moznet needs a #thinktank

What with Mozilla 1.5 beta about to come out, I think it might be a good idea to have a channel on moznet specifically for “Think Tank” discussions. The concept is simple: a place where interested parties can discuss new ideas for Mozilla-based technologies.
To that end, I’ve committed to opening a #thinktank channel on Chatzilla when I use Chatzilla. Might be useful if for nothing else as a place to bounce around ideas which aren’t ready for discussion on #mozilla (which should remain oriented towards bug fixing and hacking the Lizard directly and immediately). #thinktank would be oriented more towards the long-term than the short-term.

Love (and hate) work…

My boss is pretty cool, most of the time. It’s when he’s out of town that all hell breaks loose. It’s bad enough for the grunts in the field… but guess which poor bastard he left in charge???
Said poor bastard didn’t even know the 1.5 beta freeze was coming up, and thus has not been able to focus one damned iota of his efforts on hacking Mozilla or seeing some of his code get reviews.
Said poor bastard is also exhausted, and will spend a good part of tomorrow earning a paycheck for contract work…
Sorry for the rant, but 70+ hour work weeks dealing with attitude problems all day long will drain anyone.

Dud Lite Presents: Real Men of Genius

Today we salute you, Mr. California State Governor!
(Mr. California State Governor!)
Only you could blame a Legislature for a budget problem you created.
(Budget problem you created)
Forty billion dollar state deficit? Who cares. You’ve got the power.
(Lotta power!)
And you’re gonna fight to keep the power.
(Fighting for the Lights)
So flip that reading lamp switch, Mr. Bear State Chief,
and raise a toast to your own recall election.
(Mr. California State Gooooooovernorrrrr)
Dud Lite Productions, Vallejo, California
A little lesson on California Recent History:
Gray Davis, the Honorable Governor of Califonria, faces a recall election. It’s a special election (the first special election in California history) with some rather ugly political maneuvering guaranteed ahead.
A couple years ago, California faced an energy crisis. The electricity rates Pacific Gas & Electric was charged by the power utilities skyrocketed, and PG&E was forbidden or unable to feasibly pass those rates on to the consumers. PG&E went bankrupt, and Gov. Davis started using state money to buy power for the state, on the electricity “spot market”, where prices could go even higher.
Of course, that money wasn’t in the state budget…
But not all the blame can be laid at the governor’s feet. Before that, the CA State Legislature deregulated the electricity industry, allowing the utilities to fleece CA in the first place and force PG&E into the hole.
Recall Grey Davis? Why not? And while we’re at it, let’s recall every member of the California State Legislature who voted for the deregulation and is still in office. Oh, and let’s thank President George Bush for not lifting a finger in the process.
Recession 2.0? I think so. The first one was taken off the shelves after only nine months…

OSCON 2003

Spending a couple days up here at the Open Source Convention in Portland, OR. Got some nice freebies, some not-so-nice freebies, and I’m just generally hanging out.
Among the not-so-nice freebies… well, I haven’t tried the lunch here. It’s being provided by Microsoft (I expect a mixed reception to that idea). Starts at 12:15pm today.
3:50pm Update: Well, the sandwiches were actually pretty good. But just in case, I left for a bit to get an antidote (Cinnabon at Lloyd Center Mall). Passing time waiting for the author’s dinner my publisher is throwing tonight.
Thursday: Lovely dinner Pearson Education threw yesterday. Blue cheese steak. Mmmmm.
Today, I dropped in too late for a chat with Wil Wheaton. Gotta catch him at Powell’s Books tonight if I can. I also am hosting a Birds-Of-a-Feather (BOF) on products… hoping someone shows up.
4:35pm update: One of the nice perks about being an author for Pearson is I get to pick up lots and lots of freebie books if I want to. Grabbed books on OpenOffice 1.0, mod_perl, Python, SVG, and a handy-dandy XML reference book. Need just about every one of them, too.
9:20pm update: Last report on OSCON. Just finished off the Mozilla BOF (we didn’t discuss anything but Mozilla). Lot of chat about bookmarks, Linux distributions without the latest & greatest, compatibility with plugins, a little on Bugzilla usage, just general stuff that I take for granted and don’t even think about. Myk Melez made an appearance (thank you), so I at least had someone else savvy about the code to talk there. The holes in my own knowledge about the code were a bit surprising; I distinctly did not like using the words “I don’t know”.
Never got over to Wil Wheaton. Oh, well. Life is good here in Portland, but tomorrow evening I hop a bus back to Vallejo.

Pun of the Day

Excerpt from #mozilla IRC chat:
jst we need one that says “Stop whining, just do it!”
caillon yeah
alecf god yeah
I could use that a lot when doing my reviews 🙂
peterv heh
WeirdAl whines only when he doesn’t understand
pouts the rest of the time
alecf that’s not a good time to whine
wow you’re a barrel of laughs
WeirdAl well, think about it: I’m right by Napa. Whining (sp!) comes naturally up here
(For those of you not from California, Napa Valley is world-famous for its wines.)

MathML Overlays

New topic for my forum: Number Crunching, for all the mathematics-related ideas I have.
MathML Overlays
Had an interesting idea, and decided to go after it: what would it take to overlay one MathML expression in parallel markup (see Chapter 5 of the MathML 2.0 spec for details) onto another?
The proof-of-concept is a two-file zip included by link here.

This just gets lovelier and lovelier.
(1) For some reason, sh isn’t calling perl correctly. And various people in #mozilla have been fairly adamant that building Moz with MingW on Win98SE is a fuggedaboudit kind of situation.
(2) I looked at the relatively simple instructions for building Mozilla on Linux, and I’d have to agree with them…
(3) So now I need to buy a Linux OS and get it installed on my system. Because that’s such a big leap for me (my experience with Linux is reading advertisements and computer magazine columns), I think I’ll pay someone to actually set it up for me and get my Internet connection working via Linux.
(4) Of course, cash flow is a bit of a problem…
And why do I want Linux or for that matter a buildable Mozilla? Well, it’s high time I learned C++ to do some of the cool things I dream of doing with the Lizard. I’m just a bit tired of having my hand held in understanding the Mozilla code beyond the UI.
Not sure that’s a great reason to learn, but I’m fairly sure I need to do this.

Alex Vincent's ramblings about Mozilla technology, authoring, and whatever he feels like.