I was impressed with the announcement of Google Wave at Google I/O two weeks ago. Thanks to being in attendance, I was able to get a sandbox account and start checking it out. Of course because there aren’t a lot of people that I know on there and after getting shinied for a week doing simple things (or sometimes nothing at all), I needed to take a break. But Google Wave led to GWT which led to the idea of automating web application testing.

One of the interesting things about Google Wave is that it was implemented using the Google Web Toolkit (GWT, pronounced ‘gwit’ apparently). GWT is a Java-based framework that compiles your code to HTML/JS/CSS. Like a lot of folks, I was skeptical about this idea (particularly since none of the significant Google web services were built using GWT). The fact that Google has implemented a major service on top of this toolkit now gives me a sense that GWT has been put through its paces.

Anyway, after the announcement, I adjusted my second day conference schedule so that I could take in the session on Wave and GWT. As part of this talk, they mentioned how they use WebDriver to automate testing of Wave across browsers. I had never really heard about automating web app testing, so I found the notion particularly interesting. Has anybody had any success with Selenium or WebDriver on apps that use SVG or Canvas?

Really briefly I tried to use the Selenium IDE extension for Firefox to run a test on the svg-edit demo. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem possible to capture the mouse click/movement on SVG elements, which means it’s a non-starter for me at the moment. I signed up for an account with OpenQA and asked an unanswered question. Note that after I asked this question, the svg-edit app abandoned its use of the <object> tag in favor of inline SVG that is programmatically added to the page. Unfortunately this resulted in the same effect: Selenium IDE ignores mouse clicks within SVG elements. Bummer.

I then tried to submit a bug only to find that OpenQA’s JIRA was crashing. To report THAT bug I’d have to sign up with an account at atlassian and that’s just too many degrees away from where I want to be. No one was around on the #selenium channel in IRC Freenode so I gave up for now. Hot Tip: if you want to build a community, make sure basic things like signing in to your bug tracker work!

§537 · June 8, 2009 · Google, Software, SVG, Technology, Web · 2 comments · Tags: , , , , , ,


I think the next next browser war will be about how to integrate online services into the browser itself – search plugins were only the beginning. As more and more people rely on things like GMail, Google Docs, Google Reader, and Google Maps it will only be natural for Google to integrate its online services into its Chrome browser. The question will be whether this is anticompetitive at all in the sense that the “hidden” APIs in Windows were considered anti-competitive. I do think Google will make its server-side hooks open and transparent (because it benefits by having other browsers integrate their services).

§534 · May 4, 2009 · Google, Software, Web · 3 comments · Tags: ,


In case you missed it, Google Docs was recently upgraded with a Draw Chart capability. This was, in my opinion, the biggest reason to still use desktop software like Microsoft Office. The best part? It uses SVG to get the job done (and VML if you’re still using IE). Bravo! Encore!

Thoughts on the future of this feature? Here are some things I want:

  • Please allow the author to extract the drawing as an SVG file from the service (currently Firebug is the only way I could figure out how).
  • Fill gradients (Linear and Radial), please

And yes, there are privacy concerns with an online (aka ‘cloud’) service like this – I’m not implying you should use this for everything – but for the occasional document that you want to use for collaboration, it really does the trick.

Now if only I could get them to update their Spreadsheet service so that I can use it offline…

§527 · March 30, 2009 · Google, Software, SVG, Technology, Web · 2 comments · Tags: , ,


I’ve struggled a long time with trying to come up with the perfect solution for tracking my Things To Do. For the last several months I’ve tried to use a physical notepad and small pen in my back pocket, but that’s literally turning into a pain in the ass. Here are my requirements for a digital system:

Read the rest of this entry …

§521 · February 16, 2009 · Google, Life, Technology · 3 comments · Tags: , ,


I’m not a big fan of Eclipse from a UI perspective, but I do acknowledge that it’s pervasive in the industry and some big projects are using it extensively. Plus it’s better than ‘vi’ and the command-line. I guess 😉 Anyway, I’m sure I’ll get used to it. Here’s a really simple tip on using Eclipse with Android : Read the rest of this entry …

§520 · February 2, 2009 · Google, Software, Technology, Tips · 2 comments · Tags: ,