Jitsi vid quality

We are trying out Jitsi as an open source conferencing app to replace various proprietary (ugh) conferencing softwares we have used. It has always felt to me to be a bit of a last frontier… happily, though, initial tests are¬†awesome. Video and audio quality is way better than, for example, Google Hangouts. Below are screenshots from a 6-way call this morning between San Francisco, France, the UK, Kenya (via Android App), and Athens (x2). Quality looks great!






The big 4

I’ve been in the business of trying to work out how to get Publishing (capital ‘P’) into the web. From the start, there have been some ‘big ticket’ items that have needed to be solved. Some are more urgent than others, but by and large we are cracking these nuts one by one. I have considered for a long time the big 4¬†to be:

  1. MS Word to HTML conversion
  2. an open source web-based word processor
  3. paginated output via the browser to print-ready copy
  4. in-browser designer

1,2 an 3 are the ‘now’ critical items, number 4 is necessary but a little further down the line. Thankfully, at Coko we¬†are solving these first 3 problems. To solve (1) we are building XSweet, a comprehensive (open source) XSLT conversion suite for converting MS Word to HTML. We are also building Wax to solve (2), Wax is an open source web based word processor based on the Substance.io libs. And for (3) we are using Vivliostyle for in-browser rendering. Number 4) is still on the cards.

Interestingly, the pagination technology (3) might need re-evaluating since pagination will eventually be required for the editor and the in-browser designer.

While pagination inside a web-based processor is not critical for publishers, it is critical for authors and small offices etc and if we are going to get publishers to use a web-based word processor then it would be better that they share infrastructure rather than sit on their own island of technology ie. eventually¬†we need authors to use these tools too. By sharing infrastructure I don’t mean they need to use exactly the same tools, they just need to use compatible tools. So, eventually, we need to migrate authors into the web. It is not critical now, but over time, as the workflow for authors and publishers inevitably becomes more integrated, it will turn out to be necessary.

For in-browser design we need pagination support also so we can work off a single source for the content and then design in the browser to output to the various formats publishers need. Think Gimp or InDesign in the browser. It’s not as far away as it might sound, but to do this we need to be able to paginate inside the browser and have that update with live style changes to CSS.

So far, we are solving the big ticket issues 1-3, but for the next stage of changes we may need to change the tools we use for pagination so we can live-update content and styles and reflow in an editor and in-browser designer. That may mean we to start looking for a different pagination solution.

When a Code of Conduct is too much for some poor souls

Interesting to see this:

It is a discussion in the Node issues in Github about their Code of Conduct. One developer, with the handle ‘binoculars’, also known as Barrett Harber, is a developer from the Center of Open Science and objecting to the¬†idea of Codes of Conduct. To quote him:

I think the concept of having and effectively enforcing a Code of Conduct is fundamentally flawed…I think you’re alienating a much larger portion of your potential and current contributor base by handing over control to the wrong-think police…Obviously, this is not avoiding conflict. It’s creating conflict. Case in point, this conversation. We wouldn’t be having it if it didn’t create conflict.

and the following two bald statements which are absolute doozies:

I’m not concerned with people’s feelings….


There’s no definition of harassment.

jeeez……it is one of those amazing moments when the speaker doesn’t realise that what¬†they are trying to say¬†is, as the words come out of their mouth, making exactly the opposite point to everyone in the room.

Although this person seems to have a problem with CoCs in general, the critique is directly pitched at the Node Code of Conduct which is particularly hard to understand given that the Node CoC is pretty light, easy to understand, and (I would say) rather standard and non-controversial.

The conversation is blossoming a little around the net including here.