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I Hate Web Browsers
Date: 19/11/2004
Imagine your proofing some HTML with images on your hard disk before putting them online. Seems like a reasonable thing to do right? And you want to use images in your HTML, still all good. So you put the images in the same directory as the HTML and try some code like this:
<img src='image.jpg'>
But it doesn't work does it. Noooooooo.
<img src='./image.jpg'>
Nope.
<img src='file:///image.jpg'>
Nah mate.
<img src='file:///./image.jpg'>
Sorry...
<img src='file:image.jpg'>
Wrong again.

*mutter*

Yes both IE and Firefox fail this simplest of tests. Truely I am amazed. How did this happen?
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Holy Browser Batman!
Date: 17/11/2004
Oh my gosh...!?!

I didn't think you'd take me seriously!

I know it's half way through the month but check out the Browser Stats for this month.

Gecko is kicking some major butt in the browser wars.
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Writing software that uses XML
Date: 17/11/2004
Over the last few years I've been writing software I've begun using XML as a standard way to store applications settings and other data instead of some other 'proprietary' format (or *shudder* 'the registry'). And well I've gone through several of my own XML parsers, with various API's and methods of doing things. And now I've come 'home' in the sense that I have what I would imagine to be the final API that I will use for XML for the next 5 years at least.

There are 2 basic ways of parsing XML, a SAX style interface or a DOM tree interface. The SAX interface parses the XML and calls you back to tell you about the structure of the document. You only ever know about the current element that the parser is parsing. Whereas a DOM tree parser returns an in memory representation of the entire file in a tree structure that follows the format of the file. You can then modify that and write it back to disk.

The benifit of the DOM tree style parser is that you have access to the whole document at any given time, making the code far simpler. This also allows you to do pervasive changes to the whole document easily. Something that just saved me hours of coding. My particular API also allows you to read/write objects between C++ native types and XML using one set of serialization code. This is an important step towards very simple and robust XML code. You can't imagine how painful it is maintaining one set of code to read the XML into C++ types and then a completely separate set of code to write that back out to XML. The code itself is in GXmlTree.h and GXmlTree.cpp in Lgi if your interested.

I will certainly be using XML more now that it's trivially easy to load and save for me. For instance I'm migrating all the options files for my applications over to XML. Including Scribe v2.

All hail DOM parsers!
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Howl's Moving Castle
Date: 16/11/2004
Howl's Moving Castle is the next movie from Studio Ghibli (of Nausicaš, Laputa, Kiki's, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away fame) to be released on the 20th of November. And what I wouldn't do to be a fly on the wall in a Japanese theatre next week! (lack of subtitles not withstanding)

I'm trying really hard not to read anything about it in case I accidently spoil the movie. When Spirited Away finally made it out here to Australia I made it to one of the first screenings (after missing the first few due to it being booked out months in advance). I had high expectations after Princess Mononoke and yet it still managed to blow them away! Which is pretty good considering that I don't usually gush over anything. My friends know if I give some movie a "It was good" rating then actually it was fantastic. So you can understand why after waiting for 3 years(?) it's a big deal when this studio release their next movie.

I really would like to see it on the big screen first, but it's going to be 12 months before it makes it out here in theatres. Which is highly annoying. So I could settle for a DVD copy on a projector I think. Maybe early next year I'll be able to import a r2 disc. Although I'll have to region free my DVD player first :{

So if you do get the chance to see Howl, then drop everything and go! I'm sure you'll at least like it, if not love it to death ;)
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Html Email
Date: 15/11/2004
Html and Email don't mix.

Firstly, while styled text is generally much nicer than plain text, it doesn't mean you should send an entire webpage with a bazillion external images and 4000 nested tables in your newsletter.

Secondly, if you have to use HTML in email, then get the frickin tags right! Things I've seen in recent ebay notifications:
<table>
  <tr>
    <td>

      <table>
        <tr>
           <td>
             ....content....
           </td>
        </tr>

    </td>
  </tr>
</table>
Frickin hilarious. And then:
<table>
  <tr>
    <td>


    </td>
  </td>
</table>
A laugh a minute.

What sort of clowns do ebay employ in their IT dept.? They obviously hand code the email messages, because they are written ala 1998 style HTML and they screw up the nesting, miss tags or get them incorrect. They regularly use 1x1 tables (i.e. a single cell) instead of a div tag. There is a hideous amount of duplicated code which could easily be done using CSS styling.

Putting the 'e' in the ebay I guess.
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FireFox 1.0
Date: 9/11/2004
If your still using Internet Explorer to browse the web then you should really check out FireFox v1.0 which has just been released today. It's a cut down version of Mozilla which was originally Netscape Navigator.

Some of the features that make it worth installing are Popup Blocking, Tabbed Browsing, better Privacy and Security, Smarter Search tools and better Standards Compilance than Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer might have a marginal speed advantage but that is mostly due to it playing on "home turf" (i.e. Windows) making good use of being built into Windows. But on the whole it's just as fast and responsive.

I hope you rediscover the web with the rest of us!
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