Monday 15 July 2013


Spend three years working like crazy on a project. Slowly start selling and making a revenue stream. Be on the front line almost 365 days per year, provide people all around the globe with support, tirelessly. And then the following tweet appears:

BlueGriffon EPUB Edition mentioned as one of the 3 EPUB editing environments recommended during the American Association of Physics Teachers' conference

BlueGriffon EPUB Edition mentioned as one of the three EPUB editing environments recommended during the American Association of Physics Teachers' summer meeting, along with OpenOffice and Microsoft Word... And in second position :-) Wow. Wow :-)

Thursday 4 July 2013

Windows 8.1 preview in VirtualBox on a OSX host

You will probably hit an error as soon as your run the VM... To avoid it, open a Terminal and run a list vms command to find the name of your Windows 8.1 VM. Then add some processor data to your VM:

cd /Applications/VirtualBox.app/Contents/MacOS/
./VBoxManage list vms
"Ubuntu 13.04 32bits" {2fc6aab2-689a-48bc-9f52-b37052124f27}
"Ubuntu 13.04 64bits" {73101f39-2b02-4a69-b89b-8d5baa1063d1}
"Windows 8.1" {84433f7a-c1b4-41a5-abe0-220650943c16}
./VBoxManage setextradata "Windows 8.1" VBoxInternal/CPUM/CMPXCHG16B 1

Now you can run your Windows 8.1 VM. Hope that helps...

Monday 24 June 2013

BlueGriffon and '@media print' stylesheets

I'm still playing a lot with (hear "coding on"...) Media Queries in BlueGriffon these days and I ended up trying my own dogfood editing the contents of a famous public web page using Media Queries for responsive design and some @media print stylesheets. Of course, BlueGriffon was not able to show on screen the print stylesheets applied to the document and I found it really sad. So I hacked a little bit (the whole thing is ~10 lines) nsHTMLEditor and nsPresContext to make sure BlueGriffon can show a document in "print" mode in the editable area and of course switch back to the regular screen/all stylesheets. See the result in this youtube video.

Monday 10 June 2013

CSS Flexible Box is Best New Web Technology 2013!

I am extremely pleased to announce that a work done by the W3C CSS Working Group received last week a Net Award as Best New Web Technology 2013 from .net magazine for the CSS Flexible Box Layout Module. This is a bit of an achievement for the CSS Working Group itself, the authors/contributors/editors of the specification, and the W3C. Mucho congrats to all the members of the CSS Working Group and contributors to www-style, you guys rock!

Net Award Best New Web Technology 2013 for CSS Flexible Box Layout Module

Thursday 30 May 2013

Where is Daniel

Thursday 23 May 2013

New customer

I am extremely pleased to welcome the European Parliament as a major user of BlueGriffon.

Thursday 25 April 2013

Developer Tools! Developer Tools! Developer Tools!

Fixing a bug in BlueGriffon's CSS properties panel yesterday, I suddenly had an idea. Six hours of work later, I have a screencast to show you :-)

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Amazon vs. Apple Book Store

Dear Apple,

I wanted to read Nolan Bushnell last book "Finding the Next Steve Jobs" and I wanted to read it on my iPad, and in English. So I visited your Book Store. I can't buy that book, even if it is available in the US Book Store, because my account is a "french" one.

So I installed the Amazon Kindle app. Visited amazon.com. Bought the book there in 5 seconds.

I think I will buy more and more from there in the future.

Well done Apple.

Saturday 20 April 2013


I just heard journalists on TV say the arrest of Tsarnaev was a big success for the FBI. Sorry, no. This is a big failure for the FBI. I also heard President Obama say the question is why he did that. Sorry, no, this is not what is important for the future. Why two american citizens (correction: one American citizen and one permanent resident) became terrorists without the FBI detecting and arresting them before they act is the important question. A similar problem occurred here in France with terrorist Mohamed Merah. French press reports their mother was questioned at least once in the past about one of the brothers visiting djihadist web sites... If this is true, they were already flagged and FBI failed stopping them; some heads are going to fall at the FBI and a deep reorg will follow.

It has to be noted too that a city lockdown for hunting one single wounded 19 years old man is a quite drastic situation almost nobody complained about. I understand the circumstances. But 9,000 policemen and soldiers who found their suspect only because a citizen found him in his boat also seems a rather pathetic result for the police/FBI/SWAT/army.

I also heard Carmen Ortiz is now in charge of the Tsarnaev case. Wait. Oritz? The Carmen Ortiz mentioned for pursuing the case against Aaron Swartz, right? Urgh.

Update: Republican US Senator Lindsay Graham calls for extreme measures in this case. I find this lame, anti-democratic, catastrophic, a true shame.

