Neil's Place

November 9, 2002

12:11 PM Magic Search Engines

Others are also starting to think a bit about making search tools magic.

Comments ( 7 )

11:50 AM More feedback on feedback

When looking over the feedback I've received on 101 things, a number of people have criticized me for spreading "false information about IE", yet those same people go on to tell me that IE has support for PNG alpha transparency, or standard DOM event handling, or various other things it definitely does not support.

Try looking at this demo of PNG alpha both in Mozilla and IE and compare. Note that the Mac version of IE does support it, but as I say at the top of the list, I wasn't comparing the Mac versions.

People, if you're going to tell me that IE does support something, at least make sure that you actually have evidence to back up your claim.

I admit I was wrong about #85 though. Once I've gone though all the feedback, I'll update the list with some changes, and provide more descriptions for some of them.

Comments ( 40 )

November 7, 2002

10:00 PM On the mouse and keyboard

I've had lots of response to "101 things". I'd say over 40-50% of it to inform me that one can change the font size of a page in IE using a keyboard shortcut -- Control and scrolling the mouse wheel.

While that is true, it doesn't class as a keyboard shortcut. A keyboard shortcut, be definition, requires using the keyboard and not the mouse. As any accessibilty person will tell you, there is quite a difference. For one thing, pressing Control and scrolling the mouse wheel requires two hands. A standard keyboard generally requires this too, but if you can't use a mouse, you probably aren't using a standard keyboard.

I mentioned lack of a keyboard shortcut in item 7 on the list, although it was more of an aside than a main comment, since one can still access font changing options using the menu via a keyboard.

However, the number of comments about it does seem to provide evidence that many people don't understand why creating accessible content is important. Especially interesting is that changing the font size is also an accessibilty aid, but convenient access to it doesn't seem to be important to people. No wonder there are so many Flash-only sites.

Comments ( 29 )

November 6, 2002

11:21 PM CNet Item

CNet did an interview with me on "101 things".

I don't recall saying this though:

He also noted that trying to get people to change their browsers would more likely turn into a negative rather than positive experience.

Comments ( 11 )

November 5, 2002

5:50 PM

I've had this Weblog for less than one month, and 101 things that the Mozilla browser can do that IE cannot is currently number 2 on Blogdex.

Comments ( 1 )

10:04 AM Fixed Security Holes

The headline "Mozilla Riddled with Fixed Security Holes" on MozillaZine made me laugh.

One of the six bugs (147754), and coincidently, the one I reported, was fixed way back in 1.0. What, are they having such trouble finding security issues that they have to use older versions of products instead?

Comments ( 20 )

November 3, 2002

11:57 PM Building the Semantic UI

I've started putting the ideas I have had for the Microcontent/Semantic Web Client together into a simple prototype UI. I have something partly doing something, but not enough to show yet. Here is a description.

The user selects from a variety of categories, such as Movies, News, Weblogs and so forth, although the user can add more using a directory lookup or by manually entering information. Each category has two lists of information stored with it.

The first is a list of datasources that supply content for the category. One source might provide general movie info, another reviews, while yet another provides images and clips from the movie. The user may add and remove sources when they wish. The data is in RDF and is internally combined into a single source when used.

The second is a list of descriptions of how to present the information. I call these 'layouts', and the user may add or remove them as necessary. Basic layouts would present the data in various usuable forms, others would display as plain text, calendars, and so forth. Layouts would also contain UI for searching and sorting through information.

A third aspect, which I haven't worked out the details of yet, is the descriptions of what the data means. The Semantic Web people call these ontologies. But here, they also need to describe UI actions. For example, when we list the times when a movie is playing, the application should know that one can add them to a schedule or set reminders. Neither the datasources nor the layouts should need to indicate this.

I am planning on using XUL as the layout/presentation language. I don't want to use (X)HTML, as it is a content and structure language, not a layout language. The content is stored in the datasources, so many HTML tags would be useless. Seperation of content (datasources) and layout is already achieved anyway.

I would need to add some elements or attributes to XUL to bind the UI elements to the data to display, much like XForms does. (XBL can be used to create the new elements for the most part). However, since XForms uses XPath expressions to bind to XML data, an XPath-like language tailored to RDF data instead of XML would be necessary.

Perhaps I should set up a project on, although I'm having trouble coming up with a good name for this thing.

Comments ( 5 )

November 1, 2002

11:03 PM

Just fixing the update time in the RSS feed to be in the correct format.

Comments ( 1 )