Monthly Archives: December 2005

The End of Network Computing as I Know It

Previously, I have mentioned the D2OL project. Team Canada is now Team Commonwealth and has my full support, but I think that enough is enough with the D2OL project.

The project is a great idea, but seems to have a very poor business/administration model, has done very little to market itself and has, consequently, no funds to maintain its very unstable hardware infrastructure. The project, as I see it, is unsustainable and I cannot see it having a future. The administrators are all but insulting of those contributing computer time – little to no feedback on what their efforts are doing and little in the way of apologies for ever-increasing server outages.

Once I have uploaded my next lot of completed tasks, which I cannot do due to yet another outage, I will be wiping the D2OL software from my machines and looking for another, better conceived, better administered, more robust and – above all – Open Source project to which I can donate my spare computer time. Projects of whimsy, such as calculating prime numbers or looking for aliens need not apply. Humanitarian and/or hard science projects – call me.

Safe Browsing

For those who may worry about whether it is safe to load a web page, try my (very simple) programme, sourcebrowse.pl. This is a tool I use for debugging my own web applications – now it's available for all to use. Pages are loaded and displayed as source; the only modification made is line breaks added at the end of tags for ease of (visual) reading.

The source code is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.1 Australia license.

The Last Day of OzeWAI

This year is my second at the OzeWAI conference (I missed last year), and I am still highly enthusiastic about it. The conference is growing and getting more participation from diverse sectors. The presentations and speakers have all been excellent and it's slightly saddening that this is the last of a very busy but enjoyable and inspiring three days.

Kudos to Liddy Nevile and others who have made this such a success.

OzeWAI 2005

It's that time of year again – time for the OzeWAI conference at Melbourne's LaTrobe University.

The theme of Australia's own (with a fair bit of international participation) web adaptability conference is "How can we include everyone?"

Expect me to come back bursting with new ideas…

Cool XUL

Users of XUL-compatible browsers, such as Firefox and later versions of Mozilla and Netscape may want to have a play with my new keypad.

Actually, I wrote it a while back, but haven't had it working on the public web up until today, when I have also made a couple of minor improvements in the way of tooltips.

What's the point of this keypad? It allows you to work your browser purely with a mouse – or other locating device such as a touchscreen or various assitive technology pointers.

Why did I write it? As a touch-typist, I find it very hard to type one-handed, such as when my other hand is occupied by lunch. This was a solution to the issue and was also an excuse to have a dabble with XUL

For those who like to see how things work, and may want to hack around themselves, here is the code listing.

As the coding is somewhat laborious, I am planning to rebuild this, using Perl to generate the XUL. This will allow me to have buttons that can call other, similar applications, such as a calculator, or alternative style sheets. This would also give scope for easy user customisation, which could include different keypad layouts (AZERTY, etc.).

Update: For some reason, Firefox 1.5 seems to completely ignore the stylesheet and displays the keypad any way it fancies. If anyone knows why this is, please post a comment against this entry.