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Programming

Programmer crowdfunds work to improve Chrome image support

How much does it mean to you to have good-looking images when using Chrome on your Retina-display MacBook or your high-resolution Android phone?

Programmer Yoav Weiss hopes Internet users' collective answer is at least $10,000. He's launched a crowdfunding effort to sponsor his development of the "picture" element in Chrome, a new feature that's instrumental to the idea of responsive images on the Web.

"Yeah, we're running a crowdfunding campaign to add a feature to an engine," Weiss said on Twitter on Thursday. "Never done before, but hey, we're here … Read more

Khronos finishes WebCL 1.0 to let Web apps tap into GPU

WebGL has been a strong success, bringing hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the browser. Now the standards group behind it hopes to let Web apps get even more use out of the graphics chip by releasing version 1.0 of an interface called WebCL.

At this week's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the Khronos Group standards body announced the ratification and release of WebCL 1.0. WebCL lets programmers run general-purpose tasks on a device's graphics processing unit (GPU) or on a multicore central processing unit (CPU), the main brain in computers and mobile devices.

Just as WebGL … Read more

Google exec: Android adoption most successful in history

A Google executive claimed Wednesday that Android has seen the fastest and most successful adoption of any operating system in history.

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, Nikesh Arora, senior vice president at Google, said the following, courtesy of Seeking Alpha:

I mean, look, in the history of operating systems, I think Android has been the quickest and most successful adoption of an operating system in the world. So you just sort of stop, take pause and say, oh my God, that's crazy. Nobody could have ever predicted that we're going to get an … Read more

Microsoft teases unveiling of DirectX 12 later this month

Game developers' long wait for the next iteration of Microsoft's DirectX will apparently come to an end this month.

Details of the DirectX 12 game programming interfaces will apparently be released March 20 during the Game Developers Conference, according to a Microsoft teaser page. Microsoft's page includes the logos of AMD, Intel, Nvidia, and Qualcomm, suggesting they are partners that will support the new suite of APIs.

Anuj Gosalia, a development manager on Windows Graphics at Microsoft, is scheduled to lead a presentation at the conference, according to a GDC program page:

For nearly 20 years, DirectX has … Read more

Firefox OS taps into Cordova for easier Web-app development

Any new mobile operating system faces challenges attracting developers -- even a browser-based one like Firefox OS that can take advantage of the fact that there are already countless Web developers.

Which is why it's notable that Firefox OS now works with Cordova, an Apache Software Foundation project that eases the difficulties developers have getting apps to work on multiple operating systems.

"Over the past few months, Mozilla has been working with the Cordova team to integrate Firefox OS into the Cordova framework, making it possible to release Cordova apps on the Firefox OS platform," Mozilla developer … Read more

Facebook file-sharing app Pipe shifting from Flash to WebRTC

Pipe just launched a new version of its Facebook file-sharing app, illustrating that the shift away from Adobe Systems' Flash Player to Web standards is getting steadily easier.

The new Pipe app uses a newer standard called WebRTC for real-time communications on the Web, the company said Monday. That standard got its start for Skype-like video and audio chats, but it's got a data-sharing ability too. The brains of the new app run in JavaScript, the universal language of Web programming, with a boost from the AngularJS project that makes JavaScript more manageable.

Pipe lets people send files as … Read more

Browser makers get past high-resolution image impasse

It looks like browser makers have settled on a way to handle high-resolution images, which are now common with the arrival of screens like Apple's Retina displays.

Browser makers haven't offered Web developers a consistent, easy way to show the right image for a given screen's size and resolution -- an idea called responsive design. That's been a shame, because screens with high-pixel densities are increasingly common on laptops, tablets, and smartphones and can offer crisp, detailed photos and graphics.

The first breakthrough came in September when support emerged for a standard called srcset, which was … Read more

Torvalds gives Nvidia software thumbs up, not middle finger

In a surprise move, Nvidia has contributed software that will help Linux take advantage of the graphics horsepower of the company's new Tegra K1 mobile chip -- and Linux project leader Linus Torvalds is happy about the reversal of fortunes.

"This time I'm raising a thumb for Nvidia. Good times," Torvalds said Sunday night on Google+, a strong contrast to a June 2012 speech in which Torvalds instead offered Nvidia a middle finger for its non-cooperation. Nvidia has preferred to offer proprietary binary drivers to let operating systems use its graphics chips, not open-source software that … Read more

That was fast: Chrome Apps ready to go mobile

The cold, hard walls between mobile native apps and HTML5 wobbled a bit on Tuesday morning, as Google announced that Chrome Apps will now work on the two most popular mobile platforms.

Chrome Apps are HTML5-based single-serving applications, more than just a mere Web site, that will work on Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS without having to open your browser first. However, because they're based in Chrome and can't function without it, they've been criticized for "breaking" the Web.

Google opened up a developer preview of the Apache Cordova "toolchain" for wrapping Chrome … Read more

Reversing course, Google rejects Adobe Web publishing tech

It can be hard to say no to an idea with some merit -- especially after already saying yes.

But that's the position Google is in with an Adobe Systems technology for bringing more sophisticated, magazine-style layouts to Web publishing through a technology called CSS Regions. Google changed its mind after deciding that it was too complex and that it would hamper one of Google's top 2014 priorities, making Chrome faster on mobile devices, according to Google Chrome programmer Eric Seidel.

Adobe had been working on CSS Regions for years, developing the idea as part of its effort … Read more