To match Through the eye of a Mac is Through the eye of Konqueror which does almost exactly the same thing, but for the linux browser Konqueror.

It looks as though it’s not getting many hits at the moment, although if they do, they may want to implement some kind of visible queueing system as on “Through the eye of a Mac”, or one of two things will happen:

  • a) their machine will explode in flames
  • b) people will wonder why the process time is so long, and leave in a huff, damning them for a shitty service.

As far as I know, both Safari and Konqueror use KHTML as their core rendering engine, so they should both render in pretty much the same way, but there are also Safari-specific additions Apple have made to their rendering engine which won’t make it into KDE for quite a while yet (for example, the rendering of the XUL box model) which you can keep up with on Dave Hyatt’s blog.

The Abyss Web Server is tiny, fast, and pretty goddamn amazing. The Windows installer is 144k, and sets itself up, providing a web interface to all of its configuration.

Despite its tiny footprint (for example, the executable file size of the Windows version is less than 112 KB); it supports HTTP/1.1, dynamic content generation through CGI/1.1 scripts, Server Side Includes (SSI), custom error pages, and user access control (HTTP authentication/password protected files).

It also supports Perl, PHP, Python and ASP. From download to seeing the phpinfo() screen was about five minutes, and most of that was locating and following the documentation to get PHP working (I already had PHP installed).

It’s rare that software really impresses me, but this (free!) web server really is amazing. There’s no .htaccess, no virtual hosts, and (probably) no gzip compression, but if you’re using Apache for a small, simple site or you’re a beginner and you’re not using these features, this would suit you down to the ground. It’s amazingly simple. Really, really amazingly simple.

It strikes me as somewhat ironic that every day last week I intended to bring in my camera to take some pictures of Ilkley (the very picturesque town I work in), but either forgot it, couldn’t find it or just didn’t have the time.

On Monday I remembered, and it didn’t stopped pissing it down between 8am and 8pm. Since then, Ilkley has been wrapped in a mist just thick enough to obscure every notable landmark and classic scene that I wanted to take a picture of.

I felt I should take some photos of Ilkley because I’m generally fairly harsh on the north of England (and specifically Sheffield, where I live), which is dark, miserable, poor, dirty and just pretty overall horrible; in comparison, Ilkley is like a beacon of civilisation. It’s clean, pleasant, properous and generally the kind of town you’d be pleased to have built if you were playing Sim City (unless you have a penchant for regularly destroying your city with Godzilla-like monsters and typhoons, in which case, this doesn’t apply to you). Bill Bryson even visited it and wrote about it glowingly in “Notes from a Small Island”, the quote escapes me at the moment, and Google is blank on the matter, so you’ll have to concoct your own Bryson-esque description of green hills, rolling valleys and the famous moor (of course, it’s probably not too hard to think of it positively when you’ve just come from Bradford).

Buried in the comments of Mark Pilgrim’s latest post about aggregators and power laws is this little gem of a Bash script which, given the name of your RSS file and an apache access log will return a list of the number of different user-agents who have accessed your file, ordered by the number of user-agents

So for me:

grep /rssify.php /var/log/apache/access.log | cut -d " " -f 1,12- | sort | uniq | cut -d " " -f 2- | cut -d "/" -f 1 | sort |uniq -c | sort -gr | head -25

and you can swap grep for zgrep to search through the gzipped archives (i.e. grep /rssify.php /var/log/apache/access.log.1.gz etc.)

Is Mozilla Development too hard? asks Ken Walker. Neil’s reaction is Not really, and points to the more than 100 extensions developed, but as the author of XUL Planet he’s also probably slightly biased. 🙂 The real answer, of course, is “yes”.

I’m extraordinarily keen to develop applications with Mozilla. I would absolutely love to be able to write an application which used XUL as its front end, giving me a nice, cross-platform interface. I’ve put a lot of time and effort into various Java solutions: Swing, SWT, XWT, Thinlet, Jelly, but none have been completely satisfactory, always letting me down in some way or another.

As you can tell, my programming language of choice is Java, and for me RDF and XUL aren’t a problem, in fact I positively embrace both of them, but I have no idea at all of how to link a Java app to an XUL front end except by means of a web service which I can call from Javascript!

I have a vague idea that JNI exists and would probably be useful here (as, most likely, would XPIDL and XPCOM), but whilst I understand how to make calls between basic C++ and Java apps using JNI, I have absolutely no idea how this relates in the real world to Mozilla, or even would relate to a GRE or XRE.

I’m pretty sure that XPCOM is the crux of the thing, but even that has more than one front page on the Mozilla site: XPCOM the project, and XPCOM the architecture. In all fariness, the XPCOM architecture page looks great, and seems to link to some good resources, but I swear I’d not seen half of them before, and am going to put down this new discovery to the reworking of 😉

But regardless, there’s too much text and not enough code. What I need is a simple example of how I can take input from the user in XUL, pass it back to my Java code which updates the user interface. If only Creating Applications with Mozilla told me! Newsmonster, for example, is written wholly in Java (AFAIK!) and so it’s clearly possbile, but god knows how it’s done – I certainly haven’t been able to find any examples of how to get started. I also know about the Blackwood project, the aim of which is: “Creating a bridge between the Java Platform and Mozilla”, but a quick look at the checkins shows nothing’s happened since Jan 2002!

All of which means that I’m sitting here, full of enthusiasm and verve, and I have no idea of how to even start.

Who can point me in the right direction?

Another one of those somethings which I’d love to do but just don’t have time for (ping Lazyweb!):

What I’d like is a basic reminders system based around Jabber, probably using iCard-RDF (see also: RDF Calendar Workspace and other references on the iCard-RDF page) as the storage format.

A web front end should allow a user to either:
a) manually enter a time and date for a new event (entering new events via a Jabber component should also be allowed)
b) select an event from an iCal source to add to a user’s diary

a user also specifies how far in advance of each event they should be reminded about it.

Then, at the appointed time, ping they get a Jabber message reminding them.

There seems to be some work already going on for full PIM applications via Jabber (organising meetings, appointments, etc. etc.), but I just want a thin end of the wedge application, and this would suit my needs perfectly. I’d love for Jabber to be able to remind me when my favourite programs are on telly (via Ananove XMLTV -> iCard-RDF), or when I should be out buying birthday cards. Using Jabber would mean, for instance, that whilst at home I could set a reminder to do something in particular at lunchtime when at work the next day, or if I was out and about, on my (forthcoming) iPaq (with bluetooth and WiFi). No matter where I would be, so long as I was connected to Jabber (and I almost always am), I’d receive the reminder.

This seems easy enough to write the code for, but I just don’t have time! Anyone just willing to lend a hand, please get in touch!