Thursday, February 14, 2008

OK, here are my ugly hacks to Dillo-i18n

The ugly hacked version of Dillo-i18n that I hacked together so I would have usable accent support in my mini-Linux distribution can be downloaded here. Note that the code is ugly. For example, the utf8-to-latin1 code is basically broken; it makes certain Unicode quotation marks more barable, but does not correctly convert Spanish accents from utf-8 to Latin 1. Looking at the code, I can see what I did wrong and could even fix it if I were so inclined, but I'm not.

The purpose of this version of Dillo is to have a simple web browser that is usable for my main tasks (Reading and writing email with Gmail; publishing blog entries); since Gmail doesn't use utf-8 for accents when the HTTP "accept charset" specifies to use Latin-1 (you would be amazed how many web sites ignore the accept charset, such as Myspace and the Wikipedia), this bug isn't important enough for me to fix.

Also, the mini-CD also includes the graphical version of Links from Twilight labs, which completely correctly supports accents (but, alas, doesn't allow me to write emails with accents).

I actually almost never use this mini-CD; I have to lug around my laptop for my job, so use that to access the internet; the CD is only used for my afternoon and evening meditations. Even if I did use it more, not having Firefox saves me from having to update the CD every month or so.

Also, it's possible to use a file on a USB memory stick as the root filesystem; this allows me to have a larger file than is possible with a business card CD, complete with multiple updated web browsers (Firefox, Konqueror, a Webkit browser, a flash player, etc). So, this mini-image will only be used when I don't have that file on a USB memory stick.

Anyway, I'm done with MOAM-CD. It was an interesting experiment in how little I could make a basic web browsing system. With my increased work hours, I usually have my laptop with me, and don't often need to use this mini-system to get online. It's still useful for cyber-cafe use when I'm downtown on the weekends, and the occasional day when I don't have my laptop, but, in truth, trying to keep it updated is a real pain; the Firefox security updates often times break more stuff than they fix. It took me two or three days to hack Dillo to have usable accent support, time I could have spent relaxing, translating documents, or with my friends.

So, barring my life getting boring again or a critical security hole, I will not update MOAM CD again. It was a fun project.