Imported From Epistula web development

Gentlemen, Start your rendering engines

Okay, lazyweb. I want a Firefox extension like EditCSS, only it allows me to edit the HTML of a document inline.

Imported From Epistula music

A band you've never heard of.

1968, and a band called The Dirty Mac do a TV performance.

The Dirty Mac consist of John Lennon, God (TAAKA Eric Clapton), Keith Richards and Mitch Mitchell.

I’d watch the video, if I were you.

Current Affairs Imported From Epistula stories Those who evolve useability web development

Years, Drugs, Webs

So, Three hundred and sixty five days.

Fifty two weeks, at thirty five pounds on bus tickets a week, four and a half hours every working day is… No, I’d better not think about it.

Today is my first anniversary working for EM, and therefore ranks as my longest continuous employment since I had a paper-round. Yay the new economy.

There is a new design for Aquarionics on its way, BTW. Maybe even new content, or something. The design is stuck in limbo since I redesigned it in PSP and then my trial ran out, so I’m waiting until I can justify buying the full product. Or I could use that as an excuse to leap to Photoshop etc.

I bought the new Barenaked Ladies album – Everything to Everyone – last week (Via iTunes. Yes, DRM isn’t ideal, but until we can convince the record industry that there are more honest people in the world than people who will get something for free if they can. While we’re at it, can we convince me too?). It contains a couple of ‘future classic’ type tracks I can see myself listening to for a long time, and there is a track whose first lines are “You’ve never seen as many monkeys in the Daily Mail”, Which even out of context (It’s a song about postcards of chimpanzees) makes me laugh. I’m a sad person.

We have, once again, returned to the classic, battered battlegrounds of the War On Drugz. Every so often the needle of popular culture appears to drift from “liberal” to “conservative”, and the further into time we get the faster the metronome appears to be ticking. Anyway, some of the Popular Press (Who, in a rare display of Actual Humour, refer to broadsheets as the Unpopular Press) have decided that some of the white powder coating the fashion industry must be blown away (possibly in the hope that they can sniff it as it goes past.) and… and… in the great traditions of journalists everywhere, when someone says it better than I do I’m going to use their words instead. From The Friday Thing 2005-09-23 (Which if you don’t read, you should, it’s well worth every penny):

The point being – God, what *is* the point? The point being that
millions of people take recreational drugs in this country and
it’s madness to think of them as criminals. OK, so Moss happens
to work in a particularly stupid-money tiny-talent industry in
which coke-taking is practically compulsory, but frankly, even if
she’d been less lucky in life and had never made it further than
the customer service counter at TKMaxx in Croydon, she’d probably
still burn holes in her pretty little nose of a weekend. Only it
would cost her an awful lot more and would be cut full of chalk
and paracetamol. The point being, for the love of Belushi, in the
name of all that is holy and legally-permissable – it is a little
bit of coke. An inconsequential smudge of bullshit-dust. It is
not important.

Waging a deeply cynical tabloid war on celebrities who take drugs
is a waste of time, and investigating and prosecuting anyone who
take drugs is a waste of time and money. Furthermore, the fact
that Ian Blair took time out from devising futuristic Supercops
to get personally involved in publicly chastising druggy Moss is
madness, particularly as it means that now, if he’s not going to
appear like a hypocritical superloon, he’ll have to make it his
personal business to investigate Doherty, Deayton, Williams,
Walliams, every other catwalk model alive, 90% of all TV
presenters and pop stars, Russell Grant, Prince Harry… the list
is endless. He’s certainly going to have his work cut out for
him. He’ll probably have to bring in the TA to help out.

It’s very simple. Prohibition doesn’t work. The pros and cons of
various drugs don’t and shouldn’t come into it. The fact is,
people take drugs. They always have and they always will. The
least we can do as a society is educate people as to the risks
and ensure that if they do take them, at least they’re getting
stuff of a certain purity, and in relative safety.

Something like that anyway. The next weeks episode (Which would have been the first of October, I appear to have deleted the email and since I’m composing this from (looks out the window) somewhere between Henlow and Shefford (while bopping along quietly to Barenaked Ladies still) I don’t have a connection to teh interwebs) [Next week’s episode of TFT] had a rant on the subject of the government’s stated desire to have an “adult debate” on the subject of drugs whilst simultaneously refusing to budge from… well…

“Lets have a Proper Discussion on drugs. Okay?”
“Sure. I don’t agree with everything you say, not all drugs are the spawn of saran, you know.”
“How dare you publicise drug use like that! I can have you arrested, you know.”
“What? I thought you wanted a discussion on drugs?”
“We do”
“But if we even mention something that isn’t inline with your views, you say you will arrest us”
“Well yes, it is illegal, after all.”
“But not all drugs are utterly evil!”
“Yes they are”
“No they’re not!”
“Yes they are.”
“This isn’t even a proper discussion! A discussion is a series of statements made to establish a consensus or logical conclusion, this is just contradiction!”
“No it isn’t”
“Yes it is!”
“No it isn’t”
“Yes it IS!”


(Yes, I should have resisted the Python humour harder, Sosume.)

