Jitendra Madhav Ramchandani

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"If you can dream it, you can do it."

June 13, 2007

Apple's Safari for Windows

At Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference, Steven Jobs, the CEO announced that they will make their Safari web browser available for Windows.

Steve said, the Safari would have double the performance capability of the rival Internet Explorer.

Steven Jobs in the conference

It seems Apple is now more confident of coming out of its backyard and looking for new clients from “Windows” probably through applications like browsers, players (?) etc that run on Windows and have a taste of Apple.

Late but clever business strategy!

They have started with a test version of Safari and I bet there will be many bugs and errors in this test version. It is available to download on Apple’s website.

Here is a list of features mentioned on the Safari page:-

1. Blazing Performance
2. Elegant User Interface (Impressive)
3. Easy Bookmarks
4. Pop-up Blocking
5. Inline Find
6. Tabbed Browsing
7. SnapBack (Good feature)
8. Forms AutoFill
9. Built-in RSS
10. Resizable Text Fields
11. Private Browsing (Good)
12. Security

Windows Safari will also help Apple to generate money from every Google search requested from its browser.

No doubt, they will bite market share of Internet Explorer and will also create worries for the FireFox and Opera browsers. But certainly this all will take time.

The popularity of Safari will also have positive impacts on iPhone. Steve is asking Apple software developers to develop Internet applications based on web standards like xHTML and AJAX for iPhone. The iPhone will have capability to run such applications.

Coming out of the personal computers to the World Wide Web it will provide greater scope to the developers. And with the help of Safari browser these applications could be accessed by any Mac, Windows pc and iPhone devices! And certainly Windows Safari will play an important role.

June 02, 2007

500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art

I couldn't stop my self to post this excellent video on my blog. It displays portraits of women in the history of 500 years of western art.

The best part is the way a portrait is morphed into the next one. They are from several periods of art, from Renaissance to the modern art, from oil paints to sketches...from Da Vinci to Picasso.

The portraits also express the feelings of women and the morphing transforms this feeling from one to the other.

Wow! I have't seen anything better then this. Here it is (Please click the Play button).

June 01, 2007

Keymapping Issue in Firefox and Flash

THE ISSUE

With almost every European language settings when we run a Flash movie with an input box in Firefox, a weird problem occurs. That is, the [@] and [“] symbols produced by the keyboard are swapped on screen. When we type [@] symbol, it shows [“] double quote symbol and vice-versa.

This is in case of UK English. While in French, German, Spanish, Latin, Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Greek and other language settings many characters that are specific to these languages are displayed incorrectly.

This is annoying when what you type is not what you see. One of our clients shouted on us considering this as our fault. He thought there is some blah in our Flash movie. I was surprised to know the issue and very keen to solve it.

THE CAUSE

I presumed this is due to some problem in Firefox as the issue has nothing to do with ActionScript and Flash input box. Later, I found that the Firefox is actually not reading European language mappings correctly. It works absolutely well with US English (...and, a note for all Firefox lovers that there is no such issue in Internet Explorer).

Later, I started reviewing the HTML code and found that when I remove window mode parameter "wmode" from both "object" and "embed" tags, it worked well! (See solution 1 below for detail).

This will solve the issue but with limitations. Firefox developers should "fire-fix" this bug permanently.

Below are a few solutions, use them as per your need and please do tell me if the problem still persists or you find any other solution!

THE SOLUTIONS

Solution 1
Remove wmode from <object> and <embed> tags.

<object>
<param name="..." value="..."/>
<param name="wmode" value="transparent"/>
<embed src=".... wmode="transparent"></embed>
</object>

This has to be done in all the following cases:

1. When simple <object> and <embed> tags are used in HTML or XHTML.
2. When object and embed tags are written in an external JavaScript file.
3. When SWFObject is used.

Or in any other way, doesn't matter, remove the window mode till Firefox resolves this.

Solution 2
If you do not want to remove the "wmode" then keep the value of this parameter as "normal" but never keep it “transparent".

<object>
<param name="..." value="..."/>
<param name="wmode" value="normal"/>
<embed src=".... wmode="normal"></embed>
</object>

Solution 3
Solve this programmatically. Trap the pressed key and replace the character with what is required. For, e.g., If user presses ["] key then trap the key and assign "@" to the input box in ActionScript. and vice-versa. Treat other European characters similarily.

I haven't coded this yet but this will work. If you need the code, mail jitendramrATgmailDOTcom. I may help you if I get time.

Solution 4
If your issue is limited to email address input then don't ask users to type in the [@] symbol. Divide the email input box in to two and connect them with an [@] symbol as shown below.

@

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Adobe team has acknowledged this bug but closed the error after concluding that this is an external bug and is purely related to Firefox. (http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/FP-479)

Firefox has also acknowledged this. Masayuki Nakano of Mozilla, Japan is resolving the bug and the current status of the bug is set to "assigned". (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=347185)



[Keywords: keymapping, key mapping, flash, firefox, transparent issue, @ symbol, at symbol, key input bug, wmode, ]