new planet look

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Many many thanks to Jay (contarc) for putting together a new look for Planet Miro. It looks much better now--it feels like a Miro-related web-site now.

Now... if we could only get someone to help us with Bugzilla .... ;)

Helping Out

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Several people have hopped on #miro and #miro-hackers and asked how they can join the community and help out.

Here are a few URLs to pages that talk about how to help:

  • Help build the open video revolution Talks about why what we're doing is important.
  • Translating If you can help translate, definitely look at this page which talks (briefly) about how to get involved in the translation effort.
  • Democracy Testers (should be renamed to Miro Testers) This page talks about our testing efforts. Miro runs on a huge number of operating systems on a wide variety of hardware. There are many issues with specific video cards and specific combinations of libraries, operating systems, and hardware. Help us test Miro on as many combinations as we can.
  • Team Miro Team Miro is instrumental in helping the developers flesh out issues into problems that the developers can reproduce and then fix, fleshing out documentation, and making Miro easier to use and more user-friendly. Team Miro meets on Tuesdays.
  • Make Internet TV Miro is a video player, but it's not very interesting without content. MITV is a web-site that walks people through the hardware, software, and skills needed to create video content. If you have experience in these areas, share it with others and help to make the site better.

status: week ending 10/2/2007

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I didn't get a whole lot checked in over the last week.

I put Planet Miro together. I've been toying with a timeline script for Bugzilla which is now partially working (but on my local machine). I'm trying to figure out how to keep the script and related templates separate but a part of the Bugzilla code so that if/when we upgrade Bugzilla, we don't have to spend time extracting the changes I've been making and re-do them. I haven't come up with any good answers, though. I'm thinking I may just check a bunch of files into SVN with a big README on how to apply them to Bugzilla and which files go where. This is a big paragraph, but I only spent maybe 3 or 4 hours on Bugzilla stuff.

In Mediabar land, I added the code for adding and editing helper program information. It still needs some code for verifying the data that the user entered and there are a few other FIXMEs for things that need to be finished off. But for the most part, users can add, edit, and delete helper programs and assign them to the various media types and that all works now.

I've spent a majority of my time working on re-architecting the extension to be tab-friendly--mostly learning how all the XUL pieces fit together. I think I need another day or two to finish my research, then I'll do the re-architecture. I started writing up a specification, but my ideas and understanding of what's going on is changing too quickly to make that worth-while at this stage. I'll finish the specification up in a couple of days.

Neil has been moving along with other bug fixes, so we've been getting things done even though the project is waiting on the tab-friendly re-architecture code changes.

In Miro land, I did a pass at updating the miro.1 man file and I think that's about it. Chris took some of the bugs I was sitting on and fixed them. I want to spend some time to finish the other ones off since they're worth fixing.

Also, there was a guy on #miro-hackers last week named, but I forget his name. He was asking whether we want help with our Windows platform. I had to leave, though, and I haven't seen him online since.

Overall, it's been a week of spinning my wheels wishing I had a lot more prior experience with JavaScript and XUL.

blogs for planet miro

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If you know of other blogs that would be appropriate for Planet Miro, send an email to will dot guaraldi at pculture dot org and let me know.

The loose goal for the planet is to aggregate Miro-related blogs: developer status, testing, news, ... If at some point the planet gets too big, we can split it up into focused planets.

I'd like to see some blogs from the rest of the community: users, TeamMiro, etc.

fixed the planet

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I thought I had Planet Miro set up correctly, but turns out I had a one-character error in the crontab and so the planet wasn't updating. It's fixed now--the planet should be updating every hour.

MozRepl

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I've been doing Firefox extension development and it's been going pretty slowly because it's hard for me to figure out what's going on when things are running (and I'm not wildly familiar with the things I'm working with).

After whining about how I wish there was a REPL for JavaScript, I did a Google search and came across MozRepl. It's helping a lot so far. I'm not spending hours hunting for object documentation anymore.

