Jun 282006

Day two of the all-hands, and it’s actually a lot more relaxed today than it was yesterday. I’m not planning to try to go to every breakout session, and not even to a session in every slot, just the ones that are of particular interest to me. That gives me time to do some copyediting in between.

I find myself wishing for a way to tag MDC pages as having been copyedited, so that I don’t accidentally review them a second time. I’ve already encountered a couple of pages that I think I’ve already copyedited.

Thanks to the magic of iChat and the iSight built into my MacBook Pro, I got to talk to my little girl this morning. That was great fun, and it was nice to be able to do it relatively painlessly — although it turns out that the iChat in OS X 10.4.7 doesn’t like to videoconference with the 10.4.6 version. We found that out the hard way.

 Posted by at 3:23 PM
Jun 262006

In about an hour, I head to glorious Knoxville airport to head off to California for meetings. Hopefully the trip won’t suck too much. I loved to fly when I was young and short and didn’t wind up with the imprint of someone else’s pelvis in my kneecaps by the end of the trip.

I miss those days.

 Posted by at 11:51 AM
Jun 242006

I’m making a list, and checking it twice… so I can be sure not to forget anything too terribly important when I head for California on Monday for Mozilla all-hands week. I have stuff I need to finish installing on the laptop, and I gotta make sure all my gadgets have fully-charged batteries, and I absolutely can’t forget my noise-canceling headphones, because listening to my iPod on the plane without them sucks in a bad way.

I’m half tempted to slap Boot Camp back onto the MacBook Pro so I can install Oblivion on it, copy all my saved games over to it, and continue to play my game in progress during this trip, but I’m resisting doing so.

My Phaser 850DP printer continues to be having trouble. Had a guy out to service it on Thursday, but while it’s mostly working again, I can’t print using the upper tray for some reason — it jams every time. I’ll have to get them back out here once I’m home from Mountain View.

 Posted by at 9:00 PM
Jun 232006

Been a while since I posted anything, because nothing exciting is going on in my world these days. Work continues on the Firefox 2 developer docs, with a new piece going up the other day on installing phishing protection sources. While waiting for various bits of code to land so I can look at how things work in order to document them properly, I’ve also been randomly loading pages on MDC and doing copy edits to help Mozilla achieve global documentation coolness.

Or something that sounds less nerdy than that.

Anyway, the cable modem has been working reliably for a couple of weeks now (thank goodness!) and life is generally gripe-free, which always makes me a little nervous…

 Posted by at 10:40 AM
Jun 152006

One cool new thing you can do with search plugins in Firefox 2 is support “search suggestions.” The idea is that as the user types in the search bar, search plugins that support this feature can query the server for possible completions for whatever the user is typing, which allows Firefox to display possible search terms in a popup that appears under the search bar.

If you have a Firefox 2 build, try this using the Google or Yahoo search engine. If you pause while typing the search term, a list will appear suggesting possible completions for the term.

This is very cool. And now I’ve just posted an article explaining how to implement support for this feature. Let me know if anything doesn’t make any sense!

 Posted by at 3:36 PM
Jun 142006

Just added a new article, about how to write JavaScript code to install search plugins, to MDC. That’s progress!

It’s recently been pointed out that my JavaScript code samples that are available for download are using tabs instead of two spaces for indentation, which isn’t how we normally do things. I’ll be sure to change those if/when the samples need revising in the future, but it doesn’t seem important enough to mess with it otherwise.

 Posted by at 5:32 PM
Jun 112006

My family is all home now, so it’s just me, Sarah, and the baby again. Life is back to normal.

It was nice to see the family, but it’s also nice to get back to the normal routine. I’m kind of big on routine.

Sitting here playing my biweekly D&D game with friends online, and figured I’d compose a bit of drivel while one of my two characters (the thief) is in hiding and the other (the fighter/mage with too much attitude) is waiting to see what happens with some guards that are heading our way.

Now our mage is casting Sleep on the guards. Hope it works.

 Posted by at 9:13 PM
Jun 082006

Heads-up to coders working on the cool new Firefox 2 features that weren’t ready to be documented yet when last I made rounds asking about them at the beginning of this week — I’ll be pinging you guys again today and tomorrow.

The stuff I’ll be asking about includes:

  • Session restore API
  • Feed content access API
  • Search bar suggestion API
  • Adding search engines (including JavaScript methods)
  • API for writing phishing protection extensions

Those are the yet-to-be-documented developer concepts for Firefox 2. If you know what’s up with any of them, feel free to pre-empt my ping and drop me email or post a comment to let me know how things are going.

 Posted by at 11:23 AM
Jun 052006

Technology is insidious. You get used to something, and if you find yourself having to do without it, you tend to feel the hurt.

In this case, it’s my second monitor. I’ve been using two monitors on my Mac for years now, recently even buying a new 19″ LCD to use as my second display, replacing the old beat-up CRT I was using. The new monitor’s DVI port quit working a few days ago, stranding me in the dark ages with only one screen on my Mac.

Talk about throwing a wrench into the works of my work habits.

I’m used to keeping multiple chat windows, email, widgets, stickies, browser windows, docs, text files, source code, and terminals open all at specific places across my broad workspace.

Now I’m stuck cramming them all, overlapping each other, onto just one screen. It’s pretty uncomfortable.

It’s like waking up one morning to find that someone has replaced all your clothes with stuff two sizes smaller than you usually wear. You can cram yourself into it, but you don’t like it much.

The monitor is boxed up and will be going out via FedEx today, so it can be serviced.

Regardless, progress is still being made on documenting all the cool new technologies available in Firefox 2. My goal remains to have good draft docs of pretty much everything by beta 1, assuming the stuff is implemented in time for me to be able to write it up by then. As far as I’m aware, the stuff that’s already implemented is all written up already at this point, so it’s mostly a waiting game on that front.

While I wait, I’m getting other bits of work that need doing taken care of. At the moment, I’m clearing up the mess on my desk to make room for my new IP phone for work, and nuking all the stuff off a PC that’s also chewing up valuable real estate, because I don’t need it in this era of being able to run Intel-based OSes on the Mac. The machine will go up on eBay in the next week or so, for whatever that’ll net me. Not much, but better than just throwing the thing away.

 Posted by at 12:28 PM
Jun 012006

I’ve started work on Firefox 2 documentation. There’s a central “Firefox 2.0 for developers” page as well as the first more in-depth article, “Creating OpenSearch plugins“. I’d appreciate any feedback on either of these — you can either edit the articles, or just email me your suggestions if you’re not the kind of person that likes to write stuff that, you know, people read.

In other news, after Charter came yesterday morning, I started up my network connection test program, and in the past 26 1/2 hours have lost only 155 packets, which places my packet loss at just about 0.9%. We’ve also had exactly zero total dropoffs. Packet loss has never been more than one per ping batch.

This is by far the best our connection has been in two months. I’m not ready yet to call it “fixed” but my hopes are starting to get up there.

They ran us a new line from the tap direct to the cable modem, and grounded that line to the cold water pipe, which is closer to the modem than the power box was, which is where code says it’s supposed to be grounded if at all possible. Unfortunately, the power box is on the far side of the house, which meant a long, roundabout route for the cable to run, resulting in a huge amount of signal loss.

I’ve got my fingers crossed…

 Posted by at 3:17 PM