Firefox 2, or: How I Learned to Start Worrying and Hate Rich Text

October 30, 2006 | technology
You may have noticed that I’ve been modifying a lot of old entries recently shortly after I post just to twiddle some line breaks. That’s because Firefox 2’s rich text control is horribly broken. Now, I do recognize that a lot of the rich editors are driven by custom JavaScript, but a lot of the problems seem common to all websites. In no particular order: Returns sometimes inserts BR, and sometimes inserts P, there’s no reliable way to tell which is going to happen, and they sometimes look the...

Build Servers

October 30, 2006 | programming
A few days ago, Coding Horror posted an article describing build servers and why they’re important. At the time, I basically just nodded and agreed and went on. Any sizable project needs a build server to ensure sanity in the code tree. I admit that Copilot currently lacks a dedicated build server, but that was more because, the last time it came up, we were in the middle of moving all of our code from .NET 1.1 to .NET 2.0, and I didn’t really see the point of setting something up that was going...

Squeak on the OLPC

October 30, 2006 | programming
This probably is, more than anything else, simply an indication of how little I’ve been following the Squeak community lately, but I was extremely happy to discover that Squeak will be on the OLPC. The concentration appears to be on eToys, an extension of Morphic that allows kids (and, with considerably more effort, adults) to make interactive graphics without writing code. If you’re interested, Google Video hosted a great video of Alan Kay demonstrating various Squeak technologies (sadly since...

WWDC Wednesday: Fire and Motion

August 9, 2006 | programming
As you may or may not be aware, one of the features of Mac OS X Leopard is called iChat Theater. iChat Theater allows you to share arbitrary sound and video via AIM. The feature is great for end-users; showing a friend a funny movie clip, or your parents a photo album of your kid, has become wonderfully trivial. In what for Apple qualifies as a rare nod for developers, they have publicly exposed a clean API to allow your applications to hook into this framework. Basically, all an application...

Objective-C 2.0: the Bad, the Horrible, and the Ugly

August 8, 2006 | programming
Apple announced Objective-C 2.0, the first major change to the language ever. The features should all be great—support for properties, inbuilt iterator syntax, much higher abstraction in the runtime, and more—but ultimately, though many of these modifications attempt to solve real problems in Objective-C, they nearly universally solve them inelegantly and inconsistently. One of my biggest complaints comes with the iterator extension. In Objective-C 1.0, to iterate over a collection, you had to...

WWDC Monday: Meeting the Savior

August 8, 2006 | personal
Amazingly, the woman at registration was right. I fell onto the floor got up at 5:30 AM, groggily showered, grabbed a bagel and some OJ at a patisserie that was apparently run by the bitter sister of Soup Nazi, was politely asked for “loose” change about forty-two times by people who admittedly looked like they probably needed it, and then went to Moscone to find a line that already arced its way around the convention center. Apple let us approach the Presidio in steps. First, at seven, they let...

WWDC Sunday: Preparing to Wait

August 6, 2006 | personal
Today was…long. The fun started when I got a call at 7:20 AM reminding me that my car was coming at 8. For some reason, I’d had in my head it was coming at nine, and so decided that I’d wake up at about 7:30, spend 45 minutes packing, take a quick shower, and be ready to go. Instead, I pretty much literally just dumped a wad of clothes into a suitcase, jumped into the shower, and proved that you can easily run with a 35-pound suitcase if you have enough adrenaline and don’t really care about who...

WWDC, Baby!

July 26, 2006 | personal
Because I’m working on somethingerother for Fog Creek Copilot (hint: rhymes with Pack Client), I learned yesterday that I’m going to be flying out to San Francisco to go to the Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference! Which, of course, opens up the next question: will I be the first to legitimately call bingo? Here’s to hoping…

IMDB: Idiot-Manipulated Database

July 26, 2006 | personal
Good news: Benjamin Pollack is now listed as starring in Aardvark’d. Bad news: Banjamin Pollack is still listed, too. Great News: I apparently have been a writer, producer, and editor.

The Filmography of Banjamin Pollack

July 17, 2006 | personal
I have always had a hate-hate love-hate relationship with the media, particularly when I’m in them. On the one hand, it’s cool being in front of that many people, but on the other hand, the media’s success in actually quoting what I say and getting my name right has been fairly abysmal. One of my first TV appearances, for example, was made when WISH-TV, a local CBS affiliate, showed up at school one day and wanted to interview me and two classmates for our work on the Legacy Initiative, a...