Thursday, February 24, 2005

Update your Dreamweaver help for CFMX7

Just in case you missed it, help files for CFMX7 are included in the extentions for Dreamweaver. It took me a while to figure out where these were.

After you install the extensions, don't forget that you can change your keyboard shortcuts to reassign ctrl-f1 to point to the new help file. The help file from cfmx6 is still available.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

ChoicePoint ID Theft - Part II

ChoicePoint tricked into disclosing info on 140,000 people - Feb. 17, 2005

It was only a matter of time before the other shoe dropped. ChoicePoint is going to send an additional 110,000 statements to people telling them of possible identity theft. Why the government allows this sort of behavior to continue is beyond me. I think it is high time for a rational 3rd political party that focuses on the rights of the individual over corporations.

Hmmm.... the Individualist party, the Humanist party.... I know, the Technocratic party! We'll encrypt everything to the point where information can't be used for it's original purpose.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

VSS Remoting in Dreamweaver

VSS Remoting - Access SourceSafe database over the internet

I've been using Source Off Site for several years now and I've always wanted Sourcegear to build a hook so I could use their product directly inside Dreamweaver.

I'd really consider switching if this product works well. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot of information about the company on the site. If anybody has had any experience working with them, please drop me an email.

It looks like there is no charge for a single user version, so maybe I'll take it for a test drive in the lab.

25 million in 99 days: Do you all ever sleep?

25 million in 99 days: Do you all ever sleep? - Spread Firefox

The revolution is NOW. It's nice to see that Firefox/mozilla is having a strong showing on this blog.

I can't wait to see the resurgence of "This site best viewed with..." graphics.

I'm tempted to build a few sites that rely on transparent .pngs and the css box model just to make a point.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Best editor font

SourceForge.net: Project Filelist

Andale Mono is probably my favorite editor font. It's easy to read at small sizes, monospaced and hashes zeros. Sometimes it can be hard to find now that Microsoft no longer supports it as part of their typography initiative. You can find it and all the other fonts that used to be in the MSFont pack on SourceForge.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Database giant gives access to fake firms

MSNBC - Database giant gives access to fake firms

The only reason I'm putting this on my mx blog is because I did a TON of work integrating the Equifax identity verification products with ColdFusion. It works pretty good, but there is so much room for abuse, it's not funny.

I find this especially egregious. ChoicePoint is, for the most part, providing it's customers with a branded reselling of Equifax's consumer credit database. About a year ago, I wrote Senator Sarbanes (who was chairman of the Senate Banking Committee) and asked him to look into the off-shoring of the databases of the main credit reporting companies. All three (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) have moved their identity validation data services to foreign countries. Senator Sarbanes' office wrote back that they were aware of the situation and they were going to do nothing about it.

This seems like it could be a threat to national security. All of the linked pieces of data in these databases exist to appropriate the identity of almost all American citizens. Your ssn, your phone numbers including cell phones, all of your previous addresses as well as your entire credit history are collected and cross-referenced. These collections of data should be much more strictly controlled.

Sorry for the rant.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Unobtrusive Javascript

Unobtrusive Javascript

Some really great thoughts about javascript and the current browser situaion. Many times, when I can control the browser target, I blast right past almost all of these ideas. I think it is probably worth a little thought to get into some better habits.

As for strong javascript references, I still rely heavily on the cd that comes with the Javascript Bible.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Sunbird 0.2 Released

The Sunbird Project - Standalone Calendar

I've been following this project for several years now. It has it's roots all the way back to the Netscape Calendar project.

Back in the days of the Netscape Corporation, they had developed a very usable calendaring system consisting of the Calendar client that came with Netscape and a server called Netscape Calendar Server.

It was attempting to go up against the likes of :ccmail, exchange and notes. All of which were based on very proprietary and non-interoperable platforms. Netscape's Calendar Server was an attempt to bring enterprise level group calendaring to public standards. They were heavily involved in the vCalandar and vCard standards, although I can't remember if the developed them or adopted them.

I thought they showed great promise.

However, with the herculean efforts by the likes of Microsoft and Lotus in both product advancement and marketing, I think these excellent technologies have been marginalized. They never reached what we used to call "critical mass".

The Sunbird project has done a good job in building a nice, standards based calendaring project, but it really hasn't caught up to where the old Netscape products were.

Personal calendaring just doesn't seem to have the value that enterprise, group based calendaring has.

For me, there are a few key features that need to be in any calendaring solution to keep me interested.

1. I must be able to maintain a single personal calendar from multiple computers. I move between 4 computers on 4 separate networks on a weekly basis. Sunbird has a rough setup process that can let this occur using ftp or WebDAV. I haven't put it into use yet, so I'd love to hear about anybody's experiences with this.

2. I need the ability to put this system into place in my organization and be able to view other employees available times as well as schedule group events. Sunbird has the ability to subscribe to other personal calendars, but I can't find any ability to manage group meetings. There is little integration between calendars.

3. I REALLY would like to see vCalendar drag-n-drop between Sunbird and Thunderbird. Being able to send and receive meetings and event notices this way is very helpful. It doesn't look like this integration is currently available although I think there are some hooks in there for future development.

Sunbird is being built with the thought that it can be embedded in the other Mozilla products like Firefox and Thunderbird. I'm expecting that there will be greater levels of integration down the road as well as lots of third party add-ons because of the extension capability that is built into the underlying engine.

At first look, this product is obviously still a 0.2 release, but it's still one I'm going to keep my eye on.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

CSS Attribute selectors

Selectors

Kudos to Macromedia for supporting attribute selectors in Dreamweaver. Attribute selectors let you apply conditional css formatting to html elements based on the contents of it's elements.

The first place where this seems like it would be very handy is in form elements. I invariably have to create separate class files for input elements.

It feels redundant having to type something like

<input type="checkbox" class="checkbox" ...

Attribute based selectors allow you to create a style like this:

input[type=checkbox] {width:20px; height:20px;}

You then just use <input type="checkbox" ... to set up your checkboxes in your page. They style gets applied based on the contents of the type attribute.

You wouldn't want to do this with just the input selector because you probably want a different default for type="text". Most likely considerably wider. ;)

There are several types of matching rules that can be used with the attribute selectors that let you do things like match parts of a value or combine them for multiple attribute selection.

Unfortunately, Microsoft is giving us yet another reason to adopt Firefox. Internet Explorer is completely unaware of attribute based selectors and ignores them. You're stuck with the class based selectors if you have to support IE.

Of course what I'm really hoping for is that Flash and Flex will make the idea of styling forms obsolete.