A Life Worth Celebrating For Sure

Luciano Pavarotti’s passing away recently caused me to dig up some of his music again, a reaction I’m sure many people had. If you really want to understand what made him so special, find a recording of him singing Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s Turandot1. It is probably one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard in my life. Find a quiet place with some good headphones or speakers and prepare to be blown away.

1 It isn’t hard to find, it is one of his most popular recordings, for good reason.

What a Weekend!

This weekend was really awesome, so awesome I feel the need to write about it.

On Friday night I went to see the Philadelphia Orchestra perform Brahms and Sibelius. A Norwegian pianist, Leif Ove Andsnes, played with the orchestra for the first half of the concert. When his last part was done, the ovation lasted for almost 5 minutes, with many a deep-throated “Bravo!” ringing through the air.

After the concert I made it to a bar called Johnny Brenda’s just in time to see my friends’ band Red Rocket. They just got back from being on tour and it was good to see everyone again.

Saturday morning at 8 AM I went to my first spinning class in downtown Philly. Spinning for an hour nonstop is way harder than I thought it would be, but I made it all the way through. My classmates and the instructor were awesome. The instructor’s bike had a pool of sweat under it after the class, he definitely set a good example for pushing yourself. The girl to my left kindly corrected me when I was doing something wrong, which is great because I would have been ever more sore at the end without her posture advice. I’m so glad I get to do this 3 times a week! It is a great way to start the day.

After spinning class I went to the Clark Park farmer’s market with my roommate Sean. Got some tasty veggies (including purple cauliflower!) and fresh bread.

An hour later we went back to Clark Park and met up with the Red Rocket boys to see the Spiral Q show at the park. Our friend Alex helped to put it together and the routines that the kids did were hilarious. Sitting in the grass laughing with little kids, college students, punks, parents, dogs and senior citizens was an amazing way to spend the afternoon. Way to be West Phillie!

The last highlight of the weekend was walking through the grounds at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) today. I drove up to Princeton with a friend this morning and then we walked over to IAS. The buildings at IAS are nothing compared to the stunningly architected buildings at Princeton, but the grounds are so much more peaceful and beautiful. No hordes of Starbucks-fueled freshmen running around with their cell phones. There aren’t a whole lot of buildings at IAS, but it is on a really nice plot of land with a lake and gorgeous trees turning color behind it. IAS has a fascinating history, I highly recommend checking it out (wikipedia, ias.edu).

Firefox on Mac OS X 10.5

Mozilla is planning to ship Firefox, a security and stability update to Firefox, within the next day. Since Firefox is going to be the latest official release of Firefox when Mac OS X 10.5 is release on October 26th, I wanted to say a few words about support for running it on the new OS.

Firefox is quite usable on Mac OS X 10.5, but there are some serious bugs that we are aware of. Here is a quick list of some of the more serious and bothersome ones:

  • Installing the Flashgot plugin will trigger security warnings when you restart. This appears to be because Flashgot contains executable binaries that trigger new security warnings in Mac OS X 10.5. Installing Flashgot is safe, but you will have to click through those warnings. Do not click “Cancel” or your browser may enter a bad state.
  • Embedded WMV media using the Flip4Mac plugin renders at 1/4 size.
  • The Advanced Preferences tabs render incorrectly.
  • Firefox does not download to the new Downloads directory by default yet. It still defaults to the desktop. You can change your download destination manually.

We have reports of other problems that we have yet to confirm, including crashes resulting from certain uncommon UI interactions. We are currently planning to resolve all of these issues in Firefox

There are two new features in Mac OS X 10.5 for which we are not planning to add support. We will not be supporting resolution-independent UI and we will not have the new rounded-corner context menus. The technologies at the core of Firefox 2 for Mac OS X (e.g. Quickdraw) simply do not allow for us to add support for those features in a safe way at this time. The good news is that very few users will need resolution-independent UI support or notice the lack of it, and the context menu issue is purely aesthetic. You can look forward to support for both features in Firefox 3.

Please enjoy Firefox on Mac OS X keeping these things in mind! I will be posting updates on our Firefox progress here.

Update: Building Firefox 2 with the Mac OS X 10.5 SDK

I investigated getting Firefox 2 to build with the Mac OS X 10.5 SDK (bug 400165) and it turns out we won’t be completing that work. This does not mean you can’t build Firefox 2 on Mac OS X 10.5, it just means you have to use an SDK for a previous OS release. You will not be able to build Firefox 2 using the 10.5 SDK. There are some nspr/sdk header conflicts that are nasty enough to make it not worth it.

The good news is there aren’t really any good reasons to use the 10.5 SDK. Being too lazy to install SDKs with your developer tools is not a good reason, at least according to me.

If you want to build Firefox 2 on Mac OS X 10.5 you should install the Mac OS X 10.4u SDK and add this line to your mozconfig:

ac_add_options --with-macos-sdk=/Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.4u.sdk

You can also build with the 10.2 and 10.3 SDKs, I’ll leave modifying the above instructions to do that as an exercise for those interested.

WordPress and Dashes

In my last post I posted two mozconfig options, both of which involved a dash followed by a dash. I wrote that part of the blog entry like this:

<code>ac_add_options --enable-foo
ac_add_options --enable-bar</code>

Once I posted that, people started complaining that I only put one dash before “enable-bar” while “enable-foo” was fine, so I went to fix it. When I edited the post I saw that there actually were two dashes before “enable-bar” already, so there was nothing to fix. Why was WordPress displaying double dashes on the second line of a code section as one dash but doing it fine on the first line?

I rewrote that part of the blog entry like this and everything displays correctly.

<code>ac_add_options --enable-foo</code>
<code>ac_add_options --enable-bar</code>

What is up with that?

Tips for Building Firefox 2 on Mac OS X 10.5

If you have seed access to Mac OS X 10.5 and you want to build Firefox 2, you need to add the following lines to your mozconfig:

ac_add_options --with-macos-sdk=/Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.4u.sdk
ac_add_options --disable-tests

Firefox 2 will not compile with the native 10.5 SDK (pthread header conflicts) and tests won’t even compile with the 10.4 SDK (std c header problems). We’re working on not having to do this, I don’t have an ETA for fixes.