Neil's Place

January 28, 2004

1:00 AM RDF in Mozilla Documentation Extravaganza

Lots of new documentation about RDF in Mozilla are now available on! Seven new sections in fact. Added to the first two listed below which were are already available, this brings the total number of sections up to nine.

Comments ( 32 )

January 27, 2004

Notes on Mozilla Devlepment with RDF and Trees
Wolfgang Schmidetzki makes a note of issues he encountered and how to fix them while developing a Mozilla application that uses trees and RDF.

Big XUL Tree Changes
Coming Soon...

101 Things in Chinese from Joseph
Three new translations in one month. I wonder what brought that on?

January 24, 2004

101 Things in Spanish
Provided by Oscar Curero

January 23, 2004

11:43 PM XUL Tutorial Colours

If you've used the XUL tutorial or other documentation on, you've probably noticed that the values of tags and attributes and so forth appear in a different colour as the rest of the text. For instance, tags appear in red, attributes, properties and methods in green, and values in yellow. The primary reason for this is to separate them from the text so that one would know what was the value and what was documentation. This also makes it clearer when referring to a tag so that the reader would know, for example, that a tree tag was being referred to instead of a general reference to a tree.

I'm currently in the process of writing a few more pages of documentation, and in one particular case, the amount of highlighted words is significant and perhaps distracting, especially the yellow.

Does anyone who uses the documentation find the use of colour distracting? Perhaps a different set of colours would be better? Or a different style altogether?

Comments ( 39 )

January 22, 2004

Posting in XUL
A serverpost element which posts fields using HTTP POST.

1:13 AM Mozilla Developer Day

The Mozilla Foundation is holding a developer day. I might consider going, although it depends on how soon it is held. I could use the opportunity to actually go on vacation as well. And I'm sure the developer day would be fun even though I haven't been to any of the others. I had planned to attend the last one but I decided to quit my job instead.

Might be interesting to have an Mozilla end-users day too. Perhaps a Meet The Mozilla Firebird Developers Day. That would probably bring quite a few additional people by, therefore generating more interest. Anything to improve Mozilla and help spread the word is a good thing.

Comments ( 24 )

January 17, 2004

IE Behaviors in Mozilla
Now with documentation and source code

11:20 AM User Contributed Notes

Several people have asked that XulPlanet have a place to add comments to documentation pages, like the PHP documentation site does.

Thanks to Harry Fuecks, comments on pages are now available. Currently, only the main XUL tutorial and the element reference have comments enabled. Other sections will be added later.

Comments ( 76 )

January 13, 2004

101 Things in Polish
Thanks to Marek for providing this

January 10, 2004

12:40 AM Bizarre article about planes and witches

I don't usually link to things I saw referenced on blogdex, since it seems kind of pointless, but this time I thought I'd make an exception. It concerns a Register article about a mother who asked about flight simulator software for her son and got visited by the police. It wasn't the events that were so disturbing, but the bizarre writing in the article itself.

I'll ignore the reference to the US being "the safest and most prosperous country in the world" because that's just asking for some political debating, which I don't want to get into. I did, however, burst out laughing when I read this line:

Julie Olearcek, a USAF Reserve pilot made the enquiry at a Staples store in Massachusetts, home to an earlier bout of hysteria, during the Salem witch trials.

I hadn't realized that the witch trials had occurred in a Staples store. I wonder what kind of office supplies they used? OK, that's probably not what was meant. I found a much better article (which will disappear soon), which suggests the event took place in a town called Colrain, Massachusetts, which is 100-120 miles from Salem. The two events seem to be completely unrelated. Why mention an event that occurred more than 300 years ago in a different location?

The better article (from the local news site is more detailed and makes the Staples people look less embarassing. Actually, the woman and son -- who already own flight simulator software -- had gone into the store, looked around, and then asked the clerk for software about how to fly airplanes. The Register article says that the woman had asked about Microsoft Flight Simulator. This is quite a difference. I'd imagine the local news site was more accurate than the Register article, which was 'by Andrew Orlowski in Las Vegas'. And I'd imagine that a woman asking about how to fly aircraft would be more suspicious to Staples employees than someone asking about MS Flight Simulator, the latter of which isn't referenced at all in the article.

Perhaps the Register is under some kind of witches' curse?

Comments ( 14 )

January 9, 2004

Runs Python scripts and displays the output in the Mozilla window.

6:53 PM Canvas Tag Coming Soon

Benjamin is starting to work on the canvas tag patch I wrote, so we may see it become reality soon.

Comments ( 26 )

January 5, 2004

12:04 AM Comments on Rapid Application Development with Mozilla

I've been going through the newly published Mozilla development book Rapid Application Development with Mozilla by Nigel McFarlane. I thought I'd add my comments.

It's very detailed. It provides detailed descriptions of XUL, XBL, RDF, templates, and so forth. For someone looking for detailed information about how to use these technologies and a bit about how they work, the book provides lots of information.

To some degree, the extra detail is also problematic. In many places, the book goes into more detail than is really necessary. There's a lot of text there. And, I think, a disproportionately small number of examples. If you were to go through the book attempting to learn XUL, I'd imagine you would be overloaded with information. Although I'm probably a little biased, I think the XUL tutorial is a better way to learn XUL, while the book is quite good for a greater understanding of the details.

Considering the title, and the note on the front that mentions that the book shows how to leverage Mozilla's library of more than 1000 components, I was assuming that the book would have lots of coverage of the Mozilla APIs and the XPCOM components. Sadly, this isn't the case. The book follows a similar pattern as the mozdev book, Creating Applications with Mozilla, with chapters on XUL elements, JavaScript, RDF, overlays, trees, templates and XBL. It finishes with two chapters on XPCOM and XPInstall. In fact, the approach is similar to the XUL tutorial as well.

I had hoped instead to see a much greater amount of focus on XPCOM and the available components. The book does provide, in the XPCOM chapter, some detail about the RDF APIs as well information about file and network reading, and provides an introduction to a number of other things, such as sockets, security and preferences. But, considering the detail in earlier chapters, this is too little I think.

However, overall, I think Rapid Application Development with Mozilla is a good addition to the Mozilla/XUL developer's library.

Comments ( 25 )

December 24, 2003

11:50 AM Parsing and Serializing XML Documentation

I finished the first piece of documentation that I have been working on, Parsing and Serializing XML, which describes how to parse and write out XML in Mozilla.

There are a number of other documents and have half-finished each of them, including the rest of the RDF stuff.

Comments ( 35 )