Starring... Soledad Penadés
Sole has been building realtime stuff for longer than she can remember. She works at Mozilla, helping making the Web the best platform (in general) and the best platform for realtime (in particular). She writes demos to test and spread awareness about new features, often involving Web Audio, WebGL, GIFs and/or cats, and breaks various browsers and reports an unspeakable number of strange edge cases in the process, all in pursuit of a robust platform that is a joy to develop for.
The Web was initially designed by academics for academics: browsers were meant to render simple static documents on a desktop computer. Over the years, new features have been added to transform the web into a powerful runtime in which rich interactive applications can be experienced. However, this process hasn’t been smooth for anyone. Browser vendors are constantly working around the limitations of an architecture that essentially hasn’t changed in almost 30 years, using C++ —a language that still makes it too easy even for experienced developers to cause critical bugs. As a result, web developers have to apply esoteric code fixes such as the infamous
transformZ(0) if they want to avoid ‘jank’. And most importantly of all, users are unhappy because web pages are clunky, slow and drain their mobile devices’ batteries.
But it needn’t be like this.
Introducing Servo. Written in a new language, Rust, Servo is a browser developed with efficiency, performance and safety in mind. In this talk we’ll look at how Servo is addressing these architectural and environmental changes, and most crucially, what this means for browser vendors, web developers and users. We’ll also look at ways in which other browsers and projects can benefit from our work on Servo and how we’ve developed an extremely active community of contributors in just a few years time.