Canonical Voices

What Sidnei da Silva talks about

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Sidnei

Due to some unplanned traveling I ended up near the Bay Area last week, more specifically Canonical was holding an internal Cloud Sprint in Oakland, CA, and Martin asked me to participate and push our agenda for the upcoming click packages upload and download services, which need to be live by October at least on its simplest form. But I’ll tell you more about that in a separate post.

What I want to share with you today is the joy of being able to connect with old friends and recollect memories, as I mentioned I was longing for in my last post. In those few days I was in California I managed to catch up with Limi and Philipp, said an en passant hi to Rob Miller at the Mozilla SF office, had dinner with Gustavo, walked around the city with Fernando, Alberto, and Geoff, ending up at an amazing Chinese restaurant pretty much by accident, paid a visit to Marlon, who took me on a guided tour of the Facebook HQ followed by lunch at The Cheesecake Factory which I couldn’t refuse. It was exausting, but really great catching up with everyone!

A recurring topic between all of us was the general issues that all of our companies (Mozilla, Canonical, Facebook) have with general public perception. Most interestingly perhaps is the similarity between Canonical and Facebook when it comes down to privacy matters, how there seems to be a disconnect between the internal and external messaging on those matters, and how much the public perception is biased by the media and the very loud minority of privacy tinfoil hat zealots. I wish I could do more to help with solving that. Perhaps pushing for more transparency, better communication at least from the technical side of things could be a way to improve that.

Tech talks aside, I was simply overwhelmed by how much my kids’ pictures and videos are popular amongst friends. Every single person that I talked to was quick to mention that as the very first thing. Oddly, that generally does not reflect in likes and comments on those Facebook posts, which is an interesting observation. Are people generally afraid of clicking that Like link or is it too much effort for them? I’m sure it would do for a great usability study.

I hope to explore a bit more on the outcome of the sprint on a later post. Suffice to say that I was really glad to be present and contribute some feedback to all the planning that’s going into the next cycle, and the opportunity to meet some old friends while at it was invaluable. Looking forward to be doing more of that in the coming months, at FISL and PythonBrasil.

As an article I’ve read yesterday mentioned, we tech heads seem to live on a bubble that mostly bounces between social networks and having post work hours drinks with colleagues, usually from the same company. I wish we could all be more social in the physical world, and talk more about things that are not so tech-related. About life, and family, and non-work things, and enjoy ourselves more.

And headed straight into the shining sun.

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Sidnei

Just a quick post to get me started at blogging again.

Over the last year (wow, time flies by!) I’ve been working at Canonical, as part of the Landscape team. This is a very diverse team with lots of different skills, and somehow I found myself naturally gravitating towards working more closely on frontend-related issues, of which I could highlight writing YUI3 widgets, speeding up page loading experience and creating a nice testing infrastructure. There’s a ton of things I could write about that, and I really plan to. But today’s entry will be pretty short.

As part of a brain-break task I fixed some of our Javascript tests today so that they would run on Google Chrome. We haven’t been targeting Chrome so far, but that might change soon, driven by Google Analytics stats of people using Landscape.

But, the thing that really caught my attention was the difference in speed between Chrome and Firefox.

For comparison:

Google Chrome 5.0.307.7 beta

$ BROWSER=google-chrome ./bin/test -1vpc --layer=JsTestDriverLayer
Running tests at level 1
Running canonical.testing.javascript.JsTestDriverLayer tests:
Set up canonical.testing.javascript.JsTestDriverLayer in 1.020 seconds.
Running:

Ran 318 tests with 0 failures and 0 errors in 9.545 seconds.
Tearing down left over layers:
Tear down canonical.testing.javascript.JsTestDriverLayer in 0.366 seconds.

Firefox 3.6.3pre

$ BROWSER=firefox ./bin/test -1vpc --layer=JsTestDriverLayer
Running tests at level 1
Running canonical.testing.javascript.JsTestDriverLayer tests:
  Set up canonical.testing.javascript.JsTestDriverLayer in 1.014 seconds.
  Running:
                                                                                                                             
  Ran 318 tests with 0 failures and 0 errors in 15.032 seconds.
Tearing down left over layers:
  Tear down canonical.testing.javascript.JsTestDriverLayer in 0.349 seconds.

Firefox 3.7a3pre

$ BROWSER=firefox-3.7 ./bin/test -1vpc --layer=JsTestDriverLayer
Running tests at level 1
Running canonical.testing.javascript.JsTestDriverLayer tests:
  Set up canonical.testing.javascript.JsTestDriverLayer in 0.804 seconds.
  Running:
                                                                                                                           
  Ran 318 tests with 0 failures and 0 errors in 13.433 seconds.
Tearing down left over layers:
  Tear down canonical.testing.javascript.JsTestDriverLayer in 0.379 seconds.

Disclaimer: Both instances of Firefox were started with the “-safe-mode” flag, which disables all plugins and extensions. Also, as they say around here at Canonical: NOT A METRIC. But interesting still.

If you look closely at this post you might find some hints about things we’ve been working on and which I hope to write about, in addition to general tips and tricks about page speed optimization from experiences in both Landscape and Launchpad.

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