magpiebrain

Sam Newman's site, a Consultant at ThoughtWorks

Archive for ‘July, 2003’

“Javaworld”:http://www.javaworld.com/ has an article on JSP best practices. Some of it may be no-brainer stuff to JSP developers out there, but I did find some things of interest – the coverage of “JSP Documents”:http://www.onjava.com/pub/a/onjava/2001/11/28/jsp_xml.html as opposed to normal JSP pages, however the lack of standard comments for JSP Documents is a real pain.

Related to my previous post on a plugin request for automatic acronym generation, I found a post over at “Dive Into Mark”:http://diveintomark.org/ concerning the use of the “MTMacro plugin”:http://www.bradchoate.com/past/mtmacros.php to generate them. Thank you “Mark”:http://diveintomark.org/ and “Brad”:http://www.bradchoate.com/. Expect it to be working on this blog by tonight.

quickSub is an opensource Javascript popup, designed to allow people to add the ability to quickly subscribe to a feed. Its a little too in-your-face for my money – the popup triggers when you rollover an icon, and you have to click a link to close it. A better method would be to have the click trigger the popup. That said its designed to be used on the standard feed XML button – still I might look at adding it to this blog as a normal hyperlink.

Rather than actually playing “Planetside”:http://www.planetside.com tonight, I have instead satisfied myself by watching the movies created from in-game footage over at “Malvision”:http://www.malvision.com/. Its had the effect of making me want to play right now, however whilst the mind is willing, the flesh is extermely tired…

If you haven’t been already, you really should checkout the “CSS(Cascading Style Sheets) Zen Garden”:http://www.csszengarden.com/. The brainchild of “Dave Shea”:http://www.mezzoblue.com/, its a site with a number of high quality CSS(Cascading Style Sheets) designs showing what CSS(Cascading Style Sheets) can achieve in today’s browsers.

Before I started working on the aforementioned template for (N)Echo 0.1, I thought I’d better check to see if anyone else has done it. Sure enough I came across a “template”:http://remy.csoft.net/archives/000376.php by “Dan Dickinson”:http://remy.csoft.net/. His template requires the use of a couple of MT(Movable Type) plugins, namely “LastModified”:http://www.staggernation.com/mtplugins/LastModifiedReadMe.html and “MTPerlScript”:http://www.bradchoate.com/past/mtperlscript.php. I’ll install these when I’m feeling less tired – right now I’m knackered from a rather enjoyable weekend in Whitstable. This template is based on Sam Ruby’s “snapshot”:http://www.intertwingly.net/blog/1506.html of the current 0.1 specification for (N)Echo.
Update: Feed now implemented – you’ll find it on the startbar.

I’d like to use acronyms properly. The textile plugin makes it relatively easy for me to enter them, I simply have to specify them in the form @CSS(Cascading Style Sheets)@ to the to display properly. However I use the same acronyms time and time again – it would be nice if a new MovableType plugin (or even the current Textile plugin) could store a list of know acronyms and insert the code as required…I might post this on the “MovableType boards”:http://www.movabletype.org/support/, chances are someones already done it! Either than or I might have to dig my “Perl”:http://www.perl.org/ books out of storage again.

Over at “evolt.org”:http://www.evolt.org/ “Peter-Paul Koch”:http://www.evolt.org/user/ppk/380/index.html has an “in-depth article”:http://www.evolt.org/article/Browser_Wars_II_The_Saga_Continues/25/60181/index.html giving a good overview the current state of the browser market.
The article reiterates some points I’ve seen a few people making now, specifically with regards to the alleged state of the layout engine in IE 6:

Why is Microsoft unwilling to fix the CSS bugs that everyone’s been asking it to fix for ages? I think it’s not unwilling but unable to do so. Explorer’s code engine cannot be updated any more.

Sooner or later, browser makers run into the limitations of their programs. Their large libraries have a tendency to grow fat and hard to change, especially when they must incorporate functionalities that weren’t foreseen when the original program was written.

PPK has IE 7 being released in a couple of years at best. I think he is being optimistic. IE 7 may well arrive earlier, but the idea of MS investing in a layout engine rewrite for a product which whoever you speak to already has a minimum of 90% market share? Unless of course they port the “Tasman layout engine”:http://www.xml.com/pub/r/76 from MacIE…..but that is looking “increasing unlikely”:http://tantek.com/log/2003/06.html#endofmacie.
He also picks up on what I believe is one of the real reasons AOL picked up Netscape in the first place – namely that it didn’t want to be held to ransom by MS for use of IE in the AOL software – Netscape was used as a constant threat hovering over any negotiations between the two companies. Does anyone else find it a strange coincidence that soon after MS and AOL “sign an agreement”:http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,59039,00.html that states AOL can use IE royalty free for seven years that they also quietly put the Mozilla project out to pasture? Of course, they “chuck them a bone”:http://www.mozilla.org/press/mozilla-foundation.html in the form of some continual funding in the knowledge that should they need that particular bargaining chip again they won’t have to go looking too far.
PPK dismisses Opera a little too quickly:

The future looks distinctly bleak for Opera. Nonetheless, it has time and again shown its resourcefulness and flexibility. Despite all prophecies of doom it still shows no signs of retiring from the race. It may survive, even though it has to be content with being backup Viable Alternative.

Here he completely ignores Operas increasingly good mobile browsers – perhaps the biggest growth area in terms of browser usage. If the use of mobile devices continues to take off you could well see Opera becoming a serious contender, or at least a browser worthy of consideration.