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3 April 2003
This whole week I’ve been excited about this weekend. See, it’s springtime here in DC again, the cherry blossoms are out, it’s in the seventies (hard to believe we had snow last weekend); DC can really be nice in spring. So, my thoughts have turned towards my George Foreman grill and having some friends over for a multipurpose cookout on Saturday.
A multipurpose cookout? Why not just call it a BBQ and get it over with?
- I have a great respect for real BBQ, and since I’m not smoking my own meat, it’s not really a BBQ,
- A proposal my wife was on recently was accepted by the VLA, and no one has thrown her or her team a celebration yet,
- I have a lot of stuff to give away before the move and thought having people over would be a good way to do so, and
- When veggie burgers and grilled vegetables get put on the menu, it becomes less of a meatfest and more of a cookout.
- It’s my party, I’ll call it what I want.
So, where was I? Oh yes. I’ve been looking forward to this for the past few days, invited a few friends over, the usual stuff. Aside from the possibility of rain (which is now receeding), things looked smoky good.
At the same time, I’ve been looking forward to going down to Williamsburg this weekend to pick up my wedding album.
So I’m on the phone with Merrystar last night and explaining all about the menu and how I think we’ll still have it, and then I break in to how excited I am about going to get the album, and maybe we could stop at the outlet stores on the way down at Potomac Mills.
Suddenly it hits me: I’m planning two events, in two cities, for the same exact time.
“Did you know you went to bed at 4 am last night?” my wife asks me. I realize it’s a relevant question.
“Uh, no, I didn’t,” I reply, though that explains a heck of a lot, like why I thought I could be in two places at once.
Note to self #47082: check to see if social schedule requires advanced technology before issuing invitations.
Mozilla 1.4 alpha is out in the usual locations.
What I find much more interesting, however, is the direction outlined in the revised Mozilla Development Roadmap. Once Mozilla stablizies on the 1.4 release, the move will be towards Phoenix’s model - a smaller, faster, better browser, with stand-alone snap-in modules.
From the roadmap:
- Phoenix is simply smaller, faster, and better — especially better not because it has every conflicting feature wanted by each segment of the Mozilla community, but because it has a strong “add-on” extension mechanism. We recognize that different users need many different features; such demand is legitimate on its face. Attempting to “hardwire” all these features to the integrated application suite is not legitimate; it’s neither technically nor socially scaleable.
- What’s good for the browser (Phoenix) is good for the mail application (Minotaur, leading to Thunderbird), too. Mozilla’s integrated mail has many fine features, but it suffers from too many integration points with the other apps, and it remains a complicated front end maintained by too few people, most of whom have different day jobs now.
- The 1.0 branch is almost a year old. It’s time to move from 1.0 to 1.4 for mozilla.org-blessed stable development and product releases, to get all the stability, performance, and security fixes made on the trunk since 1.0 into the hands of distributors and users. Many distributors have plans to make this migration. This migration frees the trunk to make more aggressive changes during 1.5 and 1.6, but still with the incremental daily build discipline, and the quarterly alpha/beta/final milestone testing feedback loops.
- Gecko stalwarts are leading an effort to fix those layout architecture bugs and design flaws that cannot be treated by patching symptoms. Those bugs stand in the way of major improvements in maintainability, footprint, performance, and extensibility. Just by reducing source code complexity, Gecko stands to become much easier to maintain, faster, and about as small in dynamic footprint, yet significantly smaller in code footprint.
- The faux-egalitarian model of CVS access and pan-tree hacking that evolved from the earliest days of Mozilla is coming to an end. Many of the original hackers have moved on, leaving unowned and under-owned modules behind. The combination of over-reach, turnover, and legacy CVS access grants has led mozilla.org to institute code review requirements beyond those required by the relevant module owner (if there is an owner).
8 April 2003
In the midst of an already bad day (headache + stomache + bad day at work) I received the following email from my mom:
Please call me when you get a chance…Grandpa went to the oncologist today and found out that they did not get the cancer…it has spread and one of his teeth is black, indicating its spread. So after having several scans, they will do surgery. Don’t know yet how far up into the sinus they will go, but they will make a prosthesis to replace the jaw they remove. His next appt is the 15th so we will know surgery date then. Nancy, Lane, and Joe are there now.
Perspective is a wonderfully painful thing.
11 April 2003
jwz has an off-road adventure:
So I’m bicycling down Mission Street, past a big construction site, and right after that, the lane goes away, cones everywhere, and of course, cars, all trying to change lanes at once and meaning me harm (as is their way.) So I’m rolling along, doing my best to stay alive, when suddenly I notice that the road ahead looks a little… off.
By “ahead” I mean “three feet ahead” and by “off” I mean “liquid.”
15 April 2003
From: Brett Peters
Sent: Friday, April 11, 2003 11:24 AM
To: Help Me
Subject: Data recovery/lost documents
I have lost a lot of data I worked on yesterday, most specifically an excel document with the results of a partner investigation. I had AutoRecover turned on, and saved my work regularly yesterday. Today, I find that the document has reverted back to the state it was in on Wednesday. I cannot find it in either C:\Documents and Settings\Bpeters\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\ (the AutoRecover save location), nor in any of the other locations. Several other documents are exhibiting similar behavior - changes I made yesterday afternoon have disappeared, even though I know I’d saved and closed them before leaving for the evening.
I was also prompted for a full login this morning. Did something happen last night? Is there any other places I can check to recover my data?
From: Brett Peters
Sent: Monday, April 14, 2003 10:30 AM
To: Help Me
Subject: FW: Data recovery/lost documents
This problem has recurred. The project that this problem is affecting is becoming critical because of it.
