Making slow progress

After a long hiatus, I’m starting to get back into Manila Envelope again. I had a minor breakthrough this morning that allowed me to get the message number for newly created news items. This by itself doesn’t do a lot for the user, but when combined with the ability to retrieve a post from the server and change the content of an existing message, it’s laying groundwork for the ability to edit the last post made.

Other work: changing the site tagline from inside Manila Envelope. And still trying valiantly to figure out how to convert italic and bold styled text to HTML tags.
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Apple open-sources JavaScript framework

I’m surprised no one has pointed to this yet, but Apple quietly made its core JavaScript framework source code available on June 13, as noted on this mailing list. The source is available for download here.

It looks like they’ve based the core on the kjs JavaScript engine in KDE, which explains why it’s being released back to the community. The announcement also indicates that Apple hopes to get the framework into a public CVS tree soon, to allow other developers to make contributions.

This is pretty significant. If JavaScript becomes a robust system framework like Java and Cocoa (and AppleScript), it will add to the stable of languages that developers can use to write native Mac OS X applications. Of course, developers have had a form of JavaScript access to Windows (using JScript) since Windows 2000…
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To SSL or not to SSL…

Apple appears to have turned off SSL support on the mail.mac.com server again. I wonder if this is deliberate, or if they just don’t have the server configured to turn SSL support back on when something happens. If it weren’t for Webmail, I would have never known—Mail.app doesn’t go offline when the SSL server is down, it just sits there.
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Killer skyscraper database

I love the World’s Tallest Buildings Diagram, though it is inaccurately named. It is in fact an interactive database that allows you to specify which skyscrapers you want to see—by name, city, architect, year, etc.—and produce a chart sorted by year, height, You can generate the Boston skyline with just a click. Even the default search—the world’s tallest buildings in height order—is dizzyingly cool, a quick whip through the architectural fancies of a dozen different countries.

Accustomed to featureless buildings like the Aon Center in Chicago, the Sears Tower, or the late lamented World Trade Center towers, it’s fascinating to see towers like the Taipei Financial Center, Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the T&C Tower in Taiwan, or even the Empire State Building as evidence that tall buildings need not be monoliths out of Kubrick’s 2001. [Hat tip to Cory and Dave for the link.]
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Peaceful morning with Elvis

It’s a beautiful morning here in Boston. I’m lingering over the New York Times and other items in my Radio aggregator, drinking tea, making an omelet, listening to The Juliet Letters.

True confession: I loved this album when it came out. I couldn’t stop playing it. Today I know there’s something a little too arch about the performance, a little too forced in the compromise between pop songwriting and string quartet writing. But still I love the album: the somber wordless opening “Deliver Us,” the melancholic “For Other Eyes,” the gleefully wicked “I Almost Had a Weakness,” the wistful “Who Do You Think You Are?” Perfect early morning reflection music.
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