November 29, 2003

We tried to make an update to our TaskZilla, so that recent fixes and some improvements find their way to our users. I knew that it would be no easy task, because we made many internal changes, but I didn't expect the Bugzilla-team to be that productive.
Well, after a few hours, we gave up and decided to break the update and go back to our backup copy. Since our internal changes, especially the layout-change, aren't finished yet, the update will be done after that stuff has finished. It will be more work then, but it doesn't interfere with internal development then, and we have more time to finish the update.

November 27, 2003

I'm currently playing around a bit with XUL, Mozilla's UI definition language. At first, it looked a bit difficult, but after looking a bit deeper into it, it is only a bit more complicated than HTML and JavaScript.
Building up applications just by scripting has never been so easy and recent developments like XAML and Flex shows the power of this technology and how useful it can be. One very good example is the Mozilla Amazon Browser. Use your favourite mozilla-based browser, go to the MAB-page, click "Start MAB now!", and the application launches directly inside the shell of your browser, no security leaks or other flaws. Just advanced JavaScript ;)
Only Microsoft stands apart from that, being the only one, which is not cross-platform.

Will this ring in another round of a "war", like the "browser war" of the late 90's?

November 26, 2003

Did you know that Winamp development hasn't stopped after Winamp3? I didn't until I saw Winamp5 Full RC 8 mentioned on today.
Seems to be a rewrite of Winamp3, only more stable and with less bugs and more features. It even says it has CD ripping and burning features.
Sounds exciting, hopefully this doesn't go down the road as Winamp3 did.

November 25, 2003

Today's "Hit the Bush"
On friday a bill passed the congress which expands FBI's spying power under the Patriot Act.
The FBI can acquire records and logs from almost any institute without cause or consulting a judge in the name of "fighting terrorism". The affected institutes are also forbidden to tell their customers, that they are under observation.

November 21, 2003

Today's "Hit the Bush"
Bush Blood, remembers me on "Terminator" somehow...

November 19, 2003

Today's "Hit the Bush"
"In some cases, the measured use of force is all that protects us from a chaotic world ruled by force" - G. W. Bush today in London.
Ok, and who decides what is "measured use of force"? You? Perhaps measured use of force should be applied to yourself...

Update: corrected spelling errors

There was a meeting this morning. Nothing unusual, usually... But this time it was different. This meeting was called in from one of our upper leaders. In the past, meetings of that sort only occoured if the employees mood and/or motivation were low, so I had a mixed feeling.
It was a question-and-answer meeting, employees ask questions, leader answers. I'm quite sure, that this was triggered because the recent reorganisations have caused much confusion and trouble, and employees are unsure about the future (or even the CURRENT situation).

All in all, most employees have been calmed down a bit, but some questions were rhetorically avoided by him, like how product development finally merges with project development.

But there were also some special highlights if you payed attention. He (some sort of) admitted, that we had problems with some of our timelines, and that their prior approach for a totally project-based development was not applicable.
He said that the master plan is currently under re-reorganisation to give product development more attention and freedom at least for areas, where several projects share the same (core-)product. Workflows will be created and organisation will become more transparent, as well as responsibilities will be clearly defined.

I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel, it's going up again. Real product development has a chance of keeping alive, even beeing enforced.

That's what I want to do, my motivation has rised quite a bit today.

November 18, 2003

Yesterday I heard that a mail was going round in the management-level of the company which tells them to use TaskZilla. And I got more requests for enhancement. It's getting more serious :)

But I don't have that much time for improving TaskZilla and some of the requests need quite a hack in the source. And I can't apply official updates or patches without checking every line before.
On the one side this causes more maintenance work for me, on the other side it proofes, that TaskZilla is heavilly in use and that it seems to assist in many areas of our company.

We now even have developed a Workflow, how get planning and management tasks into product development and how does one have to treat them.
With the new product-based structure in TaskZilla, finding tasks for a project or product is now a matter of seconds. Of course, you need to know how the advanced query-page works, you have not the slightest chance to get this with the easy management-page ;)

Funny sidenote: At the beginning I had to strip the "Enter Task"-page down to only a few fields, to convince the manangement level ("...what are all that textboxes for?... optional?... then take them away..."). Meanwhile I've got so many requests for optional fields and re-added them, so that the current page has even more fields than the original one. The only difference is, that now every field is described and that you have to scroll down two pages if you want to submit your task. Don't bless me that you have to scroll that much, if you only want to enter a simple task, it's not my fault, you wanted it that way!

Today's "Hit the Bush"
George W. is afraid of people, he doesn't like to be criticized. So he requests his fellows to keep the crowd away from him.
He wanted to ship armory to the UK to be safe, he even requested diplomatic immunity to all his personnell, even militaries. So if you accidentially get shot in London from an US soldier, it would have been bad luck.
Luckilly, this request has been refused.