(Comments closed, I have no time to moderate blog trolls today)

Thursday 4 April 2013

15 years of Mozilla, my Webstory

  • started working with SGML in 1991 at Grif, implementing the first CALS tables (that eventually gave HTML tables) wysiwyg editor. Worked with Jean Paoli and Vincent Quint. Met Tim Berners-Lee. Started working on stylesheets (the P language in Grif).
  • 1994: working at Électricité de France, one of the first european customers of the recently released Netscape's browser. We bought thousands of licences, Netscape was not even incorporated here yet.
  • 1998: noticed the Mozilla source code release while working for Électricité de France; was already a CSS WG member. Downloaded code to look at it but too much work to really do it well. Met Vidur, Peter Linss, Angus Davis, Troy Chevalier
  • 1998: Peter Linss makes a referral about me at Netscape but a hiring freeze blocks the process
  • june 2000: I am available for hire and Pierre Saslawsky makes another referral about me at Netscape
  • september 2000: interviews in Mountain View with the Layout, Email, AIM and Editor teams. Moments with Vidur, Beth, Clayton and a few others I will never forget.
  • november 2000: hired by Netscape in the editor team, spending a month in Mountain View, starting diving into editor's code with invaluable help from jfrancis, kin, brade, cmanske, beppe, sfraser and mjudge. First bug fix in the style engine code, memory footprint-related. The day I arrive in MV, there's a barbecue party for the release of Netscape 6.0; everyone including me has a NS6 jacket and a trophy, some have a bonus envelop. I discover, to my greatest pleasure, that Netscape is a company that knows how to say thank you. Hixie is an intern at Netscape doing QA, Hamerly and I turn on the lights at 8am, Scott Collins sleeps every night in the cubicle next to mine, I am almost the only one using the espresso machine, there are baby clothes at the Netscape store for my first son and when I refused to eat at Denny's cmanske replied « I knew you had "class" ».
  • december 2000: peterv and I are the only developers at Netscape France. We send a mail to the whole team to introduce ourselves. Only two persons come to say hello, Tristan Nitot and an HR person. We're in a windowless corner of the offices, with sales people shouting on the telephone all the time.
  • 2001: representing Netscape in the CSS WG, helping Beth in the HTML WG but XHTML2 seems to me a gigantic strategic error and I say it in public. When asked why I work from France for Netscape US, I reply « because they do beautiful things ». During a crepes dinner with Tantek in SF, he challenged me to implement :not() in Gecko; flying to San Diego the next day and spending the night on it, showing working implementation to Attinasi the next day. Adding CSS to the editor. Showing Syd Logan how to greatly simplify the IM conversation view with just a dash of CSS.
  • 2002: all of AOL-TimeWarner France including Netscape moves to a new building in Neuilly sur Seine. Cool times, superb corporate restaurant. Many good and sometimes hilarious memories.
  • october 2002: wrote the Small Screen Rendering stylesheet that will be used in Minimo. AOL wants to patent it even if I warn them there is prior art from Opera.
  • december 2002: reorg at Netscape. Many good friends are gone. I'm myself in complete limbos, spending a few awful days and nights.
  • Q1 and Q2 2003: working on the Anvil project, a new editor at AOL will never release. I also start Composer++, a standalone revamp of the Netscape editor that will eventually become Nvu.
  • february 2003: at FOSDEM in Brussels; meet Mozdev's Brian King (of zibble fame) and Pete Collins.
  • 15-jul-2003: laid off by AOL with the remains of Netscape. Leaving Netscape offices only the 2nd of august. My collection of Netscape t-shirts is orphan.
  • september 2003: meeting with Tristan Nitot and Peter van der Beken in Peter's flat, my two Netscape colleagues from the Paris office. I suggest we start together a company making products based on the open source Mozilla. I suggest "Disruptive Innovators" as a company name. Tristan and Peter skeptical, Tristan would prefer launching a european Mozilla foot.
  • 13-oct-2003: Disruptive Innovations is incorporated... Pete Collins and Brian King gave my name to Lindows' CTO who was looking for someone to work on a Gecko-based editor. I start contracting for Lindows immediately, the result will become Nvu.
  • from 2003 to now: promoting Mozilla and Gecko all over the place. Contracted for many companies and academia around the globe, doing xulrunner-based apps or add-ons to Firefox, some public and some proprietary on intranets.
  • august 2006: Disruptive Innovations joins W3C.
  • so many conferences, seminars with other Mozillians I can't count them all. Wonderful time in Barcelona with Chofmann, epic dinner with Rey Bango and Pike in Berlin, cool week-end in Berlin with Robert Nyman. Gave one of my contracts to Paul Rouget.
  • 2008: inviting Mitchell Baker as a KeyNote speaker to the Netexplo Forum under the golden ceilings of the French Senate.
  • 2010: started working on my next-gen wysiwyg Mozilla-based editor. Rewritten from scratch. First investor in april.
  • 10-may-2011: release of BlueGriffon 1.0.
  • 2013: Disruptive Innovations is almost ten years old, what a ride. I'm still spending most of my time on Mozilla code and technologies, editors and Web Standards. I released the only Wysiwyg cross-platform native EPUB editor on the market, and it's of course Mozilla-based.

More details on how got I involved with Mozilla and Why I work for^H^H^Hon Mozilla. I'm still here, and I just contributed a patch to the editor to fix a regression in the table editor. Wishing a long life to a community that changed mine!

Monday 1 April 2013

Spam attack

Comments temporarily closed on the whole glazblog because of an ongoing spam attack.

