Apr 302008

Figured I’d mention how I’m doing after my emergency room trip late last week.

Doing okay.  It’s surprisingly hard to increase by 50% the amount of fluids you drink.  It’s a pretty substantial change to the pattern of your life.

Now, the odd thing is that I’ve always been big on pretty much always having something to drink handy.  Problem is that it was almost always Diet Coke or something along those lines, which after my surgery in January, I’m no longer allowed to drink.  So now I have to drink different things, stuff I always thought of as “once in a while” beverages, such as juice or water.  Or milk.

I like milk (a lot), but it’s not something I sit around drinking while I work, either.

It makes it somewhat more difficult to drink a lot when the things you like the best are off the table.  In fact, of all the things I can’t eat or drink these days, diet soda is easily the one I miss the most.  And, of course, it’s one of the few things I can never have again.  That hurts a little bit more than I expected.

Anyway, I’m still having the dizzy spells, so clearly I’m not back up to snuff yet.  But they’re not as bad as they were, so hopefully I’ll have this behind me soon.

 Posted by at 11:31 PM
Apr 282008

I’ve started work on an overhaul of the Places documentation.  The engineers (especially Dietrich) have done a great job writing up all kinds of stuff about Places, but it needs some reorganizing and polishing.  Not to mention that there are a few sections and articles not written yet.

So I’m going to be manhandling these docs pretty severely the next few days while I work out the final organization for them.  Be sure to put on your hard hat before clicking your way into them!

 Posted by at 12:21 PM
Apr 242008

Today I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor following my surgery back in January.  Got in there and got some basic stuff done, then mentioned I’d been getting dizzy standing up lately.  So they checked my blood pressure and it was somewhat low.  Then they had me stand up, and my BP dropped so low they couldn’t read it.

That’s when they told me to head to the emergency room and get checked out.

I got to the E.R. at around 4 PM and they ran some tests (including drawing 3 vials of blood, which is pretty funny for someone they called “dangerously depleted”) and decided that I was “severely dehydrated.” They also did an EKG, took a couple of chest X-rays, and did repeated pulse and BP checks.

In the meantime, they put an I.V. in to give me fluids.  Two liters of fluids.  Took about five hours to get out of there

It was a long and frustrating day, and I got absolutely nothing worthwhile done.

 Posted by at 11:00 PM
Apr 232008

This morning when I went outside, there were smears of blood on the floor in the mud room.  That was a bad start to the day.  I cleaned it up and went about my business.

Late in the afternoon, Sarah had some folks coming by for Girl Scout business, so she was hanging out outside to handle that stuff, and Sophie and I were out there with her.

Suddenly Sophie cries out, “A mouse!” and heads for the mud room.

I follow her to find Buddy (that would be the cat) dropping a small fuzzy thing at her feet.  I called out to Sophie to back off, then went to get a look.  It was a tiny, tiny baby rabbit.  About four inches long or so, with wounds around its neck and breathing erratically.


Sarah corralled Sophie out of the way and I picked the rabbit up with a shovel and, with not just a little hesitation (it was still breathing, after all), put it in the trash.  It was clearly not going to survive.

Then I mopped up the goo on the floor.

Not five minutes later, Buddy was back with another tiny little rabbit.  This one, when he dropped it, managed to make something of a very slow getaway, and I chased Buddy off.  The rabbit made its way into a corner, cowering in fear.  I donned a pair of gloves and picked it up carefully.  It had one puncture wound in its side that was oozing some kind of white fluid.  Not a good sign.  But I put it back out in the woods, hoping (probably foolishly) that it would find its way home.

By this point, it’s pretty clear that Buddy has found a den, because by the time I was done dropping the second rabbit back off in the woods, there came Buddy hopping over the fence with a third one in his mouth.  This one I managed to get him to drop, but it was badly hurt and, again, clearly not going to make it.

Sophie was following me around asking to see the rabbits and asking if they were having fun playing with Buddy.

I think I handled it about as well as I could, under the circumstances.  Basically, I figured that explaining what was really going on to a 3-year-old wasn’t going to work, so I just said that Buddy was playing with the bunnies and that I had to take them home.

Those rabbits were so tiny, they can’t have been more than a few days old, I think.  Poor things.

Of course, Buddy’s just doing what millions of years of feline evolution are telling him to do.  Can’t really fault him for that.  Still, it’s not something you really want to walk into in the morning.

 Posted by at 9:21 PM
Apr 222008

The other day, I received a new mockup of the Mozilla Developer Center’s impending redesign, so I figured I’d share it here.

