27 August 2004

Happy B'day Mother Teresa

Happy Birthday Mother Teresa(26 Aug 1910 - 5Sept 1997). Was it just by coincidence that I went to St. Joseph's Oratory on this day?

Official website for Cause of Canonization
In Pictures

25 August 2004

Gmail account give away

I have 1(one) gmail account to give away. The first person to post 10 links about 400th anniversary of the compilation and installation of the Guru Granth Sahib' functions anywhere in the world will get it. All links should be for different places where celebration is going to be held.

24 August 2004

Firefox(pka Firebird, Phoenix)'s pre-public release turbulences

Firefox (earlier know as Firebird and before that as Phoenix !!) , the standalone browser form Mozilla, has had some hickups before recent public releases. Firefox's(Firebird at that time), new release 0.8 was planned to be released around 2nd week of Dec2003. However, users didnot get any news about the intended date of release even with the setting in of 2004. It was only on 08Feb2004 that 0.8 was released, with the new name "Firefox". The users expecting the release in Dec2003 were surprised to know that for more than a month the Firefox/bird team was busy finding a new name for Firebird so that there would be no copyright violations.

Come 0.9 release point, there was a huge controversy about moving to a new default theme from the earlier default by Arvid Axelsson. As you can see the discussion went on to be 36 pages long resulting in a pretty bad atmostphere at that time.
And the latest thing I hear is that Firefox will not have "View Source", "Work Offline", and the neat "Style sheet switcher". The first two features are available in every browser I have used. Any person moving to Firefox would not cite using Firefox as a good experience if they happen to see that some basic features do not exist in it. "Work Offline" is THE feature dialup users rely on to read pages they visited when they were connected to the net. I think the Firefox team should know that everyone doesnot subscribe to a high speed ADSL/cable connection. If that was not enough, the eye-catching feature that Firefox has(had), "Style Sheet Switcher", is gone. The style switching capability is usually provided on blog-sites by the authors so as to allow the user to choose the style they like. The 0.10PR (preview release before 1.0) will not have it (most probably neither 1.0).

The excuse given for removing features is "its a buggy feature". I know Firefox is still pre 1.0, and hence is expected to have buggy features. But that doesnot warrant removal of nice features. Firefox volunteers have been trying to convince other users to change over to Firefox from other browsers. And recently, thanks to security advisories for other browsers, there has been a huge conversion of users to Firefox. Advocating the Firefox's user friendly features and advertising it as a secure browser, and then removing some so called "buggy" features might have a negative effect to its userbase.

It would be much better if bug removal is better managed. Why should there be need to "remove" a feature? If it wasn't a good one, it should have not been there in the first place. And if it is useful enough so that it should be there, the bugs should be dealt with. Removal of a feature just before a public release will probably be detrimental to Firefox's image. Maybe a change in roadmap would be a better choice than taking away features from the users. Or the style sheet switcher could also go the same way as "Remove Offline" which will be available in the nightly builds till it is back again.

13 August 2004

You are Computer savvy? Sometimes it doesn't help

British railway has been recently helped by Indian Railways for fixing some victorian-era signaling boxes.

Britain's Network Rail did not have qualified engineers who could revamp the system dating back 19th century. Finally, they got help from engineers from Indian Railways, world's largest employer as they still use old manually operated signalling system at many places.

Details: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3561640.stm

Nvu 0.41

Nvu's latest release 0.41 is out and available from the Nvu download page. Nvu is an open source, Gecko based WYSIWYG web authoring system.

PS: In case you don't see listing for 0.41 release on Nvu's download page ----> Use Refresh button in your browser.

6 August 2004

Drew Carry Show

In tonight's "Drew Carry Show":

Kate: Why didn't you say "NO"?
Drew: I know someone else would screw me. They screw me all the time. I'm the system's BITCH.

5 August 2004

Quizzes in the US.....Duhh!!

There is a new series called "Studio 7" being shown on www.thewb.com. There are 7 candidates who answer a few questions relating general knowldege and current events mainly in the US. The winner takes home $77,000.

An indication of the level of the candidates* can easily be judged by the following question and the corresponding answer by on candidate.
Q- Who was the 2003 Nobel peace prize winner who was a social worker in India and came a step closer to sainthood after being beatified by the Pope?
A- Queen Noor!!!!

Give me a break.

-For future candidates of "Studio 7", go to an IAS coaching center in New Delhi.

* = (3,1) at Studio7 website