Dylan: July 2002 Archives

Plan B - Blognovel

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A good friend of mine has started an online novel using the blog structure. The title of the novel is Plan B and he's started it using the new Salon weblogs. Check in every day or so and you can read it as it is written. He's a damn good writer as well!

True Porn Clerk Stories

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You've got to check this out. Great little anecdotes detailing the thrilling life of a porn clerk. Click on over and read all about Mr. Buddy, Mr. Glasses, Mr. Creaky and the gang. Not to mention the behind-the-counter abuse of the hand-sanitizer.

Test Post.

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Here is the test post text.

Hello, World.

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*blink* *blink* *blink*

"It's full of stars."

My Future Self

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I've been humouring myself lately with the notion of one's future self being a distinct and separate entity from one's present self. We experience the passing of time in a completely linear way and so each instant is essentially a physical snapshot of the larger entity which is your (so-called) life. Like individual frames on a film reel, your physical instances through time are discrete and incapable of interacting directly with each other. They can interact though. And this is where I find much amusement.

I can't effect past versions of myself since he is in the past and time marches only forward. Nothing I can do will effect him. My future-self, on the other hand, (insert evil laugh) has to take whatever I throw at him. He just sits there unsuspecting while I churn through time creating situations he can do nothing except cope with.


While in University I was pretty mean to my future self. I would get drunk and stay up really late without much consideration that my future self, say,  had to wake up early and write an exam. My future-self soon built up quite the resentment towards my past-self, meanwhile the past-self did his best to ignore the future-self knowing full well he wouldn't be around to receive the wrath when future-self awoke. Future-self spent many mornings cursing the ground that past-self walked on.


Lately I've been trying to get more into a habit of being kind to my future-self. Because after all, a future-self, by definition, will eventually become a present-self and then finally a past-self of its own. It's that transition through the present-self that is the important part. Without the present-self the past and future-selves have no connection. And it is the present-self that has (present-tense) the hangover and the bags under his eyes.


I think I'll officially declare July 17th 'Be Nice To Future-Self Day' and participate by buying my future-self a nice new Titatnium iBook. I'm sure he'll like that. And then after that I'll go and get drunk. :)

What the hell is a weblog?

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Back in February of 2000, Derek Powazek wrote a great opinion piece about weblogs and his experiences with them. The piece is titled What the hell is a weblog? Written over two and a half years ago and still completely bang-on and relevant. Another jolt that makes me re-assess how I blog.

1 Terabyte on a CD

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Google's Integrity

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Duncan Wilcox on Google's Integrity. Any idea why he keeps using the word therm instead of term?


... that contained the most popular search therms in the title could ...


Relatively Sized Fonts

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Mark Pilgrim, of diveintomark fame, recently released a relative font sizing HOWTO document that describes a technique that apparently works in all of the more popular browsers.

Sounds good to me! This has always been a frustration for me when creating web sites. Mr. Nielsen strongly encourages relative font sizing so that a page can be massaged for bigger monitors or people that just like (or need) big text. But in practice this proves to be very difficult because of the wide range of different renderings found within different browsers and different operating systems. Sometimes the text is huge.. other times the text is tiny. The most common fallback was to just hardcode everything to a specific pixel size and be done with it.


I've read through Mark's tutorial, and don't doubt that the solution works, but have to admit the style of the solution makes me wary. Essentially the fix relies on some obscure bugs that exist in Netscape 4.x and Mac Opera 5. It exploits these bugs to trick certain browsers into ignoring some CSS and forcing others to parse it. The biggest advantage of this approach is that it avoids the need for browser detecting and the use of multiple CSS source files. One CSS to rule them all.


All well and good, until a new browser is released that is (or is not)  fooled by the syntactic tomfoolery causing a wide range of participating websites to fail in a potentially unpredictable way. New releases of software rarely aim to be backward compatible as far as bugs are concerned.


The other gotchya is how potentially unmaintainable the code becomes. Looking at the mix of CSS, specific spacing and unusual comment usage that forms Mark's solution it all feels so random and fragile. If you were not aware of the problem it was solving, you might look at the code and think the developer's cat walked over the keyboard while he was off getting a Jolt™.


I don't mean to pick at Mark's solution. It seems to work and once explained makes a reasonable amount of sense. I think I am more frustrated by the complexity of a cross-browser solution to do something as simple as provide a predictable relative font sizing scheme. Ugh.

Recent Events

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Alright... what's happened over the past few weeks.... let me see. Had a birthday, I'm now 26. Had an anniversary, I've been married 2 years. Flew to Toronto for 6 days, hung out with my dad, drank some cooling beers in the hot summer heat, soaked up the city. Visited Santa Cruz with my work-mates for a release party (3.0).. hung out on the rides all day and got a wicked sunburn.

But enough about me... what do you think about me? ;)

Ciao.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Dylan in July 2002.

Dylan: June 2002 is the previous archive.

Dylan: August 2002 is the next archive.

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