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Work Gabble

weather: sunny
outside: 22°C
mood: rested
I just got up a while ago and I'm finishing off my mocha with my Apple Crumble muffin. The last two days at Work have been a hairy spazz.

I'm not allowed to have any fewer than 3 projects, all with the same deadlines, on the same Friday.

The Linux port project: One of our codebases was to be ported to Linux. This means I got to wade around in our two Linux boxen for a while, but only ankle deep, in the kiddie pool. The two boxen so far are porthos and athos =). We might be adding aramis and dartagnan if we need them. =)

The damned thing wouldn't compile on porthos because we had a version of gcc that didn't have the libraries we need. Everything we found online said that it was just an old shit version, get a newer one. But we couldn't just upgrade gcc on porthos because other projects were using that gcc version and we'd have to schedule a time to upgrade when we could be sure that the other projects were in a stable state. So, after a minor CVS song and dance on athos, wherein I got to dick around with my .bashrc file (wheeee!) albeit for only two seconds (meh), I got the source code checked out and got it compiling with gcc 3.3.3. I don't know why we don't have 3.3.4...

The Hyperlinks implementation project: One of the guys had to rip out and reimplement the whole Hyperlinks module for one of our codebases so that we'd have a proper semantic XML representation of Microsoft Word hyperlinks. That was when I noticed that our test suite library was slightly defficient in hyperlink test files. So, off I went, making more. All the combinations of link sources: web URL, relative file path, absolute file path, absolute file path on a network (UNC path), mailto:, ftp protocol, https protocol, internal bookmark, screentip... And all the combinations of targets: current window, new window, etc.

A bit of a warning for all you folks using Microsoft Word and like doing hyperlinkie things with it: if you set a Base URL for the document (File->Properties; Summary tab; "Hyperlink base" near the bottom) and if you have internal bookmarks (links in your doc that jump to a point in the same document somewhere else), those bookmarks will now be farked. Internal bookmarks are just anchors. Word will prepend the Base URL to your anchor and on CTRL-click, will launch IE to open the resulting URL.

The Hyperlink Base won't mess up an external web URL or a file path or any other type of source except an internal bookmark. I didn't have time to see if that would mess up the links in, say, a Table of Contents. That would be huge badness if it did, but it wouldn't surprise me either.

Also, I noticed that it will take my absolute file path and pop it into a relative file path when I'm not looking. I put in "C:\foo\bar\baz\file.doc" but when I click "OK" and go CTRL-K to reopen the Edit Hyperlink dialogue, the path has become "../../../baz/file.doc" or whatever, depending on what my current directory was.

AND THEN. And then the fun-ness began when I got to MS Word for Mac. File paths are represented differently on a Mac. If you open a Windows Word file in Mac Word and just do a File->Save, that does not touch the hyperlink data. That would mean that I'd have a file in the Mac Word format but hyperlinks with Windows file paths. Technically, that would count as a corrupted file. You have to explicitly open the Edit Hyperlink dialogue, make a minor change and click "OK" in order for Mac Word to convert the data to its own native format.

With the little time that I had, I just couldn't recreate all the new test files for all the different versions of Word starting from Word95 on up. I had to go with feature coverage for the latest versions of Windows Word and Mac Word. The available hyperlinks files that we had already were used for sanity check, just to make sure the new Hyperlink module didn't blow up with basic cases in the previous versions.

The MathML project: This has been the highlight of my week [A Gentle Introduction to MathML; The Rough'n'Tumble W3C Introduction to MathML].

The tedium of creating a test suite was greatly offset by being able to touch and tinker with Math equations and formulae. This project is taking [Presentation] MathML and converting it to SVG while complying with industry standards for high-end typography for printing and publishing as well as online/web visualization. The issues surrounding this project are just fascinating and combines two areas that I love working with: meta-Math and traditional Printing/Publishing.

One of the issues we have to struggle with and design for, is Serif versus San-Serif fonts. And that would be why the headline "Alpha-Bits Now Available in Serif Font" had me laughing so hard, my face was cramping XD

MathType 5.2 is going to be our baseline for comparison.

It's the professional version of Equation Editor that comes with Microsoft Office. In Word, go Insert->Object; "Create New" tab; scroll down to Microsoft Equation 3.0. It's usually not selected by default on installation of Microsoft Office though, it's one of the optional install components, so it might not be there for you =P

MT5.2 has the ability to export to MathML 1.0, 2.0 with all kinds of options and TeX in different flavours as well. I can save to WMF, GIF and EPS. Probably most importantly, I can export to PDF so that I can compare the output in different zoom sizes.

I was working late last night because of stupid Adobe. Adobe broke something that I needed between Illustrator 9 to Illustrator 10. Hey, hey, Murphy, good to see ya. =P So, now I'm debating whether I want to go back to work this afternoon and make up for the lost time. I have to uninstall 10 and install 8.01 which is the only way I can use the upgrade CD to install 9. ={


Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Jul. 19th, 2004 09:20 am (UTC)
Working on the weekend.
Isn't working on the weekend Illegal or something?! Got to your site via brokenclay (http://brokenclay.org/journal/index.php). Sorry, no red enevelopes today.
mdmhvonpa (www.mdmhvonpa.blogspot.com)
bride
Jul. 19th, 2004 10:11 am (UTC)
Re: Working on the weekend.
Isn't working on the weekend Illegal or something?!

Not when you're salary. =) I see work in terms of tasks, not hours. Keeping track of hours is just for metrics.
(Anonymous)
Jul. 20th, 2004 11:45 am (UTC)
Re: Working on the weekend.
Sorry, as a contractor (who bills for time & materials) have to track the hours verrrry closely. Timesheets are the bible in my world. But I am still salaried. I am still salaried via my employer, so any extra hours I work go into the coffers of my boss. Sweet deal for him!
-mdmh
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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