Jun 302008

We now have the new version of MDC up and ready for experimenting with.

A few things to note before I provide the URL:

  • Changes made on the test server will not be ported back to the real database.
  • The database installed on the test server is several weeks old.
  • The help and certain other content, particularly in the MDC: hierarchy, has not been updated yet to reflect the switch from MediaWiki to MindTouch Deki.
  • Changes made on the test server will not be ported back to the real database.
  • We don’t yet have the localized skins in place, so if your language isn’t English, you’ll see little bits of English here and there.
  • Changes made on the test server will not be ported back to the real database.
  • This is not installed on the final hardware, which will be somewhat higher capacity.

I’d appreciate it if folks would thump on it for a while. Try doing some edits, browse around, search, and so forth.

I’ll be on vacation for the next week but will be peeking at my email to see if there are any crises, and will provide assistance where I can if people get confused by the new system. I’ll be updating the help and so forth soon. Might touch it a bit while I’m on vacation, but I hope I can make myself wait until I get home. :)

The URL is: http://devmo.dekiwiki.mozilla.org/.

 Posted by at 9:49 PM
Jun 272008

We continue to make gradual headway toward deploying the new MindTouch Deki based MDC. After some back and forth, we decided to go with a slightly revised version of the skin that doesn’t attempt to customize the editor’s toolbar. While we had hoped to have the custom toolbar at launch, there are logistical issues with managing the source tree when patching the core Deki code, so we’re going to wait until later. MindTouch is working on a solution to make the toolbar customizable without patching it, so hopefully that will come along before long.

We have one more issue to resolve and then I believe we’ll be rolling the final code out to our test server at last. Once that happens, I’ll be posting a link in various places so folks can try things out.

At this point my goal is to get the test server thrown open for people to try before I go on vacation for the Independence Day holiday, and then throw the switch and migrate MDC to the new software in mid-July. I think that’s achievable.

Before I leave on my vacation, I’ll be posting the information about how to localize the skin. People that intend to work on localization of the Deki skin should contact me so I can make sure they get set up with access to the files. If you haven’t already filled out the CVS/SVN contributor’s form and filed the corresponding bugs, you should do so, CCing me on the bug.

In other news, my paper that I plan to submit to the Wikis for Software Engineering workshop at WikiSym is now in its third draft and is I think pretty close to finished. I hope to submit that before I leave on vacation, as well, since July will be a very busy month for me involving a great deal of travel.

 Posted by at 3:27 PM
Jun 242008

I’ll definitely be attending WikiSym 2008 this September 8-10 in Portugal. I’m quite looking forward to it. It’s the first time in a while that I’ve gone to a conference particularly focused to my areas of expertise and interest. I look forward to interacting with others whose professional lives revolve so heavily around wikis the way mine does.

While the deadline for papers for the conference has passed, they’re still accepting papers for the Wikis for Software Engineering workshop, so I’m going to write one up about what we do at Mozilla and submit that. I’m quite eager to participate in any way I can.

 Posted by at 8:58 PM
Jun 242008

We’re about a week out from the end of the second quarter, and since my goal for this quarter (other than, you know, the Firefox 3 documentation — that little thing) is to get the MDC upgrade rolled out, I’m hoping quite fervently that it will be done in that time. Time will tell.

The progress so far this week has been good. The skin is now in SVN. I’m waiting for confirmation that our ever-so-slightly customized MindTouch Deki is in SVN as well. I’ve posted to the localization folks asking them to get set up to localize the skin, so hopefully that will be underway in the next day or two.

After that, the big tasks are pulling a new update of Deki that fixes a couple of bugs, then another round of testing before we launch. There’s other stuff to do, but those are the major items, I believe.

In other news, someone pointed out to me a very interesting-sounding conference on wikis that I think I’d like to attend this September: WikiSym 2008. I’m working on making arrangements to attend. It looks like I might be too late to do so, but I’m looking into offering a paper as well, if it’s not. There is a little contradictory information about the deadline for submissions; I’ve sent off email asking for details and am awaiting a response.

 Posted by at 1:40 AM
Jun 202008

In the past year, we’ve blown through four routers. They keep failing on us, usually right around the same time we have a cluster of outages with our cable modem service provider.

Is it possible that the cable modem is somehow damaging the routers plugged into it? I have no idea, but it seems hard to believe that so many routers — each a different brand — would be defective.

 Posted by at 8:00 AM
Jun 192008

I’m looking forward to putting to the test the things I learned while working on the Firefox 3 documentation as work begins on the developer documentation for Firefox 3.1.

My first effort along those lines is that I’m going to try to keep the Firefox 3.1 for developers page organized from the get-go, instead of letting it turn into a jumbled mishmash; there were times during which the Firefox 3 page got a little out of hand. It eventually required a massive overhaul that took me a few days to finish up. I hope to avoid that this time around.

Of course, Firefox 3.1 won’t be the enormous project that Firefox 3 was, so this won’t be a real stress test of my plans, but I do look forward to the trial run.

In general, I really enjoy the early stages of the documentation work on a project. There’s no pressure, no rush, and you find yourself learning new and interesting things without having to rush so fast that you miss details.

 Posted by at 6:02 PM
Jun 192008

As soon as Sarah gets off her currently ongoing phone call, I’m going to call AT&T and see if I can get DSL service here. Their web site tells me that I can’t, but I have neighbors that have it, so I’m hoping that it’s just a glitch in their system.

Charter has gone offline four times in the past week, for as long as 15 hours. I’m fed up with it.

I sure hope AT&T can hook us up. I’m getting tired of having to deal with outages when I’m trying to get work done.

 Posted by at 3:33 PM