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Sat, Mar 31 2001

I've been contemplating all the other stuff that I should start doing to provide better support for Scope users and I realized that I still don't have a mailing list for Scope :-) This would be a great addition since users can discuss Scope bugs and even get help with Scope from other users instead of having to always rely on my (not so prompt <g>) responses ...

So I've started a list at Yahoo Groups. Unfortunately, the name Scope was already taken as a mailing list name and so I had to go with ScopeBrowser. So go on, sign up and start talking about Scope :-) Actually, this list will help with certain other things such as user polls and stuff to figure out what exactly the users want in the way of new features and stuff too ... So hopefully, it will work out fine! Now I'm off to do some bills and stuff before starting work on revamping the Scope page on my site ...
posted at 08:36:15 AM  link  comment

Fri, Mar 30 2001

OK the includes work great! So here's the low down on the new release :-) The new release replaces the toolbar bitmaps with sinesolis's great graphics and it also adds status icons to the browser tabs. Now the blank,loading and loaded but not viewed icons are straightforward. But once you view a page, I set the icon to display which engine is in use for that tab. Now I opted for the option as in this image:
but there is also this other set of icons that sinesolis did:
If most of the users like the latter, I might change the icons later on.

So what else has changed? Hmm ... I changed the internal code for the menu bar so that the min/restore/close buttons were re-implemented for maximized MDI child windows. I have since heard that closing the last window causes certain graphical problems with this code but I am too tired to code just now and am releasing the build as it is since I've been using this build for about a day now and it works fine generally :-) Read the history.txt file if you want all the details as to what has changed ...
posted at 04:48:47 PM  link  comment

The Blogger post screen looks as it used to before I installed IE 6.0 preview now. I don't know, maybe the updates to the server somehow fixed that too ... A friend of mine suggested that I should set up a Known Defects page for Scope and that reminded me that there's another page I've been meaning to set up for Scope - a user testimonials page :-) I guess, I've been putting things off for too long again ...

I just converted the header and the footer of this page into SSI as well so that I will not have to modify the Blogger template too much in the future. I intend to start working on the other stuff (Known Defects and User Testimonials) tomorrow ... For today, I think I'll just rest and watch TV <g>
posted at 02:05:15 PM  link  comment

I wanted to release Scope 1.0 PR3 today but Blogger's been down most of the morning - then it did come up but I had to go off for a while and now I'm trying to get SSI (Server Side Includes) working on Tripod as well as my two mirror sites so that I can detach the side-bar (where the download link is) from the main body of posts. If that works, then I shall start the release going after that :-)
posted at 01:48:48 PM  link  comment

Thu, Mar 29 2001

The latest build of Scope looks pretty nifty even if I say so myself - then again, I guess I can say so since the graphics aren't mine :-) sinesolis has done a great job on the graphics and I liked his work so much that I asked him to rework the IE and Mozilla icons too since now they don't fit in too well with the polished look of the rest of the graphics <g>

The coding itself is complete actually since I put on a spurt of speed and finished all the little stuff that had been niggling me ... The tabs now have icons and what's even better, the icons display the current status of the page - whether it's blank, loading or completed loading but not viewed. Once viewed, the tab's icons changes to display the type of browser session for that tab - IE or Mozilla ...

I know that some of you must be raring to grab a build by now <g> but I'm not going to release this one till I get the IE and Mozilla icons from sinesolis - so look for a release some time tomorrow ... but then again, it might be today too :-)
posted at 04:23:07 PM  link  comment

Why is it that it is the young and the innocent who suffer the most in this world? Or is it that we notice the suffering of the young more than we notice the suffering of adults? Whatever the case maybe, I heard a little while ago from a friend of mine that his two year old nephew is suffering from Leukemia :-(

I love children and believe that they are the most precious part of humanity. I wish I could do something for little Malachi Aaron but other than to pray for his return to good health, there is nothing much I can really do. I do however believe in the power of the prayers of people who wish good for somebody and so I do ask anybody who's reading this to say a little prayer for Aaron as well. Thank you!
posted at 01:34:50 PM  link  comment

Wed, Mar 28 2001

I guess I should stop making predictions as to Scope release dates :-) I just managed to complete work on the min/restore/close buttons for maximized MDI windows and I thought it was going to take me a couple of days! Of course, the code's not complete at the moment since in the process I managed to introduce a minor bug - if you click on the minimize button for a maximized MDI window, the window doesn't minimize, it restores ... The problem's basically in the approach I took to solving this particular issue and I guess I'll have to go back and do some tweaking but not today.

I'm wondering whether to release another pre-release of Scope or to make the next release the 1.0 final since I've changed a lot of code since the last release. None of the code actually translates to new features but I've changed the way a lot of things are implemented and it is inevitable that I've also introduced some new bugs. I'd rather make the next release, call it the 1.0 final and go on to work on the next release but I will probably end up doing another pre-release first since I hate releasing buggy software as a final product. Oh well ...

