Apr 282007

My wife, Sarah, was at Wal-Mart tonight on what she calls “redneck patrol.” That’s basically people-watching while at Wal-Mart. In this part of the country, it’s not all that hard a sport, and tonight Sarah wasn’t disappointed.

Within five minutes of entering the store, she passed a fellow she describes as a “redneck looking dude” and his 8 or 9 year old son.

The kid says, “I don’t got none of that.”

The dad replies, “Now, son, that’s not correct grammar…”

Sarah is surprised at this point and is thinking her initial judgment about the guy was wrong.

The dad continues, “That’s a double negative. You should say, ‘I don’t have none of that.'”

Oh my.

 Posted by at 3:48 AM
Apr 282007

asqueella did everyone a favor and tweaked the breadcrumbs’ subof template to work without modification in any localization of the MDC wiki. Way to go!

We’re going to hold off on switching to the new breadcrumbs until after we get the MediaWiki 1.9.3 upgrade deployed, though, so that we can make sure that critical upgrade goes smoothly before we mess with the breadcrumbs.

We hope to throw the switch early this coming week, so please help us test the upgraded MDC wiki on the staging server! Make whatever changes you like there — they’ll be thrown out when we throw the switch, so please test everything you can.

 Posted by at 3:45 AM
Apr 262007

Today we got the Nutch integration finished, and about an hour ago I finished installing the new breadcrumb stuff, which appears to be working. I need to finish up the look of them but functionally they work.

The new breadcrumbs are ridiculously easy to use. Simply insert text like the following:


And the page will become a subpage of the specified parent page.

You do need to use underscores instead of spaces in the name of the parent page (for example, to specify “Firefox 3 for developers” as the parent page, you have to do:


Also, breadcrumbs only work in the main namespace in the wiki; you can’t use them in the User namespace. I’m looking into changing that but it’s not really useful to have them elsewhere in general anyway.

If you’d like to thump on the updated MDC, drop by and play with it. I hope we can roll it out in the next handful of days but that will need some folks to test to be sure we didn’t botch it all up.

A little information for the folks that work on the internationalized versions of MDC — the subof template will need to be adjusted for each language, since the language for which it generates breadcrumbs is coded into the template. It’s a simple change — just changing “:en:” in a few places to “:pl:” or whatever is appropriate for your version of the site.

When we throw the switch, we’ll be throwing out all the stuff in the test version’s database, so feel free to do whatever edits you’d like in order to be comfortable with the upgrade. I’ll be copying the new and revised templates into the real wiki’s database at that time.

Once we throw the switch, we can go back and switch over from the old to the new breadcrumb system in existing articles. It’s not incredibly urgent as the old breadcrumbs are still working. However, the new system doesn’t require special knowledge of the internals of the MediaWiki database, so it will be more resilient going forward.

 Posted by at 8:41 PM
Apr 262007

The new breadcrumb code for our updated MediaWiki is finally starting to make some real headway. I’ve figured out why it’s not working in certain cases and a fix is in the works. Turns out there was a flaw in my main test case that was making things look worse than they really were.

Sancus has gotten the Nutch pretty much done now. Last I talked to him, he was going to integrate it into our newer, alternative “mdc” skin, which some people (myself included) like to use. Once that’s done and some more testing is done, we should be ready to roll out the update, which should let us re-enable new user signups for editing the wiki.

My parents are arriving from California tonight to spend a long weekend here visiting their granddaughter. Should be a lot of fun — especially for them! She’s changed a lot since they last saw her.

 Posted by at 4:45 PM
Apr 222007

Looks like by some remarkable turn of events, I’ve managed not to catch Sophie’s croup. I’m still tired, and I’ve still got my allergies going on, but nothing nearly so bad as to be unmanageable — and definitely not the croup. Whew!

 Posted by at 10:00 PM
Apr 202007

I can’t believe it’s only a little after noon. It feels like it’s been a full day already. Nothing wreaks havoc on your alertness like having a sick child at home. My apologies in advance if my reply to a technical question is something like “Tuna salad” today.

Sancus is working on getting the Nutch search stuff installed into the upgraded MDC wiki setup. Once that’s done and tested, we’ll be able to deploy phase one of the revamped site. Woohoo!

The indexing is working; it’s just a matter of integrating into the wiki now.

 Posted by at 12:15 PM
Apr 192007

Everything is moving along on this. At this point, we’re getting reasonably close to rolling out what I’m calling “phase one” of the MDC upgrade. This will be MediaWiki 1.9.3 with everything else roughly the same as it was before, except we have some new MediaWiki extensions installed that will let us roll out some of the other new features fairly quickly.

The second phase will be to implement some cool new templates. These have already been implemented in the staging wiki, so it’s mostly a matter of copying them over to the real one and then updating various articles to make use of them.

The third phase will be to do the more substantial overhaul, including reskinning the site to match the rest of Mozilla’s look and feel, fixing assorted bugs, and implementing our new breadcrumb system.

That third phase might come in stages as well.

At any rate, if you’d like to see the progress in more real-time, you can keep an eye on my to-do list page. That keeps a list of all the work we plan to do to MDC, and shows what’s already been done on the staging server.

 Posted by at 11:13 AM
Apr 192007

Turns out Sophie has croup, which she apparently caught from her mother. I’m in the process of developing symptoms as well, so my availability for work for the next few days may be questionable. We’ll see how it goes. If the community is lucky (and I’m not), my worst days will come over the weekend, which would limit how long I’m away from work.

If there’s anything developer documentation related that you have some kind of rush on, please let me know and I’ll try to hustle it through today or tomorrow before I feel like doing nothing but sleeping.

I suppose there’s a chance that this is just my allergies getting worse (it’s that time of year, you know). However, I think it’s incredibly unlikely that I’ll miss catching this thing.

 Posted by at 11:09 AM
Apr 172007

Our 2006 income taxes are paid. E-filed our Federal return this morning (I think; TurboTax for Mac has some sucky bugs related to e-filing; it says we submitted but I’ll believe it when I get the confirmation tomorrowish in theory). Dropped our estimated tax payment for Q1 2007 in a mailbox this afternoon, along with Sophie’s tax return.

Yeah. Sophie had to file a 1040 return this year, and I presume will for the foreseeable future, courtesy of the investments in her name. That’s weird but it’s nice to know she’s got some savings already!

 Posted by at 6:56 PM
Apr 172007

I’ve tweaked the CSS for the site so the comment form doesn’t have the lines that don’t really correspond to anything anymore. That’s been the #1 complaint about the site. There’ve been others, but after the one change I ran out of enthusiasm, so that’ll do for now.

I also revised my daughter’s web site so its blog uses RapidBlog, a RapidWeaver plugin that uses Blogger as a back end. Now I can update her blog from anywhere instead of having to be at my desktop Mac. Been needing a way to do that for a while. That’s going to be very helpful, especially when we’re traveling. The web site now pulls entries off the Blogger site for viewing, and RapidWeaver submits to Blogger. Hopefully that’ll work out well. I’m still sort of in the evaluation phase there.

 Posted by at 5:00 PM