Archive for April, 2011

3 questions about American culture

I’m watching the UK news about President Obama producing his birth certificate, with increasing incredulity. The problem appears to be that he hasn’t satifactorily demonstrated that he was born in the USA. But to whom has he failed to demonstrate it? I find it hard to believe that he’s never shown a birth certificate before when standing as a governor or senator (or whatever it is).

A further question occurs to me. Why can’t someone born outside the USA become President? Given that the USA is basically a nation of recent immigrants, why couldn’t a naturalised citizen become the leader? Why the discrimination?

And, while we’re on the subject, how come a country that separates religion and state has Christmas as a national holiday, but not Hannukah or Eid or Diwali? And “In God We Trust” as a motto?

I should add that I love visiting the USA and am not snarking. I’m genuinely interested.

You want HTML5 funky dirty native, don’t you?

Made by someone commenting in Haavard Moen’s post about the announcement of "native HTML5", this video does NOT represent Opera’s official position, but it did make me laugh. Personally, I like "native HTML5". It’s important that it not be tainted with our "modern ways", but preserved for diversity reasons (thx @stommepoes!).

Microsoft announces an important innovation.

Official interview with me about Native HTML5.

HTML5 gurus on Twitter

Want an avalanche of argument and a bewildering babel of information and opinions about HTML? Here are the people I follow on Twitter who regularly tweet about the development of HTML5. Many of them I often disagree with. Many are friends. John Foliot is in the intersection of those two groups.

If you or your favourite weblebrity isn’t on here, sorry. Even Hixie isn’t listed; I restricted myself to people who contribute to the Working Groups, regularly tweet opinions or news about HTML5 (not CSS, SVG, etc – those are future lists.)

Here are people who are employed by browsers. It’s important that you know their affiliation, but they’re on my list because they speak their minds, not corporate press releases.


  • Me – d’oh!
  • Anne van Kesteren – standards know-all, WHATWG core member
  • Lachlan Hunt – standards know-all, Spice Girls backing dancer
  • Philip Jägenstedt – Core dev implementing audio and video
  • Simon Pieters does QA for video and lots else
  • Patrick Lauke is a thinker, loves to tinker and often tweets in German, Italian and French.
  • Molly Holzschlag has been in the industry for ever, and bangs the open standards drum.
  • Divya Manian worked on HTML5 Boilerplate and is from a design background.
  • Mike Taylor is a JavaScript cleverclogs. And a markup smartarse.
  • Shwetank Dixit comments on HTML5 and standards from an India-based perspective
  • Daniel Davis tweets on HTML5 and standards in Japanese and English
  • Vadim Makeev writes on HTML5 and standards in Russian
  • Karl Dubost is a ex-W3C rive gauche intellectual. French tweets.




  • Sylvain Galineau "Browsers, web standards and proprietary fromage". Good fun.
  • Eric Lawrence – "Program Manager on Internet Explorer since late 2004."


  • Simon Fraser: occasional Web-related tweet. (Recommended by Paul Irish; I didn’t know of him but didn’t want the Apple category to be empty.)

If you’d like less babel and more curation, I heartily recommend following

Who am I missing? Let me know.

Screencasting an Android phone

For my talk on HTML5 multimedia next month at web directions @media I plan to very quickly demo the HTML5 getUserMedia API (formerly <device>) on my Nexus S.

On my old Windows Phone I had a lovely program called MyMobiler to view your mobile screen on your desktop, which you installed and Just Worked.

Not so easy on Android, it appears. I found Android screencast but couldn’t get it working on Windows. So I tried it on Ubuntu; still no joy. When Ubuntu, hacking and things not working coincide, the way forward is to invite Stuart Langridge out to the Opera-Canonical Temple of Synergies and buy him beer while he swears at your machine, Google, Oracle, Ubuntu and anyone in the immediate vicinity. (“Java! You’re a massive cock-bubble!” was one exasperated highlight.)

And he did it! Read how in Ubuntu and Android, sitting in a tree (nearly), in which Stuart calls for Ubuntu to become the best platform for Android development.

Then we put the world to rights and agreed with each other about Apple again.

Update: Since writing this, I’ve been recommended Droid@Screen. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m told it’s better than the method above, and it can be started by double-clicking the JAR file.

Hurray for friends who are cleverer than oneself.