The good news is that the next release will have some form of icon display for the tabs, the min/restore/close buttons for maximized MDI windows, a bug fix for something that only one user has reported - garbling of menus when Favorites are refreshed .. or rather the menu skips over to the next one <g> Hmm ... I think that's about it ... It'll still probably be the weekend before a release is ready but you never know :-)
posted at 04:52:38 PM  link  comment

I just received a very nice e-mail from Dr. Clarke in response to the e-mail I sent him after watching the Oscars :-) I really didn't expect him to respond personally since I knew (post-fact <g>) that he was probably inundated with e-mails but he did and that was really nice of him. That e-mail made my day seem so much better :-)

Speaking of bad days, yesterday I tried to uninstalle IE 6.0 beta since I hate the way the Blogger entry screen looks with IE 6.0, but guess what? It really screwed things up - big surprise, huh? <vbg> When my system rebooted after uninstallation, I had no shell at all and just got an empty desktop ... I reinstalled IE 5.5 but still the same scenario. So then I installed IE 6.0 again and magically, my desktop returned - so I guess IE 6.0 is one of those programs that just won't go away :-) I tried to reinstall IE 5.5 just now and it said that I had a newer version of IE and so that it wouldn't proceed ... ugh! Guess I'll have to dig around to see whether there's a way to manually uninstall IE 6.0 since now I don't have the Add/Remove Programs setting for IE 6.0 that I initally did have ... Oh well ...
posted at 10:50:51 AM  link  comment

Have you ever had this feeling that you know everything that's going on around you? Well ... OK maybe not everything but that you know the people around you and what they would do next - especially actions which are negative towards yourself? I have that feeling all the time but I'm afraid to trust these feelings because I basically believe that people are good ... So even when I *know* that somebody is lying to me or not telling me the whole truth, I still go on believing what they tell me ... I guess, I should learn to trust myself a bit more ... Oh well ...

Yesterday evening was pretty good for Scope - I finally added the new toolbar bitmap and I really like what sinesolis has done ... and hopefully the other Scope users will too :-) I tried many different approaches to the min/max/close buttons for maximized MDI windows - I tried a button on the rebar and a new toolbar and even a new menu item but none of them really worked out the way I really wanted them to look. So I finally settled on drawing the controls myself and that does seem to work fine - though I still haven't added the code to actually make the buttons do what they are supposed to do <vbg> So I still might change the approcah if I can't get the code to work ... Unfortunately, I guess there won't be new release till I get this worked out and since I'm on a very short timeline on my current project at work, I guess it'll be at least the weekend before I can do any more coding on Scope :-(
posted at 10:14:56 AM  link  comment

Tue, Mar 27 2001

I am working from home today since I have a dentist's appointment today and I decided to take a little break to update my log since it has already been quite an eventful morning .... well, maybe not so full of events but there were a couple of things which affected me in various ways ...

First of all, I had written to Dr. Clarke yesterday to tell him how his appearance on the Oscars had affected me and I received a response from him today :-) It was sort of a canned response since it was sent to multiple recipients but I was glad to hear from him at all ... I guess I sometimes forget how busy other people are and think only from my own perspective <vbg> because I really thought I would be the only one writing to him about the Oscars ... And he seems to have received over ten e-mails alone - not to mention faxes, letters etc. One thing I did learn though was that his appearance had been recorded weeks ago - and I thought it really was live :-)

The second thing affected me in a different way .. I'd mentioned GreyMatter in my first posting using Blogger but I'd never gone to the main site myself and today I did following a link and what I found there was both beautiful and in some strange way touching ... I loved the beautiful photographs and the entries in the log were very much human - and what I mean by human is that it was something basic, something which touches your core ... - and I was moved by it all ... I can't explain it any better ... go read it yourself :-)

I installed IE 6.0 beta/preview yesterday since I wanted to know what was new and also whether it would work with Scope. It does indeed work with Scope since I am now writing this entry on Blogger using Scope <g> But it does seem to have borked something because the look of the Blogger posting screen has completely changed and some tools that used to be there (bold, italics, hyperlink) aren't there at all ... I did test on my other machine (which doesn't have IE 6.0 installed) to see if this was a change on the Blogger side but things are fine there ... So IE 6.0 is the culprit ... Oh well ... I guess I'll have to see if I can uninstall it now <g>

On the Scope front, can you believe that I still haven't had time to do anything at all? I still haven't tried out the great looking new graphics that sinesolis did but I do intend to do that today in the evening and then maybe I will simply release Scope 1.0 and wait for the other fixes (including the buttons for maximized MDI windows) to go as version 1.1 since I'm kind of afraid of introducing new bugs if I were to add features ... I guess we'll see ...
posted at 09:23:44 AM  link  comment

