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PopOverHttp.com Upgrade
Date: 10/3/2005
Well it had to happen sooner or later (Sorry about the later part of it) but PopOverHttp.com has finally got a external POP mailbox fetch function. This allows you to get your existing POP mail using PopOverHttp.com as a middleman, caching the mail in it's local store. It's still a bit experimental so I wouldn't trust it with your main email account unless you really don't care if it drops mail into the dark beyond. I've done enough testing to satisfy myself it's doing the right thing most of the time. And I'd like to get some feedback about this new feature.

Previously to this you we're limited to receiving email at username@popoverhttp.com, whereas now you can get email at your old address as well.

And seeing as I just had to fork out for the hosting again it'd probably not going to remain free forever.
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Lgi Table Layout For Controls
Date: 7/3/2005
It's always been a bit of sore point that Lgi hasn't supported any means of making the user interface, esp dialogs, sensitive to the size of the fonts and text in the controls. And well about 3 years too late I decided to do something about it. The main mechanism for storing information about controls in Lgi is the lr8 resource file, which any translator of Scribe will know all about. It stores a XML representation of all the strings, dialogs and menus the application uses.

What I've been working on is adding a new type of control, called GTableLayout to both LgiRes, the graphical design studio for lr8 files and the Lgi runtime shared library. The control takes the concepts of layout applied to HTML tables and applies them to windows controls. There are differences in how it works and it's somewhat simplified to keep code complexity down but it's essentially the same idea. This is what it looks like in the design tool:

As you can see it lets you add and remove rows and columns, span cells and add controls to the cells. The layout is irrelevant in this view. All that matters is the controls are sitting in the right cell.

The design tool saves the table's layout into the lr8 file like this:

<TableLayout pos="10,24,310,345" ref="2" cols="0.333,0.333,0.333" rows="0.500,0.500">
	<tr>
		<td>
			<StaticText pos="4,39,80,59" ref="3" />
		</td>
		<td colspan="2">
			<EditBox pos="102,67,262,87" ref="4" />
		</td>
	</tr>
	<tr>
		<td>
			<StaticText pos="4,186,80,199" ref="5" />
		</td>
		<td>
			<EditBox pos="112,224,160,244" ref="7" />
		</td>
		<td>
			<Button pos="207,193,227,213" ref="6" />
		</td>
	</tr>
</TableLayout>


Which neatly maps HTML tables into the lr8 format.

At runtime a layout algorithm puts the controls into more traditional positions. e.g. with normal and large fonts:

This technology should hopefully find it's way into Scribe and other Lgi application over time as it matures enough to be used in production code. The old days of having to hack the font size to fit in the controls fixed space are soon going to be a thing of the past. :)
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Scribe Test6
Date: 3/3/2005
The new build of Scribe is out and about. As you can see in the version history it's got a nice list of changes.

Of note is the support for previewing multiple accounts all at once. This is a work in progress but it does do what it says. The main downside is that all the accounts have to finish their connection before you can action anything. This limitation may be removed in a future build. The main visual difference is that the preview window now has a "To" column as well. Obviously this is an InScribe only feature as i.Scribe only has one account.

Translators can now setup default charsets for the receiving options 'assume 8 bit charset' and 'assume ascii charset' by filling out the IDS_DEFAULT_CHARSET_RECEIVE string in the resource file. In other translation related news, the XML parser that I use to read/write the lr8 file changed in this release and it's made the file a little harder to edit by hand, and a little smaller to download. I suggest using LgiRes to edit translations these days.

Also the IMAP(full) support has been fixed for some servers. The folder tree is now generated correctly regardless of the order the server provides the listing it. The IMAP support is an ongoing work, and the next release will support international folder names as well. Thanks for your patience with the implementation schedule :)

Also the SSL support is now portable! Meaning you can take OpenSSL with you on a USB key without installing it on the host machine.

Finally I have had a report that Scribe crashes when sending mail. I would really like to track that bug down so if your having that problem then please contact me so we can get it sorted out as soon as possible. Thanks.
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Bruised Ego More Than Car
Date: 28/2/2005
This is what happens when your tired, in a rush and not paying enough attention:



The dull sound of impacting metal is probably all familiar to our ears. But still it's surprisingly distasteful. I was entering an intersection from a very steep upward hill and looked right as I was approaching, then when I reached the threshold I saw a car off to the left that was moving very slowly. I took a lot longer than normal to decide whether to go before that car or wait for it because it wasn't moving at normal pace, nor was it still. In the time it took for me to make a decision about the car on the left someone had come around from the right, previously obstructed from view by the crest of the hill, and I clipped the rear of their car. I'm not sure whether I'd commited to the intersection or I was just rolling along. But it's all pretty academic now.

It'll probably cost me about A$ 1000 in insurence excess and higher premiums over the next 2 years. A painful reminder to take your time and not make assumtions about your surroundings on the road. But as everyone says "at least everyone was ok". I did more damage to myself (cut my finger) changing their flat tire than in the accident itself.

I witnessed first hand a semi-trailer run a red and collect a car a few months ago, probably killing the car occupant. When I saw her last the driver of the car was jammed up inside the cabin, bleeding but moving ever so slightly. A sight I'll carry for the rest of my life. Anyway the point of that was that I've been trying hard to keep my eyes open when crossing intersections for traffic. And now this! *sigh*
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More Windows XP Madness
Date: 27/2/2005
Everyone knows by now how much I love Windows XP, even to the point of writing an application to fix the file associations. But it's come to my attention that fixing the associations is not enough, Windows has to "fix" them back everytime I log in. Doesn't it. Just to be a complete and utter pain in the. What possesses them to write such a horrible mess of an OS?

I'm dreading being finally forced to upgrade my machine at home from 2k to XP so I can use some new hardware that I just bought. I'll be able to experience the pain in all it's delightful glory, up close and personal.

That is of course until I get my hands on one of these. In your face XP! And as a nice side effect the computer won't sound like a wind tunnel. I'm getting sick the cooling requirments of Athlons.
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Portable OpenSSL
Date: 18/2/2005
I've had a lot of interest in getting Scribe's SSL Plugin working with OpenSSL on a USB key drive. The main problem is that you have to install OpenSSL on the host machine for it to work. Well I uninstalled OpenSSL on my desktop, and worked out how to make it work with just part of OpenSSL in a directory relitive to Scribe's exe. If you have just DLL's (libeay32.dll and ssleay32.dll) in "..\\OpenSSL" it works.

So with the next release of Scribe you should be able to take OpenSSL on the road with you. I'd like to hear from you if you have this working or not when I release it.
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