Bluish Coder

Programming Languages, Martials Arts and Computers. The Weblog of Chris Double.


A mix of many things

I haven't been blogging much about what I've been doing lately so here's my attempt to put lots of little things in one post.

Work at Mozilla is going well. My patches for Firefox related to offline event notifications were reviewed and committed to CVS. Offline support is now in the nightly builds and can be used.

I finished the work I'd been doing on Zimbra. I can now edit emails offline, save them and they are sent automatically when I go back online. This is using the support for offline web applications that was recently added to the nightly builds. At some stage I'll do a screencast and go into detail about it.

Now I'm working on implementing a <video> tag in HTML that will provide a user interface similar to Flash video's and native support for Ogg Theora streaming videos. At least, that's the current plan, and it's based on a proposal from Opera posted to the whatwg mailing list. This proposal is being discussed fairly heavily on the list at the moment with an additional proposal from Apple so what I end up implementing may change as it gets nailed down.

While my head is in the Ogg space I added some Ogg support to Factor in my free hacking time as I mentioned in a previous blog post. I expanded on that this weekend and added support for Theora. From the latest code in the repository you can play Theora videos:

"apps/ogg-player" require
"test.ogg" play-theora-file

It has some issues (well, quite a few) at the moment. The YUV to RGB conversion is done in software, written in Factor, and is a bit too slow at the moment. A 320x240 video frame takes about 70ms on my laptop to convert. As a result it skips quite a few frames and is not synchronised with the audio.

I'll work on this over time and Slava has mentioned that he'll look into speeding the compiler up to make it faster for this sort of thing. I can also look into doing the conversion in hardware via an OpenGL shader. I would like to see it possible to be done in Factor though.

I'm still playing online poker regularly. Last year I won a few multi table tournaments which probably made my expectations on how much I could earn a bit optimistic.

Not long after that I hit a tournament dry spell, coinciding with the US law changes preventing US players, which made the tournaments less interesting to play. I switched to playing at a different site, signed up for rakeback (which gives you a percentage of the money you pay in rake to the site back to you), and played low stakes ring games. This is the $0.25-$0.50 and $0.50-$1 levels.

This has been profitable for me this year so far, although March was looking touch and go for awhile. I'll probably go back to playing tournaments at some point as I really enjoy them, but the ring games so far have been a better hourly rate. Of course, playing at these low limits I'm not making a fortune, but I'm not risking one either - and I prefer the enjoyment of the game. As my bankroll increases I'll look at moving up the limits.

But my time in Auckland hasn't all been poker playing, Factor programming and Firefox. I've been working more on my family history research, explored a few of the places and cemeteries where my ancestors are buried in Auckland. I found a few new avenues to research and explore and located the graves of great, great, great, great grandparents.

Next week I'm off to Mountain View, California, for the Mozilla "All Hands" meeting. This will be my second trip ever to the US and to California so I'm really looking forward to it. I leave NZ on Monday 9th April, and leave San Francisco airport on Saturday 14th.


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