Archive for July, 2007

Debugging for IE and 2 Virtual Machines

July 25, 2007

So, all the hard work this summer was on Firefox; all the tools I’ve been using such as firebug, javascript debugger and web development tools that I’ve taken for granted is no longer there. Instead, I’m forced to start debugging under Internet Explorer since I was told, the rest of the world still uses Internet Explorer.

I installed Windows XP into VMWare yesterday, I tried the quick install and it was much easier than I thought; I hated installing Windows for the reason of drivers and clicking through a bunch of useless things that takes up time (set up clock, languages etc). I knew it was going to be hectic when running everything, I’m developing in Ubuntu with Vmware and now, i’m going to run another VM for windows. 2 VMs and OS X running all at the same time, that 2 gb of ram investment really does come in handy. Starting up the 2 Virtual Machines is utter hell, I never seen my laptop under such stress (except when I try running games on it). After the initial startup, it runs pretty well actually, I’m surprised and a little impressed.

 I was greeted a nice surprise, when I fired up OLM on Ubuntu and tried to connect to it with Internet Explorer.. the page was white.. interesting, the source code was visible but Internet Explorer threw me a blank page when it was done. A little playing around and I came to realized that it was because OLM didn’t close the javascript tags properly, with the:
<script … /> instead of <script … ></script>

After changing that, the page loaded fine. I’m a little relieved, I’m playing with the grader interface and some javascript functions aren’t very friendly under IE. Its a little hidden, but Microsoft did include a built in javascript debugger; going into the Advance setting of Internet Explorer under internet options and unchecking “disable javascript debugger”, it gave me a bit more power to debug instead of the standard box they include that tells me the line number and the URL… pretty useless dump. Now, I’m playing a little bit more with it before I dump the selenium tests on it. Looks like I can’t avoid Internet Explorer forever 8(

In conclusion, I still hate Windows; its a love hate relationship, I love it only because most games run under it and it is quite speedy after a fresh install; I hate it because it still crashes, OS X looks 10x prettier than it, theres no working search function, no quicksilver, and some programs will only run on this OS.

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Tabs!

July 24, 2007

So I finished adding Group assignments into the system of OLM; yes… more tests is needed, but it works, backed by my personal approval.

So now, its massive UI time; I got the task of implementing Tabs (well, I’ve stole it from under Martin’s nose, I was kinda attached to the idea of tabs)

So while thinking of a way to implement this, I first google’d up for tab implementations, because I’m sure, there are half a billion tab implementations already out there, and maybe (being the lazy person I am), I can use their implementation instead of having to write mine from scratch.

I’ve came across two implementations:

One was the Javascript Tabifier:
http://www.barelyfitz.com/projects/tabber/

The other was Tabtastic (awesome name):
http://phrogz.net/JS/Tabtastic/index.html

both of them had pretty pictures and simple tutorials on how to implement your personal websites into it. I personally didn’t manage to get tabifier to work, but Tabtastic seems to be playing fine, though I didn’t like the way it was handling tabs. It would re-render your tabs into markers on your page and when you click the tab headers, your page would “jump” to the marker and show your tabs. This of course, mean that my page flies to the file container of the page, making it very annoying for the user.

Ultimately, I did like the css sheet that Tabtastic has, so I took that and modified it (I’m not too familiar with css myself yet). Using that, and the system of drawing everything into a single box, and some visibility fiddling, I got tabs to work the way I like em to. makeVisible and makeInvisible was my favorite tools in making such a simple implementation.

Tabs!

Some bizzare javascript render’er

July 18, 2007

I’m not sure what exact was the cause of this, but olm had a few pages which closes the tags using:

<script src=”blah blah” type=”text/javascript />

Which, is valid xhtml, but for some reason, firefox on my computer wasn’t playing very nice; It wasn’t rendering the script at all. On the other hand, Martin’s computer had firefox and it was running just fine. After comparing the output of his view source with my view source, it turned out that the problem was my line ending wasn’t the same as his, his is rendered with the explicit closing tag.

<script src=”blah blah” type=”text/javascript></script>

Kind of bizzare, Opera renedered the pages fine with the shorthand closing tags. It could possibly be some plug in I have installed, but I dont know, all the plugins I got are debuggers: firebug, javascript debugger, and the Selenium IDE.

Mockups and Life with a VM

July 4, 2007

Well, while my machine is in the shop. I’ve been doing some mockups of the new UI changes in OLM. I don’t consider myself a photoshop guru but Martin showed me the wonders of Ctrl + Shift + J, which takes a selection and cuts it out into a new layer; making mock ups a lot easier to do. Being a perfectionist when it comes to photoshopping slowed me down a little, but I think the final product paid off and looks quite nice (of course, who wouldn’t think their own work of art isn’t amazing), below are some of the screenshots thumbs:

OLM mockup - Comment TabOLM Mockups - create new commentOLM Mockups - MarksOLM Mockups - overlapping commentsOLM Mockups - rubric view

Of course, the fun part is over, once we decide if the look is good or not, we shall implement.. which will take a bit more time and a lot more thinking. But I am a little excited about how OLM is going to look after we are done with the summer work.

Now, my machine is in the shop and well… I do like to get some productivity done when I’m done photoshopping… (i.e. for the most part, now), so while photoshopping yesterday, I decided to finally start playing with VMware Fusion.. which is still in beta, and I must say, is pretty awesome. I’ve installed parallels before but didn’t like it too much, mostly because by default, it doesn’t set your host to become a router, but rather, your VM has its own mac address… the result? I can’t use UTORwin on campus! garrr…

Now, before the Parallels Guru comes knocking down my door and asking “do this this and that and voila its done! you’re dumb for not thinking of it”. I consider myself to be an average joe for the most part, if it isnt intuitive and the defaults settings aren’t set to the way I like them, and it takes more than 5 seconds to change something. I’ll probably find another program to see if they are better.

The good news being, although reinstalling Ubuntu the first time was utter hell and took me a few days to setup OLM. Installing Ubuntu on VMware and installing OLM with all the packages and stuff took me … about 4 – 5 hours this time, a big improvement :)… I think I should time myself, maybe aim for the 1 hour mark 😛

Tony