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August 2005

Feeling ashamed of myself...

There's a storm here at the moment. Just saw some lightning, and was waiting for the thunder.

My first thought was "lag!". :|

Opera and stuff

I just got a registered copy of Opera 8.10 preview (it's free today), and it's not looking too bad, at least not compared to my previous experiences. A few observations:

  • "Opera Standard" skin is icky. There's no reason why Windows Native shouldn't be default.
  • No history/autocomplete in the search box.
  • No throbber, not even as an option.
  • I couldn't find any way to get a global "Close Tab" button.
  • Scrollbar buttons go disabled when you get to the top/bottom of the page, which is a slight distraction.
  • There's always a 1 pixel border around the page.
  • I can't focus links properly with the keyboard. Tab only navigates forms, which doesn't make sense to me.
  • Caching is a bit aggressive - I had to manually refresh this page after logging in to make it show the posting form.
  • The IRC client lets you connect with an empty nickname, which blatently doesn't work.
  • No right-clicking on the bookmarks menu.

Despite those minor annoyances, I'm happy that 8.10 renders this site a lot better than 8.0 did. IE7, your turn!

250 and counting...

Heh. When I first started this blog, just under a year ago, I had a list of all the posts in the sidebar. That got past a reasonable length pretty quickly, so I limited it and added a "View All" page.

After 250 posts (almost, I think one got deleted), I think that page is getting a bit silly, so I'm adding monthly archive pages.

I plan to have archived feeds for each month, linked together with some Feed History magic. Will anybody use it? Probably not, but that's never stopped me before!

even if you think the developers aren't very funny.

Just spotted Dumbot in my logs. It's a refreshing change from what I'm used to reading, and possibly one to watch.

Why do I even bother?

Before the summer ends, I have to do some maths work from a book that supposed to prepare me for the AS level course. I don't really mind, since I've nearly forgotten this stuff anyway.

Or rather, I wouldn't mind, except it's a CGP book. It obviously wasn't enough being the bane of my existance with their sarky comments in their revision guides, and putting stupid stuff on the back cover that each person in the class would gradually notice throughout the year.

In case you haven't got the idea yet, my book is entitled "Mind the Gap", and this is the sort of thing I have to deal with whilst I'm trying to read the questions:

An image with the caption 'The subject of the Formula One.'...


Really, it used to be funny, but it's just pissing me off now.

Yes, another feed.

I've created an RSS3 feed for this blog. No, not that RSS3 (2005), this RSS3 (2002).

This whole RSS specs thing is starting to sound like a bad movie franchise. Too many sequels, constant changing of directors, and special effects that get worse each time.

Still, I'm implementing Aaron Swartz's RSS3 just because I can. Call it a protest if you want. RdSplay will support RSS 2.0, Atom 1.0, and RSS 3.0. I'll probably have the same three formats for most feeds on my site, but I hope nobody minds if I don't promote the RSS3 versions ;). Two feed buttons is already one too many, or two too many, depending on who you ask.


A*, A*, A*, A, B, D, D, E. I suppose could have been worse.

Then again, it could have been better. Or, more accurately, it couldn't have been any other way than the way it was.


Anyway, Smiddy, Tunnie, and I did a Numbcast, which isn't up yet due to server indigestion. being daft

Bah. Some people just don't get it. Every time I install an OOo 2.0 snapshot, every user on this computer has to skip a welcome screen, scroll down the license agreement (which doesn't apply to them whatsoever), click accept, enter their name and initials (which is not useful for most people), and tell the program their registration choice (default: open a fucking huge survey) before they can do what they wanted to do with Writer (usually, skimming a document they got by email and closing it 10 seconds later).


RSS Version 3




No, really?

It's beautiful.

The new Mozilla graphics, based on Cairo, are almost in CVS, and there's a Windows test build available. Whilst still buggy, I'm almost ready to start using it normally, solely due to the fact that rounded borders are anti-aliased.

The new aliased borders look smooth, whereas the borders in stable Firefox look all jaggy.

See? Pretty.

More Progress...

RdMise runs on PHP 5 now.

I have fancypants scripting to add stars to feed items.

RdMise has basic RdCode-based templating for the header, footer, and static pages. Link code in pages changes from the utterly shocking:

<a href="<?php echo $thisnode->parent->child['rdmise']->Href() ?>">RdMise</a> the slightly more bearable:

<rdcode do=link to=rdmise/>

If this link works, then RdCode-in-blog-posts is working: RdMise System Information.

Random Links Digest

Testing is fun.

I've just added a script to the home page that lets people (at least, people who use Mozilla-based browsers) post a comment directly from that page.

If you're reading this, could you help me? just left-click the "feedback" link below this entry and post something random. It should load the comments without leaving the home page. If this works well, I'll look into adding more script that does pretty things without getting in the way.

Edit: Only works in Deer Park. Looks like I'll have to find a less lazy way of doing it.

