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Announcements

SlashNET Forum With Jamie Zawinski 107

SlashNET is hosting a forum with Jamie Zawinski of Netscape, Mozilla, and XEmacs fame. It will take place at 5:00 PM EST (22:00 GMT) on Feb. 26, which is this Saturday, in #forum. If you'd like to submit a question for jwz [?] early, you can do so at the questions page. With all the projects that he has touched, this looks to be an interesting and informative time.
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SlashNET Forum With Jamie Zawinski

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 24, 2000 @07:26PM (#1247275)
    THIS IS NOT A SLASHDOT INTERVIEW. DO NOT POST YOUR QUESTIONS IN THIS FORUM BECAUSE "JWZ" WILL NEVER SEE THEM. SEE THE LINK AT THE TOP FOR A PLACE TO POST THEM. THIS STORY WAS AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF AN IRC CHAT. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO POST YOUR DUMB QUESTIONS HERE. GOTTA NIP THIS THING IN THE BUD!
  • Whoops. You're right. I've adjusted the story accordingly. Mea Culpa.
  • I hope you actually meant a different date.
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    Actually, there's a reason for that. Did you read the comment contained within? He's got a point, as usual...

    <!-- Greetings, Lynx users. There is a reason this page doesn't use ALT tags
    on the images. The reason is that the bozos responsible for both MSIE
    and Netscape Confusicator 4.0 decided that they would display the ALT
    tags of images every time you move the mouse over them -- even if the
    images are loaded, and even if they are not links. The ALT attribute
    to the IMG tag is supposed to be used *instead of* the image, not *in
    addition to* the image.

    This looks absolutely terrible, so I don't use ALT tags any more in
    self-defense.

    If they wanted to implemented tooltips, they should have used the TITLE
    attribute to the A tag. That's in the HTML 1.2 spec and everything.

    I had to decide between making this page look good for the vast majority
    of viewers, or making it be readable by the miniscule minority of you
    stuck in the 70s. Those of you in the retro contingent lost. Sorry.
    -->
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • Thanks, that fact escaped me, too! (I just submitted my question there)

    I guess this begs the question: why do we even put Announcements on here as stories, with comments?

    It looks like these announcements contain useful information, so I don't want to filter them, but the comments will probably be necessarily duller. (Even taking into account the current sorry state of slashdot...)
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    First, let me point out that his page looks just fine in w3m, and it doesn't load the images, either.

    Second, JWZ wrote his web page so it would have a certain consistent look in the current web browsers being used today. Some people don't even do that much. And this is just a splash page. Everything after that is mostly text and tables.

    Third, once you realize his goals, you complain that he's going about it all wrong. So please, explain to me how in HTML you'd fix this. How do I get the cool big blinking green terminal font instead of using images?

    Don't complain about JWZ, complain about the W3C instead. JWZ has tried to implement what they and Netscape want, and he ultimately left out of disgust. Also, I'm sure he could write better code for anything from terminals to X-terminals than we could unless we had a lot of practice. If he strikes you as arrogant, fine, but *I* sure couldn't write a VCR labeler in raw PostScript. But he's definitely not clueless.

    Also, turning text into images is interesting, just like turning images into text is interesting. And annoying splash pages are pretty funny, as long as you take them at face value, and link to the content instead...
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • Um, no, I see his point, and when he said something about JWZ being a karma whore on a higher plane, I don't think he was talking about posting to slashdot.

    Regardless, JWZ does too have a slashdot account [slashdot.org], and he does post occasionally, when something interests him. I think we all understand if he doesn't post much now. :)
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].

  • Oh, I agree with you, JWZ is cool in my book, too. It's just that the Troll you were replying to wasn't Trolling, just Ranting. :)

    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • Actually, I think it was the other way around.

    Isn't XEmacs derived from Lucid Emacs, which is the version that JWZ worked on?

    It all sounded like a big misunderstanding to me.

    (Hence, "Why cooperation with RMS is impossible" :)
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • by pb ( 1020 ) on Thursday February 24, 2000 @06:49PM (#1247284)
    What's your favorite hack, and which of your hacks are you the most proud of?