On Friday, after Mike installed the latest patches to Word, I was eventually able to actually recover the data from Thursday and continue working. I don’t know what it was that I did specifically that recovered the document, but after I rebooted twice and started Excel the AutoRecovery offered me a version of the document - last saved by user - that contained the missing data. I proceeded to save the document and work on it for the rest of Friday afternoon, adding in new data. I then saved it and closed all applications before leaving for the weekend.
This morning, this document has reverted to the state is was at on Wednesday, again. Restarting has not solved the problem.
From: Brett Peters
Sent: Monday, April 14, 2003 11:46 AM
To: Help Me
Subject: FW: Data recovery/lost documents
Greetings, once again:
First, my apologies for my tone in my previous email; I’m considerably upset at the software on my computer, which is irrational behavior in and of itself, and I hope I didn’t give offense with my curtness.
I found the missing document in a hidden folder within the temporary internet files folder, C:\Documents and Settings\Bpeters\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLKA4D. I did this by searching the existing visible *.tmp files with WordPad, scanning through the gibberish, determining that the above folder must exist even though I couldn’t see it, and then searching for OLKA4D. I have no idea why the folder remains hidden, even though I have selected “Show Hidden Files and Folders” in the folder display. Also, I have no answer as to why searching for either the filename or the text within the file did not return the correct file. I am very, very unhappy with this and, for my own peace of mind, would appreciate any insight you might offer as to these unexplained behaviors of Office and Windows.
There’s no chance that I could have Linux with OpenOffice installed on my machine, is there? No, I didn’t think so.
Please close this ticket.
17 April 2003
Mom just called: Grandpa has come out of surgery to have part of his jaw and teeth removed and is doing well. Way to go, Grandpa!
Updated: Car Mileage Summary.
After a discussion with my sister about my mileage log (I believe the term “obsessed” was tossed out at some point), I’d like to point out that I only track four metrics at each stop: date, odometer reading, gas pumped, cost of gas. These go into a little notebook I keep in my armrest, and then once a month or so I update the spreadsheet.
Now, if I turned it into an interactive SQL-based web application, that would be obsessive.
Of course, now that I say it, that sounds like a really good idea…
I am not obsessed with my car! Honest!
21 April 2003
Not only have the 2002 Nebula award winners been announced, but the 2003 Hugo award nominees are also out. Though I’ve seen several of the Dramatic Presentation entries (both Enterprise episodes, LotR and Spider Man), I’ve only got one of the books (Gaiman’s “Coraline”). Looks like it’s time for a trip to the library.
24 April 2003
I’ve never understood people who have maintained that no two democracies have never declared war on each other. In what strange alternate universe do they live in? I mean, it’s a nice piece of Enlightenment propoganda when political philosophers were trying to sell democracy, so long as you’re capable of willfuly ignoring the last three thousand years of recorded history. I’ve gotten into this argument before on individual examples, but it’s nice to see someone compile all the information about War Between Democracies.
25 April 2003
A new article has appeared on mozilla.org on Mozilla Branding, with a nice way to settle the whole Firebird naming fiasco. Excerpts:
4. Current Brand
Our current brand is largely associated with the previous Netscape product releases. When talking about the “open source version of Netscape” the press usually talks about this nebulous thing: “Mozilla” People inside of the project usually call it the “app suite” or sometimes they separate the “browser” or “mail/news,” but it is almost always referred to as a “release of Mozilla” when we reach a milestone.
From now on we should try to capitalize on the Mozilla name, as it is already well known and is widely used outside of our small technical community. However, once we have got a logical split of the browser and mail/news into separately run projects, we should use the brand we have while allowing the two main parts (and other parts, in the future) to have their own identities, while still reinforcing the Mozilla name.
5. Rules of the Game
Before and during the release of Mozilla 1.4, we need to make sure that we can keep our new development work (Thunderbird/Firebird) separate from SeaMonkey. There are quite a few reasons to do this, including making sure that we can keep the right bugs in the right place (the technical reasons) and to avoid any kind of brand confusion in the marketplace or in the press (branding reason.) This gives us our rules of the game:
1. When referring to a SeaMonkey-based release use the phrase “Mozilla Application Suite” as the name of the app suite.
It’s not sexy, and people will probably shorten it to “App Suite” or just “Mozilla” but we want to make sure that it’s made distinct from the upcoming Browser and Mail products.
2. When referring to specific parts of the Application Suite, use Mozilla Navigator and Mozilla Messenger.
Sometimes we need to refer to specific parts of the App Suite. These names have been around a long time and were inherited from the old Netscape products and we should probably stick to them. Also, they are distinct from Browser and Mail which is important in the long run.
3. When referring to Thunderbird or Firebird before or during the 1.4 release cycle, make sure to use the project name with Mozilla pre-pended as “Mozilla Thunderbird” or “Mozilla Firebird” instead of Mozilla alone or Firebird/Thunderbird alone.
After the release of 1.4 we will be doing our primary development on the Firebird and Thunderbird projects. When we do releases of that codebase we should be using self-descriptive brand identities for the public and the press. New rule:
4. Use the names “Mozilla Browser” and “Mozilla Mail” to describe the Firebird and Thunderbird projects after the 1.4 release.
Also, this branding should be found throughout the projects if possible instead of referring to the Firebird and Thunderbird names directly. Project names are transitory. As long as we have both a mail and browser project, we should be using the Mozilla brand and reinforcing it whenever we get the chance.
I’m glad to see that “Mozilla Mail” and “Mozilla Browser” won out, even though I generally like “Phoenix” as a name. The distinction between them and “Mozilla Navigator/Messenger” is a fine one, and perhaps confusing, but since one will replace the other, it probably won’t matter anyway.