23 August 2010

Internet Exporer 7 Running On Vista In Protected Mode

I have just found the cause of an odd error that has been occurring for certain users of our web application.

A tester was reporting a JavaScript error when clicking on a link to open a new window to an external site. Looking at the script the code looked fine. I tracked the code down to the line reported in the error and found it was falling over on

After a small amount of research I ended up on the MSDN documentation site and found that apparently for IE7 running in protected mode on Vista (the default setting by all accounts), may not return a valid reference to the new window. So code that calls
var w = and then attempts to use w will fail as w will be null.

You can read more here.

Unhelpful is a word that springs to mind.

14 August 2010

KDE SC 4.5 Available Now

While I took a week off of life to have fun with the wife and son on our summer holiday, the KDE project released version 4.5 of the projects Software Compilation.

The KDE site has all the details but I am pacman -Syu as we speak.

KDE SC 4.5 Release Counter

5 August 2010

KDE 4.5 SC Delayed For A Week

For those that have not heard, the KDE Release Team have decided to move the release date for the KDE 4.5 SC back a week. This is due to some last minute fix's made after the last RC3 release.

As is right and proper Aaron has a blog post up with the details.

KDE SC 4.5 Release Counter

3 August 2010

Tips For Running An OSS Project From Damien Katz

Damien Katz is the guy behind couchDB the document-orientated database app. He has just posted a great write up on his views on running an OSS project and getting the project to a Version 1.0 release.

A very worthy read.

KDE SC 4.5 Release Counter

2 August 2010

Why Open Source Software Can Get Itself A Bad Name

There is a LOT of good things about the Open Source Development model. However, the fact that is open can mean that anyone and everyone will be looking at not only the code that a project produces but the related files and issues etc.

I came across a blog in my feeds this morning which relates to what a developer read in release notes from the GIT project. Most people now know GIT is the excellent decentralised Source Control project start by Linus Torvolds. Over the last 5 years it has grown and become an excellent product which is both powerful and to me at least quite simple to use. It has been ported to Windows and I use it on both Windows and Linux without issue. However, the author of the blog, Tim Barcz, did have an issue. He installed a later release to see if the issue was resolved and found in the release notes the following :

…All hopes to the contrary, Git for Windows is backed by only a handful of developers, in spite of being downloaded almost one hundred thousand times. You can expect developers to be enthusiastic to fix others' issues in such a situation only for so long. In short: Do not expect other people to fix your issues for you.

This is not a good enough and is harmful to OSS development. My reaction is that if you code on a project then you should at least be respectful and polite to your users. It may be that there are misunderstandings and it may be that the user is trying to do things with you application that it is not intended to do. However, to promote your project, even one started by Mr Grumpy himself, you take time to discuss issue and problems with your users and you aim to keep them informed of solutions and decisions the project takes.

In short OSS projects should treat their users like paying clients when it comes to communications.

The other main problem with the entry in the release notes is that you should not neglect one platform for another if you or your project decide to support multiple platforms. It may be you favour Linux over Windows but if you have chosen to port to Windows you should support it equally. By making your project available to everyone you may find more people opt for your chosen platform on the basis of your application.

KDE SC 4.5 Release Counter

1 August 2010

KDE 4.5 Screenshot Tour

I came across this screen shot tour of the new KDE SC 4.5 based on Beta 2. It highlights some of the new things that will be appearing in version 4.5 when it is released on Wednesday.

KDE SC 4.5 Release Counter