[status] weekly report

From: Stefano Mazzocchi <stefanom_at_mit.edu>
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 11:29:31 -0400

Here is what I did last week:

  - wrote SIMILE privacy policy (borrowing a lot from del.icio.us',
kudos to them, all the blame to me)

  - I made the command bar on temporary profile stay closed as it
consumes a lot of space. David claims is not that well discoverable, but
I would much rather have users focus on the items than on why that pane
sticks out (we will have to redesign that UI anyway when we move on
multiple view panes)

  - added export command, you can now export the items in your current
selection as RDF/N3 just by clicking a button

  - made sure that we don't encode URLs more than needed (even if
URLencoding is a very expensive operation for us)

  - tried to properly shutdown (found major issue with the way mozilla

  - piggybank now starts only after the page has loaded resulting in
much faster perceived browser startup

  - added Vineet's patched sesame (the perceived performance is now
decent) [big kudos to Vineet for the awesome patch!]

  - fixed issue with options on firefox 1.5 (that had a little
incompatibility with deerpark 1.1)

  - instrumented xpcom component shutdown, unfortunately it seems that
the liveconnect subsystem gets shut down *before* the xpcom subsystem
does, therefore we have no way to call shutdown from a singleton. This
doesn't seem to be a problem now, but we should think/test a little more
about this in the future. Problem is I don't know there is a solution at

  - [with David] fixed issue with non-ascii character in the profile
path (issue PIGGYBANK-37)

  - allowed the option dialog to show up even if piggybank failed
loading (should ease debugging in case of problems)

   - better error-handling framework

   - now piggybank checks for the java plugin existance (and right
version) at load time

   - added update mechanism, now piggybank checks automatically with the
simile server if a new version of piggybank is available (official, not
the nightly builds) this should make the life of our users easier.

   - cleaned up data icon

   - added skeleton for mime-type content handler, now it gets invoked
for RDF/N3 and RDF/Turtle files, for RDF/XML, it seems that firefox has
pretty deep hooks into this mime-type and there is no way for us to
overload that from an extension (maybe from a plugin, but then we'd lose
the one-click-install thing). [PIGGYBANK-12]

   - designed solvent, the PB scraper helping extension, with David

   - did 3D icon for solvent (using Blender, amazing program)

Things to do this week:

   - finish working on PIGGYBANK-12

   - write the troubleshooting page (to which people get directed if
there is a problem during startup)

   - make sure the data icon gets loaded 'disabled' if a problem starts
up, so that it makes discoverability easier

   - open the 'configure toolbar' pane during the welcome wizard, to add
a little discoverability for the pig button

   - try to get dchrome:// working, which means we could in theory have
chrome pages dynamically generated locally but with the same security
privileges than normal static XUL.

   - work with David to wrap up Solvent

   - do extensive beta testing, especially when users migrate between
2.0 and 2.1

   - release PB

Stefano Mazzocchi
Research Scientist                 Digital Libraries Research Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology            location: E25-131C
77 Massachusetts Ave                   telephone: +1 (617) 253-1096
Cambridge, MA  02139-4307              email: stefanom at mit . edu
Received on Mon Sep 19 2005 - 15:25:01 EDT

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