Last month Igalia arranged a new edition of the Web Engines Hackfest in A Coruña (Galicia, Spain), where brought together more than 70 people working on the web platform during 2 days, with lots of discussions and conversations around different features.
This was my first onsite event since “before times”, it was amazing seeing people for real after such a long time, meeting again some old colleagues and also a bunch of people for the first time. Being an organizer of the event meant that they were very busy days for me, but it looks like people were happy with the result and enjoyed the event quite a lot.
This is a brief post about my personal highlights during the event.
During the hackfest we had an afternoon with 5 talks, the talks were live streamed on YouTube and people could follow them remotely and also ask questions through the event matrix channel.
- Leo Balter talked about how Salesforce participates on the web platform as partner, working with browsers and web standards.
I really liked this talk, because it explains how companies that use the web platform, can collaborate and have a direct impact on the evolution of the web. And there are many ways to do that: reporting bugs that affect your company, explaining use cases that are important for you and the things you miss from the platform, providing feedback about different features, looking for partners to fix outstanding issues or add support for new stuff, etc.
Igalia has been showing during the last decade that there’s a way to have an impact on the web platform outside of the big companies and browser vendors. Thanks to our position on the different communities, we can help companies to push features they’re interested in and that would benefit the entire web platform in the future.
- Dominik Röttsches gave a talk about COLRv1 fonts giving details on Chromium implementation and the different open-source software components involved.
This new font format allows to do really amazing things and Dominik showed how to create a Galician emoji font with popular things like Tower of Hercules or Polbo á feira. With some early demos on variable COLRv1 and the beginnings of the first Galician emoji font…
- Daniel Minor explained the work done in Gecko and SpiderMonkey to refactor the internationalization system.
Very interesting talk with lots of information and details about internationalization, going deep on text segmentation and how it works on different languages, and also introducing the ICU4X project.
- Ada Rose Cannon did a great introduction to WebXR and Augmented Reality.
Despite not being onsite, this was an awesome talk and the video was actually a very immersive experience. Ada explained many concepts and features around WebXR and Augmented Reality with a bunch of cool examples and demos.
- Thomas Steiner talked about Project Fugu APIs that have been implemented in Chromium.
Using the Web Engines Hackfest logo as example, he explained different new capabilities that Project Fugu is adding to the web through a real application called SVGcode.
It was a great set of talks, and you can now watch them all on YouTube. We hope you enjoy them if you haven’t the chance to watch them yet.
CSS & Interop 2022
On the CSS breakout session we talked about all the new big features that are arriving to browsers these days. Container Queries and
:has being probably the most notable examples, features that people have been requesting since the early days and that are shipping into browsers this year.
Apart from that, we talked about the Interop 2022 effort. How the target areas to improve interoperability are defined, and how much it implies the work in some of them.
MathML & Fonts
Frédéric Wang did a nice presentation about MathML and all the work that has been done in the recent years. The feature is close to shipping in Chromium (modulo finding some solution regarding printing or waiting for LayoutNG to be ready to print), that will be a huge step forward for MathML becoming it a feature supported in the major browser engines.
Related to the MathML work there were some discussion around fonts, particularly OpenType MATH fonts, you can read Fred’s post for more details. There are some good news regarding this topic, new macOS version includes STIX Two Math installed by default, and there are ongoing conversations to get some OpenType MATH font by default in Android too.
Accessibility & AOM
Valerie Young, who has recently started acting as co-chair of the ARIA Working Group, was leading a session around accessibility where we talked about ARIA and related things like AOM.
The Accessibility Object Model (AOM) is an effort that involves a lot of different things. In this session we talked about ARIA Attribute Reflection and the issues making accessible custom elements that use Shadow DOM, and that proposals like Cross-root ARIA Delegation are trying to solve.
To close this post I’d like to say thank you to everyone that participated in the Web Engines Hackfest, without your presence this event wouldn’t make any sense. Also I’d like to thank the speakers for the great talks and the time devoted to work on them for this event. As usual big thanks to the sponsors Arm, Google and Igalia to make this event possible once more. And thanks again to Igalia for letting me be part of the event organization.