A crowd of babies will cry and wail.
A crowd of children will scream and holler.
A crowd of students will shout and sing.
A crowd of adults will talk and discuss.
A crowd of seniors will mumble and whisper.
A crowd of the dead will make no noise at all.
11:26 AM Transition of decibels
A crowd of babies will cry and wail.
5:10 PM The Great XUL/Neil Conspiracy
The Great XUL/Neil Conspiracy.
There are a significant number of Neil's posting on the Mozilla XUL-related newsgroups. I think that there was even a thread once with three different Neils but no one else.
To clear up any confusion, I'm Neil Deakin, and my email address is either firstname.lastname@example.org.(which no longer works) or email@example.com. I wrote the XUL Tutorial.
There is also Neil Rashbrook who often posts messages that may contain traces of nuts. I am not him.
There is also a Neil Stansbury and, although not recently, a Neil Marshall, who also has a sympatico.ca email address. I am neither of them either.
In order to avoid this problem in the future, I suggest that any new Neils who may wish to post to the Mozilla newsgroups change their name to Stan.
1:45 PM ReoPath Testing
After spending some time developing ReoPath (or RPath), a XPath-like language for RDF, I've recently switched into testing mode. At first, I just wanted to test the code for memory leaks, but then I realized it might useful to prepare a set of test cases I could run through. Eventually, I could run through all of the test cases automatically in order to test for regressions, memory leaks, and other things.
So in the process of testing, I made a table of all of the test expressions I ran. I ended up with 330 test cases. Since they only test features I've implemented already, I expect that number to grow ever higher over time.
I managed to fix numerous bugs, so the process was quite useful. I also discovered that ReoPath as currently implemented contains a Bizarre List Handling Rule of Evil, that can cause some unexpected results. The problem lies in that I used the same style of syntax for two purposes. I'm not sure if I should remove the feature or not. On one hand, I spent quite a bit of time implementing it and fixing bugs in it, yet in the end it seems to be more confusing than it's worth.
9:28 PM Number of viruses received
Number of messages containing spam or viruses received in the last 24 hours: 0
Number of messages received discussing spam or viruses from the mozdev mailing lists in the last 24 hours: 19
I'm not complaining though. I suppose I'm lucky I needed to get a new email address -- it means that I don't appear in anybody's address book. Also, the people I know that would have my email address are all Mac or Linux people.
5:54 PM Significant Topicalla Changes
I haven't posted much lately. One reason was that I went on a sudden vacation to my parents' new house for a few days.
The other reason is that I have been busy working on significant changes to the template building code for Topicalla. Before, it used to crawl the DOM looking for template related tags and attributes every time a change was made. While it isn't particularly a performance problem at the moment, it would be too slow and tedious for more complicated cases.
Now, instead, it builds up a list of dependencies so that when something changes, it only needs to recompute those nodes in the DOM which would have changed as a result. For example, if template expressions only exist on a <tree> and some <treecell> nested lower down, the builder only looks at those nodes. It also handles changes to the underlying RDF and should be able to ensure that even complex expressions are only recomputed when necessary.
There's still a few things to clean up and a few regressions have occured, but I hope to have those fixed soon. With a bit more work, it should be enough to handle everything that XUL templates can handle, except of course, a lot more -- for example, working in X/HTML.
10:40 PM Quote from the news yesterday
Heard on the news:
Reporter: Do you think you'll get through this power cut?
Woman: I think we will. Wal-Mart is open.
Some notes about Phoenix/Firebird
I wrote this back when Phoenix/Firebird was first getting started. I'm just posting it here to remind me to ensure it's up to date. And because I realized it isn't linked from anywhere.
8:48 PM A sudden thought
The difference between communicating in person and communicating online is that in person you can almost always tell whether someone is trying to insult you or not, whereas online you can't tell, so if there is any doubt, everyone just assumes that they are.
12:13 PM Topicalla Timelines
I've added some date handling functions to Topicalla. So now, I can view a set of weblogs in a timeline view. It shows when postings were made. There's a bit of overlap as the entries were made fairly close together. Eventually, you'll be able to zoom in to see each entry better.
11:07 PM Why use XUL?
A number of people have been coming to XulPlanet after being referred by someone who suggested they investigate XUL to see if it is suitable for their purposes. They have wondered why there is no introductory text as to what XUL is and why one might want to use it. So I added a Why use XUL? page.