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Friday, October 11, 2002
Bridge over troubled water

I had a very frigthening experience yesterday evening. I was with my parents in their car, on the road from their flat to the hospital where my gran'mother has been operated this morning. We stopped on a bridge over the A4 highway (the highway between Paris and Germany) and the bridge was moving. Yes moving. It's not a bridge like the Golden Gate or the bridge over the Tage in Lisbon. No, just an old plain short bridge in reinforced concrete. And it was not moving because of the wind, but its was resonating to the vibrations caused by the trucks on the highway !!!

I have learned during my studies that concrete bridges should not resonate, and that dozens of soldiers died long ago in Bayonne because a bridge resonated to their synchronized steps and broke. The amplitude of this short bridge - not more than 50 meters long - was about 10-15 centimeters. Not something I want to experience again.

Clarification addendum

Addendum : I never said that Blake is being paid by Netscape to work on Phoenix. Check my exact words.


It seems that a few people, including the Phoenix team, misunderstood a previous post here.

  1. my comments were not negative and never intended to be perceived as negative ; I just tried to be factual.
  2. IRC public channels are, well, public. You prefer 'Jim said that he bla bla" instead of "<Jim> bla bla" ? Fine. But there are less possible errors with the latter. Oh and don't tell me that quoting IRC is not polite, all the blogs of the Mozilla community are full of IRC quotes.
  3. the lines I quoted were all sent in about two minutes time. Only caillon contributed to the discussion with 2 or 3 entries. I preserved one of them giving context info and removed the two others, giving no info and no context. Other entries during that time were unrelated to the topic.
  4. "disruptive technology" is not at all a negative term. It's commonly used in project and corporate management to designate a technology appearing in an organization, commercial or not, making another technology when the new one is clearly a challenger to the old one. Nothing more, nothing less. You don't believe that, or you never heard about it ? Check this link, read the book, re-read my original comments with a fresh eye.
  5. I never intended to let the reader think that Netscape is the hosting orgnization for Phoenix. Never. The first line of my comments speaks of Mozilla.org, not Netscape. I am sorry if you understood the contrary but you were probably already too upset by your misunderstanding of "disruptive technology".
  6. well, CaScadeS became a Netscape thing at the very second I started doing something about it from my desk, from my workstation, using its network, during working hours. You don't believe it ? Be sure a lawyer will believe it. Can you be 100% affirmative that the person I am thinking of never ever touched a single line of Phoenix in these conditions ? If the answer is yes, then ok, I apologize for my last comment starting by "By the way".

Last thing : if I was putting people on a shitlist each and every time I strongly disagree with an opinion, my hard disk would not be enough for such a directory of the Human Kind. Before making a definite opinion about someone, especially after a reading that cannot express as many details as an oral discussion can, I try to learn more and check if my impression was right or not. But I am probably just too old.

Thursday, October 10, 2002
Tag selector

I am currently working on a tag selector bar for Composer, showing in the status bar all the ancestors of the selection. All these ancestors tag name are clickable buttons.

  • clicking on a tag selects the corresponding ancestor of the selection,
  • right-clicking on a tag opens a contextual menu allowing to
    • select the element
    • remove the tags of the element, ie preserve the contents of the element removing only the start and end tags of the element (in case of a table, the whole table structure is removed and the table is replaced by the contents of all its cells, in document's traversal order ; it means that if the table contains itself a table, the innermost table is preserved),
    • change the tag : for example to automagically cast an h1 into an address, preserving all the contents of the element

In a close future, this contextual menu could also allow to assign a class to the element and assign its ID. If you have a suggestion of enhancement for this tag selector, make sure to add a comment in the bug or drop me an email at glazman-AT-netscape-dot-com.


Thought of the day

Même les lusophones* ont plus besoin d'un bar d'étage que d'une barre des taches.

* note pour les evangélistes : un lusophone est une personne parlant portuguais.
Tuesday, October 08, 2002
Disruptive Technologies, or Innovator's Dilemma

I think that Mozilla.org has a super potential called Phoenix and a big problem called Phoenix too.

<hyatt> i don't hate Moz. i think Moz is a lot like Opera.
<hyatt> it's the immensely configurable web geek's wet dream.
<hyatt> but mozilla needs to produce at least one simple browser IMO
<hyatt> one simple XUL-based browser
<hyatt> i dunno. if everyting beceoms possible in phoenix via extensions, i could envision it replacing the trunk (you'd have to have a mail analog stand-alone first)
<caillon> basically, I'm curious to know if trunk UI work is in vain...
<hyatt> i've completely abandoned trunk UI work
<hyatt> i view the UI files as hopelessly entangled
<hyatt> it's too much of a mess to dea lwith IMO
<hyatt> also phoenix is independent of netscape which is nice
<hyatt> we can do what we want there
<hyatt> we're also hashing out the new toolkit for phoenix
<hyatt> then other apps can start switching over to the new toolkit
<hyatt> UI patches starve because no one knows if netscape wants it or not
<hyatt> and i can't really review things any more because i'm not in the loop
* hyatt gets back to working on his blocked images/popups reporter

Despite of what Michell Baker says, Phoenix is a disruptive technology in the world of the current Mozilla browser and disruptive technologies, that often emerge as skunk work, are allowed to progress from within the hosting organization only if they are considered as a direct future replacement for the current product.

By the way, one quoted line above contains a false assertion since one Netscape engineer works full time on Phoenix. Phoenix is therefore not independant of Netscape.


Raffarin, notre Premier Ministre qui a tellement l'air de sortir de l'époque Pompidolienne, vient de réussir à m'impressionner favorablement. Il vient de prendre plusieurs décisions facilitant considérablement la création d'entreprise. Cela faisait des années que je réclamais exactement ce que ce document résume. Inutile de dire que je suis très satisfait mais que je demande à voir. Tant que les décrets d'application ne sont pas là et que tout ça reste des belles paroles, pas d'EURL à la maison :-)

Monday, October 07, 2002
While building

I spent last week-end in Brussels with my wife and the kids, visiting my family. My cousin was walking in the streets close to the South railway station (Gare du Midi) when he saw a van painted with what seemed to be slogans in arabic. The friend he was with being from Marocco, he could read the slogans. All of them were in favor of Bin Laden, calling for the Jihad against the Western World and supporting the Talibans against the unbelievers. Some people were around, reading and visibly agreeing with the slogans.

Perhaps Belgium and Great-Britain should do a little cleanup at home before sending troops abroad.

Just my two eurocents.

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