No Palm phones in Europe?

I just can’t understand why Nokia doesn’t have an app with similar functionality for its Series 60 phones. Or why some third party hasn’t made one yet – or maybe even an adapter for Palm-to-S60 switchers. I wish I could use an app that was so well written to manage my calendar, contacts, memos, etc. and I wish that installing a new app on my phone (and backup) was as simple as it is on a Palm.

This is so true it’s incredible. The Palm software is awesome – the level of integration and sheer ease of use is phenomenal.

To be fair, the level of the current Nokia Desktop software is about the same as the Palm Desktop software was about two years ago, and they’ve got plenty of time to learn from the Palm Desktop and catch up.

The ease of installation problem is interesting because I think that whilst it is still actually easier to install on Palms than phones, the compatability problems are still there – have you tried running the SCUMM Palm emu? It can be a nightmare to get running on some Palms, but as easy as pie on others.

Frank Koehntopp makes the excellent point in Russ’ comments that PalmOS phones just aren’t available to us here in Europe at the moment, and that

today Symbian is a half-ass phone OS and a bit of organiser functionality. PalmOS may not be any better in the phone functionality, but it kicks ass organsiser wise. I like Symbian a lot, but it lacks quite a bit to make a decent smartphone platform: pen entry, a decent datebook, something like hotsync, and generally better organizer features.

The organiser is what counts to me, and if I could have phone functionality in my Clié I’d take it in a second and it’d finally stop me having to carry two out of synch devices around with me all the time.

Jabber: framed

From the Jabber Development mailing list comes news of a new Java-based gateway framework

After a REALLY long lead time I am happy to announce that the source code to the Jabber Gateway Framework (aka JGF) has finally been released to the Open Source community. Right now a very minimalist web page is available at and download files are available on our project page on SourceForge.

This project is a Java framework that provides a great deal of support for stateful Jabber gateway implementations. Using this library as a starting point, a simple Jabber server extension could be coded very quickly. The JGF provides built-in support for a Gateway administration “bot”, a web-based status/admin interface, gateway registration, gateway JUD lookups and (old-protocol) multi-user chat.

This looks great. Just the other day I was recommending Yaja! as the component library to use for this kind of thing, but as good as it is, it’s not been updated for a while (since 2002!).

Jabber development libraries are really only now starting to come up to scratch, and none of the C++ Jabber libraries are very easy to use so it’s good to see more gateway/transport stuff beginning to emerge (instead of client libraries, of which there are quite a few).

New Mozilla RDF module owner

Hot damn! Mozilla RDF has a new module owner who has this to say:

We gonna push for both standards conformance (there are new specs out there since early 2004) and scriptability for remote web applications. This will include some serious whacking of the RDF API in Mozilla, as that is not ready for the web by a fair amount.

Great! I’ve run into a couple of issues that would benefit from the RDF module following the latest spec version, and we can only guess at what “scriptability for remote web applications” will allow us to do.

Handy XML tag outlining

Oooh, I’d not noticed before, but if you’re viewing an XML file in Firefox and CTRL-click an element, it puts a grey border around that element, allowing you to see where it begins and ends – useful for matching start and end tags of long elements.

Awesome per-site CSS

The URIid extension for Mozilla and Firefox (via asa) lets you assign per-site CSS styles.

This is amazing. Couple this with the very useful Chromedit and you have an easy-as-pie all-in-one solution for making sites look the way you want them to.

Is there one site where the font is always too small? Apply a style making it bigger on that site only! Annoyed with The Register’s ads? A swift #www-theregister-co-uk .Ad {display:none;} and they’re gone! Content only!

The only downside? Changes to the userContent.css only get applied when you restart the browser. So then, install the EditCSS extension and the Web Developer Extension (or some other bookmarklet which gives you the names of IDs and classes on elements), restart your browser, visit a site you want to edit, use the “View ID and class details” command, hit CTRL-8 to bring up the EditCSS window and enter the CSS you want applied to the elements you want to modify.

Bring up your userContent.css in either ChromEdit or a file editor, copy and paste your new CSS in, hit “save”, restart your browser and away you go!

p.s. If you need to double-check what the generated ID/class for the page you’re on is, it won’t show up in “view source”. Instead you’ll need to view the generated DOM of the page (either by using the DOM Inspector or a “view DOM source” bookmarklet like the one on this Javascript weblog

Mozilla link bar suXX0r!

The Mozilla link toolbar doesn’t work as well as Firefox’s link toolbar extension does. For about a year now I’ve had rel="bookmark" on the permanent links to my posts, and these have quite merrily appeared in Firefox’s link toolbar, and I’ve just added rel="section" to links to my monthly archives, and these also appear nicely

But neither of these appear as menu options in Mozilla 1.7b (build 2004031616 if you care). Rubbish!

Dashboard and Jabber

In the Dashboard architecture, cluepackets are used to send messages between front and back-end applications. Now what if there was a way to tunnel cluepackets through Jabber? Has someone explored this already?

It would be trivial to embed a jabber client core into an application which sends Cluepackets to a transport which then does all the work.

But of course your frontend needs to actually be able to send the cluepackets in the first place, which for the majority of Windows applications, just ain’t gonna happen.

I actually tried writing an Jabber cluepacketer (for want of a better word) a couple of months ago, but I didn’t have access to a GNOME box and didn’t find the cluepacket doc that Leigh links to (which is very useful – I’d been trying to read the C source to see what the structure should look like! Looking around now I suddenly find things like a useful wiki page about CluePackets but I swear it wasn’t there before! 🙂 ).

DJ Adams (author of Programming Jabber and any number of introductory Jabber articles) hints that using the Publish-Subscribe mechanism of Jabber (JEP-0060 for those who care) would be the most interesting thing to do, but quite frankly, it also looks like it would be the hardest thing to do. 🙂

Looking around, there are already some interesting frontends, including one for Firefox/Mozilla (there are some good links to other Dashboard docs on the same site).

Maybe I should reinstall my linux box at home, follow the Getting dashboard Running instructions and see how it goes. Is it worth it?

The Dashboard lxr is currently offline so instead the docs are available on this URL, which I expect to become redundant as soon as the Dashboard lxr comes back online. 🙂