Follow up on all kinds of stuff (move, WiFi, Sendo, etc.)

Done with the moving. Done with the painting. Almost done with the unpacking.

And it’s already mid August… 2004 :!: (Last time I remember time going by slowly was summer 03… when it was so hot there was nothing you could do but wait for it to end XX( )

Still no DSL access in the new appartment. Why does this have to take so long!? There is no single other procedure in moving that takes that long! Not even the whole organizing, sorting, packing and labelling extravaganza! :crazy:

My new appartment is quite near to my parents’ house actually. When positionning the elements carefully, it’s close enough to use a DECT phone from one place to the other… and of course you would expect that what works for DECT also works for WiFi! Don’t they share the same frequency range anyway?

Oddly enough, 802.11b only works in a slighly shorter range than DECT. No way for me to squat my parent’s DSL from my appartment! Their computer is too far away… and moving it closer to the right side of their house will not only make them kinda angry at my interference, it will probably also unplug the DSL cable from the wall socket, which would defeat the purpose. :-/

I’m using an ad hoc network here. So I came up with this – crazy? – idea of placing my laptop in the middle of the distance to act as a WiFi ad hoc relay! :>> I checked: the laptop can see both other computers: the one that I want to use as an Internet router, and the one I want to work on in my appartment. Somehow I had imagined that the ad hoc protocols of 802.11b would relay Ethernet packets accross all nodes in the wireless networks… but apparently that was too optimistic! There is no way for me to ping from one end to the other!

The solution would probably be to split the network into two distinct IP networks and setup the laptop as a router between both IP networks. The only problem is that it takes quite a few trips from one house to the other to change parameters and run the tests. After a couple of back and forths I found myself in the desert street, feeling bored and realizing I would not even have time to use that setup before I leave for Germany on Sunday. And when I’ll be back, the DSL should finally be activated too.

I started walking through the streets, just too see if I could still recognize the places I grew up in and left nearly 15 years ago. Attempting that in the dark of night doesn’t really help… but still, it was a nice walk… especially when I pulled out my much anticipated but finally available (and promptly aquired) Sendo X and used the mp3 player to put a soundtrack on my memories. “Moments in Love” by Art of Noise made it just perfect (It lasts 10 minutes!) I gotta remember to get “Lili was here” by Dave Stewart & Candy Dulfer onto that SD card for next time. :D

That kind of reminded me that offline technology can still be very enjoyable too! :>>

De l'intérêt du bouton reset

A lire: discussion intéressante sur de l'intérêt du bouton reset dans les formulaires.

Pour ma part, plus le temps passe et plus je pense que le bouton reset était une fausse bonne idée lors de la spécification de HTML 2.0 . Les seules personnes qui comprennent vraiment comment fonctionne et comment s'utilise le bouton reset sont les développeurs web!

D'ailleurs, ce bouton n'aurait jamais dû s'appeler "Reset" mais "Undo changes". Et la fonction undo, c'est vraiment quelque chose qui serait mieux contrôlé par le navigateur que par le language de description de page.

Afin d'éviter les amiguités et les erreurs si tristement fréquentes quant à l'utilisation de ce bouton, je me suis fixé les règles suivantes:

  • Ne plus utiliser le libellé "reset" ou "remise à zéro", mais plutôt "undo changes" ou "annuler les modifs".
  • Lorsque le bouton reset n'est pas absolument nécessaire, le remplacer par un lien "retour" ou "annuler" qui ramène à la page précédente. En général c'est plus clair pour l'utilisateur.
  • Dans le cas où le bouton reset serait absolument nécessaire, utiliser une distinction visuelle entre submit et reset afin de tenir compte du fait que les utilisateurs de mac s'attendent à un ordre du type Non|Oui alors que les utilisateurs de Windows s'attendent à Oui|Non. Mais franchement, je n'ai pas d'exemple concret où le bouton est vraiment utile... d'autant plus qu'on obtient le même résultat en cliquant sur "reload"/"rafraichir" dans le browser. M'enfin, dans certaines applications web destinées à des utilisateurs avancés, je peux concevoir qu'il soit frustrant de ne pas trouvé le bouton le jour où on en a besoin...

Dynamic HTML and XML: The XMLHttpRequest Object

"As deployment of XML data and web services becomes more widespread, you may occasionally find it convenient to connect an HTML presentation directly to XML data for interim updates without reloading the page." (via Ron)

PHP Editors

Wow I didn't realize there were so many alternatives when it comes to choosing a PHP editor! ;D

Offshoring/outsourcing software development

This thread in Ask Joel is the most interesting discussion I've ever read abut offshoring/outsourcing software development!

It's getting incredibly long though, so it's really hard to read through. But the first 25 comments are definitely worth reading.

My personal take on the subject is roughly this: I believe software is art more than science. I think the best approach to make it look like engineering is something along the Unified Process - that's what the IT world has learned the hard way for the last 30 years! One golden rule of UP is to have the users and the coders communicating, to have them understand each other's constraints...

This doesn't mean I think nothing can be outsourced, but you certainly cannot carelessly offshore a whole IT department to a place with a radically different culture and expect that communicating with specs will "just work"! :|

If offshoring software development is ever going to succeed we'll need a whole new set of skills and tools (internet being one of them) to master it, and we're not even close! However, I think the experience of open source software projects developped by an international community are an interesting experience to this.

I would probably elaborate on this if I wasn't this busy reading the thread at Joel's right now! :>>