    Everyone knows about xdaliclock ("morphing before morphing was cool"), and lately xscreensaver has gotten pretty decent too... (surpassing xlock in the number of supported nifty screensavers) One of my favorites is probably dadadodo, ("the Katz generator", for me... :) but it could use some work. (maybe I'll work on it someday)

    Also, how's the nightclub stuff going? A welcome break from the fast-paced world of netscape development and net.stardom?
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • by CaseyB ( 1105 ) on Friday February 25, 2000 @05:35AM (#1247285)
    Why is this being done as a chat forum? I think that the slashdot interview format is much better for both participants. The slashdot community can frame some intelligent questions and moderate them to reflect the issues that we're most interested in, and Jamie can take time to respond intelligently to them.

    Realtime chat is better used for a social event, not a forum for learning something.

  • Was a transcript ever made available? I'd be interested in seeing what happened.
  • I'm not sure if anybody else noticed this, but if you happened to visit payments.networksolutions.com during the downtime and entered slashdot.org's status, it said $70 was due. I should have taken a screenshot while I could...

    I thought they would make a story out of this?
    "Slashdot forgets to pay its domain name bill. Bill Gates pays for it" :)
  • How hard is it to note the story has changed? Just a little link that goes to a listing of ALL the changes made to a headline? Also, will we ever get an explanation of why Slashdot was down the other night?
  • Users are invited to route their IRC packets through their local Black Hole Chronological Vortex, sending them back in time one week. :)
  • Damn, guess CowboyNeal jumped the gun and made me look like an idiot. ;)
  • His high-profile badmouthing of the Mozilla project is the primary reason for all of the death knells we keep hearing. And I personally think that the real reason for the Emacs/Xemacs split was a JWZ/RMS ego battle.

    Truly, this guy is not worth our attention.

    --
  • Yes. What I have said before in the XFree 4.0 pre
    discussion: Netscape displays only empty pages for me.
    Sometimes a banner will show up, but no text. I don;t
    think it is a Java problem, I think it is motif. The
    KDE browser does work for me. All the previous X 4.0 pre;s
    had the same problem. I guess nobody in the X team ever runs
    Netscape, or it would have been fixed by now. I have
    reported this bug several times, but they never answer
    their email, except for an automated respons. Too bloody
    closed they are.


    ------------------------------------------------ --------
    UNIX isn't dead, it just smells funny...
  • Oh oh oh!!!! Mr. Torvalds!!! I can't believe it's REALLY YOU!!!

    >SARCASM<
    It's a good thing that you finally decided to lay claim to the "Linus Torvalds." nick so that no brainless flaming immature wank of a troll would take it over and pester all of slashdot with his pointless invective! The slashdot system does work! And your post is proof!
    >/SARCASM<

  • Since most of the comments so far have been date related or somewhat OT, I have decided to ask a fairly OT question. I have a need to use some of the features in XFree4 and have been playing around with beta release. Unfortunately, netscape (4.7.1) has gone somewhat nuts. Not certain, but it seems that java or java script stuff blows up. Starting up the java console crashes netscape if java-script (in preferences) is disabled. Some web pages refuse to load in java-script is enabled. Selecting the security option also brings netscape to a halt.

    WTF am I doing wrong? Is this a netscape problem (same thing happens when running 4.5) or is this a X problem?

  • Sorry for the late response, but thanks. I missed the the /. post on the release of XFree86 3.9.18. I knew about the release because I been going to this site almost every day. I do not think the problem is motif. We have a commercial motif package that we also tried and still had the same problem. Because of you, I read the posts on the Tuesday story and one person indicated that the 3.9.18 version fixes this problem.

    Another person indicated that he/she had problems compiling the package. I have had problems that required me to tweak things. The docs are okay but are not idiot proof.

    I'm finally able to compile the package on a RedHat 6.0 distro. However, I am not sure that the compile was successful.

    Too bad that I missed the original /. story because I have had lots of problems with the pre-4 distro. Imlib with a -fbbpp 32 -cc4 option on a Matrox G400 card results in "interesting" results.

  • It won't look the same with plain text, either. Lynx does not do variable font size.

    Anyway, jwz is a very informed guy.

    Nothing says that he has to have his page accessable by anyone.

    http://tv.cream.org/buchan certainly isn't! ;-)

  • Not everyone has that font. Requiring them to get it is a hastle, and possibly impossible.

    He wanted his page to look the same no matter what browser was used.

  • shutup and let the trolls have fun, okaY?!!!!
  • No it is not you. Specially last couple weeks ( connection makes no difference, T1-56 , different provider )

    It is getting worse.
  • So please, explain to me how in HTML you'd fix this. How do I get the cool big blinking green terminal font instead of using images?

    You use text. Then, if you really think that font looks k3wl, go into your web browser's preferences, and pick the big green terminal font. Or if you want other people to get to see that page in that font too, then you point to a style sheet which suggests that font.


