Neil's Place

December 23, 2002

10:46 PM Longest Delay Ever!

Haven't written much lately. I have been a little busy with some contract work and with this once-a-year requirement to actually go to a store and buy things. And not even things for myself!

People spend more time buying gifts and putting up decorations and writing cards at Christmas than one gets back in vacation time. At Thanksgiving , one has to spend a lot of time preparing food. Other holidays need one to buy cards or fireworks or candy or costumes. It's interesting that, despite the name, Labour Day is one of the few holidays that one doesn't need to spend any effort preparing for it.

Comments ( 31 )

December 16, 2002

7:22 PM 101 French Things

101 things is now available in French. This version also has some screenshots and pointers to relevant info and specifications -- something which I've been working on for an updated English version.

Comments ( 12 )


12:00 AM Now with Weblogs

I've been working on and off on the Unnamed Semantic Web Client. After all this talk about Blog Browsers, I decided to add support for reading general XML and a XUL file that displays RSS. Screenshot

For XML support, the UI elements are bound to the RSS using XPath expressions. When the user enters something into the search field, the expression is changed, and the list updates to show the result.

Right now it only works for non-RDF RSS. I'll need to add something to detect RDF-based RSS as well.

Perhaps I'll package it into an XPI soon.

Comments ( 9 )

December 14, 2002

8:21 PM Gecko 2?

We're hoping to start making some radical and much-needed changes [to the layout engine] in 1.4. - bzbarsky

See bug 184746

Comments ( 1 )

December 13, 2002

10:13 PM Overheard

Today, I overheard a Web Developer say:

Mozilla is great. It has this thing called the DOM Inspector that let's you see the tags and styles in the page. And a JavaScript debugger and a window that displays all the script errors and warnings on a page.

Comments ( 33 )

December 11, 2002

11:38 PM Tip of the Week

If you order a large pasta salad, make sure to ask whether large means larger than your head.

Comments ( 8 )


10:41 PM On Libraries

I overheard someone today describe how they were cheating a library out of overdue fines by using false information. This is a little disturbing. I mean, come on people! If you're going to rip someone off, at least have the decency to do it to someone who doesn't let you use their stuff for free.

Comments ( 27 )

December 10, 2002

7:52 PM That was fun

That poll was fun. Or was it a metapoll?

By the way, do you notice anything different about this Weblog? Of course you don't. But I have cleaned up the HTML to be more Hixie friendly, using advice he gave others.

Comments ( 10 )

December 6, 2002

10:34 PM A Poll

Do you like to answer silly polls?

Always. Polls are pivotal to the future of mankind.
I only answer polls in the MozillaZine forums.
I hate polls. I would never answer one.

Comments ( 5 )

December 5, 2002

11:47 PM nervemail

I was looking a bit at this nervemail client mentioned on Mozillazine. It's a WebMail-like application that generates everything via scripts that get loaded on an as-needed basis. OK. The loading stuff only when needed is good. Also, the fact that data gets passed back and forth rather than having giant blocks of HTML loaded every time one wants to do something is good.

I'll point out the things I didn't like then.

The obvious thing is that it is trying to emulate a mail client UI rather than a WebMail UI. That is fine. But it isn't a good idea to use a language for creating documents to do so. The scripts create the UI by using createElement to throw a bunch of HTML elements on a page. Most of the HTML is not semantically meaningful. It uses <u> elements and <table> elements in ways that don't make sense. Or at least I think they don't. It's hard to tell, since everything is in a difficult to understand script. Why not just use HTML files directly? They're more readable.

Or better, why not use XUL, which has the distinct advantage of already having semantically meaningful tags to handle menus and trees and the like. And you don't have to spend weeks or months re-implementing menus like 20,000 other sites do. If it was implemented in XUL, this application would be quite interesting. It would be like a remote version of Mozilla Mail.

There was mention that the nervemail application uses only W3C and DOM standard things. Yet, the code contains numerous references to innerHTML.

Anyway, I do think that there are some interesting ideas behind nervemail, yet it is still based on some concepts we should be moving away from. More on that soon.

Comments ( 27 )


9:50 PM Slightly over budget

Customer: Hello, I'm looking for some gun control regulation.

Salesman: Certainly Sir. That will be 2 million dollars.

Customer: Thank you. Here is one billion dollars. Keep the change.

Comments ( 8 )

December 2, 2002

8:58 PM Happy Third Xul Tutorial

The XUL Tutorial celebrates its third birthday on December 3. To celebrate, have a peek at the original version of it, as it appeared on December 3, 1999. The tutorial has come a long way since then. So has XUL.

My original announcement to n.p.m.xpfe doesn't seem to be archived anywhere, but the responses are available.

Comments ( 10 )