RSS Reader – MLK Week

I am grateful for Martin Luther King and the struggle that created opportunities for people to work without thought of impairment in a global digital community. On the web, our voices are sometimes disembodied from our actual person but I am mindful that the chance to give voice to our dreams, plans, thoughts, and contributions exist in a very real world. That world, without the changes from the Civil Rights Movement, would exclude certain persons from even the act of participating in the digital commons. I am thankful for those that fought the good fight that imparted to the rest of us a greater measure of liberty.

A new update to the RSS Reader is available in the form of revised C++ source code. This version, when compiled on Fedora Linux Workstation 26 handles switching between feeds when you click on the feed’s name in the form of a button. Also, the enlarge/shrink button works. It is all done by detecting the x/y position of the mouse combined with mouse click at a given coordinate to trigger the appropriate functionality. I elected to withhold a screen shot since the screen appearance is the same as the previous update.

Two final pieces of graphics functionality remains to be implemented. Text entry and scrolling. The next update will likely emphasize text entry in which new feed names and their associated web addresses can be entered. The graphics update goal with text entry is to define a text input from scratch that handles text keying into a text field in the customary way. I have done the design on paper and will set it up as time allows. Scrolling will be the last major piece of graphics functionality with a goal to do so in a cleaner way than earlier versions.


RSS Reader UI Enhancements with Text atop Widget Outlines

Buttons and input fields don’t actually exist. Rather, a rectangle is drawn and text is drawn on top of that. Programming toolkits often hide this and making a button or text field from scratch involves more than just rectangles and text. The 11:50pm GitHub post shows on lines 267, 520, 585 – 648 only part of the effort involved in making a button or text field from first principles (Charles Petzold 1998 style). Continue reading

RSS Reader UI Enhancement

Some programming toolkits give you more control over the visual appearance and functionality of the user interface. One of the things I want to do is make the RSS Reader have an appearance that is 100% custom. The following charts the progress towards updating the RSS Reader user interface to a better form. The C++ code responsible for producing this is available at in reference to commits for 1/5/2018. Continue reading

CPUs are not Easy

Intel CEO’s massive stock dump raises eyebrows and speculation about recent security flaws in the chips. What we need is less panic and more careful analysis of AMD chips to be sure they do not have similar or different, but major flaws. Qualcomm chips too. Otherwise, we just need far better, more secure chips and let go of this obsession with computer speed.
Google Says Almost All CPUs Since 1995 Vulnerable To ‘Meltdown’ And ‘Spectre’ Flaws

Digital Locks Cannot Be Permanent

Apple says all Macs and iOS devices affected by chip flaws and it is not their fault. The security issue comes from a 3rd party part from another company. I am not sure it is that company’s fault either. You can’t even have perfect security in the real world. When you lock something up, you expect to be able to unlock the lock to get access to what you locked up. The lock, it turns out, is its own point of failure by design. The natural world we live in does not provide a way to completely isolate some in such a way that a person or group can have exclusive access. Security may eventually include what you don’t do on the machine given its security limitations.

8K Displays in 2019

Although speculation is high that LG will sport an 8K display at the 2018 CES, it is probable that such displays will not arrive, if at all, in large quantities until 2019. The time is good for 8K and its successor 16K in 2030. The resolutions will offer astounding picture possibilities rivaling or exceeding traditional 3D. Spread across computer monitors for desktop, laptop, and mobile, the options for new user interfaces and way of interacting with information could be tremendous.