    ---
  • Maybe YOU don't get it. This isn't a company web-site, or the newest e-commerence website. This is his PERSONAL website, and he doesn't have to do a damn thing he doesn't want to. He doesn't have to cater to anybody.

    You're right, he doesn't have to cater to anybody. The problem is that he's not Joe Everyman. He's a high-profile web guy with credibility, reputation, etc. So his web site sends a message to Joe Everyman: "this is the right way to author a web site." That's a message I want to counter. I want Joe Everyman to know that when someone makes a web site like that, they open themselves to ridicule and disgust.

    When a nobody does that sort of thing, I'll just hit the back button, or maybe laugh at them. But when their teachers and the people they look up to do it, I'll spit at 'em and show my contempt.


    ---
  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Thursday February 24, 2000 @08:38PM (#1247302) Homepage Journal

    Sheesh, this guy just doesn't get it. If those particular browsers do something stupid, is that really a reason to cripple your web page?

    What an ass. I'm not stuck in the 70s, I'm stuck in the 200x's and the fastest internet connection that I can get for less than $200 per month is a 56k modem. AWeb blows the doors off of Netscape, MSIE, and Lynx all combined, but I still get pissed that I have to load images sometimes just to read something.

    So I load the images, and what do I find? The images are just text! He's taken text and turned it into pictures! This is the epitome of the flash-over-subtance shockwave-using give-me-a-WYSIWYG-HTML-editor anti-technology point-missing clueless [censored] [censored] web-novice. That this guy has been involved with the Netscape/Mozilla stuff, explains a lot. It explains why mainstream web browsers have remained virtually unchanged and unimproved since 1994: because people like this have been guiding them.

    [Lots of other indignant stuff deleted. I can just barely resist flaming this fuckhead to hell and back.] *vent* *vent*


    ---
  • by jawad ( 15611 )
    The guy who doesn't like ALT= tags on his website [jwz.org]? Hmmm..
  • My bad. One too many w's in the URL. Someone moderate this troll up as informative! (You know he'll despise it).
  • Productive member of Slashdot? I've checked out your user info [slashdot.org]. I think not.
  • ALT tags are an accessibility issue, not a "retro-browser-choice" thing, as he puts it in his source.
  • Maybe YOU don't get it. This isn't a company web-site, or the newest e-commerence website. This is his PERSONAL website, and he doesn't have to do a damn thing he doesn't want to. He doesn't have to cater to anybody.

    If people like you are going to start venting and blatting about how people write the HTML code in personal websites, and rant on and on in a public forum, then maybe this world has gotten just a little to anal about stuff, and people should learn the first rule of society.

    MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!!!!

  • by turg ( 19864 ) <turg@winston.PERIODorg minus punct> on Thursday February 24, 2000 @06:38PM (#1247309) Journal
    According to the announcement on SlashNet, it's on the 26th, and seeing as the 19th has already passed, I'll betting that's the correct one.

    Of course the /. story'll probably be corrected by the time I post this and it'll be moderated "redundant" but, hey, at least I tried to help my fellow slashdotters.

    ========
    +++For-pay Internet distributed processing. [processtree.com]+++

  • [ If they wanted to implemented tooltips, they
    [ should have used the TITLE attribute to the A
    [ tag. That's in the HTML 1.2 spec and everything.

    ALT tags are required in HTML 4.0. Now, we all know that thanks to lazy browser implementation, HTML is nowhere near as strictly enforced as <pick your programming language>. I think it most definitely should be, but that's another thread altogether.

    If you'd take the time follow through on the research you've already obviously done, you'd notice the following in the HTML 4.0 spec (http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/objects.html#ad ef-alt):

    'The alt attribute must be specified for the IMG and AREA elements. It is optional for the INPUT and APPLET elements.

    While alternate text may be very helpful, it must be handled with care. Authors should observe the following guidelines:

    Do not specify irrelevant alternate text when including images intended to format a page, for instance, alt="red ball" would be inappropriate for an image that adds a red ball for decorating a heading or paragraph. In such cases, the alternate text should be the empty string (""). Authors are in any case advised to avoid using images to format pages; style sheets should be used instead.
    Do not specify meaningless alternate text (e.g., "dummy text"). Not only will this frustrate users, it will slow down user agents that must convert text to speech or braille output.'

