Neil's Place

October 31, 2002

11:22 AM The tag came back.

Marquees are back in Mozilla! Rejoice! Complain! Whatever!

Marquee effects have also been added to the latest CSS3 working draft.

Comments ( 8 )

10:36 AM It's Halloween


Comments ( 5 )

October 27, 2002

10:50 PM Updated radio buttons

I updated the XUL tutorial so that the radio button's selected attribute is referenced, instead of the checked attribute.

Comments ( 52 )

October 26, 2002

7:24 PM 101 things about Mozilla

Time for some Mozilla evangelism. Here are 101 things that the Mozilla browser can do that IE cannot.

Comments ( 58 )

12:13 AM More on that

Here are some more thoughts on the Microcontent Client, Semantic Web Client, or whatever:

  • People seem to want to attach metadata to documents, when really we should be attaching documents to metadata. Actually, we shouldn't be using documents at all in many cases, as much content on the Web isn't a document. Go to the home page of most news sites. Those aren't documents, they're blobs of text and links.
  • I want to be able to search for a movie and get info about it, and then using my Microcontent Client, indicate that I prefer to get ratings or reviews or trailers from somewhere else. From then on, when I see a result, I should get information from the original source except for the those things I want from somewhere else.
  • I see articles with stock symbols after the company names mentioned. These links point to some specific third party stock info site. I can't use a different supplier. Why? Because there is no <stock> tag.
  • The client doesn't need to do things like read mail, instant messaging or play games. People complain enough about all-in-one products as it is.
  • Email is magic. DNS is magic. IP is magic. Do you know how they know how to get a message to someone located on a different continent, with only an email address? I don't. Some things aren't magic. Search engines aren't magic. We need a system for searching that is magic.

That is all for now. I must go to sleep now before I get more incomprehensible.

Comments ( 29 )

October 22, 2002

12:17 PM Introducing the Microcontent Client

Everyone working on Mozilla kept claiming it's a toolkit for building Internet applications, not just a browser? Yet, the first thing that was built was a browser suite. And then, once that came to version 1.0, they set about on a new project, and its goal was to build... a web browser.

I've been thinking about things discussed in this article lately, and I have shared some of the same ideas. I, too, think that the Watson style UI is better for finding the data people actually want. Web sites are very poor at this. They require search engines and extra tools to provide any kind of order.

Considering that Mozilla already supports RDF and XML and so on, there doesn't seem to be a Semantic Web Client in development. I'd start one myself, but I fear the way I would implement it would require destroying the entire Internet.

Comments ( 35 )

October 21, 2002

10:14 PM Unsubstantiated fact of the day

If you click on a banshee in Warcraft III several times, eventually it will say "There is no banshee, they is only Zuul." Or, could it really be saying "There is no banshee, there is only XUL"?

Since a banshee is a mythical creature much like a Phoenix and a Chimera are, could this mean that the Warcraft III banshee is actually some secret XUL-based browser in disguise?

The chances are not zero.

Comments ( 26 )

October 20, 2002

4:19 PM

If I had to start developing a new commercial app I would seriously look at XUL.
- Joel Spolsky

Comments ( 24 )

October 19, 2002

3:19 PM Pizza Survey

A woman called doing a pizza survey:

Woman: From where would you order a pizza for delivery?
Me: I've never ordered a pizza.
Woman: But where would you order a pizza from?
Me: I wouldn't.
Woman: But if you did, where would you order it from?
Me: But I wouldn't order one.
Woman: Well let's say you did. Where from?
Me: I wouldn't order one from anywhere, because I wouldn't order one!

This went on for a while. Eventually I gave in and made something up. That was two years ago. Recently I ordered a pizza. I feel so guilty.

Comments ( 29 )

October 18, 2002

11:34 AM Phoenix is Simpler

I think I'm beginning to understand the purpose of Phoenix now. Its goal is only to make a browser that is simpler, not to make one that is more usable.

Comments ( 5 )

October 17, 2002

11:49 AM

Got a weird popup suddenly the other day wanting me to call somewhere. At least now I know where it came from:

Comments ( 9 )

October 15, 2002

11:30 AM Resizable textareas

The following trick lets you add shortcut keys to resize textareas. By pressing Alt and the cursor keys, you can resize a textarea to fit the text you want to add. One might use this in Mozillazine forums or a WebMail system. First, add the following lines to userContent.css in your profile's chrome directory:

textarea {
  -moz-binding: url('resource:///res/builtin/myHTMLBindings.xml#textAreas');

Now, create a file res/builtin/myHTMLBindings.html in the Mozilla directory (or another file pointed to by the binding above). Add the following to it:

<xml version="1.0"?>
<bindings id="htmlBindings"
<binding id="textAreas"
    <handler event="keypress" keycode="VK_LEFT" modifiers="alt">
      var siz=parseInt(window.getComputedStyle(this,null).
      if (siz > 36)"px";
    <handler event="keypress" keycode="VK_RIGHT" modifiers="alt">
      var siz=parseInt(window.getComputedStyle(this,null).
    <handler event="keypress" keycode="VK_UP" modifiers="alt">
      var siz=parseInt(window.getComputedStyle(this,null).
      if (siz > 36)"px";
    <handler event="keypress" keycode="VK_DOWN" modifiers="alt">
      var siz=parseInt(window.getComputedStyle(this,null).

You might want to change the keys used. A similar technique can be used for other text fields.

Comments ( 29 )

October 11, 2002

12:00 PM Toolbar grippies

The toolbargrippy element has been removed from Mozilla.

Comments ( 0 )

October 10, 2002

12:49 PM Memory Quiz

Here is a quiz. Which of the following systems is operating more effectively?

  1. A system with 128 MB of memory, running 3 applications using a total of 60 MB of memory.
  2. A system with 64 MB of memory, running the same 3 applications using a total of 60 MB of memory.
  3. A system with 128 MB of memory, running the same 3 applications using a total of 120 MB of memory.

Comments ( 32 )

October 9, 2002

8:22 PM Which browser to use?

There's been a lot of talk lately about various products named after mythical beasts (Phoenix, Thunderbird, Chimera). Right now, I have no compelling reason to use them though. Perhaps when the mail/news client is ready, I will. By then, I won't have any compelling reason not to use it either.

I wonder why the preferences in Phoenix are so strangely organized? Or why they used the Orbit theme icons instead of these?

Comments ( 31 )

7:16 PM New Mozilla CSS properties

Nightly Mozilla builds now include support for the CSS3 properties background-clip and background-origin, although they are prefixed by '-moz-'.

  • -moz-background-clip = border | padding
    Set to whether the background is drawn under the border, or whether it ends at the padding.
  • -moz-background-origin = border | padding | content
    Set to indicate where the upper left corner of the background is positioned. This lets one put a background image just behind the content or have it extend into the padding or border as well.

Comments ( 11 )

October 8, 2002

6:12 PM Some minor tutorial updates

I just fixed some of the XBL examples in the tutorial. And also recently fixed the double-slashes in the resource URLs in the earlier sections.

Comments ( 19 )

4:10 PM Welcome

Hey! It's one of those Weblog thingies.

Comments ( 1 )