Jan 262007

Now that Gecko 1.9 has entered alpha, it’s time for the documentation effort to turn its attention in the general direction of it and its companion in arms, Firefox 3.

There’s already a great start at setting up the beginnings of a documentation effort, courtesy of the folks working on the code (for which, by the way, you guys totally rock). Lots of work to be done still, but just having the framework already starting to come together puts warm feelings into my heart.

If you’re aware of something that needs to be (or will need to be) documented for Gecko 1.9 or Firefox 3, please make sure it’s listed on the Firefox 3 for developers page, and I’ll make sure it gets written up. Let’s make sure Firefox 3 is as well-documented as Firefox 2 was, hopefully while continuing to improve the existing documentation as well!

 Posted by at 6:02 PM
Jan 262007

I’ve finished migrating the chapter on Memory Management Operations to MDC. I actually finished it a couple days ago, but forgot to blog about it.

Progress will be slow for a while. I’ve submitted a proposal upward to get an intern for MDC to handle migration issues like this; it’s important enough that it really badly needs to be done, but not quite important enough that I should let it distract me from things like, say, Gecko 1.9 and Firefox 3 documentation.

Anyway, feel free to comment if you have concerns about the migration, or about problems with the migrated NSPR documentation in particular.

 Posted by at 5:55 PM
Jan 252007

Our Charter DVR box ceased to function yesterday evening. I called Charter and after about 45 minutes on the phone with them they set me up with a service call to have it replaced.

Next Tuesday. That’s six days, just to get a cable box replaced. Awesome.

If they had a local office, I could go in and swap it out, but they shut down the local office here, so there’s nowhere I can go, and I’m totally at their mercy.

I hate, hate, hate that company. With a depth of conviction you wouldn’t believe.

 Posted by at 4:54 PM
Jan 232007

OK, I didn’t see that one coming. Not at all. Really, really didn’t see it coming. Really.


Holy cow! Who saw that coming? Graham “I played Rocket Romano on ER” is Jack Bauer’s brother!? What the hell?


Also, am I the only one that doesn’t think Wayne Palmer is half the man David was? David would have refused to go into the bunker. David Palmer was one of those TV Democrats you go “if the Democrats actually ran someone like that, I’d actually vote for him” over.

The big question, of course, is: “How involved in Graham’s evilness is Jack’s dad?” The evidence is certainly pointing at him being involved, what with his suddenly disappearing just before these attacks start.

I’m really quite flabbergasted. This season finally grabbed me in yesterday’s episode. Wow.


 Posted by at 12:54 PM
Jan 232007

I’ve picked up moving the NSPR Reference to MDC. So far, the chapters on Interval Timing and Date and Time have been moved, and I’ll be on to the next one shortly. Please feel free to give them a look and make sure everything looks copacetic.

I found a couple of errors here and there while doing the migration, and fixed those while I was at it (primarily cases where data types had unnecessary underscores in their names, such as using PR_ExplodedTime instead of PRExplodedTime.

This is the beginning of my effort to finish migrating the useful content off the old doc web site so we can throw away the obsolete cruft.

 Posted by at 12:46 PM
Jan 222007

I’ve decided that it’s finally time to fish or cut bait on the old documentation site. Developer documentation and articles located on the old doc site need to be migrated or deleted. So much of that content is obsolete and misleading, and having it sitting around is only serving to confuse people.

So one of my goals for the next couple of months is to get this content moved to the MDC wiki where appropriate and deleted where not.

The biggest problem with the old documentation hanging around is that people often find that instead of the more current material on MDC — or, worse, they find that and try to make use of it instead of complaining that docs are missing from MDC. So this is a problem in more ways than one.

If anyone would like to help get this transition done and over with, that’d be a big help!

 Posted by at 12:50 PM
Jan 192007

So we finally finished watching the first four hours of season six of “24” last night. We’ve got mixed feelings on this season so far. Highlight the text below to read what I think, since it contains spoilers.

While it’s exciting, it’s the most unrealistic season to date. The president of the United States would never really offer to hand over dozens of prisoners in exchange for a “maybe we won’t blow any more people up” offer.

Additionally, Jack, while a true post-9/11 Superman, is comporting himself remarkably well for a guy that just spent two years being tortured. Sure he’s a little panicky and slow on the trigger, and sure he barfed after the surprising shooting at the end of the fourth hour. But still, he’s not a gibbering idiot, either.

I don’t get Wayne Palmer as President of the United States. It’s totally unbelievable. He’s just not personable enough to get elected, and has always had this subtle touch of a shady side. I suppose he might have gotten elected on a “You liked my brother, so you’ll like me” platform though.