    So you see, while the ALT tag is required, you can simply put ALT="" and get around the crappy browser implementation, that is, until the browsers start requiring more intelligence of the people writing markup for the web.
  • And if I'D actually done my research (unfiltered the level 1 comments for example, to see where this all started), I'd have seen that I was talking about JWZ himself, and that he DOES, in fact, use ALT="" for his images...

    Jeez... whatadumbassIam... ;)
  • by delmoi ( 26744 )
    JWZ's website looks bad anyway. Well, not bad-bad, but not exactly super-wonderfull ether. the only links on his page are images as well... he could at least provide some [font color=black] links at the bottom of his page for lynx users (GFX users wouldn't even see them). and the tooltips are only there when you move the mouse over them does his 'super-artistic' site need to look perfict 100% of the time?

    And what about blind people? There never going to see his 'beautiful' layout anyway. Wanker.

    [ c h a d &nbsp o k e r e ] [dhs.org]
  • Fer gossake! Why'd you guys have to pick Saturday night, of all times? Saturday at exactly 5pm I've got a once-in-a-lifetime date with the girl of my dreams, and there ain't no way I'm missing that to log on to SlashNet. Argh!

    --

  • Yes, yes, JWZ is an arrogant bastard, we know, that's why we pay attention to him, duh.
  • Consider yourself fortunate, I still can't get the damn Xfree4 betas to compile. I'm not inept at it but I have no clue whatsoever what I'm doing wrong. Maybe I've got funky include file conflicts...
  • You bitch and moan about Java (and hell, doesn't everybody) but have you ever met Java's big brother Self? Self was the language developed by Sun that was simpler and cleaner than Smalltalk. Apparently Self was just too much of a big step for programmers, so Sun started making it more "C like" which just totally destroyed it, the result was Java.
  • that's a very good point!
  • oh damn straight.. but you could do Java like syntax in Self.. it just took some interesting object construction.. the language never had a chance.
  • I hate to nit pick but today is the 24th. Last Saturday was the 19th. I used to like to live in the past but paxil [paxil.com] helped me =)

  • yes I think there was some misunderstanding that could have been avoided. It's a shame. But really, RMS should feel no fear about taking code from xemacs; who/what company would attack legally? Lucid is gone. Time to bury the hatchet, RMS.
  • by blogan ( 84463 ) on Thursday February 24, 2000 @07:15PM (#1247321)
    Reading through the comments, I notice two types of comments. Those complaining about the wrong date, and those asking questions. This isn't Ask Slashdot! If you have a question, then follow the link and ask. I be there will be people saying in a few days, "Where the hell is the answers from JWZ?"
  • Sheesh, this guy just doesn't get it. If those particular browsers do something stupid, is that really a reason to cripple your web page?

    From the fact that he purposely does not use ALT tags and went so far as to put an explanation for it in the source, I think it somehow became a personal issue with him. I think that there was a discussion (or perhaps more than one) about whether or not it should display the ALT tag. He probably won in the past, but eventually, someone went over/around/behind him to do it. If that's the case, some bitterness is quite understandable.

  • At 10:59PM?
  • If you want your page to look the same in any browser, use plain text. Redundant to point it out again (I would have thought / hoped), but... these pages will NOT look the same in any browser. They will be unusable in lynx, at least. If you don't like the way IE and NS bring up the ALT tag on mouseover, don't leave your mouse over the image - the pointer will be obscuring the image in that case, anyway. The bottom line is that ACCESSIBILITY IS ABOUT ACCESS. Anyone wanting to view the site has to access it. I assume this guy is either very misinformed or very ignorant, judging by his "stuck in the 70s" comments. And giving up on something because of the way IE and Netscape work is just plain weak, and didn't get us where we are today.
  • I logged the entire session, both the two hours moderated and the two unmoderated. Click here. [netwalk.com]

  • Well, if we're going to be pedantic about things, then since you have no way of knowing where he lives, then you shouldn't have 'promised' that the sun would still be there.

    And for the record, there are seldom logical conclusions made in the issuance of a question. Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say here is... Fuck off. If you're going to be an asshole, please spare me the hassle of trying to make it look like someone else's doing.

    Adios,

  • This wouldn't be "Ask Slashdot" anyway. Ask Slashdot is when people submit questions to slashdot, not the other way around.

    You're thinking of "Interviews".
    There's a difference.

