Saturday, March 30, 2002

$3/30/2002 08:06:52 PM

Sometimes there's a really great comment that gets made by an AC on /. several hundred messages in. In an ideal system, you'd like to be able to make it more visible without forcing people to actually go through every single message.

$3/30/2002 07:35:50 PM

Yahoo! New's 373 photo slideshow of the Mideast Conflict is well worth going through.

I haven't been keeping up with the recent escalation much, just reading the random articles. It's a real downer.

Speaking of which, I saw No Man's Land today at the rechristened Dome (LA Weekly article). It's a great movie and definitely worth catching, but while the trailer and advertising try to imply that it's some sort of light absurdist comedy... it's not. Well there is certainly absurdity and irony and satire, neither my friend or I thought it was a particularly "funny" movie.

$3/30/2002 06:03:17 PM

Hat tip to JesseR for pointing out that Paul Festa is known in the Mozilla community for writing inaccurate cnet articles bashing Mozilla. Here's one from May 2000 where he completely mischaracterizes Rob Ginda's work. He in fact doesn't have "ties" to jabber.org, and despite that Chatzilla doesn't compete with AIM and ICQ because it's an IRC client not an instant messaging system, Festa tries his best to portray Ginda as an "enemy within". Perhaps Festa should have a chat with Mike Angelo? They could swap ideas.

Friday, March 29, 2002

$3/29/2002 04:45:11 PM

Who are Paul Festa and Evan Hansen and what is their agenda? ("stupidity" and "cluelessness" are acceptable answers and may in fact be correct). I have no idea what alternate universe this David Averill-Pence (exhibit a) they dug up comes from: ""Nobody I know spends a lot of time worrying about whether a site will work with Netscape."

The authors also quote "Jeffrey Zaldman" out of context, and somehow pull a 5% browser share number out of AOL's 30,000,000 member subscriber base.

$3/29/2002 02:46:17 PM

It'd been a while since I'd written JavaScript validation code, but the other day that task got dropped in my lap. Since the phone number inputs were a single text input (which couldn't really be changed), I decided to go all out and write a fancy schmancy regexp (surprisingly, there weren't any good ones out there already). Now, it turns out the JS doesn't really like character classes, but I was able to make do with some sets instead:

/^\(?[1-9]\d{2}(\)|\.|\-)? ?\d{3}(\.|\-| )?\d{4}$/

This regexp will allow most combinations of phone numbers - numbers only, area code in parentheses, dashes, or periods. Surprisingly, it worked perfectly in ns4.

$3/29/2002 02:37:34 PM

If you have a Yahoo profile and you're logged in, I recommend that you click here to disable all the marketing crap that Yahoo turned on when they reset everyone's marketing preferences.

Thursday, March 28, 2002

$3/28/2002 06:27:28 PM

There's a new Flash Blog, which is concentrating on FlashMX developments. I've been doing some thinking, and while everyone (perhaps excepting some at Macromedia) seems to agree on the unsuitability of Flash as a primary content delivery mechanism on the web, most arguments being made against FlashMX have been made exactly against that strawman (see: Macromedia Reinvents the Web, Concerns on FlashMX Positioning).

Now Macromedia isn't doing anything revolutionary. It's been tried before (remember when Java was going to be on your desktop?), but they are in a unique position to make a play. 1) While I doubt it's quite 98.3% penetration, it's pretty damn close. 2) The display and logic engine are integrated. If it's installed it's going to work. 3) Flash has an IDE (such as it is, but compare it to say your DHTML options). 4) Flash would be the "Cold Fusion" of web application front-ends. Maybe not necessarily truly easier than your other options, but marketed that way to non-technical customers.

Now here are my concerns on issues directly related to FlashMX's suitability for web application/services interfaces:

I think it might be worth noting that I'm not necessarily against creating web applications/web services interfaces on Flash. It may be the most effective solution in some cases (certainly easier than creating cross-platform DHTML guis). I am however concerned about committing to unstable or dead-end technology, and whatever support/legacy issues that might introduce.

The other concern I have is with the development costs of FlashMX. The component library, while welcome, is rather bare at the moment. So one of the key questions of adoption is whether it'll actually help in delivering a better product in a shorter or comparable development cycle.

Now, as far as alternatives, what's out there? Well, one can use a DHTML API (DomAPI or DynAPI probably being the most viable. Or if you can commit to a single platform, XUL on Mozilla is an option. Java might work, but again, requires some installation, especially with XP coming without a VM... It's a tough field out there.

I've mentioned it before, but I'll bring it up again now that XWT has gone 1.0. It runs as an ActiveX control or Java Applet and is fairly simple to get up and running (XML layout, JavaScript behaviors, zipped archive, network connections via HTTP, SOAP/XML-RPC). This could be an interesting alternative for creating web applications. Of course, it's pretty rudimentary at this point and I'm not sure if it'll be able to handle the multiple media types, etc., or can get the developer mindshare necessary to make it a viable alternative.

Perhaps much of this will become somewhat moot if non-DOM compliant browsers (ahem, NS4) suddenly drop off the map and some of the better DHTML libraries start gaining momentum. I wouldn't expect that soon (even w/ the Mozilla movements wrt AOL and MachV), but who knows? Stranger things have happened.

$3/28/2002 05:51:20 PM

Google versus Church, round 3 - Scientology critics again claim Google censorship, this time through Adwords program - Google, Scientology, and censorship; the fight's not over yet.

$3/28/2002 02:39:37 PM

If anyone in the Los Angeles area is interested, there's an opening for a web designer/developer at USC. Primarily I think we're looking for a hard-core production oriented designer-wiz. XHTML/CSS/DHTML/JS skills highly desired, a clear understanding of web-based screen and interaction design is a must. For those interested, click through to the URL (read the long and even sometimes relevant full description) and submit your resume/urls.

$3/28/2002 08:23:38 AM

I've been pretty busy at work, and unusually tired/unmotivated when I get home, hence the lack of posting. I'm been giving some thought about better ways of capturing microcontent, say like /. threads.

Monday, March 25, 2002

$3/25/2002 11:35:35 AM

Test with the new version of mozblogger.

Sunday, March 24, 2002

$3/24/2002 11:10:49 AM

A search for slashdot on Google will bring up a textad informing you that Google is hiring, and looking for expert software designers. That's pretty nifty and clever sure, but honestly, what kind of expert software designer needs to do a search to find slashdot?