Wengo Preview

Daniel Glazman hooked me up a few days ago with a preview of the OpenWengo extension for Firefox he’s been working on. It didn’t work with a build of mine (likely my fault), but did of course work with Firefox 1.5.0.1 which I tested with. I’m on very limited bandwidth here, and voice quality was very good in the limited testing I did. That was not only subject to my terrible connection, but had a trans-Atlantic hop, so it’s likely the worst case scenario most users will ever experience when using VoIP. It seems stable, and has a very well designed UI. The Dialpad UI (featured below) did strike me as a little basic (just regular buttons for numbers), but it’s an early build, I wouldn’t be surprised if that gets a little better looking over time. Address book is similar to Thunderbird in what it includes. Personally I’d love to see it support reading Thunderbird’s address book.

At this point the UI option for chat and SMS are implemented, but the feature itself doesn’t exist. He’s now working on chat right now, so I suspect we’ll see that soon. It looks like it’s pretty standard from the screenshot he provides.

Hopefully OpenWengo will work with GoogleTalk in the near future.

Overall, I think it’s got strong potential to beat Skype. I haven’t yet tested it’s Firewall skills (I’ll post again when I see how it does in this test). Provided it can meet/beet Skype with Firewalls, the biggest problem would be getting enough users to be useful. Working with Google Talk would be a big step in that direction.

Below are some screenshots I took:

Login Menu Wengo Address Card 20060131_wengo_buddies.png 20060131_wengo_dialpad.png

Trolling is getting out of hand

The vast majority of Internet users are by far peaceful, sharing, and helpful. This especially holds true for the Mozilla Community. Though recently there seems to be a surge in the amount of Trolls parading around, and quite frankly, it needs to stop.

Daniel Glazman had to shut off comments a few months ago. Asa’s also been fighting this war.

Recently I wrote a rebuttal to a rather bogus article that made up “myths” in order to spread FUD. The author then retaliated like he has on many other sites by posting under several assumed names to rally his point of view (I’ve verified this thanks to David Hammond‘s help, who btw picked out the bogus comments just by eye). The author has been banned from numerous blogs/forums including Mozillazine for spamming his poorly researched articles and using false identities to create his own fan base.

Recently he’s decided to step things up by falsely using Asa as an endorsement. FYI he’s also using me as an endorsement by pulling my words out of context (just ellipse over the bad part) to make it look like I approve of the content rather than view it as an interesting fictional work. Here’s more on the topic. Yes he’s been asked to remove it or correct it so that it accurately reflects my intent when it was written. Making it appear as if Asa is against the very product he works so hard for, is just wrong (I can assure you Asa is a Firefox fan or he wouldn’t be doing as much as he does).

I’m somewhat pissed to see someone would go that far as a troll. I’ve even debated the idea of creating a blacklist, so we can collaborate and just block these individuals. I advocate people telling what sucks about Firefox (I wrote the reporter tool explicity so users can tell us what problems they encounter). But this childish trolling is just problematic. I’d question the legality of mis-representing someone, as well as the use of bogus names when leaving comments (may now be illegal).

I really hate to waste bandwidth with this type of stuff, but looking at other blogs recently, it’s becoming a real problem.

Stick to Certified WiFi Gear

Gartner is warning against early adoption of 802.11n citing the need for more testing, and waiting for the specs to be truly finalized before adoption (likely 2007).

I couldn’t agree with them more. 802.11 gear is only good if the devices are “Certified” (not to be confused with “Compatible”). I’d bet that 90% of problems people have with wireless gear is simply because they choose “Compatible” rather than “Certified”. One meaning the manufacturer feels it’s good enough, the other meaning it’s up to the specifications.

I really don’t believe in “Turbo Mode”, and all these other proprietary addons to WiFi hardware. They can’t even get the basics right (look many still aren’t Certified).

Early on (I think it was 2001) I started playing with some early Linksys hardware, uncertified. A real drag. As soon as I started putting Certified equipment in place, the certified equipment worked flawlessly, while non-certified gear still had occasional problems. Now I’m only buying certified hardware, and everything runs very nicely. You especially see problems with non-certified gear when mixing brands. Right now I have 3 different WiFi Adapters connecting to an Access Point from yet another vendor. Not a problem.

A word of the wise, if you insist on reliability, always get certified. You can lookup your products here to see if they are.

Private DNS Address Space

RFC 1918 defines the following IP blocks as designated for private intranets:

10.0.0.0 – 10.255.255.255 (10/8 prefix)
172.16.0.0 – 172.31.255.255 (172.16/12 prefix)
192.168.0.0 – 192.168.255.255 (192.168/16 prefix)

I think it’s about time we have the same thing for DNS, for example:

.dev
.intra

The logic is as follows.

.dev for intranet based development instances of a site. For example this website’s dev instance on my intranet is robert.accettura.dev.

.intra for intranet url’s such as yourdomain.intra. This can be used for any intranet purpose (internal homepage, email system, blogs, wiki, etc.).

This is a much more logical system than using intranet DNS servers to hijack a domain for internal purposes, or reserving subdomains for the purpose.

Someone should go pester ICANN about such a standard. Btw: .local is stupid, if it’s local, it’s localhost.

Reporter NextGen

Just a little status update for the curious. I’ve been hacking away at reporter quite a bit lately, after a little break. I discussed my plans a few months ago. My tree now has the ability to send an image of the page I’m reporting to my dev instance of the reporter server. This will make it much easier for us to see what users are trying to tell us.

I’ve also worked on a few of the smaller UI quirks in the client and suggestions given, more will be taken care of before 2.0.

I’ve been spending the bulk of the time on the server, with enhancements (flexible query result table, multiple output formats, next/prev navigation for reports among others), and making it a bit more flexible. For quite a while my dev instance was really buggy, at this point it’s looking pretty good. As soon as I finish with screenshot support, and getting the bugs out of all the stuff that’s been touched, my plans are to make it work better with bugzilla (associate reports with bugzilla bugs). That will make it much easier to go through the data and see what’s acknowledged, and what’s new.

The other big thing I want to do is re-order the query page a bit so that it’s more logically setup and easier to understand if you’ve never used the system before. I’ve got some ideas for grouping. When I get a chance, I’ll make some mock-ups and post them for some feedback. I’ve even been considering a little AJAX to help enhance things a bit in that respect.

One step at a time.

Cairo Builds

As Stuart mentions work on cairo/thebes builds has progressed quite a bit lately. I tried a build the other day, and I think it was the first build I’ve seen that could be used as a browser (previous builds I’ve seen were almost unusable due to rendering issues). At times it seemed graphics were loading a little slow, and there were a few small UI quirks (spacing for fonts is sometimes odd, pull down menu’s sometimes are to thin, and other little things), but it’s functional. I’m writing this post using the build right now.

Really cool to see this progress. Last time I played with one of these builds, it was pretty ugly. Can’t wait to see what this looks like in a few months.

100,000 reports and counting

20060121_reporter100k.png

Reporter has received report #100,000! The first report came in 2005-05-15 10:12:07 PST. Now at we have report 100,000 reports and counting in the database.

And we’re not done. I’ve been going through the data, as well as making reporter better so we can get more out of the data. We’ll be allowing users to [opt-in and] submit screenshots soon. A new improved version of the webtool will allow for better analysis of the data. That’s what’s to come in this next development cycle.

I wanted to stay up for 100k, but it was to late for me. Oh well.

Did I mention our users rock for participating and letting us know what bugs them?