And while some people will disagree with me (often vehemently) the extreme reaction to the Muslim community that’s taking place in the show is unrealistic to me. I think in this day and age the majority of people are better than that. I also don’t really believe the mad extremes to which the administration is going on the show are realistic. This, too, some people will argue with me on (and some people will say it’s already nearly that bad, which I disagree with, although I do have some qualms with how things are being done).

I’m pleased to see the head of the Islamic organization appearing to be a genuinely good guy. I’m less pleased to see the kid across the street turning out to be a terrorist. While it’s a good little plot twist from a story perspective, it’s a little clichéd, as well. It would have been more interesting if the pasty white guy had been a terrorist.

Sadly, given today’s climate, that would have been a lot less believable.

I will say that given the previews for next week’s show, and “24”‘s history of having layers upon layers of conspiracy, I wager that we’ll see someone else pulling the strings, and that this turns out not to be about jihad at all, but about some pasty white guy that doesn’t like the status quo.

That would be all right with me. While I think that entertainment is entertainment and needs not to be taken so seriously, I do understand how frustrating it must be for Muslims to have so few (if any) positive role models on television.

How about a cool Muslim agent at CTU? That’d be awesome and would make for some potentially interesting storylines.

Anyway, all that said, I enjoy “24” — I just think that so far this season has pushed my ability to suspend disbelief beyond the breaking point.

 Posted by at 1:38 PM
Jan 172007

I’ve finally started working on all the XPCOM related documentation I’ve been meaning to work on for the past couple of months. That is to say, I’m working on getting my environment properly set up so I can build and test out some XPCOM components.

This is taking more work than I expected. The first step is to have a copy of the Gecko SDK, which is not currently provided in Intel Mac form, so I’m trying to build it myself. The instructions say to build XULRunner to get the SDK, but XULRunner currently won’t build for me, producing the following error:

/usr/bin/libtool: file: ChangeCSSInlineStyleTxn.o is not an object file (not allowed in a library)

I have no idea why that’s happening. However, it appears that the Gecko SDK has built successfully, so I’m moving on from there.

 Posted by at 7:03 PM
Jan 162007

I’ve finally (after years of wanting to have some) got myself a nice set of wireless headphones, so I can listen to tunes and watch videos (and of course play games) at all hours of the night without disturbing anyone else in the family. My mother-in-law gave me the Sennheiser RS-130 headphones for my birthday.

These are pretty darned nice headphones. They’re reasonably comfortable, although believe it or not my neck gets sore wearing them, from not being used to the extra weight. They’re not heavy, but I apparently have wimpy neck muscles.

The sound is fantastic (at least to my non-audiophile grade ears). The range is good, although I don’t get the 100′ range they advertise. I’m sure that’s because I’m using it in a basement where the intervening walls when I move around are made of drywall-covered aluminum framing. Still, I can wander to the laundry room (which is also where I keep my stock of diet soda) without missing a beat, so that’s pretty sweet.

My only actual frustration is the built-in volume leveling technology. Every time my computer makes an alert type of sound (email arrives, error occurs, etc) the volume of my music plummets. That’s not so great.

However, other than that, it’s a very nice set, so far.

 Posted by at 1:33 PM
Jan 142007

On Friday, I was at the “Department of Safety” in town to get my driver’s license renewed. Behind me is a teenage boy and his dad, there to get his very first driver’s license. The kid is filling out the application, reading the questions aloud and asking his dad questions about them.

There were two questions he had that floored me, leaving me wanting to shake this kid and whoever has been responsible for his education.

The first question was this: “Dad, what’s an A-P-T number?”

Oh my God. How do you get to be fifteen or sixteen years old and not know common abbreviations? When I was a kid (and I don’t really think that was all that long ago) we actually studied abbreviations in school. It was part of our English curriculum. Had to learn the common abbreviations you see in everyday life, and the abbreviation for the word “apartment” was surely one of them.

The second question was: “What does it mean when it asks if I’m a U.S. citizen? I don’t know what that word means.”

Holy cow. This kid shouldn’t even be allowed to have a driver’s license. How can you possibly be a high school age American and not know the word “citizen?” Was this kid raised in a barn?

Well… maybe.

Regardless, how is it even remotely possible not to have learned the word “citizen” by the time you’re applying for a driver’s license? Has he not had to study government, civics, or even history in the presumably ten years or so he’s been in school? Ever? Really?

Pardon me while I go beat my head against the wall for a while.

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 Posted by at 5:56 PM