Stylesheet fun

Here’s valid XHTML Transitional of a webpage.

Several individuals a while back commented on my last design as being “old”, “stale”, etc. So if anyone wants to design a stylesheet, or just wants to see where I am right now, that’s it. Yes I know the logo is a dead image, but the logo depends on the design itself a bit.

If anyone’s stylesheet is actually chosen as a primary (or alternate) design, you’ll of course get a mention here, and on the website during the initial relaunch. Need printable, PDA, etc.

All submissions become my irrevocable transferable property, you get credit in the stylesheet’s source (don’t go crazy, size is important)… So if your an aspiring designer, feel free to hack away.

Or if you just have a few comments on a “feel” or usability issue, I of course welcome that as well. I’m serious, I read them, and take them into consideration. People gave lots of good feedback on previous projects I’ve done, so once again I do it. It’s proven to be quite effective in getting better quality.

So. Feel free to leave a comment (or drop an email, as I know so many seem afraid of leaving public comments here).

Thanks to all.

Categories Hardcore

I’m starting to get hardcore into Development, starting what will be the final development push.

Today I implemented MD5 encryption across all logins the system performs. It’s deployed and in production at the time. Also did a few other weeks to the authentication system while I’m in there.

I’m strongly considering going with XHTML for a design scheme for the following reasons:

  • Main target is Mac OS X (duh), and majority of browsers are compliant (Safari, Mozilla, IE 5).
  • Enhance support for wireless devices
  • Bandwidth savings

Anyone want to comment on that decision (still pending), drop me a line, or leave me a comment here.

Also on the agenda this week is some cleanup. I’ve got scripts that have been working since 2000 without me touching them. Some I even forgot they existed 🙂 Great that they work so well, but I keep stumbling upon them. Needless to say, each one poses a delay, as I have to figure them out again, decide if they stay or go, and deal with them appropriately. Hopefully not to many left.


Mozilla News

So much to touch on, and not much time.

From the minutes

– Firefox fans burned down the FTP farm

Perhaps it’s time for to setup a few slots for “the regulars’, devs and dedicated beta testers, so they can continue work regardless of release schedule. It’s the second release that took me a half day to actually get a copy. And if Mozilla gets more popular, it’s going to be even worse. Just a thought. Perhaps in the future FTP will be more stable.

– ~73K downloads yesterday, 30K Failures [due to capacity issues]


– Major Corporate Sponsor agreed to let us use their FTP server farm –
we now have 3 more servers in the mirror network than we did before
– One of the four servers in her network was actually down yesterday,
that is why the issue with failures

Hmm. Who is the Major Corporate Sponsor? Just curious. Red Hat, IBM, SCO (just kidding 😉 I know how sensitive everyone is to those 3 letters)?

Thunderbird News

mscott released a experimental build of Thunderbird with bayes enhancements. I’ll give it a try, but I’m currently reverting back to 0.4 for a day, in hopes of isolating a file locking bug I think I’ve stumbled upon. More on that later if I find anything out.


Finally a project for the masses

Pornzilla is back. Horray!

Even for the non-porn viewers out there (If there is anyone out there). A few of these features are quite useful. I use several on NASA’s website. Some of his bookmarklets are amazingly useful.

In particular, I would love to see the Zoom In, and Zoom Out bookmarlets integrated into Firefox to enhance the current scaling ability of images. Perhaps through the right click, or a menu on mouseover? In any regard. extremely useful. I highly recommend all check out what’s there, as I think I will be using most of them (for their intended purpose or not ;-)).


Open Sourcing some goodies

Over the years, I’ve written quite a few scripts, and other fun goodies. Some are used, some I’ve got in production for years, and literally forgot about. And some have never been used. I’m looking in my vault of code, and have quite a few of these little things hanging about.

I’m seriously considering publishing what I have for all who want to use (mostly under a typical Mozilla Tri-license scheme).

Biggest problem is that some need some cleanup, and a few could be written a bit better. So it is a time investment. Perhaps when I get some free time and feel like coding a bit, I’ll put them all together.

Also look for a new XHTML version of this site to come soon. I’ve been lazy, and never finished it after I started, but I do think I”m going to get to it sooner than later. A lot slimmer. And that’s what we all like. Not to mention I want to add some new alternative stylesheets.

In The News

If only I had the cash

I’d own me a Blue Angel.

How sweet it would be to buy an F/A-18A on ebay.

My favorite aircraft ever.


HTTP Decompression Bombs

Interesting find here. Just FYI.


Microsoft Soure Code Leaked

Various sources are claiming that Microsofts Windows 2000 and Windows NT source code has been leaked.

Should be interesting to see how much code they ripped off of Linux. Perhaps even SCO!

Would also be interesting to see how many security issues are found in their already-proven-vulnerable code. Hackers find hundreds without the source. With the source, I’d expect 10X the security risks.

On another note, someone seems to have posted the source code to Apple’s Darwin 😉


Foxy Lady

FireFox… I think I love you…

I wanna take you home
I won’t do you no harm, no
You’ve got to be all mine, all mine
Ooh, foxy lady

Here I come
I’m comin’ to get ya
Foxy lady
You look so good
Yeah, foxy
Yeah, give us some
Yeah, get it, babe
You make me feel like
Feel like sayin’ foxy
Foxy lady
Foxy lady

Seriously. Awesome release. 0.8 feels like a 1.0 already. can’t wait to see what’s in store. My congrat’s and thanks to all who contributed for the great product.


Extensions… The Next Generation

I’ve begun thinking about what’s good, and what’s bad about extensions, and what I would ideally like to see. So I put together a somewhat brief analysis. Since now is about the time to start bringing about ideas for improvements, I figured I’d take a little stab at how to make extensions kick even more butt.

My goals and thinking were based on the following principles:

  • Users hate unnecessary steps. Less to do the better
  • Developers want users to upgrade extensions quick so they don’t have so many versions floating around

Enough background, here’s my proposal:


Should keep a log in a universal format, and a widget from within the application (FireFox, Thunderbird, NVU…) should be able to read and uninstall based on it’s info.

Version Checking

Each extension should have a manifest stating a URL where the application can check for updates to the extension. This way, like any other application, Mozilla apps can look for updates and tell the user when an update is available. Ideally these update URL’s would be hosted at and updated by a web ui that developers can signup for access to. Perhaps use a remote XML query interface to check for the version, and download URL. Once an update is found, it can be auto-downloaded, and prompt the user if they wish to update now (or later). When prompting, it will tell what version is installed, what the new version is, and changes since the last major release.

Smart Clean-installer

It’s a pain needing to find the extensions we use on a daily basis again and again after each install. End users don’t want to bother either. With the above Version Checking interface, perhaps the XPinstall can save read a master manifest saved by the application, clean the install directory, then once installing the new product, read the manifest and download the extensions previously installed. This way, users can upgrade to the latest and most stable version, without having to find those nifty extensions again and again.

Regarding that manifest and it’s XML query interface, here’s what I imagine it holding:

Name | Version | Version Check URL | Author | Homepage | Date Released

Master manifest would contain each extensions manifest in one large file.

XML Query Interface:
Name | Current Version | Min Mozilla Version Supported | Max Mozilla
Version Supported | Version Override Allowed | Date Released | Homepage | Author | Changes

This of course would be accessed remotely by the application and processed in the background.

With the above info, the user could be told if the extensions supports their Mozilla version, what’s new, when it was released.

All in all the system would be rather inclusive. The user would no longer need to re-download their extensions every time. Nor would they need to check for updates.

It was discussed a while back to build a system that would from within Mozilla allow the user to browse a list of available extensions, then install them, all from within Mozilla, rather than search websites. A nice XUL based directory. That could be added at a later date to integrate with this proposal.

I think the above would prove rather nice. There’s an obvious benefit to the users, and to the developers, who get a smoother distribution channel.

Obviously the download URL could point to a script redirecting to a random mirror, allowing sites like to keep bandwidth costs down.

So, I leave my proposal in the public domain, in hopes that someone may read it, break it down, and perhaps enhance and improve upon my model.