BLOGical Thoughts Archive

February 2003

Friday, February 28, 2003

I worked on the HTML editor some more. Instead of a template use capability, the editor will come with a set of ready to use index pages. This is more flexible and easier to implement.

I have implemented the part of menu editing that reads the two menu files and displays them in the Preferences dialog. All that needs finishing is the implementation of the New, Change and Delete functions, and the saving of the results.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

I got a big piece of code change done in Spin-It Pro, my HTML editor. I have added an option to allow upper or lower case tags and properties in both the HTML editor and its attached style sheet editor. That involved changing about 80 percent of the source files for the editor, but I think the change was well worth the effort.

Tomorrow I will start on the last two pieces of the editor that need change. I plan to add a template capability and web tag menu editing. Should be loads of fun. Then the testing and documenting phase.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing has written a science fiction novel called 'Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom'. It is being released by Tor Books, but he has also posted it on the Web. He has it up in several formats, including HTML.

The lady that did the HTML version for him created a fixed page-size, frame-like version. You can't read it at all on a PDA - too much horizontal scrolling involved. So I took the text version and converted it to nice, plain-vanilla HTML, without the fancy styles. I will be contacting Cory to ask if he wants to put it up as a 'no-frills, Linux PDA viewable HTML' edition.

I have also put up three new Aprilia motorcycle pages on the Beaudry Motorsports web site. They are the SL 1000 Falco, ETV 1000 CapoNord and a motor scooter, the Atlantic 500. These pages are pretty easy to do, as they are just a picture and a text file with specs.

Having done all that, I figured why not do some work on the HTML editor? So I did - added a dialog for the ABBR tag. At the rate I am going, I won't be able to post this opus for a while.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

There is an article in Linux Format magazine about Realsoft 3D, a full-featured 3D modeling, rendering and animation software package from Realsoft. Sounds like an interesting program. I haven't looked at the animation samples, but the sample images are spectacular.

The fact that the program is compiled for both Windows and Linux systems is a definite plus. I understand that the Linux version is in beta. You can buy it and upgrade to the production version for free. Realsoft 3D for Linux is not that pricey for all that it does. If I had an extra 300 Euros, I might give it a try.

Who is it that is really the head of the U.S. government? Is it a President, an Emperor or Nehemiah Scudder? Hard to tell right now. A segment on All Things Considered implies he could be at the beginning of a Scudder-like power-trip. Personally, I believe he considers himself as Emperor George the W.

Monday, February 24, 2003

I finished fixing the CSS editor in Spin-It Pro. It can now do class selectors, ID selectors, and can add new properties to old selectors. I am still working on the documentation.

I am also back working on motorcycle web pages. They aren't hard, just tedious. They consist of getting an image, creating a text file of the bike's specifications and adding a link to the manufacturer's index page. I wrote a Perl CGI program that uses the image, the text file and a template to create a web page on the fly. When I want to change the web page format for hundreds of motorcycles, all I do is change the template.

I am adding three motorcycles to the Aprilia section and will be putting up the 2003 Moto Guzzi bikes. Then it's back to work on the HTML editor.

Friday, February 21, 2003

I'll be spending the weekend working on Spin-It Pro, my HTML editor, and on web pages.

I picked up two DVDs - Minority Report and Star Wars. I forgot how depressing these two were. What a downer!

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Well, I hope none of you are using MS SQL Server. If you are, then look out for major royalty payments. It seems Microsoft licensed technology from Timeline, then violated the licensing agreement by assuring their own customers that there were no royalties attached to SQL Server. Read all about it at the Register.

To paraphrase Shakespeare, 'There is no new thing under the sun.' It's business as usual for M$.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

What I hate... I hate blogs like this one. I know there are more of them out there in cyberland.

I bet you're asking yourself, 'what the heck is he talking about?' That's exactly what I'm talking about - blogs that are filled with paragraphs that mean nothing unless you follow the links. The example I gave you above is normally only partially guilty of this. There are times, though, when he goes crazy and all you see are items that mean absolutely nothing - until you try the links. That drives me crazy. It is the textual equivalent to Mystery Meat Navigation. If you catch me doing this, please feel free to tell me or kick me in the ass, whichever is easier.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

I found a problem with one of the edit boxes in the cascading style sheet editor for Spin-It Pro. Fixed it so it doesn't populate an entirely unrelated box (that's always nice!). Still fixing stuff in the HTML editor. I'm also outlining the documentation for the editor. There will be a Cascading Style Sheet tutorial in the help, just like there is currently an HTML tutorial. Lots to write...

