Hmmm. A screenshot of a car-related website. An indicator of a product's name switch using an odometer. Yes, you can always tell when Ben creates a page on mozilla.org.
7:58 PM Chrome Starter Guide
One of the most common questions asked is how to get a simple chrome application up and running. The XUL App Tutorial describes this. Usually people have problems near the end because they missed a file or typed something in wrong. Since I didn't write the App Tutorial, I am hesitant to change it to be clearer.
However, I have now written a short guide to setting up a chrome application for testing.
1:40 PM To Musicians
Dear musicians and song writers:
Please stop making songs with phone ringing sounds in them.
11:31 PM XUL Developer Tools
I've been thinking a bit about XUL editing environments lately. There are two parts that would be useful, a GUI designer and a deployment tool. The former would be an application which would allow one to place UI elements on a window and adjust properties and hook up events and so forth. There are some attempts at this already (XULMaker for instance) but nothing yet at the point which is very easy to use and polished. I have some designs for how I would create such a application floating around in my head.
One of the things about Visual Basic is that it works with absolute coordinates. That means that elements can be placed exactly at the position and size the developer wants and can move them about without problem. XUL doesn't work this way. Instead elements are placed in boxes and are positioned according to their parent, children and siblings. Java works this way too. How do Java builders cope with this in a logical way?
The second part is the deployment tool. Essentially, the developer should be able to click a Build button and have the application packaged up, complete with all the various components needed. Optionally, one should be able to specify whether the application needs a Mozilla or GRE or something which could be packaged up with it. One would be able to check off what components to include, such as XSLT, database support, xmlextras, and so forth. Much of this part of the tool would be independant of the XUL designer. The deployment tool would be used, for example, to deploy Mozilla and applications, either standard or custom ones, on a group of machines.
There is quite a bit of interest by people wanting to build XUL applications, however, the roadblock often seems to be the lack of easy to use tools to make this convenient and possible.
I've been working on an unrelated project using the Mozilla editor code so I've become quite familiar with how the editor works. I wonder if Composer could become the basis for a XUL editor? Being able to visually create an application and then click Publish would be very nice indeed.
Sigh... I have at least 15 things I want to work on and only one brain.
1:00 AM RDF in Mozilla Documentation Extravaganza
Lots of new documentation about RDF in Mozilla are now available on XULPlanet.com! 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.
101 Things in Chinese from Joseph
Three new translations in one month. I wonder what brought that on?
11:43 PM XUL Tutorial Colours
If you've used the XUL tutorial or other documentation on XULPlanet.com, 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?
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.
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.