Breaking Eggs And Making Omelettes

Topics On Multimedia Technology and Reverse Engineering


Flip The Game

May 18th, 2009 by Multimedia Mike

I decided to reverse the order of the machines on the main FATE page. That makes the Linux and Mac OS X machines float to the top. Sorry, BSD and Solaris people, but the Linux stuff just take precedence.

And speaking of Solaris, you will notice that we have a new configuration: Solaris 10 on Sparc, compiling with gcc, with more compiler configurations hopefully to come. Thanks to JeffD for contributing these results.

Back on the topic of the front page: Of course, I have every desire to update the entire web experience. But I’m still woefully inept at modern web development. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself. Perhaps it’s better to claim that I have so many higher priority problems to solve for FATE. I have an entire other rant in process for my experience with trying to understand modern web programming.

Look, I have all this raw data in a neat format. What is a good, quick, cross-browser method to display it in a friendly manner so that it can be easily sorted by various criteria. In different GUI APIs, I’m pretty sure that I would coerce the data into some kind of DataGrid object. There’s nothing quite like that in plain HTML. Javascript, perhaps? What’s out there? Where do I even start looking?

Posted in FATE Server | 12 Comments »

12 Responses

  1. Tomer Gabel Says:

    I’ve simply resigned to the fact that I am and always will be a back-end developer :-) To get stuff done I go for either simple (very!) HTML, or getting a front-end developer to help me out.

    Maybe you’ll have better luck, though. Since you’re comfortable with Python, why not look up a few Django examples? There are undoubtedly fairly mature MVC frameworks for Python, it may just give you the bootstrap you need.

  2. Michael Kostylev Says:

    I hoped to see any `make test’ results on Sparc/Solaris but…
    On x86_32/OpenSolaris it looks so:

  3. Multimedia Mike Says:

    @MichaelK: The Sparc/Solaris build is suffering from a register starvation problem on a particular demuxer. JeffD has disabled that demuxer so the next SVN code change should trigger a successful build. Then we should be able to compare regression suite output.

  4. Multimedia Mike Says:

    @Tomer: There is no shortage of existing web frameworks, indeed. I think I have investigated most of them by now. That’s another rant I’m currently cooking up.

    While I might adore Python, web solutions based on Python are non-starters because I my web host does not have the Python-MySQLdb module installed.

  5. SvdB Says:

    You could put the data in an XML format and then transform it in the browser with XSLT.

  6. Multimedia Mike Says:

    I have studied XSLT and it seems promising, despite having something to do with stinky XML. Your post was the first I had heard that it could be processed on the browser side. I thought it was a server-side thing. This of course raises the question of how well XSLT is supported across browsers.

  7. SvdB Says:

    I know that at least Firefox, Opera, and IE support it, but IE requires a different syntax to do an XSLT transformation from JavaScript (just a few lines though). Direct association of a style sheet with an XML document through the processing instruction may work portably though, but I’m sure.

    I rather like XML, personally, mainly because you can so easilly transform it and extract data from it, and because it is “self-documenting” in a way. The syntax of XSLT is cumbersome though, imo. But selection through XPath is very cool.

  8. Tomer Gabel Says:

    Mike: Can’t you host just the FATE front-end with a host that does?

  9. Multimedia Mike Says:

    Host FATE on a web host that supports Python? Sure. But I would need some evidence that there is a Python-based silver bullet solution out there which would merit paying for a second service (either that or inspiring me to endure the pain of another web host move). As it stands, I’m not convinced how well any of these web MVC frameworks can solve the problems I have, and I have studied them at length.

  10. Tomer Gabel Says:

    Our front-end guys (most of whom are serious developers) swear by MVC and use MonoRail for practically everything they do. A friend of mine who’s the front-side tech lead for a Web 2.0 startup switched from Ruby on Rails to Django and has never looked back. Point is, these frameworks seem to “work well” for most web developers.

    Can you elaborate a bit on the sort of problems you’re talking about?

  11. SvdB Says:

    Here’s a simple proof-of-concept of what I was thinking of:
    It transforms the source XML file into XHTML with a simple XSLT stylesheet and uses the JS table library from to sort and filter the resulting table.

    I have tested it on Opera and FireFox.
    All the needed files are in .

  12. Multimedia Mike Says:

    Thanks a lot for this, SvdB. It’s a solid example and I hope to use it for revising the front page. Very promising.