Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.


Is Marc Fleury the Theo de Raadt of Java?


zip zip, zing zing!

I promised a lot of people this would be up 3 or 4 days ago, but as I'm want to do, I procrastinated yet again. So without further delay, here's a new article on how to use HTML, CSS, and a little bit of glue JavaScript to buld widgets using Dojo.


Fast Widget Authoring With Dojo



"People move to New York to be a part of something bigger than themselves. People move to San Francisco to pretend it's all about themselves."

that Tiger DVD is taunting me

In addition to my various other *NIXes, the Unix I spend the most time with is Apple's Mach/BSD hybrid, OS X. But I'm also an email pack rat and an ornery cus in general. These freakish traits, collectively, are keeping me from installing OS X 10.4 (Tiger) on my laptop, despite having bought it less than an hour after it was released yesterday.

Were I a "normal" user, I'd probably be using Thunderbird or Apple's built-in application (a true POS), but alas, I'm much more finicky about my email. Firstly, I don't take well to losing messages. Perhaps that's a side-effect of being a mail administrator for at least one domain, but nothing gets my goat like a mail application that doesn't take the appropriate level of care with my email. I also don't take well to my mail being stuffed into proprietary formats. Mbox files (the venerable Unix way of storing messages) are pretty open but they just don't cut it when you've got 100 thousand items in your mail that you actually care about; or in my case, don't want to lose. I'm also a heavy GPG user, and I exhibit an extreme aversion to HTML-formatted mail. At the same time, I also think that email is a natural fit for a GUI and not a command line. In short, I'm the worst kind of crusty, opinionated bastard imaginable when it comes to my email.

All of this has driven me to KMail as my preferred email reader. But using KMail on OS X requires running it under X11 since the native KDE project has stalled and wasn't ever stable enough for heavy day-to-day usage. The way one gets KMail under X11 on OS X? Fink. Fink is great. It works, gives me the tools that OS X doesn't include or haven't been ported natively (which is thankfully a decreasing number), and in generally makes my life better. But alas, I don't think I can upgrade to 10.4 because there's no binary set of Fink packages available for 10.4 yet.

So I'm stuck waiting for Fink to update so I can upgrade. And until then, this Tiger DVD is just going to keep on taunting me.

Safari and KHTML

This does not surprise me in the slightest.

I have been subscribed to the KHTML development mailing list for several years now, and every time a new public WebCore is released, Apple sends along a changelog and a tarball, and that's about it. The first time it happened, the KHTML guys were overjoyed to be getting patches and spent a great deal of effort and time in getting a lot of the changes backported and getting the diff size down, but the second and 3rd times....well, getting help in the form of a shotgun to the head gets old pretty quickly.

This isn't to say that Apple hasn't gotten better. The Apple WebCore guys are now significantly more active on the lists than before, and large changes tend to get discussed more in the open, but huge diffs continue to land and the patch backlog is ever-increasing. I don't think the state of affairs is tenable, and Apple (since they're the offending party here) has two choices as I see it:

  1. suck it up and decide to live on KDE HEAD and submit patches for review like everyone else
  2. fork

I'm mildly in favor of the first, since the second is essentially where Safari is at now, and it's not working. Either way, I think both sides should drop the charade. If Apple is going to do Open Source the right way (which is how they do so many other things), then they need to participate as first-class citizens and drop their private branch for non Apple-specific features.

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