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August 30, 2004

HTML Overlays

Glazou implemented XUL Overlays for HTML documents.

I did something similar at AOL (though the code never got used). The idea was having blocks of the HTML page cached and reused around the advanced web application I was working on.

The way I did it was to store the cached parts in javascript files, which would add the data to a global API. In the actual HTML document, you include one .js file, and from js use a syntax like "get_particle('name')", which would basically add a <script> element to the DOM with the src attribute pointing to the .js file. Once the document finished loading, the "particles" would get processed and added to the DOM.

The idea was to be as backwards compatible as possible, so no XML getting and all. I used the same idea to fetch data from the server rather than doing page loads all the time using on-the-fly generated js files from perl. It even worked in Netscape 4!

One benefit is performance - using XML means one has to parse the XML and walk its DOM, etc. The loaded javascript file gets compiled by the javascript engine and presto, the data is useable.

Another benefit is that browsers allow <script> tags to pull in files from any domain, so you won't run into cross domain issues like XMLHttpRequest does. Could be easily considered a security hole, but "fixing" it would break half the web.

The code was destroyed when AOL took my Dell and reformated it when I quit, but it shouldn't be hard to reimplement. Its rather simple and powerfull, and shows the true power of HTML/JS (also called DHTML by uninformed pigs).

As an aside, I keep hearing people say how cool and new Gmail's concept is. But it isn't, people have been doing advanced stuff like that for ages. The real problem is that 98% of web developers have no clue.

Posted by doron at 10:58 AM | Comments (4)

August 27, 2004

XUL Templates and Datasources

I wrote a document with some ideas regarding XUL 2.0 datasource bindings and templates, along with how other XML UI languages (Flex and XAML) do it. Its available here.

For templates, I like the idea of using XSLT. The main blocker is how to make it work on non-XML datasources, such as native datastructures. I believe we could create a watered down XPATH syntax that could cover them. XSLT has the advantage of being already speced out, well documented and used already out in the wild.

As for datasources, I am working on a XBL example of how to bind a web service to a XUL tree, though it might make more sense in XTF, so that I can do more complex RDF stuff.

Posted by doron at 7:44 PM | Comments (2)

August 25, 2004

All the Perfectly Working Features in Mozilla

- We have a nice about: page.

Posted by doron at 7:10 PM | Comments (5)

August 23, 2004

Monkey Island Creator Uses Firefox

I stumbled upon Ron Gilbert's blog, and noticed he links to Jesse's porn toolbar and recommends using Firefox.

Lets make Mozilla an adventure game platform?

Posted by doron at 7:40 PM | Comments (2)

August 21, 2004

Enterprise Open Source Hatred

It seems any enterprise that supports open source gets flamed. Mozilla fans dissed Netscape even though for a long time it contributed most of the code, and Linux users seem to hate Redhat.

Some of my changes to Mozilla have been critisized as being company-centric and influencing Mozilla with evil intents.

Fan boys suck, lets go shopping.

Posted by doron at 12:56 PM | Comments (3)

August 17, 2004

Netscape 7.2 is out!

Get it here!

Looks like going to the front page of netscape.com does a detout to tell you about it, just like was done for 7.0. Can they hit 30 million downloads again?

Posted by doron at 8:41 AM | Comments (1)

August 6, 2004

Gmail Notifier 0.3.3 Released

Get it here.

This has login code adjusted to the Gmail changes. This is a quick release, might have broke other things.

Posted by doron at 9:46 PM | Comments (42)

Gmail Notifier Not Working

I am aware that Gmail changed and all notifiers are broken. I have the new way figured out and have it working. 0.3.3 will come out soon.

Posted by doron at 9:24 PM | Comments (2)

August 5, 2004

For those with Gmail Notifier problems...

0.3.2a should fix the problem where clicking on the icon doesn't load Gmail.. Seems ff's built it updater doesn't work well with characters in the version, so it won't show up there.

Posted by doron at 2:18 PM | Comments (30)