On Not | Mo Chit

April 30, 2004

Standards Roadmap Mezzoblue has a great article on how to teach yourself to be standards compliant. Full of great advice on design strategies, plenty of books and sites to get you started, and already a slurry of comment additions. This blog has some ways to go before it's compliant. I better get started.
Posted by Wes at 05:06 PM

April 28, 2004

Kyoto Andy's 1362 pictures during his two week vacation fell just slightly short of his original goal of 2000 pictures. However, the results speak for themselves. See the full Kyoto in Springtime gallery.

crw_3221_2_thm.jpg crw_2858_2_thm.jpg
crw_3394_2_thm.jpg crw_2943_2_thm.jpg

Previously from Andy:
Where would you rather be?
Night Scenes
Posted by Dudley at 02:34 AM

April 27, 2004

Lies, damn lies, and screenshots
Eizo Monitor Scoble is under the impression that I have some huge, piece of junk CRT on my desk, and so I can't tell the difference between the anti-aliasing on XP and OS X. Well, good Sir, I'll have you know that I have a rather nice Eizo L675 as my primary monitor for both boxes. If using an LCD is the baseline in our unscientific comparison, then I think I'm in a position to give my completely unauthoritative opinion.

Scoble also says that he pulled up the yesterday's screenshots on his TabletPC, and that the anti-aliasing looks far better for the Windows fonts. I have no way of confirming or denying this point. However, I'm a little skeptical since the TabletPC isn't doing any anti-aliasing of the fonts in the screenshots. I guess I may have to go to my local Microsoft Store and see for myself.

However, I think my initial objection to Scoble's claim about ClearType still stands. Using my XP Box and OS X Panther install, I can't see such a remarkable difference in anti-aliasing to say that ClearType is "FAR, FAR" better. That's just FUD.
Posted by Dudley at 12:45 PM

April 26, 2004

The "what were you thinking" version of Gush. Wes and I recently spoke at the Northeastern chapter of the ACM about developing Gush. We managed to find and show the original version of Gush that we demo'ed at the very first JabberCon in Colorado nearly 3 years ago. Wesley managed to sneak into this picture, but of course was left out of the description (Wes is the guy on the very right).

Every time we pull up this version of Gush, we have to hold our heads in shame. However, it's worth noting that Wes was slugging away with Flash 5 at that stage. I was also at the early stages of my Python programming career. The worst part of the whole thing is that we created a custom, ad-hoc protocol for messaging between the Python service and the Flash front-end.

Below is the login screen. No SSL, no SASL, no proxy support, and no inline registration.
gush_old_login_small.jpg

Here's a message window. Looks pretty, doesn't it? Well, you couldn't resize it. Heck couldn't resize any of it. We kind of glossed over that detail at the time.
gush_old_message_small.jpg

Wes and I had this great idea that the away message for a person would be on the "back" of the window. So, if you click on the window, it would flip the textarea over and you'd see your away message and the other person's away message.
gush_old_transition_small.jpg


In many ways, that version of Gush was similar to our 1989 Corolla that barely made it up to Keystone, CO where the conference was held.
Posted by Dudley at 09:53 PM
This aggression will not stand. Scoble is of the opinion that ClearType somehow is vastly superior to OS X's anti-aliasing. I don't know what his Kool-aid is laced with, but that's not what I'm seeing over here.

Disclaimer: I don't know enough about typography and anti-aliasing to express anything other than my novice opinion. I also am no fan of Apple, per se.

Here are some screenshots that I took on my Windows XP box and our G4 machine.

antialias_comparison_2.jpg

antialias_comparison_1.jpg
Looks like Windows completely chokes on anti-aliasing Japanese text, or that's one absolute crap anti-aliasing job. The first picture is different story. The windows anti-aliasing isn't terrible but I'm reluctant to hand it a win, and I'm certainly not going to say that it's "FAR, FAR" better than the anti-aliasing on OS X.

Anyway, like Judge Judy says, "Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining."

Updates:
Scoble replies.
I try to get in the last word..
Posted by Dudley at 03:40 PM
RSS Reader Improvement
bulb.jpgJoe Hildebrand, the big thinker over at Jabber.com, made a great suggestion about Gush's news reader. In the next release, you'll be able to open a feed and start pressing the space bar to auto-scroll to the next item. This works wonders if you're moving through a feed. For now we have this new gem all to ourselves, but we promise not to be selfish.
Posted by Dudley at 02:17 AM
inter'mission
The movie poster for intermission.Some people live and breathe code, but Wes and I take it like medicine. So, we decided that the beta is out and we could take a slight break. We headed down to Cable Car to catch a showing of inter'mission. Wow, talk about finally seeing a good movie after just loads of Hollywood crap. After spending the first 5 minutes, deciphering the dialog of what barely seems English, we enjoyed the story of mixed up lives in Ireland. Heck, we even forgot about the dude playing his guitar at the beginning of the show (not half bad), and the old, beat-up coach seating (pretty comfy, actually).
Posted by Dudley at 12:15 AM

April 21, 2004

Gush for OS X
gush-osx-screenshot-thumb.jpg

The OS X Beta of Gush is finally here. Things were moving slowly while I was trying to figure out Cocoa and PyObjC at the same time. I have to hand it to the PyObjC people, they've done a great job.

