I was reading through the improvements that are coming to the various web browsers in February in terms of web based technologies (link) and at the bottom it talks about the big list ot changes coming to Safari. Being the cynic that I am I brushed it off and went straight to the source to see what changes are going to come in Safari 16.4 (link). The laundry list of issues that have been resolved are huge particularly in the area of the Webextensions API which should hopefully make content blocking a lot more reliable on Safari (when using AdGuard) when compared to the almost ‘solid as a rock’ robustness that uBlock Origin has on Chrome.
There is still a lot of work being done on declarativeNetRequest – although there are rumours of a date that Google will start pushing MV3 to replace MV2 I believe it’ll be 1-2 years before anything happens. The best way to keep track on what is happening is check out github, the same answer I give when people wondering what is happening behind the scenes at Apple, check out the outsource projects because you’ll get a good insight regarding the direction being taken by developers. For example, one of the big features in regards to the development of MV3 is the User Scripts API where a proposal is being made but that’ll involve many discussions between the many stakeholders – both the developers of web browsers along with the third party developers that’ll leverage the User Scripts API as they’ll want to ensure that what is being developed is fit for purpose.
The Chromecast with Google TV although it is incredibly sluggish when compared Apple TV. I really cannot work out the psychology of Google when they conclude that what was holding Chromecast with Google TV back from wider adoption wasn’t the pathetically small number of countries they launched it in but rather it not being cheap enough. Side note, I would be more than happy to pay an extra $20 to have a better SoC inside with more storage and memory and I hazard to guess that availability is a greater driving factor whether a given set top box is purchases when one considers how ubiquitous Apple TV’s are to purchase – it was launched 30 September 2020 however it didn’t arrive in New Zealand until June 2022 with the Pixel Phone still not here even though New Zealand and Australia (which has the Pixel) are treated as a single marketplace yet New Zealand doesn’t appear to be a market Google is interested in catering for. It will be interesting to see whether the Chromecast with Google TV will receive the Android TV 13 upgrade or whether we’ll see it die on the vine.
Personally, I could see AV1 video support appearing soon in iOS and macOS given that it has already been added to the Web CODECs in the Technology Preview release a few weeks ago (then removed from the public blog page). Even if there isn’t hardware accelerated built into the Apple SoCs I’m sure there is enough grunt to to be able to decode it given that there are already phones running less powerful SoCs that are able to decode an AV1 stream from YouTube via the YouTube app and the Chrome web browser.
Jack Dorsey is now pushing out a public beta for their BlueSky (link) – for me it is a solution to a problem that either doesn’t exist or already being addressed. He talks about the AT Protocol as the backbone to BlueSky but why not work together on ActivityPub instead of reinventing the wheel? are their shortcomings or flaws in ActivityPub? I don’t know since I’m not an expert on protocols but something tells me that given that ActivityPub is an open source project then I’m sure they would be more than happy to take on any contributions that could be made to make the protocol even better. It reminds me of this cartoon (link) and very much the numerous open source projects where the effort is split amongst competing projects rather than putting egos aside in favour of working on something that’ll have more success because the effort isn’t being split in different directions.