I came across this nifty little DHTML Slide In Menu on another site and decided I liked it enough to track it down. It looked a lot better to me on the site where I found it. What I don’t like is how it acts/reacts when you scroll down as it bounces.
0PHP.com PHP Source Code Utility – Line Numberer and Syntax Highlighter is a demo of a great little on-line utility. You can also download a local copy.
Syndic8.com collects data on RSS and Atom news feeds and allows the syndicated content to be categorized and viewed in many formats. Sources of feeds are suggested for categorization, and approval requires that human reviewers pass on the quality of the source, namely regular postings and site availability. Many people have signed up as reviewers, but they often don’t understand the steps necessary to review and approve a feed. This article is an effort to clarify what is asked of them.
The general guidelines for reviewers currently leaves many in doubt as to what exactly should be done, or how to do it anyway. In an effort to answer this delimma, a thread has begun on the Syndic8 Email List. Bill Kearney has provided significant insite, and it is much clearer now than it was before, however that thread has fractured (meaning at least one message thread has spun off with a new subject and thus will not be associated with the original thread).
I thought it might be worthwhile to try to collect the information in that series of messages and consolidate it here. Over time I am sure that the reviewers guideline page will improve, but in the meantime this may act as a gathering point. If you have additional information to make a point clearer, feel free to drop a comment and I will try to pull that information into this main work.
When registering at Syndic8, you may choose to be a reviewer. If you elect to be one, then each time you log into Syndicate, you are presented with a list of random feeds awaiting review. So what does one do? Review of course but for what? Well the main concepts are three as I understand them:
- assure that the technical aspects of the site are functional and not broken
- determine if real content is regularly being posted (polling)
- assure that the site is up and functional for people trying to visit it (statistics)
Quick Visit to the Site – note language
The first thing a review should do is visit the site to be reviewed. Is it up and running, are there regular entries (I usually click on at least one archive month if available) and are they ‘real’ entries and not ‘hello world’ sample type entries. At that time one should also note the language of the site. If this all checks out, then back to Syndic8.
Check-Off on the Language
The language you observed on the site should match the language tag shown in the syndic8 page for the proposed feed. If it isn’t specified or doesn’t match you should leave a note (ther is a note tab at the bottom of the syndicate page) and contact the page author to advise them of the mismatch. By common convention Syndic8 has elected to look the other way for English sites that have no en specification if the feed is RSS 0.92. That is the only time you should pass on a site without a mathing Language tag.
Note: if you want to look at and approve sites for a particular language use this format:
http://www.syndic8.com/feedlist.php?ShowStatus=AwaitingApproval?ShowLanguage=fr for example if you want French feeds. Simply substitute the proper two character abbreviation for the language you wish to review. There are many, many non-English feeds, so by all means if you have that talent, dig in!
Look at the Polling
The polling tab at Syndicate (down at the bottom of a feed awaiting approval) will show the posting history for the site from the date it was submitted for consideration to present. You should see some consistent results to entitle the site to be included. Generally there should be at least a week or two of consistent posting, and also factor in what you found when you visited the site a few minutes ago. Many, many blogs and other sites with syndicated contents are simply momentary lapses by the author(s). I think the intent here is to get sites with vibrant content included and not include the flash in the pan type of site.
Look at the Statistics
This will tell you if the site has generally be available. So long as it has generally be up, check this one off of the list. The statistics also give you a daily numerical count of new headlines for the polled period.
Approve the Feed
If all of this checks off, then approve the feed. There is a green button that appears at the bottom of the syndic8 screen for the site being reviewed. If the feed is not being approved, then leave notes as to why not, contact the site author to point out the problem if you wish, and move on to the next one.
Some of the cooler looking sites sometimes use transparent layers/div’s to achieve the look. One method to get a transparent background is to use a png image with partial tranparency (see a discussion of that here). Unfortunately, Internet Explorer doesn’t much like png’s unless you go a bit to make them work.
You can also make Semi-Transparent Backgrounds with CSS and they are supported on FireBird/FireFox/Mozilla/Netscape, Internet Explorer, and Konquerer/Safari. I don’t currently run Opera, but I understand they are not currently permitting it.
How many times did someone send you a word document complete with numbered paragraphs and ask you to convert to (x)html? It happens to me all the time. Next time I am going to try this on-line as it worked very well on a demo. Daring Fireball: Markdown Web Dingus.
You can also get a markdown perl script here if you want to run it locally or on your site. It appears to be an open source project … but then there is a $50 license fee for commercial work. I don’t quite understand how the two go together. If you do, please leave a comment.
Browser Header Checker is a nice little site to check your browser header string, remote address and other browser variables. Very handy.
I have been working on understanding CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) better as they appear to be where it is at for good web design. I really enjoy looking around the Zen Garden Project and the Word Press CSS Contest. These are awesome examples of style separated from content.
One of the things that tended to confuse me was the use of three character colors in Cascading Style Sheets. What did #fff mean? Well it took a bit of digging, but I think I have it now. The math majors tell me that if you use a six character red, green, blue (or RGB as commonly referred to) color scheme, you need six characters to form 16,000,000 colors. Conversely if you limit yourself to a 256 color web-safe palette, you need only use three characters. So the CSS wizards decided you could avoid needless repetition by simply using the shortcut method.
In case there is any confusion, you simply give the first letter of each color pair (example f in a three character RGB color would become ff) is simply repeated. So it is #RRGGBB. Hex numbers are represented by the characters 0-9 and letters A-F, for a total of 16 characters. So long as you are satisfied with staying within the color cube, using the three character color codes in CSS will make for smaller file sizes and less typing.
Yahoo announces that it uses “web beacons” to track people around the web. Because you are registered with them, they can tell where you go when you visit sites containing their beacons. See their disclosure for more information.
They also indicate that they use web beacons in html formated email to tell if you have opened your email. Spammers use this technique too, so if you have not already made the switch to plain text email, now is the time. I use Thunderbird in text mode and only switch to html for a particular message to avoid such intrusions.
Now days, many of us have joined the mobile brigade and now work from laptops, recently it came to my attention that many laptop owners
were feeling left out in that they can’t upgrade the video card of their laptops like our desktop brothers and sisters have been doing for years.
There is no longer a technical reason why this should not be possible, the only reason is marketing, why sell you an upgrade, when they can
force you to buy a new laptop by not selling you an upgrade.
To that end, I have setup a petition to Dell (in this case) that they consider offering us the ability to upgrade the video cards of our laptops.
Since Dells laptops already have modular video cards, there is no reason for them not to do this for their customers.
So if you own a laptop, owned a laptop or may one day own a laptop, its in your best interest to support this.
The petition can be found here:
Support laptop upgrades petiton
Independent Testers.org – Home Page is a site that will have various volunteers look through a site on different browsers and provide a report back. Interesting concept as long as the volunteers don’t mind the grind :-)
I often am looking at something on my computer and think, now that is a nice color … what is it. In the past I most often look either at the coding (if it is CSS for example) or save the image locally and then look using my photo/image editing software. So today I said ENOUGH! I went looking for a free dropper and found one that I like: Color Picker Eye Dropper. It has many options like which color format to show/use, copy and paste to the clipboard or a color dialog, etc. Very nice.
I’ve been reading allot recently on the SCO/IBM legal debate about whether IBM is responsible for putting SCO proprietary code into Linux. (I should add that it hasn’t been proven yet that any proprietary code has been included in Linux because any time SCO reveal something they claim as illegal code, its found to have been released as open source by SCO themselves or one of the previous Unix owners.)
Apart from my personal belief that SCO will have to pry my wallet from my cold dead fingers before they get a Linux license from me, I figured I’d point out some interesting details that most people seem to miss.
We’ve started working on the advanced downloader script now.. As well as all the features of the free versions , it will support multiple download locations and will also work as a link tracker as well. (thats the plan anyway).
I’d also like to see it able to work with the IPN script to provide a method whereby a download URL will only work once, as determined by a list of serial numbers, The idea being that for people selling ebooks, scripts, mp3’s or any other files, they can have the IPN script send an email to the client with a serial number in it. and once the client has downloaded the file, the link will not work again.. So it’ll be a sorta ecommerce feature for the downloader. We already have a few extras to go with the advx downloader, like a “Top 5 downloads” plugin so you can show people how popular your downloads are.
