Jan 252008

I’m home from the hospital post-op, and doing fine.  Pretty tired and a little sore, but things are going smoothly.  My brother is visiting for a few days to help run interference with Sophie since I can’t pick her up or handle her climbing all over me for a while yet, and don’t have the energy to avoid her on my own yet.

Now I think I need another nap…

 Posted by at 11:24 AM
Jan 182008

If you’ve got anything that desperately needs documentation work done in the next couple of weeks, speak now or forever hold your peace.  Starting Monday, I’m off the clock for two weeks.  So if there’s anything urgent or substantial that’s slipped through the cracks that you want to see get done, please let me know right away!

I think I’ve gotten everything that’s urgent taken care of, and it’s helpful (for me, again being the only person that thinks so) that Firefox 3 beta 3 has slipped slightly.

Feel free to peruse this list of bugs that have been fixed and are marked as requiring documentation updates. You can also get a look at this list of pending documentation requests.  If you see anything there that makes you freak out that it’s not been dealt with yet, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

 Posted by at 6:07 PM
Jan 152008

I thought it might be interesting to just dump my thoughts during today’s Macworld Expo keynote from Steve Jobs on-the-fly, stream of consciousness style, as things go along.  Of course, this is all based off the text dump feeds that are coming out of Moscone today.  I’ll watch the real thing later in the day after Apple posts it.

Time Capsule

OK, an Airport Extreme Base Station with internal hard drive for backups.  Handy but sort of sounds like a snoozer unless the price is awesome.  And the price looks pretty decent.  $299 for 500 GB, $499 for 1 TB.  That’s not bad at all.  Depending on specifics, I may be begging my wife for permission to get one.

We need a new router (our current WiFi router is messed up and only works when wide open — oops), and we also badly need NAS for backups.  The question is: get them all in one, or buy cheaper but separate?  We’ll see…


4 million sold in 200 days.  Nice!

New iPhone software?  That sounds exciting… c’mon, make it something really spiffy!  Please?

Maps with location.  Nice.  Web clips; that’s one I’ll have to see in action before I get all that interested.  Home screen customization, multi-person SMS.  Eh.  I have an iPod touch, not an iPhone, so most of that stuff doesn’t interest me much.  Give me Mail on my iPod touch, Steve!

OK, so basically web clips lets you put bookmarks on your home screen, with the zoom/pan settings saved.  I can see use for that, to bookmark the stuff I use the most (like Zimbra for work, for example, and Gmail).

I still want Mail, Steve!

iPod touch

Oh, I’m all a-twitter!

Woot!  Mail!

Mail, Stocks, Notes, and Weather!  Steve, I love you!

$20 upgrade.  Bummer but not by much.


Sweet — they passed the 4 billion songs mark.  That’s phenomenal.

iTunes Movie Rentals.  I’m pretty excited about this.  Let’s see who they have on board and how much they’ll cost.

Holy cow.  They got all the major studios on board.  That’s phenomenal!  Wow!

Movies hit iTunes rental store 30 days after the DVD is out.  I can live with that, although it’s a shame and will hurt their rental figures, I think.  Netflix gets them day one.

I’m totally going to have to try this out.  I sure hope the picture looks good on my HDTV.

Hey, nice.  You get 30 days to start watching your rental, but then have to finish watching within 24 hours of starting.  That’s really quite good.

$2.99 for library titles, $3.99 for new releases.  That’s really quite reasonable, especially given the convenience.  30 hours would have been better than 24 for getting your movie watched.

I’d seriously think about quitting Netflix except Netflix will send me Blu-Ray (high definition) movies, and iTunes doesn’t do HD.

Apple TV 2

No computer required.  Rent directly on the TV.  DVD quality and HD + Dolby 5.1.  Does that mean actual HD video?

Still can sync with iTunes, which is also good.  If this thing actually does HD, I’d seriously consider… yep.  HD rentals available, at $4.99 each.

I’ll have to sit down and do the math and see if it makes sense to buy one of these.   Depends on the price of the unit and how my math works out in terms of how much renting I would do.

I’m curious how big the drive is on it.  That’ll need to be good sized to handle all that HD content people will be downloading…

Wow, you can buy music on the Apple TV too.  That’s nifty as well.

Dude.  It’s a free software update to current Apple TV owners.  And the entry price of the unit is dropped to $229.  That seriously means it’s something for me to consider buying.  Wow.

Blah, blah, CEO of Fox.  Blah, blah…

I’m quite excited about iTunes copies of movies being on DVDs going forward, at least from Fox.  That’ll be sweet.

MacBook Air

Woohoo! This is going to be cool, I bet.

Sounds very sexy.  I don’t want one, but it’s very pretty and cool sounding.  I expect it will be quite a hit.  I need performance more than smallness, personally, but I know a lot of people are going to be happy to make the tradeoff.

2 GB standard memory (I guess it’s not upgradeable, so they had to load it up).  I’m curious what it runs with a solid-state drive on it.  $1799 is a good base price for it, especially for people that need the convenience of a small, light machine.  I figure it’ll be a hit with frequent travelers.

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 Posted by at 2:51 PM
Jan 092008

Lately I’ve been thinking that one way to improve the quality of our documentation would be to have volunteers “take charge” of various topics in the documentation.  Basically, the idea would be that someone with actual knowledge of a subject would take on the job of ensuring that the documentation covering that topic is accurate.

As the documentation lead, I find myself becoming a generalist.  I know just enough about everything that I can spot the blindingly obvious errors, but the subtle stuff tends to escape me.  It would be helpful if we had some experts to cover specific “hot spots” of information.

Even if these experts are only tasked with reviewing changes to ensure their factual accuracy, that would be a huge help, I think.  Ideally they’d also be contributing new content as necessary, too, but just having someone that knows the subject matter do regular reviews would be awesome.

What do you think?

 Posted by at 7:19 PM
Jan 092008

Starting on January 21, I’ll be out for two weeks while I recuperate from a surgical procedure (nothing huge, just going to take the wind out of my sails for a while).  I’ll also actually be out on Friday, January 11, but for a less annoying reason — my birthday is over the weekend, so I’m taking Friday off while my parents are here to visit.

During that time, I’ll probably be reading email now and then, but you shouldn’t expect a response until I’m back, unless I just happen to be feeling chipper enough to send you one.

Until then, let me know if there’s anything documentation-wise you think needs to be addressed before I’m off, so I can prioritize things properly!

 Posted by at 5:57 AM
Jan 032008

As the documentation cycle for Firefox 3 starts winding down, I find myself thinking, “Okay, I know there are places where these docs are less than helpful, but I don’t really know where they are, since I’m not in the trenches furiously trying to update add-ons to work with Firefox 3.”

So here’s my poser for you: if you’re working on updating an add-on to work properly on Firefox 3, what problems have you run into in terms of finding the relevant documentation or comprehending the documentation that’s there?  Where are we missing sample code where it seems like any half-witted buffoon would know that documentation should have sample code?

Given the huge amount of documentation that’s been written anew or overhauled for Firefox 3, it’s a given that stuff has been missed or done less than ideally.  But it’s also a given that I’m probably not aware of many of the deficiencies.  So if you’re banging your head on your desk or cursing my name, let us know about it!  We can’t fix it if we’re unaware of the problems, so make sure we’re aware of them.

If you like, you can do that by simply commenting on this blog post, but if you really want to make my day, you can file a bug report against MDC’s “Documentation Requests” component.

You can also infer from this request for your input that we’re looking forward to seeing more extensions updated for Firefox 3 compatibility!

 Posted by at 12:12 PM