Well, it's back to work for me. Except our customer is in Baltimore, which is snowed in. No one showed up for work there. Which means there's not much to do here, as we can't interact with them. So I am updating my inhouse work documentation web site.

Monday, February 17, 2003

It's nice to have a day off. I spent part of it by going to see LOTR, The Two Towers. Spectacular, but very long. Gollum was outstanding.

I spent much of the morning working on Spin-It Pro, my HTML editor. I found a problem in the style sheet editor, so I went through it with the help of 'Web Design in a Nutshell' and fixed a bunch of stuff. Also added some stuff. Now I have even more to document. <BG>

I am also still working on adding web tag and attribute menu editing to the program, so a new version may take a while to appear.

Friday, February 14, 2003

Time for me to look into blogging software. It's not that I don't enjoy doing web pages by hand - I do. It's just that blogging software makes the task of providing content so much easier.

I haven't evaluated any software yet. If anyone has any suggestions let me know. I'm leaning toward Geeklog. I like the name, it uses PHP and MySQL, and it has all the features I am looking for in blogging software. If I get a chance this weekend, I will give it a try.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

I didn't get any work done last night. I attended the North Idaho Linux Users Group meeting instead. Really enjoyed it. I got my Zaurus working as a wi-fi web browser. Cool as all get out.

I am buying a travel trailer. I put money down on a Hunter Outdoor Products HU-1 Shadow teardrop trailer. They build them as they sell them, so I should be seeing mine about the middle of March.

It will be nice to go camping again. Maybe I'll even visit my parents this summer, instead of waiting until Christmas.

This is a very nice trailer, but it doesn't have a lot of extras. I am looking forward to customizing it for my needs (you know - computer hookup, etc... ;->)

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

I have our North Idaho Linux Users Group website running fairly well. The problem it has with the Links section and the Web Board are simply that the software was lost when the hard disk crashed. (That'll teach me to make backups...) I will have to recreate the Web Board from scratch. I will also have to debug the Links page, as I put the Perl program I wrote on the web site, but there is some kind of problem with it. Ah, the joys of modern life.

Instead of working on the documentation for my Spin-It Pro web page editor, I am adding more functionality to it. The editor comes with dynamic menus for the Web Tags and their Attributes. Basically, two text files describe these menu items and what the editor should do in each case. The text files are read when the editor initializes, and the menu items are created at that time.

I am adding two sections to the Preferences dialog that allow the user to easily modify the menu items, without knowing about the layout of the text files. Which is much more fun than documenting the program. ;-)

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Our North Idaho Linux Users Group website has been down for about 3 weeks because of a disk crash. It is now partially back online. We have only static web pages and no graphics right now. No Web Board, no Links page. But it's much better than nothing at all, and I will try to get it all online as soon as I can.

Monday, February 10, 2003

I read about a legal case in Texas where a company based in Michigan is trying to force someone to hand over their web addresses. It seems that the guy registered a web site that was very close to the name of a local shopping center, then used the site to praise the shopping center and send business to it. The Michigan owners of the shopping center objected. The case has been ongoing for over 2 years and is detailed (120+ pages) on the guy's protest web site, which the Michigan company is also trying to get!

If you get a chance, check out the Linux Format magazine. Published in the U.K., it sells in our local Hastings for $13.95(!!), but it comes with between one and three CDROMS. The latest issue includes a CDROM full of games, a boot-Linux-from-CDROM disk based on Knoppix, and a CDROM full of nifty other programs, as well as a tutorial of how to build your own Linux from scratch. These guys really pack the info into that magazine. I think I will be subscribing to it. It's cheaper than the sole remaining magazine about Delphi....

The magazine comes with either a DVD or CDROMs. The DVD version can only be gotten by subscribing (at least here in the States), and it contains far more software than the CDROM version. What a deal!

Friday, February 7, 2003

Work on Spin-It Pro has been completed. The release version will be I will be working on the help file this weekend. I will then post the editor here. If I can get my ISP to fix my other web site, I will also post it at Rimrock Software.

I read the InfoWorld web site once a week, and strictly for the Opinions columns. They recently changed their web site format. It is now industry-standard ugly, and I can't find any of my favorite columnists on it. GET A CLUE, InfoWorld!

I just couldn't resist this: