onLine weblog archive

Friday, June 09, 2000

This looks like an excellent resource: DomainNameBuyersGuide: Unbiased advice on choosing a Domain Name Registrar. I am thinking about perhaps transferring all my domains to a registrar like gandi.net, which has a reasonable contract agreement with clients that doesn't put the client's ownership of the domain name in question. Which in case you didn't know, is NOT the case over at NSI, where they recently changed their contract so that they can reclaim names. The Independent has a good article on the matter: The great domain name rip-off, courtesy of Network Solutions. Via Digital Web.
The latest issue of A List Apart is hilarious: Sympathy for the Plug-in.

More on Flash: for me, the web is not an entertainment medium, though I am often entertained by it. The thing I look for most from the web is utility. If your site does something for me, makes some activity easier, provides some useful bit of information, then I think your site is a success and I am likely to return. I am struggling to think of a useful Flash based site, though I know that they exist (in the minority)... I think product demos are a good application for Flash. Apart from entertainment, what else is Flash good for? Tell me.

Thursday, June 08, 2000

A comprehensive if not particularly insightful look at what lies ahead in the way of media outlets: The News Consumer Of the Future. The marketing tactics that routinely get mentioned in articles such as this still scare me silly; I do not want my phone to alert me of a sale on pizza, or a nearby car dealer, or a twinkie machine, or anything! At least I think I don't. Perhaps I am just scared off by the thought of the inevitable abuses of such systems. In any case, this is an hilarious parenthetical from the article above:
(One of my favorite concepts is the "lovegetty," which is a matchmaking scheme for mobile phones. Taking advantage of smart phones' ability to know where you are physically, your phone beeps to alert you when a potential mate with matching interests as entered in the lovegetty database is nearby. This form of "personal advertising" sounds like a more efficient way to find a compatible mate than hanging out in noisy, dark bars.)
Think what you will of me, but that cracks me up.

A related story from back in April: The Real Power of Wireless.
I forget to tell you that yesterday the bike scored a point, cutting my lead in half. However, unable to sleep this morning, I took a sunrise ride around the park and widened the margin back to 2.

ME 3, BIKE 1.

Wednesday, June 07, 2000

Sun changes tune in support of SOAP protocol:
Sun is the second company to flip-flop on SOAP. In April, IBM also reversed its stance, saying the need for the software industry to find a way for businesses to link their different computing systems outweighed competitive issues.
It kinds of makes me uncomfortable how dependent I am on the internet. My ISDN went down last night at 9 and I just now got it back up. I was unnaturally lost without internet access, but at least my CDs are nicely re-organized.

Tuesday, June 06, 2000

From CNET.com, a report of the first ever mobile phone virus: New email virus bombards mobile phone users . It's going to be even funnier when kitchen appliances become susceptible.
Well alright! This site is now driven by XML files generated by Blogger. I used pb's XML template as a starting point, tweaked it to my satisfaction, and wrote some XSL files to do the transformation on the server side and send HTML to the client. This is the first step in my multi-step site redesign.
ME 2, BIKE 0.
I should not neglect to mention that I began a competition with my bicycle today. For every day that I go for a ride, I score a point. For every day I do not, the bike gets a point.

After today it is ME 1, BIKE 0.

Monday, June 05, 2000

Hey Frank! Just because "they" ain't juicing the ball don't mean the ball ain't juiced! You've got to at least mention the Happy Haitian theory, or maybe just appear aware that circumstances beyond any particular individual's or group's control MAY have resulted in a ball that is wound tighter than usual. I'm not saying that is necessarily the case, but this sort of sensationalistic, straw man, attitude driven crap that passes for journalism really gets my goat.
CNN.com - Dad saves woman from subway attacker then relaxes with cigarette. The real question is: did he get a ticket for smoking in the subway?
YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES is a site that makes it seem kind of ironic that Flash was at the center of the aforementioned discussion on "visual literacy."
The Swatch site is Flash at its worst, burying content 3 clicks deep in Flash files and displaying it in pop up windows, but I dug for you, Argentina: a Swatch designed by Kurosawa.
I saw Akira Kurosawa's "Throne of Blood" last night for the first time. Very good! You may have in the past read some discussion here at glish.com on the value of "visual language" VS the value of textual or spoken language. For those of you that concluded that I hold images in low regard, please consider my appreciation of Kurosawa: he is perhaps my favorite director because of his absolute mastery of film as a visual medium. Now, he does not eschew words, and in fact his movies are marked by intriguing dialogue and great poetry; but what truly distinguishes him as a director is his ability to make every shot, every composition, every cut serve to advance the story.

Here is a good quote on that matter from an analysis of Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, The Hidden Fortress and Ran: The Epic Images of Kurosawa:
The forceful editing of Throne of Blood, as in The Seven Samurai, is a major factor to the success of the film. The horizontal wipe is again used extensively, with an interesting variation. More often than not the wipe moves from a scene of pale gray and white tones to a highly contrasted dark scene. Full appreciation of Kurosawa's use of the technique requires multiple viewings. In re-running a sequence, one realizes that Kurosawa's wipes often follow the direction and movement of his characters, prefiguring a similar movement in the ensuing scene. In some cases the movement is from the reverse direction. While the technique is considered dated by many, I have never seen it used with greater success.
I have received many helpful responses to my DHTML "puzzle" from last friday. Thanks to all! Here they are:

Taylor said this:
When you get information about an object, you are getting just the information contained within the tag. The information from the style sheet doesn't cascade down into the DOM to the tag.

What you might want to use is posleft and postop which give the actual position. There are a few other attributes that also give the "real" position that allow you to set style information in the style sheet but still script it.

This is a pretty good resource if you know what you're looking for.
Kevin Collins instructed me thusly:
I think this works:
function init() {
   alert(document.styleSheets[0].rules[0].style.top);
   }
"The style object does not provide access to the style assignments in style sheets. To obtain information about styles in style sheets, use the styleSheets collection to access to the individual style sheets defined in the document."

Quoted from here.
Bitey McStink weighed in with this:
I assumed this has always been the case (since I usually code for IE, and I didn't do much JS pre-5.0). Whenever I have an attribute that I will need to work with programatically (normally location and size) I assign it using javascript instead of stylesheet. I hope you find another solution. Is the stylesheet itself a part of the DOM? If so, maybe you could cross-reference the property by checking the className of the DIV, then finding the associated property in the stylesheet node???

Bitey McStink
Morton Wang offered this:
when everything else fails, please consult the fine manual. :)

as you might have found out by now, the 'left' and 'top' properties of 'style' are not inherited from linked or inline style sheets, so they're undefined unless set specifically by a script. when you use the STYLE attribute directly they'll be set. as found in the manual for 'top'[1]:

"The cascading style sheets (CSS) attribute is not inherited."

same goes for 'pixelTop' & 'pixelLeft', which are the numerical equivalents of 'top' & 'left'. this whole problem with values not being defined unless set specifically is the reason why I've decided that all my positioning will be done relative to the parent element, so 'offsetTop' and 'offsetLeft' are my friends.

Morten!

Link to docs.
This is incredibly fascinating: Behind Enemy Lines - A Spammer's Luck Runs Out When She Forges The Wrong Domain.
A new "community news site" from Ed Dumbill (and Cameron Barrett, and Giles Turnbull, and Simon St.Laurent, and Steve Champeon... wow! ): WriteTheWeb.
WriteTheWeb is a community news site dedicated to encouraging the development of the read/write web. For too long software tools on the web have been about letting the few publish and the many read.
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