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All posts by Robert Nyman

Robert Nyman is a Technical Evangelist for Mozilla and a strong believer in HTML5 and the Open Web.
  • Screw rich media, I just want to read

    There seems to be an assumption among a lot of websites nowadays that their content has to fill of "rich media". I'm talking about animations galore, sound playing, videos auto-starting (really?) -- and I'm having a sort of backlash reaction to all of that. This belief that everyone wants to watch a video, interview, programme, screencast and much more comes from seemingly nowhere. No -- no no no. Yes, at times, but to me at least, the vast majority of the time I just want to read. I want to be able to skim through an article, focus on what I...

  • What should we make of Blink, Google’s new rendering engine?

    Google has announced that it's moving from the WebKit rendering engine to its own, named Blink, for Chromium (and thus all Google products based on WebKit). What is Blink? Blink is a rendering engine based on WebKit. For now, it will be very similar to what WebKit is, but as it develops over time, I’m sure we will see a number of differences. One good thing to notice -- as outlined in the Developer FAQ on Blink -- is that Google won’t be adding any new prefixes, like -blink-border-radius etc. Instead, it's chosen the same approach as Mozilla, to instead have developers enable...

  • What the hell is WebKit anyway? An all-purpose guide

    Additional reporting by Rob Hawkes When Opera announced that it would be moving its various browsers over to WebKit, the global tech press seemed to rejoice without really knowing what it meant. We would like to, in a factual manner, break down what the possible outcomes of having a majority of web browsers based on WebKit are, for web browser vendors and developers alike. Let’s start with some common questions: What does WebKit actually mean? The term ‘WebKit’ has been thrown around a lot recently – for good reason – but what is it exactly? Officially: WebKit is an open source web browser engine. WebKit...

  • Enough is enough: it’s time to bring back the small smartphone

    There is a clear trend with mobile phones that they just get bigger and bigger. Here’s my thing: I want a small smartphone. I recently tweeted about what kind of mobile phone size I’d want: I'd like a phone the size of an iPod nano. If Apple, or anyone else, creates that, I'm a given buyer!— Robert Nyman (@robertnyman) January 28, 2013 I figured it would be good to write a little about it, to expand on what I mean and also to cover some of the replies I got. Mobile phone size To begin with, I’d like a really small and lightweight mobile...

  • Forget Inbox Zero, here’s how you actually go about getting things done

    People are always on the hunt for efficiency and control over the massive information flow they’re facing, and the latest fix for actually getting things done. Amidst all techniques and approaches, I thought I’d outline what at least works for me. Inbox Zero vs. Inbox Five The first challenge: dealing with e-mail. A number of people are hooked on Inbox Zero, although many of them haven’t looked into what it means, but instead taken it literally: i.e. unless you have zero emails in your Inbox, you have failed. I can’t pretend that I’m well versed in the methodologies behind Inbox Zero, but it’s...

  • What’s the real value of a Facebook Like?

    In the world of social media, and with self-proclaimed experts on it popping up everywhere (some actually full of experience, some full of… something), it’s interesting to see how people act and how they value a Facebook Like. My friends I have a few friends, acquaintances, web people and other on Facebook -- without a doubt the most diverse contact group I have in any forum. People I played in a band with in my teens, to people I’ve set next to on a plane; people I’ve gotten to know through working with the web to friends who have no idea...

  • Voice assistants: who actually wants to talk to their phone?

    In a world of communicating with our devices, voice control seem to have gotten a lot of attention. But is that really what we want? The voice focus in products Looking at Siri in iOS, Voice Actions for Android, Google’s Project Glass and much more, there’s an amazingly strong focus on conversing with your phone/device. There is, or about to be, voice commands for any action you can think of, and more and more are added as we speak (sorry, not that funny). Use cases Usually with a new feature, it follows this approach: It’s new! Use it! For everything! It will increase our stock...

  • Society’s dilemma: mobile versus social

    Reading the heading, you’re probably thinking: “It’s a typo, it should be ‘Mobile and Social’”. But no. What I wanted to talk about is the behaviour, the phenomenon, if you will, of the complete dependency people seem to have developed for their mobile phones, and how it affects their social behaviour. Here’s my theory: with smartphones and constant connections to the internet, people have developed an addiction to being online, digitally staying in touch and up-to-date. And it really starts to affect our social behaviour negatively. Mobile vs. Social. Think about the children Start with an experiment in your everyday life: go...

  • A critical view of social media campaigns

    This morning, we were talking about the KONY 2012 movement, various reactions around it and how easy we share things without even looking at it. How our gut reaction is to act without even knowing what we’re acting on or reflect on what it means. (If you want to delve deeper into the KONY 2012 topic, you can, for instance, read Kony 2012: what’s the real story?). What we want to cover here is the greater scheme of things, social media and how people react. When a social media campaign gains traction, and especially when it becomes widely successful, this seems to...