David Baron's weblog: March 2003

Friends & Colleagues

Saturday 2003-03-29

The lack of UI for strict focus-follows-mouse in RedHat's GNOME2 desktop has been bugging me for a while. I even tried switching to KDE, except the large mouse cursors preference didn't work there. Anyway, I finally discovered that metacity (the GNOME 2 window manager) does have strict focus-follows-mouse. There's just no UI for the preference. All you have to do is type: "gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/focus_mode mouse --type=string".

I guess if these things still happen in the RedHat 9 release (I'm currently running the beta), I'll have a bit of bug filing to do. It seems somewhat pointless to file bugs on a beta when you know the bits of the release are already final. There's also that nasty SYSFONT bug in /etc/profile.d/lang.csh. And killing the X server too many times seems to make the system crash horribly. Oh, and of course the postcmd hack below doesn't get along with less (in particular, lesspipe.sh) in the beta, either. OK, no more notes to myself on what bugs to file...

Friday 2003-03-14

I'm one of those tcsh users who's always jealous of the way bash, on recent RedHat systems (thanks to stuff they put in /etc/bashrc) shows the directory in the window title. I finally bothered to figure out how bash does what it does, which lead easily to how to do the equivalent in tcsh (whose man page gives something similar, but not quite right):

if ( $?term ) then
    if ( $term == xterm ) then
        alias precmd  'echo -n "\033]0;${USER}@${HOSTNAME}:`echo $PWD | sed -e"s,^$HOME,~,"`\007"'
        alias postcmd "echo -n '\033]0;${USER}@${HOSTNAME}:\!#'; echo -n '\007'"

This has to run in interactive shells only.

Update (evening): I swapped (above) the use of ' and " in postcmd so that it works correctly with commands containing *, etc.

Saturday 2003-03-08

It's March now, and we're beginning to get some warm weather. But it will probably snow again soon enough. I've got a bit of a cold, which isn't surprising considering all the people from different parts of the world I met at the W3C technical plenary (even though I only stayed for the 3 days of the CSS working group meeting).

Plans for Mozilla: the main things I want to do for 1.4 are in the style system, not layout. I want to clean up the nsCSSDeclaration code and data structures (and fix some other problems that depend on that), move towards style rule immutability to solve a bunch of dynamic change problems and simplify the dynamic change code, and land a patch I've had around for months and the cleanup that follows. None of that should be too destabilizing or risk any problems in 1.4. Then once the tree closes for 1.4 I think it will be time to start working on major layout cleanups (like making shrink wrapping work a reasonable way).

I should probably be saying this in the newsgroups. Having our design plans only discussed in bugs, on IRC, and in blogs creates a high barrier to entry for people interested in getting involved in Mozilla's layout engine. Having discussion like this on the newsgroups was one of the things that allowed me to learn about Mozilla.