On an interesting note, you connect to MozRepl with telnet and it has a line-mode interface. Turns out that Lyntin (a mud client I worked on years ago) works fantastically for this. I would assume most mud clients would because at heart they're line-mode telnet clients with a bunch of features designed to remove repetition in common tasks and make it easier to skim large amounts of output quickly without having to read through all of it.

For example, say I was interested in skimming changes for the title attribute. I could do this:

#highlight {reverse,green} {title=*}

That will highlight lines with "title" in them from "title" onwards.

MozRepl

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I've been doing Firefox extension development and it's been going pretty slowly because it's hard for me to figure out what's going on when things are running (and I'm not wildly familiar with the things I'm working with).

After whining about how I wish there was a REPL for JavaScript, I did a Google search and came across MozRepl. It's helping a lot so far. I'm not spending hours hunting for object documentation anymore.

On an interesting note, you connect to MozRepl with telnet and it has a line-mode interface. Turns out that Lyntin (a mud client I worked on years ago) works fantastically for this. I would assume most mud clients would because at heart they're line-mode telnet clients with a bunch of features designed to remove repetition in common tasks and make it easier to skim large amounts of output quickly without having to read through all of it.

planet miro and watching progress

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I threw together a Planet using Venus for Miro-related blogs (and other feeds). Like other Miro-related sites, the configuration and templates are stored in SVN. It's currently set to update every 8 hours, but we can change that if need be.

The mission of these dev blogs and planet miro is to keep everyone in the loop on progress of Miro. Previously if you wanted to track progress, you could hang out on IRC (#miro-hackers on irc.freenode.net), follow the Trac timeline, and/or watch bugs change status in Bugzilla through searches. These methods are good, but they don't follow the progress of a person or groups of people, they're following the status changes of development artifacts--the two things aren't necessarily the same. When I started in July, I mentioned starting development blogs and a planet because I think this has been wildly successful for other projects, but then ... I never really got around to implementing the dream. Kudos to Dean for getting the devblogs set up!

As a side note, when putting together the planet, I skimmed the Miro Testing blog and I thought the entry from the 26th on how do we grow the community was both poignant and important. It's worth reading if you haven't already.

Update 9/29/2007: Upon Dean's request, I changed the frequency of planet miro updates to once an hour.

getting mediabar to understand tabs

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I've been working on getting the Mediabar to be tab-friendly over the last few days. Currently Mediabar re-discovers all the media on a page every time a user goes to a new url (by clicking or entering something new in the location bar) and when the user switches tabs. That's the behavior that I'm working on fixing.

In order to fix it, I'm doing a minor redesign of how Mediabar works internally. I've been hanging out on #xul and #extdev on irc.mozilla.org and picking up interesting tidbits of information.

After I fix this issue, there are a bunch of minor issues to fix and then I think it'll be golden. I think it's going to take another few days at least--probably more on the order of another week.

Nomadic Telecommuting Herd

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I was working at a co-working place until this week when I decided to stop working there. The place is really cool, but they're focusing more on renters who are in startups or in startup mode or in the startup community... and I'm not really like that. Also, it was $200 a month and I had this nagging voice in my head that kept telling me that I could spend 6 months of rent on a new laptop instead.

The things I wanted out of a co-working space were:

  1. a place to go outside of my apartment to work, and
  2. hang out with other developers, and
  3. convenient

Thus, I'm starting the Nomadic Telecommuting Herd (or "the herd" for short).

The premise behind it is that herd members build a schedule of places we're "grazing" at. If you want to join a herd that day, so be it. Primarily we'd graze at peoples' apartments/houses/whatever and telecommuter-friendly establishments (cafes, coffee shops, libraries, ...). Chris points out that there are a lot of wifi hot-spots, so it shouldn't be hard to find places to congregate at. This herd will be in the Cambridge/Somerville area of Massachusetts.

If you're interested, check out the web-site and hop on irc.freenode.net in #herd. If the group gets too big, we'll split into smaller herds either focusing on geography, common interests, hair color or something along those lines.