Posts for October 2006


Find As You Type for Internet Explorer has just reached 1000 downloads on the site: about 900 x86, and 100 x64 (and an additional 263 downloads of the source code).

And that's not even counting the downloads from Channel9 or other places that may be mirroring it. Since the IE blog linked to Channel9, and since C9 has slightly more traffic than, I suspect it's been downloaded even more times there.

Thanks for your support everyone!

Categories: Site news
Posted on: 2006-10-31 23:09 UTC. Show comments (1)

Unfortunately, a day isn't always 24 hours

You may have noticed that the calendar in the sidebar on the right uses a nifty javascript/AJAX implementation so the page doesn't need to refresh when you go backward or forward. Yesterday I discovered a really stupid bug in it: go backward a month, then go forward to October again (unless it's already after October when you read this, in which case you just need to go back, assuming I haven't fixed the bug already). You'll see October 29th appears twice, and the days after it are shifted ahead.

How does this happen? It's because the javascript Date object doesn't have any built-in support for date arithmetic; you can't easily add a day to it for instance. So I built my own support for that. Since you can convert a date to and from a representation in seconds, to advance one day I simply add the number of seconds there's in a single day to the date object. Which worked great, until now.

You see, I'd been working under the premise that dates are all 24 hours long, not an unreasonable assumption you might think. Unfortunately, thanks to the end of Daylight Saving Time, October 29th is 25 hours long, throwing off my algorithm.

I'm going to fix this, of course. Soon, I hope.

UPDATE: It appears I'm an idiot, and the Date object does support the type of arithmetic I need. I don't see how I missed that when I implemented it... Anyway this'll make fixing it a lot easier. I still need to actually do it, of course. :)

Update 2006-10-31: The bug has been fixed. All seems well with the calendar now.

Categories: Site news
Posted on: 2006-10-30 15:22 UTC. Show comments (0)


From "nearly done" to "done": last Friday I received final marks for my thesis: 9 (out of 10).

This mark is for the research I've done, the written thesis itself, and the presentation I gave last Thursday as I said in my previous post.

I do not often boast about grades, or mention them at all really (with the possible exception of my grades for French class, which I only mention to indicate how truly hideously terrible I was at that), but I just had to mention this. I mean, it's not every day I finish my final project, and I am justifyably proud of that mark.

Unfortunately I am once again going to have to promise you to reveal my thesis work at a later date. But soon! :)

Update 2006-10-31: My thesis is now available in the University section of the site.

Categories: University
Posted on: 2006-10-29 21:41 UTC. Show comments (2)

Nearly done

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you're probably a spam bot. :P In any case, you might've noticed that certain parts of the site have been neglected a bit. I haven't posted on the blog much, and the EGS statistics are horribly out of date.

The reason for this is that I've been busy on my master's thesis. Today, I did a presentation about my work, which went pretty well I think (I don't have the results yet so I can't know for sure). I've been sick for the past week and still hadn't recovered completely, but it still went well regardless.

Now the presentation's done and my thesis pretty much complete, which means that finally, after more than six years, the end is in sight. If all goes well (and I don't see why it wouldn't at this point) I will receive my master's degree on November 24th, a day before my birthday. In a way it's almost scary; I've been a student for six years, then suddenly I won't be anymore. There's also some practical concerns. Students can get a creditcard regardless, but once I stop being a student I'll need an income to keep it. Since I'm still waiting for the final word on my scholarship for Japan, I'm not sure how that's going to work. I'll also lose my 100Mbps Internet connection, which is for students only. But, c'est la vie.

I've been writing my thesis in Office 2007, and I must say, I'm really impressed. MS managed to make Office more powerful, yet far easier to use. Of course there's still some bugs (it's only Beta 2 TR after all), but I have very high expectations of the release version.

Today's presentation in particular I gave using my laptop, running Windows Vista RC2 (build 5744) and PowerPoint 2007. I was pleased to see that my favourite (but very underused) PowerPoint feature, presenter view, hasn't been neglected in the new version. With presenter view, you get the regular presentation on the VGA out (attached to a beamer usually) and a special view on the LCD screen that shows the current slide, a thumbnail list of slides, the duration of the presentation, and (most importantly) the notes you added to the current slide. Far more useful than just mirroring the LCD and VGA displays, since it allows me to get a better idea of where I'm at, and I can keep notes without having to use cards or put too much information on the slide itself.

In PowerPoint 2007, presenter view has been reorganised a little. In previous versions, the slide thumbnails were on the left, and the notes on the bottom. Now, the slide thumbnails are on the bottom, and the notes on the right. This means there's more room for the notes. Besides showing the presentation duration, it also shows the current time, which is also new.

Considering I'm studying computer science, I'm surprised there's not more students who know about this very useful feature.

And by the way, if you're curious about what my thesis is about exactly, I'll have to keep you in suspense for a bit longer; it's simply too complicated for me to effectively explain in a blog post. But rest assured that once my thesis is officially finished, I'll put it up here so you can read it for yourself.

Categories: University
Posted on: 2006-10-26 19:34 UTC. Show comments (0)

Workaround for IE7's right-floated italic text scrollbar bug

So IE7 was released yesterday. Since everybody and their dog were blogging about that, I decided not to waste a post on it, despite the fact that it would've been an excellent opportunity to remind everybody of my Find As You Type add-on.

But IE7's release did mean I finally had to bite the bullet and look for a workaround to one of IE7's bugs. This particular bug means that if you have any right-floated italic text on your page, doesn't matter where, the page gets a rediculously huge horizontal scrollbar. You can see this bug in action here (includes screenshot of the bug).

This bug affects one of my sites, namely the front page of (site in Dutch). The dates on the updates on the right are right-floated and italic, so they triggered the bug. I had put off doing anything about that since IE7 was still in beta, despite the fact that Dave Massy had already informed me that they weren't going to fix this.

But now I couldn't delay any longer. I figured I'd just have to change the text to not be italic, but I'm glad to say I found a work around! Simply set overflow-x:hidden on the body element, and there you go.

It's a shame this bug's in there, since it's a regression (IE6 didn't have the problem), and I really wish they'd fixed it, but thankfully with this workaround I can still get my site to look as I intended it in IE7.

Let's hope this bug'll be gone in IE8. :-)

Categories: Programming
Posted on: 2006-10-19 19:15 UTC. Show comments (0)

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