Hugh Winkler holding forth on computing and the Web

Monday, December 26, 2005

Java SWT rich clients: Azureus, Oxygen

Azureus Bittorrent client is a pretty impressive example of a Java rich client based on SWT. It's responsive and rich graphically. Did they finally get the equivalent of Java2D in SWT? Azureus has lots of scrolling realtime graphs to diagnose why your 2GB download goes so slowly. .NET isn't your only choice for a rich client.

I should also mention Oxygen, an SWT desktop XML IDE also based on SWT. It's capable and snappy, and has a great XSLT debugger; but not as feature loaded as XML Spy.

A nice scrolling real time graph from Azureus

Friday, December 23, 2005

Oldest Mozilla Bug (Not)

Every software organization has its oldest bug. The older the bugs are, the less likely you are to fix them. If I remember correctly, at my last company , after three years the oldest bug we never had fixed was number 11. Usually a bug becomes irrelevant after a number of years.

Three years ago today I reported a Mozilla CSS rendering bug. The details won't interest you, unless you're really into using CSS to replace tables. The workaround to the bug is: Use a table. Surely it's not the oldest bug in Mozilla, but it may be up there. And web developers are still actively encountering it.

Most interesting is the dynamic of getting a bug fixed in Mozilla. I reported the bug three years ago today, but it was a duplicate: A guy originally reported it on December 28, 2000. Today I thought it worthwhile to commemorate my third anniversary, and the approaching fifth anniversary, of Bug 63895:
I am celebrating today my third anniversary as a reporter of this bug. I reported it Dec 23, 2002 ( and was soon notified that it was a duplicate of this one.

In just a few days the bug will pass its fifth anniversary since originally reported by Stephen Clouse on Dec. 28, 2000, near the end of the last century.

I've subscribed to the "progress" of the bug over the years since then. Here are my picks for each year's highlights:

o 2001: A comment by Hixie ( I didn't understand this one really ( I don't understand any of the technical comments really) but it seems really cool that Hixie has been on the case.

o 2002: Derek ( "This seems like a pretty significant bug, considering that CSS2 positioning is supposed to end dependence on table-based layouts."

o 2003: Boris ( complaining about "pushy bug reporters who demand things as their right without thinking about the fact that ..." yada yada.

o 2004: Joe ( "Wow... 12-28-2000... Don't hold my breath eh?", followed by Martin's riposte ( "Please keep those remarks to yourself, this doesn't help."

o 2005: ATom ( "How are advantages of this behavior? According my opinion is it only disadvantage. How much authors use this behavior? How many pages can change of this behavior cause regression?"

I'm looking forward to lots more analysis and opinion on this bug in 2006!