the_eggwhite: (Default)
So, as I've mentioned in the past (and more recently in friends-locked posts), I've been rebuilding my website.

What I'm aiming for is a kind of group-blog / webzine kind of site. I'm quite specifically not aiming for an overall theme beyond "The kind of stuff that people writing for it are interested in". Basically, a geek interest blog. My plan is to try and do an "issue" a month, with each issue consisting of four articles. You'll be able to get at all of the articles at any point, but the four for an issue will be on the homepage for that issue.

I'm planning on having some very loose thematic ties between the articles in each issue... for Example, my plan is to make issue 1 something along the lines of "New Beginnings". I've got the text of at least one contribution - a gig review of the Fields of the Nephilim gig I went to last weekend. I've even sourced a couple of photos that are on a creative commons license, so I can use them in the article and on the site.

What I want

What I'm interested in is sourcing a three more articles for the first issue. The theme's mentioned above, and I'm interested in reviews, essays, fiction, artwork or, indeed, pretty much anything else. If I can't make it work in the site, I'll change the site. If I get more than three contributions, then I would either put them up anyway but not on the homepage, or I'd hold them back for a future issue.

No subject is too geeky, but if I end up with lots of articles on one subject, only one of them will go into a given issue unless they're very different in content or viewpoint.

I'm particularly interested in artwork or photography if it ties in with other articles or the theme of the issue, because then it can be used with the other articles. If artwork's to be an article on it's own, I'd like a bit of blurb to go with it that could provoke some discussion.

How I want it

I don't want people to just send me text for articles - I want people to let me know if they'd be interested in providing something for the first issue or for subsequent issues, and a rough idea of what they'd be providing.

If you're able to provide, comment here or drop me an email.
the_eggwhite: (Default)
Right, since it's public knowledge now, here's the public post!

I'm changing jobs - staying within the company, but taking off my UI developer hat ant putting on my Internet Manager hat. Essentially, I'll be our new web despot. I'm still in the process of finding out exactly what I've inherited and where the hell I need to be going with it, but I'll be transitioning roles over the next fortnight. I've been warned that there's something of a backlog of requirements out there, so I'll need to fight through that.

I'm rather looking forward to it.
the_eggwhite: (Default)
My webhosting provider has spent most of the past couple of years getting progressively more crap, and I'm seriously considering changing. Initially they were okay in a "so long as you don't need them to do anything more than just host stuff" kind of way, but their handling of email, spam filtering and the like has been a long running debacle. So I'm looking to drop them like a stone in exchange for another host that's not much more expensive, but looks to be considerably less poo.

So - anybody out there used hostmonster? Any horror stories? How about InMotion?
the_eggwhite: (Default)
Today has been a productive day.

About bloody time! I've had a bunch of stuff hanging over me that I've been completely lockstepped on. I wasn't failing... I was very successfully eliminating inappropriate solutions! Anyway - today I managed to hit on some adequate solutions, and as a result I managed to check in a whole pile of fixes and mark a bunch of work as done.

I found one bug in some javascript that had been avoiding me for over a week, and fixing that just started a roll and left me with three documented bugs fixed. All that caused by two stray commas. Two JSON structures had commas after their last child objects, and that was making the function that interpreted them throw its toys out of the pram when it saw what it thought were two undefined objects, rather than just ignoring them. Ah well... third party, off the shelf components - they're great.

I've also wrapped my head around a particularly irksome CSS problem. Still not the best solution in the world, but as far as I can see it's the only one that's going to be viable in the time and not a hideous monstrosity that would shatter the universe. It's still pretty weird (lots of negative margin wranglings, quarts in pint pots and things pretending to be other things), but I wouldn't liken it to something that escaped from Satan's bowels, unlike the only other potential solution. That let me draw a line under another pile of work.

I even fixed a minor but elusive markup glitch that was scuppering somebody else.

I also thought of a solution to another problem, but I've not got time to apply it just yet. Next week, maybe.

I'm sure there's more, but for the moment that'll do. I've gone from having far too much sat there waiting for me to sort it out to having exactly the amount I'd like to have at the start of work tomorrow morning. I should even get to do some experimentation and planning.
the_eggwhite: (Default)
Anybody in these (facebook or LJ) parts use twitter? I've just added it to my strange amalgam of cross site social network horror, and now use twitter to update my Facebook status. I'm intrigued by twitter's ability to mash itself into other things, the fact that there are loads of widgets out there that can be fired from appropriately formatted twitter updates and the fact that twitter lets people reply to my updates...

I'm on there as the_eggwhite, by the way. There's an eggwhite there as well, which probably isn't me. If it is, I can't remember enough of the details I used to get it to send me my old password.
the_eggwhite: (Default)
Internet Explorer, you are like a carbuncle on a diseased dog's arse. You should be lanced before your pustulent secretions infect the world any further. That is all.
the_eggwhite: (Default)
This article has some cool examples of how an end user (or mashup site) can take a page which has had it's information enriched with microformats, parse that information and present it in different ways...

It's stuff like this that reminds me why I like microformats!
the_eggwhite: (Default)
The WCAG 2.0 last call working draft has just been issued. At some point I'll be needing to sit and read that lot. Thankfully there's a quick reference, which is a bulleted list of what the requirements are and various ways to achieve them. It is a bulleted list on a planetary scale, though, and will take some digesting.

I fully expect them to make my brain fall out of my ear.

I think I'll read them later...
the_eggwhite: (Default)
It must be said, HTML 5 and the Web Forms 2.0 working drafts both intrigue me. Particularly the latter (which, when they're both mature enough, will be merged into the former), as it has stuff in it which would make my life so much easier.

It caters for proper combo boxes, for a start.