November 14, 2003

Today's "Hit the Bush"
eclecticism mentions an interview with Gore Vidal in which he compares earlier presidents and times with the current one and why he's lucky to be alive today. Vidal thinks he would have been hanged.

November 13, 2003

The Comparator looks very cool and can help you comparing how your website is rendered in IE and Mozilla. Here are some information where to download and how to set it up.

Perhaps you have recognized this news on main page. Sounds a bit odd, doesn't it? Well, for me it did and I wanted to risk a look on that blog, but "surprisingly" I couldn't locate it. I think this news are faked and just hopped onto it, because it has to do with blogging. This can happen to anyone... I think the "dangers" of blogging are feal, and if you don't take care, bad things can happen. Others already found out.

Today's "Hit the Bush"
(complete text got lost in Blogger-error, short summary, grrrr)
Surpreme Court has decided to decide if the Guantanamo detainees should be able to access civilian courts and so have to be threated within human rights.
Currently they are completely without any (even human) rights, have no access to anyone (lawyers, courts) or anything, are in prison for 18 months now and are virtually intouchable for anyone without a higher military rank.

November 11, 2003

Happy birthday, virus.

Well, eventually you have found out about my animosity of the current Bush-administration. If you share my opinion, you'll probably like my next feature, the regular "Hit the Bush".

There I'm going to regulary post stuff, which the Bush-administration tries to hide, or does just for its own wallet while every other has to take difficulties. I originally wanted to call it the regular "Backstab on Bush", but this could have been taken as if I wanted to backstab G.W. I don't want to, just get him of the throne, that would be enough.
I've posted such topics in the past but now they have an own part of my blog.

So let's start over.

Today's "Hit the Bush"
(from different strings)
Donnie Rumsfeld corrects some statements he has made before Iraq war started here. He even denies to have said some things.
What' up with him, his speeches were recorded word for word, for example here: "[about WMD]... We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat. ..."
Here(later) he says: "... And I said, "We know they're in that area." I should have said, "I believe we're in that area. Our intelligence tells us they're in that area," and that was our best judgment...."

Donnie, you don't believe, that you can get away with reverting statements which lead to war, after the war has ended, do you?

November 10, 2003

Some more random stuff:

I think, this can be useful for some people:
Running multiple versions of IE on windows

So Microsoft, you said, IE is tightly bound with windows?

November 8, 2003

Latest rumours from management: We are going to introduce some sort of product-based development.
Have they found their sanity at last? This sounded a bit sarcastic to me, because they tried hard to get away from product development to project-based development, and now they changed directions completely?
Hopefully this is a final decission and not just another expression of arbitrariness.

Would be great if we could rely on this in the long-term future, but I'm still sceptic that work and workflow can already return to appropiate and proven structures.

November 6, 2003

Matrix Revolutions - Impressions
Well, I've watched Matrix Revolutions this night and... well, I'm unsatisfied. In my opinion, the sequels to Matrix lost their original flair. I liked the mysterious stuff, unanswered questions, secret connections between everything, which seem to be obvious if you only knew about them.
Matrix Reloaded already lost much of this feeling and concentrated more on excessive use of bullet time(TM) and bringing up strange connections between the "real world" and the "matrix", like Smith answering a call, the spoon from a kid or (most obviously) Neo shutting down some machines.
All would have been saved if the third part of this trilogy picked up those wires and connected them back somehow with the first movie or just in the style of the first one. Well, they answered some questions, but for me those answers are not going deep enough and if I think about them, they open even more questions.

The Matrix trilogy would have been much better, if they hadn't changed the genre after each movie. While the first one was like a genre of its own, the last one has arrived as a mix of action and SciFi.

Well, everything my own opinion, others will like this movie more than I do.

Check out some other impressions:
Matrix Revoluition Impressions (I'm on Tim Butlers side)
Review: 'The Matrix Revolutions' Is An Onslaught
Telepolis Review (german) (A bit too aggressive)
SplicedWire Review (positive one) Review

November 4, 2003

[Pair Programming - Why You May Not Get It](http:/
This is a nice article about Extreme Programmings most annoying "feature" (for me), pair programming. And it quite sums up all the little caveats, I stumbled over, when I had to do pair programming in the past.
I find it VERY frustrating to watch someone searching every single letter on the keyboard while coding, or making mistakes often... sorry guys, please take this not personally ;) I think I'm just a fast writer, had to learn typing from scratch three times (three different schools) and this increased my typing speed a bit.

It's not that I don't make errors, I make typing errors quite often, but I'm quite fast with the backspace-key, so that it doesn't interrupt my writing-flow very much. Correcting typos happens without even thinking of it.
But if I'm tired or distracted, this human-auto-correct-feature doesn't work well and then its harder for me to write code which slows me down by about 50%... And then coding is no fun anymore ;)