Peanuts, popcorn, namespaces!

Another bright idea I had.
For most XML documents, one or two namespaces is enough. XUL applications often require three or four (XUL, XBL, RDF, XHTML on occasion). For Abacus, I had enough namespaces where a common DTD actually made a little bit of sense…
The best part about it is I also have a script in there which I can include by &namespaces.script; entity

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2 thoughts on “Peanuts, popcorn, namespaces!”

  1. Hi there Alex Vincent,
    The MozillaZine Weblogs page says you have
    something to do with DOM Inspector. Please accept
    my apologies, this is not a comment on your blog
    entry, it’s just that I can’t seem to find the
    developers. Below is my recent post to the
    Extensions forum, maybe this means something to
    you. Otherwise just disregard.
    I’m having trouble finding the right place to discuss development of
    the DOM Inspector (other than IRC which the FAQ mentions). Is this the
    right forum ? or is there a more specific forum/mailing list ? Below is
    a small description of how I’d like to use (and change) the Inspector,
    I’d like to discuss this with the project contributors. Where’s the
    best place to go ?
    I would like the DOM Inspector to give me the path (inside the DOM
    tree) to any given node in a usable form (copy/pasteable, saveable to a
    file, …). The idea is to use the DOM Inspector as a graphical user
    interface to help me define filters on HTML. The “use case” goes like
    this :
    – I click on an element of the page to select it (using the “Select
    Element By Click” function), for example Slashdot’s left column, that
    I never use.
    – I climb up the elements tree to find the root of the sub-tree that
    I’m interested in, in this case the one that defines the entire
    column as opposed to the simple text element where I clicked
    – [this is missing today] DOM Inspector lets me “Copy path” (like there
    is “Copy XML”) to get the expression that identifies this
    sub-tree. Simplest solution here is the entire path from the root
    (nodes + attributes) ; a more sophisticated one is a minimal XPath
    expression that *uniquely* identifies this node (much harder to do
    automatically, but easy to do manually if you have the list of nodes
    and their attributes)
    – an XSLT transformation that removes this sub-tree from the entire
    HTML tree is trivial to write. Actually, the DOM Inspector does this
    when I pick “Cut” from the node’s pop-up menu. Why can’t I re-use
    this inside FireFox’s main window ? What’s missing is a way to save
    that node specification outside the DOM Inspector.
    I’ve seen tools for HTML filters before (removing banner ads is a
    simple example), but none were graphical. Obviously, Mozilla and the
    DOM Inspector have already done the hardest part of the work, with the
    “Select Element By Click” function, which maps the 2D rendered display
    with the DOM tree nodes. Now it should be a simple thing to extract the
    Normally, people working on the web browsers worry about *properly*
    rendering web pages, about *conforming* to what the web designer
    imagined for the page. The philosophy here is totally different : I
    want to be in charge of what my web browser displays ; I want my
    FireFox to be a tool that’s working for me – the end-user browsing the
    web – , not for the web developer who wrote the page ; I want FireFox
    to show me the structure of the page (that’s what DOM Inspector already
    does), and to let me decide how and what I render.
    After all, this is how the www and html were initially designed,
    remember ? : you specified the contents and the client (web browser)
    should decide how to display, which font sizes to use for H1, H2, etc.
    So let’s take this idea one step further.

  2. You found one person who takes a great interest in DOM Inspector (see bug 109682, the mother of all Inspector bugs, for details). Christopher Aillon is the module owner for DOM-I. I can answer questions by e-mail (and my e-mail address is included in this comment via link).
    I have not done a lot of Inspector hacking lately, as I am personally somewhat more concerned with creating an XUL-based MathML editor (Abacus). I do believe there is a RFE on file for getting a node’s XPath, but that to me is not an easy thing to do. (I don’t know XPath, so maybe that’s why…)
    That being said, I will be taking a fresh look at DOM-I after I release an Abacus 0.1 (probably after 0.2, but certainly after 0.1). I have a few new ideas for old enhancement bugs that I never got around to fixing.
    As for the Cut command, you’re mistaken. Cut doesn’t delete the node; it moves said node to a clipboard for later re-insertion. (There are also a couple of bugs with regard to pasting nodes that I plan to fix; see bug 112775.)
    I would wager, though, that the Mozilla Firefox team (notably Ben Goodger) would not support you in pre-emptively altering web pages as you suggest. You mention:
    What’s missing is a way to save
    that node specification outside the DOM Inspector.
    (1) That’s a really bad idea, because if the document’s structure changes (it’s been known to happen), then your fancy script to edit the page on the fly breaks.
    (2) That’s a really bad idea, because pre-emptively removing things like advertisements detracts from the revenues that pay for the site.
    I’m willing to discuss suggestions to improve Inspector; I’m simply thinking that what you want will not become part of any standard Firefox build.

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