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November 2006

Big Failure, Small Victories...

So I styled my MySpace profile by hand. Last I checked, this makes me too much of a Scene kid to be a proper geek, and too much of a geek to be a Scene kid. Well, I'm no stranger to failure, so I thought I might as well do it anyway...

If nothing else, it makes a refreshing change from web design where I'm controlling all the content and keeping the markup clean. I mean, where else can you get a chance to use fun CSS selectors like "td.text table .blacktext12 span"? Or make .orangetext15 black and .redlink blue? Or waste about half an hour getting one image replacement to work?

Nowhere else, apparently, 'cause all the social networks that popped up after MySpace started getting popular decided to clean users' code properly from the start. Sure, it kept them free of JavaScript worms and phishing profiles, but it's really no fun that way.

Anyway, just so I feel slightly less like I'm wasting my life, and in case some random searcher finds it useful, I'm going to paste a couple of random bits of CSS I managed to make work on my profile, after failing to find any similar code via a search (spam spam spam). So feel free to stop reading here, if you haven't already.

Replace Profile Image

This one's fun. I was actually surprised it was possible, given the amount of unrelated things the profile code sticks at the same nesting level with no differences in class. Basically, I wanted the photo displayed at the top of my profile to be different to the one used as an icon on the rest of the site. This CSS ended up working:

td.text img
display: none;
td.text a
display: block;
width: 180px;
height: 135px;
background: url(//;
margin: 5px;
td.text div img,
td.text table img,
.contactTable td a img
display: block;
td.text div a,
td.text table a,
.contactTable td a
background: transparent;
width: auto;
height: auto;
display: inline;
margin: 0;

Hide Blog

MySpace gives every user their own blog. It's kind of like LiveJournal, but worse. Needless to say, I'm happy with the blog I already have, so I didn't want this one. I found plenty of places offering exactly the same code to hide the blog along with the "extended network" banner, but I was already abusing the latter to show a pretty logo, so I came up with this:

td.text table
visibility: hidden;
td.text table table,
td.text table table td.text,
td.text table table td.text table,
td.text table .blacktext12,
td.text table .blacktext12 span
visibility: visible;
background: white url(// top repeat-x;

(This might break combined with other styles, and the background bit will need changing if your profile isn't the same colour as mine.)


I doubt anyone other than me will ever want to use this. The story is, I got jealous of all those people who have flashing adverts in the corner of their profiles saying where they got their layout from, so I made my own:

It's a flashing animation with the text 'If your profile has something flashing up here...' in small text, and 'you fail.' in big text.

<img src="//" alt=fail. class=fail>
<style>.fail { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; }</style>

Randomized Friends List

I don't think anyone will ever care whether they're in my "Top Friends" list or not, but now they won't have to, thanks to Greasemonkey. I just keep randomfriends.user.js installed, and every so often I open the top friends editor and click save.

I would feel sad that I bothered to code such a thing, but I really have no shame, especially not after writing a whole blog post about MySpace.


Attachment: randomfriends.user.js / 0MB / application/x-javascript

The Awkward List

I realized I haven't posted much here about my health recently. It's not that I haven't been thinking about it, just that I think this blog is angsty enough as it is. That, and I'm an unemotional git that feels weird when given sympathy...

Anyway, enough of that. Stuff's going well - I saw the bone clinic last month and apparently they're having a meeting this week to decide what to do to my back. There are a few things they could do, one of which has a super-fun Flash animation which makes me glad that whatever they decide, I'll be too drugged up to notice.

Also had a standard checkup at haemotology today, which featured the usual prodding-at-places-for-slightly-longer-than-is-comfortable, but was generally okay. Just need to watch to make sure I'm not losing too much weight, or checking any of the other boxes on the incredibly vague list of symptoms.

The consultant says that regression gets less likely as time goes on, but that fails to fill me with confidence. (I was going to make a comparison to car crashes or something here, but I had a whole lesson on analogies and still suck at them, so I gave up.)

Anyway, I'm now on three-monthly appointments on Fridays instead of two-monthly ones on Wednesdays, or, as the receptionist put it, "off the awkward list". :)

Random side-notes:

  • Nurses are amazing. The phlebotomist managed to remember which arm she took blood from last time, which I suppose is only a 50/50 chance, but it still impressed me.
  • The "Medical" section of the page for "regression" helpfully defines it as a "subsidence of the symptoms of a disease" or a "relapse of symptoms". Two meanings for the price of one.
  • The title of the cancer section on my about page is just 'cause I thought it'd be funny to be able to google my casenote number. I do pointless stuff like that.

Still here...

...and /really/ just posting for the sake of it now. Lists are fun:

  • On a purely selfish level, ignoring everybody else, this week was great. That is, unless you believe some bullshit that says I'm getting straight Es, which none of my teachers seem to. (I'll probably post more about that later.)

    Of course life's not actually that simple, so this week was pretty mixed.

  • ChatZilla development is picking up a bit, though not due to me. Judging by the bug list, 0.9.76 shouldn't be too far off, then I can stop taking the blame for bug 346793.
  • Numbcast is this weekend. I'll be there but probably won't be saying much, which is normal.
  • I said before half term I might do a bit more on the mess of PHP running this site, though I didn't really expect I'd bother. I did end up doing a bit, rewriting my HTTP auth stuff to be less of a hack and fixing some templates. Still, not even the blog works on the new code so I've a long way to go and I don't know if my attention span will last.
  • Note to People Who Know Who They Are:
    • Arguing on the Internet = Fail.
    • MySpace = Fail.
    • Arguing on MySpace = Über Fail.
  • Bonfire Night tomorrow, which seems to be fun for no real reason at all. Go on Beverley Westwood, get cold, say "oooooh" at fireworks a bit, go home. Yay.
  • Update: My <li> styling needs some work.