HTML 5 looks neat because it deals with a bunch of problems that most end users should never need to know about, but that will be rather handy for designers, developers and the small segments of the population that will need them.

Even if it does have the font tag in it. They have at least added explanitory text to that bit now... saying that it's only there so that HTML5 supporting browsers have a clear definition on how it should be handled if found, along with a quite strongly worded "don't use these" message.
the_eggwhite: (Default)
So... I'm once again butting heads with IE6. If it would die the death it so richly deserves then it would be much easier for web designers to provide the functionality that people keep asking for. But as it is, IE6 still makes up around 30% of the browser market, and so we're hobbled. 30% of the market uses a browser that's more than six years old, and expects technologies that were invented in the past year and half to work.

So I'm going to ask a general "all my friends list and beyond" type question. As many answers as I can get will be greatly appreciated - so encourage other folks to stick their oars in as well.

The question is as follows:
"What web browser do you use, and why do you use it?"

I'll try to keep the browser evangelism to a minimum (and expect others to do the same). The exception will be to provide people with ways to avoid using the trainwreck that is IE6, or to escape from it's clutches or fix it a bit if you're stuck with it. My general opinion is that people should use whatever browser is best for them, but also that IE6 is rarely best for anybody.

my own answers )
the_eggwhite: (Default)
Internet Explorer. Yes, both of you. Seven, and your deadbeat parent, Six.

I understand that you want to be special and unique snowflakes in a world full of conformity, but you're got a job to do and you're not doing it. Everybody else in the class understands - even weird little Safari & Opera at the back there!

What you seem to not be able to grasp is that one thing is contained within another in the markup, it is expected that it will be contained within it on the screen - even just a little bit. The anchor point should be inside the container, at the very least. No, not next to it a few pixels away - inside it! Near and Inside have different meanings!

Yes, I know you're doing it right over there. But you're using exactly the same code in these three other places, and getting it wrong. You've shown you can get it right... now why can't you do it more than once?

All I can think is that you're doing it on purpose just to get attention. Stop it. It's not big and it's not clever!

That's it! Go and stand in the corridor. I'll have words with you later.

Don't make me send a letter to your parents, Six, or your grandparents, Seven. Five-point-oh and Five-point-five have enough on their plates dealing with all the drool and constant falling over. They don't need you causing them trouble as well.

Edit: IE has been successfully slapped, and is now behaving.

Edit 2: I'm not sure WHY it's behaving, but it is. I used an analytical process to identify what the problem must be, then applied a fix for that. The fix worked, so I went in to clean up the root of the problem... and found that it wasn't there. I've successfully applied a very specific workaround that will only fix this specific problem. The workaround worked, despite the only possible root cause not actually being there. Sod it. It works - I'm going to leave it alone now. The CSS is clearly haunted.
the_eggwhite: (Default)
For the past couple of days at work, I've acutally been let loose on real, honest to god HTML & CSS. Well, It's almost real HTML, but it's not properly POSH yet, despite everyone's best intentions. Still, it's refreshing to be doing the stuff that I know is my real strong point. I mean, wireframing, user experience design and whatnot are all well and good... but they're not as much fun to do as scrabbling together some decent HTML/CSS markup.

This kind of "putting stuff together" work is why I'm in the business I'm in.

Which tells me that at some point, I really should actually build the next iteration of my own website. It'll be handy as a learning experience, too.

Today's plague update: Moderate pestilence, with occasional bursts of painful, hacking cough.
the_eggwhite: (Default)
Semantics, Teleology and Pragmatics are different. They are not interchangeable words for the same thing. Stop just calling all of them "semantics" already!
the_eggwhite: (Default)
So... My current employers are looking for a temporary replacement for me. The standard of applicants is... somewhat lacking.

Can anybody recommend good places to potentially get a stand-in web designer from? Agencies or suchlike? The idea is that they're going to get a temporary person in for 2-3 months whilst they find a longer term replacement.
the_eggwhite: (Default)
Just as a matter of interest, who out there in friends-list land (or facebook-land if you get the facebook-ified version of my posts) uses widgets like,, Technorati, flickr or, etc...

Who out there know about them but doesn't use them? Who out there's never heard of them or doesn't know what they are?
the_eggwhite: (Default)
You know, when you have a website that's driven by an access database which you occasionally freeze, grab a copy of and manually enter data into (hideous as that is...), you may find that it's generally adviseable to not delete said database. More accurately, it's best if you learn the difference between "copy" and "cut".

If you copy the database, then you'll be working in a new copy. This means that when you utterly fail to FTP it back again because you don't know how your FTP client works, at least the information that was there before will still be there.

If you cut the database then it won't be there anymore. This means that when utterly fail to FTP it back again because you don't know how your FTP client works, and in fact as soon as you cut the database in the first place, your entire site will stop working. This is your fault. Not ours. You rent server space from us - not support time. We do not have to support you for anything other than making sure the machine is running and has a network connection. You do not get to complain that our developer isn't here to hold your hand.

the_eggwhite: (Default)

I've just implemented the hCard and the hCalendar microformats in a site. Okay, so it's only a prototype, but hey... They'll probably carry over to other things too.

I'm at the stage where I can get the firefox operator add-on to pick them properly, and if I use Technorati's converter tools I can import them into Outlook. If I don't use the converters, well, I can do whatever operator does.

For hCard contacts this means I can download a vCard import it into my address book of choice.
For hCalendar this means I can add it to my google calendar.

Microformats will start springing up more and more, I think. They're supremely cool, easy to implement and incredibly useful when they exist and you have the tools to support them. I expect many, many browsers to support them natively in the near future.

Edit: There's also a bookmarklet here:
Make it a bookmark and stick it on a toolbar. Click it and it'll tell you if your current page has any microformat stuff in it.

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