Catching up...

Well it's been quite a while. Okay, a year since my last post. I could have used the recent “polar vortex” as a reason for the incredible delay but no - it's not even a remotely plausible excuse. Briefly, a recap of that undocumented year. Beginning with the most major, i finally ditched using Windows as my main OS for both coding and “recreational” activities and switched entirely everything to Linux; long overdue, on my part. The reasons being multiple. Right off the bat, as there was no suitable Win-based open source alternative for ccache, mind you, my build times ranged anywhere from 55-71 mins for full clobber builds and about 30mins for incremental builds. Again the latter time was fully dependent on which parts for the tree i had made local changes to. Honestly, fiddling my thumbs during those periods, especially early mornings when i had to pull new commits and update my local repo just got more and more frustrating. Toss in the lack of full Intellisense support even while using Visual Studio made my code edits even slower. A refactoring attempt was the final straw. With brilliant work done by Eclipse CDT developer, Andrew Gvozdev, which in turn allowed an easier time setting up and using the IDE for Mozilla C++ development, it was time to jump ship. Of course, emacs or vim could've been handy but hey it's a new millennium and in my case only a memory hungry editor with all the bells and whistles will do. With the switch, it's refreshing to see build times cut down to ~25mins for full clobber and ~4mins - max i've seen so far- for the incremental ones on my core i5 6GB RAM machine. Obviously,  with *nix's less overhead in process creation compared to Win, it fits nicely with the build system Mozilla has. It's mouthwatering to think what it'll be under a machine with a greater processing speed, RAM and of course SSD type disk. Stupefying, one could say.

Overall, i did get some nice things done such as the LLVMpipe fallback WebGL renderer option for Win and *nix users with a somewhat obsolete hardware who attempt to access and play around with cool things such as the interactive demos seen at the Chrome Experiments. By default Firefox, will use whatever software renderer is available, that is, the existing native GL driver. To explicitly use it, the user must manually change the gfx.prefer-mesa-llvmpipeconfiguration to true, assuming there's such a pre-built library located on the system to begin with. For those interested in the nitty gritty on how to build one locally, see: Currently, i've thrown in my lot with the implementation of the WebVTT format. A fellow contributor, Rick Eyre, has an excellent blog post on what's been done and aim to achieve in the long term so i wont go into details here but with Apple and few others already stealing a march on us, it'll be most welcome to have more contributors to get it all polished and ready for the public. All hands to the pump, i say! Again for the curious to test out what's been implemented so far, turn this config option: media.webvtt.enabled on and sample a few demos online or even better create your own!

Enough of the techie stuff!

The fun part was hiking some of the popular trails again -for the umpteenth time - of the wonderful Long Trail and attempting my best impression of a daredevil Lance Armstrong during the summer; just the cycling part and not the other unsavory bits....As a rabid Liverpool fan, one can only expect me to be equally passionate when i play football(fussball? futbol?)- loathe to call it soccer. A man of the match performance as a defensive midfield terrier with two assists and a highly rare goal was the summer highlight personally. There's nothing like hobbling off the field of play feeling like a Marco Materazzi-cum-Vinnie Jones rolled into one. Secretly, i think if opposing teamsknew the reason for my admiration of players like Nigel “The Lawnmower” De Jong, i very much doubt they'd dribble in my direction. [Cue: insidious laughter]