Once the downloader is finished, I’m going back to working on free scripts for a while, like Formreader, which is a new kind of form processing script. (already working but it needs some updating to bring it inline with the other HTMLfixIT scripts). and the “Tell a friend” PHP script. (about time we released a script that wasn’t Perl based :-)
I have posted a new “tutorial” although it is really just an accumulations of findings I had in trying to solve the broken box model in Internet Explorer 5. This results in problems for css layout sites when viewed in IE5 unless some adjustment is made. In this article, The Box Model Hack and other solutions to fixing the IE5 problem with CSS layout: HTML FIX IT . COM, I attempt to cover the very basic of five ways I found to get around the problem. I hope it is helpful to you.
We listed our blog over at Technorati. Interesting site: Technorati: What Is technorati?
One of our regular visitors has redone her personal pages. Hazel has had her My Dog Enthusiasts Page up for some time, but recently gave it a new look. We like it and think it shows great growth in her skills in many areas including image making, css and page layout. Well done Hazel.
Well Franki and I (“I” because I throw in sarcastic comments during development in order to claim a contribution) have added a couple of more primers to the successful series on the htmlfixit.com site:
# Perl Primer 013 Advanced data constructs An array of hashes
Here we take a brief look at creating and using an array of hashes.
# Perl Primer 014 Advanced data constructs A hash of hashes
Here we take a brief look at creating and using an hash of hashes or Multidimensional array.
We offer many free scripts for download on our site. Our downloader script that we offer to you is also used on our site and it logs how many of each file offered are downloaded. We thought people might find it useful to see which ones are most popular at any given time.
An excellent article on how to use Google’s Search Engine for good and evil: The perils of Googling.
It both points out how you should carefully think through what you do in your day to expose data/information, and suggests many helpful ways to use Google to find exactly what you are looking for. Certainly worth a read!
The demo page validates as xhtml 1.0 strict and css valid.
Click on a link in the left iframe and it will load content in the right iframe and show a different image to the left.
When we get a few minutes we should really whip up a simpler demo of the concept of using iframes. We have many handy tricks we use them for as well (for example includes without shtml or php). They are now accepted in all major browsers contrary to common belief.
One problem with this site is that it is very slow to load because the images and iframe content is apparently preloading.
The source for this page is a tad difficult to decipher because of it’s complexity, but the idea is pretty good.
One of the hardest things for those of us with limited color skills (or is it artistic skills?) is to get a nice set of colors for a site. We have many places we look when we want to find coordinating colors for example. However, one that I really like is this one that allows you to see a gradient of colors between two selected colors.
We also have a color tool on our site that we like to use. It isn’t our original work, however, we recently were able to make it partially functional in Firefox/Mozilla browsers, whereas it was not as originally written. The sliders aren’t draggable in Firefox/Mozilla. However you can click on the colored squares.
Ever want to search for something special in Google? They have some special search capabilities, like just Linux, or U.S. Government for example. See this page for the choices:
Special Google Searches
If we know one thing for sure it is this: Web Design is not static. Things that were amazing five years ago, or three minutes ago, may not be so amazing any more. The web is the classic open forum where each participant can seek his/her/their own level of sophistication. Often things are collaborative, much like our site HTMLfixIT. Because of this, we hope to keep some current information on our blog to help you find things that may be of interest to you.
This site will tell you what happened on a particular date in history, which may add interesting content to a web site. How much was a gallon of milk, gas, etc. Who was born, what were the headlines?
This can be found here:
I sometimes have documents submitted to me with a request to make them into pdf (portable document format) files so that they will display in Adobes free Acrobat Reader program. I have never had enough demand for this to justify buying the full blown Acrobat program. In the past I often use Corel WordPerfect (because it will save as a pdf), or used a screenshot and saved using a presentation program I sometimes use. None of these solutions did the job in all circumstances …
I recently happened onto this site: http://docupub.com/ and it seemed to do a very good job of converting my document on-line. I simply waited for it to convert, and then right clicked on the resulting link and choose save link to disk. Problem solved.