What else? Oh, yes. Web 2.0. Argh. Words cannot express how much I find this entire 2.0 thing incredibly annoying. The web is a series of evolving technologies, and the integrated web-app Gmail type thing that characterises Web 2.0 hype is just one new use of a reasonably new technology. It’s not that AJAX and DOM Scripting aren’t cool things, it’s just they are not immediately better than what we have. The ability to “access your information from anywhere” has the downside of not applying when you don’t have a net connection. In a world where “going to work” consists of going from network connection to another this may seem less important, but the world isn’t that globally connected yet, as can be gathered from my Henlow/Shefford statement above (As an update, I’ve now reached Shefford). From here I can’t access GMail, flickr, Mint or whatever. I could, I suppose, connect by connecting to my mobile via bluetooth, and then over 3G to the internet, but when I’m paying per kilobyte for my connection I’d quite frankly prefer optimised and compressed text-based communication. XML surrounds data with metadata, which makes it a good general transport protocol, but not a wonderfully bandwidth-conservative one. While in this bandwidth limited state, I get to view the world from the 1997 perspective of all styles and all images turned off, no sparkly effects or anything. I’d use Lynx if it didn’t feel silly doing so on a Powerbook.

This entry, btw, is part of a new initiative to get me to update more often. It consists of writing Journal on the way from Hitchin to Bedford and Frontier (Of which you know nothing) on the way back.

Explanations as to Frontier will be forthcoming soonish.

Imported From Epistula weblog

Bish bash is down, and nobody seems to know why.

Cluefire isn’t, and has less stupid.

computing Imported From Epistula


So, on the weekend I finally get BF2 and am able to play CoV…

My soundcard craps out. DamnDamnDamnDamnDamnDamnDamn

Computer Games Imported From Epistula social

Beer, Games, Booms

Last night, drank beer with co-workers and partners of co-workers and co-workers of partners of co-workers and ex-coworkers of partners of co-workers. Which sounds like more then five of us, and is in fact not. Crashed at their place overnight, snuck out early this morning to catch an early bus home, made a critical failure on my Bus-Catching throw and caught the bus to Bigglesware again. Bought newspaper, computer game, random crap while waiting for next bus. Read.

Read reviews of books. Read news. Got on bus. Read more reviews of books. Wrote a bit of mine. Got to Hitchin. Taxi home.

I’m in the City of Villains Beta (I can now say, since the NDA’s been lifted). I have a Mastermind Necromancer by the name of The Hat. The Hat doesn’t have a detailed backstory or world, but he does have a Hat. It is a very fine Hat, and helps him summon Zombies. He summons three Zombies, called Foozle, Woozle and Bumpkin. They are very cute zombies (Those are not my zombies).

I bought Battlefield 2 as well, but so far Single Player has crashed, and I have to get 200Mb of patches before I can play it multiplayer. Grr. So, now off to do great evil.

Imported From Epistula MLP

That which is seen

Dr. Rosenthal’s ionic hair
"hair psychologist."

Imported From Epistula MLP

That which is seen

Musical breast implants
BT invent technology to put MP3 players inside breast emplants.

Imported From Epistula MotW Politics

Traces of politics

From the Capitol Steps, to the tune of the Beach Boys’ ‘Kokomo’:


Imported From Epistula web development

Window Onload

One of the things about the DHTML -> DOM Scripting Revolution (which will, obviously, be bloggerized) is moving window.onload events (and, further back, the stuff you used to put into the body onLoad tag. You don’t still do that do you?) and turning them into addEvent()s. Except that because the various addEvent implimentations are subtly different from platform to platform, there is a move afoot to create a pattern that works. However, while I will be using that in new code, I still have to work on existing code that I don’t have licence to completely rewrite today.

For example, adding new functionality that uses an onLoad event to a page that already has an onLoad event defined, whilst not mucking around with the code of both.

One of the central problems with window.onload is that there can only be one of it (No Highlander references, please), so if you want two things to happen when the page loads, you’re somewhat SOL on the second one. The first one is defined something like this:

window.onload = function (e) {

(This is, obviously, not real code. I write software that a couple of banks are using internally, insulting them just for going to the wrong page is somewhat likely to be a career limiting move.)

Later on, we need to do something else too. So the new code does this:

window.onload = function (e) {

(Which is obviously a complex technical term for something banking related. It stands for ‘Banking Annotation Reflex Link’).

But wait! Now when the page loads it spews a box saying “Barl.”! We can’t let the user get away with not being insulted, it breaks the spec. And yet if I include them both together in one sourcefile:

window.onload = function (e) {

Then the functionality will be split! disaster! Someone’s crossing the beams!

So we do this:

oldOnLoad = window.onload

window.onload = function (e) {

Basically, we save the old onload event as a new function (oldOnLoad) and then execute it as part of the new one, So it executes the stuff that is already defined, then the stuff that we want to happen next, and we can keep adding stuff like this until it reaches critical mass, and I give in and spend an afternoon refactoring the whole thing to be more sane. But for now, it works, and clients can be happy.