    Ciao

  • Well make sure to read the source for his explanation. You may have read it but for those who didn't bother:

    <!-- Greetings, Lynx users. There is a reason this page doesn't use ALT tags on the images. The reason is that the bozos responsible for both MSIE and Netscape Confusicator 4.0 decided that they would display the ALT tags of images every time you move the mouse over them -- even if the images are loaded, and even if they are not links. The ALT attribute to the IMG tag is supposed to be used *instead of* the image, not *in addition to* the image.

    This looks absolutely terrible, so I don't use ALT tags any more in self-defense.

    If they wanted to implemented tooltips, they should have used the TITLE attribute to the A tag. That's in the HTML 1.2 spec and everything.

    I had to decide between making this page look good for the vast majority of viewers, or making it be readable by the miniscule minority of you stuck in the 70s. Those of you in the retro contingent lost. Sorry.

    -->

  • should be interesting....especially the time travelling part - Feb 19th will the next story posted be DIY Time Teleporter?

    hmm, sorry to bash a typo

  • So I've been trying in vain to find a stuffed animal Mozilla. According to some guy at Irvine [uci.edu] they aren't at the store anymore, and several mozillazine readers [mozillazine.org] are also looking.

    mmmmmmozillllla

  • Yeah... /. was down for hours. A lot of us are wondering about that...
  • Try http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/02/10/zawin ski/index.html
  • You don't have to "listen to drivel..." No one is forcing you to log on. Like Carlin says about the radio - it has two knobs on it. One turns it off and the other one CHANGES THE STATION! If you're so against JWZ don't log on, don't read it, don't submit a question...
  • Fear of getting sued was never the issue. The Lucid code was free software.

    To me it looked like the whole Ludcid Emacs/GNU Emacs mess was about communications problems between RMS and Lucid. And difference in opinions about what features should be implemented.

    And for the record. GNU Emacs has used ideas (and possibly code) from Lucid Emacs for a long, long time. And the other way around of course.
  • are we still talkingabout Jamie Zawinkski?? slashnet??? a poem??? im sorry im not seeing it...
  • I don't know if its just this post, or i had not realized, but theres really stupid people, writting generally really dumb things. Im afraid we have reached the point where no factual written communication takes place. You have nothing smart to say, or at least something to say, is better if you don't. Is sad to see the degradation of the interaction of ideas reduced to bad words, and troll-talk
  • Except Netscape lets you turn off tooltips. So does IE, IIRC. If the user has a problem with the tooltips, the user can disable them. That's putting those kind of preferences back where they belong.

    Unfortunately, not only did he not include ALT tags, which would just leave links like "gruntle.gif" (which I actually think would be kinda cool, given the theme of his page), he put blank ones in. This makes it completely impossible to use the page in Lynx; the links don't even appear. If he doesn't want tooltips, he should just not include an ALT tag. The graphical browsers will then leave him alone.

    However, as someone said, this is his page. He can make whatever kind of statement he wants. If you really want in to his site, you can view the source in Lynx and do some URL hackery. Which is the TRUE SPIRIT OF SLASHDOT, is it not?

  • I would say Linux is like a fine wine (duh) but one of its more desirable features is its accessibility (also duh.) Though as an L-junkie I often find it intoxicating...*blush*
  • I swallow my pride and spit on yr grave. Sucka. *adjusts pigtails*
  • The only pic of him I've ever seen is that one at www.jwz.org (not the clearest, highest resolution thing in existance).

    Are there any better ones?
  • Yeah, it's real cool to be a troll. Except one thing - it looks like you've been pretty busy posting here. Go outside - I promise the sun is still there.
  • It's not 10:59 everywhere in the world, idiot, and I have no way of knowing where he lives. And you have no way of knowing where I live.

    If you're going to be that pedantic, at least make sure you aren't leaving gaping holes in your logic. I think the meaning I was attempting to convey was clear enough.

    Cheers,

    Tr011Thr4sh3r
  • Attention grabbing antics?

    This guy, being as high profile as he is, is definately not an attention hoarder. He stays out of the limelite, and does not treat us to the kind of self promotion of, say, ESR.

    Signal 11? Are you on crack? JWZ does not post on slashdot to my knowledge. He's too cool for that, and I don't mean that in a sarcastic way.
  • So I make promises I can't possibly keep. Do me a favor and read this thread back to the beginning, and then tell ME who is the troll, and who just got really pissed off by all the FUCKING TROLLS.

    'nuff said
  • Wow.

    User id 775. That's him all right - I stand corrected.

    And I see what you mean about "Karma whore on a higher plane" though I must disagree. JWZ is cool in my book. Eccentric and highly opinionated, but cool nontheless.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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