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2002 10 31

there’s always somebody to say you’re wrong

What started as a fun little CSS game, is becoming source of major headache and browser sniffing heaven: why won’t IE 6 and Opera 6 understand that if I specify multiple stylesheets, I don’t want to use all of them at the same time?!
And why does IE feel compeled to #@!£ with my title image, not only denying it is a transparent PNG, but also getting the background color wrong?

Oh well. It only took a dozen minutes to make this little Halloween redesign, and about the same time to cope with some browsers’ good will.
Other Halloween redesigns: Aquarionics, Scott Andrew, dive into mark, Journalized. I stole Mark’s orange hex code, heh.

2002 10 30

meanwhile, in Corsica…

Following the redesign, some code updates on this site:

  • An RSS/RDF feed: if your aggregator supports the content:encoded element, you can from now on get my updates in their full, shiny HTML glory.
  • An RSS 2.0 feed, shamelessly inspired on Mark Pilgrim’s RSS 2.0 MT template. With content:encoded goodness too.
  • A PHP version of Brad Choate’s MT/Perl macro to convert acronyms and other user-definable strings into markup: it should have converted this post’s acronyms, at least.
    It is buggy, though: at the moment it only converts the last match, instead of the first one, which seems like a bug with preg_replace. If you’re good at PHP and regexes, feel free to visit this thread on SitePointForums and help me debug it!
    Update: looks like I fixed it, I still don’t know why the regex wasn’t working as expected.
    Update2: still buggy. Damn the regex, or damn PHP?
  • Cleaner pingback excerpts. It won’t make past pingbacks cleaner, but will help with future pingbacks :) Ideally, I should convert parts of Mark Pilgrim’s Further Reading code into PHP to get even better excerpts.
  • Sil‘s searchhi script, to highlight search keywords. This way, all you sickos who come here searching for a naked grandmother or a trillian pro serial get to quickly see you’ve been misguided. Now go recite 20 Pater Noster and stop searching for that stuff mmk?

2002 10 29

spammed if I do, spammed if I don’t

Spammers have found a way to make me accept being spammed. The logic behind this proposition just can’t be beaten:

But before we send you this Free Info about Online Marketing and how to make Monthly Paychecks from home, we want to make sure you are still currently open to such income potential.

IF YOU ARE NOT, then please reply to this message without removing the subject line.

IF YOU ARE….Then simply do nothing. You will receive a new email in a few days with information about this unique offer.

Can you spot the logical trap?
Should I reply and let them know that my email address is valid and that I am indeed reading the spam I receive and might then be considered a great target for more spam? Should I just delete this spam and thus agree to light the green lights for more spam?

weblogs.com, for RSS

I almost made a fool of myself by typing “Has Dave Winer lost it?”, when I didn’t have a clear understanding of how weblogs.com’s new RSS updates service was meant to be used.
Then, I realised it made much sense, and a visit at Ben Hammersley’s confirmed it:

The idea is that aggregators and desktop readers, before updating, would first check weblogs.com instead of polling the publisher’s server, thereby saving bandwidth all round. It’s a nice solution to a growing problem – especially if you’re hosting lots of weblogs and want to save on bandwidth costs. Which I am. So cool.

However, I don’t find it wise to add another xmlrpc method, when Dave could just aswell use blo.gs’s extended ping method which wraps weblog update and RSS update in a single request.

a W3C validator webservice

Simon Willison took advantage of the W3C’s new (beta) validator‘s XML output to write an XMLRPC interface for it.
I’ve been toying with it for an hour with a simple command line script, and it’s pretty nice. There’s just a nasty bug in PHP’s XML parser, that makes Simon’s interface return only the last part of messages that have a double quote in them.
The fix/workaround is rather simple (see my last comment on Simon’s post), and until Simon applies that fix, you can still use my installation of the webservice to get complete messages. Just use ‘tidakada.com’ instead of ‘scripts.incutio.com’ as your host.

Small Update: If you feel like using this webservice, yet don’t know how to code an xmlrpc client, and you have a version of PHP compiled as CGI on your computer, here’s a simple PHP command line client. Just run it like this: validate http://someurl.com.

2002 10 28

102. Won’t babysit bad HTML

101 things you can do in Mozilla (via Mort): perhaps a more concise list for non-geeks is in order. I can see about 40 things that wouldn’t convince Joe User to switch because Joe just won’t understand them.

