Visiting Berlin

Berlin is pretty much a condensed history of world war Europe. What transpired here reverberated in Europe and further. It was headquartered by the Nazis, bombed to bits, took over by Russian forces, ripped into half and finally reunited as one.

The Nazi party took power in Germany with Berlin as the capital after winning Germany’s election. The harsh treatment of the treaty of Versaille and the global stock market crash in the 30s gave rise to widespread disenchantment that finally propelled the Nazi party to rule. And as we know the war broke out shortly after.

After the war ended, Berlin was split into half by the Allies and the Russian army, and so did Germany. The wall came up in subsequent years when both sides did not want the people on their side to go to the other, more so to prevent East Berliners moving to the West. Countless people tried pulling up escape acts to get pass army checkpoints such as hiding in the car boot, or simply climbing over the wall and run or craw past the dead strip – a no man’s land zone where only armies patrol.

Berlin took a special place during the cold war. The Allies led by the Americans took charge of West Berlin, while East Berlin belonged to Soviet Russia. Any confrontation in Berlin could be interpreted as the two powers stance in the cold war. If WW3 were to happen, it would take place in Berlin.

On the day of arrival in Berlin, there was a cup finals between Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich. It was a pretty cold and rainy day, a little dissapointing having hope to escape cold weather in Oslo. I did a little city crawl myself. On the second day, I was joined by a new Australian friend, and we took the chance to find out about Graffitis. The Alternative Berlin tour who took us to visit graffitis, wall-painting, skateboarding factory and beach sandy beach volleyball area. The last day was a tour of historic Berlin, which is pretty much WW2 history and the wall. And finally, a shot of Jägermeister to finish off the night in Berlin.

Opera’s performance on IE9 speed demos

IE9 preview has been making wonderful improvement. It started first with web standards improvement, and now speed progress. Though far from release and still a non-production, it is interesting to see from IE’s own demo that they are beating FF, Safari and Google Chrome.

Friends at IE might have been busy that they missed out on testing Opera. Still it’s heartening that in their demo, Opera icon was used as a test image. So i guess since Microsoft is a little occupied, why not I’ll run it and see how Opera fares.

In A Closer Look at Internet Explorer 9 Hardware Acceleration Through Flying Images , IE9′s demo works in the form of showcasing it’s hardware acceleration ability. IE9 could ramp up more FPS (frames per second) than Safari, Chrome and FF. It logged an impressive 52 FPS, 2nd placed FF was 8.3 FPS.

IE9′s Flying image demo

I decided to try out the stable version of Opera 10.53 and it gave me between 57- 60 FPS while on my machine IE9 hovered between 35 to 38 fps. I tested on VMWare Windows Vista SP2 on my Macbook. Another point observed is that in IE9 the “test image” which are browser vendor icons took significantly longer to load. The test actually started without me seeing the full image in IE9.

So from my first test, Opera 10.53 without hardware acceleration pulls in about 60% faster than IE9 preview with hardware acceleration.

Let’s move on to the 2nd test – A GPU-Powered HTML5 Flickr Photo Viewer.

IE9′s Flickr photo viewer demo

In Seth McLaughlin (Program Manager for IE Performance) ‘s own words “With Internet Explorer 9, Flickr Explorer is generally able to maintain a near real-time responsiveness of 52fps (52 frames per second). In contrast, other browsers struggle to maintain 4-8fps, which is barely 15% the performance”.

This time, Microsoft forgot to test Opera too (actually Microsoft didn’t forget Opera everytime, they did remember to compare Opera when they created a standards table. The table only showed test cases submitted by Microsoft to W3C, and IE9 passed all of them.) More about IE9 Standards discussion in my previous post.

OK, now let’s take a look at the results. As the demo loads, Opera jumps from a low of 20 FPS to 60 FPS within, say, 3 seconds. But once the flickr images stabilized, it remained at 60 FPS. IE9 was similar that it logged 60 FPS once the images stablized, but before it did it hovered between 3-6 FPS for a minute (I counted 61 seconds) and images were obviously draggy.

So the conclusion is that IE9 have a 60 FPS “real-time” rendering, but not before taking a minute between 3-6 FPS. Opera took 3 seconds to hit 60 FPS “real-time”. If forced to compare, Opera would be 20,000% faster.

There you have it. Opera’s performance.

Traveling Poland

I had a great time in Poland this Easter, visiting two cities in the south – Wroclaw and Krakow. Wroclaw is a city with around the size of Oslo, 300-500,000 people. Most of the tourist attractions were within walking distance, so no problem exploring the city by foot. The unfortunate part about Wroclaw is that musuems and shops were closed around Easter. I keep forgetting that Easter is a big holiday in Europe, especially Catholic countries.

Poland is Catholic country, which explains that you sometime see nuns and priest. The former leader of the Catholic church John Paul II is Polish is very revered in this country. Churches are visible in most areas, as do pubs.

