March 2008

Lately… Wikitools and URLs.

Lately I've been trying to get The Lingwo Project's website online.  Its been going good, but I've been churning on the wiki for awhile now.  I am using the wikitools and pearwiki_filter modules.  Mainly, I want each wiki page to only be referred to by a single URL but in my current scheme it gets numerous slight variations.  This morning I posted a "Feature Request" describing the problem in detail.

Why the web?

Developing for the web sucks.  Things that should be easy are very hard.  It is alot like developing embedded applications in a very restricted environment with random, non-sensical limitations, only worse!  Worse, because its really like developing for several such ever-changing environments at once.

So, why do it?  Why subject yourself to that torture?  On the desktop, you have basically limitless capabilities with relative ease.  Its not as much of a moving target.  The easy things (with the right tools) are damn easy.

Well, when I put on my user hat, I love web applications.  I know that opinion isn't universal.  A lot of people still prefer desktop applications.  But a truly well crafted web-application, is for me, a joy to use.  And I love the open web.  Its a hyperlinking, cross-platform, mash-up-able free-for-all.

To summarize, I want to build applications that I would want to use.

Favorite Mozilla Bug

While I have Mozilla bugs on the brain, I figured I'd post my current favorite.  I periodically browse over to it to check on its progress.  Its a patch to add support for the HTML5 <video> tag:

According to the comments yesterday from the author, he's going to provide an updated version soon!

Firefox 3 beta 4

Firefox 3 beta 4 was just released!  I started testing beta 3 last month, but encountered what was a show-stopping bug for me:

When I ran beta 4, it told me that I needed a greater-than 2.10 version of Gtk+.  My distro (Debian Etch) has only 2.8.20.  So, still wanting to take it out for a drive, I compiled and installed Gtk 2.12.6.  Et voila!  Beta 4 worked without my previous problem!

That got me thinking... Maybe the problem was that I had with beta 3 was just a result of a too low Gtk+.  So, I tried running Beta 3 against the newer libraries and ... the problem wasn't there!

Thats when I discovered this in Bugzilla:

Audio recording on the web

One of the things I want to include in Memorati™, is the ability to record audio snippets to attach to flash cards. I've been thinking about this for a long time now. There are basically two parts to the problem:

  1. Getting permission to record from the clients microphone.
  2. Encoding the audio so it is small enough to send over the network.

Memorati revamp live! (and dijit.Dialog update)

Finally, the Memorati™ revamp is live! Now that the ground work is laid, expect lots of new community functionality! I'm also going to be begin setting up The Lingwo™ Project website so that I can begin separating the commercial and open source aspects of Memorati as I described earlier.

To follow-up on my dijit.Dialog comments (and here!), I ended-up abandoning my fork. I decided that the original positioning algorithm was acceptable, so my changes have simply boiled-down to:

// so I can use dialog.addChild(...)
dojo.extend(dijit.Dialog, dijit._Container.prototype);

// Called after first showing the dialog, to disable the ability to move it