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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.
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I've still not completely recovered from my storm induced lack of sleep at the start of the week, which is annoying. I actually got a good night's sleep last night, but that was still not enough to get me back to being properly refreshed. I need a good night's sleep, starting early and ending with a lie-in. I expect I'll get it over the weekend when I'm out at my mums place.

Anyway - today is proving to be an odd day. I was expecting the work I was doing this morning to take me up to early afternoon, with a round of back and forth analysis of it in the later afternoon. I finished it before 11am, and then a meeting got cancelled just before lunch, and nobody's free for the back and forth. As a result, I'm doing bitty little stuff and some investigative work. It's difficult to get my teeth into, but I'm getting fair bit done.

Tonight, since I'm not going to be in Herefordshire (I'm going early tomorrow), I will be going to a production meeting for the upcoming production of Habeas Corpus with St. Jude's Players. I'm not doing anything for the production for a couple of weeks, most likely, but at least I'll be able to find out what shape the stage is likely to be and what kind of stuff is likely to be on it. That'll take me to just after 8pm, at which point I'll stick my head into the pub for a bit. Probably not for very long, as I want to get a good night's sleep and I have an early start tomorrow as I'm driving off to Herefordshire...

My plan for the morning is to leave before 7am. Ideally around 6am, but being properly awake is more important than being en-route, as I'll get more work done if I don't wake up smeared across the back of a lorry. I have to leave that early, as I'm not going to be on leave - I'm actually going to be working from "home" at my mum's place, so I need to get there somewhere in the vicinity of 9am, or at least not a vast amount later. I have some flexibility and can work later as needed to make up for any missed time. But still, I want to work as close to normal hours as possible in case people need me to do stuff...

Then I have a weekend in Herefordshire which I'll probably split between looking after my mum, reading, doing some non-work webby stuff and going and visiting places of interest. Hopefully I'll remember to take a camera. Should be back Sunday afternoon, so I can relax in the evening and be alive for Monday morning.
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So, a proper update!

How's life been treating me? Generally pretty well, although I have been quite, quite busy. So what's been going on? Well, here's a list:

Theatre Stuff )

Bionic Mum )

Work )

So, that's that for now. I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of right now.
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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.
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Well, so far today has been relatively productive. I've got a bunch done, I've investigated a few bugs, and fixed a couple. As you can probably guess from my earlier post, IE is being its usual self once again - namely a complete ARSE. My "IE-Pissed-off-o-meter" currently reads at #ERROR: INTEGER OVERFLOW# percent.

But in other news, I picked up a new CD at lunchtime which I'm rather happy with. This time I've grabbed "In The Future" by Black Mountain, and I'm rather taken with it. Kind of like early Pink Floyd mixed with Led Zeppelin. I already had their first album, which was good but this one's just got more punch to it. Their myspace page has a few sample tracks, including "Stormy High", which is my current top pick from the new album.

That's two new CDs in the past week by current bands that I've actually liked (the other being "We Are Not The Infadels" by Infadels. Current bands that have been around for less than a decade. Less than three years each, in fact. Maybe there's some hope for the modern music scene after all!
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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.
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So, Tesco have a new range of healthy eating ready meals that are actually nice. Waitrose also have a nice Lamb Tabbouleh Flatbread Wrap. I ate both of these yesterday. Irritatingly, one of them (it's possible it was something snacky, too, I guess) managed to fire off my food allergies. When this happens, an hour and a half of trains with either no plumbing or vile and inadequate plumbing is a bad idea...

So I'm working from home. I'd been half planning on working from home anyway, as I'm expecting a delivery (nothing thrilling, alas), so I have work I can do from here planned out already. It's still irritating because I don't know which of the nice foods that I liked decided it didn't like me. It's also irritating for more obvious reasons, but when there's plumbing nearby it's a non-issue... it's just the commute that would be unpleasant.
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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...
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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.
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My VM irked me once too often, and so has been replaced. The new one is more reliable, less troublesome and considerably more pliable. The old one is now on death row and will be taken outside and discreetly shot in the head in the very near future.

Disobedience, creativity and freedom of expression will not be tolerated amongst the VM population!
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Bah. I hate my VM. It is made of poo and wee.
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So, updating my VM this morning left me in a situation where I need to leave it to do a bunch of stuff before I can actually do anything. So here I am, sitting here waiting for it to happen. It took me about quarter of an hour to get it all set up to the point where I could start it, and now that it's been running for 10-15 minutes, it's got as far as 35%.

I think I could be in for a slow morning. Right now I can't even see the page I need to work on in a worthwhile manner, as it'll have no content.
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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 )
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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.
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So, today I'm working from home, as we're expecting people to appear and fix our washing machine and our drains. I would not be at all surprised if a chunk of washing machine (or laundry) is found to be the cause of the blocked drain...

Anyway - the drain person is due this afternoon sometime, and the washing machine person is due... whenever he feels like turning up, apparently. In other news, I am hungry, the house is cold (even though I've turned the heating on) and I've managed to make myself free this evening, so may well attend the pub. Which would be nice - I've not been properly for ages!
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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.
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Which of you buggers snuck a ":third-line { }" pseudo-element into the CSS spec, successfully had it implemented in all browsers and then used it somewhere in the vast and arcane CSS I'm working with? Own up! There's no other explanation that I can think of for why a whole bunch of blocks of text on the page I'm playing with suddenly indent by about 1em on the third line.

Sneaky bugger. I'll get you.

fixed )
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Next week I get a change from reading the documentation, though. I'm on a training course. Okay, so it's only at the other end of the hallway, but I'll be away from my desk. I have a sneaking suspicion that when I'm on training, I'll be seeing the documentation again once or twice.

I'll have to make a real effort not to have flashbacks.
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No, I've not become a zombie (although that's not an outcome I'd be prepared to rule out just now). I'm reading technical docs. Lots of them, one after the other. My brain is starting to dribble from my ear. Occasionally, I'm finding that I've stopped reading, and am in fact just staring at the screen. When this happens, I'm trying to do something else for a moment just to re-engage my higher faculties.

I'm not sure if posting on LJ (also facebook) counts as "engaging higher faculties", but it's different enough...

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