It supports all of these file formats:
Supported file formats: Generic Formats Adobe PDF Adobe PostScript Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) Microsoft Publisher documents Word Processing Formats ASCII Text ANSI Text Microsoft RTF Microsoft Word for PC v2 Microsoft Word for PC v3 Microsoft Word for PC v4 Microsoft Word for PC v5.5 Microsoft Word for Macintosh v4 Microsoft Word for Macintosh v5 Microsoft Word for Macintosh v6 Microsoft Word for Macintosh v98 Microsoft Word for Windows v2.x Microsoft Word for Windows v6.0 Microsoft Word for Windows 95 Microsoft Word for Windows 97 Microsoft Word for Windows 2000 Microsoft Works v1.0 Microsoft Works v2.0 Microsoft Works v3.0 Microsoft Works v4.0 Microsoft Windows Write v1.0 Microsoft Windows Write v2.0 Microsoft Windows Write v3.0 WordPerfect v5.x WordPerfect v6 WordPerfect v7 WordPerfect v8 WordPerfect v9/2000 WordPerfect for Macintosh v2 WordPerfect for Macintosh v3 Spreadsheet Formats Corel QuattroPro v7 Corel QuattroPro v8 Lotus 1-2-3 v2 Lotus 1-2-3 v3 Lotus 1-2-3 v4 Lotus 1-2-3 v5 Lotus 1-2-3 96 Lotus 1-2-3 97 Lotus 1-2-3 R9 Microsoft Excel v3 Microsoft Excel v4 Microsoft Excel v5 Microsoft Excel v6 Microsoft Excel 97 Microsoft Excel 2000/XP Microsoft Excel for Mac 98 Microsoft Works Spreadsheet v1.0 Microsoft Works Spreadsheet v2.0 Microsoft Works Spreadsheet v3.0 Microsoft Works Spreadsheet v4.0 Presentation Formats Lotus Freelance 1.0-2.1 Microsoft PowerPoint 4.0 Microsoft PowerPoint 95 Microsoft PowerPoint 97 Microsoft PowerPoint 2000/XP Microsoft PowerPoint for Macintosh 98 Graphic Formats AVS - AVS X image file BMP - MS Windows Bitmap image file BMP - OS/2 Bitmap DCX - ZSoft IBM PC multi-page Paintbrush file DIB - MS Windows Device Independent Bitmap DPX - Digital Moving Picture Exchange FAX - Group 3 FAX encoding FITS - Flexible Image Transport System FPX - FlashPix Format GIF - CompuServe graphics interchange format GIF87 - CompuServe graphics interchange format ver 87 ICO - MS Windows Icons ICO - OS/2 Icons IPTC - Newswire profile JBIG - Joint Bi-level Image experts Group file interchange format JP2 - JPEG-2000 JP2 File Format Syntax JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group JFIF format JPG - Joint Photographic Experts Group JFIF format MIFF - Magick image file format MNG - Multiple-image Network Graphics MPC - Magick Persistent Cache image file format MTV - MTV Raytracing image format OTB - On-the-air Bitmap PBM - Portable Bitmap PCD - Kodak PhotoCD - Base/16, Base/4 and Base only PCDS - Kodak PhotoCD - Base/16, Base/4 and Base only PCT - MacIntosh PICT PCX - PC PaintBrush PGM - Portable GrayMap PICT - Apple Macintosh QuickDraw/PICT file PNG - Portable Network Graphics PNM - Portable Any Bitmap PPM - Portable PixelMap PSD - Adobe Photoshop P7 - Xv's visual schnauzer format RAS - Raster Sun Microsystems RGBA - Raw red, green, blue, and matte samples SGI - Irix RGB image file SUN - Raster SunMicrosystems TGA - TrueVision Targa TIFF - Tagged Interchange File Format VICAR - V.I.C.A.R. Image file format VID - Visual Image Directory VIFF - Khoros Visualization image file WMF - Windows Meta File XBM - X Windows system bitmap, black and white only XPM - X Windows system pixmap file (color) XWD - X Windows system window dump file (color)
Let me know how it goes if you give it a try.