The highlight of the trip was in Krakow where Michal hosted me. I had a taste of great Polish hospitality, starting with what Michal calls a “typical” vodka night. Krakow is a very vibrant student city, with young people everywhere, and the old town itself is a fortified castle which now houses shops and residentials.

Poland’s signature food would be the Pierogi (and their staple drink vodka), which looks exactly like Chinese dumplings. Expenses are certainly cheaper than Norway, a 0.5 litre beer cost about 7 zloty, which is a little over USD1, whereas in Oslo it costs more than USD10. So you can expect alot of drinking in Poland.

We went to the Zakopane to to climb the Tatra mountains and reached 2000 metres above sea level, all in one day. And in the process also setting foot into the Slovakian part of the mountains. All in all, it was great fun.


Siden detter er min først innlegg på Norsk, jeg blir skriver om en Norsk filmen – Upperdog.

På overflaten, detter er en trist historie om fire mannsker. Først er en mann hvilken drept en civilian i operasjon i midtøst. Andre er en søsteren og en bro som ble adopted fra Asia til Norge. De er seperart siden sma, men møte igjen etter mange år. Skuespiller fire er en jenta fra Polen, hun kobler alle sammen i filmen. Hun er jobber i norge og jeg liker hun rolle. hun er en “observer” av en nytt Norsk miljø, hun savner Polen og hun sønn i Polen, men endelig hun forelsker en mann i Norge.

Polen jenta “What do you do?”
hær gutt “I am a student, I study philosophy, what about you?”
Polen jenta “I am a student too, I study Norwegian behaviour”
hær gutt “And what have you found out?”
Polen jenta “Well”
hær gutt “what did you learn”
Polen jenta “The norwegians (in the movie) are sad, they’re hurting inside, and hard, like statues in the park, and sometimes naked…”

Endelig, detter to bro og sosteren møte. Polen jenta vil går tilbake Polen, men vi vet ikke hvis hun tillbake. hær gutt kan ikke glemt han feil i Krig.

Bra filmen.

Note: bruker Google translater mange gange for denne innlegg.

Places I’ve been to in 2010

South Korea. Mum, Dad, Sis and I went to Seoul, and Jeju Island for a week where we finally tasted authentic Korean steamboat, and climbed the Halla Mountain.

Poland. A week in Krakow and Wrocław where Michal and I took on the Zakopane mountain.

Germany. East meets West in Berlin where the berlin wall invoke memories. Hitler’s bunker was totally unconspicously hidden underneath a carpark.

GeeksOnTheRoad tour took Shwetank and I to Slovakia, Budapest, Austria and Czech Republic. Best moment? Charles bridge and Viennese architecture.

Taiwan. Peko brought Chaals and me to Taipei for a one week developer relations tour. This is the place where the HTML5 Chinese Interest Group started.

2011 is going great as I head to Lagos, Nigeria for a week of Social Innovation Camp.

HTML5 CSS3 newspaper demo

I’ve meshed up a HTML5 and CSS3 demo in the form of the New York Times. No JavaScript involved in the making.

HTML5 Video – I’m using a nice animated video called the Elephant Dream, the video is encoded in WebM. WebM is the newly announced royalty-free media file format. Google, Firefox, Opera and others have announced support for this new format. Currently WebM video works in Opera labs build, and a special Firefox nightly. Opera 10.6 beta will be having WebM support too.

Since Google is the main force behind the WebM project, we should see Chrome support soon as well. (They are the ones who bought a company called On2 Technologies, opened up On2′s video codec and made it into the WebM project).

Safari has not announced support for WebM, not yet at least. You can encode HTML5 Video in H.264 to get Safari working. For older versions of browsers that don’t support it, you’ll probably see an image placeholder.

CSS3 – Well, it’s mostly Transitions/2D Transform and Borders/Background/box-shadow. They make things such as sliding and shadow effect possible.

Transitions work in Safari, Chrome and Opera, but not Firefox. It is suggested that Firefox 4.x will support transitions. So for now, Firefox users will not see the “smooth” transitions of certain news item in the The New York Times.

The rest of the CSS3 stuff should work in all four browsers.

Web Fonts – The newspaper title uses Web Fonts. With Web Fonts, designers are not anymore limited to the font types available on a user’s computer. So now lots of funky fonts can be downloaded to the browser and displayed. It works on Safari, Firefox, Opera and Chrome. For some reasons though, Google Chrome has decided not to enable it by default (yet), you’ll need to either to turn Web Fonts on in Google Chrome or just look at plain fonts instead.

The fonts used is Old English taken from FontStruct, they have some nice creative commons licensed web fonts.

Note1: For all the CSS3/HTML5 stuff mentioned to work, best use Opera Video Labs build or Opera 10.6xbeta. Safari renders very nicely too, but without the video.

Note2: the original layout of the newspaper demo is adapted from Daniel Davis’ Japanese Web Fonts showcase.