Edit: Fix uploaded, should now work in anything that supports XMLHttpRequest and XHTML.

taskkill /f /im

I hereby declare taskkill.exe the most useful file in Windows XP Professional. Pity it's not in the home edition, as that's where I needed it today. Ah well, those floppies came in handy after all.

Two hijacked iexplore.exe processes, each opening another one if it saw the other one die. taskkill /f /im iexplore.exe for the win.

Of course, after that, I still had to delete various stuff from Application Data, Program Files, and the Temp folder, but Spybot and HijackThis helped me find most of it.

(Other boring stuff: I made Atom versions of all my feeds, put a little tag cloud on the home page, and re-did the attachments and trackback code in RdPress.)

Suck Fony: SonicStage = Arse

My sister bought a Sony MP3 player. Oh the horror.

When I bought my iAUDIO, I plugged it in to the computer, dragged some MP3 files to the hard drive icon, and unplugged it. If only Sony could understand the benefits of simplicity. When you get the MP3* player, you're expected to install SonicStage. It requires "200MB or more" disk space. The player itself is only 256MB. :|

That, and it's not supported on non-Windows, "personally constructed PCs", operating systems that have been upgraded, dual boot systems, or multi-monitor systems. And they don't guarantee "trouble-free operation of the system suspend, sleep or hibernation function".

I watched as the CD loaded and proceeded to shove various crap around the hard disk. I tried to smile as it installed the OMG (OpenMG Driver), but it just wasn't funny. The install finished, forced me to reboot, I double-clicked one of my five new desktop icons, and it crashed.

I reinstalled it, this time being a nice boy and making sure I closed all programs and disabled my firewall (I gave up trying to find the virus check software that the manual told me I had to close). Still no good. Installed it on another computer that I "hadn't been messing with", and it still crashed.

So, I gave up, uninstalled the three items it had put in Add/Remove Programs. And removed the four folders it left behind. I did a Google search to see if it left behind anything else. And then, I find the Sony Network Walkman Hacks page, which points to a fairly well hidden page on the Sony site offering MP3 File Manager.

You install it, double-click the program, drag MP3 files into it, and it puts them on the device. It's not perfect, but it works. Why can't it just be the default?

(* It doesn't really play proper MP3s. The MP3 File Manager (and presumably SonicStage, if it ever works) messes with the file in some way, most likely to discourage people from "stealing" music back off the device. It sucks, but not quite as much as a player that won't play anything because its software doesn't work.)


A few more items I can tick off the todo list. RdSplay now successfully parses Atom feeds, though I'm only subscribed to one at the moment. RdMise has a function that takes arrays and makes Atom or RSS feeds, and RdPress now uses this function to provide an atom feed for this blog. Just need to add Atom versions of the other feeds, then I can get back to working on something prettier, like tag clouds.

(Some of the buttons on the blogroll say "XML", this should change to "RSS" or "Atom" next time they're parsed.)


I think I've got it parsing Atom now. Just need xml:base support and it'll be ready. (Note to self: RFC 2396, section 5.2)

In other random news, my feed reader now has a proper subscription list which generates an OPML version (should you care enough to import some feeds). I've also got a podcast subscription list which is generated from an OPML outline.

I've also got an OPML blog for some reason. The OPML editor and the server stuff that makes the blog are both nifty in some ways, but head-bashingly annoying in others. PHP implementations, anyone?

I love it when a plan comes together...

[Wed, 03 Aug 2005 10:19:06 -0400] Feed url changed to -

Of course, that didn't happen until I fixed the bug in RdMise that was making the blog send a temporary redirect. Never mind, I'm now supporting permanently redirected, temporarily redirected, and permanently gone feeds.

I just don't know what I should do if I get a temporary redirect to an address that returns "410 Gone". Is the feed address I originally used equivalent to gone, meaning I should disable it, or is the result entirely temporary, meaning I should keep pulling the feed and getting repetitive "Gone"s? At the moment I'm treating it like a 404, and only disabling the feed after a certain number of tries. I'm still not sure...

Current wishlist:

  • Bulk mark-as-read
  • Better subscription list
  • OPML export
  • Item highlighting feature ("starring")

I also need to seperate my podcast subscription list (castroll? podlist?). Joy...

#fluff madness

The great food-verb hunt.

What scares me is how good I am at this. (Recent discoveries: fudge, egg, jelly.) :|

Time zones suck.

I've updated this place to the latest working RdMise 0.9 code (or, if I'm feeling retentive, Codename 0.9 Alpha 1) and added my feed reader (currently private). It was all working fine until I actually tried to make it update feeds. It remained convinced that this set of feeds had last been updated several hours in the future.

See, I store all my dates as GMT, and when PHP fetches from the database, it doesn't know that. It presumes they're in local time, which for this server is currently GMT-4. I have to use this hacky thing to make the time comparison work: strtotime($rw[7].' +0000').

Then that's only half the solution. When I want to display dates, I have to use my own function to add the timezone offset according to the RdMise settings, which currently say GMT+1. I hate this.