Simon Willison’s Weblog


Friday, 13th September 2002

Mozilla 1.2 alpha

The first alpha version of Mozilla 1.2 has been released, with the most notable new feature being Type Ahead Find. I’ve played with this on previous Mozilla builds (it was available as an addon) and it’s an interesting feature—you can navigate around a page by typing the names of links on that page (as soon as you type enough of the link for it to be recognisable the browser selects the link for you). The implementation in 1.2 also allows you to search for items on the page by typing a backslash followed by the search terms.

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Pingback supported again

I’ve re-enabled PingBack on my blog. Auto-discovery is now supported via both the standard <link> element and the new X-PingBack HTTP header. I have also implemented a new experimental method on my PingBack server—pingback.extensions.getPingbacks(url). Send it the URL for an entry on this blog (it must be an archive page and must include the fragment identifier so the system knows which entry you mean) and it will return an array of pages that have been registered as linking to that page via PingBack. This new feature is explained in detail in this email sent to the the blogite mailing list.

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Java GUI Builder

One of the things I really like about PythonCard is that it enables (and in fact actively encourages) you to completely separate the GUi of your application from the program logic. In PythonCard you design your GUI by adding and dragging elements around in the resource editor, then create a simple Python class with event handlers to define what should happen when your GUI is interacted with. Now, thanks to the Java GUI Builder (spotted on Small Values of Cool), you can do the same thing in Java.

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mod_python donated to the ASF

mod_python has been donated to the Apache Software Foundation. This is excellent news—I have always been slightly wary of mod_python as it has a reputation for being unstable, but with the ASF directly supporting it hopefully any stability problems will soon be a thing of the past.

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Mozilla web-sniffer

Because I keep on forgetting where it is, View HTTP and HTML Source, a handy tool for debugging HTTP type stuff courtesy of those fine Mozilla folk.

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Fun with Unicode

Hixie has submerged himself in Unicode. Stuart muses that the reason Unicode is so (potentially) huge is a legacy of the Y2K problem. I prefer the explanation given in XML in a Nutshell (my current reading matter of choice for three-and-a-half-hour-train-journeys-from-hell):

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More thoughs on Flash editors

Flash Voodoo’s Battle of the Flash Text Editor Components (via Jeremy Allaire) is interesting—the editors are all good, but they all suffer from the same problem in that the code they generate is pretty horrible (font tags and presentational markup galore). This is a limitation of Flash rather than a problem with the coders—our Flash Editor (currently under development by my colleague Richard) has the same problem, so we are looking in to ways of cleaning up the resulting code and turning it in to XHTML.

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Another excellent blog

Jeremy Allaire, Chief Technology Officer at Macromedia, now has a blog. Macromedia’s attitude towards weblogging has been fantastic—they seem to really understand the medium and the opportunities it provides, both in terms of PR and keeping their development community involved and informed. Jeremy writes:

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2002 » September