Wishes do come true

Previously I wrote about my Mozilla wishlist. Apparently I spoke to soon on at least one count. While examining what it would take to adapt mozCC to support the Mozilla Suite, I ran across the DOM Inspector. The DOM Inspector is exactly what I asked for in the second point of my previous post: a way to dynamically examine how a document is constructed. And it ships with Mozilla by default! I’ve used Firebird for so long I guess I never thought to look at the Tools menu in Mozilla itself. As a beginning XUL developer I already see how useful this is. Examining and grepping the source works, but this lets you zero in on the piece you want to extend. Cool.

Now, about that event monitor…

date:2003-11-11 14:22:48

mozCC 0.5.3 Update

I’ve released another incremental upgrade to mozCC. You can find out more about mozCC here. This release (0.5.3) contains the following fixes/improvements:

  • the toolbar icon is added to the toolbar by default now (previously you had to customize the toolbar manually)
  • the toolbar icon is greyed out when the page contains no license information
  • the status bar icons have been recreated at 20×20 pixels, so they should appear cleaner
  • Public Domain licenses are now detected properly

The following items still need attention:

  • URIs in the details window should be clickable (anyone who knows how to embed things in XULs ‘s should email me. Please.)

I’m also hoping to add compatibility with the Mozilla Suite. Anyway, give it a try and let me know how you like it (or don’t). The xpi is here.

date:2003-11-11 14:15:27

My Mozilla Wishlist

I’m working on some fixes/improvments to mozCC, and I’ve realized that there’s a few things that would make Mozilla development a lot easier.

First, a way to watch events as they happen. There are several instances where I know I want to respond to an event that the browser fires, but I’m not sure what to hook to. For example, switching tabs. In this case I was able to examine the tabbrowser.xul file and figure it out. But wouldn’t it be easier to just turn on event listening and see the events scroll by?

Second, a XUL introspector. If I want to know how the browser renders an element, it’d be real handy to have the ability to enter introspection mode and selectively reveal the XUL behind an element. Again, this can be accomplished through source exploration, but the idea here is convenience.

date:2003-11-10 10:54:07

mozCC 0.5.1 Update

I’ve built a new XPI for MozCC which incorporates fixes for some of the bugs reported to me last week. In particular this release handles some cosmetic bugs. Changes include:

  • status bar icons change as appropriate when you switch between tabs
  • the details tree is expanded by default
  • the details tree actually has a title bar on Mac OS X
  • simple layout fixes to the details dialog

I still have a handful of bugs that need fixed, including the creation of new icons for the status bar. If you’re interested in helping with that, email me and I’ll let you know what’s needed. As always, feedback, comments, bug reports and criticism welcome.

date:2003-11-10 09:27:12

What a weekend

I never thought I’d say this, but I’m almost glad it’s Monday. Almost. The weekend was busy, but good I guess. Friday evening Garrett and I had supper with Matt and Monica. A really nice evening of conversation. I’d sort of forgotten what times like that are like, so that was really enjoyable.

We spent Saturday cleaning the house in preparation for my family. My sister and brother in law were in town from Detroit, so my parents, both my sisters and their spouses came over for supper and to celebrate our birthdays. My sisters (twins) and I are 1 year, 362 days apart in age, so we’re forever cursed to share birthday celebrations. We gave each of my sisters a “day of beauty” gift certificate to a spa here in town. It was really enjoyable to see how excited they were. Of course, being the big brother, I had to write a little message on the envelope. Something to the effect of “a day of beauty for you… about time.” And they of course had to feign offense.

Sunday was spent doing homework. I was completely exhausted last night, but at least my research paper and assembly language project is done. The upside of doing my assembly project was that I got to use OmniGraffle to make the flowchart. I’ve owned my Mac for about two months now, and I’m consistently impressed with the fit and feel of applications from the OmniGroup. Every app should work as well.

So now I can hopefully get back to work on things I actually care about, like mozCC.

date:2003-11-10 08:50:38
category:my life

mozCC 0.5 Now Available

Testers, start your engines. I’ve just uploaded mozCC 0.5. mozCC is a Mozilla Firebird extension which groks Creative Commons licenses. You can find information about mozCC here. At this point it mostly works; see the project page for full details. Bug reports, suggestions and feedback are not only welcome but desired.

date:2003-11-06 14:53:29

The 30 Second Commons

With my recent work on ccValidator and mozCC, I’ve been faced with the challenge of communicating about my work to lay-people (my parents, siblings, therapist, partner, etc). In each of these cases, the people I’m talking to ask what I’ve been working on. They’re educated people who can synthesize information and form their own opinions, but as soon as I start talking about the Creative Commons, their eyes glaze over.

Now I think this has as much to do with the way I’m communicating as it does with their interest. I intuitively know what the CC is all about, but have trouble articulating it in the 30 second time slot they’ve mentally alotted me. I’m proud of and excited about what I’ve been working on, so I want them to be excited to. So I’ve been contemplating how to sum up the Creative Commons purpose and mission in 30 seconds. Basically two well structured, coherent sentences.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far (with thanks to the “Creative Commons: About Us page”:http://creativecommons.org/learn/aboutus/; have something better? Leave a comment, please.

“The Creative Commons works to expand the range of creative works available for others to build upon and share. It does this by building a layer of reasonable, flexible copyright options which steer a middle course between no artist protection and all rights reserved.”

date:2003-11-06 09:10:05

Guggenheim Museum

Simply amazing. Living in the mid-west, I love visiting modern art museums when I travel. My visit to San Francisco’s MOMA was the highlight of my trip to Oracle World last year. Now the Guggenheim has placed large amounts of their collection online. How cool. _(via megnut

date:2003-11-06 08:21:05

ccV Results Are Ugly

I was on campus last night and checked my e-mail between classes. One message was a ccValidator bug report, which contained a link to a result page. Since I use Linux at work and Linux/Mac OS X at home, I’d never actually seen my page in Internet Explorer. So I freely confess: the ccValidator results are damn ugly. I’ll have to do something about that.

date:2003-11-06 07:13:48

A Mostly Functional mozCC

Really, I’m as amazed as anyone else. I finally have a mostly functional version of mozCC working. It does the following:

  • displays CC license information in the status bar when you view a page with embedded RDF
  • provides a toolbar button which is enabled when the page contains embedded RDF
  • when you click the button, a dialog opens and displays the parsed RDF

And now for the obligatory screenshot |mozcc.png| (click to enlarge) which shows the Creative Commons home page. In the lower right you can see the (by) icon, indicating it requires attribution/notice. The dialog open shows part of the parsed RDF.

I still need to do some cleanup work in the display of RDF attributes and such. I’ll upload an XPI either this evening or tomorrow (depending how my Data Structures exam goes). The brave among you can check it out from CVS. As always, feedback is appreciated.

UPDATE (11/6/03 6:50AM): I’ve just committed updated xpi and jar files to CVS. If you want to test mozCC in it’s current state, download the xpi file from CVS and open it in Mozilla Firebird.

date:2003-11-05 13:50:03