Bugzilla, YUI, and other things.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

It's nice when people say hi

So I was checking my email last night after a long day and I got an email. It was from someone who was having some problems with the iGoogle flickr widget Braden and I had made a while ago.

Now it's been a very long time since I've done anything with iGoogle (I don't see the point of having homepages really) but way back when iGoogle was starting a friend of mine from school, Braden, asked if I'd be interested in developing some widgets. I wasn't doing much with the web at that time and I kinda missed it so I said, "Sure, why not". It was then that he and I started work on 2 widgets. Anyway, long story short, we made 2 widgets, one for flickr to see your friend's photos and one for colorado snow levels for skiing. Since then the XML feed for the snow levels has gone poof and so the widget is busted, oh well.

Anyway, this nice person, Jennifer, mentioned that she was having problems with the flickr widget and also mentioned that she really liked the widget. Now I'm not sure if people realize how much that means to people who develop free software for others, but it's a great feeling! So thanks Jennifer for saying hi and mentioning you like the stuff and I want to encourage everyone (myself included) to say thanks to the developers who write the code for the software they use and love. I think it is not too often that we hear from people and hearing things from people is like a nice pat on the back and definately is appreciated. So thanks to everyone who has said thanks, and thanks to everyone who has said, "your stuff stinks!" too, because you guys help us make our software better. Basically the only people who I don't want to thank are the silent ones, so... speak up and thank your developers, they work for free after all, so you might as well thanks, it won't cost you anything.

And thanks to those who say thanks, software that isn't used is like ... well i dunno, but it isn't good!

iGoogle widgets made by Braden and Me.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

TV On the Web... My Dreams have come True

So at first I thought life was grand because of hulu.com. Thanks to the writter's strike I was made aware of it (yay writer's strike). I got my private beta invite and off i was to watching tons of TV.

Then Netflix.com came out with unlimited Movie watching for people who used Netflix (which is me) so I got even more TV on the web (too bad i can only use this service on windows machines).

Then Hulu.com went public and it added movies too!! Holy moly!

Of course there is NBC.com, ABC.com and CBS.com which all have a lot of shows sometimes... but not all the time. But I have not been a big fan of them.

Of course there is Adult Swim Videos, Comedy Central Vidoes and now... by far the most exciting thing EVER.... South Park Studios [beta]. Yup, my favorite cartoon, well maybe tied with Robot Chicken, is now fully available on the web.

Yes most of these sites have commercials, but I think that is great. I'm 200% for having commercials on websites because my main desire to having TV on the web is because I want to be able to watch shows when I want. I don't mind having a minute worth of commercials if I can watch the shows when I want! Now if only the studio execs would realize that having older seasons and older shows available won't take away from their DVD sales... well one can dream...

Well good luck to all these guys. I hope you make tons of money and keep it up.

PS. For those who are wondering what's on Hulu, you can see the list here. My personal favorites are: Bones, Battlestar Galactica, My Name is Earl, Heroes, House, 30 Rock, and the Simpsons. Canceled shows like Firefly and Buffy can also be found there.

Designers should use a Wiki

So the other day my friend posted a twitter about designing on wikis or maybe it was a status message on aim... anyway, he posted something and it started a long conversation about the importance of using Wikis to explain designs to developers.

This reminded me of this idea I had about a paper for CHI, which I have since abandoned. But the idea was that designers need to design not only for our users but also for developers. That doesn't mean doing what developers want but instead communicating in a way that makes sense and is clear to developers. Wikis are helpful in that way because they allow designers to put things up in any format that they like (story board, mocks etc) and with the help of many bug tracking systems you can link designs to bugs which then let developers have a clean spec to work off of. This is something that we've been talking about supporting in Bugzilla, plus Jira and Confluence already do it.

I've talked about using wikis at CHI before during some BOF sessions, and I assumed this was common knowledge a quick google search resulted in:

So it seems like some people know about this, but if you're a designer and you don't know about this then I say, USE A WIKI!. They're great in all forms. Perhaps I'll start blogging more about how we use wikis in our group later on so that i dont have to write about it every time someone asks. Makes sense hu?

Well I'm back to doing praca v2 dev work. Also that conversation with a buddy of mine about animation and why it is important. I'll hopefully get a hold of that paper and power point presentation that we discussed. But the short of it is, animation is great from designers point of view and if you have an animation layer, it is usually easy to implement and makes applications feel much smoother, the problem is... getting managers and developers to understand that... but that's another blog posting all together.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The April Fools day Jokes that made me sad

So April Fools day was yesterday and there were a few good jokes like:
  • Alex is moving to canada (by Mel)
  • Google & Virgin = Virgil (mission to mars)
  • Google Custom Time (i was hoping this was actually send email in the future, an actually useful feature)

But the one that made me sad was:
For more wacky things Google has done check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google's_hoaxes

Don't forget the "back" button

So Edit Bug (template/en/default/bug/edit.html.tmpl) has kinda become a favorite of mine, but something not many people know is that Edit Bug has to be tested in a few ways to make sure it works properly. Here is the checklist I check when I am about to submit a patch to Edit Bug.
  • It works how I expect/wrote it, ie all the permutations etc.
  • It works when there is an error on the bug page (i like alias set to 1111) and then the user hits back. Basically this should appear as the user left it when they hit back. ie... if things are revealed they should be re-revealed automatically.
  • It still "works" when JS is turned off
  • It fits on a small screen, defined as 1024×768 and wraps nicely
I'm sure there are some more, so tell me what you think they are. I'm also glad to see people taking the idea that BMO inspired and taking it to the next level such as Bug 424215. So thanks.

Finally, sorry to all those folks who are finding these bugs with BMO's version of Edit Bug, but please don't file them against bugzilla, they're a BMO bug, Edit Bug in bugzilla should pass all of these tests.

Peabody likes what I like

Peabody Award Winners:


  • Comedy Central, “South Park.”
  • R&D TV, in association with NBC Universal Television Studios, presented on SCI FI
  • Channel, “Battlestar Galactica.”
  • Rebel Base, Sony Pictures Television, presented on Cartoon Network, “The
  • Boondocks: ‘The Return of the King.’”
  • Reveille Studios in association with NBC Universal Television Studios, presented on NBC, “The Office.”
  • 30 Rock Universal Media Studios in association with Broadway Video Television and Little Stranger Inc.
  • Dexter Showtime, John Goldwyn Productions, The Colleton Company, Clyde Phillips Productions
  • Wait, Wait…Don`t Tell Me! National Public Radio, Chicago Public Radio, Urgent Haircut Productions
  • The Colbert Report Hello Doggie Inc., Busboy Productions, and Spartina Productions
Yup, this proves it, i have good taste :) Well to check out if your favorites got on peobody's list check out http://www.peabody.uga.edu/winners/winners_book.php

Now if only Joss Whedon wins a Peabody I'll be happy. Oh yeah. I'm currently obsessed with the Fox show Bones... science geeks solving crimes, and unlike CSI, the geeks actually act like real geeks!

Finally... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dollhouse_(TV_series) ... yay...