.0 sur les Grands Boulevards à Paris !

Sunday 13 January 2008

R.I.P. Wengophone

I missed the news but the free tool Wengophone is no more. Sad.

Sunday 13 May 2007

Application vs. Platform Focus

I discovered Mitchell Baker's article about Application versus the Platform too late on friday to be able to comment it before, but her article ran so much in my head until now I can't sleep and need to comment.

First, it is good to see such an article. The Platform is immensely important to a rather special group of Mozilla users and contributors : companies building and selling services upon that Platform. I started advocating loudly for XULRunner when it became clear that Disruptive Innovations' customers were more or less all asking for or targeting XULRunner-based solutions. Then Laurent wrote about it ; the Paul ; then Matthew. And others. Beyond Disruptive Innovations, Joost, Songbird, Wengo, there are dozens of corporations or organizations bulding upon XULRunner. And I feel myself well positioned in that world to say they're not happy with the way XULRunner is managed at Mozilla, despite of the fact Mitchell sees "an enormous amount (invested) in the platform technologies; probably more than in any other area".

  • XULRunner has no marketing support at all. Where is XULRunner on Mozilla.org's home page ? Where is XULRunner on Mozilla.com's home page ? What's the real and stable name of XULRunner ? What's the logo of XULRunner ? Where are the marketing material like "Built with XULRunner" logos ? XULRunner is not even listed in the Mozilla projects linked from mozilla.org's home page ! Where is XULRunner in the press ?
  • the XULRunner roadmap does not really show the investment mentioned by Mitchell in her article
  • the XULRunner documentation is  far away enough from what embedders expect it's a severe break for the spread of XULRunner. There is a lot of magic in XULRunner for embedders, too much magic. The organization of that documentation is too randomish, and figuring out which document contains a given set of information is almost hopeless.
  • where is the official XULRunner matching Firefox 2.0?
  • XUL needs new features. We need new stuff like editable trees, real dependant windows (moving the main window moves dependant windows with it), more window features. A lot of embedders work with flash and plugins, need software update, extensions update and skins. We desperately need simple and easy profile portability à la PortableFirefox.
  • ...

We need more investment on the platform, sorry to say. When Mitchell says "should Mozilla focus mostly on the platform as a general purpose platform?", I feel she's asking a wrong question here. We all know that Mozilla is nothing without Firefox and Thunderbird, that the buzz, the fame and the money come from the applications. Nobody is asking Mozilla to focus more on the platform than on the apps, and nobody ever asked for that.

What we desperately need is the following :

  1. a real name for XULRunner ; we keep hearing "xulrunner" is only a codename.
  2. a technical writer dedicated to XULRunner building a stable and well-organized set of docs and tutorials embedders can rely on. Of course, this can't be done w/o interviewing the developers and embedders, and the technical writer needs some good knowledge of moz.
  3. marketing.... In the world of Mozilla, XULRunner is just nowhere at all. The Platform does not need the kind of marketing backing Firefox or Thunderbird, but embedders need to feel their technological choice is supported by Mozilla or they will choose another platform from another software provider ; the fact we're good on browsers is pointless here, they can embed a browser component in a simpler/better platform.
  4. packaging... XULRunner does not even have an installer ! Even making a flash plugin work with a XULRunner zip downloaded from mozilla.org is pure magic to most developers (according to the number of people asking us!).
  5. the XULRunner team is... Benjamin Smedberg ! We all love bsmedberg, we all rely on him, but that's not enough and working on XULRunner itself requires knowledge that embedders rarely have. We need more of his time on XULRunner (if that's even possible), and we need at least one other person here so we're not lost in void when bsmedberg is away.

When I read Tristan Nitot's answer to my friend and colleague Laurent Jouanneau's article, the first word that comes to my mind is "bollocks". The second one is "blah-blah". The third one is "sigh". Like it or not, XULRunner is a reality and is a small part of the Mozilla big image. Like it or not, there are now projects and products with a big visibility counting on it, and the PR would be terrible  for Mozilla if these projects and products drop Mozilla for instance in favor of Apollo. Playing the ostrich, head in the sand, is a dangerous game here because we're almost at crossroads. Without changes in the way XULRunner is supported by Mozilla, Adobe and Microsoft are going to kill it and kill it rather easily.

Mozilla, please, turn XULRunner into a Mozilla product.

Saturday 7 October 2006


Dave Neary (aka bolsh) jumps onboard.

Note: not related to the above, but gnome.org has a problem with its blog system... Just try the url http://blogs.gnome.org/ and look to the right hand-side of the page. You'll get dozens of links' boxes.