Mon, Mar 26 2001

I was watching the Oscars last night and I had this moment where I felt in connection with two other people ... not a really strange thing actually when you know the circumstances but still the moment itself felt good :-) But where should I start? Well, it all began when Tom Hanks came to announce an award and he said that Dr. Arthur C. Clarke will actually be presenting it from Sri Lanka - my homeland. I then suddenly realized that separated by distance and time (since Sri Lanka is 10 or 11 hours ahead of EST and California is 3 hours behind <g>) I was connected to these two people (Tom Hanks and Dr. Arthur C. Clarke) by a set of circumstances which were not exactly strange but hmm ... curious maybe? :-)

Some years back, when I was still in Sri Lanka, I had done a series of articles on science fiction and the authors that I considered to be some of the most influential in the field. I have always thought of Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov as the triumvirate that was at the pinnacle of science fiction writers of all time and what was more fitting than to do a personal interview with Dr. Arthur C. Clarke himself since he also happened to live in Sri Lanka? I contacted the great man and was actually able to obtain an interview with him and I did the article. When the article appeared in print, Dr. Clarke wrote to me to tell me that he had sent the article to Tom Hanks since he was in communication with him. I had forgotten all about that incident till yesterday when I was suddenly reminded of it when I was watching the Oscars. I don't know why it affected me but it did as I felt this strange connection with two other people in the world who were oblivious of me :-) But the feeling was good and so I thought I'd put it down for later ...

Of course, the incident made me kind of nostalgic since I began thinking of all the great science fiction that I had read as a kid since I basically read everything by Dr. Clarked from the time I was about 7 or 8 years old ... I remembered some of his novels like "Dolphin Island" and "The Deep Range" that I hadn't thought of in years. It also made me think of all the other great writers and I felt as if an era had passed because so many of the greats of science fiction are no more. This year another one of my favorites and one of SF's greatest, Gordon R. Dickson, passed away ... I feel so old sometimes and yet, I'm only 30+ ... Am I becoming maudlin in my not so old age? :-) I guess I'll snap out of it now ... :p
posted at 08:58:56 AM  link  comment

Sun, Mar 25 2001

Looks as if Blogger is working fine after some tweaking of the templates :-) In fact, now the site looks almost indistuinguishable from the earlier site - except of course for the fact that I can't get my older posts into Blogger ... Oh well, I guess you have to put up with some problems to get anywhere :-) Of course, this means that I will be updating my site a lot though it might not have anything much to do with either Scope or even coding as the site's going to turn into a general Blog ... but fear not, Scope will continue to be developed and you will get more news of development now since I will be doing a lot more updating ...

I should have spent this weekend doing some more coding since I haven't "officially" released Scope 1.0 but instead, I decided to take a break and watch movies :-) But a very kind Scope user by the name of sinesolis has provided me with some excellent toolbar images as well as some other Scope icons that I intend to integrate into Scope before releasing Scope 1.0 "officially". Plus, the most requested feature for currently is the ability to close/restore maximized browser windows without having to right-click the tabs and select "Close" from the menu. The normal MDI child window maximized state buttons disappeared when I added the rebar band for the menubar. I'm currently trying to fix that by adding new buttons to the rebar bands to emulate the MDI child window maximized state buttons. Unfortunately, my workload at work is kind of heavy at the moment as I am working on a new project and so Scope will come along a bit slowly but it will eventually be released ... So hang in there :-)
posted at 05:30:13 PM  link  comment

I've been meaning to use a Blog for a while now but never got around to it - as always so many things to do and not enough time :-) LockerGnome had a link to a more sophisticated Blog tool called GreyMatter that I had downloaded sometime ago ... I finally decided to give it a try today and while I was at it, Tech TV's Call for Help ran a segment on Blogging as well - quite a coincidence :-) Anyway, GreyMatter did not really work out and so I decided to go back to Blogger since that was that much more easier to set up and use. But that was an experience in itself since I was using my own browser, Scope and for some reason or other, Scope wouldn't really work too well with the Blogger site itself - guess it's time for me to debug Scope ...

Anyway, I did manage to get the Blogger account setup by using IE and here I am finally doing my first Blog entry ... Let's see how this works out :-)

Hmm ... I guess I did make a few mistakes there since I had named the directory for Blogger incorrectly and it wasn't there :p Hey, anybody can make mistakes right? I corrected that but now I find that Tripod doesn't resolve subdirectory names correctly when using virtual domains - ugh :-( Guess, I'll have to merge my existing stuff about Scope and this Blog together so that I can keep both on one virtual domain ... Oh well ...more work :-)
posted at 11:55:08 AM  link  comment

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