Unfortunately, the OS X version only works under Panther. I think it has to do with the fact that I'm using Python built on Panther. A cursory glance showed that Python requires some symbols in a dynamic library that's only on Panther. Oh well.

The most exciting thing about this release is the drag & drop of feeds, feed items, and contacts onto message windows. A lot of people liked the fact that Gush is both a RSS newsreader as well as an IM application. However, if sharing information between the two parts is very manual then it really lessens that "synergy." Anyway, this is certainly not the end of the road in terms of integration between RSS and IM.

The best part about this release is that we can finally move onto some of the other exciting features we have planned. The trick is to be able to get the features rolled out in a reasonable amount of time.
Posted by Dudley at 07:41 PM

April 18, 2004

Blogger Con II - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly First of all, you'll notice that this entry doesn't come while bloggercon is actually happening, but the day after. Thanks to their choice of using an adhoc wireless network, there were plenty who couldn't get on the network all day, including us. Adhoc mode is for military vehicles out in the desert, not this!

The first session we attended was Lisa Williams' "Visions from Users," where the audience discussed what features they wanted in the next generation of blogging tools. It seemed that most of the bloggers there were writing their own tools and few had heard of or use the more popular tools, since many of the features suggested are already features! One poor soul wondered aloud if the browser was coming to an end, failing to realize, among other things, that almost all news readers out there use embedded browsers.

Next it was off to "Blogging in Business" headed by David Weinberger. Most of the discussion was centered around who would be blogging at companies and how long would it take before corporate blogging became mainstream. Most thought it would be a number of years before it really catches on. Stowe Boyd made a good point, saying that companies need to read and understand blogs before they can start doing it themselves. Most of the corporate blogging today is done by CEO's or by company employees with there skin deep, "these are my own views" disclaimers. Then there's the question of whether this kind of censored or monitored blogging is really blogging at all? I say, if you're blogging between 9 and 5, it's not a blog, unless your boss doesn't want you to do it.

Right after the session we noticed that we had missed Dan Gillmor's discussion on Presidential Blogging, which I hear was quite interesting. After lunch it was off to Shirky's Power Law with Philip Greenspun. Arguments of which metrics are best to rate blogs and of how to make the A-list ensued, but probably the most useful observation is that there are many A-lists, with bloggers being popular amongst their niche without being generally popular. For example, Going Nohwere is no doubt on the A-list of unread blogs. I can say with confidence that more people do not read us than do. Frankly I don't see why bloggers are so concerned with their blog rank. I would hope that most people start blogging for reasons other than popularity.

We ended up leaving early, opting not to attend the last session on religion, but all in all the topics and comments were interesting with a few entertaining attendees thrown in the mix.
Posted by Wes at 03:21 PM

April 17, 2004

BloggerCon II -- The Return of Dave Wes and I are going to BloggerCon II tomorrow because we're in Providence, Boston's backyard. The conference starts damn early, but we'll try to be on time. To be honest, I'm not too excited about the Dave Winer rendition of the national anthem, but hopefully what follows will make up for it. Let's get one thing straight, the most compelling reason why Wes and I are going to Boston is because we'll be close to the only Jamba Juice in a hundred mile radius -- it's going to make the yappity-yap-yap go over a lot easier in our sleep deprived state of mind. There's also the temptation to blog a blow-for-blow account of the conference, but then we don't really know for how long we'll be at Jamba Juice.
Posted by Dudley at 12:18 AM

April 09, 2004

ALA: relative font sizes Something I've been meaning to add to the blog. Bojan Mihelac has a short and sweet article on how to make your site more accessible by including relative font sizes. The article also has all the css, html, javascript you need to get the job done.
Posted by Wes at 04:55 PM
Tell her like it is!
ShitBitchBear.jpg A little late for valentines, but still a great gift for that special someone.
The Shit Bitch Bearô has been proven to increase response and lower inhibitions of recipients
Now who couldn't use some of that.
Posted by Wes at 04:26 PM
Seinfeld & Superman Are hanging out together in a very funny and clever marketing campaign from American Express. The site is nicely done in flash with good attention to detail, check it out.
Posted by Wes at 04:08 PM

April 01, 2004

Flash: TextFormat to HTML Have you ever wanted to see the HTML representation of a TextFormat object without having to go and create a textfield, set the format, and then get the htmlText?

Well the code below creates a single hidden textfield and then calling fmtToHtml takes care of all the details:
//create a default textformat
var $DefaultFmt = new TextFormat("Times New Roman",12,0x000000,false,
                                 false,false,"","","left",0,0,0,0);

//create the hidden textfield
_root.createTextField("$ConvTxt",-10,0,0,0,0);

//initialize it
var $ConvTxt = _root.$ConvTxt;
$ConvTxt.visible = false;
$ConvTxt.html = true;

//takes an input string and format and converts it to html
_global.fmtToHtml = function(txt:String,fmt:TextFormat):String {
  //asign text
  $ConvTxt.text = txt;
  //reset all formating
  $ConvTxt.setTextFormat($DefaultFmt);
  //apply new format
  $ConvTxt.setTextFormat(fmt);
        
  return $ConvTxt.htmlText;
}
You'll notice that before applying the TextFormat, it's first reset with a default format. This is necessary because when apply a new TextFormat, it is merged with the existing format. For example if the currently applied format had the bold property set to true, and you applied a new format without explicitly setting bold to false, the resulting format would still be bold.
Posted by Wes at 04:51 PM

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