Of course you could tell Joe User that he can finally use XLink (70), but don’t expect Joe to burst in tears of joy.
Now, tell Joe that he can now save webpages complete with their embedded Flash animations or QuickTime movies (12), and see Joe smile.

2002 10 27

it’s a redesign!

It’s still CSS-based, it has 4 columns and a new mini blog o’ links, it’s my little redesign of tidak ada.

A little effort was put into making that design work in MSIE 6 while still allowing the text to be selectable, this forced me to serve the page without a doctype and with some css-positionning tweaks to work around the various MSIE bugs and its stupid box model. I’m not sure how it displays on MSIE 5.5 or earlier, but it should show like in IE 6 since I used the old IE 5.x stupid box model.
Other browsers are served unaltered content and stylesheets, and so far they’ve been behaving well, ‘they’ being Mozilla 1.2, Opera 6, and Konqueror 3. If someone could send me a screenshot in IE on OS X, that would be great. You can also feel free to buy me a Mac so that I could check for myself, but you may find the screenshot solution more affordable.
Netscape 4 and its friends in the menagerie of antiquated browsers are bad dogs, so no biscuit for them, they get unstyled content.

And then, that’s it. Posterised image on the top left is subject to change every week or so. If you prefer the old design, it’s still there.

2002 10 24

fun with dictating

Stephanie, who is back to blogging now that she’s installed a speech recognition program, talks about one fun feature of the software: speech misrecognition.
Indeed, the link to this anthology of speech recognition goofs is really fun material!

The intended text: “We’ll need at least one “extrovert per group.” NatSpeak came out with, “We’ll’ need at least one extra virgin per group.”

Just in case we run out of virgins?

Anyway, I spoke this:
    Hello Shannon
The software put this on the screen:
    Hello bitch

AI at work, or…

I was describing how you can use your voice as “an alternative input device” and NatSpeak wrote “an obscenity input device.”

That explains it all!

valid RSS banner

The RSS Validator now has a cool icon to show you when your feed validates.
It’s ultra-trendy-dandy: soft grey border, orange RSS text, cut-off orange circle on the right with white Valid text and check. The W3C’s banners could use such a design.

2002 10 23

heretics and infidels unite!

You mean being a good person won’t get me to heaven?
- No, Bobby, you MUST accept God’s love gift, Jesus Christ.

Fundamentalist christianity scares the crying little Jesus out of me!
(via fujikosmurf, who lists other funny-in-a-scary-way Chick tracts.)

amiterroristornot

Why the Maryland sniper could belong to Al Qaeda.
Why he could not.

2002 10 22

let it be known

Weblog central quotes this feedback against inclusion of LGF in its Best of Blogs sidebar:
I’m quite shocked that you listed LGF in this Best of Blogs: have you looked at the content and the editorial line, and more importantly, at the anti-muslim anti-left anti-prettymucheverythingnotgeorgewbush hate that gets its way on that weblog ? How can a blog be considered worthy of reading when it’s so obviously dedicated to bad mouthing Islam by relentlessly confuse it with the Islamic terrorists’ view of it?”
The only that’s missing, is credit: these words are mine. :)

ph34r da DOM bookmarklet

Yesterday, many in the blogosphere blogged Opera’s seemingly magic small screen rendering, and there was much wondering and questionning.
Today, we can blog that it’s indeed not wizardry with fully DOM-compliant browsers, and there will be much rejoicing. (I wonder if this means Opera’s new engine aknowledges there is a DOM.)
I tried Glazman’s bookmarklet on tidakada, and I’m happily surprised that it wouldn’t slaughter a small screen. Vewy, vewy good.

In other “others blogged it while I was asleep” news, of course my RSS validates. Thank Mark Pilgrim and Sam Ruby for their RSS validator.