Monday 28 August 2006

En vrac

  • diavolo now has a svn repository
  • décidément, Walid Joumblatt n'a pas sa langue dans sa poche... Je me souviens bien de lui pendant la guerre civile. Un drôle de gars, mais en fait assez fiable parce qu'on sait très précisément où il va : le sort de la communauté druze a la plus haute priorité, le sort du Liban a la seconde priorité, tout le reste passe après. Et lui n'a jamais oublié qu'Hafez el Assad a fait assassiner son père. Si ça continue, il va finir par devenir un vieux sage incontournable, ce qui serait le comble pour un type qui a été un dandy fêtard puis un chef de guerre dont les mains ont fait couler énormément de sang...
  • Wdeal... Wengo vient de réinventer la manne videotexte pour tous. Un excellente idée, mais attention au succès : si ça marche et que vous gagnez beaucoup, n'oubliez pas de le DECLARER et pensez à votre statut !!
  • Je ne garantis pas le string léopard à ParisWeb2006... Mais je vous garantis un speech sympa et un bon moment à passer. Alors venez !
  • Une merveille à lire absolument, même si vous n'êtes pas juif ashkénaze : Le Pentateuque ou les cinq livres d'Isaac d'Angel Wagenstein.
  • ROFL

Thursday 6 July 2006

Sony Vaio VGN-SZ2XP/C pros and cons

  • weight !!!
  • speed, power
  • superb 13"3 screen
  • silent and amazingly fast and big disk ; suspend to disk my 1Gig of ram is incredibly fast, I love it
  • keyboard is excellent, as always with Sony laptops
  • incredible quality of the builtin video camera ; Wengo people could not believe their eyes when they saw an unoptimized still image or video stream coming from that microcam...
  • as always with Sony, a real hardware switch to turn wifi on/off
  • for the 1st time in my life, a fingerprint reader that REALLY works and always recognizes me... To be compare with HP and IBM fingerprint readers...
  • of course, can boot from an external USB disk
  • price...
  • complexity of the power management, despite of its power
  • power adapter using a quite uncommon socket on laptop side
  • crazy price of the 7hrs battery
  • WinXP not on a CD but on a partition you can save on 2 single-layer DVDs or one dual-layer DVD
  • Phenix BIOS far too simple

Overall, it's an excellent choice. I am very happy with this laptop, and I think Dell lost me as a customer.

Monday 26 June 2006

OpenWengo Code Camp

In case you missed the news on Slashdot, OpenWengo just launched its own Code Camp. The list of available subjects is here, and there are 3500 euros at stake for students completing their project. One of the project deals with XUL and Qt, don't miss it.

Monday 12 June 2006

FF1.5.0.4 and OpenWengo

The OpenWengo extension for Firefox does not work in Fifefox and I don't know yet why. Opening the sidebar triggers the following error that never happened with the previous versions of FF :

Erreur : uncaught exception: [Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x80470007
(NS_BASE_STREAM_WOULD_BLOCK) [nsIProtocolProxyService.resolve]"
nsresult: "0x80470007 (NS_BASE_STREAM_WOULD_BLOCK)"
location: "JS frame :: [snip]/owWengoSession.js :: anonymous :: line 99"  data: no]

I'm on it.

Friday 2 June 2006

Xulrunner-based Wengophone, 1st preview

As promised, you can download a preview for windows of our xulrunner-based wengophone. Just unzip it where you want and launch wengophone\wengophone.exe.

  1. it's a preview. It's buggy. It's not feature-complete. The UI is not stable yet. No, please, don't report bugs, thanks.
  2. it's based on the Wengo extension for Firefox. No multi-IM, no conf calls, no video for the time being.
  3. no linux or mac version because we just did not have the time for that.

windows build  Windows zip

UPDATE: my wengoID is, of course, glazou...

Thursday 1 June 2006

Xulrunner-based Wengophone, progress

  • volume settings now functional
  • calls, chats and sms now functional
  • improved search field
  • minimum width and height for all windows
  • info boxes
  • presence
  • a test build will be made available on friday

teaser 10

Thursday 4 May 2006

Wengo news

teaser 8

Monday 24 April 2006

Wengo news

I just succeeded opening a Wengo session from our xulrunner-based application. Nothing demoable yet, it's only a log. But it's very cool.

Thursday 20 April 2006

Xulrunner-based Wengophone

We just began...


Tuesday 11 April 2006

Xulrunner-based app's main window

I have added (on trunk for the time being, bsmedberg should add it to 1.8 soon) a new pref allowing to specify the features of the main window of a xulrunner-based app :

pref("toolkit.defaultChromeURI",      "chrome://wengophone/content/wengophone.xul");
pref("toolkit.defaultChromeFeatures", "chrome,menubar,toolbar,status,resizable=no,dialog=no");

If this pref is not present, xulrunner defaults to "chrome,dialog=no,all".

Thursday 6 April 2006

Nvu, Etna, Wengo, life, universe, 42, Chirac and the rest

We had a chat session here about Nvu, Etna, Mozilla Composer and more generally 42 questions. See the log clicking just below/

NOTA BENE: the chat session was held using the super cool and very well done Gabbly. Use it, love it, tell them.

Continue reading...

Wednesday 5 April 2006

Let's chat:-)

Tomorrow, at 4pm Paris local time (7am PST), this blog will hold a 30 minutes chat session about Nvu, Etna, Wengo, life, universe, 42, Chirac and the rest. I'll try to answer all questions. Language will be english.

Friday 17 March 2006

WengoPhone extension for Firefox, progress

Added "Block contact" feature...

Thursday 16 March 2006

WengoPhone extension for Firefox, progress

Call history implemented, now working on "Block this contact".

Call History

Friday 24 February 2006

Wengo news

Sending SMS from Wengo for Firefox : it works now :-)

sending SMS

- page 1 of 3