There are still some changes in the works.  For example, the “Recent Changes” link you see is going to move into the “Site Tools” menu.

The “Site Tools” menu includes things like access to the RSS feeds, templates, site map, and other features like that.

The “More” menu includes page-specific features, such as page watching, attaching files or images, access control, page moving, and access to the Talk page for the article.

The buttons in the contents box take you to the corresponding sections of the page.

As you can see, the new design is heavily influenced by the design of the soon-to-arrive new Mozilla.com skin.

If you’re not currently logged in, the space where “Username” appears will include a “Log in” button.  Clicking your username takes you to your user page.

The “Other languages” menu at the top right will be a quick and easy way to switch from language to language.  Since MindTouch has added polyglot support to DekiWiki for the upcoming “Jay Cooke” release, a single wiki will contain all the articles for every language in which MDC is localized.  Simply select the language you want to read the current article in, and not only will the article switch, but the entire UI will be switched to that language as well, and you’ll steer to articles in that language by default.

Immediately below the MDC logo is the breadcrumb bar, which will be present on all pages now, providing a convenient way to backlink to previous articles in the hierarchy.

The “Files” section lists all the files attached to the article.  This provides a simple way for sample code to be made available.  Instead of having to upload samples to the MDC server (which means, actually, sending them to me so I can upload them), authors will be able to attach the samples directly to their articles, then link to them from within the body of the article.

Similarly, the “Images” section provides the ability to manage the images attached to the article.

And we’ll have a comments section, where page discussion can take place.  We may find that we don’t make as much use of the Talk pages as we used to, since it will be possible to comment on articles in place.

I’ll have more screen shots in the coming few weeks as we get closer to launching this new wiki.  The development work on the skin itself is in progress now, and hopefully will be up and running so that we can start getting screen shots before too much longer.

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 Posted by at 5:50 PM
Apr 222008

Now that the Firefox 3 developer documentation is apparently complete, I’d like to pose this question: what would you like me to write up next? There’s tons of stuff that needs to be written about, and I’m having trouble deciding what to focus on next.

Sure, I have my preferences, but it’s not really about me at all, is it?

So this is your chance to steer my direction a bit for the coming weeks. What area of the documentation would you like to see me focus on next?

I’m sort of feeling the itch to write some sample code.  I should find something along those lines to do.  Hm.

 Posted by at 5:33 PM
Apr 152008

Everyone seems to be sharing, so let’s see what a technical writer’s shell history looks like:
MacXTreme:mozilla sheppy$ uname -a
Darwin MacXTreme.local 9.2.2 Darwin Kernel Version 9.2.2: Tue Mar  4 21:17:34 PST 2008; root:xnu-1228.4.31~1/RELEASE_I386 i386

MacXTreme:mozilla sheppy$ history|awk '{a[$2]++ } END{for(i in a){print a[i] " " i}}'|sort -rn|head
106 ls
102 cd
51 bbedit
48 xulrunner
21 ps
16 proj
15 kill
10 man
10 locate
9 ssh

 Posted by at 10:52 AM
Apr 082008

I’m starting to get antsy for an iPhone, but need to wait for it to be 3G.  It’s kind of weird.  I get cranky when I’m out someplace with my iPod touch and don’t have access to a WiFi connection for Internet access.

I find it quite enjoyable to do mail and the web on it — except for the limitations on when and where I can use it.  I’m pretty confident now that I’ll be one of the losers waiting in line early before the release in order to be among the first to get one.  I’m awfully eager to get one.

It’s gotten to the point where I wholly resent my Treo for being large, cumbersome, and unpleasant to use by comparison.  This is a sad state of affairs given that only a year and a half ago, I called it the coolest gadget I’d ever seen.

 Posted by at 4:38 PM
Apr 082008

I just finished adding some sample code to the article “The Thread Manager“, which covers the new threading support added to Gecko 1.9.  It’s a pretty simple example, but it does show how you go about creating and running tasks on background threads, which should be a big help for folks.

It occurs to me suddenly, as I write this just now, that the reason my blog posts are often short is because they tend to just be pointers to larger content in the Mozilla Developer Center wiki.  So really, I’m writing a lot more than it seems like if you just look at my blog.

 Posted by at 3:59 PM
Apr 042008

The new entertainment center is now all set up, with the exception of ongoing tweaking to the configuration of the Logitech universal remote I bought. It sure is a nice setup.

Eventually I need to come up with a plan to hook up and place the surround speakers. I left them off for now because the wires we have aren’t long enough to position them properly.

 Posted by at 9:55 AM