2002 10 21

ph34r da embedded browser

Opera Small Screen Rendering looks like a very compelling feature. Now if only we knew what our material would look on it, it would help. The answer is not there… maybe Tima knows.
And since when do mobile phones come with enough bandwidth to load real HTML documents and images?

now blogrolling with blo.gs

Phil Ringnalda’s PHP blo.gs blogroll script is quite cool, so I modified it a bit to fit my links <li>st design, and just used it in replacement of the blogrolling.com blogroll.
Also, did you know you could add a simple ‘blogroll me’ link à la blogrolling.com, but for blo.gs users, to add your weblog to their favorites? It’s as simple as doing a search for your own weblog on blo.gs, and then copying the link that lets you add your weblog to your favorites. It is quite cool, so I just used it.
In other (syndicated) news, I have jumped the line to the dark side and installed AmphetaDesk. I like it, though I’ll really have to change the default template. I have resisted the temptation to put big orange XML buttons to let other AmphetaDesk users add my blog to their channels: there’s a bookmarklet for that, it’s quite cool, just use it! Anyway, AmphetaDesk is quite cool, so I just use it. Do you see a pattern?

2002 10 20

XSS, draft 2

My first reaction upon seeing a link to XSS on dive into mark, was to crawl in a corner, weep, curl in a foetal position, weep some more, and shout my lungs out “PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!!!” like a madman.
“It” being the proliferation of new short-lived syndication formats that all seem to be thought out in a matter of minutes and written about in big words to make for their essentially shallow nature of “specifications that should only be comments on other specs instead of being new specs”.

My second reaction, was to get up, dry my tears, click on the link to this eXtremely Simple Syndication format, fly over the spec and recognise that it was well thought out (aka “probably not a joke spec”), and think that, as Mark Pilgrim said, “this is what RSS 2.0 should have been”.

Third reaction is to comment on the spec:

  • No HTML allowed in <description>:
    Yay!
  • Should non-English feeds be forced to use Extensible or Transitional?
    Non-English feed should use numeric entities (or Unicode references) for their special characters. Almost everything understands numeric entities, even Netscape 4 (of course the Netscape 4 example is out of place, it’s just to say numeric entities are hot shit).
  • Link tag language sufficient? http:// is highly recommended or should it be required?
    A protocol:// should be required, it doesn’t have to be http://, it could be ftp://, gopher://, whatever://.

2002 10 19

brainstorming a massacre

I think my parents are on some secret agenda of terror. It’s been a week that we’ve had satellite TV back, and since then everytime we’re sitting for dinner they’re talking about horror movies.

Tonight for example, they talked about Freddie (you know, that burned-at-6th-degree person with the funny t-shirt) and Jason (that guy with a hockey mask), and the way each of them killed people: in which movie they’d cut heads off, in which movie they’d pick a chainsaw and go on a rampage, and other topics that are so worth talking about when you’re about to eat meat.

I sometimes join their conversation, really in the hope that I could abruptly end it. It usually works quite well with P.
Oh, I saw that great movie with Jason last night, in which he cuts arms off a guy and…
- Ah, so was it Texas Chainsaw Massacre?
- I think so… I’m not sure.
- …Was there a chainsaw in the movie?
- Uh, nope.
- Then it wasn’t Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Mum, can you please serve me a little more meat?

she’s unbelievable

I’m watching the Davenport’s semifinal in Zurich, and am stunned. She hurt her ankle, barely walked on one leg, but just managed to turn a 4-1 loss in the second set to a 4-5 lead by playing tennis at an incredible level.
She’s just unbelievable…

Update: Henin managed to get to 6-5, serving for the set but Lindsay got to 6-6 thanks to surreal forehands !
Update: She won ! OK, never oppose an injured Davenport…

2002 10 17

punch the RDF and win $20000

Guess what this means:
<admin:feedLink rdf:resource= "http://diveintomark.weblogger.com/xml/rss.xml" dcterms:isReplacedBy= "http://diveintomark.org/xml/rss.xml" />

Wheee, I guessed right.
But I was in the know, too.

not free for blind people

I really wish that there was at least one freely-available screen-reader so web developers could hear what their pages are like; browsing with Lynx gets you the text-only flavor of things, but until you’ve heard every single hyperlink preceded by the speech synthesizer saying “LINK”, you really don’t get a sense of how things are for those with visual impairments.

I second that wish. And I follow with a question: just why aren’t there free browsers for blind people to begin with?

(Update: I just noticed that post was titled ‘dive into mark’, for the sole reason that my bookmarklet wouldn’t load on Gardner’s site so I loaded it from Pilgrim’s site and then forgot to change the title, it’s as simple as that; though Gardner’s post relates to Pilgrim’s writings anyway.)