Archive for October, 2003

Happy Halloween

In honor of the day, I’ve added a new style: The Great Pumpkin. You should be seeing it automatically, it’s the default style now, and I’ve changed the cookie name used to store stylesheet preference, which should give everyone the default. The Great Pumpkin, and all of the other styles, can also be found in the Style boxlet to the right.

I whipped up these colors with the help of one of my favorite web-based color finders: Pixy’s Color Scheme tool.

From the Ashes

As much as I like Mozilla Firebird, I’ve been using it much less on my Mac than Safari. This is because Firebird doesn’t work when used as the default browser under OS X, when displaying an URL launched from another program. Since I launch many urls from places like NetNewsWire, that has meant alot of browsing without Firebird. Just today, as I caught up on over 350 headlines in NetNewsWire, I considered whether it was time to abandon Firebird on the Mac.

And then I saw this:

New! Mozilla Firebird 0.7.1 for MacOS X contains a number of important enhancements that improve usability on MacOS X. All users of Mozilla Firebird on MacOS X are strongly encouraged to upgrade immediately. (’s Firebird Product Page )

It’s fixed. And it loads faster. It’s my default browser once more. Read the Release Notes (includes download link).

I recently needed to convert some RTF stored in a database to html (xhtml)… or least into xhtml fragments that could be wrapped inside a tag. I only needed to support bold, italic, underline, and paragraphs; fonts, page layout, etc. could just get chucked. The result is Be sure to read the disclaimer at the top.

It’s a quick-and-dirty hack. It’s probably too verbose, and misses common Perl idioms. On the plus side, it works (always a plus). If you’re an experience perl guru and see anywhere I should have used a standard perl idiom, please drop a comment. I’m not looking for obfuscation-contest entries, just things I’m doing the hard (or verbose) way.

Catching Up

I’ve been trying to get caught up on my reading today, as I have been essentially bedridden due to a stomach bug. I have just managed to reduce my “unread headlines” count in NetNewsWire to 0. I think it was around 350 when I started.

I also did some re-organizing of feeds, and dropped a few which no longer update, or which I no longer have interest in. I’m down to (a surprisingly low) 40 feeds. Of course, this removes my primary reason for putting off implementing a blogroll on the site. Whoops.

Now, I only have to slog my way through 214 messages in the Blosxom mailing list, and I’ll be all caught up. Maybe later.

To Panther…

…Or not to Panther? That is the question, at least for me. While it seems that many other bloggers already have the new cat by the tail, I’m undecided. Of course, like any good geek, I want the newest toys. But is it really USD 129.00 worth of new toys?

Mark Pilgrim has published a rather detailed overview of Panther. Reading through the article, I don’t see much I would need on a daily (or even monthly) basis. Not to poo-poo these features, they just don’t really apply to me.

For example, the new Activity Monitor and System Profiler look like tools I’d rarely (if ever) use. The new Disk Utility seems nice, but I doubt I’d need it. The new printing features should have been in a prior OS X release; but I’ve had my Powerbook successfully printing to a shared Samba printer for nearly a year. The multi-user and security features look nice, but I’m the only user of my machine, and I’m really not concerned about my encrypting my files.

There are some new Panther features which do pique my interest, however. The improvements to Finder are much needed. Expose looks like something invented for me… I always have dozens of windows open at once. And a feature Mark didn’t mention, but which Apple has been touting, is threaded-discussion-view in (perfect for mailing lists).

I have yet to write a native OS X application, or to even look very hard at Objective C. Nevertheless, this article about the new XCode IDE (ships with, and only available for, Panther) has got me to thinking.

All in all, I think OS X 10.3, “Panther”, will make a fine addition. To my Christmas list.