Thursday 28 March 2013

Building Gecko

I have been building my OS X builds of BlueGriffon on the same OS 10.6.5 desktop i7-based machine for the last two years. Two years ago, the i386 part of the universal OS X build of BlueGriffon was taking precisely NINE minutes and 45 seconds (yeah, quite fast) to build from scratch, without ccache, with a -j8 flag.

Today, a build of BlueGriffon based on a very recent pull of mozilla-central on the same machine, same OS, same HD, same CPU, same -j8, same build options, ccache disabled, takes TWENTY-NINE minutes and 13 seconds...

So I have a very naive question: can someone explain me here in the comments why the time needed to build Gecko on a desktop has been multiplied by almost exactly three in these two years? Please no flame, this is not a rant but only a technical question and I would like to understand better; thanks.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Serious webdesign flaw in Facebook, LinkedIn and more

Many web sites like Facebook and LinkedIn have implemented an « infinite scrolling » view: when you reach the bottom of the content area, more articles are dynamically loaded and the page's height changes. I won't go into the details or accessibility of such a design, but I want to list here one of its bad and painful side-effect on another area of the page, the page's footer...

Both Facebook's and LinkedIn's web sites show a page footer with several links:

Facebook's footer

LinkedIn's footer

Here, the dynamic data are loaded so fast I don't have the time to read the footer to find the link I want before it goes away, pushed outside of the viewport by the newly inserted content! Extremely painful.

And when a webdesign flaw makes vital (to the user) information unreachable, it's then a functional flaw.

Update: someone just asked me how I did the two screenshots above. Excellent question, indeed... I had to use the PageSaver add-on to Firefox... Using screencapture on my Mac was a no-go, the page update was too fast...

Wednesday 20 March 2013

FirefoxOS-based watch :-)

WANT !!!!!

Bambook Watch

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Five years..

Peter Linss and I were appointed co-chairs of the CSS Working Group exactly five years ago :-)

Wednesday 27 February 2013


There is something I didn't get about the new WebKit-based Opera for Android.. It's now clearer. So in normal browsing mode, the rendering engine is WebKit. But in "mini" mode, the rendering engine, server-side, is still Presto, right? I don't think the teams had enough time to move to a WebKit-based server farm.

A while ago, SkyFire was a Gecko-based solution. Fellow mozillian Alex Vincent worked for them on that and I contracted for them too. But SkyFire switched to WebKit two years ago and they're a server-side browsing solution. So SkyFire was acquired for that. Well not only for that, but that's certainly a major point.

Until full integration of SkyFire into Opera's servers is achieved, users should probably expect browsing differences switching between "normal" and "mini" mode...

Tuesday 26 February 2013


Following the W3C Workshop on electronic books in NYC two weeks ago, Dave Cramer (Hachette), Hadrien Gardeur (Feedbooks) and myself (Disruptive Innovations) have started a new Google Group called EPUB NG. Don't misunderstand us, it's called EPUB New Generation only because we needed a name and we start from what's available on the market right now, EPUB3. We're not forking, we're not doing a secret thing, we only needed a space where we could start discussions about the largest issues I found in current specs and what Dave recently called EPUB Zero.

So if you're interested in throwing ideas about a new, simpler, lighter format for electronic books more in line with W3C standards and Web habits, start reading us and ping one of us to request an invite. Please detail your affiliation and background in the electronic books' space? Thanks!

Thursday 21 February 2013


So... I am a parisian and I know really well my own city. Let's look at a few screen captures:

screen capture 1This is clearly on the left bank, we can see the Invalides' dome and the Eiffel Tower.
screen capture 2
Again, I have no doubt Alexis is on the left bank
screen capture 3
Here we see the famous towers of Saint-Sulpice church (remember the Da Vinci Code ?). Helps a lot triangulation. I bet she's between Saint-Germain-des-Près and Sèvres-Babylone.
screen capture 4
Woof, Castle's crew couldn't have given me more clues :-) I can see the entrance of a subway station, this looks like the beginning of Boulevard Raspail...
screen capture 5
Guys, I can tell you Alexis is detained on the top floor of 236 Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris...
screen capture 6
And to be even more precise, in that building.

Wednesday 20 February 2013


Twenty years ago, while working at Grif, I was ironing the very first implementation of CALS tables (that eventually gave us HTML tables) in a Wysiwyg editor. Time flies, and I'm still working on content editors :-)

Thursday 14 February 2013


I just read Daring Fireball's short so-called « analysis » of the Opera switch to WebKit. Even I perfectly know that guy is almost only an Apple PR guy, I'm again surprised by his limited ability to analyse a situation. The only question that is worth it is the following one: whatever is the strategic rationale that led to that choice, it's obvious Opera had the choice between open-sourcing Presto to build a larger community around it and ditching it in favor of an already open-sourced rendering engine. So why did they choose the latter?

And in terms of WebKit better than Presto, well, Opera has always been a better player with respect to standards than Apple. As many people have already said, a test failing in Presto was often the sign the test was wrong or the spec had a problem, given their extreme adherence to specifications.

So as usual, you can avoid reading Daring Fireball. No hyperlink from here. Nothing to see there.

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