2022 Review – Igalia Web Platform Team
2022 was a good year for the Web Platform team in Igalia in a lot of ways. We worked on some really interesting Web technologies, and explored some really interesting new ways of funding them. We hired some great new people, and attended and spoke at some great events. And we did some of our meetings in person!
Open Prioritization Projects
In 2020 Igalia launched the Open Prioritization experiment. It is an experiment in crowd-funding prioritization of new feature implementations for web browsers.
- :focus-visible in WebKit
Our first Open-Priotization experiment to choose a project to crowdfund launched with 6 possible candidates representing work in every browser engine, across many areas of the platform and at various stages of completeness. According to the pledges that different projects got, :focus-visible in WebKit stood out and became the winner. Rego worked on this feature in 2021 and he had been reporting regularly about his progress. :focus-visible was finally enabled by default in WebKit and shipped in Safari 15.4.
Bear in mind that Apple Did Not Crowdfund :focus-visible in Safari. Eric made it very clear in his blog that, “the addition of :focus-visible to WebKit was lead by the community, done by Igalia, and contributed to WebKit without any involvement from Apple except in the sense of their reviewing patches and accepting the contributions”.
- Enter: Wolvic
In February 2022, Igalia announced Wolvic, a new browser project with an initial focus of picking up where Firefox Reality leaves off. Brian published Enter: Wolvic explaining what WebXR could bring and Igalia’s initial focus with Wolvic. As an open collective project, Wolvic Collective is seeking more partners and collective funding to further explore the potential and capability of WebXR technology. To understand in details about this project, please follow Brian’s talk on Wolvic’s vision.
The igalians involved in the Wolvic project have put a lot of effort on updating and nurturing the Firefox Reality codebase. Follow the commits by Sergio (@svillar), Felipe(@felipeerias) and Edu (@elima) from Web Platform team at Wolvic Github codebase.
As part of the Open Prioritization effort, it’s exciting that MathML is going to be shipped in in Chrome 109. MathML collective is also part of our open collective effort. The plan is to have MathML-Core support in other browsers for browser interoperability. The MathML-Core support is level 1 for this project. We have envisioned more work to follow and will move to Level 2 after that. Your supports would make a lot of difference to move this forward.
Other Collaborative Projects
Most projects happening in the team are collaborative efforts with our clients and other parties in the Open Source community.
The :has() pseudo class is a selector that specifies an element which has at least one element that matches the relative selector passed as an argument. Byungwoo (@byungwoo_bw on Twitter) started the prototyping work since 2021 and It’s shipped in Chromium 105 this year.
CSS :has() pseudo-class is a very exciting feature. Igalians have been talking about it since its initial stage of filing an intent to prototype. Byungwoo presented implementation and performance details in Blinkon 16. And you can find a recent blog on examples of using it by Eric. In addition, Byungwoo had a talk on Updates since has was enabled in Chrome.
- CSS highlight pseudos
Since 2021, Delan has been working on spelling and grammar features in Chromium. She has been writing a series on development of this work ( Chromium spelling and grammar features and Chromium spelling and grammar, part 2). As the project progresses, Delan produced her third part of the series on CSS highlight pseudos.
- Custom Handlers component for Chrome
Igalia has been working on improving the integration of the IPFS protocol in the main browsers. Javier has been blogging on his work including New Custom Handlers component for Chrome to introduce some architectural changes in Chrome to move the Custom Handlers logic into a new component, and Discovering Chrome’s pre-defined
Custom Handlers to discuss feasible solutions.
- Automated accessibility testing
The Web Platform team has been engaging in various aspects of accessiblity work in Browser, from web standard to solutions. The Automated accessibility testing by Alex is a reflection of our knowledge on testing.
- WPT Python 3 Migration
In 2020, Igalia was involved in the Python 3 migration work for the web-platform-tests (WPT) project. The WPT Python 3 Migration Post walks through challenges, approaches and some implementations for this migration work.
Conferences & Events
The Web Platform team were able to attend some conferences and Events on-site this year after the Covid-19 Pandemic. Here are some highlights.
- Igalia Summit and Web Engines Hackfest
With employees distributed in over 20 countries globally and most are working remotely, Igalia holds summits every year to give the employees opportunities to meet face-to-face. The summit normally runs in a period of a week with Hackfest, code camps, team building and recreational activities etc..
As it is a great opportunity to bring together people working on the different browsers and related standards to discuss ideas and plans, during the summit week Igalia normally hosts Web Engines Hackfest to invite members from all parts of the Web Platform community. This year’s Hackfest was a success with over 70 people attendees during 2 days involving lots of discussions and conversations around different features. Rego noted down his personal highlights for the event. Frédéric also published the status Update on OpenType MATH fonts.
- Blinkon 17
Blinkon 17 in November was a hybrid event hosted in the San Francisco Bay area as well as via the Internet. Igalia had a strong presence in the event with 7 Lightning Talks and three breakout talks. From the Web Platform team, Delan presented her work on Faster Style & Paint for CSS Highlights and Frédéric updated the status on MathML in his talk Shipping MathML in Chrome 109 in breakout sessions. Andreu’s lightning talk on Specifying Line-clamp is very interesting. And you might find the live session on History of the Web by Brian and Eric fascinating to follow.
TPAC this year is a hybrid event and rego was happy that he managed to travel away to TPAC 2022 after pandemic and meet so many people in real life again.
Igalia has been hiring actively . Web Platform team is no exception. In his blog of Igalia Web Platform team is hiring , Rego explains how Igalia’s cooperative flat structure works and what you could expect working in Igalia. Web Platform team is a very friendly and hard-working team. The team’s blogs probably only show a small part of work happening in the team. If you’d like to know more, contact us. And even better if you are interested in joining the team, check on rego’s blog about how to apply.
We were all super excited that Alice Boxhall (@sundress on Twitter) joined the team in November 2022. Alice represented Igalia as a candidate for the W3C TAG election. Brian tells you in his blog Alice 2023 why we thought that Alice could be a good addition to the W3C TAG. Although the final result didn’t go our way, our support for Alice continues for the future :-).
Looking forward to 2023
With some exciting work planned for 2023, we are looking forward to another productive year ahead!