Neil's Place

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: http://www.jmu.edu/computing/security/info/winmsg.shtml.

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"
   xmlns="http://www.mozilla.org/xbl"
   xmlns:xul="http://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.xul">
<binding id="textAreas"
    extends="resource:///res/builtin/platformHTMLBindings.xml#textAreas">
  <handlers>
    <handler event="keypress" keycode="VK_LEFT" modifiers="alt">
      var siz=parseInt(window.getComputedStyle(this,null).
        getPropertyValue("width"));
      if (siz > 36) this.style.width=(siz-8)+"px";
      event.preventDefault();
    </handler>
    <handler event="keypress" keycode="VK_RIGHT" modifiers="alt">
      var siz=parseInt(window.getComputedStyle(this,null).
        getPropertyValue("width"));
      this.style.width=(siz+16)+"px";
      event.preventDefault();
    </handler>
    <handler event="keypress" keycode="VK_UP" modifiers="alt">
      var siz=parseInt(window.getComputedStyle(this,null).
        getPropertyValue("height"));
      if (siz > 36) this.style.height=(siz-8)+"px";
      event.preventDefault();
    </handler>
    <handler event="keypress" keycode="VK_DOWN" modifiers="alt">
      var siz=parseInt(window.getComputedStyle(this,null).
        getPropertyValue("height"));
      this.style.height=(siz+16)+"px";
      event.preventDefault();
    </handler>
  </handlers>
</binding>
</bindings>

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 )